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Old 02-26-2006, 06:17 AM   #1
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Vegetarian or Semi-Vegetarian Lowcarb

I was asked whether I keep a public journal with my menus by another member interested in doing a semi-vegetarian lowcarb plan. Rather than reply in 3 or 4 pms, I am posting it here for her and anyone else who might want the information:

Here are some resources that might help if you decide you want to lowcarb as a vegetarian, or even just eat less meat on Atkins, South Beach or another lc plan. I do Atkins myself. I also eat fish -- but the following information is on the vegetarian aspect alone ....

I wish these were around when I started Atkins! I can highly recommend the following Books.

The Vegetarian Low-Carb Diet by Rose Elliot *excellent (like Atkins for vegetarians), also has many recipes

Cookbooks:
Low-Carb Vegetarian by Margo DeMello *excellent
Carb Conscious Vegetarian by Robin Robinson * excellent!!! very gourmet!!

I also wrote the following before these books were published:

Lowcarb as A Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian

It is quite simple to do Lowcarb as a lacto-ovo vegetarian. You simply change your way of eating in the same way that other folks doing Atkins have to change their way of eating.

Like everyone else on Lowcarb, I simply eat bigger portions of protein and smaller portions of veggies. If I want a lot of veggies, I go with really really lowcarb ones - lettuce, spinach, broccoli rabe ...

Proteins: Cheese, eggs, tofu, tempeh (all-soy!), some veggie burgers, some fake veggie "meats" (hotfdogs, etc), wheat seitan, quorn (mushroom protein)

Here is a big long list of vegetarian meals. The items with stars are good on induction. These Meal Ideas would probably also work on many other lowcarb plans:

-Sandwiches made in a lettuce wrap (my current favorite .5 c cheddar, 1 oz cream cheese, 2T salsa melted in a lettuce leaf. Wrap a second lettuce leaf around that)
-Sandwiches made with homemade spinach "bread" See recipe below.
* stirfried tofu + vegetables with soy sauce or lc hoisin sauce (made by Steele - not induction)
* greek salad with feta, olives, hardboiled egg - you could even throw some tofu or almonds(not induction) in.
* Omelette with cheddar cheese or Swiss Jarlsberg Cheese or veggies
* Spinach or Broccoli Quiche - either egg-based or tofu-based
- Swiss Cheese and Spinach melt on lowcarb bread or spinach "bread" recipe (see below)
- Portobello Mushie sandwich with cheese
* Eggplant parmesan (I dip eggplant slices in egg, fry em up, eat with cheese on top and/or a tiny amount of tomato sauce.)
- Lasagna made with cabbage leaves as noodles
* Miso Soup with Tofu
- Vegetable soups, like cream of broccoli made with vegetarian bouillon (mine is 1 carb per cube)
- Fried Tofu with Lowcarb peanut sauce (also made by Steele) and cauliflower "rice"
- Sheratake Noodles with alfredo sauce or sauteed roasted vegetables and parmesan, or LC tomato sauce
* Spaghetti Squash instead of noodles with a creamy tomato sauce and stirfried tofu (one of my favorites!)
- lowcarb Tortillas with stirfried tofu and spices, cheddar, lettuce, etc etc (you can also use the "spinach bread" or fried cheese base for the tortillas)
- Vegetarian fajitas
- Cheese and veg quesadillas using the LC tortillas, spinach "bread" or a lettuce leaf as a wrap.
* Indian food! Like Saag Paneer - use either the paneer cheese or substitut stirfried tofu- yum!!
- Pizza with LC Tortilla or spinach bread recipe as a pizza base or check out all the pizza recipes on the recipe board
* use vegetarian soy fake hamburger for the meaty recipes from the recipe board
* Check out the "quorn" products at the healthfood store - a protein derived from mushrooms.
- black soybeans are a good alternative for beans in chilis as they are lower carb. Also add some crumbled tofu or fake hamburger.
* Check out the cauliflower recipes on the Recipe board for fake mashed potatoes and for fake fried rice. I like to serve different concoctions over these as you would with rice or noodles ...
- Do not forget nuts as a protein source. There are many recipes for nut roasts (mostly from the uk). They are like a meatloaf made of nuts, lol! I am sure you could tweak to make lc.
- All-soy tempeh .. but beware of the tempeh with grains in it it is higher carb.

