All posts by Jeff Fidler

meal planning lists

Tips & Tricks for Low Carb Meal Planning

Low Carb Meal Planning Tips and Tricks

Success on the low carb diet comes from a combination of diligence, patience, and organization, and an essential element of your organization should be an easy-to-follow meal plan. Creating a meal plan for the low carb lifestyle is actually quite simple, and the more you do it the easier it gets. We’re here to help with some tips to help you get started in creating an effective meal plan that can easily be customized from week to week, and includes a variety of meal types. We will also provide some handy tricks that you can use to help keep things flexible and fun. Let’s get started!

Start with the Basics

When you start crafting your low carb meal plan, it helps to start with the most basic elements, and then build from there. First, you’re going to want to use an easy-to-follow meal plan template that you can keep visible in your kitchen. Most meal planning templates follow a similar format to a weekly calendar, like this one for example:

low-carb-meal-planning-chart

In this template, there are rows for you to jot down the basics of each meal, as well as two snacks daily, and even a dessert. Of course, you don’t need to use these extra rows if you don’t want to, but it’s nice to have the option to track everything in one place. One addition that you’ll notice on this meal plan template that some other templates might not include, is the row for Carb Count below each meal and the row for Total Carbs at the bottom. This will allow you to see at a glance how the carb count for your daily food intake is broken down by each row, and how much flex you have in your daily allowance. This is handy if you find that some meals are more satisfying or filling than others, or if you need to swap things around through the week due to time restrictions or other reasons.

It bears reinforcing that one of the simplest ways to make sure you stay on track with your diet is to put your carb counts front and center, so you can always know what’s coming next and how your daily intake adds up. Keeping these numbers highly visible throughout your day to day routine keeps your goals at the top of your mind, and helps you stay focused. Check out our Easy Guide to Counting Carbs for more info and tips you can use to help plan your low carb meals.

Simplify Everything

Keeping things simple doesn’t mean keeping things boring, or repetitive. It just means figuring out how to create smart shortcuts and workarounds to save time and make things easier. There are a lot of great tips out there for how to save time with day to day food preparation, and we’ve gathered a few of our favourite simplification tricks to share.

1 – Write in your main proteins first, and build the big meals around them.

Dinners are often times the meal that busy families struggle with the most. One way to make dinner selection easier is to begin by picking a different protein source as the starting point for your dinners, and then building the rest of the meal around them. For example, for the first three nights in the week, slot in chicken, beef, and pork as your main source of protein in the dinner section. Then, choose either a style of cooking, such as stir fry or roasting, or the accompanying vegetables and sides to build out each dinner and add some variety. Start the week with a chicken stir fry on Monday, then switch to a pork tenderloin with sautéed vegetables on Tuesday, and then move on to a low carb meatloaf for Wednesday.

2 – Standardize Portion Sizes for Snacks and Side Dishes

One of the things that many low carb dieters find challenging when they first start out is knowing what size of portion will equate to a certain amount of carbs. It’s easier with some foods, such as a chicken breast or handful of vegetables, and harder with others, like snack foods or condiments. A simple way to make sure you are keeping track of portion sizes is to spend a little time and work out standardized portions using a kitchen scale and some bowls or containers of varying sizes. For example, if you’ve got a box of low carb snack crackers, weigh out a single serving according to the nutrition guide and find a bowl or container that is just big enough to hold it.

Using this technique to standardize portions for a wide variety of snacks and side dishes, and keeping that list handy in your kitchen for reference, will help ensure that you know exactly how many carbs to include on your meal plan counts. You’ll never have to wonder about how many carbs are in your lunch kit again, because you’ll have those portions memorized in no time.

