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20 Incredibly Delicious Low-Carb Recipes That Will Make You Healthier

20 Incredibly Delicious Low-Carb Recipes That Will Make You Healthier

While the idea of eating healthy sounds delicious already, a lot of people find it tough to stick with a dietary plan where nearly every component should be of the “reduced” version. The “nonfat,” “low-fat,” “fat-free,” and “lite” versions of ingredients may help you maintain your desired weight, but there are products and meals that forego taste just to make room for all the elements that promise to keep you in good shape.

The great news is you don’t have to settle for bland and colorless food just to remain faithful to your diet and your vow to keep yourself in shape. The healthy-eating hype has become so pervasive that a lot of chefs, nutritionists and fitness enthusiasts have started coming up with ways for weight-watchers to enjoy their food while not feeling deprived.

Sticking to a health regimen doesn’t have to be death-by-boredom. Here we present 20 low-carb recipes that will not only make you healthier, but will also ensure you enjoy your food more—minus the guilt.

Appetizers

If you’re pledging to eat the healthy way, you need to regularly eat meals that follow your dietary recommendations. By doing so, you can easily make your body accustomed to the types of food that will help you achieve your goal—whether that’s to lose weight or to gain some. The best way to begin this is by preparing some low-carb appetizers. Got any ideas on what to prepare? Because we do.

1. Enchilada Chicken and Mango Salad

Enchilada Chicken and Mango Salad

    This is an appetizer that you can pull off using leftovers in your fridge. The Enchilada Chicken and Mango Salad can be a nice starter to any meal. All you need are some shredded romaine lettuce, diced mango, enchilada-style chicken, and diced avocado. Just layer the ingredients on top of each other with the romaine as the base and add a dash of salt and pepper. Prep time only takes five minutes, making it an ideal snack to bring to work too.

    2. Chunky Greek Salad

    Chunky Greek Salad

      If you’re partial to Greek cuisine, this Chunky Greek Salad is an appetizer you must try. This starter dish only requires dicing some cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions, and then combining everything with feta cheese. Once everything is evenly mixed, that’s when you add the Caesar salad dressing and then you’re done. This salad is best served chilled, too.

      3. Shrimp Avocado Salad

      Shrimp Avocado Salad
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        Seafood lovers rejoice, for this appetizer has the potential to become one of your favorite starters. The Shrimp Avocado Salad is a refreshing alternative to your usual chicken salad dish and it’s definitely low in carbs. It’s prepared in two parts: one for the dressing and the other for the salad itself. As for the meat, you will need cooked and deveined shrimp. Simply add avocado and lettuce, and complete the salad with the dressing by mixing lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, chopped cilantro, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and you’re ready to eat!

        4. Halibut with Pepitas, Capers, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basil

        Halibut with Pepitas, Capers, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basil

          Concocted by renowned celebrity chef Cat Cora, this appetizer can be filling enough while helping you evade carbs. As its name implies, the Halibut with Pepitas, Capers, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basil is a medley of healthful options, from the choice of protein down to the garnishing. Preparing this involves searing the halibut and using white wine, lemon juice, and butter as its sauce base. The capers and tomatoes are added when the fish is done simmering. Once it’s simmered, cook it in the oven for about seven to ten minutes, and then toss in the pepitas and basil.

          5. Bacon, Egg, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

          Bacon, Egg, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

            If there is one food that you can never go wrong with, it’s bacon. What’s even better is that you can still enjoy this heaven-sent ingredient if you’re following a low-carb diet by putting some on your salad, just like this Bacon, Egg, Avocado, and Tomato Salad. All you need to do is dice an avocado, some hardboiled eggs, and tomatoes, and then mix them with crumbled bacon. Once these are combined, sprinkle on some juice from a lemon wedge and adjust the taste with salt and pepper.

            Main Dishes

            Now that you’ve had your fill of sumptuous salads and starters, let’s move on to the main event. Here are five different main courses you can try for lunch or dinner.

