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 The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine   Low Carb Energy Magazine
 
    April 1, 2004    PAGE 11       > About LCL Magazine      > Cover Page      > Inside Cover      Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11  12     

 

Featured Articles
 Measuring Your Progress
 Easter Recipes
 Making Beautiful Eggs!
 Cooking With Herbs
 Win a Low Carb Cruise!
 The Caffeine Controversy
 Jonny Bowden Weighs In
 Cracking the Nut
 To Drink or Not to Drink
 Have Silky Hair Year Round!
 Make It Low Carb!
 Snapshot: Low Carb Pizza


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    Low Carb Energy magazine


  The Low Carb Connoisseur


 
                                       Make it Low Carb! by Joan Hedman

                                               "You have to have confidence in your ability,
                                                   and then be tough enough to follow through."
                                                                         Rosalynn Carter
   

Making Success Possible — Stock up!

You're reading this column, so you're at least interested in the idea of a low carb eating plan. You've seen all the newsmagazine stories featuring steaks fried in butter, and bacon and eggs. That doesn't sound so bad, huh? But that could get boring after a while, so what can you really eat?

Or, maybe you've been low carbing since New Year's and just keep falling off the wagon. There are just too many times when you're hungry but there's nothing "legal" to eat, or you have allowed foods around, but they all require prep and you're just too exhausted to even think about cooking. Sometimes, this business of eating right is so difficult it seems hopeless.

It's not. There are a lot of things you can eat, probably more than you imagined. And while there are hundreds of low carb specialty items appearing daily, simply substituting your high carb favorites with low carb imitations isn't going to cut it. The whole idea behind low carb is to reprogram your relationship with food: eat real food; eat when you're hungry; pay attention to the food you're eating.

The best route to success is to be sure you always have an answer to the question, "What's to eat?" You can do that by having a fully stocked, low carb kitchen from which to assemble delicious and satisfying low carb meals and snacks. With that in mind, here's how I stock my kitchen. Remember, low carb means never having to say you're hungry. If you're hungry, eat — but make sure what you're eating is good for you.

            Stock Up!

    In the Fridge:

  • An assortment of hard cheeses, excellent for snacking and cooking
  • Half-and-half and heavy cream
  • Sour cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Hood's Carb Countdown milk
    (or LeCarb low carb milk)
  • Sugar free, all natural peanut butter
    (keep refrigerated to prevent rancidity and keep the oil from separating again)
  • Sugar free mayonnaise/salad dressing
  • Eggs
  • Low carb vegetables:
    celery, green onions, lettuce, spinach, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, and cabbage.
    Peppers, onions, and shallots, for flavor and in moderation (since these are higher in carbs.) Try to be reasonable here, balancing the amounts you buy with how often you will eat them and what their relative shelf lives are. For example, celery and cabbage will keep for a few weeks, well wrapped, in your crisper drawer. Onions and shallots have long shelf lives, too. But the others are perishable, so don't stock up if you're not going to be able to use them up before they go bad.
  • Konjac or shiritake noodles if you are lucky enough to find them in your Asian market
    In the Freezer:
  • IQF (individually quick frozen) shrimp, boneless chicken breasts, hot wings (check the label for hidden carbs, though), pre-formed hamburgers, fish fillets, and any other protein source you like, if you don't have the time to buy fresh for every day. Many of these can be cooked without defrosting first, which makes putting together a quick dinner a snap.

  • Frozen low carb vegetables. Don't shun the idea of frozen vegetables. They can really make your life a lot simpler. Studies have shown that in some cases, canned and frozen vegetables are nutritionally superior to fresh vegetables that have been sitting around for a few days, losing their nutrients. My favorites are spinach, broccoli, and peas (watch portion size with these!)

  • Frozen, unsweetened berries: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries. A few berries tossed into a smoothie or on top of a bowl of custard can really make it special, and freezing them means you don't have to worry about spoilage or having to use up a large quantity before they spoil. Always check the labels and make sure that no sugar has been added!

  • Fresh ginger: when you need some for a recipe, just take it out and grate it up, peel and all. It will grate easily, even while frozen.

  • Finely grated parmesan cheese, other shredded cheeses such as mozzarella and Monterey Jack. Shredded cheese will spoil quickly, but in the freezer keeps indefinitely. No need to defrost it before using it, either.

  • Butter. Still wrapped in its original packaging, butter will keep for weeks in the freezer, not that it ever has a chance to do so in my house!
    On the Shelf:
  • Roma (plum) tomatoes. Please, do not refrigerate your tomatoes. Plum tomatoes are a good size to keep you from over-indulging, and they taste better than the typical supermarket tomato. Food scientists are making great strides with the new grape tomatoes and tomatoes-on-the-vine, too, which are delicious but tend to be a lot more spendy than the romas. Tomatoes should be bright red. Under no circumstances should you bother eating a tomato that looks and tastes like pink cotton. Why waste the carbs?

  • Garlic. Don't refrigerate it, it will get damp and moldy. It keeps better on the cupboard in a little terra cotta garlic keeper.
    In the Pantry:
  • Cans of tuna, salmon, crab
  • Low carb shake mix in a few flavors you actually like (my favorites are KetoShakes)
  • Canned low-carb veggies: baby corn (read the label, make sure it's not sweetened), Eden Organic Black Soybeans, any other LC canned veggies you like — I've heard that rutabagas come in cans but have yet to find them!
  • Lowest carb, no-sugar-added tomato/pasta sauces (look for no more than 4 grams per 1/2-cup serving)
  • Lowest carb-per-seving cocoa powder you can find (if you like chocolatey things)
  • Nuts, both whole and pieces, for snacking and baking; almonds, walnuts, and macadamias are high in fiber and low in carbs; watch out for pistachios and cashews, which have a much higher carb count.
  • Low carb tortillas and/or bread (they seem to be ubiquitous these days.)
  • Sugar free syrups from DaVinci or Torani, in whatever flavors you like.
  • Splenda, stevia, liquid saccharine (liquid Splenda or cyclamates if you can find them) — it's nice to have sugar free sweeteners on hand even if you don't bake much.
  • Flaxseed, if you have a grinder, or flaxseed meal, if you don't
  • Trader Joe's Soy and Flaxseed Tortilla chips
    If you like to Bake:
  • Designer Whey protein powder, French vanilla and natural flavors
  • Almond flour and other nut flours
  • Bob's Red Mill products:
    vital wheat gluten flour, oat flour, and xanthan gum
  • If you like soy and have no problems with side effects, soy flour and soy protein isolate are excellent low-carb products
  • Sugar-free pure vanilla extract
  • Other flour substitutes: sugar free dried shredded coconut, ground shelled sunflower seeds, and ground shelled pumpkin seeds.
Of course I don't always have all of these things on hand. But I do try to keep them stocked, so there's always something to eat. For example, a quick broccoli-cheddar omelette, or crab-spinach dip make very tasty dinners when inspiration fails or time is short. One of our current favorites started out as a clean-out-the-fridge recipe, featuring zucchini, tomatoes, and shrimp with Italian cheeses.

We'll explore the possibilities of off-the-shelf cooking in upcoming columns. In the meantime, if you have a question about converting a recipe, or if there is some aspect of low carb life you're really struggling with, just send me an email, and I'll do what I can to help. You can see previous responses from my mailbag too.

                                                

Copyright © April 2004  Joan Hedman and Low Carb Luxury
Title and inset photos Copyright © 2004  Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury




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