3 – Incorporate Some Flexibility

Creating a solid meal plan will definitely help take some of the pressure off of your weekly routine, but let’s be honest, sometimes you’ll find that the meal you planned out several days ago just doesn’t suit your mood when the day finally rolls around. This is why incorporating a bit of flexibility in to your meal plan can help things not feel quite so rigid. There’s a few ways to do this, but one way that we’ve found is to come up with a couple of ‘backup’ meal ideas that can be swapped in at a moments notice if the need arises. For example, if you had a big roast chicken dinner planned for Thursday, but if time runs short after work or one of the kids goes to a friends place for dinner, you might not want to or need to prepare such a big meal. In this case, it might just be a more suitable choice to boil up some Miracle Noodles and make a nice fresh veggie stir fry.

We’d recommend adding an extra section on your meal plan for fast and easy ‘backup’ meal choices that still fit with your carb counting goals. This way, when things don’t go as planned, you’ll be prepared and still stay on track.

Get Creative and Try New Things

Now that you’ve got a handful of tips at your disposal to help make your meal planning process easier, it’s time to talk about making your meal plan a bit more fun and creative. There’s lots of different things you can do to add a bit more variety to your low carb lifestyle, and working some exciting new ideas in to your meal plans can help break up your routine and keep things fun. Here’s a couple of ideas that you may want to try!

Do an International Theme Week

The world has so many amazing types of cuisine to choose from, why not work in a theme week? You could go all in on Mexican and Southwest, with low carb huevos rancheros, fajitas, tacos, enchiladas and more. Or look to the east and try a variety of Asian cuisine, like sushi, pho, and other dishes. Whatever kind of foods you choose to try, do some research for fast and easy low carb recipes. That way you won’t turn what should be a fun adventure in to a frustrating struggle with complicated meals.

Let the Kids Plan a Meal or Two

Feeding a family is a never-ending battle when there’s always someone who wants to do something different. Why not hand the reins over to the kids to pick a meal or two each week? Give them a few guidelines to follow, like a particular meat to start with, and work with them to build a great low carb meal of their own. You’d be surprised at what they’ll come up with, and getting them more involved with healthy eating choices is never a bad idea.

Conclusion

Planning a week of healthy and delicious low carb meals can be a real challenge, especially at the beginning of starting a low carb lifestyle. There are plenty of other resources that you can draw from to help make things easier, including this handy premade low carb meal plan from Libby over at DitchTheCarbs.com. It’s got a full week of a nice variety of low carb meals planned out, and includes links to all the recipes for easy reference.

We certainly hope that this collection of tips has helped you kick things off with a bang, and that even crafty low carb veterans have perhaps picked up a trick or two. Staying on track with the low carb diet is easy with a little bit of planning along with the right tools, and having a well-structured meal planning process definitely goes a long way. Good luck, and have fun!

sugarless dessert options

Guide to Low Sugar and Sugar Free Desserts

Guide to Low Sugar and Sugar Free Desserts

We all love the occasional indulgence of a decadent dessert, but wouldn’t it be great if you could get that craving satisfied without setting your low carb or low sugar diet off-track? Well, the good news is that you definitely can, and we’re here to give you the advice and tips you need to make that happen. Finding great alternative desserts that are low carb, low sugar, or sugar free can be easy if you know what to look for. Whether it’s a great new pastry recipe, or an amazing new ice cream dessert, we can help you find the best tasting products and the most useful recipes that are perfect for low carb, low sugar, and sugar free diets. Here we go!

Common Sugar Ingredients & Alternatives

Before we get to the specific kinds of desserts, it’s important to know what ingredients to look out for when choosing recipes or selecting off-the-shelf desserts. It’s not unusual for carbs and sugars to hide in sneaky places, or use different names that aren’t easy to spot at a glance.

For starters, you’ll need to know the multiple different names for common sugars that are found in all kinds of sweet treats. Generally, common sugars will appear in the ingredient list or nutrition labels of foods with names that end in –ose. The most common of these are glucose, fructose, dextrose, lactose, maltose, and sucrose. Certain sugars are more commonly found in some foods than others, so it’s also handy to know where they usually come from. For example, the main sugar found in fruits is fructose, so be on the lookout for fructose on the labels of desserts that include fruit as an ingredient. Regardless of where it comes from or what name it has, these are the types of sugars that you’ll want to avoid.

