Tag Archives: Low Carb

Healthy Snacks

Healthy Snack Ideas That Won’t Break Your Diet

Many factors can make or break a diet’s success, but a primary concern for many of us is what to do when hunger creeps up between meals. You may also find that even though you are eating healthily and getting regular exercise, your energy levels are low, and you are in need of a pick-me-up at certain times of the day. Unfortunately, many people are accustomed to consuming readily available, highly processed snack items or fast food out of habit. If you’re eating low-carb to lose weight, it’s crucial to have something healthy on hand to curb cravings.

If you are looking for healthy snack ideas that won’t ruin your diet and fall into the low-carb category, you aren’t alone! Many people look to low-carb diets to jump-start their weight loss journey, control blood sugar spikes, and create healthier eating habits centered around whole, unprocessed food that provides the right fuel for their bodies. Low-carb diet plans are popular and effective because they typically promote weight loss without drastically reducing calories, improve HDL “good cholesterol,” and can help your body balance its blood sugar. The tricky part is finding snacks that are low in carbohydrates, tasty and satisfying, and easy to prepare, transport, and reach for when you need them.

Fortunately, there are many delicious snacks that you can work into your daily routine that will support your health goals, even if you’re a vegetarian. Snacks that offer protein, healthy fats, and small amounts of healthy, non-processed carbohydrates can pack a nutritious punch while giving your body a boost of nutrients. Arizona Gynecology Consultants has gathered an extensive list of the best healthy snacks for weight loss so you can stick to your diet even when hunger and cravings crop up.

Best Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss

Healthy snacks to help with weight loss

If you’re on a low-carb diet and find that your stomach is rumbling a couple of hours after a meal, a mid-morning or afternoon snack can still be on the menu. Healthy snacks for weight loss generally fall under 200 calories, and for low carbohydrate plans, it’s important that they’re high in protein and healthy fats to fill you up and counteract cravings. Snacks with a combination of fiber, protein, and healthy carbohydrates will ensure you feel satisfied without becoming sluggish or falling victim to the crash and burn that accompanies high-sugar foods.

One bit of advice to start with is to choose foods you already enjoy that are full of flavor and abundant in nutrients. If you are willing to try new things, that’s wonderful, but start with a small amount in combination with something you already find palatable. That way, if you don’t like the new option, you don’t wind up in the lurch with nothing in sight until mealtime.

So, What Snacks Can You Still Eat While Dieting?

There are actually a variety of snacks you can eat while dieting that fall into the low-carb category. For fiber, nutrients, and healthy carbohydrates, think of fresh fruits and vegetables that you can prepare and take with you to work, in the car, on outings, and wherever else your day takes you. Fresh fruit will satisfy sugary cravings, while veggies are there to satisfy with their crisp crunch and hydrating abilities, giving you fullness without bloating and empty calories.

Still, other low-carb snacks can be found in protein-rich foods like nuts and nut butter, protein bars and shakes, eggs, seeds, and even meats like beef jerky and smoked salmon. Read on for an extensive list of delectable low-carb bites for in-between meal times, post-workout, or even social events!

Low-Carb Snack Ideas

Hopefully, your low-carb meals are packed with protein, fiber, healthy fats, and hydrating nutrients – but if you need to fight a craving or satisfy a few hunger pangs between meals or after a workout, here are some delicious and easy-to-prep options for snacking:

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Packed with protein and easy to prep and store, stash one or two hard-boiled eggs in a cold bag if you need to eat them away from home or on the go. If you find them bland on their own, add a dash of salt and pepper and even mix up the experience by smashing them in a bowl with another food or a condiment such as hot sauce, avocado, or a sprinkling of cheddar cheese.

Nuts and Nut Butters

Mixed nuts, especially lower-carb ones such as macadamia nuts, are a satisfying and high-protein treat. If you enjoy nut butter, look for all-natural, no-sugar brands that will give you all the taste and none of the unhealthy additives. Nuts are easy to grab on the go, and many brands of nut butter now come in single-serve packs for spreading on fruit and veggies or eating solo.