At Restaurants, order either:

1. eggs, omelettes, etc and a vegetable,

2. A big salad like a Cobb salad minus the turkey or chicken and bacon.

3. Ask for pasta dish minus the pasta, have them put the sauce over a plate of steamed or sauteed veggies like spinach (I looooove this!)

4. Stirfried tofu at the Chinese (watch out for sugary sauces!!! Thai food is a better choice! or ask for a steamed dish)

5. Saag Paneer and other dishes at indian restaurants

6. Take apart sandwiches and add them to a salad .. did this recently with a grilled cheese and veggie quesadilla. Peeled everything off the tortilla and threw it in my salad with a little sour cream and salsa .. oh yum!

7. If you do eat some meat or fish, this is the time to order it as the most challening aspect of lc vegetarian is having meals out.

hth! If I can help in any other way, feel free to contact me via pm. I am happy to help with whatever I can.

******Spinach Bread******

Butter for greasing baking dish
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach - thawed and drained
4 large eggs - beaten
1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter an 8x8 glass baking dish.
Mix together spinach, eggs, garlic and season with salt and pepper.
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 15 minutes until mixture is set.
Allow to cool slightly. Cut into 4 squares.
Use spatula to remove squares from pan.
Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

Variation: To make a whole loaf of this bread, triple the ingredients and
pour into well buttered loaf pan. Place pan on baking sheet and bake for 1
hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees. A whole loaf will yield 12 slices. Use
what you need and wrap well and freeze extra slices or loaves.

Quote from Suzanne: This is a must-try recipe. I consider it one of the
cornerstone recipes of this book. I have given you two ways to make this
bread-- in a glass baking dish or tripling the recipe and making it in a
loaf pan. It takes longer to cook in the loaf pan, but you end up with a
whole loaf of bread that you can slice and freeze. Then you have spinach
"bread" for a whole variety of sandwiches. Try my green eggs and ham recipe
(p.181), or invent some of your own.

Also make sure you get all the water out of the spinach or you won't get it
to turn into a dry loaf! You can also try with half the eggs called for …

The total carb count: Carbs: 11, Fiber 7, Calories 430, Protein 39 and Fat
20
Per slice (4 slices): 1 net carb, 107 calories


My tweaks:
I have been making this using 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites in order to
lower the calories since I am eating very low-cal as well as lowcarb. I
upped the crushed garlic to .5 teaspoon since it wasn't garlic-y enough for
me, lol! and swapped out the salt for garlic salt. I also use a larger pan
- - -- like 13x9 and it comes out nice and thin for a pizza crust.
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Old 02-26-2006, 06:57 AM   #2
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Thanks Pauline! Although I'm a meat eater, these sound like good ideas for anyone to use. It is great to have more variety!
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Old 02-26-2006, 08:14 AM   #3
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Ta Da, what a GREAT post! I might also add that Rose Elliot is coming out with a low carb vegetarian cookbook. It will be released this spring, and I'll order from them. It seems in England low carb vegetarianism is more popular than here. Too bad!

Your post is filled with such great suggestions and tips, I am printing it out. Thank you for reminding others it's quite possible to go veg and still low carb.
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Old 03-18-2006, 04:27 AM   #4
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Thanks....this is very helpful for me.
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Old 03-18-2006, 04:42 AM   #5
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Thanks Pauline!!! Your such a wealth of info!!! Now that I started eating beans the cookbooks will come in handy!
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Old 03-18-2006, 05:50 AM   #6
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Pauline, this is typical of how helpful you are! Thanks for the great ideas!
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Old 03-18-2006, 06:05 AM   #7
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You are most welcome everyone!! You know, something funny happened last week ... for some reason I had not eaten any tempeh while on this journey (almost 3 years) and last week, I ran out of food in the house and started to scrounge in the freezer where I found a block of tempeh ... 4 carbs per 4 oz serving (that's half a block). Well I pan fried it in olive oil in a cast-iron pan with onions and then threw some cauliflower in. I seasoned with garlic salt and when it was done I only had enough carbs left for 1teaspoon of Kraft carbwell barbeque sauce ... so I added a few teaspoons of water to the bbq sauce and then poured it on top of the tempeh. And it was unbelievably delicious. This is the same type of meal I would have made pre-lc, with slightly less vegetables and I'd have eaten it over rice ... well, somehow being on this new wol, my brain had kind of dismissed all the normal vegetarian meals I used to eat ... very silly! lol!!