For every naturally-occurring sugar that you’ll want to avoid as part of a low carb or low sugar diet, you’ll find that there is a sugar alternative or artificial sweetener that can easily take its place and deliver the sweet taste you want without impacting your diet. For a complete breakdown of different artificial sweeteners and alternatives to sugar, check out our Guide to Sugar-Free Sweeteners and Flavours. In general, you’ll want to select products that feature popular alternative sweeteners such as aspartame, stevia, or sucralose. Often these will appear on the lables of foods as their trade names, such as Splenda, Truvia. Other alternative sweeteners that are suitable for low carb and low sugar diets are known as sugar alcohols, and go by trade names such as xylitol and malitol.

To find sugar alternatives and artificial sweeteners to use in your own dessert creations, check out our huge selection of sweeteners. We’re sure that you’ll find everything you need to create fantastic sweet treats that taste great and are low sugar or sugar free.

Understanding Different Dessert Types

Everyone has different tastes when it comes to their favourite kinds of desserts. Some of us prefer the cold, creamy experience of a nice ice cream. Others may prefer the rich, decadent flavours of caramel and chocolate. There are also crunchy cookie desserts, flaky pastries, and many more. Generally, no matter what kind of dessert might be your favourite, you’ll still want to carefully monitor ingredients and portion sizes to make sure that you don’t get more than you bargained for. A sugar-free pie filling is one thing, but if the crust doesn’t use a low carb flour, then you might end up with more carbs in your dessert than you expected.

As a good rule of thumb, take a moment to think about the main components of a dessert in order to better understand where the carbs might be coming from. In the example above, a pie consists of pretty much just the crust and the filling. Ice cream could contain sugars from milk sources, in the form of lactose, and from other ingredients like fructose from fruit or glucose from syrup toppings.

With that said, we’ve gathered a few great low carb, low sugar, and sugar free dessert recipes that we’re sure you’ll find simply scrumptious. Here’s a couple of different kinds of desserts that you’ve just got to try!

Rich and Decadent Desserts

For a delicious, bite-sized dessert give these Sugar Free Chocolate Truffles a try! This recipe comes from Kim over at LowCarbMaven.com, and not only are they sugar free, but they’re also low carb and keto friendly. Create a variety of different truffles by rolling them in several different finishing touches, such as coconut shavings, chopped nuts, or cocoa powder.

If ice cream is more your preference, then this amazing recipe for Keto Chocolate Bacon Toffee Ice Cream from Melissa at IBreatheImHungry.com is definitely going to be your new favourite! You’d never guess that bacon would go so well in a dessert, but we sure aren’t going to argue with the results. The rich sweetness of the chocolate and toffee go amazingly well with the salty crunch of the bacon. It’s definitely unusual, but incredibly delicious.

Fresh and Light Desserts

For a fresh, light, and fruity dessert experience, this Keto Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse recipe from Jolene at YummyInspirations.net is a great choice for a quick and easy summer dessert. You don’t even need a crust for this recipe, which makes it simple to prepare, and requires no baking. Simply mix it up, refrigerate, and then enjoy!

Frozen desserts are always a great choice, especially on those hot summer days where you’ve gathered family and friends for a fun backyard barbecue. This recipe for Strawberry Watermelon Popsicles from Emily at OneLovelyLife.com is so simple, you’ll wonder how it could possibly be so delicious! All you need is strawberries, watermelon, a lime, and your favourite popsicle mold. These are sure to be a hit with your entire family.

Conclusion

We hope that these tips and recipes have inspired you to try something new for dessert the next time you host an event, or simply want to surprise your family with an exciting new sweet treat as part of your weekly meal plan. Choosing healthy and delicious desserts that work with the low carb diet can be easy and fun, and we certainly hope that you enjoy putting these sweet suggestions to good use. Happy eating!

