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Easy low-carb recipes

Unrefined carbs are an important part of a healthy and balanced diet*. Alas refined carbs (sugar, biscuits. crisps, cake) not so much <wail>.

But many people who want to lose a pound or two (ok, or 10) choose to cut back on carbs to help speed up their weight loss. And, with this in mind, we've put together some great suggestions for quick and easy low-carb meals and snacks.

CourgettiSpaghetti squash substitute

"I'm going to grow spaghetti squash this year because you bake them then scoop out the spaghetti like innards and serve with bolognese sauce." merlotgran

(We're also fans of 'courgetti' as an alternative pasta replacement - simply use a julienne peeler or a spiraliser to make courgette 'noodles' and mix into the sauce of your choice. Easy. tasty and healthy - and virtually no calories at all.)


Broccoli muffins (2 count as 1 of your 5-a-day)

"Heat oven to medium heat. Use muffin tins or Yorkshire pud tins lightly greased. Steam a medium head of broccoli until soft, then mash and season. Divide between tins - they should line six.

"Beat together three eggs, a large handful of grated cheese and a slosh of whipping (or other) cream and season with black pepper. Pour over broccoli (grate a bit of Parmesan on top if you like) and bake in oven until just browning. Leave for a couple of minutes so you don't burn your fingers, then slide out and eat (using fingers) with a dip of mayonnaise.

"Easy, filling, tasty. Don't get hung up on exact quantities, they seem to come out ok no matter what!" Anya


eggsBreakfast or lunch eggs

"Heat up leftover roasted peppers, red onions, courgettes etc in frying pan, make two wells and crack an egg into each, cover and cook eggs until almost set.

"Another, is large amount of defrosted frozen spinach, sauteed with a dash of olive oil, again crack in two eggs, cover and cook until eggs set. I often add chopped anchovies on top of the eggs." Riverwalk


Beef and mushroom casserole 

"...done in the slow cooker. I will add some red wine at the end and thicken the sauce by reducing it on the hob. I'll serve it with braised cabbage, with some chopped walnuts and ground nutmeg sprinkled over the top, and green beans." merlotgran


Salmon and pesto with roast vegetables

1 large salmon steak per person
Coat the top of salmon generously in pesto (fresh is best or home made) and wrap each one loosely in foil. Set aside.

Chop into bite sized pieces (per person)
I sweet pepper
I red onion
4-6 mushrooms
Toss in oil, plenty of fresh ground pepper and spread on baking sheet in hot oven (200oC) for 35 - 40 minutes. Less if you prefer them al dente.

Half way through, add salmon. Anya


cauliflower mashCauliflower mash 

"We have cauliflower or celeriac mash a lot now. So yummy and you get the same sensation as buttery mashed potatoes without feeling stuffed afterwards." Mamie

(We're fans of cauliflower 'rice' too!)



Roast chicken and braised fennel 

"We're having roast chicken today with brussels sprouts and braised fennel. The fennel is braised in a tablespoon of oil, white wine, lemon juice and water until it has all reduced - it's a Rose Elliott veggie recipe but I've left out the carrots. I'll then do a lime and tarragon sauce with creme fraiche." Merlotgran


lambSpicy Mechoui lamb

"I started with butter, cumin, coriander, crushed garlic, thyme, paprika, cayenne, salt, black pepper, mixed into a paste. Leg of lamb, (2.5 lbs) poked here and there with a knife. Rub the paste all over, especially into the holes. Bung in cooking bag and cook for three hours in a low oven by which time it will fall off the bone. Probably 130 in most ovens but about 100 in our Lacanche which is too bloody hot.

"Use the juices in the bag as gravy, having got rid of the fat." Mamie


Smoked cod

"Smoked cod (small portions) on top of spinach, topped with a poached egg, asparagus and broccolini, and a drizzle of hollandaise sauce. Very filling, and lovely." Janerowena 


salmon quail eggsSmoked salmon and quails eggs

"I've just had my favourite lunch which is three quail eggs wrapped in a little smoked salmon. I find that keeps me going all afternoon."

(You can stick it on half a bagel too for a more substantial - albeit not quite so low-carb - meal) 




"Best nibble; M&S Seed & Nut Mix - comes in handy little 70g pots. Roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds, almonds and cashews. I defy anyone to eat more than half a pot (213 kcals, but who's counting - not me)! Full of zinc too." Anya

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*Disclaimer: Some of these recipes may contain higher amounts of fat as part of a low-carb, high-fat diet.