If I could edit my post above I would add a few other things to the vegetarian list. I intend to try the following "breads" which have received rave reviews over on the recipe board:

Flax Garlic Onion Flatbread
Flax garlic onion flatbread...yummy!

Flax Tortillas
Flax Seed Meal Tortillas..

Most Awesome Pizza:
Most Awesome Pizza

There are other recipes I would try on the recipe board like the "Crack Slaw" which is like an asian-style cabbage stir-fry with ground meat ... I think I would sub in tempeh. Why am I writing all this? If you were a vegetarian before, like I was (nearly 30 years), don't let the thought of a dietary change make you lose all that creativity you had to use before when you were a vegetarian among the meat-eaters, lol!!!

Thanks for bumping the old thread Thicky!

Pauline

Last edited by TaDa!; 03-18-2006 at 06:06 AM..
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Old 03-18-2006, 07:17 AM   #8
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Ya know, what I find amusing is that most vegetarians I know aren't really vegetarians. They seem to be carbo-tarians. They eat tons of pasta, rice, breads and cereals. My vegan friend scoffed at my diet until I pointed at our plates and said that I eat more vegetables than she does. (I was eating a chicken ceasar salad, she was eating...you guessed it, pasta.)

Strict Atkins is tough as a vegetarian, but not impossible. (Doing it as a vegan would be miserable though, and honestly, I wouldn't recommend it because it would mean eating way too much soy than I'd find healthy.) I'm glad to see that there are actual books out there now. :-)

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Old 03-18-2006, 11:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shazadio
Strict Atkins is tough as a vegetarian, but not impossible. (Doing it as a vegan would be miserable though, and honestly, I wouldn't recommend it because it would mean eating way too much soy than I'd find healthy.) I'm glad to see that there are actual books out there now. :-)
Vegans in general rely on soy anyhow, but I do think that South Beach, or Atkins OWL is probably better for both vegetarians and vegans as far as fitting into their food profiles. SB was not around when I began Atkins. Having reached the legume rung on the Atkins Carb Ladder, has helped expand my protein category nicely.

Those cookbooks do have vegan lowcarb meals in them that are quite nice.
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Old 03-18-2006, 06:05 PM   #10
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You mean you're semi-carnivorian?
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Old 03-18-2006, 06:43 PM   #11
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Honestly, I was a lowfat vegitarian when I was in nursing school. I got down to 114. Still felt fat though! I think low-carb-low calorie is the key. I think the AMOUNT and QUALITY of protein may be the secret. Hmmmm..
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Old 03-18-2006, 07:22 PM   #12
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Bumping these great posts for others to view.
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Old 03-19-2006, 05:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbkinky
Honestly, I was a lowfat vegitarian when I was in nursing school. I got down to 114. Still felt fat though! I think low-carb-low calorie is the key. I think the AMOUNT and QUALITY of protein may be the secret. Hmmmm..
I agree on the amount and quality of protein ... and that at a certain point, we all have to be mindful of calories in addition to the carbs, but in my case, I really do eat quite a lot. I'm down over 100 pounds, am well into "healthy bmi" and am still losing weight consistently while eating 1700-2000 calories of good healthy food. I also exercise quite a bit. I guess the calorie discussion is really for another thread, but I did want to point out that doing lc vegetarian does not necessarily mean deprivation of any kind unless you wish to go that route!

And yes, I did step up my exercise to improve my metabolism and to be able to eat a lot, because, well ... there you go .. I like to eat, lol!!!

