8 Low Carb Meal Ideas I Love!

If you think healthy food equals boring and bland, I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite recipes!

In fact, most of your favorite recipes can be tweaked a little to make them a lot healthier than they are right now.

I love to eat great tasting food the same as the next person, but some recipes simply don’t fit in with my way of eating.

So, I make a few substitutions here and there, then pair it with a couple of healthy sides and voila! tasty, healthy meals my whole family is happy to eat :)

I want to share some of my best recipes with you, so I’ve searched though my recipes books, and my ever expanding recipe file to bring you a few of my very best low carb recipes… enjoy!!

Low Carb Recipe: Poultry

A couple of years ago I did a ‘cooking for fun’ class at my local college.

It was one of the most interesting and informative classes I’ve ever taken. I would highly recommend something like it, if you ever get the opportunity.

Even though a lot of the recipes weren’t what you’d class ‘healthy,’ many of them were, and I was also able to tweak the others a bit at home to make them suit my diet plan.

I found the little tips and tricks I picked up from the teacher to be invaluable, and I have used them over and over again since. I also keep going back to her recipes, too, and I wanted to share one of them with you…

1. Chicken Korma

This is a ‘healthified’ version of the popular Indian korma, using less butter/oil, and plain yogurt rather than heavy cream.

4 chicken fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp lime juice (or lemon juice)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbsp butter or olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
300ml natural yogurt
2 tbsp ground almonds
3 green chillies (add 1 if you don’t like it hot)
8 cardamon pods
6 cloves
2 x 5cm cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
1 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp coriander, chopped


  1. Put the chicken pieces into a mixing bowl and add the lime juice and garlic along with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the butter in a heavy based pan and add the onions and turmeric. Cook until golden. Drain and remove the onions with a slotted spoon, reserving the butter in the pan.
  3. Using a food processor blend the yogurt, cooked onions, ground almonds, and chillies until smooth. Pour the mixture on top of the marinated chicken.
  4. Using the same pan, heat the reserved butter, then add the cardamon, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Let the spices sizzle for a few seconds, then add the chicken and the marinade to the pan.
  5. Bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat and cover the pan. Simmer until the chicken is tender. Add hot water or chicken stock, if the consistency is too thick.
  6. Finally, add the garam masala and the chopped coriander leaves. Simmer for a few more minutes, and adjust the seasoning according to your taste.

Serves 4

Serve this curry with my cauliflower rice, as a delicious alternative to white rice.

2. Sticky Chicken Drumsticks

 I made these a few nights ago and they were throughly enjoyed.

You could serve this dish as a main course with a mixture of roasted vegetables.

My hubby also enjoyed the leftovers as a snack along with some raw veg.

8 chicken drumsticks (or thighs)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp tomato purée
1 tbsp Dijon mustard


  1. Make 3 slashes on each of the drumsticks. Mix together the soy, honey, oil, tomato purée and mustard. Pour this mixture over the chicken and coat thoroughly.
  2. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.
  3. Heat oven to 180C. Place the chicken into a shallow roasting tray and cook for 35 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is tender and glistening with the marinade.

Serves 4

Recipe source

3. Chicken Escalope With Mango Salsa

200g diced mango
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime (reserve 1 tbsp for the chicken)
1 red chili, seeded and finely chopped
3 tbsp torn basil leaves

4 chicken fillets
1 tbsp lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. To make the salsa, mix together the mango, red onion, lime juice, chili and basil. Season with salt.
  2. Put the chicken fillets between two sheets of plastic wrap and flatten with a rolling pin. Squeeze over a little lime juice and season.
  3. Heat an electric grill (or griddle pan), and cook the chicken for about 4 minutes, until cooked through.

Serve with the mango salsa on top, and cauliflower mash, or my whipped cauliflower and peas.

Serves 4

Low Carb Recipe: Meat

4. Lamb Koftas


500g lean minced/ground lamb
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped (or 1 tbsp of mixed dried herbs)
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp oil/butter


  1. Place the lamb, onion, herbs and seasonings into a food processor and blend until combined.
  2. Divide the mixture into 6 portions, then shape each into a sausage shape around a skewer. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. To cook, preheat a pan and add the oil. Cook until browned, turning occasionally until all sides are cooked through ~ about 10 minutes in total.

Note: when I make these I don’t use the skewers, but simply cook them using my George Foreman electric griddle.

You could serve these with some extra chopped coriander to garnish, along with a chickpea salad and a big bowl of green salad, or my mashed root veg.

Serves 4

5. Meatballs

1/2 cup oatmeal
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
500g quality minced/ground beef
1 tbsp dried oregano or mixed herbs
1 large egg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Butter/olive oil
1 bunch fresh basil (or 1 tbsp dried basil)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried chilli
2 tins chopped tomatoes (400g each)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained.