Raw Vegetables

It couldn’t be easier to prep some raw veggies like celery, red peppers, radishes, and carrots to add to your snack stash. These are great options to keep your crunchy cravings satiated and to add nutrients and hydration to your daily routine. You can munch these to your heart’s content and not worry about calories, and it’s fun to experiment with different low-carb dips to add even more flavor.

Berries

Berries such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries are nature’s candy and truly a delight. Best of all, they’re much lower in carbs than most fruits. Add a dollop of heavy whipping cream or a scoop of cottage cheese if you need a bit of protein, and let the natural sweetness satisfy your snack attack.

Olives

Olives are rich in vitamin E, a natural antioxidant, and delightfully salty and rich tasting. You can eat them on their own or crush them into a tasty tapenade with capers, garlic, and olive oil for a creamy, low-carb dip or spread.

Fish

Smoked salmon and tuna are excellent sources of protein and nutrients for a low-carb snack. Both can be eaten on their own, or you can easily blend with a bit of low-carb mayonnaise, chopped celery, salt, and pepper for a tasty salad. Enjoy these options wrapped in lettuce or alongside raw veggie sticks.

Beef Jerky

If you love a salty snack, look for beef jerky that is low in sugar or with no added sugar to keep your carb count low. Beef jerky is a chewy and satisfying way to get quick protein during the day and satisfy any errant cravings or hunger pangs between meals.

High Protein Dips

Plain cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, heavy whipping cream, and no-added-sugar nut butter make excellent low-carb dips in moderation. If you find yourself wanting to try new tastes or add extra flavor, opt for dips like tzatziki (Greek yogurt and cucumber dip) and garlic aioli. Or, experiment by adding condiments to your dips like hot sauce, salsa, flavored olive oil, cinnamon, protein powder, or chopped olives.

What Can I Snack on All Day and Still Lose Weight?

Snacks that you can eat while dieting

If you notice you are hungry between meals and need something to stifle cravings, reach for snacks that are high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These foods will help fill you up so you don’t feel uncomfortably empty between meals. They will also give your body a burst of nutrients to keep your energy levels consistent and your blood sugar from spiking and dropping.

One key factor in sticking to a low-carb diet plan is to plan ahead. Make sure you have plenty of easy-to-grab, pre-cut fruits and veggies in the fridge to pop into an insulated bag for work, errands, or other events, and stock your pantry with mixed nuts, nut butter, beef jerky, and dried fruit. Whenever possible, opt for fresh produce, but shelf-stable types can suffice in a time crunch.

The Healthiest Foods To Snack On

Snacks offer you the opportunity to add more whole foods to your routine and to develop a taste for fresh, nutrient-rich foods–even ones you haven’t tried before! Keep an open mind when it comes to fruits, veggies, and foods that are high in fiber and protein. If you find avocado or hard-boiled eggs too bland, consider adding some salt and pepper–or even mixing them with a favorite seasoning! If certain fruits don’t fill you up, try switching to water-rich vegetables to get a boost of hydration and quell hunger pangs, all the while paying attention to how your body responds to its new fuel.

Switching up your snacks is also essential. Our brains crave novelty, so if you find yourself sighing in boredom over the same old snack of cashews and carrots, try out a new protein bar or switch to grapes and Greek yogurt to soothe your thrill-seeking urges. Dieting is all about creating and maintaining new, better habits that promote sustainable goals. As you make more and more progress in your weight loss journey, you will begin to equate your food choices with your slimmer physique, higher energy levels, and other positive effects on your body and mind.

When Junk Food Cravings Strike

Junk food cravings strike for a variety of reasons, some of them due to lifestyle habits you may not even be aware of.

