Category Archives: Low Carb

Low Carb Lamb Curry–Quick!

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This is not a fancy recipe. This is a “I need to use this lamb before it goes bad and I have a ton of zucchini from the garden and hey, look, there’s a can of coconut milk in the cupboard” type of recipe. It is not very pretty, either. But it was filling and good and I didn’t have to throw out expensive lamb or waste the fruit of my garden!

Quick and Easy Lamb and Zucchini Currylamb curry

1 TBSP coconut oil
1 large zucchini, sliced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground lamb
1-2 TBSP Bangkok Blend seasoning from Penzey’s
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp dried cilantro
1 can coconut milk

Heat a large skillet and add  the coconut oil to melt. Cut the zucchini into sections about 1 inch wide and slice, adding to the skillet as you go. Mince the garlic and add to the skillet as well. Sautee for a minute or two, then add the lamb, breaking up with the spoon.

There was a lot of liquid in the skillet at this point, so I had to stir a lot to get the lamb cooked. You could brown the lamb in a separate skillet and add to the zucchini when done, but I wanted this to be quick and easy, so I just worked through it.

Add all spices and simmer for a few minutes to reduce the liquid a bit. Add coconut milk, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Taste for seasoning. Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes or so to thicken and blend seasonings. Taste again and adjust spices as needed.

This turned out to be more a soup than a traditional curry, although it was thicker the next day. You could also add a bit of cayenne pepper if desired. Fresh herbs and spices are always better, but this was a quick lunch I threw together while working, so I used the dried for speed and ease.

As I have been making the switch to low carb eating, I have had to change a lot about the way I eat and cook. For a while, it seemed like I was eating far too many of what I call component meals–meat, veg, salad, all separate. I like more complex flavors and dishes, and I like to make everything in one skillet, especially if I am cooking for only myself. This kind of recipe really helps me to feel like I am eating interesting food while staying on the low carb diet that seems to be helping me so much.

Menu, Week of 8/25

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Last week was the second week of school, and the first full week back. Plus, I had pottery class on Tuesday, Wednesday night I had an executive committee meeting for the Parents’ Club at the high school, a jump start conference for my 6th grader and crochet club, and Thursday was my birthday, for which we went out to dinner, then the girl had her first tumbling class on the other side of town. It was a busy, exhausting week. I did make a bit of a menu plan, but I never got around to finishing it and posting it here. We did manage to only eat out on my birthday, though, which I was very happy about–that was a planned night out after all.

Then this weekend I spent a boatload of money. I went to Costco and bought a chest freezer! It really wasn’t that expensive, but I also did a big shop (gotta put some stuff in that freezer after all, 😉 ), and I filled my gas tank. I told the kids when I got home that we have lots of food, but once that is gone we will have to wait until next month to get any more, lol.

I am ridiculously excited to have the freezer. There are so many things I can do with it! The girl is selling frozen pizzas and cookie dough to fund her choir trip, so it will be good to have the freezer space to store that stuff while she is arranging to deliver it to the people who ordered from her. But I can also come home from Costco without panicking that all the food won’t fit in the smallish freezer over my fridge! I can blanch veggies from the garden and freeze them for use all winter! I can do some freezer meals! Did I mention that my excitement is a bit ridiculous?

This week I have plenty of food to choose from since I just went to Costco, so planning is easy in one way. I have plenty of food and I don’t have to get too creative in making meals. On the other hand, I tend to get overwhelmed by lots of choices. All the more reason to plan ahead, though–just think if I had to come home exhausted every day and then still decide what to make. Yuck. We would eat out, I know, and we can’t afford that after all the money I spend this weekend.

With the Labor Day Holiday weekend, I am planning just a bit ahead this week. We are having family from out of town over on Sunday, so I want to make sure I am ready for them.

Sunday: Burgers (we were exhausted from getting the freezer in plus all the shopping, so this was nice and easy)

Monday: Bacon wrapped chicken tenders, low carb zucchini hashbrowns (I don’t have the French’s onions, but I am sure it will still be good), broccoli

Tuesday: Burger or leftovers

Wednesday: Crackslaw

Thursday: Sausage and Eggplant Stew

Friday: Hot wings, bratwurst, broccoli

Saturday: Dinner with a friend or leftovers

Sunday: Avocado and bacon deviled eggs, bratwurst, burgers, broccoli, fries, squash casserole, pickled beets, low carb key lime cheesecake

You may notice that there is a lot of squash on that menu. I mean, it isn’t every night, but maybe it should be–I have so much squash from my garden still. I also made a delicious curried lamp stew with a giant zucchini today for lunch. Hooray, I thought, one less zucchini. Then I took the dog outside to do her business and found another big one needing to be picked, plus several more getting close. I wish the kids liked summer squashes more. I need some good low carb recipes that they would like. Anyone have recommendations?

