Easy meals

Two Low Carb Dinners

I wanted to share two recipes with you that we tried last week. Here is the first:

Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs:

Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs |Paleo
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
From: http://www.joyfulhealthyeats.com/balsamic-braised-beef-short-ribs-paleo/
Ingredients
  • 2-3 lbs. of bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • ½ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 4 whole dried dates
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Spice Blend:
  • 2 tablespoon of course sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together course sea salt, dried rosemary, dried sage, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper.
  2. Pat dry bone-in beef short ribs. Rub spice blend into both sides of the short ribs.
  3. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add coconut oil to pan and sear the short ribs for 2-3 minutes per side or until slightly browned.
  4. Put the short ribs in a slow cooker with a tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, whole dried dates, and smashed garlic cloves.
  5. Cook for 4-6 hours on low or until beef is tender.
It doesn’t look pretty but it tasted really good! I made some sesame cucumber salads to go with it and the tartness of the salad was the perfect combo with the ribs.

We each had one (they were pretty big beef ribs) and then a few nights later had the leftovers and we both agreed that they were even better reheated as leftovers.

Michael made this dinner, even though crock-pot cooking isn’t something he likes to do, and it was really good! We both want to make it again in the future.

The second “recipe” wasn’t really a recipe but it was “lowish” carb and on the diet plan. I picked up the carrot “noodles” from Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago and we finally tried it.

Here are the stats on the carrot noodles:

8grams of carbs in a serving of carrot noodles. I also bought a jar of low carb spaghetti sauce. I hadn’t tried this brand before and another reader recommended a low carb marinara but it was really expensive when I finally found it! This particular bottle was half the price of the other one so I grabbed a jar to test it out.

A serving of this marinara was 5 grams of carbs. I also loved that it didn’t have a ton of sugar in it like a lot of red sauces have. We had some Trader Joe’s Turkey Meatballs on top with some fresh parmesan and opened a not-so-low-carb bottle of wine to go with dinner:

So how was the dinner? Really good! We both liked it a lot.

The carrots weren’t overpowering in flavor. They were slightly al dente, but I’m so used to eating spaghetti squash instead of real pasta noodles that it didn’t feel weird to me. The sauce? Fantastic! We both LOVED it! It was super spicy. We’d definitely make this dinner again.

I did comment that it needed some garlic bread. 😉

Light Carb Update #5

Another week, another update.

Progress

I’ve been stuck for two weeks. I had gained a pound back and then sat there for two weeks. Part of that was hormonal. Part of it was probably carb-creep. I was doing ok on my calories most days but I was seeing several days a week with my carb count creeping higher and higher.

Weigh-in this morning was the same. Very disappointing.

Meals

Some snacks this week: plain Greek yogurt with raspberries; cottage cheese with pineapple; sugar snap peas; and smoked Gouda slices.

Some lunches this week: arugula salad with onions, cucumbers, carrots and leftover pork tenderloin slices; sauteed Brussels sprouts with a chili lime chicken burger; and meat and cheese rollups.

New favorite dessert: I saw a photo on a friend’s instagram and had to try it out. It was SO good! Some mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries) with 1/2 a serving of raw walnut pieces and some whipped cream. It’s low in carbs and not bad calories wise, it really satisfies my sugar cravings at night and is very filling, too!

New dinner recipe: spaghetti squash carbonara!

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

From: http://annavocino.com/spaghetti-squash-carbonara/

Ingredients

  • •2 whole spaghetti squash
  • •Salt and pepper
  • •4 slices thick cut bacon, cut in half lengthwise, and then into ½” pieces
  • •1 tablespoon olive oil
  • •1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 2 cloves, minced)
  • •1 egg and 3 egg yolks
  • •1 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • •1 tablespoon Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped for garnish

Instructions

  1. 1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Microwave each spaghetti squash for 2 minutes on high. Slice squash lengthwise in halves, then scrape out and discard seeds. Place squash halves face down on a roasting pan, and roast for 40-45 minutes, or until squash is soft. Remove from oven and use a fork to scrape the spaghetti strands out of the squash shell into a medium bowl, discard squash shells. Season spaghetti strands with salt and fresh pepper.
  2. 2.In a large, flat bottom sauté pan, heat olive oil, then fry up the bacon pieces until almost cooked through. Add minced garlic and cook additional 1-2 minutes. Add in spaghetti squash strands and toss with bacon and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. 3.In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together parmesan, egg, and egg yolks. When spaghetti squash mixture is nice and hot, turn off burner heat and immediately add in the parmesan egg mixture, tossing evenly. The heat from the spaghetti squash will cook the egg yolks into a smooth, creamy sauce as you mix in the sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=52111

We made the spaghetti squash and opened a bottle of wine.

Michael halved the recipe (but added a little bit more bacon, of course!)

OH MY GOD! This dinner was SO good!!! We both LOVED it. We agreed that it was so good that we didn’t even notice that it wasn’t traditional pasta. It was creamy and garlicky and flavorful. I wanted to eat three more bowls of it.

This is a fabulous low carb option for dinner, especially when you are craving pasta. Definitely try this recipe!

Ok and moving on to the next topic: the endless saga of finding a low carb pizza option! This week? We tried almond flour pizza. I got a bag of almond flour at Trader Joe’s and we gave it a try Saturday night. We tried this recipe:

The Ultimate “Fat Head” Pizza Crust
Ingredients
  • For crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella (fresh is bestest)
  • 3 Tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • For topping:
  • Homemade pizza sauce (or store bought without sugar)
  • Your choice of meat, veg, cheese, etc.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Microwave the mozzarella and cream cheese in a large bowl until soft and pliable, about 30 seconds. Add egg, almond meal, oregano, and basil and blend well into a dough ball. Press into a circle or square shaped pizza on a parchment lined baking sheet sprayed with a thin coating of olive oil or coconut oil. Sprinkle garlic salt over surface of pizza crust. Pierce surface with fork to prevent rising of the crust while baking.
  2. Bake crust in oven for 8-10 mins. Pierce more holes with fork if bubbles form. Bake another 2-4 minutes if crust has not already browned. Do not over bake as it will dry out!
  3. Add your pizza sauce and toppings, pop back in oven for 4-5 more minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

It was pretty good! It was a little bit easier to get the parchment paper off this crust than the cauliflower crust. We both agreed it needed to be cooked a little bit longer, though.

Right before we put it in the oven:

We are going to cook it again and try and make it crispier next time. But it was pretty good! We agreed that this was better than the cauliflower pizza we tried, but mostly because we could never get it quite right! But… Michael and I are super happy that we can have two slices of “pizza” for less than 10 carbs!!!

This is definitely a win.

Cheat Meal

For this week’s cheat meal I had Mexican food! Damn it was good. 🙂 We went out to lunch at Iron Horse Mexican restaurant for Michael’s mom’s birthday. We’d both been craving Mexican food for awhile.

I got the lunch enchilada, shredded beef and cheese, with refried black beans and rice. Logan ate about half my beans and about 1/4 of the rice. 🙂

It was really, really good. I ended up having about 80 grams of carbs for lunch. Definitely a lot, but it was a cheat meal. The downside? After lunch I felt super sleepy. I just wanted to take a nap. Heavy food + carbs = sleepy time.