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Low Carb menus and recipes

Here at how-to-cook-with-vesna.com, you’ll find plenty of low-carb recipes, and lots of encouragement for the low-carb lifestyle.

You’ll find ideas for lowering the carb count in some classically starchy or sugary foods. In some cases, you’ll find ways to completely reimagine a classic combo in a low-carb way.

A note to low-carbers: this site includes items that are not low-carb at all, like traditional bread and biscuits, heirloom cookies and full-on high-carb pies and cakes. If you are committed to avoiding sugar, or flour, or whatever it may be, it is not my intention to distract you. I leave it to the individual to choose to include these items according to one’s one preference.

My personal approach to low-carb is, if I’m going to eat something carby (and I know that, eventually I am, but that’s just me and not advice to anyone else), I’m going to make it be worth it — worth preparing myself and worth eating.

Enough about carbs! You came to this page to find some delicious food that is low in ’em! These are some of my favorite low-carb things to eat and enjoy.

Low-carb breakfast ideas

Avocado shake/Avocado smoothie
Unlike the sweet fruity concoctions you’ll find recipes for, this satisfying, creamy smoothie is all about the avocado.

Low-carb meat recipes

How to cook steak
My unique recipe for a tender, perfectly juicy steak is the most popular recipe on how-to-cook-with-vesna.com. I’m especially proud of this culinary contribution because I can say I have never read or heard of quite this method anywhere else. Please give it a try, and I hope you enjoy it.

Jamaican jerk grilled chicken
This is a quick, easy dry rub grill recipe based on my Jamaican jerk pork skewers. Just apply the spices to the chicken and get it on the grill. Serve alongside my basic cooked greens and Jamaican ginger beer sweetened with xylitol for a complete low-carb island menu.

Jamaican jerk pork skewers recipe
Pork and pineapple chunks alternate on these tasty grilled skewers; feel free to omit the pineapple if your diet does not include sweet fruit. Be aware that grilling does intensify the sweet flavor of the pineapple.

Low-carb soup recipes

Kupus: Serbian cabbage soup
This recipe has no grains, but it is rich in starchy root vegetables, notably potatoes. Fortunately, this soup is wonderfully flexible. Feel free to omit and adjust the vegetables as you desire. The result will be just as authentic as what I give here, because a hallmark of this soup is that there are at least as many versions of it as there are grandmothers in Serbia.

Egg drop soup recipe
This is a quick and delicious, oh-so-satisfying soup. And a wonderful way to use some of that marvelously nutritious homemade chicken stock that I hope you make and keep on hand!

Low-carb essential ingredients, homemade

Chicken stock recipe
This is it: the precious bone broth that is sooooo good for you, packed with natural gelatin and minerals. Exponentially more nutrional value than anything you can buy in a box or can. And the best thing about it? It’s free.

Mayonnaise recipe
Do you know what’s in your mayonnaise? You do if you make your own. I scarcely ever eat a burger without this marvelous Spanish-origin dressing (from Mahon in the Balearic Islands). Leave it to Mediterreanean peoples to come up with such a fabulous use for olive oil. (And to the Americans to wreck it with modern industrial soy or canola oil and lots o’ extra chemicals).

Low-carb veggie sides

Basic greens recipe
At our house, this is the cornerstone of a low-carb breakfast plate. Hold the toast; I’m having nutritious greens, thanks.

Cole slaw recipe
An entire head of cabbage contains only about 24 net grams of carbohyrdrate, and besides, who eats an entire head of cabbage at a sitting? Maybe you, after tasting this super slaw!

Low-carb and lower-carb baked goods

Sugar-free whole-wheat prune-bran muffins
Because they do contain wheat, they’re not completely low-carb. But I tinkered with this recipe to pinch off every last uneccesary bit of starch and sugar, and still keep it sweet, delicious and (with the exception of the noncaloric sweetener) a natural, whole-foods treat. They include home-cultured buttermilk, whose friendly bacteria have eaten off much of the milk sugar. Added bran boosts satiation with the indigestible carbs in the form of fiber that also lower net carbs.

Low-carb menu ideas

Breakfast on the grill
Pssst…low-carbers: Just ignore that part about Texas toast. Pretend it’s not even there. When I originally published that article in 2000, I talked about how wonderful it was that I could grill and serve the toast with no added fat,because the grill lent so much fat-free flavor all by itself! As in, O joy! It would be another 15 months until the first time I read Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution and learned how much nicer it is not to suffer lowfat-related hunger tremors.

Low Country boil cookout
Low-carb Southern cooking? Yes! Plan your next summer party around this tradition from the Low Country, the salt marshes of Georgia and South Carolina. Call it Low Country Boil or Frogmore Stew, it’s all about seasoned shrimp and sausage served al fresco and informal — no forks or plates required! Low-carbers can leave out or pass over the potatoes and even the starchier veggies, depending on your level of low-carbing. Add cole slaw andsugar-free sweet tea (or unsweetened iced tea, which is lovely in its own right). Some natural watermelon, for those whose diets include fruit, is all the sweet ending you need.

Low-carb beverage recipes

Home-cultured buttermilk recipe
A staple of a Weston A. Price foodways kitchen is a home-cultured product. For ease and deliciousness, you can’t do better than this buttermilk rich in probiotics and natural enzymes. And remember the yogurt miracle: the friendly beasties have eaten much of the lactose, leaving behind more nutritive goodness and less SUGAR!

Lemonade recipe
This homemade lemonade is low-carb if you make it with xylitol or erythritol, or a combo of the two. (These low-calorie sweeteners occur naturally in plants and are grown on corn these days. I include them in my own whole-food lifestyle, although I can certainly see the logic of excluding them.) Xylitol has a nice cooling effect on the toungue — you may have experienced it in certain chewing gums — that is pleasant with the taste of lemon. I do not recommend saccharine (as in Sweet ‘n’ Low) with this or any other tart/sour recipe. I do not recomment NutraSweet with anything.

Iced tea recipe
This is lovely unsweetened. Personally, I like to sweeten a half-gallon pitcher with a teaspoon of liquid saccharine, in the form of Superose. 50-50 and Sweet-N Low are brands that may be more easy to find. My whole-food rationale for that particular sweetener choice? I don’t have one. My only rationale is that it’s cheaper than erythritol or xylitol, which are more natural choices. Just 1/3 cup of either of these stirred in while the tea is still hot will make you some low-calorie, low-carb sweet tea.

Stovetop coffee recipe
Coffee. They say it stalls low-carb weight loss. According to my self-experimentation, it doesn’t. Your mileage may vary. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a natural, whole food: roasted plant seed that tastes pretty good when brewed in water. And it’s a great way to get more heavy cream into my diet. Mmmm, coffee.

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