Low-Carb meals

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by koukouvagia, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    That's it, I've got to cut down the carbs at last!  They're too high in calories and I've got my eye on beach season.  Anyone else focusing on proteins and laying low on the carbs?  I could use some help - I'm swimming in an ocean of pasta, rice, bread, sweets, and potatoes!
     
  2. siduri

    siduri

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    I'm sorry, Koukouvagia, I can't help you with this one.  It's against my religion /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  3. chefross

    chefross

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    You can make the distinction between simple and complex carbs. The simple ones are the cake, cookies, and sweets, while the complex are the pasta, rice and potatoes. It's all the other garbage added to all of the carbs that make them bad. Butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon added to the potatoes. It's the cream and heavy cheese added to the pasta that makes it unhealthy.

    While eliminating carbs is not all that bad it is these complex carbs that make you feel full and give you energy.

    Also............eat less......move more.
     
  4. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Siduri, I know and I agree, but some things have got to get cut and I think there is much too much emphasis on carbohydrates in our diets in general.  People are always talking about cutting down on meat but in general carbs are cheap and bountiful and not necessary in the quantities that are presented to us.  I'm not interested in the atkins-style extreme diet, I am not an extremist and I do not plan to eliminate fruits, veggies, and complex carbs like sweet potatoes, legumes and whole grains.  But the latter do have to be cut down a bit. 
     
    Thanks Chefross but I am not asking for dieting or exercise advice, I was actually asking for meal ideas.  I do not like to label any food as "bad" or "unhealthy" as you did,  and certainly wouldn't call butter, cheese or bacon "garbage."  You are wrong about complex carbs, pasta is not a complex carb if it is made with white flour. 

    A friend yesterday made a really cool suggestion, she replaces mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower and I like the idea, will try it tomorrow.
     
  5. siduri

    siduri

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    Well, koukou, there are plenty of vegetables out there - lots of wonderful things to eat, that are neither meat nor carbohydrate.  You don't need to make fake mashed potatoes with cauliflower, oh no, that's sad/img/vbsmilies/smilies/frown.gif.  If you're not onto a no carb atkins type thing, (phew), you can do lots of vegetables in the oven with breadcrumbs or with other stuff.

    e.g. take zucchine, slice lenghthwise about 1/4 inch thick, lay on a cookie sheet on parchment paper that's been lightly oiled.  Then mix crushed garlic, a touch of origano, some fresh parsley and a little oil together and then sprinkle on top.  bake. 

    This can be done with practically anything, really.  You might need to parboil stuff like cauliflower, but how can you go wrong with garlic and origano?

    Or you can put a little tomato on them instead of the crumbs. 

    This one is from cooks illustrated i think: Take broccoli, peel and cut into flowerets and slice the stalks thickly.  Mix with a small sprinkle of sugar, fresh hot pepper, crushed garlic and some oil and salt.  Heat a baking sheet to very high heat in a hot oven, then dump the broccoli on it and let it sear.  The bit of sugar caramelizes it and remember a teaspoon of sugar is like 15 calories. 

    Lentils?  Ottolenghi's book Plenty, has some amazing dishes with vegetables, like lentils, cooked so they're still not mushy. You chop up carrot, celery and onion, sprinkle with little bit of brown sugar and salt and pepper, spread on a parchment paper on a cookie sheet till they caramelize, add to the drained lentils.  Make an eggplant puree with charred eggplant and lemon or vinegar, put this on top, and a blop of greek yoghurt on top of that.  Wonderful. 

    But i don;t have to tell a greek what to do with vegetables!

    Anyway  a teaspoon of oil is something like 50 calories, so why not lower the oil and eat the carbs?  Oil doesn't fill you up but pasta, bread, rice, etc do.  Compare the calories in the dishes after you've added the oil. 

    ok, i'll stop trying to convert you to MY religion. 
     
  6. chefross

    chefross

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    Yes you are correct about pasta unless it is made with whole wheat or some other grain.

