1001 Low-Carb Recipes

Hundreds of Delicious Recipes From Dinner to Dessert That Let You Live Your Low-Carb Lifestyle and Never Look Back

Dana Carpender

Bestselling author 500 Low-Carb Recipes

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 2798 p
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 4,875 KB
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 PDF format
 Digital edition 
 Text ©   
 2010 Dana Carpender

What’s the hardest thing about your lowcarb
diet? And what’s the most common
reason that people abandon their lowcarb
way of eating and all the health
benefits and weight loss that come with
it? It’s boredom. After a few weeks of
scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast,
a hamburger with no bun for lunch, and a
steak—no baked potato—for dinner, day
after day, people get fed up and quit.
They just can’t face a life of food
monotony. Does this sound familiar?
If you’ve been getting bored with your
low-carb diet, this is the book for you.
You’ll find dozens of exciting ways to
vary a hamburger, a steak, pork chops,
chicken, and even fish. You’ll find a
wide variety of side dishes and salads.
You’ll find snacks and party foods that
you can eat without feeling like you’re
depriving yourself. You’ll even find
recipes for bread—really, truly bread—
not to mention muffins, waffles, and
pancakes. In short, this book has recipes
for all sorts of things you never dreamed
you could have on a low-carb diet.
Did I come up with these recipes for
you? Heck, no! I came up with these
recipes for me.
Who am I? I’m a person who, through
circumstances that surely could have
happened to anyone, has spent the past
several years writing about lowcarbohydrate
dieting. In fact, I spent so
much time answering questions for the
curious that I finally wrote a book, How
I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost
Forty Pounds! To supplement the book,
I started an “e-zine”—an Internet
newsletter—for low-carb dieters, called
Lowcarbezine! So for the past few
years, through the wonders of the
Internet, I’ve been writing and
developing recipes for a growing
audience of low-carb dieters around the world.

I’ve always loved to cook, and I’ve
always been good at it. My friends long
ago dubbed me “The God of Food.” So
when low-fat, high-carb mania hit in the
1980s, I learned how to make a killer
low-fat fettuccine Alfredo, curried
chicken and mixed grain pilau, black
beans and rice, blue corn pancakes, lowfat
cheesecake—you name it.
And I got fat—really fat and sick and
tired. Thank heavens, in 1995 I got smart
and tried going low carb, instead. Within
two days my energy levels skyrocketed
and my clothes were looser. It was
overwhelmingly clear that this was the
way my body wanted to be fed and that
this was the way of eating that would
make me well. I had set my foot upon a
path from which there was no turning
back; I was low carb for life.
The only thing that nearly derailed me
was a terrible sense of Kitchen
Disorientation. I had to discard the vast
majority of my recipes when I dropped
the grains, beans, potatoes, and sugar
from my diet. For the very first time in
my life, I’d walk into my kitchen and
have no idea what to cook—and I had
always known what to cook and how to
put together a menu. It really was pretty
scary, and it certainly was depressing.
But I set out to become as good a lowcarb
cook as I had been a low-fat cook.
What you hold in your hands is the
end result of years and years of trial and
error, of learning what works and what
doesn’t and of experimenting to find out
which substitutes are yummy and which
are just plain lame.

This is not, for the most part, a
gourmet cookbook, which means that the
recipes you find here are recipes you’ll
actually use. You’ll find a lot of fairly
simple recipes and a few more complex
ones for special occasions. There’s lots
of family fare here—pork chops, meat
loaf, burgers, and chicken. You’ll find
lots of meals you can cook on the stove
top in a simple skillet and plenty of
salads you can make ahead and stash in
the refrigerator, ready to be pulled out
and served when you dash in the door at
a quarter-to-dinnertime. You’ll find
many one-dish meals that are protein and
vegetables combined, from main dish
salads to thick, hearty soups to
casseroles. You’ll also find ethnic
flavors from around the world right
alongside comfort foods you won’t
believe are low carb!

Why Is There Such a Wide Range of Carb Counts
in the Recipes in This Book?

