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Old 12-26-2009, 05:17 PM   #1
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The Low Carb Menu Challenge!

So, it's been some time since I last posted--after a long-distance move on November 1, I went "off the wagon" and (arg!) gained at least 5 lbs. So, now that Christmas and 4 kids' birthdays are over, it's time for me to get back on that old wagon and start losing again instead of gaining. To "raise the ante" a bit, I'm now dating a girl who really needs to be on a low-carb diet (Asthma, pre-Diabetes, high blood pressure, and a history of cancer)--so I need to prove to her both that this diet works and that it can be "livable."

So, I'd like to try doing something I'm not very good at: menu planning. In the past, my menu planning has consisted of, "how many steaks do I have in the freezer", but I think I need a bit more than that now.

So, here's what I thought might be a fun thread. You, dear readers, get to throw out your favorite low-carb dinners--the complete meal, that is. I will throw them all into the magic eight-ball, shuffle them according to perfectly arbitrary criteria (plus the criteria I mention below), and come up with a menu, which I will subject to your no-doubt-withering scorn. (Okay, not so withering, but it sounds more fun than "helpful criticism".) Then I will attempt to report back on the reception that each dish receives from my crowd of picky demanding eaters. Winners of the challenge will receive eternal glory and a post-dated check for $0.26 drawn on a bank in the Kingdom of Sealand. (Don't try to cash it, it's no good.)

Anybody interested?

If so, here are the criteria that seemed important to me:
  1. Low carb dinners for one week, Sunday-Saturday
  2. Needs to be possible to get "on the table" in under 45 minutes or so. Slow-cooker recipes are awesome.
  3. My carb target is under 10g for dinner. The kids and my GF can go higher, but the point is to show them that low-carb isn't death by famine, so I'd like for us all to eat the same thing.
  4. Has to be something that kids (age 7-12) will actually eat. So no calamari etc.! Also, kids are allergic to shrimp and probably all shellfish.
  5. Should seem like "real" food, because I'm really trying to convince my girlfriend that this *isn't* the stereotype of Atkins (eat all the grease you want). Strong preference given to dishes that are low-carb but a high-carber would like.
  6. Cost is a consideration, but not a huge one. $15/meal for a family of six would be my target, but can go higher on occasion.
  7. Just to be clear, I'm looking for meals not just entrees of side-dishes. I bring this up because I know one thing I find challenging about cooking low-carb is "accessorizing"--you can only eat so much salad and broccoli!

So, if anyone thinks this is interesting, let the games begin!


Last edited by amphigory; 12-26-2009 at 05:19 PM..
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Old 12-26-2009, 05:43 PM   #2
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I like it!! I have to give it some more thought though...will check back.
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Old 12-26-2009, 07:43 PM   #3
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My advice would be to check out Linda Sue's website and print some 'good sounding' choices. There is lots to choose from and it's easy to figure what sounds good for your family.

I do a lot of my cooking (and yes, it's just me at home now so it's easier) on the weekends to save a ton of time on the week nights.

You can do fun things too such as pizza using low carb wraps (the kids can make their own and will probably eat it since they made it).

Soup is a great lc choice in the winter. Involve your children as they are so much more likely to eat something they had a hand in making. I did this with my daughter and she is now 22 and cooks all the time.

Good luck to you and your family. This is a wonderful thing you are doing.
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Old 12-26-2009, 07:55 PM   #4
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I recommend you don't reinvent the wheel - our own LindaSue has so kindly put up a fantastic website and if you go HERE

Linda's Low Carb Menus & Recipes - Daily Menus

you'll find menus for all KINDS of great stuff, AND she has the recipes on her site too!
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Old 12-26-2009, 11:32 PM   #5
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halved roasted chicken and gravy
mashed cauli
sauted green beans and onions

turkey chili
faux cornbread
chili toppings (lettice, cheese, radishes, sour cream, ect)

broiled salmon on top of wilted spinach

beef stir fry with mixed veggies
faux cauli rice

bacon cheeseburger soup
toppings (chopped tomato, pickles, onions, ect.)
almond flour biscuits

pizza with toppings (cheese or soy crust)
baked jalapeno poppers
salad with dressing

pork chops
scalloped turnips
steamed broccoli

Hard to know what your family likes. Here is a dinner menu for a week I think would please both low carber and typical eaters.


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Old 12-27-2009, 05:38 AM   #6
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OK....I have two meals that my non-LC'ing daughter loves. In fact, she lives close by and I have orders to call her when they are on the menu.

First....Diet Cola chicken w/ mashed cauliflower and salad.

My diet cola chicken....is simply chicken breast w/ sauce made of equal parts diet coke & low carb ketchup. Sometimes I put a little garlic in it...or liquid smoke for a "smokier" BBQ sauce.

Second meal.... Diet cola sloppy joes with lower carb cole slaw & fried radishes....(yes....sliced and fried radishes = home fries to me)

Ground beef w/ the diet cola BBQ mix over it. Dice a little green pepper and onions with the ground beef when you brown it. Non-LC's can use buns for the sloppy joes. I just eat mine plain.

Either of these meals are topped off well with a chayote crisp. This is another dish that non-lc'ers love and have no idea that it might actually be good for you. LOL.


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Old 12-27-2009, 08:08 AM   #7
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One dinner menu

I recently fed my family mock chicken fried rice using the riced cauliflower fried in EVOO,(I did add a packet of fried rice seasoning which added 12 carbs to the entire dish but it made 6 servings). Moved over the cauliflower to the side of the large pan and scrambled 3-4 eggs and then added in the chicken that I had sauteed earlier. It was wonderful and 2 kids who weren't in the kitchen when I was cooking did not believe me when I told them after they ate that it wasn't rice. I believe the exact recipe minus the seasoning I cheated and used is on this site. Also if you are looking for dessert and like to cook, Kevinpa's Pecan pie is awesome and everyone who likes pecan pie will be amazed.
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:55 PM   #8
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This is an awesome thread. I will be back later to post some of my menus and can not wait to see all the stuff others will post. Thank you!!!
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:58 AM   #9
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Delicious and Inexpensive

I HIGHLY recommend you check into a great book called Saving Dinner the Low Carb way by Leanne Ely. This book is great! The menus are broken down into season's complete with shopping list!