As always, lots more ideas can be found at orgjunkie.com

 

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Skillet

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As a working mom, I am always looking for healthy meals I can make quickly. I am particularly fond of meals I can cook all in one skillet. Sure, I serve a veggie on the side sometimes, but most of those I throw in the microwave to steam, so they don’t take much time.

Going low-carb has been a challenge for me, because a lot of the one pot meals I have used in the past revolved around pasta or rice–I don’t miss a lot of the carbs, but I really miss risotto!–so I have been searching for some new skillet meals. I have never been a fan of the hunk of meat with side dishes type of meal that low-carb seems to lend itself to. I am beginning to see the appeal of that at times, but I still need some casserole/skillet type meals with more blended, complicated flavors to keep me interested.

I have done a form of thisunstuffed cabbage roll skillet many times as a vegetarian, with mashed potatoes as a base, but it is a great low carb recipe with hamburger and no potatoes. The kids even ate it fairly well, although they didn’t like the tomatoes much.

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Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Skillet

1.5 pounds ground beef
1 onion, diced
2-4 cloves garlic
1 14 ounce bag shredded cabbage
salt
freshly ground pepper
1 28 ounce can stewed tomatoes
1 TBSP dried parsley
1 TBSP dried oregano
1 tsp Mrs. Dash original flavor

Brown the hamburger in a large skillet over medium high heat. Chop the onions and garlic and add to the skillet as you go. Add the cabbage and the salt and pepper to taste, and continue to saute the meat and veggies, stirring often, until the meat is all browned. Add the stewed tomatoes, chopping into bite size pieces if necessary, and all spices. Stir well, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 – 15 minutes, until some of the liquid has reduced and the cabbage is tender.

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This is very simple food, but so yummy. I do think next time I will add some olive oil at the beginning to give this a little more fat–the meal was satisfying when we ate, but I was a bit hungry before bed. Also, a chopped bell pepper would be really good, but my kids are not fans of cooked peppers, so I didn’t add one this time.

Anyone else have some great easy low-carb dinners to share?

Menu, Week of 7/21

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I went to Costco this weekend, so my freezer is full of meat. So full, I had to leave some of the meat in the fridge to be used up this week. This should make menu planning easier, since I know what I have to work with, right?

Also, you’ll note that this menu is heavy on the sauteed zucchini–it is that time of year, lol.

Sunday: Sirloin steaks, sauteed mushrooms, green beans, cauli-rice, bacon avocado deviled eggsbaked chicken thighs

Monday: Lemon Garlic baked chicken thighs, sauteed zucchini, asparagus wrapped in bacon

Tuesday: Unstuffed cabbage casserole, cauli-rice

Wednesday: Bratwurst, sauteed zucchini, sauteed mushrooms, potatoes for the kids

Thursday: Zucchini and Italian sausage lasagna, based on this recipe, but probably without the eggplant and altered to be dairy-free, salad

Friday: Pork paprika with mushrooms and sour cream, broccoli

Saturday: Low-carb Reuben meatloaf, sauteed greens, asparagus

 As always, there are a lot more menu ideas over at orgjunkie.com!

Curried Beef Stew

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I made beef stew last night, and it was so good I knew I had to document it before I forgot what I did. This recipe was the basis for my efforts, but I made a few changes. I didn’t measure the spices, so the numbers below are just guesses, but it should give the general idea.

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Curried Beef Stewstew

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into bite size pieces
2 – 3 TBSP olive oil
2 – 4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 yellow squash (from my garden!)
2 cups beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes
2 TBSP sweet curry powder
1 – 2 tsp cumin seeds
½ – 1 tsp ground coriander

Fry the beef in the olive oil until mostly browned on all sides. Add the garlic and saute another minute or so, then add the squash. Chop the squash and add to the pot as you go–the thin top third of the squash, I cut in half and sliced, the middle third, I cut into 4 sections and sliced, and the thickest bottom part, I cut into six sections and sliced, so I got thin slices around 1 inch by ½ inch or so. Sautee for 2 – 3 minutes to get the squash softened, then add the tomatoes, broth and  spices and stir thoroughly.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes to let the flavors blend, stirring occasionally.