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Old 03-19-2006, 08:21 AM   #14
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from what i've seen most lc'ers that call themselves vegetarians are not. if you eat fish, you're not a vegetarian. fish is an animal and you must kill it to eat it. i know there are plenty of lacto-ovos around which is still doable on lc....but maybe it gets boring. i guess many rely on processed so products.
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Old 03-19-2006, 08:29 AM   #15
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One other thing I should mention, really something that has occurred to me only recently as I have done this, is that it makes great sense to plan to start going up the Carb Ladder soon after you finish your initial induction if you choose to do Atkins (I am posting this here since I think probably the majority on these boards start with Atkins. Following is the carb ladder as it appears in DANDR. As you can see many of the good carbs that Dr. Atkins wants us to incorporate over time are proteins that work in ovo-lacto vegetarians: fresh cheeses, nuts, legumes

Atkins Carb Ladder:

1. More Salad and other vegetables on the acceptable foods list

2. Fresh cheeses (as well as more aged cheese)
induction is 3-4 oz hard cheese. And fresh cheese refers to cottage and farmers cheeses

3. Seeds and Nuts

4. Berries

5. Wine and other spirits low in carbs

6. Legumes

7. Fruits other than berries and melons
5 carbs= 1/4 cup of apple, fruit cocktail in water, 6 cherries, 6 grapes, 1/4 grapefruit, and others.

8. Starchy vegetables
carrots, squash, yams, peas, potatoes

9. Whole Grains
brown rice, oatmeal, corn, whole wheat, barley
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Old 03-19-2006, 08:33 AM   #16
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I used to belong to a vegetarian BB--there were many threads about how to lose weight. Too many processed foods can get you on way or another (animal products or not)!
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Old 03-19-2006, 08:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catkin
I used to belong to a vegetarian BB--there were many threads about how to lose weight. Too many processed foods can get you on way or another (animal products or not)!
You know, I have come to the same conclusion and it was a long hard road there too, lol. I find that even in the innocuous ones, you know with the all-natural ingredients, you can never be 100% sure of quantities and whethr the nutritional labeling is accurate. I'm not even talking about the "frankenfoods" that people talk about here ..

This is actually a really good topic for vegetarians that like to shop at the health food store. I've noticed a couple of things .. First, a lot of the yummy ethnic brands that are made outside the West, have very innacurate nutritional information.

I now always check those labels against this

Hidden Carb Calculator http://www.carbaware.org/consumer/counter.htm

and have had to adjust the counts many many times on these things. One spice rub I have come to depend on "Neera's Tandoori Rub" comes out to an inaccurate nutritional count! I have been able to use it and have not noticed any issues with stalling and weightloss happily for me, becasue I love this stuff!!

I also like to use the "Tasty Bite" pre-packaged vegetarian Indian meals in a pinch ... and have always done fine with the spinach and cheese (palak paneer). They list all natural ingredients. Well, when I was doinmg the legume rung of the Carb Ladder, I decided to try the lentil and red bean dish ... I was keeping very good track of what would happen when I added in a new food and with each meal of this, I had a little water gain ... the following week I decided I should cook from scratch to make sure the data was really correct ... and voila, no water gains whatsoever, but my usual very small daily losses.

It pays to be careful no matter what you use as your protein source, but the specialized veg meals and sauces, etc can be especially tricky ....

Thanks for bringing that point up Catkin!

Last edited by TaDa!; 03-19-2006 at 08:51 AM..
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Old 03-19-2006, 10:08 AM   #18
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Pauline (Ta Da), I know you said you don't deprive yourself and mentioned your caloric intake, but I'm wondering, did you need to limit fats as your weight dropped? I keep hearing that time and again, and it's a shame, because to me at least, fats are filling like protein is, and give a great deal of satiety to a meal. I don't go hog wild on fats, but I don't think I can ever go low-fat again.

What are your thoughts on fat intake?
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Old 03-19-2006, 10:20 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaDa!
You know, I have come to the same conclusion and it was a long hard road there too, lol. I find that even in the innocuous ones, you know with the all-natural ingredients, you can never be 100% sure of quantities and whethr the nutritional labeling is accurate. I'm not even talking about the "frankenfoods" that people talk about here ..

This is actually a really good topic for vegetarians that like to shop at the health food store. I've noticed a couple of things .. First, a lot of the yummy ethnic brands that are made outside the West, have very innacurate nutritional information.

