quick-low-carb-meals

Quick Low Carb Meals

Quick Low Carb Meals Ready in 20 Minutes or Less

We all have days where time just seems to disappear. Whether our afternoon meeting runs late, traffic on the 401 is backed up for miles, or the kids have soccer practice and dance class on the same night, shortage of time can make it a real challenge to plan healthy & fresh meals.

Fortunately for low carb dieters, there are lots of ways to plan a variety of meals that are simple, fast, delicious and satisfying. Foods that fit a low carb diet plan are some of the most universally useful ingredients that you’ll have in your kitchen, and there are so many ways to combine them that you’ll never feel like you’re eating the same thing all the time.

In this article, we’ll provide you with some tips and tricks that you can use to plan easy and fast low carb meals from simple ingredients, as well as some helpful advice on how to supplement your meal plans with healthy prepared foods for those days where you simply don’t have the time or energy for cooking.

We’ll do our best to show you that planning easy and quick low carb meals doesn’t have to be difficult, so let’s get to it!

Tips for Planning and Preparation

One of the best tips we can give to simplify and speed up your meal planning and prep process is to pre-cook or prepare larger quantities of your base ingredients. Things like meats and proteins can be cooked ahead of time, and then frozen or refrigerated in smaller meal-size portions so that they are always ready to go at a moments’ notice, and just need to be heated up alongside your other ingredients.

For example, grilled chicken is one of those go-to meats that works in almost anything. You can use it on salads, with pasta, or wrap it up in a low carb tortilla with some fresh veggies and some light dressing. Simply grill up a pack of chicken breasts all at the same time, slice them up and pack them away in meal-size containers. Then, you’ve always got grilled chicken at the ready to heat up for your meal. This will save you a ton of time, and make sure you’re always getting a healthy amount of protein. According to Foodsafety.gov, cooked poultry is safe refrigerated for 3-4 days.

Beef can also be used this same way, and is a good alternative protein when chicken might be getting a little too frequent on your menu. Simply grill up a steak the way you like it, slice it thin, and store it away for a future dinner. Then just add it during the last few minutes of cooking time to a stir fry for a quick and easy Asian beef dish like Beef with Broccoli, and get it on the table in almost no time. According to Foodsafety.gov, cooked beef (steak, etc…) is safe refrigerated for 3-5 days.

Another tip is to choose veggies that can easily be eaten with just a quick rinse under water, especially those that are already bite-size like baby carrots, green beans, or sugar snap peas. Crisp, cool veggies are a refreshing change as a side dish instead of the typical cooked varieties, especially on hot summer days – plus this ensures vegetables are ready in seconds, saving you even more cooking time.

Fast and Easy Low Carb Side Dishes

If you’ve got your main foods selected for a meal, but are struggling with what to serve alongside them that won’t eat up too much time, there are lots of prepared foods and sides that you can choose from to accompany your meals. Here are a couple of popular examples:

HomestyleSimple Chicken Chili with Beans – This hearty chicken chili is a great side dish option, and is ready in minutes. Our customers love it!

Miracle Noodle Thai Tom Yum Soup – This soup is the perfect accompaniment to any stir fry. It’s low calorie, low carb, and big on flavour!

These are just two examples of fast and easy low carb ways to boost any meal in just minutes, or take them to go as a simple lunch break option when you’re on the run to the office for another busy day.

Quick Low Carb Recipe Ideas

Now that we’ve laid the ground work for planning and preparation, here are a couple of example recipes you can use that are simple to prepare and use these tips.

Give them a try, they might just make their way in to your regular meal plans!

Simple Ginger Beef Vegetable Stir Fry

This simple recipe features a tasty ginger stir fry sauce and a colourful array of vegetables that looks as beautiful on your plate as it tastes in your mouth.

  • Ingredients:

o   Thinly sliced beef strips (you can buy these pre-cut at the supermarket, or simply prep & refrigerate/freeze your beef as described above)

o    Selection of fresh vegetables

  • Sugar snap or Snow peas
  • Baby carrots
  • Bean sprouts
  • Bok choy
  • Mushrooms

o   Low-sodium Ginger Stir Fry sauce from Mr. Spice

o   Light vegetable oil

  • Preparation – estimated 5-10 minutes

o   Place a small amount of oil in a large skillet or wok and set to medium-high heat

o   Rinse all your veggies under cold water and chop the larger pieces. You don’t need them to be tiny, bigger chunks are actually better

  • Cooking instructions – 10 minutes

o   Place harder veggies in the pan first (and sliced beef), and toss regularly for 5 minutes

o   Place softer veggies in the pan (and sliced beef, if cooked and thawed) and continue to toss regularly for another 5 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached

Spicy Chicken Fajitas in Lettuce Wraps

This fresh twist on classic fajitas uses crisp lettuce leaves as a replacement for traditional tortilla shells, and lets you dial in the heat with your favourite salsa.

  • Ingredients:

o   Sliced grilled chicken (prepare as described above, or substitute pre-packaged grilled chicken slices)

o   Selection of fresh vegetables

  • Red & Yellow Bell Peppers
  • Red or Yellow Onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Fresh cilantro

o   Simply Organic Fajita Seasoning Mix

o   Iceberg lettuce

o   Shredded cheddar cheese

o   Sour cream

o   Your favourite Desert Pepper salsa

o   Light vegetable oil

  • Preparation – 10 minutes

o   Add a splash of light vegetable oil to a large skillet and set to medium-high heat

o   Slice peppers, onions and mushrooms – use a kitchen mandolin to save even more time

o   Prepare fajita seasoning mix according to package instructions

o   Tear off large leaves from the head of iceberg lettuce and rinse under cold water

  • Cooking instructions – 10 minutes

o   Place peppers and onions (and sliced chicken, if frozen or raw) in to skillet and cook for 5 minutes, mixing regularly

o   Place mushrooms, cilantro and fajita seasoning mix (and sliced chicken, if cooked and thawed) in to skillet and fry for another 5 minutes, tossing regularly

o   Serve along with lettuce leaves, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and your favourite Desert Pepper salsa to spice things up

o   Build your own fajita and enjoy!

As you can see, quick and easy low carb meals don’t need to be boring! These simple examples are just the tip of the iceberg, too. There are countless combinations of easy to prep foods that you can work in to your meal plans. Get creative, try new things, and we’re sure that you’ll discover just how easy it is to expand your menu with a wide range of 20-minute low carb meals.