Zucchini Frittata – Slow Carb Style

baked zucchini frittata

The standard breakfast fare on the Slow Carb Diet is eggs, beans and spinach.  For those that don’t cook or are rushed for time it is usually a protein shake.  Well, eggs are highly correlated with success on the Slow Carb Diet, but they do get kind of boring cooked in the same old way day after day.

The idea of folding vegetables into a frittata was always intriguing to me, but as it was something I hadn’t made before, of course I put off learning how to do it.  Last Sunday I decided to give it a go, and really it’s often so much the case that the thing you put off is actually pretty darn easy.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  Or am I the only one who delays trying the unknown?

Here is the recipe I used (from “Cooking with Bon Appetit).  I modified it slightly and added some bacon to it for flavor, but other than that it is the same recipe.  Now that I’ve done it once, it will be easy to add different veggies to it, depending on what is in season (right now I have a boatload of peppers to do something with!)

I have followed the slow carb diet for 3 years, and am currently an online diet coach (info can be found here if you’re interested).  A note to 4-hour body purists, I do believe it is OK to use minimal amounts of aged hard cheeses as they do not have the milk sugar (lactose) of other cheeses.  This kind of cheese is dense in calories however, so you don’t want to use a lot, but a little will not spike your insulin the way lactose heavy dairy will.

Oh, and lest I forget….this is great warmed up the next day for an even easier breakfast (or lunch)!

Baked Zucchini Frittata

6 servings


  • 4-5 strips bacon (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups thinly sliced zucchini (about 2 small zucchini)
  • 4 green onions (scallions), minced
  • 3 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 8 eggs
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Romano cheese (OK to use Parmesan or another hard aged cheese also)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • dash of freshly ground black pepper
zucchini & bacon frittata slice

zucchini & bacon frittata slice


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease 9-inch square baking pan.  Fry up some bacon if you’re going to add bacon.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add zucchini, onion and parsley and saute until softened, about 4-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In large bowl, use a fork to beat eggs with cheese and seasonings.  Add zucchini mixture and blend well (add crumbled up bacon at this point – amount depending on your taste).
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake until just firm in center, about 20-25 minutes.  Serve hot or cold.



What is the Most Effective Diet?

What is the most effective diet?

The most important thing I learned in graduate school was how to “curate” reams of information and synthesize it into a coherent document that someone who knew nothing about the subject at hand could understand.

This skill has served me well as a diet coach on coach.me platform.  Every day I get a range of questions as esoteric as, “how do male and female bodies respond differently to insulin spikes from carbs?” and as specific as “is chewing gum with Erythritol  as the sweetener OK to have on a low carb diet?

The answers to all questions are out there on the internet somewhere.  It’s just that the answers may be opinions from a 5-year old or a long-held(but inaccurate) myth.   In other words the answers may not be “evidence-based” at all.  Just opinions.

As a “curator” of evidence-based information and as a coach to people with pressing diet and/or health issues I have come to the conclusion that the answer to the question of “the most effective diet” is  a high-protein-low-carb-medium-fat diet.  Effective meaning it is the most efficient  and healthy way to a achieve long-term, sustainable weight loss.

Now a high-protein-low-carb-medium-fat diet isn’t exactly a phrase suited to a book cover.  If you break down the most popular, evidence-based diet programs currently catching our interest however, they are all a nuanced version of high-protein-low-carb.  The Slow Carb Diet is nuanced by adding beans and a cheat day.  Paleo, on the other hand, includes no beans and no cheat day, but does include fruit.  Atkins includes cheese and more fat, but no fruit, no beans and no cheat day.  Primal, South Beach, the Zone, the Duke University Medical Diet, and many more are all nuanced forms of high-protein-low-carb diets.

Even the Blue Zones diet information is high-protein-low-carb, just more plant based.

Why are these high-protein-low carb diets effective?  Two main reasons:

1) Protein and fat are satiating and so you do not get hungry.  Hunger can derail a diet quicker than anything.  This is one of the things that makes these diets sustainable.

2) Carbs are essentially sugar as far as your hormones and insulin are concerned, and sugar is directly correlated to obesity.  Sugar is also known to be addictive and once you sustain a low carb diet for a while the sugar cravings decrease to the point of sustainability.

