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Low-Carb Dinners: A Beginner's Progress

(post, KR Hendricks)


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Since fall, I have been trying to cut down on carbs. Very hard for this over-40 girl who loves her bread, pasta and rice. I’ve always tried to stick to healthy versions of these guys, but there’s no getting around it: just can’t carb-load like I used to and get away with it, no matter how much exercise I do.

A dietician friend gave me a tip: eat a normal amount of carbohydrates during the day, but stop after 5 p.m. Keep suppers as low-carb as possible so as not to elevate your blood sugar before you go to bed. 

I thought it would be next to impossible. But actually it hasn’t been. The trick is to keep it efficient, fast, filling and tasty. That way, I don’t stare longingly at the stuff my husband and children are eating at dinner, and I can actually manage to make my own quick meal while preparing theirs.

Here are my favorites so far:

1. Salad, Dolled Up. At least 2 nights a week, I make a tossed green salad to go along with the family dinner. While the rest of the family eats it as-is, I put a large portion in a separate bowl and pimp it out with low-carb proteins, such as cheese; walnuts; slivered almonds; avocados; artichokes; cooked chopped chicken, turkey or steak; canned tuna; or sunflower seeds.
2. Miso Soup with Tofu. So easy a monkey could do it. I squeeze some miso paste into a soup bowl, toss in some cubed tofu, pour boiling water over it and stir. I adjust amount of miso paste to taste and add soy sauce if I want it saltier. Sometimes I jazz it up with some add-ons: shredded carrot, nori or other dried seaweed, chopped green onion, or mushrooms.
3. Omelets. The go-to when you're really hungry. Before cooking the eggs, I finely chop some low-carb vegetables, such as green, red or yellow bell peppers, raw spinach, parsley, mushrooms or tomatoes and saute them in olive oil before removing from pan and adding eggs. I stuff the omelet with the veggies and a handful of chopped/shredded cheese—feta’s the best, IMHO.
4. Yogurt & Berries. Berries (straw-, blue-, black-, rasp-) are among the lowest-carb members of the fruit family. I buy them frozen and thaw out about a cup at a time. I put a cup of plain full-fat yogurt in a bowl, top with berries and a few tablespoons of ground flax seeds. If the berries aren’t sweet enough to make this edible, I drizzle a teaspoon of honey over it.