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500 Recipes, from Snacks to Dessert, That the Whole Family Will Love

Dana Carpender

Cover design by DW Design
Cover photography by Bobbie Bush,
Design by Leslie Haimes

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Book Details
 498 p
 File Size 
 105,315 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 1-931412-06-5 (Paperback)
 2002 by Dana Carpender

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 meat and vegetables both, 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. Short on both
time and money? Serve eggs for dinner a couple of nights a week; they're
fast, cheap, and unbelievably nutritious. Having family video night or
game night? Skip dinner and make two or three healthy snack foods to
nibble on. Can't face another fried egg at breakfast? Throw a pork chop
or a hamburger on the electric tabletop grill while you're in the shower,
and you've got a fast and easy breakfast. Sick of salads for lunch? Take a
protein-rich dip in a snap-top container and some cut up vegetables to
work with you.

Welcome to Low-Carbohydrate Variety!
What's the hardest thing about your low-carb diet? And what's the
most common reason that people abandon their low-carb way of
eating and all the health benefits and weight loss that come with it?
Boredom. People just plain get bored. 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. 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, pancakes,
and granola. 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
low-carbohydrate 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, low-fat 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 low-carb cook as I had been a low-fat cook.
Seven years later, my mission has been accomplished, and then some!
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, 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 and 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,
and next week, and next year, and when you're old and gray. If you hope
to keep your weight off, 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-and at this writing,
I've been doing this for going on seven years-you're going to need to
enjoy what you eat. You're going to need variety, flavor, color, and interest.
You're going to need festive dishes, easy dishes, and comfort foodsa
whole world of things to eat. You're going to need a cuisine.

Because of this, I have included everything from very low-carb dishes,
suitable for folks in the early, very low-carb "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-Iess 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 your menstrual cycle or 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 mayor 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, and 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.

Table of Contents

7 Introduction: Welcome to Low-Carbohydrate Variety!
22 CHAPTER 1 Ingredients You Need To Know About
42 CHAPTER 2 Hors D'oeuvres, Snacks, and Party Nibbles
88 CHAPTER 3 Eggs and Dairy
123 CHAPTER 4 Breads, Muffins, Cereals, and Other Grainy Things
158 CHAPTER 5 Hot Vegetable Dishes
200 CHAPTER 6 Side Dish Salads
241 CHAPTER 7 Chicken and Turkey
272 CHAPTER 8 Fish
300 CHAPTER 9 Beef
341 CHAPTER 10 Pork and Lamb
359 CHAPTER 11 Main Dish Salads
377 CHAPTER 12 Soups
401 CHAPTER 13 Condiments, Seasonings, and Sauces
419 CHAPTER 14 Cookies, Cakes, and Other Sweets
470 A Refresher on Measurements
472 Acknowledgments
474 Index


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