    I offer a list of Complex carbs with which you could create menus from:
    SpinachWhole BarleyGrapefruit
    Turnip GreensBuckwheatApples
    LettuceBuckwheat breadPrunes
    Water CressOat bran breadApricots, Dried
    ZucchiniOatmealPears
    AsparagusOat bran cerealPlums
    ArtichokesMuseliStrawberries
    OkraWild riceOranges
    CabbageBrown riceYams
    CeleryMulti-grain breadCarrots
    CucumbersPinto beansPotatoes
    Dill PicklesYogurt, low fatSoybeans
    RadishesSkim milkLentils
    BroccoliNavy beansGarbanzo beans
    Brussels SproutsCauliflowerKidney beans
    EggplantSoy milkLentils
    OnionsWhole meal spelt breadSplit peas
     
  7. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Have you looked at Atkins and Atkins related books and sites? 

    BDL
     
  8. durangojo

    durangojo

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    kk,

    while not a specific diet per se, this is an easy and simple adjustment.........no white foods, as in flour, rice, sugar.......replace with brown rice, wheat flour, brown sugar etc., etc., etc.......

    joey

    as for meal ideas...stuffed portobellos, roasted cauliflower 'steaks'....also are you familiar with farro? it's a wonderful grain from italy. filling too...lots of gluten free pasta choices these days made from vegetables..i do like the artichoke one.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  9. summer57

    summer57

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    I was on a low-carb diet for 2 or 3 years. A good thing, too, because I was eating too much pasta, white bread, starch and sugar. I learned to eat a lot more vegetables, complex carbohydrates (lentils, oatbran, barley), and a lot less sugar.  Zucchini noodles instead of pasta; bell peppers stuffed with ricotta/feta/parm, ground meat (beef or lamb), feta, spinach and served in a tomato sauce; cauliflower florets or squash cubes tossed in olive oil and coarse salt or garam masala or other spices and roasted; crustless quiches or frittatas with lots of veg; braised lentils or barley (farro would work, too).  Using non-carby ingredients is a good opportunity to cook something different.

    A local (Vancouver, BC) chef, Karen Barnaby, put together a great list of recipes - http://www.lowcarb.ca/low-carb-recipes.html   It's a good starting point for ideas. 
     
  10. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    KK, you gotta’ have SOME pasta, but try the whole wheat one

    I agree with Joey, try to stay away from any white foods

    This is what I did with my husband, who was told by his doctor, WATCH IT THERE SON!

    Create your plate with half of it consisting of veg

    ¼ protein of some sort

    ¼ something else, you choose...

    You’ll be svelte in no time   /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
     
  11. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    If you're doing low carb, whole grain is every bit as bad white flour -- except it tastes worse. 

    BDL
     
  12. siduri

    siduri

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    Well, not always does it taste worse.  Whole wheat pasta, i agree, tastes like compressed sawdust.  But whole wheat bread can be great, and also some whole grains like oatmeal, or wheat berries, quinoa, barley are wonderful, as well as the high-carbohydrate legumes like beans, lentils, chickpeas. And whole grains can keep you full longer, besides containing more substances that are needed by the body.. 

    Brown sugar has just as many calories as white, though it does contain a little bit of iron. 

    Lots of diseases and pathological conditions will make you lose weight, like ketosis.  To self-impose a pathological condition to lose weight seems about as wise as smoking to lose weight.  It works too, but at what cost?

    Maybe i have a stronger survival instinct - for me it would be impossible. 
     
  13. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Siduri, thanks for the ideas, veggies are your thing and I love 'em.  I happen to love cauliflower by the way, whether raw or steamed or roasted or even steaks and in stir fries it's by far one of my favorite veggies.  I just never thought to do it mashed so this is indeed a great option for me.  You know I don't like fake foods like tofu dogs or veggie burgers, come on now. 