To avoid falling victim to sudden urges for empty calories, try the following things:

  • Plan ahead for meals and snacks
  • Eat more protein and fiber
  • Hydrate more often
  • Don’t skip meals
  • Get plenty of regular sleep
  • Grocery shop on a full stomach
  • Practice mindfulness during meals
  • Unwind and de-stress for at least
    a few minutes each day

Cravings are completely common and not a sign of weakness; they are rather a signal from your body that it is missing out on something to help it feel better, more balanced, and self-regulated. Explore ways from the list above to make your body feel healthier, and you will no doubt see your cravings begin to dissipate.

Healthy Snacks That Fit Your Weight Loss Goals

Snacks that help with your health goals

Snacks are not the enemy, even if you’re on a low-carb diet plan. Your body is a dynamic and ever-changing entity whose needs shift due to a variety of factors. The only thing you need to focus on when it comes to snacking is whether or not the food you reach for will fuel your body with protein, healthy fats, fiber, and nutrients.

At Arizona Gynecology Consultants, we know how important it is that women have accurate information about how to support their weight loss goals and create sustainable healthy habits. A healthy body, inside and out, can not only enhance your physique but can also complement your mental health and other aspects you may wish to improve upon, such as blood pressure and energy levels.

If you are ready to reach out to our professional medical staff at Arizona Gynecology Consultants, do not hesitate to contact our Phoenix or Mesa locations to schedule an appointment in person or via telehealth. Your well-being matters to us, and we look forward to helping you on your weight loss journey.


Sources:

  1. Hofmann, S. G., & Gómez, A. F. (2017). Mindfulness-based interventions for anxiety and depression. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 40(4), 739–749. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28316796/
  2. Blanck, P., Perleth, S., Heidenreich, T., Kröger, P., Ditzen, B., Bents, H., & Mander, J. (2019). Effects of mindfulness exercises as stand-alone intervention on symptoms of anxiety and depression: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 115, 37–48. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6462429/
  3. Goldberg, S. B., Tucker, R. P., Greene, P. A., Davidson, R. J., Wampold, B. E., Kearney, D. J., & Simpson, T. L. (2019). Mindfulness-based interventions for psychiatric disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 59, 52–60. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30836763/
Woman planning her low-carb diet

The Low-Carb Vegetarian: Tips and Recipes

This entry was posted in Fitness and Nutrition and tagged , , on by .
Low-carb diets have become a popular way to lose weight, and they have other health benefits as well, such as improving cholesterol, lowering blood sugar, and lowering blood pressure.

Consequently, a low-carb diet is an important way for people with certain health issues such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and some neurological disorders to improve their health and quality of life.

Aside from the science behind low-carb diets, one reason many people have success losing weight while eating a diet that is void of carbohydrates is that there are no calories to count or hunger pangs to endure. For this reason, many people report that low-carb eating doesn’t feel like they are dieting. However, this has led to a widespread belief that low-carb diets must consist of indulgent meats and cheeses or even confusion regarding which foods can be part of a low-carb plan.

Key among the groups curious about low-carb eating are vegetarians and vegans. Because low-carb diets are often heavy on meat, many people mistakenly think vegetarians can’t do low-carb diets. However, that is simply not the case – there is such a thing as a low-carb vegetarian diet.

How to Eat Less Carbs as a Vegetarian or Vegan

Planning Vegetarian Meals

There are some simple ways you can transition to a low-carb diet, even if you’re a vegetarian or vegan. Below are some ways to minimize carbs in your diet and some recipes to get you started.

Make the Swap

One of the easiest ways for vegetarians looking to cut down on carbs in their diet is to simply make a conscious effort to swap carb-heavy foods out for non-carb foods. The key here is mindset: don’t think of it as eating less or going without. Rather, just replace the starches and sugars you eat with vegetables, nuts, and fats.

If you are a lacto-ovo vegetarian (you eat dairy products and eggs but don’t eat meat or fish), many dairy products are low-carb, as are eggs. Keep an eye out for dairy products without added sugar to incorporate into your diet.