Shopping by Brand at The Low Carb Grocery

Shopping by Brand at The Low Carb Grocery

While you may likely be familiar with some of the biggest brand names in the world of low carb foods, you might be surprised to learn just how many fantastic products are available from a vast number of top-quality brands. It’s not always easy to sort through them all, and sometimes discovering the best new brands takes a bit of guidance and advice.

That’s why we’re here! In this article, we’ll explore the wide variety of brands available at The Low Carb Grocery, including some of the biggest brand names in the world, and the most popular specialty low carb brands that our customers simply rave about. Let’s get started by exploring the wide range of product categories that are available in the world of low carb food products.

Wide Variety of Product Categories

As we’ve discussed in our article, Low Carb Myths: Busted, there are many people who believe that going low carb is as simple as cutting bread out of your diet and going all-in on meats and vegetables. The reality is that the sources of carbs in our diets come not only from breads and grains, but also in the form of added sugar in many of the food products we buy. This is why you’ll find such a diverse array of product categories at The Low Carb Grocery. In addition to essential low carb products such as breads, noodles, and baking supplies, you’ll also find sauces, snacks, beverages, sweeteners, and sweet treats that are sure to keep the carb counts low.

To browse our entire selection of categories, click here. Once you enter a category page, you’ll easily be able to sort or filter by selecting a particular brand at the top of the page. Here’s an example, showing the brands selector for our Hot Cereals category:

brands-1

Simply by clicking on the logo of the brand you’re interested in at the top of the product list, the page will automatically filter the results for you, making it even easier to discover all kinds of great products from your favourite brands.

But that’s not the only way you can find brands at The Low Carb Grocery. You can check out our entire list of low carb brands sorted alphabetically here, and start checking out hundreds of great new products. It’s easy and fun to discover amazing and exciting new brands here at The Low Carb Grocery!

The Biggest Names in Low Carb Foods

The widespread popularity of the low carb lifestyle has made many low carb brands into common household names. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t recognize the name Atkins, for example. As the most well-known low carb brands in the world, Atkins has dozens of great products across categories like snacks, protein shakes, breakfast bars, and sweet treats, to name a few. You can browse our entire selection of Atkins products here.

Dukan Diet is also a very well-known brand to many, and we carry a wide range of their products for many different types of low carb meals, such as noodles, sauces, snacks, breakfasts, and more. Check out the full range of Dukan Diet products here.

In the world of low carb noodles, you’ll definitely recognize names such as Miracle Noodle, nuPasta, Al Dente, Dreamfields, and Fiber Gourmet, along with many more. These brands are renowned for their amazing low carb noodles, perfect for any Italian or Asian recipe. For our full selection of low carb noodles, click here.

Our Most Popular Specialty Brands

It’s not just the giant, international brands that you’ll find at The Low Carb Grocery, however. Some of our customers’ favourite brands are specialty brands that produce absolutely amazing foods that we’re confident that you’ll fall in love with, too.

For example, if you’re a big fan of southwest style foods and salsas of all kinds, then you’ve got to check out Desert Pepper. Their selection of salsa is sure to set your taste buds ablaze with amazing spicy flavours. Check out Desert Pepper here.

For cereal lovers, you’ll find a variety of extremely popular low carb cereal flavours from Nutritious Living. Their Hi-Lo cereal line gets stellar ratings from our customers, who love the taste and the great crunch that they want in a nice cold breakfast cereal. Give them a try by checking out the full selection of Hi-Lo cereals from Nutritious Living here.

Walden Farms is another name that you’ve just got to know if you’re on the low carb diet. They have a huge selection of products to choose from, including fruit and nut spreads, jellies, syrups, salad dressings, and more. Check out the full range of products from Walden Farms here.  If you want to learn more about Walden Farms and their history of low carb products, click here.

Special Deals on Great Low Carb Brands

If you’re interested in checking out the latest offers and special pricing on products from these brands, check out our Sales and Promotions page for what’s new this week. On this page, you can easily sort and filter the deals in several ways, including viewing products from specific brands.

brands-2

If you’re on the hunt for great prices on popular products from your favourite low carb brands, this is the place to go! Check out the latest special low carb deals here.

