Monday, February 11, 2013

Home, Sweet (low carb) Home

Making dinner at our house gets more challenging by the day. My husband is on a mission, and I'm trying my best to 'be good' as well. No bread, pasta or flour (at least when we're at home). He's got some big appearances coming up and I seriously need to tone up before our St Barths trip. But, we are both eaters (and foodies to boot). The whole 4 hour body/bean thing is getting old. So...what now?

Getting creative with low-carb meals becomes a bit more interesting with research. There's much more on the 'menu' than just fish. legumes and steamed vegetables. No, we won't be enjoying our favorite bolognese from Giovanni anytime soon.. but we aren't going to be deprived, either. I've been tweaking some of our fave recipes and dishes to come up with some easy/delicious ways to create lovely dinners without adding bulk neither of us want or need.



2 bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed
3 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried parsley
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs (lightest, lowest carb option)
1/4 cup low fat grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, mix the mustard, thyme and parsley. Place breasts in bowl and coat well with the mixture. On a shallow dish or plate, combine salt, pepper, panko and cheese. Coat 'wet' chicken in the mixture. Place coated chicken on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. (This eliminates any fat as it all falls through the cracks). Place in oven for 30-35 minutes. Remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes prior to serving.


1 head cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
4 Tbsp Lucini olive oil (I choose this brand because it's pure and light)
2 tsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Wash and cut up cauliflower, place into bowl, drizzle with olive oil. Put garlic into bowl, mix with your hands. Place mixture on a baking sheet; grind salt and pepper on top. Roast on center oven rack for 25 minutes (ps: can be done at the same time as chicken is baking, just extend time to 35 min).


2 medium sized sweet potatoes, washed/scrubbed.
2 beverage sweetener packages (I use Truvia)
1/2  tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp butter (unsalted)
1.5 tsp cayenne pepper (I actually use a bit more to spice it up)
 Kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
2 TBSP pecan pieces.

Either bake the potatoes in the oven for an hour at 325 degrees or microwave for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool to room temp. Cut off top 1/4 of potato, and scoop out pulp (reserving about 1/4" around peel to keep shape). Place interior of potato into bowl and mix on medium speed with all other ingredients aside from pecans. Once smooth, spoon back into skins and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle pecans along with a splash of freshly ground pepper. Bake for 10 minutes on 350 degrees and then on broil for 2-3 minutes to crisp. Serve hot! (I only eat 1/2 serving on this one-- sweet potatoes are low carb, but the calories add up.. watch your serving size).

This is such an easy meal. I baked the potatoes at the same time as the cauliflower was roasting. There's little prep... and the end result was totally worth it.  The original recipes called for lots of butter, oil and brown sugar, but I made it work without the excess.. and just as tasty without the indulgences. 

What is YOUR favorite recipe to prepare for a special meal at home while still sticking to a light plan? I would love some suggestions! Please do share here on the Southern Sophisticate.