If carbs are your problem, then they’re
going to be your problem tomorrow, next
week, next year, and even when you’re
old and gray. You cannot think in terms
of going on a low-carb diet, losing your
weight, and then going off your diet—
you’ll gain back every ounce just as sure
as you’re born. You’ll also go back to
blood-sugar swings, energy crashes, and
nagging, insatiable hunger, not to
mention all the health risks of
hyperinsulinemia. In short, you are in this for life.

So if you are to have any hope of
doing this forever, you’re going to need
to enjoy your food. You’re going to need
variety, flavor, color, and interest.
You’re going to need festive dishes,
easy dishes, and comfort foods—a
whole world of things to eat.
Because of this, I’ve included
everything from very low-carb dishes,
suitable for folks in the early, very lowcarb
“induction” stage of their diet, to
“splurge” dishes, which would probably
make most of us gain weight if we ate
them every day but which still have far
fewer carbs than their “normal” counterparts.

There’s another reason for the range
of carb counts: Carbohydrate intolerance
comes in degrees, and different people
can tolerate different daily carbohydrate
intakes. Some of you, no doubt, need to
stay in that 20-grams-a-day-or-less
range, whereas many others—lucky
souls—can have as much as 90 to 100
grams a day and stay slim. This
cookbook is meant to serve you all.
Only you can know, through trial and
error, how many grams of carbs you can
eat in a day and still lose weight. It is up
to you to pick and choose among the
recipes in this book while keeping an
eye on the carbohydrate counts
provided. That way, you can put together
menus that will please your palate and
your family while staying below that
critical carb level.

However, I do have this to say:
Always, always, always the heart and
soul of your low-carbohydrate diet
should be meat, fish, poultry, eggs,
healthy fats, and low-carb vegetables.
This book will teach you a boggling
number of ways to combine these things,
and you should try them all. Don’t just
find one or two recipes that you like and
make them over and over. Try at least
one new recipe every week; that way,
within a few months you’ll have a whole
new repertoire of familiar low-carb favorites!

You will, as I just mentioned, find
recipes in this book for what are best
considered low-carb treats. Do not take
the presence of a recipe in this book to
mean that it is something that you can eat
every day, in unlimited quantities, and
still lose weight. I can tell you from
experience that even low-carb treats, if
eaten frequently, will put weight on you.
Recipes for breads, cookies, muffins,
cakes, and the like are here to give you a
satisfying, varied diet that you can live
with for life, but they should not become
the new staples of your diet. Do not try
to make your low-carbohydrate diet
resemble your former Standard
American Diet. That’s the diet that got
you in trouble in the first place, remember?

One other thought: It is entirely
possible to have a bad reaction to a food
that has nothing to do with its
carbohydrate count. Gluten, a protein
from wheat that is essential for baking
low-carb bread, causes bad reactions in
a fair number of people. Soy products
are problematic for many folks, as are
nuts. Whey protein, used extensively in
these recipes, contains lactose, which
some people cannot tolerate. And surely
you’ve heard of people who react badly
to artificial sweeteners of one kind or
another. I’ve also heard from diabetics
who get bad blood-sugar spikes from
eating even small quantities of onions or tomatoes.

Yet all of these foods are just fine for
many, many low-carb dieters, and there
is no way I can know which foods may
cause a problem for which people. All I
can tell you is to pay attention to your
body. If you add a new food to your diet
and you gain weight (and you’re pretty
certain it’s not tied to something else,
like a new medication), or you find
yourself unreasonably hungry, tired, or
“off” despite having stayed within your
body’s carbohydrate tolerance, you may
want to consider avoiding that food. One
man’s meat is another man’s poison, and all that.

What’s a “Usable Carb Count”?