Conclusion

Well, as you can certainly see, there’s definitely no shortage of choices or options available to people living the low carb lifestyle. No matter what cuisine you prefer, or what your dietary needs might be, you can be sure that the top-quality brands you’ll find at The Low Carb Grocery will have whatever you may need. Our team is always available to help answer your questions, too. So, drop us a message online here, or pop in to any one of our locations in Canada and explore the wide world of low carb foods and all these great brands with us. We look forward to seeing you soon!

italian pasta

Tips & Tricks for Great Low Carb Italian Pasta

Tips and Tricks for Great Low Carb Italian Pasta

Low carbers know that pasta can be a bit of a minefield when it comes to hidden carbs. The noodles are an obvious source, but often carbs can lurk in other places, such as the sauce or other ingredients. Fortunately, there are plenty of options and alternatives available for low carb pasta lovers to use in their Italian pasta recipes so that they keep all the great taste they want, and cut out all the unnecessary carbs. In this article, we’ll run through different options for low carb noodles, as well as outline some of the key things to look for in sauces and recipes, and provide a few handy product recommendations that our customers just love.

Let’s get started by looking at the different kinds of low carb noodles you can choose from.

Choosing Great Low Carb Italian Style Noodles

For starters, normal Italian style pasta noodles are primarily made from regular wheat semolina flour, which contains a high number of carbs and will need to be swapped out for an alternative. If you are the kind of pasta chef who goes all-in and makes everything from scratch, you’re in luck! There are low carb pasta flours you can buy to make your own noodles at home. For example, this Low Carb Pasta Mix from LC Foods is simple to use and makes great noodles.

For pasta lovers who need an option that’s faster and easier than making their own noodles, there are plenty of amazing noodles of all styles to choose from. You can browse our entire selection of low carb Italian style pasta noodles here, but we’re also going to recommend some of our customers favourites.

If your pasta recipe calls for a short noodle, these low carb Rotini noodles from Fibre Gourmet are a great choice. Another option for short noodles are these low carb high protein Penne noodles from Ciao Carb. Both of these work really well in a wide variety of Italian pasta dishes, with a great taste and texture identical to pasta made from traditional ingredients.

For recipes calling for a longer noodle, there are plenty of choices available from top low carb brands. These Carba Nada Fettuccine noodles from Al Dente are low carb, high protein, and all delicious. Our customers rave about their great taste in all kinds of Italian pasta dishes. You can also select from low carb Spaghetti noodles from Fibre Gourment or even low carb Angel Hair noodles from nuPasta. No matter what kind of pasta dish you intend to make, you’ll be able to find a really good quality low carb noodle to suit it.

What to Know About Low Carb Pasta Sauces

Choosing a low carb pasta sauce can be a little trickier, since many store brand sauces contain added sugars that you’ll want to avoid. When looking for a tomato based sauce, make sure you check the ingredient and nutrition labels carefully, and be on guard against any added sugars. This is less of a concern with cream based sauces like Alfredo sauce, but it’s still best to be sure. For a great tasting tomato pasta sauce, we recommend trying this low carb organic Tomato Basil sauce from Organico Bello. For a delicious pasta Alfredo dish, this low carb Alfredo sauce mix from Mayacamas will definitely do the trick and keep the carb count low.

If you want to bring the carb counts down even further, consider making your own pasta sauce at home. The process is pretty simple for most sauces, and it’s always nice to have the ability to adjust the ingredients to suit your own personal preferences.

For a delicious homemade pesto sauce, give this Lemon and Basil pesto recipe a try from Melissa at IBreatheImHungry.com. In this recipe, the added zest of lemon gives it an unusual twist and a bit of extra flair. It’s definitely a winner!

If you’d like to craft your own homemade tomato pasta sauce, here’s a great Hearty Tomato Meat sauce recipe from Kyndra over at PeaceLoveandLowCarb.com. If you’re looking for your next favourite spaghetti recipe, this will be it for sure.