    As for lowering the oil..... no.  I love me my olive oil and in normal amounts it's good for you.  I do not wish to eliminate anything from my diet or go "on a diet."  I just want to attack some of the calories on my plate which happen to be most abundant in carbs.  There is no denying that.  I love bread, pasta and sweets but it does not take a genius to know that too much of these can lead to expanding waist lines and a variety of health risks.  So please get it out of your heads that I am on an atkins diet (tried it years ago and wanted to kill everyone in sight after 5 days and would have sold my grandmother for a slice of wonder bread).  I am not on ANY diet I do not believe in ANY diet, besides I am still nursing my son and need adequate nutrition.  I want to cut down on carbs in general and replace most of the white starches with complex carbs.  That's all. 

    Chefross, that's my list :)

    Whole wheat pasta takes awful, can't do it sorry.  Whole wheat foods also more calorie dense so while I do eat them they have to be in smaller portions.  Tell me more about farro.
     
  14. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Great site! Thanks!
     
  15. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Stole this from the mushroom thread.  This is a great low carb option, thank you chairlady!!

    "I kiinda stole this recipe from a boardwalk place in Seaside, NJ.  It was an appetizer, but couls easily be the main dish with a salad and bread.  A grilled portabello, toped with a thin slice of grilled chicked, topped with a slice of roasted red pepper, topped with a slab of mozz... melted under broiler.  It was HUGE and yummy.  I've modified recipe several ways... slices of London broil, pounded out medallion of pork tenderloin, thin slice of grilled tuna... different cheeses... some grilled onions, asparagus or other veggies.  With no added meat, would make a great side for steak."
     
  16. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    For me, the simplest way to reduce calories and carbs is portion control, eat 1/2 to 3/4 of your regular amount, then wait 10 minutes before going back for seconds. After a week or so, you won't even want seconds.

    No counting calories, no watching what you eat, and you've reduced both your carb and calorie intake by 25%-50% with no loss of flavor, favorite food(s), or freedom of choice.
     
  17. siduri

    siduri

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    Consider this Koukouvagia-

    1 cup cooked pasta - 212 calories

    1 tbsp olive oil - 120 calories. 

    Ok, a cup is not much of pasta, but think of how much oil is in a dish you make.  I don;t say don't use it, but to use less oil but more carbohydrates will make you fuller longer.  Just how long can you go on two tbsp of oil? 

    A nice tomato sauce without any fat at all

    take a can of tomatoes, a carrot, a celery stalk, a clove of garlic and an onion.  Cut the vegetables really roughly (big chunks).  Boil together (or pressure cook) with salt and black pepper till soft.  Puree with an immersion blender. 

    Drain pasta, put right back into the empty pot, then immediately sprinkle parmigiano on it while it's hot.  Don't stir, or it will stick to spoon and pot, just let it sit a couple of seconds to start to melt, then add the sauce and stir well. 

    You won't miss the oil. 
     
  18. indygal

    indygal

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    I sympathize, KK.   There are forums for for low-carbers.   Some of the recipes are horrible, but some are imaginative.   I used to have a site up with lots of low carb stuff on it, then I got tired of being tired all the time, went back to some carbs, then some more, and finally back to full carb load.  Groan.

    Anyway, I quit the group I was with, and gave my whole website, all pages, to the leader, who lost them all.  I get messages all the time looking for those recipes.  They were the tried and true ones that I always went back to.  Sigh.  (I lost them from my server myself because I locked myself out of my server and had to restore the whole thing.  Guess what was not backed up.

    I used to be on "LowCarbFreinds" forum.  It is only one.

    Of all the cookbooks with low carb stuff, I'd say Suzanne Somers' taste the best.

    BTW Pete, Low carb isn't just a trick to take in fewer calories.   It changes the hormones, often helping people get off dibateic meds.  In my case, low car is the ONLY way I can lose weight around my middle.  Low calories, while I do lose weight that way will take it off everything but my middle.   Also, low carb influences the hormone leptin, which tells the cells you are not starving, and it is OK to give up some fat.   

    DD
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  19. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    If olive oil were a religion I'd be the high priestess :)
     
  20. siduri

    siduri

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    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif  

    If i had to choose only one fat it would be butter, though i use alot of olive too.  (Hard to put butter on salad!) (Though i do have a boiled dressing for coleslaw that actually uses butter! it's good too)