            1. Honey Mustard Cuban Pork Burgers

            Honey Mustard Cuban Pork Burgers

              Just because you’re cutting back on carbs, it doesn’t automatically mean you should also curtail your meat craving. With the Honey Mustard Cuban Pork Burgers you can have your fill of ground pork breakfast sausage and plantain chips. Pack it in with avocados, Dijon mustard, and yellow mustard, and you’re all set.

              2. Mahi Mahi with Cauliflower

              Mahi Mahi with Cauliflower
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                If you’re more into fish, the Mahi Mahi with Cauliflower can be a great addition to your diet. All you need is to sear the fillets and let the oven do the rest of the cooking. As for the vegetables, this dish calls for cauliflower, raisins, almonds, and coriander. Preparation and cooking time takes only half an hour, so you can enjoy low-carb goodness without slaving so much in the kitchen.

                3. Grilled Chicken Wings With Greens and Salsa

                Grilled Chicken Wings With Greens and Salsa

                  Another lean dish that will help you stay faithful to your diet, the Grilled Chicken Wings with Greens and Salsa is easy on your digestion while giving you enough energy—minus the carbs you don’t want. Just rub some chicken wings with your favorite spice mix and grill them in the oven for about 40 minutes. While waiting, toss in some of your favorite greens to make a salad; just make sure that you use low-carb dressing.

                  4. Lamb Sliders with Ginger Cilantro Aioli

                  Lamb Sliders with Ginger Cilantro Aioli

                    If you want to reward yourself with a sumptuous meal without having to worry about ruining your diet, Lamb Sliders with Ginger Cilantro Aioli is the perfect dish to do just that. Instead of using the usual buns, you can substitute your carb source with sweet potatoes. Just slice them thinly and bake them. Use the ginger cilantro aioli mixture as the spread, then sandwich the lamb (along with greens, onions, and tomatoes) between the slices of baked sweet potatoes.

                    5. Broiled Fish with Summer Grape Tomato Sauce

                    Broiled Fish with Summer Grape Tomato Sauce

                      A perfect dish for summer, Broiled Fish with Summer Grape Tomato Sauce will remind you of your mother’s cooking, only this version’s low carb. You can use any white meat fish, such as flounder, sole, or tilapia, which you will broil (or grill) on medium heat. While you’re cooking the fish, toss grape tomatoes, chopped basil, and garlic in olive oil and let simmer. Pour the sauce on the grilled fish when ready and enjoy!

                      Desserts

                      A meal is never complete without a delectable dessert. The good thing is, you can have some even if you’ve vowed to reduce your carb intake. Here are some ideas you can whip up in your own kitchen.

                      1. 3-Minute Chocolate Cake

                      3-Minute Chocolate Cake
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                        Chocolate is the sweets department equivalent of bacon—you can never go wrong with it. With the 3-Minute Chocolate Cake, you can enjoy a fantastic dessert without breaking a sweat. This dish makes use of almond flour and you can replace regular sugar with Splenda. But if you want to indulge yourself a little, you can put frosting on the cake or add some whipped cream before serving.

                        2. Almond Coconut Bars

                        Almond Coconut Bars

                          If you’re not too much of a sweet tooth, these Almond Coconut Bars might be the treat that you’re looking for. Made of shredded coconut, almonds, coconut flour, and unsweetened chocolate, this piece of heaven is a welcome change from the usual confectionery delights.

                          3. Valentine’s Day Mousse

                          Valentine’s Day Mousse

                            Who says you can only have chocolate on Valentine’s Day? This sweet course proves that you can have dessert anytime you want, as long as you consume the amount recommended by your diet. The Valentine’s Day Mousse’s base is loads of dark chocolate topped with a whipped “cream” made of coconut milk and vanilla extract. Even if you don’t eat it every day, a serving is good enough to last you until the next time.

                            4. Low-Carb No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake

                            Low-Carb No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake

                              No oven? No problem! The Low-Carb No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake is the answer to your cake cravings that are being trumped by the absence of an oven in your kitchen. This dessert relies heavily on cream cheese, but you’ll also need heavy cream, sour cream, and low-sugar graham crackers for the base. You’ll also need some cherry pie filling and alternative sweeteners like Splenda or Equal. After combining the cheese and the creams, spread some on top of crushed graham crackers pressed against the base of a dessert dish or a ramekin. Chill this in the fridge for an hour, and then pour some cherry pie filling on top.

