If your low-carb plan has left you craving pasta, you’re going to love Planells’ Italian-inspired lunch idea. Instead of pairing your favorite pork sausage with spaghetti, plate two good-sized links.
“Lentils are an excellent high-fiber starch that pack just 13g of carbs in a ⅓-cup serving. Paired with the tomato sauce’s cancer-fighting lycopene and the protein-rich sausage, this meal is both a filling and healthy addition to any work week meal plan,” says Angel Planells, R.D.N., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.
⅓ cup of lentils
2 Tablespoons of Sugar-Free Tomato Sauce
Cook Sausage in oil on medium to high heat in medium size pan, and rotate them until thoroughly cooked and golden brown. Place on the side to cool down and let the juices settle.
Add 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce to pan and bring it to a simmer. Add 1/3 cup of lentils and let cook for 5-10 minutes. Turn off heat and add sausage.
Planells’ low-carb fajita bowl is the answer you’ve been looking for. Not only is it packed with flavor and vitamin C, but it also has just 17g of carbs.
“Toss 5 ounces of sliced grilled chicken breast into a Tupperware container along with ⅓ cup of refried beans and 1 cup of diced red and green peppers for a meal with good, quality protein and fiber that will help keep you satisfied,” says Planells.
For even more of that Tex-Mex flavor you crave, season your chicken with chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin before cooking it over the flame.
5 Ounces Chicken Breast
1/3 Cup Refried Beans
1 Cup Diced Red Peppers
1 Cup Diced Green Peppers
Salt and pepper chicken breast to taste. Warm up a medium sized pan on medium heat. Coat the pan with olive and place chicken breast on the hot pan to sear the outside. Cook one side for 5 min and turn. Cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Place to side and let rest.
Add 1/3 cup refried beans, 1 cup diced red peppers, 1 cup diced green pepper to pan and cook until peppers are tender.
While the peppers are cooking. Slice chicken into strips or cubes. Add chicken to bean and pepper mix and plate.
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Turkey “Unwich” Shredder
Just because you have to say goodbye to that high-carb bread, doesn’t mean sandwiches are a no-go. To make an “unwich,” a fancy name for a lettuce wrap, place 4 ounces of low-sodium deli turkey or grilled chicken insides, romaine lettuce leaves, along with 2 tablespoons of mashed avocado, and a cup of low-carb veggies like spinach, tomato, and cucumber.
Slice an avocado in half using a pairing knife and scoop out the meat from the skin and transfer to a bowl using a spoon. Mash the avocado with a fork and add a pinch of salt and pepper for flavor. Place to side.
Take one leaf of romaine lettuce and spread the mashed avocado covering the majority of the surface area.
Take a few leaves of spinach and place it on top of the avocado. Add one slice the tomato and then add the turkey.
Roll the romaine lettuce tightly and stick a toothpick through to keep the form.
“Combine raw kale with 1 cup of chilled, roasted butternut squash, ⅓ avocado, and 4 ounces of grilled chicken,” suggests Isabel Smith, R.D., a Manhattan-based celebrity dietitian.
“I love butternut squash because it feels rich and carb-like, but it actually only has 13 net carbs per cup and just 63 calories,” says Smith. “Paired with the healthy fats from the avocado and the protein from the chicken, you’ll have a salad that will help to keep you feeling full well into the afternoon.”
1 Medium Sized Butternut Squash
1 Bunch of Kale
1 Large Chicken Breast
Roasted Butternut Squash
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash on sheet pan and drizzle olive oil for a nice coating. sprinkle on salt and pepper.
Place sheet pan in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Take out pan and turn squash.
Place sheet back in the oven and let bake for another 10-15 minute or until squash is fork tender.
Loaded Kale Salad
Salt and pepper chicken breast to taste. Warm up a medium sized pan on medium heat. Coat the pan with olive and place chicken breast on the hot pan to sear the outside. Cook one side for 5 min and turn. Cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Place to side and let rest for 5 minutes and cut into slices.
Slice an avocado in half using a pairing knife. Cut the meat of the avocado into slices and scoop out slices from the skin using a spoon.
After thoroughly washing the kale cut the leaves into smaller leaves. Add to a large bowl and combine with butternut squash, avocado, and chicken breast. Drizzle on olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste.
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Chicken Coconut Wrap
Wraps and sandwiches are mainstays for many, so we totally get it if you’re not totally ready to give them up, and thanks to coconut-based wraps (like Sunfoods Coconut Wrap, $13, Sunfood.com) you don’t have to rid them from your low-carb diet.
Smith suggests filling one with chicken, shredded carrot, and guacamole for a meal that packs fewer than 10g of carbs.
“Coconut wraps have the feel of a carby wrap but are actually made of coconut, a source of blood-sugar-stabilizing healthy fats,” she says.
1 Sunfood Coconut Wrap
1 Red Onion
1 Chicken Breast
1 Carrot (Shredded)
Slice an avocado in half using a pairing knife. Scoop the meat of the avocado from the shell and place into a bowl.
Dice tomato into small cubes and add to the bowl.
Dice 1/4 cup of red onion and add to bowl. Take lime and squeeze over the avocado, red onion, and tomato mixture.
Drizzle olive oil and mix and mash until mixture and smooth.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Salt and pepper chicken breast to taste. Warm up a medium sized pan on medium heat. Coat the pan with olive and place chicken breast on the hot pan to sear the outside.
Cook one side for 5 min and turn. Cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Place to side and let rest for 5 minutes and cut into slices.
Chicken Coconut Wrap
Spread guacamole onto the Sunfood coconut wrap. Add shredded carrots,spinach, and chicken slices on top of guacamole. Fold two edges of the wrap in-ward and then roll one side of the opposite edge to the other edge until fully wrapped.
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Savory Mediterranean Yogurt
Though you may not typically think of yogurt as a lunch entrée, but once you’ve had a bowl topped with savory toppings we bet you’ll change your mind. Alissa Rumsey, R.D., owner of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness, suggests mixing 7oz of plain Greek yogurt with 2tbsp walnuts, 1tbsp chia seeds, 1c of cucumber slices, and 2tbsp hummus.
To make his go-to recipe, combine raw tomatoes, onions, green pepper strips, and lean ground beef or chicken (flavor it with taco seasoning) in a Tupperware container. Garnish with low-fat cheddar cheese, a tbsp of low-fat plain yogurt, and five blue corn tortilla chips.
To ensure your meal doesn’t turn into a soggy mess, consider packing the toppings in their own tiny containers or baggies.
“This taco bowl has fewer than 15g of carbs and is packed with vital nutrients that will keep you full and energized throughout the day and aid muscle growth,” says White.
1 Green Pepper
1 Package of Ground Beef or chicken
1 Package of Taco Seasoning
Shredded Low fat cheddar cheese
5 blue corn tortilla
On medium heat coat pan with a olive oil. Once the pan is hot add the ground beef or chicken to the pan mixing the meat until its has a brown crust. Add Taco seasoning and stir. Set aside.
Dice 1 tomato, onion, and green pepper into small cubes and transfer to a bowl. Add the cooked ground meat to the bowl and give it a rough mix. Add a some shredded low-fat cheddar cheese.
Pack five blue corn tortilla in a separate ziplock bag to keep it dry.
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Kimchi Lettuce Wrapped Short Ribs
Think outside the bun with this Korean-inspired dish, courtesy of Planells. To make preparing this meal a breeze, start by whipping up a big batch of ribs over the weekend. Then, portion them into to-go containers along with a ½ cup of brown rice and kimchi wrapped in a large piece of romaine lettuce.