I now always check those labels against this

Hidden Carb Calculator http://www.carbaware.org/consumer/counter.htm

and have had to adjust the counts many many times on these things. One spice rub I have come to depend on "Neera's Tandoori Rub" comes out to an inaccurate nutritional count! I have been able to use it and have not noticed any issues with stalling and weightloss happily for me, becasue I love this stuff!!

I also like to use the "Tasty Bite" pre-packaged vegetarian Indian meals in a pinch ... and have always done fine with the spinach and cheese (palak paneer). They list all natural ingredients. Well, when I was doinmg the legume rung of the Carb Ladder, I decided to try the lentil and red bean dish ... I was keeping very good track of what would happen when I added in a new food and with each meal of this, I had a little water gain ... the following week I decided I should cook from scratch to make sure the data was really correct ... and voila, no water gains whatsoever, but my usual very small daily losses.

It pays to be careful no matter what you use as your protein source, but the specialized veg meals and sauces, etc can be especially tricky ....

Thanks for bringing that point up Catkin!
Mostly they were eating too much dairy, peanut butter and white flour/corn products--but I think it was the refined carbs that caused so much trouble, namely bread and pasta.

I applaud you for your efforts! I wish you had a journal so I could see what you're eating daily!
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Old 03-19-2006, 10:28 AM   #20
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Well for me personally - and everyone is different!! - I have tried to keep my calories constant so that I can still lose weight - albeit slowly. Upping the carbs, has meant adding in foods and even though many of them are very low calorie, not all of them are, so as I have added foods, I have adjusted other parts of my daily intake to lower calories ... and as we know the most caloric foods are the ones with highest fat percentages ... so yep, I have lowered some things, but ....

I have only changed the ones I do not care so much about, lol! So at one point, I replaced 4T cream daily (in coffee) with 8T 1% milk which has a bunch of carbs, and I changed my omelettes with 3 whole eggs, to an omelette with 1whole egg and 3whites. But, at dinner time I like to eat a pound of eggplant blackened in 1T olive oil with a little tomato puree, 2 whole ounces of mozzarella and 1T parmesan ... not lowfat by anyone's definition, lol! This whole balancing thing is 100% personalize-able and I only give up what I want to give up! LOL!!

Like you I do not intend to ever eat the typical lowfat diet again .. this is the only way I have ever been able to lose weight. I have never been at this BMI since before the age of 2. My personal opinion is that each of us have to do what suits our personalities and our tastes in order to make this a lifetime of good health and not just another disappointment .. If you are very interested in the carb ladder and how to go about doing this, you can check out our challenge here where a number of us have gotten together to figure these things out together. On that thread we are all at different weightloss stages and have different eating requirements, etc., but are each trying to move up the ladder in some way:

Here it is from the beginning of the thread:

http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/sh...5&page=1&pp=30
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Old 03-19-2006, 10:34 AM   #21
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Catkin I eat pretty much the same dishes daily ... I do not necessarily advocate that anyone eat like I do, lol .. it suits me and my tastes. I think everyone has to find their own "dream menu":

I have 2-3 oz walnuts daily
I have 1.5 cups of lowfat yogourt daily
I have one scoop (20 gm) Whey Protein powder daily (with yogourt during my workout)
Sometimes eggs, sometimes tofu or tempeh, (on occasion shrimp or fish)
pretty much everyday I eat: 1 lb eggplant, 12 oz cooked spinach, 3 oz grilled onions
dinner protein is usually 2 oz cheese + 1T parmesan

I personally cannot eat peanuts or peanut butter, they seem to trigger binges and are a problem food for me so I just keep them as a very occasional - eat it when you're out, or when the cupboard's bare kind of food.

My average protein intake is a whopping 110-120 gm daily.

The last two weeks I ate beans in my daily menu to try out the legume rung of the ladder and this week I started fruit, so it's half a banana 3x a week this week, and then next week I'll try it 5 days ... like the legumes I don't think I'll add it in on a daily basis, but here and there ..
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Old 03-19-2006, 12:51 PM   #22
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TaDa, this was SO helpful. Thanks!

