The foundation of a low carb diet, and low carb meals, is protein, with some fats. But even the most enthusiastic supporters of the low carb lifestyle agree that a low carb meal is not likely to be satisfying unless it contains small amounts of carbs in the form of fresh or lightly cooked vegetables. A straight diet of protein and fat will not only become monotonous; it will very quickly become unhealthy.
A low carb meal can be both nutritious and delicious, if the preparer knows how to combine spices and herbs, meats, fish, vegetables, and the small amounts of starches which can make all the difference between sticking with a low carb food plan and losing interest. As long as the food is good, the family will not complain, and will benefit from the lack of preservative?loaded, nutritionally-depleted processed foods in their diet.
Break Out The Herbs
Any low carb meal is fair game for the cook?s liberal use of herbs; fresh garlic and onions are staples in many a low carb kitchen. Both garlic and onions have a variety of health benefits; garlic is known to prevent cholesterol buildup. If your family has difficulty with the odor of garlic, elephant garlic will provide the same benefits, but softens when baked and makes a delicious spread with a very sweet flavor.
Because a low carb meal necessarily skimps on the starches like potatoes, bread, rice, and pasta–in fact , some low carb meal programs do not even allow carrots–they can require a period of adjustment, especially for those who have become starch junkies. For those who simply must have their starches, the obvious choice is to head for the whole grain breads and pastas; brown rice; and natural potatoes in their skins instead of boxed instant mashed potatoes.
Low Carb Pasta And Salad Meals
For pasta junkies, the secret?s in the sauce. A low carb meal with a little bit of whole grain pasta accompanied by a chunky tomato sauce with plenty of lean meat, fresh peppers, mushrooms, onion, garlic, and enough cheese to please the most cheese-loving palate can sent the mouth into sensory overload, and still meet the low carb and high nutrition requirements of the ideal low carb meal. The pasta?s there; it?s simply not the star of the show.
For salad lovers, the low carb meal is a breeze. Every grocery store?s produce department has a wide selection of pre-washed and bagged ?salad mixes?, ready to be tossed into a bowl and turned into dinner. The most nutritionally rich of these are the spring mixes with their dark green and red baby lettuces, endive, and spinach; or the spinach itself experience. Going organic will give you an even sweeter experience.
Your best bet for a low carb salad dressing is to make your own from olive oil and a flavored vinaigrette or sesame oil and rive vinegar; many ?diet? bottled dressings add sugar to make up for the flavor they lose when the fat is removed. But whatever dressing you choose, make sure the fats it contains are, like olive oil, monounsaturated. You can even come up with a signature dressing by adding your favorite herbs or spices to real mayonnaise, and diluting the mix with lemon juice.
You can add a variety of low carb veggies; cooked meat, fish, or seafood, low carb fruit like grapefruit or berries; crumbles of feta or bleu cheese; the salad bowl is your domain!