Here are some tips for replacing carbs with dairy and egg products for vegetarians:

  • Choose omega-3-enriched, pastured, or free-range eggs when possible.
  • Eat grass-fed butter, which simply means the butter is made from the milk of grass-fed cows.
  • When eating yogurt or kefir, eat those with live cultures, such as probiotics, and opt for the full-fat,
    unsweetened products.
  • Cheese is a great way to add flavor to low-carb foods, and it is high in nutrients.

If you are a vegan and do not eat any food derived from animals, including dairy and eggs, you’ll find there are many low-carb plants and foods that are great substitutes for carbs in your diet. Please note that these are also great for vegetarians as well. Not only are these low-carb foods, but some of them are high in protein and fat, which makes them a filling option for any meatless diet.

  • Vegetables are an obvious choice because many of them have very few carbs, including onions, cauliflower, tomatoes, bell peppers, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, and broccoli.
  • Nuts and seeds are a smart choice for low-carb diets because not only are they low in carbs, they are also high in good fat and protein. Some great options are walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, and macadamia nuts.
  • Chia seeds are an especially great choice because most of the carbs in chia seeds are derived from fiber, making them a good source of protein and fat.
  • Fruits, especially berries like blueberries and strawberries, can be incorporated into a low-carb diet. Other fruits should be enjoyed in moderation because there are some carbs in most fruits.
  • Fatty fruits like avocados offer high fat content with few carbs.
  • Legumes such as peas and green beans are low in carbs. While other beans like pinto beans and chickpeas are higher in carbs, they include a lot of fiber and protein and can be eaten in moderation as part of a low-carb diet.
  • Healthy fatty oils like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil can be low in carbs.
  • Soy foods like tempeh is protein-rich with low carbs.
  • Dark chocolate that has a high cocoa content, like 70-85% or more, is a low-carb/high-fat option.

So, What Is the Best Low-Carb Vegetarian Food?

A vegetarian diet should include a carefully planned variety of foods that are packed with nutrients, especially protein since meat is the primary supplier of protein in non-vegetarian diets. This is even more true for vegans. So, while one food cannot supply everything we need to sustain a healthy lifestyle, soy is often considered the best low-carb source of protein and fat when consumed in foods like tempeh.

Solidify Your Concept of Low-Carb

So, are vegetarian meals high in carbs? The answer is that they can be.

While there is no exact number or precise ratio that determines a food or diet to be “low-carb,” creating a meal plan based on solid, low-carb suggestions limits your carb intake and, thus, gives you the healthy benefits of eating low-carb without the unhealthy trade-off. Finding your personal balance may take some experimenting, but you’ll eventually find a happy medium that yields the health outcome and results you’re aiming for.

To start off, you can follow the recommendations for the average daily carb intake.

  • Low – Consuming as little as 20-50 grams of carbs per day can produce weight loss results fairly quickly because it will put the body into ketosis, the metabolic state of high energy consumption, which is the foundation of the keto diet. This is a great range for vegetarians with a weight loss goal, but it is not a practical range for vegans.
  • Low-Medium – Consuming 50 to 100 grams of carbs per day is a mid-range carb-limiting diet that will also lead to weight loss, especially if you take care to exercise.
  • Medium – 100-150 grams of carbs per day is still a good range for successful weight loss, especially with lots of exercise. Note that vegans should aim for the 100-150-gram range to ensure the body has enough food and nutrient intake to produce adequate energy.

Aim for Veggie-Friendly and Low-Carb Meal Plans

You can use pre-created meal plans to get a good idea regarding how to meld low-carb and vegetarian diets.