                              5. Jayne’s Jello Cake

                              Jayne’s Jello Cake

                                Another dessert that is easy to make, Jayne’s Jello Cake is a gelatin-based pastry where you’ll combined the batter with Jello, bake it, and chill it. You also have the freedom to use Splenda or another sweetening substitute that is allowed by your diet, so you don’t have to worry about your carbs and sugar intake.

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                                Beverages

                                The whole point of following a strict diet is that you need to do it religiously so that you can achieve your nutritional goal without compromising on the food’s taste and quality. But sometimes it seems like frappuccinos, sodas, and milkshakes are too ubiquitous to ignore. You can put an end to this torture now as we give you five delicious drinks that will help you quench that thirst and keep yourself in healthy shape.

                                1. Frosty Chocolate Mint Shake

                                An equally sweet and refreshing drink for your palate, the Frosty Chocolate Mint Shake is prepared using Herbalife’s Formula 1 Chocolate, low-fat milk, and peppermint extract. Simply mix everything in a blender until it’s evenly combined, and garnish the smoothie with mint leaves on top. You can also substitute low-fat milk with soy milk, if desired.

                                2. Strawberry Banana Smoothie

                                A favorite among foodies, whether weight-watching or otherwise, the Banana Strawberry Smoothie is practically a household name in every diner. The good thing is you can make your own low-carb version with this recipe by simply replacing the usual whole milk with low-fat yogurt. And aside from the banana and strawberries, you can also add some kiwis to give this beverage a more tangy twist.

                                3. Lemon Meringue Smoothie

                                Lemon Meringue Smoothie

                                  If you’re partial to the sweet and sour tastes of lemon, the Lemon Meringue Smoothie is something you should try. This beverage makes use of plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, lemon, and lemon-flavored stevia. You can also serve it with slices of the citrusy fruit for a more refreshing experience.

                                  4. Sunrise Smoothie

                                  Sunrise Smoothie

                                    If you’re looking for a better drink to go with your low-carb breakfast, the Sunrise Smoothie would be the perfect answer. This smoothie is all about watermelons, cantaloupes, orange juice, and plain, low-fat yogurt. Mix these delights in a blender until smooth. You can also serve these with slices of the fruits you used if you’re looking for a more filling meal.

                                    5. Banana Fruit Shake

                                    Another staple on any smoothie list, this Banana Fruit Shake can be prepared by using Formula 1 Vanilla, nonfat yogurt, bananas, and peaches. Combine all the ingredients using a blender until it’s all smooth.

                                    With these 20 recipes, there is no way for you not to stick with your diet, much less achieve your dream shape and weight. If you have any low-carb recipes that you want to share too, let’s talk about them in the comments section below.

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                                    Last Updated on August 13, 2020

                                    12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                                    12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                                    As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

                                    1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

                                    I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

                                    Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

                                    Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

                                    2. What is the purpose of meditation?

                                    The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

                                    It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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                                    Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

                                    In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

                                    You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

                                    This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

                                    The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

                                    Less Physical, More Psychological

                                    Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

                                    This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

                                    The First Benefit of Meditation

                                    The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

                                    1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
                                    2. Relaxation of the body

                                    Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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                                    Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

                                    That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

                                    When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

                                    When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

                                    Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

                                    Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

                                    This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

                                    Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

                                    Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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                                    This benefit takes you to the second one.

                                    The Second Benefit of Meditation

                                    While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

                                    1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
                                    2. Observance
                                    3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
                                    4. Patience

                                    Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

                                    You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

                                    This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

                                    1. Energy

                                    Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

                                    2. Observance

                                    The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

                                    3. Peacefulness

                                    Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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                                    4. Patience

                                    The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

                                    The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

                                    Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

                                    Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

                                    The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

                                    • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
                                    • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
                                    • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
                                    • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
                                    • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
                                    • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

                                    These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

                                    Final Thoughts

                                    Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

                                    Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

                                    Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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                                    Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

                                    Reference

                                    [1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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