Archive | slow carb diet recipes

Smoky Lentil Tomato Soup with Red lentils & Spinach

Lentil soup in and of itself can be pretty bland, so it’s key to experiment with assertive flavors.  I like smoky flavors so I used smoked paprika and smoked tomatoes in the recipe below for “Smoky Lentil Tomato Soup”.  Although lentil soups are often a mainstay for vegetarians, but the addition of chorizo or shrimp and be wonderful flavor enhancers if you are of the carnivorous or Pescatarian bent  Either way, lentil soup is a powerhouse of nutrition and protein in the form of a warm, flavorful comfort food.

smoky lentil tomato soup

Smoky Red Lentil & Spinach Soup

Cooking notes for Smoky Lentil Tomato Soup:

Quick-cooking red lentils are my favorite dried lentil for soups, mostly because I prefer the visual appeal.  Red lentils also cook into a creamy soup quite rapidly, going from dried-in-the-pantry to tender in 15 to 20 minutes.  The French green lentils (called the du Puy variety) are said to hold their shape better and have a slightly more peppery flavor, but honestly I have not noticed that subtlety.  Just know that it is not important for lentils to keep their shape intact.  Longer cooked, lentils add to the soup’s body after they have broken up, and they taste just as good.

Most vegetarian lentil soup recipes have a somewhat “earthy” flavor.  Adding some rosemary will give it a bit more robust flavor, adding cayenne a spicy flavor and pork or chorizo a more complex savory flavor.  Hearty greens are a great addition to all soups and a squeeze of lemon always adds a bright fresh flavor.

Since we smoke a lot of our produce on our farm, I have used smoked tomatoes in the version below called Smoky Lentil Tomato Soup.  Smoked tomatoes may be difficult to find, so substitute in some smoked paprika and some smoked chipotle peppers if you have those instead.  Be creative.  The lentils, an onion and some broth is really the basic template and you can enhance the flavor with whatever you have in your pantry from there.

Recipe for Smokey Lentil Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp smoked paprika (or your favorite paprika)
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 5 cups broth (use vegetable broth or chicken broth)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup smoked tomatoes (alternatively use 1 24-oz can fir-roasted tomatoes)
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • Optional:  add 3/4 cup chopped kalamata olives, 1 lb cooked chorizo, 6-8 large shrimp, 1/2 tsp spicy chili pepper

Directions:

  1. Saute onions over med-high heat in a large pot for 5 min or until translucent.  Add garlic, thyme and paprika and saute briefly, for about 15 seconds.
  2. Add lentils, broth and salt and bring to a boil.  Once it comes to a boil, turn heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 min., stirring occasionally.  Add the tomatoes and simmer another 20 min. until lentils are quite tender.
  3. Add spinach and stir until spinach is wilted.  Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.  Add any of the optional ingredients and bring up to serving temperature over medium heat.

Enjoy for dinner and tomorrow’s lunch!

Online Coaching Available:

I have followed the slow carb diet for 3 years and the keto diet for 2 years now, and I have put my “been there done that” knowledge to work helping people figure it out.  I am currently an online diet coach (info can be found here if you’re interested), and have just hit the 250-client mark.  Come and visit me and see if online coaching might be for you!

If not for diet, there are other coaches on the site that coach anything from writing a blog, to getting up early, to getting rid of that pesky procrastination.  Explore the site while you are there.  There are some wonderful coaches and the testimonials will tell you what you need to know.  Click here to get to my profile and then explore others from there.

Low Carb Chicken Lime Soup (with Avocados)

Simple Mexican soups like this one often include avocado, which is the most healthy and delicious way to get one of the “good fats” into your diet.  This low carb chicken lime soup topped with avocado is similar to the Mexican Flower Soup called caldo xochitl, with a rich broth, shredded chicken and a bit of spice.  It is so very simple to make and doesn’t need to simmer on the stove for hours on end to get a deep satisfying flavor.

low carb chicken lime soup

Chicken Lime Soup with Avocados

The Flavor Secret of Low Carb Chicken Lime Soup

The problem with most chicken broth soups is the flavorless broth itself.  Not so with this broth. It is both spicy and delicious, with the tang of the fresh lime juice and the creaminess of the avocado taking it over the top in flavor.   Similar to the combination that makes Chinese hot and sour soup so tasty, this Mexican soup has the mix between spicy, salty, and sour.  If avocados aren’t available, you can substitute in some sour cream.  Go for the avocados if you can however, it really makes a difference.

