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dyany

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Low carb recipes
« on: October 25, 2020, 04:31:30 pm »
So around June, because my health had been deteriorating so long and a medication I had been on for a few months was hurting far more than helping, my doctor put me on a strict low-carb diet. It has helped tremendously, in that my liver enzymes dropped by more than half in only 6 weeks, and over about 3 months my A1c dropped from a 8.7 to a 6.8. I am also getting a pleasant side-effect of reduced inflammation (even though I've had blood tests and don't have any food allergies) which has greatly reduced my daily pain levels. I am NOT doing this to lose weight, as that has only been a symptom of the underlying issues, but there has been some weight loss with this as well (but evidence that the weight was not the cause is the fact that when my BG was unrelentingly high, I was also losing weight, at least the same amount as I've lost on the diet). So even though this is technically a diet, I don't like calling it that because our society uses that term these days for a temporary food change to lose weight. This is neither temporary nor to lose weight.

Some basic principles of the diet are:
No grains, no milk (not regular milk because of the sugar content, but I can have cream or unsweetened almond milk), no starchy vegetables (like potatoes or carrots), and no fruits but berries. And of course no sugars, including honey or syrup. No more than 50 grams of carbs per day.
I also can't have most artificial sweeteners, though monkfruit (with erythritol) or allulose are tolerable in small amounts. This is because the goal of the diet is to reduce insulin response, not just pure carb intake. Insulin is important, but, like sugar, can do a lot of damage to the body when there's too much of it in the bloodstream, and my body has always struggled to use it properly.
The other important thing is that I have to have EXTREMELY high nutritive value to the foods I eat. This basically boils down to very few manufactured "low carb" or "keto" substitutes, and leaning more towards the berries and vegetables. According to some studies (according to my GP), this is partially what helps clean up my liver, which helps everything else work better. I've found that if I start leaning too much towards quick and easy (like substitutes, or meats, cheeses, pickles, that sort of thing), then I don't feel so good and my progress slows, even though my BG is still fairly low.

So I'm starting this thread to share some of the recipes and alternatives I've found that have been helpful. Some I've made up. Some have been shared with me. Some I've found. I don't know if anyone is interested, but I figure someone might be, so here I go.
 
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dyany

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Re: Low carb recipes
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2020, 04:40:14 pm »
Butter Chicken

Approximate time: about 2 hours total

Ingredients:

For Makhani gravy:
-1 red onion, diced
-2 ounces raw cashews
-1 lb fresh tomatoes, diced. (I recommend San Marzano or another less bitter sauce tomato)
-¼ cup unsalted butter
-Salt
-Heaping teaspoon of ginger garlic paste (I could only find this at an Indian food store. You may have better luck. In a pinch, garlic paste + ginger paste would probably do)
-Dried red chilies (I've had good luck with Byadgi), to taste (3 is quite mild but detectable at least if you take 1 out before blending. 😊)
-Fresh green chillies (whole, optional, I didn’t use them myself)
-1 Tbsp kasoori methi (aka dried fenugreek leaves)
-Whole spice sachet (You can buy 'garam masala' whole spices, but if you want to make one yourself, here’s what I put in mine):
   About a dozen green cardamom pods
   1 black cardamom pods
   1 tsp whole cloves
   About 3 inches worth of cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
   2 bay leaves
   About 3 pieces of mace blade
        (you can add some cumin seeds if you like cumin. I HATE cumin, so I don't. :) )

For butter chicken:
-1 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
-1 lb. chicken tenderloins
-salt
-1 tsp garam masala powder (I use the stuff from Penzey’s because it doesn’t have cumin and it’s amazing but you can use whatever you like)
-flour (coconut flour if you’re low carb)
-1/3 c unsalted butter
-heavy whipping cream
-vegetables of your choice (I recommend zucchini, fresh mushrooms or asparagus, roughly diced)


Directions:

You can use the makhani gravy with vegetables if you want, but if you want full butter chicken you need to start it marinating first.

Mix the chicken tenderloins with the yogurt, garam masala, and pinch of flour, making sure each piece is coated well. Cover and put in the fridge for at least an hour.

Now, start the makhani gravy.
Get out your instant pot and set it to sauté. Melt the butter and add the spice sachet. Add the onion and cashews and sauté for a minute or 2 until the onion Is just starting to turn translucent, then add the ginger garlic paste, dried peppers, and diced tomatoes. Turn the instant pot off, put the lid on (make sure it’s not on ‘venting!’) and set it to high pressure for 15 minutes.
When it’s done, let it natural release and then remove the sachet with tongs (you can put it in a Ziploc bag and stick it in the freezer for later; it can be used about 3 times) pour the contents into a fine mesh strainer over a bowl, and let it drain fairly thoroughly (you can press on it with the back of a big spoon if you are impatient like me). The liquid is full of flavor but not fully necessary for this recipe, so you can decide if you want to keep it—it’s amazing in scrambled eggs!
Put the drained solid stuff into the blender and purée it until smooth. Put the puréed mix into a fine mesh strainer over a clean bowl and push it through, discarding the bits of tomato skin and seeds left over.
Take the strained mix and put it into a saucepan on medium low heat, stirring occasionally. Grind the kasoori methi to powder in your hands and add it to the mix, and a pinch of sugar if necessary. When this comes to a boil, turn off the heat.
While the gravy is cooking, start preparing the chicken. In a large skillet, melt 1/3 c. unsalted butter and then add and brown the marinated chicken tenderloins. Add any vegetables you want to add, cook a minute or two more, then add the makhana gravy and maybe a tablespoon of the heavy cream, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and put the lid on. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with a drizzle of heavy cream on top, with or without (cauliflower) rice.
 
