Low-carb really doesn’t suck when you can sear a perfect steak and turn vegetables into pizza.
1. A cauliflower pizza crust.
Not being able to order pizza after a stressful day is one of the sad, sad truths of a low-carb diet. And while nothing can compare to the doughy deliciousness that is perfect pizza dough, a (cheese-filled) cauliflower crust can satisfy your pizza craving in a pinch.
2. Perfect spaghetti squash.
3. A portobello “bun” to hold your favorite sandwich meats.
Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed
Toss portobello mushroom caps in salt, pepper, and olive oil and roast at 425°F for 20 to 25 minutes. Fill with meats, cheeses, and all your favorite vegetables.
4. The easiest and most perfect roast chicken.
Emily Fleischaker / Via buzzfeed.com
Having to forgo a side of roasted potatoes is easier when your chicken is cooked to absolute, crispy perfection. The key is drying the chicken THOROUGHLY, seasoning liberally with salt and pepper, then cooking at a high temperature for crispy skin and tender meat.
The Perfect Roast Chicken
5. A big batch of roasted vegetables.
Some nights you don’t feel like cooking, and picking up a sandwich on your way home isn’t an option. Roasted vegetables go with pretty much everything, AND they taste great for days after you cook them, even when they’re cold.
6. A basic frittata that you can fill with whatever you want.
Brian W. Ferry / bonappetit.com
Vegetables? Yes. Meat? Yes. Cheese? Definitely, definitely yes. Once you’ve figured out how to make the perfect frittata base — with the right egg-dairy ratio, in the right kind of pan, at exactly the right temperature — the sky’s the limit. And, don’t be silly enough to think that these are just for breakfast.
Here’s how to make the perfect frittata.
7. A perfectly seared steak.
Macey Foronda / Via buzzfeed.com
Anytime you get sad about choosing not to eat french fries, get a cast iron skillet ripping hot, season a steak with lots of salt and pepper, and sear your way to the perfect medium-rare. Baste for maximum deliciousness. (Because no,
butter is not a carb.)
The Perfect Steak
8. A quick, one-pan chicken dinner.
9. An egg “tortilla” wrap.
Sure, lettuce wraps are great when done right. But, sometimes you want to branch out a little. Master this one-egg omelette and use it in lieu of a tortilla.
10. A simple zucchini noodle dish.
When regular pasta is off the menu, a
spiralizer is your best friend. You can make noodles out of a lot of things, but barely-cooked zucchini has an al dente texture that’s surprisingly similar to pasta.
Easy Low-Carb Pasta
11. An egg breakfast that you can eat on the go.
Breakfast is a hectic time for a lot of people, and it kind of sucks not to be able to just grab a granola bar and go. For easier mornings, make a batch of egg “muffins” at the start of the week, then grab a couple for breakfast every day on your way out the door.
Recipes (from left):
Bacon and Egg Muffins, Healthy Egg Muffin Cups
12. A kale salad that’s actually delicious.
The world is overwrought with kale recipes right now, and most of them are… not great. The thing is, kale salad is actually GREAT when done right — kale is heartier than other salad greens, so it can feel like more of a ‘meal’ than a pile of arugula.
Here’s how to make a great salad every time.
Pesto Kale Salad
13. Fish in parchment paper.
It’s quick, it’s delicious, and there’s minimal clean-up. Portion your favorite fish, then wrap each piece individually in parchment, with a little bit of liquid and your favorite non-starchy vegetables sliced nice and thin. 400°F and 15 minutes later, dinner’s on the table.
Trout Provençale en Papillote
14. The best, simplest slow cooker pork shoulder.
15. A simple, low-carb pudding.
The jury’s still out on artificial sweeteners like stevia, but if you’re OK with them, it’s easy to make a decadent-tasting pudding out of avocado, stevia, coconut oil, cocoa, and heavy cream.
Sugar-Free Chocolate Mousse
16. A lettuce “taco” that doesn’t lack in flavor.
17. A simple shakshuka that you’ll want to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
There are lots of things you can do with a big batch of tomato sauce (see zucchini noodles and spaghetti squash, above), but poaching eggs in a skillet of the stuff is maybe the most delicious. Also, it’s the kind of minimal effort dinner that guests will find super impressive.
18. A classy poached egg breakfast.
Weekend mornings should be as delightful as possible. Once you’ve mastered the poached egg, you can pretty much throw one on any pile of vegetables and the result will be magic. Additions like salmon and avocado just make things feel even fancier.
Poached Eggs over Avocado and Smoked Salmon
19. Basic cauliflower rice.
Pulsing cauliflower in the food processor leads to something that really is remarkably close to actual rice. Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe, you can serve the cauliflower rice as a side with meat and vegetables, or make fried rice.
20. A not-boring salad that will actually fill you up.
Lauren Zaser / Via buzzfeed.com
Salads are a great lunch option, and they’re inherently low-carb. The trick is to add enough protein and fat to keep yourself satisfied, and enough flavor to keep yourself from going crazy.
Tossed Turkey Cobb
21. A proper substitute for macaroni and cheese.
23. The best scrambled eggs.
24. A burger so good, you won’t miss the bun.