Low Carb Eating– A Beginner’s Shopping Guide

I promise you folks eating low or lower carb is a lot easier than you might think, but I understand why people shy away from the idea. Learning a new way to eat is overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Most of us just overthink things. To simplify your life a smidge, here is a good starting off list of things you might like to pick up at the grocery store to give you the push you might need and help you get an idea of what you can have. And, you can have more than you might think.

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Zuchini noodles, marinara, shredded cheese, pepperoni. YUM. 

PRODUCE:
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Brocolli
Zuchini/Squashes (Our local store now has pre-packaged zuchini noodles, which are worth their weight in gold.)

DAIRY:
Almond milk, unsweetened
Heavy whipping cream
Block, shredded, or sliced cheeses of your choice
Cream Cheese
Eggs (Lots and lots of eggs)
Sour Cream (or light sour cream, if you wish)
butter (or light butter, which is what I prefer)

MEATS/FROZEN FOODS:
Chicken (breasts are versatile, but you can buy any bone-in cut you like, too)
Bacon or turkey bacon (I eat turkey bacon more than regular, but I’m probably the only one lol)
Sausage or turkey sausage
Steaks, ground beef, and any other chops or cuts of anything you like.
Frozen berries
Frozen brocolli or other low carb veggies (Spinach is awesome to have on hand)
Frozen riced cauliflower

**Watch out for special sausages (like polish sausages and hot dog weenies) because they tend to be high in calories and sodium, so if you’re watching those things, too, be mindful when meal planning and shopping.**

CANNED/PANTRY ITEMS:
Taco sauce/salsa
Canned chicken
Adkins Protein Shakes (if you don’t get enough protein in your diet…like me…these are great as an end of the day treat).
Peanut butter or other nut butters
Nuts (just watch for special flavors, plain or salted is best)
Stevia or other sugar substitutes (Stevia is my favorite)
Sugar free jello and pudding mixes
Powerade Zero, any flavors you like. Red is my go to.
Almond and/or coconut flours (these are expensive, so I don’t use them often, but I added them because a lot of Keto/low-carb eaters do)
Sugar Free candies, jams, and jellies (READ the labels.Not all of them are low-carb friendly, but most are)
Bottled waters

EASY MEAL IDEAS:
1. Taco salad, minus the chips! You can have just about anything you might put in a taco salad and it’s one of my favorite things.
2. Baked egg cups — Cut up a few bell peppers (any color, but a minimum amount because they’re carby lol), some mushrooms, some spinach (fresh or frozen) and even, if you like, cooked ground sausage or chopped bacon. Toss it into a bowl with about 8 large, whisked eggs. Stir together and pour into greased cupcake tins. It’ll make about a dozen. Bake on 350 until done. If you like, you can add a little bit of shredded cheddar to the top. These are about 80-90 calories and carbs depend on what you put in them, but usually no more than 1 or 2 net carbs (usually less).
3. Zuchini noodles with basically anything. Toss some olive oil in a frying pan and heat on medium. Toss in a handful of (optional) onions if you don’t mind a few extra carbs and honestly a few tiny bits of onion won’t hurt, but add a lot of flavor. Cook the onions until they’re translucent. Add zuchini noodles and whirl them around a bit while they cook. From here, you can add in your favorite homemade or store bought spaghetti sauce or alfredo sauce.
4. OR, you can make a stir fry instead (in which you would use a wok or high sided pan and cook the noodles with the other veggies in the stir fry, using the zoodles in place of noodles. For a stir fry, you could also make fried rice with riced cauliflower. It’s seriously good.

EASY SNACKS:
1. Strawberries and whipped cream (I make my own and use stevia instead of sugar).
2. 1/4 cup of nuts
3. An ounce of cheese
4. Brocolli/Cauliflower and 2 tbsp. ranch dressing for dipping.
5. Lunch meat roll ups — Any sandwhich meat you like, spread a thin layer of cream cheese on top, place a sliver of a pickel in the middle. Roll up, eat. Delicious.