An ideal menu for a low-carb vegetarian (not vegan) diet would be similar to the following sample meal plan:

  • Breakfast: Olive-oil-fried eggs and vegetables OR full-fat yogurt with berries
  • Lunch: Carrots and cucumbers dipped in hummus with some nuts on the side OR leafy greens, hard-boiled eggs, and blueberries tossed in olive oil
  • Dinner: Chili beans, cheese, sour cream, and salsa OR eggplant moussaka

A sample meal plan for vegans:

  • Breakfast: Avocado toast with tomatoes OR full-fat coconut yogurt with nuts and unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Lunch: Large, leafy green salad with tempeh avocado, non-starch vegetables, vegan cheese, and pumpkin seeds OR coconut and cauliflower soup
  • Dinner: Shirataki noodles with vegan alfredo sauce and mushrooms OR vegan walnut chili with sliced avocado and vegan cheese

Low-Carb Vegetarian Recipes

If you’re inspired to try a low-carb diet, it doesn’t mean you have to forgo flavor. Fill out your meal plan with our favorite two recipes, sure to fill you up and taste great, too.

Broccoli Fried Rice

Vegetarian Broccoli Fried Rice

This fresh take on classic fried rice creates a refreshing bed of chopped broccoli on which you can add anything your heart desires, from chopped nuts, sauteed veggies, or scrambled or boiled eggs if you’re not vegan. Depending on the add-ins you opt for, this could be a side or the main entree. Then, keep leftovers in the fridge for a quick heat-and-go lunch.

Makes: 4 to 6 servings

To make this, you’ll need:

  • 6 c chopped broccoli, including stems
  • 2 t toasted sesame oil
  • 1 small red pepper sliced thinly
  • and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 c shredded carrots
  • 1/3 c peas
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 1/2 t fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 T tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 green onion, diced

Directions:

  1. Blend broccoli in a food processor until it is similar in size and shape to rice (about 10-20 seconds).
  2. Add sesame oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add peppers, carrots, and peas, cooking the vegetables until softened (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add broccoli, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce, mixing all the ingredients together.
  4. Once well combined, smash the mixture down with a spatula and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Then, flip it over and cook the other side for another 5 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks With Romesco Sauce

Vegetarian Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

If you’re a vegetarian, you’ve likely heard all the hype about cauliflower steaks – now is your chance to try this truly modern-day way to grill out. As a bonus, the Romesco sauce truly makes the dish.

Makes: 4 servings

To make this, you’ll need:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste

Sauce ingredients:

  • ¼ c slivered almonds
  • ½ large tomato on the vine, chopped
  • ½ c thinly sliced roasted red peppers, packed
  • ½ T fresh lemon juice
  • One t minced garlic
  • ¼ t sea salt
  • ¼ t ground cumin
  • Sliced parsley

Directions:

  1. Remove leaves from the outside of the flower and cut the stem off completely so the flower is flat across the bottom.
  2. Hold the cauliflower on a cutting board, sitting flat on the base where the stem once was. Using a very sharp knife, cut down through the center of the cauliflower, making two-inch thick slices like you would slice bread.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium heat.
  4. Mix oil, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl and brush the cauliflower steaks with half of the oil mixture.
  5. Cook on each side for 8 to 10 minutes, adding the rest of the mixture to the other side before flipping, making sure you have those deep grill marks. Steaks should be tender all the way through when pierced with a fork.

To make the Romesco sauce:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Spread almonds onto a baking sheet and bake for 3 to 5 minutes until lightly golden; they can burn very quickly, so keep a close eye on them. Set aside.
  3. Place the half tomato into a food processor and process until smooth and completely broken down.
  4. Add all other ingredients listed for the sauce above and almonds to the food processor and process until smooth and creamy.
  5. Serve sauce atop the cauliflower steaks and garnish with parsley.
  6. Enjoy!

 

Learn More From Arizona Gynecology Consultants

Learning more vegetarian tips from Arizona Gynecology Consultants

Whether you’re looking to lose weight pre-surgery or are simply striving for a healthier lifestyle, eating a low-carb, vegetarian diet can get you there. Browse our blog for more tips on diet and nutrition as well as other low-carb recipe suggestions.

For more information about healthy weight loss and how eating healthier can improve your overall health, schedule a consultation with Arizona Gynecology Consultants.

