Great recipes for weight loss (Keto, low-cal, etc.)

Branching off the shortsightedly titled “Getting Less Fast in 2017” topic, thought it would be fun to have a topic for sharing tasty, edible keto recipes, as well as other stuff that’s conducive to weight loss, such as low-carb recipes that aren’t quite keto, low-calorie recipes, healthy snacks, and so on.

As I look at the recipes I’ve collected, I’ve come to the conclusion that I apparently need to find some way to acclimate myself to the rancid vegetable that is cauliflower…

I sense a theme.

Do you like pickles? They are a good snack when losing weight and you can have different kinds so they don’t get boring.

I make a tomato and cucumber salad with just vinegar no oil.

Roasted Carrots are good too!

Pretty much any vegetable roasted is good.

Now I am running all the vegetables through my head to see if there is one that wouldn’t be good roasted!

Roasted Cabbage?

Thus ‘pretty much’. I would not roast, for example, iceberg lettuce. Nor cabbage, I think.

I suppose you could use Lettuce or Cabbage as a wrap for the more tasty roasted vegetables.

One carrot has ~4 carbs.

Wife just made a cauliflower soup that more or less tastes like a thicker, more savory rue. Kind of a porridge for dinner.

Caulis, rutabaga, leeks, garlic, cream, butter, bone broth, onion, white wine, fennel, thyme, nutmeg, bay leaf, salt, pepper.

So good. Omg.

Riced cauliflower works ok with asian dishes. The riced cauliflower does a decent job of soaking up the flavor of the sauce and it has the same texture of normal rice. So just stir fry some veggies, add a protein, and use whatever sauce you like and the riced cauliflower.

I’ve been on keto for over a year and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had cauliflower or a derivative. Ok, maybe two hands. But broccoli and Brussels sprouts are our go-to. I find Brussels sprouts kinda gross, but, that’s what Ranch is for.

I don’t generally do ultra-low-carb in the vein of Keto. It might unintentionally occur some nights, but it’s generally too restrictive for the flavor profiles I work with. That said, my partner, who’s otherwise in excellent shape, has an unrelated condition that leaves her susceptible to diabetes and blood sugar issues in general, so we’ve been trying to be marginally more careful. IMO, Indian food is an excellently healthy cuisine, esp. if you don’t overdo it with butter and cream. Obviously, feel free to sub in cauliflower rice if you hate joy, but otherwise, brown basmati is fine, albeit not nearly as lovely or nicely textured as white basmati.

Below are some recipes I enjoy and are especially low-cal/healthy. The most calorie-dense part of most of them is the oil, but when you’re splitting a couple tablespoons of oil or butter across 8-10 servings of curry, it balances very well. Most are heavy on vegetables and spices for flavor. Due to the pretty high usage of onions and tomatoes, I suspect few if any of these recipes would work for a keto diet – too much latent simple carbs in those veggies.


Aloo Gobi (Stir-Fried Cauliflower and Potatoes)

Ingredients

  • Medium Cauliflower, cut into medium-sized florets, including stem chopped into smaller pieces
  • 2-3 small/medium Russet Potatoes, chopped into 1 1/2" cubes, skin on for more fiber
  • 2-3 tbsp Vegetable Oil, divided (e.g., Canola, Olive for a little more health/less authentic flavor)
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 medium Red Onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste (or about 1.5-2 tsp each of minced or microplaned ginger and garlic)
  • 1 Green Chili, minced (de-seeded/de-ribbed for less heat)
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt, divided
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2-1 tsp Red Chili Powder (I like Kashmiri, but Paprika is a nice low-heat alternative, or Cayenne for more fire)
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, de-seeded and diced
  • Water as needed
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro (or Parsley if ya hate it), chopped
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder

Directions
I got a little odd here and roast my main veggies for extra flavor. Not super traditional, and requires a little more oil, but IMO, it’s a big improvement. Heat your oven to 400F. Toss the cauliflower and potatoes with a tsp of salt and 1-2 tbsp of oil until well coated. Spread the mixture on a couple of large baking sheets and roast in the oven, stirring halfway through, for 35-40 minutes, or until tender and browning.

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat a tbsp of oil over medium heat and add in the cumin seeds. When they begin to fizz and sputter, add in the onion and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until well softened but not yet taking on color. Add in the green chili and ginger-garlic paste and cook another minute, then add in the remaining tsp of salt, the turmeric, the coriander, and the red chili powder and stir together for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add in the tomatoes and, if needed, a couple of tablespoons of water to help unstick any ginger/garlic/spices that might be browning onto the pan.