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I really couldn’t believe how well this turned out–and I bet it will be even better today! I had planned to make cauli-rice to serve with it, but I didn’t feel like it at the time, so I just served the stew in bowls alone. Everyone liked it, although my mother was over, and she thought it was a bit spicy. If she hadn’t been there, I might have put more spice in it, but I refrained because I know she doesn’t like things too hot.

Menu, Week of 7/14

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I find it slightly ridiculous that I have been making menus for 15 years or so, and I still feel a bit overwhelmed when I sit down to write out the plan, but there you go. I never said I was rational! I have had changing requirements, everything from vegan to low carb, in my defense. The adjustment makes it a bit difficult.

The real problem, though, is that I am convinced that there is a perfect plan with perfect meals, so I stress too much. I need to just make a good enough plan.

Sunday: The girl was off volunteering at a theater thing, so the boy and I went out.

Monday: Beef stew based on this recipe, cauli-rice

Tuesday: Spiced chicken wings, sauteed kale, sauteed mushrooms

Wednesday: Lamb burgers at my dad’s, sauteed squash, broccoli and onions, fries for the kids

Thursday: Zucchini boats stuffed with coconut curry lamb–the kids may not be thrilled with this, but I have a LOT of squash in my garden!, steamed broccoli

Friday: Teppanyaki Grill, for all you can eat crab legs!

Saturday: Pizza–Meatza pizza for me, with a hamburger “crust”, pizza with a garbanzo bean flour crust for the kids, salad

As always, there are a lot more menu ideas over at orgjunkie.com!

Menu, Week of 5/19 (A Retrospective)

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I started to plan ahead this week, but I didn’t really make it. I think we did pretty well on eating, though, so I want to document what we did eat for future reference.

Also, I broke out the measuring tape earlier in the week. Wow, was I surprised at the results! In two weeks, I went down in size in nearly every category, starting with a full inch in the waist! For some reason, I went up half an inch in the hips, which makes me think I must have done that measurement wrong to begin with, but overall I lost over 5 inches (bicep, forearm, thigh, calf, waist, neck and chest). Again, I have to say wow!

Oh, and I did a non-fasting cholesterol test at the end of last week–overall cholesterol is only 130, with triglycerides at 75. My HDL is a little low, but I am hoping to turn that around soon. I am amazed my numbers were so low after eating high fat and low carb for over two weeks, though! I ate bacon, eggs and cheese for breakfast about three hours before that blood draw, too.

I didn’t exactly follow my menu the week before because things got a little busy, but I did pretty well and I was happier with what I was eating. Tuesday I ate leftovers instead of cooking, and Wedesday I ended up with only 30 minutes at home before I had to run out the door, so I ended up eating hard salami and pickles, but overall the better planning really helped me this week. I found the food less boring, and I spent a little less money.

I have to say, the change I am having trouble adjusting to is keeping enough meet and especially eggs on hand! We have been eating a lot more eggs for breakfast, and it doesn’t take long to go through a dozen eggs with 3 people eating them. My monthly Costco run is going to look a bit different this time than it has in the past, although I have been getting more meat for a while now–it is just such a good deal to get meat there rather than the grocery store.

Sunday: I had the boy only after the Boy Scout camporee, so we went on a mother/son date at Bandana’s. I had beef and pork, with green beans and cole slaw.

Monday: Leeks, greens and goat cheese fritatta, topped with smoked salmon, salad, steamed broccoli

Tuesday: It was payday, so I ended up going out–NY strip steak, green and wax beans, asparagus soup and just a few pieces of sweet potato hash

Wednesday: sirloin steak, salmon, sauteed spinach, cauli-rice, sauteed mushrooms

Thursday: Last day of school, so we had to work around the end of year party. We ate some leftovers before heading to the party, then the boy went and had pizza with his friends (the girl was off with her dad), and I went out for a burger topped with shrimp and a cajun spice butter sauce with no bun and cole slaw on the side. I also had a few hot wings after we confirmed that there was no breading on the wings.

Friday: This time I had the girl and one of her friends while the boy was off at his dad’s. We went to a local Chinese buffet place that has crablegs on Friday nights, dipped in delicious butter. I had salmon, a bit of roast beef, green beans and butter mushrooms, too, along with a chicken skewer and one BBQ rib.

All in all, still a bit too much eating out, but I think it is getting better. The girl and I really liked the cauli-rice, but the boy was not impressed. I think it might be better for him as a base for other dishes, but he is just not a cauliflower fan.

The kids are both off to their dad’s now until Friday, when they will come home to help pack and get ready to head out on vacation on Saturday. I need to do some planning ahead for myself this week and for the food we are taking for the first part of the trip, which will be a couple of days of camping. I am thinking it might be good to head to Costco today, too.