Low-Carb Meal Prep Ideas for Busy Weekdays

Low-Carb Meal Prep Ideas for Busy Weekdays

This entry was posted in Fitness and Nutrition and tagged , on by .
Eating a healthy diet – especially one that requires attention to specific macronutrients – can seem almost impossible to manage in your day-to-day life.

Whether you have children, a heavy work schedule, or various other time-consuming stressors, your diet may eventually seem like the least of your concern.

Unfortunately, weight-related health problems continue to mount in this country, and many of them can be attributed to diets that ignore our true metabolic needs.

Worse, there are many misconceptions about attention to a healthy diet, including that it is expensive, time-consuming, and takes away all the flavor of life. It isn’t surprising that many people don’t feel they have time or mental resources to eat well – just as it can be hard to resist your favorite snacks or that extra piece of cake at the office meeting, it can be difficult to return home from a busy day and have to think about a healthy meal to create for dinner. With the pressure placed on us on a daily basis, it’s no wonder many people opt for a drive-through burger rather than a healthy home-cooked meal.

Fortunately, there is a way to create a healthier lifestyle for yourself on those busy weekdays: meal prep.

What Is Meal Prepping?

Meal prepping has become the way of the modern world. As people from all walks of life become busier and spend less time in the house, it becomes essential to find a way to cook food in the small window of time available between arriving home and activities, social gatherings, relaxing, and bedtime. Meal prepping can reduce the stress of figuring out what you are going to eat each day by pre-planning and creating meals ahead of time for the week.

meal prepping

Aside from time savings, the goal of meal prepping is also to help you eat a more nutritious diet. Instead of stopping by your local fast food joint on the way home, you’ll have a healthy meal ready and waiting. Plus, by monitoring portion sizes and reducing the use of carbohydrates, you can ensure you’re getting the essential nutrients you need without risking overconsumption.

In addition, despite what you may think, meal-prepping does not require an entire day of cooking/planning. Instead, meal-prepping can be accomplished in a variety of ways.

  1. Batch Cooking – Make a large portion of one meal and keep it frozen or refrigerate it for those extra busy work days.
  2. Ingredient Prep – If you have a recipe in mind for the week, buy and prep the ingredients ahead of time to reduce your time in the kitchen.
  3. Grab and Go Meals – Prepare individual portion-sized dishes that you can grab and go. This way, you are getting a regulated amount of nutrients every day.

Meal-Prepping Made Easy with These Low-Carb Recipes

Eating a low-carb diet can actually help your body lose weight because as your body adjusts to reduced carb intake, it will begin a process called dietary ketosis. Also considered a state of metabolic being, ketosis requires the body to create energy from fat instead of blood glucose. In this way, ketosis can potentially help you lose weight and suppress your appetite. Therefore as your body adjusts to this change, you may find yourself needing to eat less and less, causing you to shed the pounds.

This can be a scary change for any carb-loving person. Fortunately, with the help of some tasty recipes, enjoying a low-carb diet can be much more delicious than you’ve ever imagined. Preparing in advance can help make eating a healthy lunch or dinner a snap, even in the middle of a busy work week.

Suggested Reading: Metabolism and Weight Loss


Salmon Stuffed Avocados

Salmon Stuffed Avocados

If you are looking for a very quick, easy-to-make meal full of essential omega-3s, proteins, and fresh flavor, look no further than your pantry.

What You’ll Need:

  • Medium-sized mixing bowl
  • Sharp knife for chopping vegetables
  • Small mixing bowl

Ingredients:

  • ½ c nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ c diced celery
  • 2 T of fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 2 t mayonnaise
  • 1 t Dijon mustard
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of pepper
  • 2 5-oz cans of salmon
  • 2 avocados
  • Chopped chives for garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except the two avocados in the mixing bowl. Mix until they are thoroughly combined.
  2. Cut the two avocados into equal halves.
  3. Remove the pits from both avocados and scoop out about one tablespoon of flesh from each half.
  4. Mash the avocado flesh and then combine the flesh with the salmon mixture in a medium-sized bowl.
  5. Scoop ¼ cup of the mixture into each avocado half, creating a small mound on top.
  6. Garnish with chives.
  7. Enjoy!


