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.
Often, spaghetti squash can be overcooked and water-logged. Slicing it into rings and roasting it that way is a game-changer, and makes a good base for almost any sauce.
3. A portobello “bun” to hold your favorite sandwich meats.
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.
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.
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.
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.
7. A perfectly seared steak.
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.)
8. A quick, one-pan chicken dinner.
The best thing about skin-on chicken thighs is that you can render the skin a little on the stovetop, then use that fat to coat vegetables in the same skillet and roast the whole thing together in the oven. Master this basic recipe, then sub in your favorite vegetables.
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.
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): http://showmetheyummy.com/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.
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.
14. The best, simplest slow cooker pork shoulder.
Large chunks of meat + slow cookers = BFF.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
21. A proper substitute for macaroni and cheese.
22. An easy beef stew.
This beef stew is full of vegetables and no one will even notice that it’s low-carb (and low-effort).
23. The best scrambled eggs.
Ain’t gonna be no toast for your mediocre eggs to hide behind, so make sure you whip them before you cook, and don’t turn the heat up too high.
24. A burger so good, you won’t miss the bun.
Use high-quality beef, season properly, and don’t skimp on toppings like cheese and mayo.