 

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Zombie Apocalypse Cake

An oldie, but a goodie. Originally a popular depression era cake, now converted for the Zpoc lol. Makes one 8 or 9 inch cake, but can be doubled for a regular 9X13.

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 C. self rising flour (for all purpose flour, add 1/2 tsp. baking soda)

1 Cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp white vinegar

1tsp vanilla

5 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 cup water

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease your pan(s)
  • Mix flour, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Add cocoa if you’re making a chocolate cake (about  3 tbsp).
  • Make three depressions in the mix. In one little depression, add vinegar, in another add vanilla, and in another add vegetable oil.
  • Pour water over all of it.
  • Mix it together, beat well, pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake for about 35 minutes.

 

Easy Three Egg Frosting (though probably not the easiest during a zpoc unless you have eggs):

3 egg whites

1/8 tbsp. cream of tartar

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

a dash of vanilla extract or any other flavored extract.

*Mix all this stuff up and then beat the snot out of it with a mixer until stiff peaks form. It’s almost like marshmallow cream, but will usually be thicker, depending on how long you mix it. But, it’s really awesome in a pinch and great for birthday cakes!

 

Taco Meatloaf

blog picYesterday, while figuring out what to make for dinner, I sort of made up my own recipe for Taco Meatloaf. I had no idea it was actually a thing until after I’d already made it and googled. My recipe isn’t so far off from the others I found, but I was smart enough to write down how I did it while I was cooking. Here is my recipe:

Ingredients:

2 lbs. ground beef

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup mild salsa

diced onion

diced green pepper

1 tsp. garlic salt

dash of pepper

2 eggs

2 packets taco seasoning

31 (or about) smashed saltines (but you can use whatever you usually do)

several slices of cheese, shredded cheese, or whatever cheeses you like (or a combination of)
Directions:

  • Beat eggs together. Add salsa, ketchup, diced onion, green pepper, taco seasoning. Mix well.
  • Add crackers (or whatever you use) and mix.
  • Add thawed ground beef. Mix well by hand.
  • In a large baking dish, shape mixture into a loaf.
  • Bake on 350 until done (about an hour or so).
  • Remove from oven. If you use cheese slices, fold them into triangles, tear apart, and arrange over the loaf. If you use shredded cheese, cover the loaf in shredded cheese. Pretty self explanatory lol.
  • Return to oven until cheese melts.
  • Remove from oven again, cut, serve.

SERVE WITH– Salsa, extra cheese, sour cream soft taco shells (can be made into a neat sandwich), refried beans.

**Also, you can add pepperoni, olives, extra onions, or anything you would eat with tacos.**

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Sometimes I need chocolate in order to write, so I do believe this post is very much relevant to writing and is, therefore, perfectly acceptable to post in a writing blog.  That being said, here goes. . .

Chocolate is a very, very important part of a writer’s life.

Ingredients–

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup  baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • additional sugar for dusting cookies once they’re done

DIRECTIONS–

1. Cream butter and sugar together.  Add egg and vanilla, blend well.  Next, blend in cocoa, buttermilk, salt, and flour, alternating little bits of each one until it’s all blended well.

2. Prepare your cookie sheet (I use PAM…it’s so much easier than anything else).  Drop cookies with a ladle or an ice cream scoop about 2 inches apart. I would only do about 1/4 cup of batter per cookie or less.

3. Bake on 35o until you can touch the top and it springs back. Probably about 12 minutes. I don’t know–I never measure ingredients and I never watch the clock, either lol. THESE ingredients came from my handwritten cookbook, though, so your measurements are safe.

4.  When the cookies are done, let them cool a few minutes before you even think about taking them off the pan.  While they’re still warm, dust with regular sugar.  Once they’ve cooled, you’ve got some really awesome cookies!

 

NOTE– these cookies are almost like little mini-cakes. 😀