Low Carb Italian Pasta Meal Extras

For any pasta meal, it’s always nice to have a couple of extra things on hand to complete the experience. We always prefer to have some fresh parmesan cheese on hand to shred on top of our Italian pasta, just so everyone can add a bit more flavour as they like.

It’s also a nice touch to have some low carb Caesar salad as a starter, with the garlicky flavours of the dressing and the fresh crisp romaine lettuce acting as a great complement to a hearty Italian pasta meal. Here’s a great low carb Caesar salad dressing from Walden Farms that we’re sure you’ll love. Just don’t forget to use low carb bread to make your croutons! It can be easy to forget just how many carbs can hide away in little additions like that, so be vigilant even when it comes to salads and other extras to go with your low carb Italian pasta.

Conclusion

As you can see, making a delicious and healthy low carb pasta meal can be easy, and also a lot of fun! Once you start experimenting with different pasta combinations, and making your own sauces at home, you’ll get more enjoyment out of including pasta in your meal plan. One more thing, is that pasta is a meal that usually goes over as a hit with every member of the family, even the kids. This makes low carb pasta an easy and practical addition to the weekly meal plan for a busy family. So, we hope that these suggestions have inspired you to get out your pasta pot and start creating something yummy for your next meal plan. Happy eating!

great low carb sandwich ideas

Tips for Making Delicious Low Carb Sandwiches

Helpful Tips for Delicious Low Carb Sandwiches

It probably comes as no surprise that many low carb dieters shy away from sandwiches, simply due to the fact that their basic construction relies on some kind of bread product, whether it be regular sliced bread, a bagel, or some kind of wrap or tortilla shell. Nevertheless, low carb dieters can safely experiment with all kinds of sandwich recipes and still keep their carb counts low. All it takes is the right products, a few clever tips and tricks, and some creativity. In this article, we’ll give you all the advice you need to craft the perfect low carb sandwich, and become a true sandwich connoisseur. Let’s get right to it!

Start Your Sandwich with Great Low Carb Bread

The basic rule of any sandwich is that it always starts with some kind of bread. While some sandwich purists will tell you that this must mean two slices on either side of the main ingredients, it’s generally accepted that you can take any sandwich recipe and swap in a wrap or tortilla and it’ll still work just fine. With that in mind, we’re going to discuss a few different bread options including sliced breads, bagels, and wraps.

Sliced Low Carb Breads

The most traditional way to make a sandwich is to start with two slices of a loaf of bread. This could range from soft white bread, to flavourful whole wheat, or even a nice firm rye bread. There are all kinds of breads to choose from, and while most of them are completely interchangeable depending on your personal preference, there are a few classic recipes that call for a particular style of bread. For example, the world-renowned Reuben sandwich always calls for rye bread, and many fans agree that there’s no other way to truly enjoy it. Regardless of your personal preference, or what your specific sandwich recipe may call for, you can find delicious low carb versions of virtually any kinds of classic sliced bread.

For sliced bread, our customers simply love Dream Bread from Bakers Deluxe. You can find it in many varieties including plain white, rye with caraway seeds, superflax, and more. Check out the full selection of Dream Bread from Bakers Deluxe here.

Low Carb Bagels and Wraps

For those sandwich crafters who like to try something a little different, bagels or wraps are great options that add some variety to your sandwich creations. If you’re a fan of breakfast sandwiches, bagels are a tasty alternative to sliced breads, and come in several different flavours that add a bit more flair to your breakfast. We’re huge fans of Everything Dream Bagels from Bakers Deluxe. Alternatively, you could wrap up your sandwiches in a nice soft tortilla shell like these from Mama Lupe’s. Tortillas are fantastic for wrapping up the ingredients of your breakfast sandwich, or any other sandwich for that matter. Of course, if you’re making quesadillas, then a nice tortilla shell is essential.

