Check out my 5 favorite low carb meal ideas —all under 15 grams of carbs per serving!
1.Baked Chicken with Mustard-Dill Sauce | This recipe for a simple dill marinade and mustard-dill sauce is great way to get a kick from your chicken. Although the recipe calls for baked chicken, you can also pan-fry, grill or broil, depending on your preference. Chicken is low-carb and naturally rich in protein, so serve some up today! Recipe makes 4 servings of 1 fillet each.
Baked Chicken with Mustard-Dill Sauce
For the chicken
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Sprinkle of salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 skinless chicken breast fillets, about 6 ounces (180 g) each, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
For the mustard-dill sauce
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, or to taste (certified gluten-free if necessary)
- 2 teaspoons whole-grain Dijon mustard, or to taste (certified gluten-free if necessary)
- ¼ cup (60 ml) fat-free sour cream
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
To marinate the Chicken, combine all of the marinade ingredients in a Pyrex baking dish and mix well, then add the chicken and turn to coat evenly with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.
To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate.
Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Place the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet with sides. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness, until cooked through and not pink in the middle.
Transfer the chicken to individual plates or a serving platter and evenly divide the sauce over the top, or serve it on the side.
NOTE: To broil the chicken, line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease the foil. Place the fillets on the baking sheet and broil under high heat until cooked through, turning once. The time will depend on the thickness of the chicken and your broiler: 15-25 minutes is the norm.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 402; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 98mg; Sodium: 802mg;Carbohydrate: 10g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 39g
2. Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps | Want to give your tacos a fresh and healthy low-carb twist? Try subbing in lettuce leaves instead of the traditional corn and flour tortillas. This recipe for turkey taco lettuce wraps uses this concept plus you’ll get to make the taco filling from scratch using fresh ingredients. Recipe makes 4 servings at 2 lettuce wraps each.
Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps
- 1-1/3 pounds 99% lean ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 small onion, minced
- 2 tablespoons bell pepper, minced
- 3/4 cup water
- 4 oz can tomato sauce (certified gluten-free if necessary)
- 8 large Iceberg lettuce leaves
- Optional Garnish: Reduced fat cheddar cheese
Brown turkey in a large skillet breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks. When no longer pink add dry seasoning and mix well. Add the onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce and cover. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
Wash and dry the lettuce. Divide the meat equally between the 8 leaves and place in the center of each leaf and top with your favorite taco fixins!
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 256; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 113mg; Sodium: 714mg;Carbohydrate: 9g; Dietary Fiber: 3g;Sugar: 4g; Protein: 30g
3. Smothered Meatballs & Marinara | Enjoy my low-carb juicy marinara meatballs! Lean ground pork is seasoned with fennel and marjoram then smothered and simmered in marinara sauce. These meatballs freeze well so you can make a batch ahead of time and reheat as a quick dinner option. Recipe serves 6 at 3 meatballs each.
Smothered Meatballs & Marinara
For the meatballs
- 1 pound (16 ounces) lean ground pork
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded Havarti cheese (or cheese of choice)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup marinara (certified gluten-free if necessary)
- 1 cup shredded Havarti cheese (or cheese of choice)
- 1/4 cup sliced basil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
To make meatballs, combine all of the ingredients above except for the olive oil and basil. Roll into small balls and set aside.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet to medium-low heat, and add a teaspoon of olive oil, or spray with cooking spray.
Place the meatballs in the skillet (this may take 2 batches) and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally. This will take about 4 minutes per batch.
Remove the meatballs from the skillet and place on paper towels to drain the grease.
Add the marinara to the cast iron skillet, place the meatballs back in the skillet, and top with the shredded cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F. Top with basil.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 241; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 39mg; Sodium: 561mg; Carbohydrate: 7g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 23g
4. Portobello Pesto Pizza | Pizza lovers looking to cut back on calories and carbs should try out this portobello pesto pizza. Savory mushroom topped with fresh tomatoes, savory pesto and stringy mozzarella makes a great option for a vegetarian meal. The pesto can be made in a food processor. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1/2 cup each.
Portobello Pesto Pizza
For the basil pesto
- 2 tablespoons of pine nuts (substitute with walnuts if you’re on a budget)
- 2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1/2 small avocado
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
For the portobello pesto pizza
- 4 portobello mushrooms
- 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounces grated mozzarella (Or use sliced sandwich cheese – mozzarella, fontina, Swiss; 1 slice is approx. 1 ounce)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Make the basil pesto by combining pine nuts, basil, garlic and avocado in a food processor. Pulse until ingredients are broken up. Drizzle in olive oil, while keeping the food processor on, until you get a sauce-like consistency. Season with salt and pepper. (NOTE: basil pesto can be done 3 days ahead)
Remove stems from portobello mushrooms and use a spoon to scrape out the inside gills (dark ridge-y stuff). Brush mushrooms with olive oil on both sides. Place mushrooms cap side down on a sheet pan. Spoon approximately 1/3 cup of basil pesto onto the mushroom. Top with sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.
Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 303; Total Fat: 29g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 17g; Cholesterol: 18mg; Sodium: 190mg; Carbohydrate: 10g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 1g; Protein 13g
5.Open-Faced Turkey, Spinach Wrap | Lose Weight the Smart Low-Carb Way This delicious wrap has got nothing to hide! Once you crunch into the toasty whole wheat wrap, spinach, tomatoes, turkey, turkey bacon and lightly browned mayo, you’ll be well on your way to a balanced breakfast. The best part is you’ll get to share the other half with someone else. Sharing is caring! Recipe makes 1 serving at 1 sandwich each.
Turkey, Spinach, And Tomato Wrap
- small whole wheat wrap
- 1/4 cup fresh spinach, cooked and squeezed dry (about 4 ounces)
- baby tomato slices
- 2 slices turkey breast
- 2 slices fat free turkey bacon
- 1 tablespoon fat free mayonnaise
- salt-free seasoning blend (such as Mrs. Dash)
Set the wrap on a toaster oven pan or double sheet of foil. Top with the spinach and tomato. Lay on the turkey slices and turkey bacon. Dollop on the mayonnaise . Sprinkle on seasoning to taste. Place under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, watching carefully, until the mayonnaise is lightly browned.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 201; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 195mg; Sodium: 423mg; Total Carbohydrate: 17g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 3g; Protein: 10g
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