  1. Whiz the oatmeal until fine in a food processor. Add to a mixing bowl with the rosemary, mustard, meat and oregano. Crack in the egg and add a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. With clean hands scrunch and mix up well. Divide into 4 large balls. With wet hands, divide each ball into 6 and roll into little meatballs – you should end up with 24. Place on a plate, cover and put into the fridge until needed.
  3. Pick the basil leaves, keeping any smaller ones to one side for later. Peel and finely chop the onion and the garlic. Heat a large frying pan and add a little butter or olive oil. Cook your onion until soft and lightly golden. Then add the garlic, and as soon as it starts to get some color add the large basil leaves. Add the tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil and season to taste.
  4. Meanwhile, heat another large frying pan and add some butter or olive oil, then your meatballs. Stir them around and cook for 8–10 minutes until golden (check they’re cooked by opening one up – there should be no sign of pink).
  5. Add the meatballs to the sauce with the kidney beans, and simmer until the rest of your meal is ready.
  6. Finish by sprinkling over a few of the smaller basil leaves and some grated Parmesan (optional).

I did make a few edits to this recipe, but must give credit to my favorite chef of all time, Jamie Oliver.

Try serving these meatballs with my spaghetti squash recipe.

Serves 4

Low Carb Recipe: Fish

6. Cod Parcels (en papillote)

4 cod fillets
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 thin slices of fresh ginger, peeled and cut in matchsticks
1 leek, cut into thin strips
1 medium carrot, cut into thin strips
1/2 red pepper, cut into thin strips
4 tbsp lime juice
3 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Fresh coriander to garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Place each cod fillet onto a piece of baking parchment (or foil) large enough to encase the fish, and put side-by-side on a large baking tray.
  2. Arrange the garlic, ginger, leeks, carrot and pepper on top of each piece of cod.
  3. Mix together the lime juie, soy sauce and sesame oil, then spoon the mixture over the fish. Season to taste, then fold the paper to make a loose parcel.
  4. Place the baking tray into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Garnish with a few sprigs of coriander.
Serves 4

Low Carb Recipe: Vegetarian

7. Delicious Lentil Salad

This salad is one of my favorite ways to eat lentils.

The dressing is amazing, and could easily be used for other things.

And, it’s the perfect salad to take to someone’s house for a party, to eat at lunchtime, on a picnic, or anytime really!

It also tastes even more super the day after, so don’t waste it!

2 ¼ cups dried Du Puy lentils (I used green lentils instead)
1 medium red onion, diced
1 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
1/3 cup capers (optional)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Rinse lentils well, then drain. Place in a pot and cover with a 3-4 inches of water, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Check lentils for doneness after 15 minutes, but they should take about 20 minutes in total. You will know they are cooked if they still retain a slight tooth – al dente! Overcooking the lentils is the death of this dish. Be careful!
  2. While the lentils are simmering, make the dressing by placing all ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine.
  3. Finely dice red onion – the salad is best if all the ingredients are about the same size.
  4. When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled slightly but still a little warm, place lentils in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing. Add other onion, capers (if using), and raisins. If using other add-ins such as herbs, greens, or cheese, wait until just before serving. Otherwise, this salad can hang out in the fridge for a couple days.

Note: you also might want to add walnuts, rocket leaves, goats cheese, or fresh herbs, such as parsley or fresh coriander.

While canned lentils can be useful sometimes, I really don’t recommend using them for this recipe. They texture of the lentils is really important for this salad, and I find the canned versions are a little too mushy to taste good.

The original recipe is by Sarah from My New Roots, which I edited very slightly.

8. Spinach and Pea Soup

You may think soup is an unusual choice for a main course, but when you’re pushed for time, recipes like this one can really save the day.

This soup is so fast and nutritious that I defy you not to like it!

Honestly, even my 3 year old, and my 11 month old love it, it’s an absolute favorite in our house.

1 large onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp butter or olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
300g frozen peas (petit pois or garden peas)
1.5 liters vegetable stock (made with 2 stock cubes)
300g fresh baby spinach leaves
1-2 tsp dried mint
Freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tbsp reduced fat creme fraiche (reduced fat sour cream or cream can be used as an alternative)


  1. Finely chop the onion, and sauté in oil until soft and just beginning to color. Add the carrots, peas and stock. Bring to the boil, and reduce to simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the baby spinach, mint and black pepper, then cook for 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Liquidize with a handheld blender until smooth.
  4. Check seasoning, and serve with a spoonful of creme fraiche on top.

Serves 4-5

ps This recipe is one from my weight loss program, The Big Fat Cure.

If you’d like more nutritious recipes like this one, as well as help and advice on losing weight and getting into shape, why not join us as a member on the program?

I’d love to see you there… sign up now!

What’s your favorite low carb recipe?

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About Melanie
Melanie is a Registered Dietitian who started Dietriffic in March 2007. Her aim is to make good health attainable and sustainable, without guilt and torture, making her approach popular with those who desire a level-headed approach to good health. Have you got your copy of her free book yet?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

George February 1, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I personally wish I were a better cook. I just don’t have the instincts for it I guess. When I was a child I tried to create my own recipe and it turned out so bad my dog wouldn’t even eat it (true story). I will have to try some of your recipes.


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