Low Carb Sandwich Ingredients

Choosing great low carb sandwich ingredients is often really easy. For deli sandwiches, you can pretty much go with whatever meat you prefer. Roast beef, chicken, turkey, ham, pastrami, and many others are all fair game. Cheeses are also generally no problem for the low carb diet. The typical sandwich cheeses such as cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, and others are perfectly fine. Vegetable ingredients such as lettuce, spinach, onions, and others are all safe bets, too.

For some types of sandwiches, you’ll want to be sure to pick up low carb versions of their ingredients. One great example of this is the timeless peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Since normal peanut butter and jelly spreads are loaded with sugar, they need to be swapped for low carb alternatives. Fortunately, there are some great low carb spreads available to make your own, healthier version of peanut butter and jelly. For example, pick up a jar of Buff Bake Chocolate Chip Peanut Spread for a new twist on the classic PB+J. Pair it with our customers favourite Strawberry Spread from Walden Farms, and prepare yourself for an amazing sandwich experience!

Finally, it’s not unusual for carbs to hide in some common condiments that we sometimes like to include in our sandwiches. Many people enjoy the sweet taste of honey mustard on their sandwiches, but several popular supermarket brands contain added sugar. We suggest trying this Honey Mustard Mayo from Walden Farms, which combines two great sandwich condiments in one low carb spread. Whatever condiment you require for your sandwich, make sure you do a quick scan of the ingredient and nutrition labels to make sure you’re not adding more carbs than you’re expecting.

Low Carb Sandwich Recipe to Try – Classic Reuben

Since we mentioned it earlier in this article, we can’t stop craving a nice Reuben sandwich, so we’ve decided to share this great recipe we’ve found for a fantastic low carb Reuben. There’s something about the tangy flavour of the sauerkraut combined with the saltiness of the warm corned beef that just works. Although we still prefer to make it on top of a nice low carb rye bread, this recipe will still work amazingly well even if you decide to skip the bread entirely. Lori over at CrabbyHousewife.com put her own spin on the classic Reuben in this sandwich recipe, and we are sure you’ll love it, too. Give it a try today!

Conclusion

As you can see, getting in to the groove with low carb sandwiches is actually pretty easy. You can still make all the classics, such as PB+J, or get really creative and invent your own sandwich concoction that will become a legend in your neighbourhood. Whichever way you prefer to craft your sandwiches, making them the low carb way is simple, and with a few great products at your disposal we’re sure that you’ll be working some new creations in to your meal plans very soon. Happy eating!

low carb salad dressings

Guide to Delicious Low Carb Salads & Dressings

Guide to Delicious Low Carb Salads & Dressings

It should come as no surprise that salads play a very important role in the low carb diet. By their very nature, most salads are inherently low carb and therefore are a perfect fit for any low carb meal plan. However, as with anything else you eat as part of your diet, a few tips and some helpful advice will equip you with the knowledge you need to take your low carb salads to the next level. In this article, we’ll talk about how some salads can have carbs in unexpected places, as well as run through some of the top ingredients for great salads. Lastly, we’ll talk about some amazing salad dressings that our customers just love, and cap it all off with a fantastic low carb salad recipe that you’ll want to try today. Let’s get to it!

Hidden Carbs in Salads

While it may seem obvious that salads are low carb, what many don’t realize is that there are certain ingredients that can lurk in the mix that contain hidden carbs. If you’re not paying close enough attention to them, their carbs can really add up fast and set your diet progress back. Sometimes these carbs are easier to see, such as croutons or tortilla crisps. In other cases, carb counts can increase in more subtle ways, such as dried fruit such as raisins or cranberries that can raise sugar levels.

Other times, the kind of salad also dictate how high in carbs it can be. For example, even though coleslaw is virtually made entirely of cabbage, many common coleslaw dressings are loaded with added sugars. Pasta salad, potato salad, and many types of bean salad also lie on the higher end of the carb spectrum. While they certainly can be made in low-carb versions, they are not very common at restaurants or supermarkets. Be sure to keep this in mind when browsing the salad bar and making your choices.