Stir in the potatoes and cauliflower until well coated and taking on the color from the turmeric. Mix in the cilantro and garam masala. Taste for seasoning. Serve plain or on rice/with your preferred Indian bread.


Muttar Paneer (Peas and Indian Cheese in Curry)

Ingredients

  • 12-16oz Paneer or Halloumi, cut into 1" cubes
  • 2 tbsp Ghee or Butter, divided
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 3-4 Cloves*
  • 3-4 Green Cardamom Pods, cracked*
  • 1 Bay Leaf*
  • 1 Stick Cinnamon*
  • 2 medium Red Onions, diced
  • 1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste (or 1.5-2 tsp each, minced/microplaned Ginger and Garlic)
  • 1 Green Chili, minced (de-seeded/de-ribbed for less heat)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2-1 tsp Red Chili Powder (I like Kashmiri, but Paprika is a nice low-heat alternative, or Cayenne for more fire)
  • 1 tbsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 14oz can Diced Tomatoes
  • Water as Needed
  • Cream or Yogurt, if wanted
  • 1 cup Frozen or Fresh Green Peas
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro (or Parsley, if you hate Cilantro), chopped
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala*
  • Optional: 1-2 tsp sugar, if your tomatoes are particularly sour

* If you don’t wanna get all these whole spices, skip them in the recipe and double the garam masala at the end

Directions
Optional: For more texture, in a nonstick skillet, heat half the butter or ghee over medium-low heat, then add the paneer and sear it on 2-3 sides until lightly golden brown; reserve on the side.

In a dutch oven or large stockpot, heat the other half of the butter or ghee over medium heat and add in the cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom pods, bay leaf, and cinnamon and stir until fragrant and sizzling. Add in the onions and cook 6-8 minutes, until well-softened and just beginning to take on color. If you want to fish out the cloves/cardamom/bay leaf/cinnamon stick and blend up the curry to make it smoother later, this is a good time to do so, since they stand out noticeably from the onions, but you’ll lose some flavor that way.

Add in the ginger garlic paste and green chili and cook a minute or two until very fragrant. Add in the salt, turmeric, red chili poweder, and coriander and stir into the mixture for 30 seconds before adding in the canned tomato and using the juice to deglaze the pan. Add a little water if needed and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently to keep it from sticking, until jammy and fragrant.

If you want, add a little water now and blend it with an immersion blender for creamier curry. Additionally, if you want, add in some heavy cream or (healthier) plain yogurt for a smoother texture. Add in the green peas and reserved paneer and heat through, then mix in the cilantro, garam masala, and optional sugar. Taste for seasoning and serve.


Chicken Tikka Saag

Ingredients

  • 1.5lb Chicken Breast, cut into large cubes
  • 1/2 cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1.5 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp red Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Lime, Juiced
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 medium Red Onions, diced
  • 1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste (or 1.5-2 tsp each, minced/microplaned Ginger and Garlic)
  • 1-2 Green Chilis, minced (de-seeded/de-ribbed for less heat)
  • 1.5 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2-1 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 14oz can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1lb Frozen, Chopped Spinach
  • Water as Needed
  • 1/4 cup Plain Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro (or Parsley, if you hate it), chopped
  • 1.5 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp Kasuri Methi (dried Fenugreek leaves), crushed by hand

Directions
Combine the chicken with the yogurt, salt, ginger-garlic paste, paprika, chili powder, and lime juice and marinate 1-4 hours in the fridge. At this point, you can skewer and grill the chicken, skewer and broil it on high, roast it on a pan at your oven’s max temp, or even just sear it in a pan. Shake off excess yogurt in any case and cook until cooked through and ideally taking on a little color. Reserve.

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmer and then add in the cumin seeds. Once they begin to sizzle, add in the onions and cook 5-6 minutes, until completely softened, but not yet taking on color. Add in the ginger-garlic paste and green chilies and cook another minute or two until very fragrant. Add in the salt, turmeric, red chili, and coriander and cook for 30 or seconds or so, then add in the tomatoes and, if needed, a bit of water to deglaze the pan.

