Half the battle to eating low carb is knowing what to eat. We at the JarKitchen are passionate about food and health, and so we put together this article to help you achieve (and enjoy) easy low carb meals. Without delay, here is what we came up with for low carb breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas!
Low Carb Breakfast Meals
Breakfast is definitely the easiest meal to prepare as low carb. Because it’s the first meal of the day, it’s easy to be disciplined. For that reason it’s the most important meal of the day, because starting your day out right will help you keep momentum into lunch and dinner. A quick, low carb breakfast meal is what you can consider an atomic habit; something simple that has powerful effects on other habits in your life.
Here are some of our favorite low carb breakfast foods to mix and and match:
- Eggs – a delicious source of high quality fats and proteins to get your day started. Cook them any way you please.
- Breakfast meats – bacon, sausage, Canadian bacon, ground turkey and ground beef are great additional options.
- Avocado – the healthy fats in avocado can give you the energy boost you need if you’re eating low carb.
- Cheese – cheese adds flavor to just about anything. The most ketogenic friendly cheese is parmesan cheese, which is absolutely delicious when melted. We also love provolone, mozzarella and Havarti.
Benefits of Low Carb, High Protein Breakfast Meals
Eating a high protein, low carb meal will not increase blood sugar levels, which means you won’t have any insulin in your blood. When you have low insulin levels, it becomes easier for the body to burn skeletal fat, in turn helping you lose weight. Lower insulin levels also reduce your appetite.
Additional Reading from JarKitchen: Is Keto Healthy?
Low Carb Lunchbox Ideas
We always believe that the discipline in dieting or healthy low carb eating comes in the grocery aisle. If you don’t buy something unhealthy, you won’t have unhealthy food to eat in your kitchen. Without unhealthy food, it’s easy to eat healthy and not be tempted. Also, peparing your food is how you can stay further disciplined. So if you pack a healthy low carb lunchbox, you’ll be in a position to maintain the momentum you gained from a low carb breakfast meal. Here are some ideas for you.
The Simplest Low Carb Lunch
- Salmon, Tuna, or Sardines
- String cheese
- Kefir Yogurt
Although an apple has carbs, it doesn’t have many. It’s also a low-glycemic carb, which means it has less of an impact on your blood sugar and insulin levels (vs. eating something like a Twinkie). Also, Kefir yogurt has probiotics in it which has been shown to help with weight loss because it’s good for overall gut health. The calcium in yogurt also enhances weight loss, according to a popular 2005 study.
Simple Low Carb Lunches to Go
If you don’t feel like packing a lunch of eating leftovers, you can always grab low carb lunches on the go. Some great options include:
Chipotle is a great place to have a low carb meal for a few reasons. First off, it’s incredibly tasty. Secondly is that if you’re eating low carb, having some sodium in your diet is imperative to having a smooth experience. For some, Chipotle is “salty”, but if you’re eating low carb, it’s a great way to gt the sodium you need.
Believe it or not, Jimmy John’s is a great way to get a simple low carb lunch to go with lettuce wraps. Instead of bread, you can opt to have your sandwich fillings wrapped in lettuce, so you can completely eliminate carbs. While Jimmy John’s isn’t the healthiest of foods (i.e. processed lunch meat), you can pack in a bunch of vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes to make it a good low carb lunch when you’re on the go.
Chicken or Salmon Salad
Wherever you’re working, you likely have access to Uber Eats or some other food delivery service. Choosing a chicken salad eliminates the headache of having to pack a lunch with ingredients from the store. A chicken or salmon salad is a great low carb lunch to go, even if it’s from a place like McDonald’s.
Preparing extra servings of any low carb dinner meals is a great way to have handy leftovers for your low carb lunchbox ideas. Remember, the more low carb food you have available, the easier it will be to stick to your diet.
Low Carb Dinner Meals
Ah, dinner. This is where you make or break a solid full day of low carb eating. It can be tempting to stack on carbs at dinner, especially if you just worked out or try to get a workout the following morning. However, it can be demoralizing to eat low carb all day, only to fail at night. Again, if you don’t buy the groceries, you can’t cook the high-carb meal. But here are some recipes for low carb dinner meals we thoroughly enjoy.
Lemon Pepper Salmon & Broccoli
Arguably the easiest low carb meal you can come up with. Here is how we like to prepare it:
- Wild caught sockeye or, if you can get your hands on the more delicious, fattier type, Atlantic Salmon (try to avoid farm raised fish)
- Spray the pan with a zero-calorie avocado or olive oil spray, to avoid unnecessary calories.
- Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) on top and on the bottom (skin) of the salmon.
- Sprinkle lemon pepper, oregano, and sea salt on the skin, as generously as you’d like.
- Add similar seasoning to the top of the salmon, but don’t over due it!
- Slice up an organic lemon, and lay down the slices on top of the salmon.
- Chop brocoli into bit sized pieces and spray with your zero calorie olive oil or avocado oil, adding salt and black pepper to taste.
- Bake on 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until the salmon is firm.
If you want your broccoli more “raw”, add it after the salmon has been in the oven for a few minutes, so it doesn’t get soggy at that temperature for that time.
Asian Beef & (Miracle) Noodles
Another great and easy low carb meal is beef strips and miracle noodles. Miracle noodles, also known as “Shirataki” noodles, are made from tofu. They have an amazing texture when done right, so be sure to follow our directions!
Preparing the Beef
As with fish, we prefer organic beef, preferably grass fed and finished if you can find it. Sirloin works best, or you can buy beef strips for stew (though the meat is a little tougher). Pad the beef so remove any excess moisture, use one tablespoon of olive oil and rub the beef, then generously add black pepper, sea salt, garlic salt and sweet paprika. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Preparing the Noodles
Miracle noodles have a really weird smell, so be prepared. We like to open the pack, put it in a strainer and rinse them under cold water to remove the smell. Then, wrap the noodles in a few paper towels and press them down, absorbing water. Miracle noodles come ready to eat, they just need heated up, so by removing any access fluids, it will preserve the seasoning you put in the pan.
Add some non-stick, zero calorie spray to a pan with a touch of olive oil for extra heat, and place the fire on high. After 2 minutes, drop the beef into the pan so it sizzles. Cook until seared on one side, then flip. When you flip it, add the noodles, along with the following items on top:
- 1 scoop of peanut butter
- Chopped scallions to taste
- Low sodium soy sauce
- Siracha or red chili sauce
- Fresh minced ginger
- Fresh minced garlic
- Fresh minced cilantro
Mix it up in a noodle pan until everything is blended together, but only after the uncooked side of the beef has had an opportunity to cook. Cook everything on high heat and never let it sit.
Finish with some bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, fresh scallions as you wish, siracha sauce, cilantro and a lime.
#1 Tip to Easy Low Carb Meals
We cannot iterate this enough – the easiest way to maintain the course with easy low carb meals is to buy the ingredients! The discipline is not in the kitchen, but in the grocery aisle. The more healthy ingredients you have on hand, the easier it will be to eat low carb. If you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it! It’s a simple as that.
This is Merve from the JarKitchen Team. I am a freelance content specialist, and I like cooking different recipes in my free time. During the pandemic, I have had plenty of time to practice my cooking skills and cooking turned out to be a hobby for me.