So, there is a lot of research going on in the diet and nutrition field these days, with the most interesting ideas surrounding gut bacteria and probiotics.  I can’t wait to curate that information and nuance the high-protein-low -carb diet even further!   If you have esoteric or specific questions on high-protein-low-carb diets, click here  and  I will certainly do my best to help you out,  with curated information as well as with inspiration.



Slow Carb Ratatouille – Roasted or Sautéed


Roasted Slow Carb Ratatouille

Roasted Slow Carb Ratatouille

Ratatouille lends itself perfectly to Slow Carb eating and end of summer.  If you don’t mind chopping and peeling while you listen to music or a podcast or a movie, it’s really a pretty easy dish to make also.  I always avoided Ratatouille because it seemed so complicated with all of those different veggies, but once you have all of the beautiful produce laid out in front of you, it doesn’t take much thinking and you can easily let your mind wander.

I like the rich taste of roasted vegetables so much more so I prefer the roasted version.  If you don’t mind heating up your house with the oven, it is actually a bit easier.  The saute version is perhaps a bit easier if you are used to one pot cooking.  It is basically a layering approach where you saute one veggie till done, add another layer of vegetable, and keep adding layers until you have a wonderful, colorful, tasty mixture of summer produce and herbs.

Add a pork chop and you have a perfect Slow Carb Sunday dinner!

Roasted Version of Slow Carb Ratatouille


  • 1 eggplant (about 1 lb), peeled & cut lengthwise and then into  1″ dice
  • 1 zucchini (about 8 oz size), ends trimmed off and then cut into 1″ dice
  • 1 yellow summer squash (about 8 oz), ends trimmed off and then cut into 1″ dice
  • 3 beefsteak type tomatoes (meaty rather than juicy), cored and cut into  1″ chunks
  • 2 large red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1″ dice
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 large onion (red or yellow), peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1/4 tsp (or large pinch) crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line two sheet pans with foil
  2. Cut peeled eggplant, peeled zucchini, red peppers,  and tomatoes into similar sizes (about 1″ dice or chunks) and lay out on the sheet pans (aka, cookie sheets).  See ingredient list for more specific cutting directions. Add several garlic cloves (peeled and thinly sliced) to each sheet pan.
  3. Gather all the vegetables into a mound in the middle of the pan and drizzle each mound of vegetables  with 1/4 cup olive oil and about 1 to 1 1/2 tsp. salt.  Mix the oil and salt into each mound of vegetables gently with your hands and then spread veggies out on the sheet into a single layer.
  4. Roast vegetables in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, use a flat spatula to turn veggies over and roast for another 15-20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat the bottom with 2 Tbsp olive oil.  When the oil is hot, add the onion, crushed red pepper and season with salt, to taste.  Sauté until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the roasted vegetables to the pan along with the vinegar, oregano and thyme.  Toss well to coat and add more olive oil, if needed.  Taste to check the seasoning and transfer to a platter and serve.

Sautéed Version of Slow Carb Ratatouille


same as above


Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.

Add the onion and sauté until tender, stirring often, about 7-10 minutes

Add the garlic and sauté 1 more minute

Add 2 more Tbsp olive oil to the pan.  Increase the heat to medium-high and add the eggplant.

Sauté until eggplant is softened, about 3 minutes.

Stir in zucchini, yellow squash and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes more.

Stir in the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook mixture for about 10 minutes.

Stir in oregano and thyme and serve with grated Parmesan.



Slow Carb Recipe for Morrocan Chicken Thighs

Moroccan Chicken & Lemon

Moroccan Chicken & Lemon


After living under the Slow Carb Diet lifestyle for 3 years now, I have decided it is an effective and sustainable way to lose weight, and it might be time to take what I’ve learned and develop a range of menu plans.

Where to Find More Slow Carb Recipes

I’m starting with Dinner plans and you can view a portion of the first one by clicking on the “join” button after clicking here:  Low-Carb Dinner Plan.  It’s 99 cents to join and get the dinner plan and it includes nutritional analyzes and shopping lists for each of the 21 dinners.