The other ingredient that makes a big difference in the soups flavor is the chili spice you use.  I used freshly ground chipotles because we grow them and smoke them at our farm and it is my go-to spice all year.  Use your favorite chili pepper spice for the heat, but go as fresh as you can for the ultimate flavor.   If you want to try any of our chili pepper spice combinations, click here to see our varieties.

Recipe for Low Carb Chicken Lime Soup with Avocados

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large chicken breasts (boneless & skinless)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (16 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground chipotle spice (or your favorite chili pepper spice)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 limes, juiced (more for serving – optional)
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and roughly chopped
  • cilantro (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the chopped onion to the oil and saute for about 5 min. or until onion is soft and translucent.  Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds being careful not to burn garlic.
  2. Increase the heat to high, add the chicken breasts, the broth, the canned tomatoes and all of the spices to the pot.  Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer for one hour.
  3. Taste the soup midway through cooking to see if it needs salt (grocery store chicken broth can be very salty sometimes so start with no salt and add to taste)
  4. After simmering for an hour, remove chicken breasts with a pair of tongs and let them cool enough that you can shred them wither with your hands or two forks. Return the shredded chicken to the pot and add the lime juice and cilantro if using
  5. Serve the soup in a bowl and top with diced avocado chunks.  Pass around lime wedges if more lime juice is desired.

There ya go….a great dinner at low cost and easy to make.  This low carb chicken lime soup is great for tomorrow’s lunchbox also!

Online Coaching Available:

I have followed the slow carb diet for 3 years and the keto diet for 2 years now, and I have put my “been there done that” knowledge to work helping people figure it out.  I am currently an online diet coach (info can be found here if you’re interested), and have just hit the 250-client mark.  Come and visit me and see if online coaching might be for you!

If not for diet, there are other coaches on the site that coach anything from writing a blog, to getting up early, to getting rid of that pesky procrastination.  Explore the site while you are there.  There are some wonderful coaches and the testimonials will tell you what you need to know.  Click here to get to my profile and then explore others from there.

Low Carb Lettuce Wrap – Asian Chicken Style

Lettuce wraps are now available at many popular restaurants and fast food chains (Red Robin, Jimmy Johns to cite a couple).  They can be great low carb lunches on the go, and the lack of thick bread or buns allows the taste of the filling to shine through.  The filling is the important part of the wrap in my mind, and it can be quite creative and versatile.  I like to add avocados and spice, but the beauty of wraps is that, like sandwiches, you can easily mix and match ingredients.  The recipe below is for a low carb lettuce wrap with chicken, and it is an easy lunch or dinner to make at home when time is tight.

low carb lettuce wrap

Lettuce wrap with chicken and asian sauce

Chipotle has become one of the go-to restaurants for slow carb lunches, but if you are leading a ketogenic lifestyle you probably don’t want the beans.  Lettuce wraps can satisfy all kinds of low carb diets however, and they make for a quick and easy option if you’re at work or on the road.  I was particularly surprised on a recent road trip when we stopped at a Red Robin off the highway and they had all of their hamburger options available as lettuce wraps.  To top it off they provided green veggies on the side as a substitute for french fries.  I thought I was going to be relegated to the salad bar when we first pulled in to a chain restaurant, but was pleasantly surprised with the bacon and swiss burger wrap.  Just ask for extra butter to go with the veggie side!

A low carb lettuce wrap is easy peasy to make at home for a lunch or weeknight dinner, especially if you use prepared proteins like roasted chicken or deli turkey.  Adding the extra step of sauteing some ground chicken or other protein is also pretty quick however, and makes for a great low maintenance dinner on a cool summer evening.  The recipe below adds a little Asian flair with some soy sauce, ginger and hot sauce.  Low carb has never been so easy!

