Recipes and Meal Ideas

You will be referring to the list of recommended foods when shopping.
However, you may sometimes need a bit of inspiration to create a delicious low carbohydrate meal.

Here we present some recipes and meal ideas we enjoy.
This page will be updated regularly so please check back, it is a work in progress.


low carb Chicken and Chorizo salad
Chicken and Chorizo Salad
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2 servings

Diced chicken (as much as you like)
Chorizo sliced (negligible carbs)
Salad leaves (lettuce, rocket, baby spinach)
2 tomatoes
8 slices cucumber
10 strips of yellow pepper
1 avocado
Green olives
4 piquanté peppers stuffed with cream cheese (optional)
Caesar salad dressing

14g net carbs per serving (10g without the hot peppers)

Fry the chicken in a little olive oil in a pan. When nearly cooked, add the chorizo and cook for a few minutes until the oil runs out of the chorizo and coats the chicken. Place on top of the salad, season and add a little dressing.

Notes:
Waitrose and Sainsburys own brands of Caesar salad dressing are fairly low in carbs approx. 1-1.4g net carbs per 15ml serving - check labels as some brands are much higher.

I used Peppadew peppers stuffed with cheese in oil for this dish. They come in a jar and although they are quite expensive and not very low in carbs, two peppers each spices up a salad. Not something you should eat every day though. There are other brands (e.g. Sainsburys Taste the Difference) which are lower in carbs and I will be buying these in the future.

You could also substitute the chicken with scallops (use a different dressing though) as they work very well with chorizo.
low carb  Tuna Niçoise Salad
Tuna Niçoise Salad
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2 servings

1 jar Albacore Tuna in extra virgin olive oil (or you can use tinned or fresh tuna)
2 tomatoes
8 thin slices cucumber
Mixed salad leaves
8 green pitted olives
2 hard boiled eggs
1 small yellow pepper (or half a large one)
4 pieces chargrilled artichoke in olive oil
1 small avocado
Salad dressing (Newman’s Own Italian Dressing is very low in carbs)

7.6g net carbs per serving

Notes:
This is not a conventional niçoise salad, just a variation. You could replace the pepper with green beans and add anchovies if you wish.
low carb Meatballs on Vegetables with Cheese
Meatballs with Tomato Sauce and Vegetables
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2 servings

Ready made meatballs or make your own with minced beef
2 medium sized courgettes
1 medium aubergine
1 small shallot or 1 very small onion
2 cloves garlic
6 mushrooms (sliced)
200g passata
100g grated cheddar cheese
Thyme (1 teaspoon fresh or dried)
Salt and pepper

16g net carbs per serving

Make the tomato sauce, by frying the shallot/onion and garlic in a little olive oil, add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes before adding the passata and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Simmer on a low heat until cooked.

Place the meatballs on a baking tray. Slice the courgettes and aubergine, sprinkle with olive oil, season and put on a separate baking tray. Bake in a hot oven until the vegetables are slightly browned and the meatballs cooked through (approx. 20 minutes depending on your oven).

Layer the courgettes and aubergine in a pasta bowl (or plate), add the meatballs, then pour over the tomato sauce and sprinkle on the grated cheddar.

Notes:

Passata is relatively high in carbs, so do not use too much. Tinned chopped tomatoes are slightly lower, but again do not over use.
low carb breakfast
Portobello Mushroom with Poached Egg and Bacon
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1 large Portobello mushroom or any large flat mushroom
1 egg (preferably free range)
4 rashers streaky bacon
1 tablespoon crème fraiche
A little olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6. Place the mushroom in a parcel of foil with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. You can also grill the mushroom if you wish.
  2.  Grill or cook the bacon in the oven until crisp.
  3.  Poach the egg.
  4.  Place the mushroom on a plate and add the egg on top with a spoonful of crème fraiche. Lay the bacon across or around the mushroom and egg and season with salt and pepper.
5 grams net carbs

Notes:
This recipe is for one serving. Increase quantity for the number of people you wish to serve, or if you want more than one portion yourself!

Serve with a grilled plum tomato (approx 1.7 net carbs) if you wish. You could also add some grated cheese on the mushroom as an extra ingredient. The carbs for this would be insignificant.