Cook for 5-6 minutes until thickened, then add the spinach. TBH, I just add it in frozen and let the melting water add to my sauce, but if it’s been in your freezer since the dawn of time and the ice has gotten funky, feel free to thaw it in the microwave on paper towels. Cook until the spinach is warmed through and well-incorporated, then add in the yogurt. If you want a smoother curry, take an immersion blender to it at this point, but it will still be fairly thick, not saucy.

Add in the cilantro, garam masala, and kasuri methi if you can find it, then the reserved chicken, and serve.


Dal Tadka

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Split Yellow Pigeon Peas (Toor Dal)
  • 3-4 cups Water
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 medium Red Onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste (or 1.5-2 tsp each, minced/microplaned Ginger and Garlic)
  • 1-2 Green Chilis, minced (de-seeded/de-ribbed for less heat)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2-1 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 14oz can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Ghee or Butter
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 3-5 Dried Red Chilies
  • 2 sprigs of Curry Leaves, plucked off the stems
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida/Hing Powder
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro (or Parsley, if ya hate it, yadda yadda), chopped
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala

Directions
In a medium stockpot, combine the lentils (rinsed), water, turmeric, and salt and bring to a boil, then reduce to a summer and cook for 15-25 minutes, until very soft. Reserve, with leftover water.

In a large stockpot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering, then add in the onions and cook for 5 minutes or so, or until softened but not taking on color. Add in the ginger-garlic paste and green chili and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add in the turmeric, chili poweder, cumin powder, and coriander powder and cook together for 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes and use their liquid (and a little extra water, if needed) to deglaze the pan, then cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring, or until darkening and thick. Add in the reserved lentils and simmer the mixture. Add in the cilantro and garam masala.

To serve, you’d ideally make a small portion of fresh “tadka” for each bowl, but I realize that’s annoying, so the recipe above is portioned for cooking enough tadka to season the whole dish all at once.

In a very small nonstick pan, heat the ghee or butter until melted over medium heat. Add in the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Once they begin to sizzle, add in the red chilies, curry leaves, and hing powder. Stir well to combine, wilting the curry leaves and blistering the chilies a bit, then pour the entire mixture into the lentils and serve.


Whole Wheat Parathas

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Atta Whole Wheat Flour, or a very finely ground western whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • ~1/2 cup warm Water
  • Oil to cook

Directions
Combine the atta, vegetable oil, and salt until crumbly and well mixed. Add in the water, starting with no more than half a cup, and mix by hand. It will take a bit to come together, but keep kneading it until you’ve got a fairly soft, pliable dough that isn’t sticky, but also doesn’t crack when pushed together. Cover it with a damp towel and let it rest for 15-20 minutes to hydrate.

To prepare, divide the dough into 3-4 evenly shaped pieces. Keep the extras covered while you work with each one. Begin heating a medium-sized nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Roll a piece of dough into a circle, press it into a fat disc with your hands, and toss it in extra atta flour. Roll it out with a rolling pin until very thin–a millimeter or two (about tortilla thickness). Dust the top with a little flour, or even a very small amount of extra oil, to keep the layers separated. Fold over twice – once in half, then in half again – into a rough triangular shape, then roll back out again into an elongated triangle, once again, about the thickness of a tortilla, or a bit thicker.

Add it to the hot pan without any oil and cook until you begin to see small bubbles forming, about a minute. Flip it over. To the mostly-cooked side facing up, you can drizzle on a very small amount of oil and spread it around. After another minute, flip again to crisp up the oiled side, and, if you want, you can again add a bit more oil to the remaining unoiled side. After another minute, flip again, and finish off. You’re looking for deep golden brown spots forming, but nothing too dark – the wheat flour will get bitter-tasting.

You can stuff these, if you want. A finely mashed mixture of crumbled paneer, cilantro, and salt, or a very mashed mixture of cooked potatoes, peas, chilies, and salt, are both good. In either case, make a ball of the filling a little smaller than one of your dough balls. Flatten the dough ball out by hand into a medium-sized disc, a little thicker at the middle than on the edges. Wrap the disc around the ball of filling, pushing the edges together and pinching off any excess. Toss the dough-wrapped-around-filling ball in a bit more flour, then roll it thin. You won’t get it quite as thin as a regular paratha without filling breaking through, more like 2-4mm. Cook the same way, however.

Not for getting started perhaps (what Atkins refers to as induction) but certainly for ongoing maintenance and even, judiciously, while losing weight.

To me, it’s a lifestyle. If something is going to be a lifestyle, you have to find ways to incorporate amazing food!

