a list to answer “what the hell should i make for dinner?!”

Hubby comes home around 9 most nights, and because I like to eat dinner together, we often do not finish dinner until 930 or so. I’ve had zero exercising desire, and I really needed something to counteract the laziness that was manifesting as rolls around my midsection. And I figured it couldn’t hurt to cut out some calories and sugars at the end of the night.

Note – I have always been against super extreme low carb diets. Not for everyone, but definitely for me. I just feel like a grump when I can’t eat a piece of bread or some earthy brown rice with my meal. Maybe that’s just served as a good excuse all this time : )

My lack of blogging over the last couple months and my growing list of low carb dinners have unfortunately NOT resulted in lots of fun pictures. Sorry team.

But! Ohhh, but but but!

I have a list of ideas for you instead. I have totally trolled websites for just a simple list of inspiring combinations in the past. I don’t necessarily need recipes. Sometimes it’s just nice to be reminded that a handful of ingredients go really well together, and to then be pushed out of the nest to figureĀ out how.

A few things to note – by low carb, I mean simply the absence of starchy foods and simple carbs. In most cases, I’ve just doubled up the vegetable serving. What I thought I was doing was getting rid of simple carbs. Ironically, in doing this, I realized that we actually ate a lot of complex carbs (whole wheat pasta, brown rice) which are good, and stayed away from a lot of the emptier carbs. But what kept us going was that we didn’t feel so heavy after our meals.

Also, I’ll add to this list periodically. I warn you, I’ve been writing every dish down, whether good or bad. It’s up to you to make it work. Let me know if anything inspires you!

May the forks be with you.

– salt & pepper blade steak with swiss chard (or other hearty, leafy green)
i kept the seasoning on the steaks simple and cooked them in a pan.
here’s one of my favorite ways to cook the greens; ironically, i’ve never used this recipe for kale: Basic Sauteed Kale.

– open faced turkey burger on portobello “bun”
you can buy pre-made turkey burgers, or make your own with ground turkey, onions, and seasoning, just like beef.
grilling large portobello mushrooms can create an awesome texture. use one or two, according to preference.
top with whatever you have, like arugula, roasted peppers, cheese (or make a fancy goat cheese sauce)…

– portobello meatball subs
okay so i tried using these like bread again. it was more of a circular sub? but who cares because it was effing delicious. i bought turkey meatballs from trader joes. they are fabulous. get some. i warmed them up, then put them in a saucepan with warm basil and roasted tomato marinara. grilled the shrooms, threw a few meatballs on top and a little shredded cheese. it was great!

– cauliflower mash with some kind of curry or indian vegetable stew (and if you’re with me, ground turkey)

hi, i’m califlower mash. your life is about to change.

i seriously, seriously, doubted cauliflower mash. i don’t like cauliflower. they make you fart. well they make me fart. it doesn’t matter anyway though because this cauliflower mash one me over. it’s too easy to not do again. cut them up, boil them until soft, then mash and add the same ingredients as you do in your favorite mash potatoes. yes i put milk. no, not as much as you would with potatoes i guess. wing it!

– turkey lasagna with zucchini noodles and spinach
cut zucchini lengthwise in 1/4″ slices. roast them until soft. (i just realized, you could probably boil them, too.) i took the cooked zucchini, layered the bottom of a pasta bowl with them, put a layer of raw spinach (they’ll wilt with the heat), a layer of ground turkey mix (already cooked ground turkey with pasta sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, whatever you like to put in there), topped with ricotta cheese, mozzerella, aaaand repeat. just use your favorite lasagna recipe, and replace the noodles with zucchini and a layer of spinach. easy.

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