Ideal for breakfast, brunch or a light meal.
low carb beef florentine
Beef Florentine
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3 good size servings

500g minced beef
1 tin chopped tomatoes
200g pack button mushrooms
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic (chopped or put through a garlic press)
150g pack garlic and herb Boursin
200g grated cheddar
260g pack fresh spinach (or you could use frozen)
1 egg
2 heaped tablespoons milled flaxseed (optional, but gives a nice texture to the topping)
Salt and pepper
  1. Fry the mince for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic. Slice the mushrooms and add. Fry for a further 5 minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes, oregano and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer on a low heat for about 30 minutes.
  2. Cook the spinach and allow to cool. Squeeze as much water as you can from the spinach and roughly chop.
  3. Beat the egg, then add 100g of the grated cheddar, the Boursin and the spinach. Season and mix well.
  4. Spread half of the beef mixture into an ovenproof dish. Top with the spinach and cheese mixture and then layer with the remaining beef.
  5. Mix the flaxseed (if using) with the remaining 100g cheese and sprinkle on top of the mixture.
  6. Cook in the oven preheated to 220°C/425°F/Gas mark 7 for about 25 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown.
8.7g net carbs per serving

Notes:
Serve with broccoli, carrots and peas or vegetables of your choice from the recommended food list.
low carb meal
Lamb Steaks and Sausages with Vegetables
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2 small lamb steaks per person
2 sausages per person (high meat content)
1 portion each of:
Asparagus
Sugar snap peas
Curly kale
Broccoli
Roasted swede:
Allow a quarter of swede per person. Cut into wedges, toss in olive oil, place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with dried thyme and season with salt and pepper. Bake in a hot oven 220°C/425°F/Gas mark 7 for about 40 minutes until soft and slightly browned. Gravy made with Bisto gravy granules for convenience. One 50ml serving is 2.8 net carbs, so you can choose whether to add or not.

14g net carbs per serving (without gravy)

Notes:

This is a hearty, good plate of food and you won’t feel hungry afterwards. If you wish to cut down on the carbs, then omit the swede which accounts for 5g net carbs per serving.
low carb curry
Chicken Curry with Cumin Spiced Cauliflower Rice
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Serves 2

400g diced chicken
200g fresh spinach
250ml coconut cream
Fresh ginger (1 small piece peeled)
2 cloves garlic
2 small red chillies
1 small shallot
2 tsp garam masala
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
Salt and pepper
1 small cauliflower
1 tsp cumin seeds

11g net carbs per serving

  1. Crush the garlic and ginger to a paste and chop the shallot and chillies (deseed and remove the membrane if you want less heat).
  2. Fry the chicken in a little olive oil until browned. Add the shallot, garlic, ginger and chillies and cook for a further couple of minutes. Stir in the garam masala, turmeric and ground cumin and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the coconut cream and season and cook on a low heat for approximately 15 – 20 minutes.
  4. In a separate saucepan, cook the spinach. Squeeze as much water out as you can. You can do this by allowing to cool enough to squeeze the water out by hand. Roughly chop.
  5. Add the spinach and the chopped coriander to the chicken and stir in.
  6. To make the cauliflower rice – cut out and discard the bottom core, then grate the cauliflower by hand or pulse in a food processor until it resembles rice. Place in a microwavable dish and stir in the cumin seeds. Season with a little salt, but do not add any water. Cook in a microwave oven on high for approximately 4 minutes (depending on the power of your microwave), stirring every minute. It should look fluffy and retain some texture, but not be ‘mushy’.
Notes:

You can also add 1 tbsp of desiccated coconut to the curry when you add the coconut cream if you like.
low carb pork and chorizo
Pork and Chorizo
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Serves 3-4

Cubed pork (about 200g per person)
Pack mini chorizo cooking sausages or sliced chorizo
½ tsp dried sage
½ tsp dried thyme (or use fresh herbs if you have them)
1 large shallot or small onion cut into quarters
400g tin Merchant Gourmet puy lentils
400g tin chicken consommé
1 Knorr chicken stockpot (optional, but adds extra flavour)
Spring greens
Mushrooms
Sugar snap peas

Approx 12g net carbs per serving (figure based on 3 servings)

Fry the pork in a little olive oil until browned. Add the sage and thyme and then the chicken consommé and stock pot. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down and simmer until the stockpot has melted. Stir, then add the shallot or onion and season with some pepper and a little salt (chorizo is very salty so don’t overdo it). Cover with a lid.

Place in the oven 160°C/320°F/Gas mark 3 for approximately one hour.

Add the chorizo and lentils and place back in the oven for a further thirty minutes or until the pork is tender.

Serve on a bed of boiled or steamed spring greens with some mushrooms and sugar snap peas.

