This spring and summer, I’m looking forward to a few things: strawberries, farmer’s markets, local festivals, picnics, road races, margaritas, white jeans, maxi dresses, racerback tank tops, and more.
I’m also looking forward to spring cleaning – both physically and mentally. I like doing a big closet and apartment clean-up and getting rid of junk. It feels very detoxifying. I also like applying the idea of cleansing to my food intake. I know that many of us look at spring as a fresh start, and some of us might be exerting extra effort to lose any unwanted pounds that may have crept up over the winter. Maybe you’re doing more workouts, maybe you’re counting calories, maybe you’re cutting back on sugar and carbs.
This blog is fueled by sugar so I can’t help you cut that out, but I can give you round-up of Low Carb Recipes.
I promise that these 10 recipes are as tasty as they come. You can mix and match, and you can even ignore that they’re low carb and serve them with your favorite pasta or grain. But either way, these recipes will help you feel better, healthier, and possibly less puffy. Just be careful not to spill on your white jeans.
10 Low Carb Recipes
Baked Tofu with a Balsamic Glaze – people have strong feelings about tofu: some (me) call it the little black dress of proteins; others call it the most bland thing in the world. But you can amp it with a sweet and spicy balsamic glaze. The tofu enters the oven pale and quivering, where it is baked and basted with the dressing every 15 minutes or so, then it comes out golden and firm, with a good kick of spice.
Smoky Brussels Sprouts Salad – Do you get excited like me when you see the word “smoky” in a recipe? You think, “oooh, smoky, it must have bacon in it.” Then you read the entire recipe and sometimes end up disappointed: “aww, they just use paprika to make it smoky.” Well, don’t worry my friends, because this warm salad starts and ends with bacon. (I did throw in some paprika, too, for good measure.) It also has lots of other goodies: shrimp, avocado, tomatoes, and a Greek yogurt dressing.
Stovetop Steak – one of the things my dad has taught me is how to cook a great steak – with a golden brown crust, and a tender pink inside – on the stovetop. No grill, no oven roasting time, but just with a hot pan, some seasonings, and a lot of patience. Here’s the secret: once you put it on the pan, don’t touch it. Just flip it once, and don’t touch it again. Then let it rest. Trust.
Beef Chili with Sausage – this is as close to a classic beef chili that I can get. It’s meaty and hearty, but it also has a few special ingredients that add a little zsa zsa zsu. In addition to the ground beef, I added small chunks of beef chuck and spicy Italian sausage. I threw in some red wine to further add a depth of flavor. And I added one habanero pepper. You’d think that one little habanero pepper won’t make too much of a difference in a big ole batch of chili, but it does.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower – this is NOT going to be a magical replacement for mashed potatoes. It’s not as plush. It’s not as filling. It’s also not as big on calories. What it’s going to be is a side dish filled with lots of sweet roasted garlic flavor, the almost heady scent of rosemary, and the tangy creaminess of Greek yogurt. Plus just a little bit of full fat from butter and sour cream. Just a little bit, just enough to make you think that you’re indulging, when really, you’re filling up on a vegetable filled with antixodants, vitamins, minerals, and cancer-fighting properties.
Tuna Meatballs – these luscious tuna meatballs were inspired by my first visit to Mario Batali’s Eataly two years ago. However I didn’t follow a Mario Batali recipe. Instead I turned to the queen of easy, no fuss meals: Rachael Ray. The tuna meatballs turned out incredibly meaty and not at all fishy. They also tasted lighter and not as cloying or heavy as regular meatballs sometimes can be, but it was still a hearty and comforting dish.
Green Beans and Butternut Squash in Coconut Milk – this is my take on a classic Filipino dish called Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa. I made this after watching a Top Chef episode where the chefs reflected and paid homage to the person who taught them how to cook by making a dish in their honor. This was for the person who has inspired me to learn how to cook, to learn how to wield a big chef’s knife, to chop and fry and simmer: my Tita Ine.
French Style Scrambled Eggs – These truffle scrambled eggs are exactly what I envision to be the perfect scrambled eggs. This dish, so simple in nature and so quick to put together, placates all my scrambled cravings, and turns things up a notch with the addition of truffle oil and truffle butter. Just some drops of truffle oil, a few scrapes of truffle butter, and suddenly these scrambled eggs taste more sophisticated, like a grown-up, sultrier version of its wholesome spinach and feta omelet cousins.
Tuscan Meatballs – I love meatballs of all kinds (and cake balls, too, while we’re on the topic of round food) but I have to admit that these Tuscan meatballs are some of the best meatballs I’ve ever made. They have prosciutto, mushrooms, breadcrumbs soaked in milk, and a white wine sauce. No, they are not low fat. Yes, they go great with pasta or some crusty bread. But these meatballs do taste wonderful served as is and unadorned.
Balsamic Roasted Cabbage – I know that cabbage is not as trendy or exotic-looking or as well-loved as kale, artichokes, or sweet potatoes. It’s just… so plain. But, enter the red cabbage (which should actually be called purple cabbage, in my opinion). Red cabbage is crisp, bright, and vibrant. Suddenly, cabbage is looking a little better. More robust. Attractive, really. And with this balsamic dressing, it’s just a few steps away from being sexy.
Do you have favorite low carb recipe? What are you looking forward to this spring and summer?