Garlic and Herb Shrimp on Spaghetti Squash

Garlic and Herb Shrimp on Spaghetti Squash

If you have a pasta craving, this is the perfect low-carb alternative. What makes it even better is that it can be almost entirely prepared in an electric pressure cooker, then portioned and refrigerated for you to enjoy throughout the work week.

What You’ll Need:

  • Electric pressure cooker
  • Microwave
  • Cooking mit
  • Mixing bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1lb raw, peeled, and deveined shrimp
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 t dried parsley
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 t dried basil
  • A couple of pinches of salt
  • A couple of pinches of pepper
  • 1 T olive oil
  • Fresh parsley to garnish
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Warm your pressure cooker for 5-10 minutes (on the Instant Pot, use the sautee feature).
  2. While the pot is warming, poke holes along the middle of the squash with a fork.
  3. Soften the inside of the squash by microwaving it for five minutes.
  4. Cut squash in half (horizontally) and use a spoon to scoop out all the seeds.
  5. Drizzle the squash with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  6. Place the squash in the instant pot and securely close the lid.
  7. Set the pressure knob to sealing. Select “manual” and leave the squash in the pot for approximately seven minutes.
  8. Prepare the shrimp while waiting for the squash to cook. To do this, add them to a bowl and combine the spice mix, including the minced garlic. Once thoroughly combined, refrigerate the shrimp until cooking time.
  9. Once the seven minutes is up, use an oven mitt to release the pressure knob to venting. Wait till all the steam is released from the pot before removing the squash. Wipe out the pot.
  10. Now it’s time to cook the shrimp. To do so, select “saute” once again. Let the oil heat up first and then place the shrimp in the pot in a single layer. Cook the shrimp until opaque.
  11. Once the shrimp are ready, press cancel and remove them from the pot.
  12. Using a fork, shred the inside of the squash so it resembles spaghetti.
  13. Serve the squash and the shrimp together and garnish with parmesan and parsley.
  14. Enjoy!


Chicken Gyro Bowl

Chicken Gyro Bowl

If you’re a fan of Mediterranean food, you will want to check out this no-carb chicken keto bowl. Instead of utilizing a wrap or pita, the chicken gyro bowl combines all of your favorite ingredients in a bowl for lunch or dinner. It’s easy to change up this recipe, too – simply add your favorite veggies or eliminate ingredients you don’t like. Just remember to keep it low-carb!

What You’ll Need:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • One-gallon freezer bag
Ingredients for Chicken Marinade:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 T sour cream
  • 2 t dried oregano
  • ¾ t salt
  • ½ t pepper
Bowl Ingredients:

  • 24 oz of boneless chicken
  • ¼ c diced red onions
  • 2.5 c diced cucumber
  • 1 c diced tomatoes
  • 40 kalamata olives
  • 1 c feta cheese
  • 1 c Keto Tzatziki Sauce

Directions:

  1. Combine all the chicken marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  2. Place chicken in the one-gallon freezer bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken, seal the bag, and shake
  3. Refrigerate the chicken in the bag, allowing it to marinate for four hours
  4. For baked chicken, place in a glass baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Or, grill the chicken until cooked through.
  5. After the chicken is cooked all the way through, cut into thin slices
  6. Divide the veggies, cheese, chicken, and sauce between four bowls
  7. Enjoy or refrigerate for later


Mexican Lettuce Wraps

Mexican Lettuce Wraps

Mexican food is a favorite of people across the country. However, for those on low-carb diets, it may seem impossible to enjoy all your favorite Mexican cuisine. You can use lettuce to create a Mexican bowl or as a substitute for flour or corn tortillas..