The Free Q and A Section of the Slow Carb Community on Coach.me

After you’ve looked at the Low-Carb Dinner Plan (even if you don’t purchase it) check out the free Q and A section of the Slow Carb Diet on the Coach.me platform.  It’s a great community of slow carbers from newbies to “been there done that” folks to coaches, and they ask and answer all kinds of questions related to slow carb living.

Moroccan Chicken – notes on the specifics of this Slow Carb Recipe

So, on to the Moroccan Chicken!  This is one of the low carb meals on the plan, and it packs a lot of flavor into a one-pot meal.  When this dish is made in a specific Moroccan clay cooking vessel it is known as a “tagine”.  I don’t own a tagine, so I make it in a dutch oven and I’m pretty sure the taste is just as good.

The spice combinations are what distinguish the Moroccan dishes and can turn ordinary dishes into something truly special.  This “stew” includes harissa paste along with the range of Moroccan dry spices.  If you don’t have harissa, you could substitute in Sambal or another chili paste.  Or, of course, you could order a great jar of harissa from HeathGlen Organic Farm.

With respect to the spices, it does make a difference to buy the cumin as whole seeds, give them a quick toast in a dry frying pan and then grind fresh in a coffee grinder.  If that is too much to wrap your head around, just use the pre-ground spices from the supermarket, but try and get them as fresh as possible.  You will notice the difference.

I have listed this recipe as a “dump” type of recipe where you just toss everything into a pot after the chicken is browned and turn on the heat for an hour.  This makes it really quick and easy.  If you are the type of cook that likes to spend some time bringing out the flavor of each ingredient you may want to layer the ingredients in more slowly after browning or sauteing them.

On with the recipe….



  • 2 1/2 lbs. chicken thighs and/or legs (6 thighs)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups chicken stock
    2-3 Tbsp Harissa (or other chile paste)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric (optional)
  • 1-2 fresh lemons, cut into wedges
  • 8 garlic cloves, slightly smashed
  • 1/2 cup coarsley chopped fennel bulb
  • 1 onion, coarsley chopped or 2 leeks, white part only, sliced
  • 3/4 cup black olives, pitted
  • 1-inch ginger root, grated
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves


  1. Heat oil and butter in dutch oven (or large skillet). Salt and pepper chicken thighs and brown in the hot oil (skin side down). Remove chicken thighs and drain some of the oil out of the pot.
  2. Add all of the remaining ingredients except mint into the pot and stir together thoroughly. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add back in the chicken.  Tear up about 1/2 cup mint and add to the pot. Cover and simmer for about an hour.
  3. Just before taking the pot to the table, scatter the remaining mint leaves over the chicken.



Easy Bok Choy as Slow Carb Side Dish

sauteed bok choy & harissa

sauteed bok choy & harissa

Leafy greens is one of the cornerstone vegetables of the Slow Carb Diet, and that includes spinach, kale, swiss chard and bok choy.  I love vegetables of all kinds, but I don’t have a lot of experience cooking them in creative ways.  I bought the book “Plenty” by Yotam Ottolenghi thinking I would learn all about cooking veggies in new and wonderful ways with more exotic ingredients than I was used to.

While the recipes looked absolutely incredible, I found myself just not feeling all that creative and time-rich around the dinner hour.  So, as a step up from microwaving frozen spinach but not quite to the Ottolenghi stage yet, I compromised and learned a few great sautes for greens.  This Bok Choy Saute is one that I love, it is quick and easy and it makes a great Slow Carb Diet side dish.  It’s also very inexpensive at the farmers markets right now ($1.00 a bunch at St. Paul Farmers market).

I served it with some Harissa Sauce, but it would pair wonderfully with a Romesco Sauce also.  Both sauces are available online or at several Twin Cities farmers’ markets.  Click here for details on the Harissa and Romesco sauces.


Recipe for Bok Choy Saute as a Slow Carb side dish


  • 1-2 Tbsp grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 bunches Bok Choy (about 8 cups), chopped
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Bring the oil to a fairly hot temperature (not smoking however) over medium-high heat
  2. Add garlic and ginger and saute very quickly (30 seconds), careful not to burn garlic
  3. Add Bok Choy and soy sauce and cook until wilted (about 5 minutes).  Stalks will be crisp but tender.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a side of Harissa or your favorite hot sauce.



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