Saturday, December 28, 2013

Craving Killer - Low Carb Nachos! [10.5g Net Carbs vs 71g at Taco Bell!]

Back in my SAD days, I absolutely LOVED the Nachos BellGrande from Taco Bell. Of course, I wouldn't touch them now at a whopping 71g of Carbohydrates!! So... I had to come up with a decent substitution to satisfy that killer nacho craving that still hits me from time to time. This recipe is NOT super low carb - it still comes in at just over 10g/serving BUT that is still much better than 71g!!

What You Will Need:
2 Large Low Carb Tortillas
 1 lb Ground Beef 
2oz Shredded Cheese
2 Tablespoons Sour Cream
3 Tablespoons Salsa
1/2 Haas Avocado
3 or 4 slices of Pickled Jalapeno

These are super easy to make! Cut your tortillas up into whatever size "chips" you like. I kept mine sort of big for easier scooping. You will need to deep fry them to turn them into chips. I put mine in my deep fryer for 5 minutes but next time I will try 3 minutes because they almost got too browned. If you don't have a deep fryer you can probably just fry them up in a deep skillet. I use peanut oil in my fryer but I think coconut oil would probably work well too. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and cover them with a kitchen towel to keep them warm while you cook your ground beef. 

I put one tablespoon of salsa in with my ground beef to flavor it. You will want to check labels and find the lowest carb salsa. Once your meat is cooked, drain it a bit and pile it on top of your chips. I then sprinkled the shredded cheese and the chopped avocado on and then topped it off with the sour cream and remaining salsa. I also added a few slices of pickled jalapeno but you can omit them if you prefer. I forgot to add chopped tomatoes but I bet it would be a good addition - just remember to count the extra carbs if you choose to add them in.

Here is the Net Carb Breakdown: Just Over 21g for the whole dish, Serves 2 for 10.5g per serving.

Tortillas: 12g (I use Mission Whole Wheat Carb Balance and they are 6g/each)
Ground Beef 0g
Shredded Cheese 2g (I figure 1g/oz)
Sour Cream 2g
Salsa 3g
Avocado 1.8g
Jalapeno >1g 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Low Carb Lasagna [6.4g Net Carbs]

Low Carb Lasagna 

The secret ingredient here is spaghetti squash. By substituting the pasta for the squash, the carb count in this dish drops drastically while still maintaining great flavor. I make this in a 13x9 inch casserole dish and cut it into 8 pieces.

You will Need:

1 Small-Med Spaghetti Squash (roughly 5 cups)
2 Cups of Pasta Sauce*
1-1.5lb Ground Beef
1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
2 Cups Shredded Italian Blend Cheese
1/2 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning

To begin you will need to cook your spaghetti squash. There are numerous ways to do this but I use the microwave method because it is fastest. To cook your squash in the microwave you will need to cut it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and stringy bits in the center. Place both halves in a microwave safe dish, facing up. Add about a tablespoon of water into each well of the squash. Cover with Saran wrap and Microwave for about 9 minutes on high. When it is done it will be tender and the "noodles" will scrape out very easily.

While your squash is cooking, cook your ground beef and once it is cooked add your pasta sauce except for about 1/4 cup. The saved sauce will go on the bottom of the baking dish as your first layer. Then you just build your layers like you would regular lasagna - meat/sauce, "noodles", cheeses, etc... remembering to save enough of your shredded cheese to top the lasagna. Once you have it all layered pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30-45 minutes until everything is warmed through and the cheeses are melted, browned and bubbly.

This will not cut into perfect squares like regular lasagna will but it does hold together and looks pretty on a plate.

The Carb Breakdown: (This is in NET carbs which is carbohydrate MINUS the fiber)

Squash - 5 cups, 20g
Pasta Sauce - 20g  *Look for the lowest carb stuff you can find. I used the store brand Garlic & Herb (the stuff in a can) and it is 5g per 1/2 cup.*
Ricotta Cheese - 7g
Shredded Cheese - 4g
Total Carbs: 51g for the whole dish

If you cut it into 8 servings you wind up with roughly 6.4g per serving; If you cut it into 6 larger portions you wind up with 8.5g per serving. It is worth every one of them!  ^_^