These days I eat a fraction of the meat I used to and a LOT more veggies, including carrots and sugar snaps.

Grateful for your knowledge, as always

Roasting vegetables is a staple in our house. Set temp to 400F, spray down a large pan. Then chop up yellow squash/zucchini/sweet bell pepper/brussels sprouts/onion/sliced garlic/whole tomatoes and put into a large bowl. Coat in bowl with olive oil + seasoning (mostly use just salt & pepper, but others work just as well). Dump onto a large sheet and throw in the oven for 30 minutes. While cooking, chop up more fragile vegetables like mushrooms and asparagus, dump into same bowl to coat with what’s left over. At 15 minutes, put them on top of the currently roasting veggies. Lots of chopping but very little skill for a good side-dish.

We eat a lot of cabbage too. Slicing thin, they are good noodle substitutes for soups.

example, Tuscan Bean and Kale Soup (modified from WaPo):

INGREDIENTS
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces pancetta or bacon, diced (optional, I don’t add this)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher or fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3+ cups crushed canned tomatoes with juice (we get 28.5 ounce cans which works)
  • 3 cups cooked beans, such as cannellini, corona or borlotti (cranberry) beans, 2 (15-ounce) cans, toss the liquid
  • 1 ounce freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/3 cup), divided, rind reserved
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken broth or water
  • 2 bunches lacinato kale, stemmed and thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
  • 1/2 small head green or savoy cabbage, core removed and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

DIRECTIONS

Summary

Set a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the pancetta, if using, and cook, stirring for 1 minute, until it just begins to brown.

Add the onion, celery, carrots and bay leaves. Season generously with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and just starting to brown, about 15 minutes. Dig a little hole in the center of the pot, then add another tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and let it sizzle gently until it gives off an aroma, about 30 seconds. Before the garlic has a chance to brown, add the tomatoes. Stir, taste, and add salt as needed.

Let the tomatoes simmer until they cook down slightly, about 8 minutes, then add the beans, half the grated Parmesan and its rind, and enough stock or water to cover. Add two immoderate splashes of olive oil, about 1/4 cup. Stirring occasionally, bring the soup back to a simmer. Add the kale and cabbage and bring to a simmer again, adding more stock or water as needed to cover.

Cook until the flavors have come together and the greens are tender, about 20 minutes more.

Taste and adjust for salt. I like this soup to be very thick, but add more liquid if you like a lighter soup. Remove the Parmesan rind and bay leaves.

Serve with a drizzle of the best olive oil you have on hand, and the remaining grated Parmesan.

Storage note: Store covered in refrigerator for up to 5 days. This soup also freezes exceptionally well, for up to 2 months. Return the soup to a boil before using.

I like this soup as it gives me a dish to use the Parmesan rinds, which I tend to collect in the fridge.

Not a recipe, but I only discovered these a few weeks ago. I’d used the peanut butter cup version before, but on a lark tried the nut cluster ones. They taste as good as a real turtle (nuts, caramel, chocolate) even if they are slightly chewier. And no aftertaste for me anyway.

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Now if I could find some good chips that didn’t cost a bloody fortune…

Here is a single ingredient recipe guaranteed to help you lose weight.

Ingredients: Duct Tape

Instructions: Apply liberally over your pie hole closing it off completely. Be careful not to close off your nostrils as you still need to breathe.

As long as you are using strong flavors in the dish, I think riced cauliflower is great for adding a ricey texture without messing with the flavor.

If you’re going keto, mashed cauliflower with enough butter, cream, and cheese is also pretty great.

I’m a big fan of a bunch of the Slimfast Keto items(but definitely not all!). The ingredients list seems generally better than any of the Atkins equivalents without seeming as overwhelmingly fakely sweet to me. Those turtles are the only caramel items of theirs I like. Otherwise, I’m a fan of(in descending order): Coconut Cups, Mint Cups, Lemon Cups, Whipped Peanut Butter Bars, and the Peanut Butter Cups. I had the Cinnamon Bun Bars once too and liked them, but I’m not sure where I’d rank those. I very much avoid the caramel cups, chocolate chip bars, and the macadamia nut bars. I did not care for them at all.

These are pretty good. They don’t taste like peas at all. Woot usually has something keto around once a week.

https://www.woot.com/offers/beyondchipz-torpilla-chips-variety-8-pack

My wife loves those nut clusters.