Can you post your eggplant recipe? I love eggplant, but it's been years since I made it; wouldn't know where to begin. Do you go through the whole thing of salting and soaking (some say to remove bitterness)? I'm wondering if it's really necessary.
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Old 03-19-2006, 04:09 PM   #23
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Lowcarb2006, here is how I make the eggplant ... I am obsessed with it, lol! but have not had any outside input on the recipe, lol ... It's just something I came up with:

Blackened Eggplant Parmagiana

12-16 oz eggplant (one nice sized eggplant)
1T olive oil
garlic salt
dried basil
A Cast Iron Frying Pan
.33 cup Tomato Puree (in can)
2 oz mozzarella
1T dry parmesan cheese
Frank's Hot Sauce


I ignore the old foodie way to prep eggplant. I never find it bitter AT ALL - so I dispense with the salt step.

What I do. Put 1T olive oil in cast iron frying pan. Slice up between 12 oz-16 oz of eggplant, then halve the slices into half-moons or quarters depending on how huge they are.

Throw them in the pan, stove on high. Sprinkle with garlic salt and dried basil. Let em cook a little bit, then flip over (do not worry about doing this evenly, getting the spices everywhere or anything like that. it does not make any difference in the end result, lol!). Now cover with a lid so they can steam while they cook.

Flip 'em over every time they smell like they are burning or whenever you remember (You are not frying them, but blackening them campfire-style roasty eggplant.). When they are soft - after a few minutes - turn them out onto a plate, throw on some pureed tomato, some grated parmesan cheese and some mozzarella (remember: you have already seasoned with the garlic salt and basil).

I then zap in the micro until the cheese melts (1min40secs in my micro). Liberally shake on the Frank's Hot Sauce (original) ... it is a very important ingredient giving both heat and a peppery flavor ..

And voila! Dinner! Now I eat a very big portion, so you may find you are just fine with 9-10 oz of the eggplant. I sometimes adjust the amount depending on how many carbs I did that day, and at one point was using even less tomato puree too for that reason.

The other day I was out of cheese and considered subbing in an ounce cream cheese and mixing it with the tomato puree .. I think that or ricotta would be nice too ...

Last edited by TaDa!; 03-19-2006 at 05:08 PM.. Reason: forgot the hot sauce :eek:
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Old 03-19-2006, 04:25 PM   #24
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The atkins website has lots of recipes, many of which are meatless. I have tried some of the recipes, and liked everything I made.

Last edited by lbecker28; 03-19-2006 at 04:26 PM.. Reason: spelling error
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Old 03-19-2006, 05:00 PM   #25
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Oh the eggplant sounds wonderful! Thank you! I've really been missing eggplant lately...bellieve me, I can eat through the whole thing!

Thank you again for a great recipe!
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Old 03-30-2006, 01:17 PM   #26
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What a wealth of information - thank you!!!
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Old 03-30-2006, 03:45 PM   #27
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This site is totally awesome. I cant wait to try the spinach bread recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!

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Old 03-30-2006, 04:04 PM   #28
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You bet! Glad it helps some! If you read the whole thread, not just the first post, there are some additional tips in there as I thought of them, lol!

I also noticed one things I said about eating lower carb veggies when I want a lot of veggies ... this was really at the start of doing things. Now I eat higher carb veggies -- and in huge quantities, lol ... just can't seem to get enough of them ... hmmmmmmm wonder why?

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Old 03-30-2006, 04:07 PM   #29
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This may be a silly question, but what is "frankenfoods"? Have seen this in several posts,just curious. Thanks

Last edited by pugluv9802; 03-30-2006 at 04:08 PM.. Reason: to correct sentence
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Old 03-30-2006, 04:15 PM   #30
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Puguluv .. oops! should not have used that term ... too darn confusing!

Frankenfoods originally was a term coined in the media to describe genetically modified foods. Folks on this site started using the term to describe any lowcarb processed food and you will see many folks railing against "frankenfoods" here ... my personal opinion - tho' no one asked, lol! is that you have to try things and see what works for you individually. personally I am able to eat many processed foods and unable to eat others.

The reason people rail against them: 1. they are convinced people cannot lose weight on them (I have with some), 2. they think people just replace their bad habits with another substance, and 3. the issue of transfats in the foods .. this third issue is one I agree with wholeheartedly. transfats are the killer fats, unlike the good ones embraced on many of the lc plans.

that's it in a nutshell!

hth!
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