What You’ll Need:

  • Large skillet
  • Whisk
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Strainer
  • Cutting knife

Ingredients:

  • One head of iceberg lettuce or one package of romaine lettuce
  • 1 T oil
  • 1 lb of ground beef or turkey
  • ¼ t of salt
  • 5 T of your favorite salsa
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ t ground cumin
  • 1 c avocado (diced)
  • 1 c julienned jícama
  • ¼ c diced red onion

Directions:

  1. Chop lettuce. You will need about 8 small leaves or 4 large leaves.
  2. Wash the lettuce and place into a strainer to remove excess water.
  3. Saute the meat in a pan with oil and salt for about 4 to 6 minutes.
  4. While the meat is cooking, whisk together salsa, vinegar, and cumin in a small bowl.
  5. When the meat is cooked thoroughly, remove it from the heat and transfer it to a mixing bowl.
  6. Combine the meat with the salsa mixture.
  7. Serve the meat in the lettuce leaves and top with diced avocado, onion, and jícama.
  8. Enjoy!


Coconut Curry on Cauliflower Rice

Coconut Curry on Cauliflower Rice

Indian cuisine is bursting with flavor and can be some of the healthiest food to enjoy when you are trying to cut back on calories. Though many dishes are typically served with rice and naan, it is very easy to substitute the carbs with carb-free cauliflower rice.

What You’ll Need:

  • Large cooking pot
  • Cutting knife
  • Mixing spoon

Ingredients:

  • 4 c riced cauliflower (prepare this ahead of time or buy it pre-prepared)
  • 2 c cauliflower florets
  • 2 c broccoli florets
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 3 c butternut squash, cubed
  • Pepper as desired
  • Salt as desired
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • 1 t ground coriander
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 2 t ground turmeric
  • 2 cans (13.5 oz) coconut milk
  • 3 T green curry paste
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ c yellow onion, diced
  • ? c chicken broth
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil to taste

Directions:

    1. Heat olive oil in a large pot.
    2. When oil is hot, add the cubed chicken. Season with your desired amount of salt and pepper and cook until the chicken begins to brown on both sides. Set aside once done cooking.
    3. Add garlic, onion, and chicken broth to the pot, stirring occasionally. Cook until onions become fragrant.
    4. Add the green curry paste evenly to the mixture and stir.
    5. Next, stir in the turmeric, coconut milk, chili powder, coriander, ginger, salt, and pepper
    6. Once completely combined, stir in the chicken, broccoli, red bell pepper, squash, and cauliflower florets. Wait for the mixture to boil.
    7. Reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables feel tender.
    8. Remove from heat and let cool.
    9. Portion into four servings with cauliflower rice at the bottom.
    10. Enjoy after cooking or refrigerate to eat throughout the week.


Carb-Free Antipasto Salad

Carb-Free Antipasto Salad

Antipasto is a traditional Italian first course, and is often served in the US as a salad with the addition of cold pasta. However, you can mix up this flavorful antipasto salad with a zero-carb substitute: seasoned cauliflower.

What You’ll Need:

  • Gallon sized bag
  • Cooking pot
  • Cutting knife
  • Small mixing bowl

Ingredients for Salad:

  • 4 cups chopped raw cauliflower
  • 1/3 lb salami (preferably Genoa), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/3 prosciutto, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/3 lb pepperoni, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 oz pepperoncinis, drained
  • 5 oz roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, 13.5 oz, drained and quartered
  • 3 oz black or Kalamata olives, pitted and drained
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 6-7 leaves fresh basil, chopped

Ingredients for Dressing:

  • 2 t lemon juice
  • ½ c red wine vinegar
  • ½ t pepper
  • 1 c olive oil
  • ¾ t salt
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 2 t dried oregano

Directions:

  1. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Bring cauliflower florets to a boil in one inch of water or steam to desired tenderness.
  3. Drain cauliflower, pat dry, and pour into a freezer bag with half of the dressing.
  4. Let marinate for at least an hour in the refrigerator.
  5. Before serving, toss all the remaining ingredients in the large mixing bowl with the cauliflower and pour in the remaining dressing.
  6. Stir and enjoy!

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