Easy Low-Carb Recipes Your Family Will Enjoy
Eating low-carb doesn't have to complicate your already busy life. You can create low-carb meals that are quick and easy, and not only tasty to you, but to your kids too. The key to keeping low-carb eating simple is keep your ingredients simple, focusing on the protein portion and seasoning with herbs, spices and fat.
1. Beef and Broccoli
Without the rice, this dish is naturally low-carb, as long as you're not adding any sweetener such as honey or brown sugar to the sauce. Cut flank steak into thin strips against the grain. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar, 1/4 cup beef broth and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. In a wok or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 teaspoons of oil. Once the oil is hot, add your beef and cook for 1 to 2 minutes and remove from the skillet. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the skillet and saute 2 cups of fresh broccoli for 3 to 5 minutes or until browned. Return the meat to the skillet and pour the sauce over the beef and broccoli, season with kosher salt and pepper and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
2. Egg Casserole
This meal can be made ahead of time and reheated in the oven or microwave. In a skillet over medium-heat, cook 4 cups of grated zucchini, 1/2 cup of diced red bell pepper, 1/2 cup diced green pepper and 1 cup of diced onions in 1 teaspoon of oil until soft, about 8 minutes, and season with salt and pepper. Pour the veggies into an oiled 9-by-13-inch casserole dish and add 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese, 1 cup of cottage cheese and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. In a large bowl, beat 10 eggs and pour into the casserole dish. Bake in a 350F oven for 40 minutes. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with mixed greens to round out the meal and keep it low-carb.
3. Seasoned Salmon With Asparagus
Salmon is not only carb-free but rich in heart-healthy fats. If your kids don't like salmon, replace with chicken. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and 1/4 teaspoon of coriander seed. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with oil. Place boneless fillets of salmon and asparagus on the baking sheet. With a soft brush, season the fish and veggies with the oil mixture. Roast the salmon and asparagus in a 350F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through. You can substitute halved Brussels sprouts, broccoli or cauliflower for the asparagus.
4. Balsamic Chicken
The balsamic vinegar adds a touch of sweetness to this low-carb dish. Serve with baked spaghetti squash as a low-carb substitute for pasta. In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary and 2 teaspoons of minced garlic. Rub the seasoned oil onto four boneless skinless chicken breasts, place on a plate, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 4 hours. After marinating, place your chicken in a foil-lined baking dish and cook in a 450F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until meat thermometer reads 170F. After removing the chicken from the oven, drizzle with 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes and serve.
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and sharing her love of food, nutrition and health with anyone who'll listen for almost 20 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and Working Mother.