Perhaps you've been asked to lower you're carb intake to help you to lose weight? How will you ever enjoy a meal without pasta, roast potatoes, chips or bread?! The thing is, reducing your intake of calorie-dense carbs automatically reduces the amount of calories you're consuming on a daily basis, which forces your body to burn fat stored around your midsection for energy, rather than the sugars it takes from carbohydrates. It can therefore be a great weight-loss strategy that we can adopt as a way of life.
Now, not all carbs are bad. I'm not saying you should never eat them. We need carbs in our diet. Carbohydrates that come from white bread, white rice, pastry, sugary sodas and other highly processed foods can lead to weight gain though. If you eat a lot of these so-called bad carbs, they will increase your risk for disease. Instead, opt for slow-release carbs such as wholemeal bread, whole-wheat pasta, bulger white, brown rice, chickpeas and lentils.
Swap out pasta/spaghetti for courgetti and have a courgetti bolognaise dinner
Swap out rice for cauliflower rice and have a tasty curry or chilli dish
Swap out white pasta for lentil pasta, pea protein pasta or whole wheat pasta for a healthier pasta dish
Stuff peppers with your leftover bolognaise and top with melted cheese
Here's are my top 3 high protein/low carb dinners to try.
Italian Sausage Caponata
Time: 35 Minutes
For 2 people you will need:
- 2 High quality pork sausages
- 1 Aubergine
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes (good quality tin)
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Celery stick
- 2 Red peppers
- White wine vinegar (1/2 tbsp)
Step 1: Firstly, preheat your oven to 220 degrees. Chop the aubergine into 2cm cubes, finely chop the celery and peel and chop the garlic. Remove the core from the pepper and chop it into bite sized chunks.
Step 2: In a bowl, coat the aubergine and pepper in 1tbsp olive oil. Spread evenly on a baking tray and roast on the top shelf for around 20 mins, or until little crispy around the edges.
Step 3: Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Once hot add in the celery and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper. Whilst this cooks, slice open the sausage, discard the skin and add the meat to the pan. Break it up and cook for 5 minutes.
Step 4: Tip in the chopped tomatoes and then refill the tin with a quarter with water. Swill the water around and add this into the sauce. Add 1/4 tsp of salt, 1 tsp sugar and 1 tbsp of white whine vinegar (You can also add 1/2 tbsp capers and handful green olives, but this is optional). Leave this to simmer and thicken for 10-15 minutes.
Step 5: Once the vegetables have roasted, remove from the oven and add to the frying pan sauce. Once it has thickened up, serve into bowls and enjoy.
It can also be served with some salad, some garlic bread, mixed in with pasta or with some bulger wheat.
Cheesy (Cauliflower Base) Pizza
For 1 individual pizza you will need:
¼ cup (60ml) each tomato pasta sauce and pesto
100g mozzarella, thinly sliced
250g mixed cherry tomatoes, halved (smaller ones left whole)
Baby basil leaves, to serve
Any toppings wanted on your pizza e.g. spinach, cooked chicken, bacon)
1 (about 700g) cauliflower
¾ cup (75g) almond meal
1 tbsp. olive oil
30g grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
Step 1: Preheat oven to 140°C (fan-forced). Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. For cauli-flour dough, roughly chop cauliflower and place in a food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped, then tip into the centre of a clean Chux cloth. Place over a bowl and squeeze to remove any excess liquid. Spread cauliflower over prepared trays and bake for 15 minutes to dry out. Remove and stand to cool slightly.
Step 2: Return cauliflower to food processor with almond meal, oil, parmesan, a pinch each of salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, and eggs. Whiz until a smooth dough, scraping sides if necessary.
Step 3: Increase oven to 180°C. Spread cauliflower mixture over 1 baking-paper-lined tray to form a circle and use a piece of plastic wrap to press mixture down until about 1cm thick. Roast for 25 minutes or until cooked through and golden, then remove from oven.
Step 4: Increase oven to 250°C. Spread tomato sauce and half the pesto over cauliflower pizza base, then top with mozzarella and roast for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling. At this stage you can add any pre-cooked protein and toppings such as chicken strips, bacon, egg, spinach etc.
Step 5: Meanwhile, toss tomatoes and remaining pesto in a bowl. Season with pepper. Remove pizza from oven and top with pesto tomato and basil. Scatter over extra parmesan to serve.
Serve with a side salad and enjoy!
Cheeseburger Lettuce Wraps
Ingredients for 2 people (4 burgers)
500g lean ground beef (or turkey, chicken or quorn mince)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 slices cheese
2 large heads iceburg or romaine lettuce rinsed then dried
2 tomatoes sliced thinly
small red or white onion sliced thinly
Mustard, mayo and/or ketchup to flavour
Step 1: To make the burgers firstly heat a grill or skillet on medium heat. In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, seasoned salt, pepper and oregano. Divide mixture into 4 sections then roll each into a ball. Press each ball down flat to form a patty.
Step 2: Place patties on grill/pan and cook for approximately 4 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking. (If using a skillet, only cook 3 at a time to avoid over-crowding.)
Step 3: Place a slice of cheese on each cooked burger. Place each burger on a large piece of lettuce. Top with your favourite sauces, one slice tomato, onion and whatever else you like in a burger! You could try bacon, avocado or pickles!
Wrap the crunchy lettuce up over the top and serve 2 burgers per person.
I hope you enjoy these tasty low carb recipes. Please get in touch for more tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.