All the entrees are roughly 10 carbs or less per serving (not including sides).. included are low carb sides and add on suggestions for for those non LCers who might be joining you.

At least one meal a week is "Slow-Cooker" based, but I have found I can whip those up on the stop top if I desire. or vise versa; I can make some of these in the crock....

Printable shopping lists for each week are available on her website.

She also has a weekly mailers... I used them in the past before I invested in the book... its a great CHEAP way to try it out. These can be found at Saving Dinner dot com also

For example my dinner menu for this week looks like this:

Day 1: Peper Stuffed Herb Chicken
Day 2: Pork Chops Diane
Day 3: Asian Salmon Patties
Day 4: Mexican Flank Steak
Day 5: Low-Carb Turkey Divan
Day 6: Crock Goulash

As you can see there are only 6 days scheduled... so the seventh is leftovers or a simple family favorite from LCF
¸.• ´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•'* Natasha

Last edited by NGJ26; 12-28-2009 at 09:16 AM..
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Old 01-01-2010, 06:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by NGJ26 View Post
I HIGHLY recommend you check into a great book called Saving Dinner the Low Carb way by Leanne Ely. This book is great! The menus are broken down into season's complete with shopping list!
I totally agree. Leeanne plans the menus for each week for you, so there is a nice variety. There are enough menus for a year in the book, I believe.
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:31 PM   #11
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I'm no good at the meal planning either, but like the meal ideas. Don't forget a yummy breakfast for dinner...
bacon (cooked on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 for 15-20min), omelet with eggs/cheese/ham/onion, crystal light orange drink.
Good luck. I think there are plenty of us getting back on the wagon this week!
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:32 PM   #12
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oops, forgot to mention....some pancakes for the kiddies.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:40 AM   #13
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I have a full week's menu posted on my blog that meets all these criteria, listed below.

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Old 01-06-2010, 07:44 PM   #14
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I have two dinners that come to mind that my family enjoys and none of them eat low carb.

Stuffed chicken breast (stuff plain chicken breast with a mixture of cream cheese, shredded cheese and broccoli and bake at 400 until done)
Salad on the side

"Breaded" Chicken Tenders (chicken breast strips coated with egg and rolled in either parmesean cheese and crushed pork rinds OR parmesean cheese and almond meal and then either fried on in a skillet or you can bake them). We dip them in homemade ranch dressing.
Side Salad or Green Beans

The chicken tenders are a favorite with my two little ones - and neither one of my kids have any idea that it isn't REAL breading on the chicken!
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:23 PM   #15
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ok dh and I are retired empty nesters so we eat out maybe 4 times a week plus he is picky picky so restaurants take a lot of hassle out of my cooking week. Here are samples of our favorites.
Day1 Terriyaki fish with brussel sprouts
Day 2 Meat loaf and green beans
Day 3 Crockpot chicken with lime salsa and sour cream before serving salad
Day 4 Chicken flajitas with bell peppers, onions served with broccoli
Day 5 Eggplant Parmesan
Day6 Italian sausage with spaghetti sauce and cucumber salad
Day 7 artichoke chicken

some of these meals include the veggie with them

hope this helps
not soon enuf
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:31 AM   #16
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Check out this thread!

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Old 01-07-2010, 06:07 AM   #17
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1) Definitely have to do some chicken tenders (use flax and grated parmesan cheese in place of the bread crumbs), maybe some LC onion rings or some green bean fries. Good stuff, both my 4 year old and 15 year old love this meal, and neither "DO" low carb. Might take more than 45 minutes, but for a weekend, it's very doable.

2) Try some quinoa in place of rice in a pilaf. Serve with a salad and your favorite meat. A fast and yummy meal (just make sure you wash your quinoa really good, or could be a deal breaker in terms of taste!)

3) A fun (and relatively easy meal)- a lasagna bar. I make lasagna noodles (for those that are not low carbing)- and put all the fixings out in individual bowls. Cheeses, meats, sugar free pasta sauce, and lots of veggies (for me). Each person chooses what they want, throw their plate in the microwave...and voila, personalized lasangas!

4) Same thing as above- but with Tacos. I buy myself some low carb wraps, to make a soft taco for me. The kids get the 'regular' shells, and everybody is quite happy!

5) Hamburgers. I have come to like mine without rolls, but if you must, make some oopsie rolls on the weekend- and you will be set to make a meal everybody will like. Add yout favorite side dish, maybe even make some LC strawberry smoothies to make them more fun!

6) A soup or stew. Tons of them out there, just look for one that suits your families tastes, and add lots of low carb veggies for goodness.

7) I just made low carb Monte Cristo sandwiches and they were AWESOME. I used the new recipe for the low carb Flax cheesebread. This WILL take more than 45 minutes, but the bread can be made anytime- and the sandwiches themselves took no time at all to prepare.

Hope that helps...these are mostly kid friendly (and in my house kid approved) meals...that I think your new girlfriend would find tasty and doable...

Good luck!

P.S. Maybe one night, after the kids are asleep, have a nice cheese fondue with veggies for a romantic treat with your new lady friend; or make her a low carb cheesecake with some fresh strawberries. Trust me, it's a good idea! *L*

Last edited by Chickamomminy; 01-07-2010 at 06:24 AM..
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