Notes:

Instead of the chicken consommé, you can use 1 or 2 chicken stock cubes, or just the stockpot made up with water. You can also add 1 tbsp tomato puree. If you prefer a thicker gravy, you can use 1 tablespoon plain flour, but this will add 6g net carbs to the dish (2g net carbs per person for three servings).
low carb meal idea
Sausages with Cauliflower Mash
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Serves 2

6 good quality pork sausages
1 small cauliflower
Knob of butter
2 tbsp double cream
2 – 3 tbsp grated cheddar cheese
4 florets broccoli
1 carrot
4 tbsp broad beans

14g net carbs per serving
  1. Grill or cook the sausages in the oven.
  2. To make the cauliflower mash – boil the cauliflower until cooked. Season and add a knob of butter and the cream. Mash with a hand blender or use a food processor, adding the cheese when nearly done and mix in well. The cauliflower mash will be ‘runnier’ than normal mash, but should still have a slightly firm consistency.
  3. Serve with broccoli, carrots and broad beans, or vegetables of your choice from the ‘good food’ list.
Notes:

If your daily intake of carbs allows, make a little bit of gravy to add to the sausages. You can also replace the cheddar cheese with parmesan if you prefer.

The sausages used for this dish were Paul Rankin which are 85% pork. They work out to 1.2g net carbs each sausage. If you have a large appetite you can add an extra sausage if you wish.
low carb fish meal idea
Cod Fillet with Ratatouille
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2 Servings

2 cod fillets
2 courgettes
1 aubergine
½ fennel bulb
1 small green pepper
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 small onion or shallot
2 small fresh red chillies (optional)
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
Fresh basil (several leaves torn up)
  1. Chop all the vegetables.
  2. Heat some olive oil in a pan and fry the onion for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and chillies (if using) and fry for another minute.
  3. Add the courgettes, aubergine, fennel and green pepper and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Pour in the chopped tomatoes. Stir and add the oregano and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer on a low heat for about 40 minutes (or cook on a low heat in the oven if preferred). Add the fresh basil at the end of the cooking time.
  5. Drizzle a little olive oil over the cod and season with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven or pan fry. Be careful not to overcook.
  6. Place the ratatouille in a dish and place the cod on top garnished with some fresh parsley.
15.5g net carbs per serving

Notes:

Replace the fennel with two stalks of celery if you wish. The chillies give a ‘kick’ to the ratatouille, but omit if you prefer it without.
low carb chocolate brownies
Chocolate Brownies
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Makes 16 pieces

150g (5½oz) dark chocolate (85% cocoa solids)
100g (3½oz) butter
100g (3½oz) ground almonds
8 teaspoons granulated Splenda
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
25g (1oz) chopped pistachio nuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4. Line a 20cm/8inch square tin with baking parchment and grease.
  2. In a heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate and butter by placing over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter have melted.
  3. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Leave to cool for a while and then add the ground almonds and Splenda and mix in well.
  4. Separate the eggs. Lightly beat the egg yolks and stir into the chocolate mixture.
  5. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Carefully fold one spoonful into the chocolate mixture and then fold in the rest until completely mixed in.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the baking tin and sprinkle with the chopped pistachio nuts. Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and firm on top, but still slightly gooey in the middle. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn out, remove baking parchment and cut into 16 pieces.
1.5g (approx) net carbs per piece

Notes:
Enjoy as an occasional treat. It is important that you use only 85% dark chocolate for this recipe. The carbohydrate content is much lower than other dark chocolate and it has a high fibre content. Check package for carb content as some brands vary.

You could also substitute the pistachio nuts with flaked almonds.
low carb walnut loaf
Walnut Loaf
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80g coconut flour (sifted)
40g milled flaxseed
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
2 tbsp Splenda
8 tbsp butter (melted)
150ml milk
40g walnuts (chopped)
Pinch of salt
  1. Combine and mix all the dry ingredients together.
  2. Add eggs, milk and butter and mix well.
  3. Stir in the chopped walnuts.
  4. Pour into a greased loaf pan or line with baking parchment.
  5. Bake in the oven at 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4 for approximately 40 minutes. Cover with foil if it looks like it’s starting to burn on top.
36g net carbs for the whole loaf – easily cuts into 6 slices which equals 6g net carbs per slice

Notes:
I use lactose free milk which is lower in carbs than normal milk. I also used Tiana coconut flour which is quite expensive £5.99 for 500g (you can buy on Amazon and in health food shops), but a little goes a long way as the high fibre content allows the flour to expand. The same with the flaxseed - I buy Linwoods milled organic flaxseed, which again is expensive but lasts for ages.



All photographs © J Whittaker