Thursday, June 9, 2011

Working girl’s smart low-carb solutions

I have to say that pre-cooking one gargantuan meal only to be consumed by me for lunches has really worked out this week. I have saved at least $20 on lunch in just the four days I've been here. Plus, I know the nutritional content and quality of the food I cooked. I can certify that it is really low-carb, definitely under 4 net grams per serving (and all of that from the mass of veggies and small amount of almond meal I added for fiber, nutrients and texture), high in quality protein (no hormone added, no antibiotics used, all organic ground beef and good quality ground almonds), with a good amount of high quality saturated (organic butter, lard) and monounsaturated (olive oil) fats. And… I really dig it. I still love my pre-prepped, high quality, pre-measured lunches. Not going to the cafeteria eliminates the risk of being tempted by some of the inappropriate food items they have downstairs or being tricked into eating something that appears "low carb" but really isn't. Also, I have to say that their salad bar, which is my usual lunch source when I graze down there, is not that high quality, and because there is no nutritional information posted, you definitely play Russian roulette with the salad dressing choices.

I have been thinking about ways to make this mega-meal more versatile, mix it up a little, and still keep it low carb. This could easily be accomplished in a couple of ways. Here are some ideas: use it as a philly cheese-like sandwich filling on ½ of a low-carb flax lavash or inside of a low carb tortilla (either option about 5 g net carbs – check the nutritional information), topped with cheese, mayo, tomato and avocado; use it as something of a "ragout" atop a pureed veggie – like mashed cauliflower, turnips, or roasted pureed yellow squash; use it as a filling inside of a roasted vegetable – like a big red pepper or a pre-cooked halved eggplant or acorn squash. And, if you find you have leftovers at the end of the week, wouldn't this make (1) a really good and funky pizza topping for your carb-eating loved ones, (2) a good pasta toss-in, or (3) a phenomenal filling for an empanada? You bet!

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