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dyany

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Re: Low carb recipes
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2020, 04:48:18 pm »
Chicken with Zucchini and Asparagus in cream sauce

Ingredients:
Butter or ghee (I'd say 6-8 Tbsps)
chicken tenderloins
heavy whipping cream (about 1-1.5 cups)
coconut flour or low-carb flour (from King Arthur)
zucchini, roughly diced
asparagus, chopped into 2-3 inch sections
mushrooms, quartered
Herbes de Provence
salt and pepper
garlic, minced

Melt butter or ghee in large saucepan. brown chicken tenderloins in the butter and remove from pan.
Add veggies to pan and cook a couple of minutes, add garlic and cook all until crisp-tender. Add a tablespoon or so of the flour and stir to make a roux, then add about a cup or so of heavy cream, the salt and pepper to taste, and about a Tbsp of Herbes de Provence. Add the chicken back to the pan and bring it all to a boil, stirring often, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick.

This is one of my favorites. :)
 
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dyany

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Re: Low carb recipes
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2020, 05:19:57 pm »
My favorite quick substitutes and staples

These should be used sparingly:
ChocZero chocolate chips or candy (they use monkfruit, so they are sugar and artificial sweetener-free).
Lakanto monkfruit sweeteners, maple syrup, etc.
Birch Benders Keto pancake mix or frozen waffles
Franz Keto bread
King Arthur Baking Co. artificial sweetener blend and low-carb flour.
Suuuuper dark chocolate (like 85% cacao)
Two Good brand yogurt
Macadamia nuts (these are the lowest carb nuts, but you still gotta limit them)

Use all you want:
Chocolate Alchemy brewing cocoa/cacao (this is NOT hot chocolate. It's roasted and ground cacao beans that you prepare like you might prepare coffee. I make it in a French press and add cream and a little allulose syrup. If you've heard of Crio Bru or Choffy, it's the same kind of thing, but theirs are much more bitter and gross).
Pork rinds. I used to hate these, but I find myself tolerating them now.
Fresh veggies and fruits have their advantages, but they go bad faster and take more prep time, so I get a ton of frozen. Costco is my lifesaver with this.
You can get heavy whipping cream in a half gallon carton from Costco and some other stores.
Unsweetened almond milk. I like the Kirkland brand at Costco because it doesn't have to be refrigerated and the price is good.
My go-to veggies are mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, garlic, asparagus, broccoli somewhat, cauliflower (usually just riced, which I buy frozen)
Lots of spice blends. I really like Penzey's for excellent spices, but I also like Spice House for whole spices.
Sunwarrior protein powders and supplements. They are vegan and super natural, have no soy, and taste really good. They are, however, really spendy.
Vega protein powders. They are also kind of expensive (though less so than Sunwarrior), and my favorite thing about them is they are PACKED with fruits and veggies. Good source of a nutrient punch.

Good supplements that can help:
Vitamin D3 and potassium can help mitigate the stone-forming side effects of low-carb
I've found that probiotics help me in general, but I don't know how universal that would be.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 05:24:19 pm by dyany »
 
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dyany

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Re: Low carb recipes
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2020, 05:22:55 pm »
The easiest and best low carb tortilla chips
1 c. almond flour
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
salt
spices (I like a little lime juice)

Melt the mozzarella in the microwave and add it to the almond flour. You kind of need to mix it quickly, so I recommend a stand mixer with a paddle or dough hook (if you're using lime juice or other flavors of spices, add it at this stage). Roll it out thin, cut into triangles (I use a pizza cutter), put on parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets, salt or season to taste and bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 11:13:21 pm by dyany »
 
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Sparky

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Re: Low carb recipes
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2020, 07:53:16 pm »
Thank you for the recipes. They sound pretty good! I'll have to see about trying some of them out.
 
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Palmon

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Re: Low carb recipes
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2020, 09:50:47 am »

There is a lot of evidence that connects low-carb with brain health. 

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/mar/06/low-carb-diet-may-reverse-age-related-brain-deterioration-study-finds
Quote
A ketogenic diet is one high in fats and proteins, and low in carbohydrates, forcing the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Primarily used to treat some forms of epilepsy in children, it is also believed that it has potential to help other neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
 

dyany

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Re: Low carb recipes
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2020, 10:44:37 am »
While that's good info, it frustrates me how many places equate "ketogenic" with "low carb." Ketogenic diets are NOT high protein, at all. They are high fat, low carb, fairly low protein. They are designed, by definition, to put the body into a state of ketosis, which can only happen with those combos. If you see a recipe online that claims to be keto but then recommends the use of low-fat ingredients, just know that the creator of the recipe is an idiot trying to profit from the keto trend without knowing what they are talking about.

What I follow is very low carb, but it is not ketogenic. I will use keto-oriented products because they work in the diet, but I don't otherwise demand keto-level macro control.
 

Palmon

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Re: Low carb recipes
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2020, 09:33:43 pm »
Dyany, I didn’t mean to distract from your low carb by pushing Keto.  It is the high fat that is good for the brain. There are a multiple studies that connect the high fat with the brain. I just happened to grab an article that touted Keto. My error.
 

dyany

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Re: Low carb recipes
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2020, 11:08:40 pm »
It's okay, I didn't feel you were pushing it. I got distracted because I've had to deal with that so much as I have been trying to completely change how I eat, and most of the stuff on the internet is just low rent food bloggers who are not remotely credible.
 

 


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