Recipe for Low Carb Lettuce Wrap with Chicken

Yield 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken, ground or chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce (some sugar in this)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 head lettuce, butter or romaine

Directions:

  1. For no-cook wraps, chop up roasted chicken from the grocery store or deli.  For a low carb lettuce wrap with ground chicken, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add ground chicken and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the chicken as it cooks; drain excess fat.
  2. Mix together the garlic, onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger and Sriracha.  Saute in olive oil until onions have become translucent, about 1-2 minutes (if using ground chicken, saute in the same pan as chicken).  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. To serve, spoon several tablespoons of the chicken mixture into the center of a lettuce leaf, taco-style and enjoy.

Online Coaching Available:

I have followed the slow carb diet for 3 years and the keto diet for 2 years now, and I have put my “been there done that” knowledge to work helping people figure it out.  I am currently an online diet coach (info can be found here if you’re interested), and have just hit the 250-client mark.  Come and visit me and see if online coaching might be for you!

If not for diet, there are other coaches on the site that coach anything from writing a blog, to getting up early, to getting rid of that pesky procrastination.  Explore the site while you are there.  There are some wonderful coaches and the testimonials will tell you what you need to know.  Click here to get to my profile and then explore others from there.

Low Carb BBQ Ribs with Cranberry BBQ Sauce

It seems to be pretty darn difficult to find a BBQ sauce in the store that is compliant with a low carb lifestyle.  If you start reading labels it’s readily apparent they’re loaded with sugar.  Whether it is listed as molasses, honey, demerara, etc. it is still sugar as far as the body is concerned.  So does that mean low carbers have to give up the beloved BBQ?  Absolutely not, but you might have to make your own sauce.  I’m listing a recipe below for one version of a low carb BBQ sauce, but we also developed one at HeathGlen’s Kitchen using fresh Wisconsin cranberries that is quite awesome.  Try your version or HeathGlen’s with this great recipe for BBQ ribs.

low carb BBQ Sauce

BBQ Ribs with Low Carb Cranberry Sauce

Tips for Making your own Low Carb BBQ Sauce

BBQ sauce in general is pretty simple to make on your own.  Basically you toss all the ingredients in a pot and let it simmer, stirring only occasionally.  Alternatively toss all the ingredients in a food processor, pout it over the ribs or whatever protein you’re making and let it cook in the oven with the ribs.

The main problem with making your own sauce is that most recipes call for ketchup as the base, and then go on to add more sugar.  I found several recipes online that avoid the added sugars but still result in high flavor.  One of these is listed below for your convenience.

It’s easy to get creative with a BBQ sauce and it’s difficult to ruin it.  To cut the sugar use diced tomatoes or tomato sauce or tomato paste and start adding vinegar and spices.  If you want a smoky sauce add some liquid smoke.  Spice?  I like chipotles with their added smokiness, but use cayenne or red pepper flakes for a brighter spice.

If you want a grocery store variety, I did find one brand in our local grocery with only 2 carbs per 2 Tbsp serving.  It is called Classic 2 Carb BBQ Sauce by Ken Davis.  It is “OK” in a pinch.

Adding Berries to Low Carb BBQ Sauces:

Since we grow blueberries at HeathGlen Farm, I have made and sold a Blueberry Bourbon BBQ sauce that was very popular in past years.  This year I bought 240 pounds of cranberries from a Wisconsin cranberry farmer that I know from the St. Paul Farmers’ market and used some of them in a cranberry BBQ sauce (pictured on the ribs below).  Berries are one of the lower carb fruits that is often allowed on low carb diets and this Cranberry BBQ sauce is in our new line of Low Carb Sauces.  This sauce will be added to our low carb product line at HeathGlen in a few weeks.