Great Ingredients for Tasty Low Carb Salads

Now that you know some of the common things to watch out for when crafting a great low carb salad, let’s dive in to some of the best ingredients you can select from. Let’s start with the foundation of any salad and examine the most popular greens that are available.

Lettuce

While many salads call for the classic iceberg lettuce, it tends to lack some of the flair and flavour of some other lettuce varieties. Romaine lettuce is the standard for Caesar salads, and has a great crunch and slightly bitter taste that works well with all kinds of other salad types and dressings. Green leaf lettuce and red leaf lettuce are popular options for many garden and chef salad creations, since they have a nice, mild flavour and a bit more colour to add some visual appeal to salads.

Spinach and Other Greens

Lettuce isn’t the only option as a base for your salad. Spinach is an extremely popular option for many salad eaters since it’s got a different flavour than lettuce, and is packed with great vitamins and nutrients. For those of us who like a little of everything, a spring mix is a great option that combines multiple types of greens in one salad to provide a colourful and unique taste that’s different from a typical lettuce or spinach salad.

Meat and Proteins

For low carb dieters, loading up their salad with their favourite meat is a great way to turn a side salad in to a satisfying and filling meal. The most common choice here is grilled chicken. It’s a great source of protein that works well with virtually any salad dressing and combination of vegetables, and can be served on top of a salad either hot and fresh off the grill or cold from the refrigerator.

Steak salads are very popular, too. Many restaurants have a steak salad option on their menus, and will cook the steak to the doneness of your liking. Steak can also be served cold, if that is what you prefer, much in the same way that chicken can be used.

Seafood salads are increasing in popularity, which is great news for those of us who crave crab, shrimp, and lobster. Making a cold seafood salad is a great way to add variety to your salad selections, and keep things from getting too repetitive and boring.

Other Vegetables and Ingredients

Once you’ve picked your base ingredients, it’s time to get creative with all the other stuff you want to include. Making a low carb Caesar salad is pretty simple, since you just need to use a low carb crouton, like these amazing low carb garlic parmesan croutons from Harper and Annissa at SimlySoHealthy.com. These are low carb and keto, and they taste amazing with a great crunch. Finish you Caesar with some mushrooms, bacon bits, low carb Caesar dressing, and some shredded parmesan and you’re ready to go.

Chef or garden salads are even easier to create, since they can really include any combination of ingredients that you prefer. Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are tasty ways to add a flash of colour to your salads. Radishes are popular, as is red onion and shredded carrot. You can always add a Greek taste twist to your salad by throwing in some olives and feta cheese. Fresh strawberries or raspberries are also a nice addition to garden salads, since they add a little sweetness in to the mix. Just be cautious not to go too wild with sugary fruits, since this is a way to increase the carb counts if you’re not paying close enough attention.

Low Carb and Sugar Free Dressings

Choosing a salad dressing to go with your creation can be easy, such as with a Caesar salad, but sometimes the massive variety of dressings you’ll find on an average grocery store shelf can be hard to choose from. Oil-based dressings or vinaigrettes are generally pretty safe options for most low carb diets, just be sure to check the label to make sure there aren’t any hidden carbs that you may have missed. Things start to get a little trickier when looking at creamier or sweeter dressings, since these can often contain a great deal of sugar.

Fortunately for low carb dieters, there are many amazing salad dressings to choose from that are specifically crafted to be low carb and sugar free. For example, Walden Farms has a great selection of salad dressings of all kinds that are healthy and delicious, and are a favourite choice among our customers. You can choose from such flavours as Bacon Ranch, Balsamic Vinaigrette, French, Italian, and more.

Browse the full range of Walden Farms salad dressings here.

Get Creative with Salads

Even though salads may seem boring at first, once you start to explore all the different options, try some new dressings, and experiment with some unusual ingredients, you’ll find that salads can really be a lot of fun. Making delicious and unusual salad creations can be an exciting part of your weekly meal plan, and since it’s so easy to customize your salad however you want, you’ll find that the whole family can get involved and have fun together. So, start experimenting with some new low carb salad ideas today, and enjoy!