You may or may not be aware of the
concept of the usable carb count,
sometimes called the “effective carb
count”; some low-carb books utilize this
principle, whereas others do not. If
you’re not familiar with the concept,
here it is in a nutshell:
Fiber is a carbohydrate and is, at least
in American nutritional breakdowns,
included in the total carbohydrate count.
However, fiber is a form of
carbohydrate made of molecules so big
that you can neither digest nor absorb
them. Therefore fiber, despite being a
carbohydrate, will not push up your
blood sugar and will not cause an insulin
release. Even better, by slowing the
absorption of the starches and sugars that
occur with it, fiber actually lessens their
bad influence. This is very likely the
reason that high-fiber diets appear to be
so much better for you than “American Normal.”

For these reasons, many (if not most)
low-carb dieters now subtract the grams
of fiber in a food from the total grams of
carbohydrate to determine the number of
grams of carbohydrates that are actually
a problem. These are the “usable” carbs,
or the “effective carb count.” These
nonfiber grams of carbohydrates are
what we count and limit. Not only does
this approach allow us a much wider
variety of foods, especially lots more
vegetables, but it actually encourages us
to add fiber to things such as baked
goods. I am very much a fan of this
approach, and therefore I give the usable
carbohydrate count for these recipes.
However, you will also find the
breakdown of the total carb count and
the fiber count.

Using This Book

I can’t tell you how to plan your menus. I
don’t know if you live alone or have a
family, if you have hours to cook or are
pressed for time every evening, or what
foods are your favorites. I can, however,
give you a few pointers on what you’ll
find here that may make your meal
planning easier.
There are a lot of one-dish meals in
this book—main dish salads, skillet
suppers that include both meat and
vegetables, and hearty soups that are a
full meal in a bowl. I include these
because they’re some of my favorite
foods, and to my mind, they’re about the
simplest way to eat. I also think they
lend a far greater variety to low-carb
cuisine than is possible if you’re trying
to divide up your carbohydrate
allowance for a given meal among three
or four different dishes. If you have a
carb-eating family, you can appease
them by serving something on the side,
such as whole wheat pitas split in half
and toasted, along with garlic butter,
brown rice, a baked potato, or some
noodles. (Of course, I don’t recommend
that you serve them something like
canned biscuits, Tater Tots, or Minute
Rice, but that shouldn’t surprise you.)
When you’re serving these one-dish
meals, remember that most of your
carbohydrate allowance for the meal is
included in that main dish. Unless you
can tolerate more carbohydrates than I
can, you probably don’t want to serve a
dish with lots of vegetables in it with
even more vegetables on the side.
Remember, it’s the total usable carb
count you have to keep an eye on.
Complement simple meat dishes—such
as roasted chicken, broiled steak, or
pan-broiled pork chops— with the more
carbohydrate-rich vegetable side dishes.
There’s one other thing I hope this
book teaches you to do, and that’s break
out of your old ways of looking at food.
There’s no law insisting that you eat
eggs only for breakfast, have tuna salad
for lunch every day, and serve some sort
of meat and two side dishes for dinner.
Are you short on both time and money?
Serve eggs for dinner a couple of nights
a week; they’re fast, cheap, and
unbelievably nutritious. Are you planing
a family video night or game night? Skip
dinner and make two or three healthy
snack foods to nibble on. You just can’t
face another fried egg at breakfast?
Throw a pork chop or a hamburger on
the electric tabletop grill and you’ve got
a fast and easy breakfast. Are you sick of
salads for lunch? Take a protein-rich dip
in a snap-top container and some cut up
vegetables to work with you.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1 Ingredients You
Need to Know About
CHAPTER 2 Beverages
CHAPTER 3 Appetizers and
CHAPTER 4 Eggs and Dairy
CHAPTER 5 Breads
CHAPTER 6 Salads
CHAPTER 9 Fish and Seafood
CHAPTER 10 Poultry
CHAPTER 12 Pork and Lamb
CHAPTER 13 Sauces and
CHAPTER 14 Sweets


First published in the USA in 2010 by
Fair Winds Press, a member of
Quayside Publishing Group
100 Cummings Center
Suite 406-L
Beverly, MA 01915-6101

Cover design by Kathie Alexander

Printed and bound in Canada
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