 

Recipe for Oven-Baked Low Carb BBQ Ribs

serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 pounds pork ribs (country-style or spareribs)
  • your favorite rub (cajun rub, HeathGlen’s Harissa mix, jerk seasoning, etc.)
  • 1-2 cups Low Carb BBQ Sauce (one recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Wash ribs and pat dry.  Line a large baking dish or roasting pan with foil for easy clean up.  Arrange the ribs in the baking dish and use your hands to coat the ribs with the rub.
  3. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours
  4. Spoon Low Carb BBQ Sauce over the baked ribs.  return to the oven, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes longer

Recipe for a Low Carb BBQ Sauce:

  • 14.5 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp mustard
  • 3/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or any hot pepper spice)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)
  • optional spices  (cinnamon, celery seed)

Directions:  In a food processor, combine all low carb BBQ sauce ingredients and blend until smooth.  Taste. Adjust seasonings to your taste.

Online Coaching Available:

I have followed the slow carb diet for 3 years and the keto diet for 2 years now, and I have put my “been there done that” knowledge to work helping people figure it out.  I am currently an online diet coach (info can be found here if you’re interested), and have just hit the 250-client mark.  Come and visit me and see if online coaching might be for you!

If not for diet, there are other coaches on the site that coach anything from writing a blog, to getting up early, to getting rid of that pesky procrastination.  Explore the site while you are there.  There are some wonderful coaches and the testimonials will tell you what you need to know.  Click here to get to my profile and then explore others from there.

 

Low Carb Meatballs with Spaghetti Sauce

This is as easy as it gets if you want to get a family-friendly low carb dinner on the table quickly.  If you used prepared ingredients the whole dinner takes about 5 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes in the oven.  If you have a bit more energy, you can make the low carb sauce (recipe below) while the meatballs are baking.  It’s hard to go wrong with low carb meatballs and spaghetti sauce!

low carb meatballs

Meatballs and spaghetti sauce on Shirataki

The Low Carb Meatballs:

I found a package of low carb meatballs at Sam’s Club made with real parmesan cheese and no fillers.  There were 2.5 grams of carbs and 1 gram of sugar per meatball, which is really quite low.  The ingredients were primarily pork and parmesan cheese.  The brand name was Stefano’s.  Sam’s Club will often just premier something for a while so I’m not sure they are always available there, but you can look for something similar in your grocery store.

The “Noodles”:

I used shirataki noodles which are available in most grocery stores these days. Spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles also work.

The Sauce:

This is where you either make your own or read labels carefully for sugar.  Many prepared spaghetti sauces have quite a bit of sugar.  Read the ingredient list and focus on grams of sugar and then compare.  If you have the time to make your own, it is not too difficult and easy to modify to your own tastes.  Here is a recipe for a sauce that I make ahead and freeze to bring out when needed.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil (or bacon fat)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes, preferably Italian
  • 1 28-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 4 small peperoncini
  • grated parmesan for serving

Directions:

  1. In large pot, skillet or dutch oven, heat oil on medium and add onions.  Saute for about 3 min. and then add garlic and cook 2 min. longer
  2. Add tomato paste and stir.  Add all spices and stir to combine
  3. Add cans of tomatoes and tomato sauce, then 4 1/2 cup water.  Stir in sugar (if using), parsley and peperoncini.  Bring to gentle boil.
  4. Turn heat down to a simmer partly cover and leave sauce to simmer 2 1/2 hours or more, stirring regularly.

The assembly:

Cook the meatballs per directions (375 degrees for 30 min).  Heat the sauce and the shirataki together or in separate pots.

Serve the low carb meatballs and sauce on top of a bed of shirataki noodles.  Spaghetti squash and zucchini also make great beds of “noodles”.

For a more elaborate meatball dinner with lamb meatballs, yogurt, cucumbers and chilies, click here.

Online Coaching Available:

I have followed the slow carb diet for 3 years and the keto diet for 2 years now, and I have put my “been there done that” knowledge to work helping people figure it out.  I am currently an online diet coach (info can be found here if you’re interested), and have just hit the 250-client mark.  Come and visit me and see if online coaching might be for you!

If not for diet, there are other coaches on the site that coach anything from writing a blog, to getting up early, to getting rid of that pesky procrastination.  Explore the site while you are there.  There are some wonderful coaches and the testimonials will tell you what you need to know.  Click here to get to my profile and then explore others from there.

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