4 Tasty Low Carb Picnic Lunch Ideas

With the warm weather upon us, it’s time for enjoying family get togethers and picnics outdoors.  It doesn’t have to be difficult to stay low carb, even when you don’t have access to a kitchen.  Here are 4 low carb lunch ideas that you can carry along with you in a cooler to enjoy on the go.

Picnic

Salads

Salads are an incredibly versatile food and can be made to suit anyone’s tastes!  They are so easy to make up and store in a lidded container.  Just remember to keep your dressing in a separate container so your lettuce doesn’t wilt.

Be sure to carefully consider the carb content of each add-on when you’re building your salad so you can stay on track with your goals.  Don’t forget to pack a fork!

Ideas for topping greens to make tasty salads include:

  • slivered almonds
  • chopped hard boiled eggs
  • chopped lunch meat
  • avocado pieces
  • shredded cheese
  • sliced steak
  • toasted pecans
  • olives
  • bell peppers
  • bacon
  • cucumbers
  • grilled chicken

Wraps

Whether you make your wrap with a low carb tortilla or a huge leaf of lettuce, wraps are a fun and portable lunch.  There are so many ways to wrap your meal.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • low carb tortilla spread with no sugar added nut butter and jelly
  • large leaf lettuce stuffed with grilled chicken, shredded cheddar, ranch dressing, and spinach
  • low carb tortilla rolled up with taco meat, pepperjack cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and salsa
  • large leaf lettuce filled with tuna or chicken salad

Deviled Eggs

What is a gathering without a huge batch of deviled eggs?  The good news is that they make a tasty entree item that’s easy to take along on the go.

Thinking about mixing it up and creating a new variety?  Choose one or more of these to change your regular recipe and really spice things up:

  • capers
  • hot sauce
  • finely chopped ham
  • chives
  • dijon mustard
  • shredded cheese
  • crumbled bacon pieces
  • green chilies
  • avocado
  • crab
  • wasabi
  • curry

Sandwiches

Sandwiches are sometimes seen as a rare treat in the low carb world, because bread can have such a high carb count.  There are many alternatives to help you cut the carbs, such as using portobello mushrooms or lettuce instead of bread.  You could even serve it open face on a single slice of bread or on a low carb flatbread.  Still, there are many great pre-made low carb breads, mixes, and recipes out there so that you can partake in a more traditional sandwich.

Sandwiches are a picnic staple, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring!

Here are a few yummy options:

  • turkey, avocado, spinach, and red onion with a dash of salt and pepper
  • shredded beef with onion and sliced cheddar
  • BLT
  • meatloaf and cheese
  • salami, pepperoni, provolone, onion, and a little oregano
  • ham, gouda, dijon mustard, and pickles

Picnics are a great way to connect with friends and family.  Eating on the go can be both easy and satisfying.  Be sure to stock your cooler with some of these low carb entrees, paired with some fresh cut veggies.

What is your favorite picnic food?

Watch A Buff Dude Make Chicken & Salsa

I don’t know about you, but the dude in my life doesn’t really hang out much in the kitchen except to eat!  Looking through low carb recipes on Youtube, I found this one featuring a Buff Dude making a really low carb meal in the slow cooker. As I watched I realized this is one of my favorite meals to make for my family!  Pair it with low carb tortillas, use it for a kicked up chicken salad, or eat it with rice.  Enjoy the video!

5 Delicious Low Carb Breakfast Ideas You Will Love

Breakfast can be a tricky meal for a low carb lifestyle.  It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut, eating the same couple of things over and over.  If you would love some creative and fresh ideas for breakfast, today is your lucky day.  These 5 recipes will make your taste buds sing and inspire you to stick to low carb for life.  They’re also all family friendly and easy to prepare.

lowcarbbreakfastideas

Broccoli and Cheese Mini Egg Omelets

The first food I think of when eating low carb is an egg.  These broccoli and cheese mini egg omelets transform this ordinary ingredient and takes it to a whole new level!  I made it in a brownie pan instead of the traditional muffin tin, but either will work.  A serving is 2 of these, and each serving has only 2.5 net carbs.

Spicy Sausage Breakfast Taquitos

Another delicious recipe that uses eggs is Peace, Love, and Low Carb’s spicy sausage breakfast taquitos, which make use of low carb tortillas.  Each serving is just under 10 carbs, and you get 2 of them!  They are huge, so you will feel full and satisfied.  These would also freeze well for a quick breakfast you could pop in the microwave for 1-2 minutes to heat and eat.

Strawberry Crunch Smoothie

Speaking of quick, what is faster and easier than a smoothie?  This low carb strawberry crunch smoothie is packed with nutrition and will take just a minute to prepare.  Each smoothie has a mere 8 carbs.   The addition of the chia seeds makes it so filling, too!

Cream Cheese Pancakes

Cream cheese pancakes are a light, low carb take on the family classic.  They are so fluffy and 4 pancakes have just 2.5 net carbs.  This leaves you with a little wiggle room for toppings, such as berries or sugar free syrup.  My favorite part about this recipe is its simplicity and short ingredient list.

Chocolate Iced Coconut Donuts

Finally, I want to show you these chocolate iced coconut donuts.  Yes, you heard me right.  Low carb donuts!  Imagine warm cake donuts, iced with luscious chocolate and optionally sprinkled with shredded coconut.  Each donut has 6 carbs.  Can you believe that?  I can, and it is exciting to think about being able to eat donuts again.  

Everyone knows that eating breakfast is an important part of a healthy diet.  Low carb breakfasts do not have to be monotonous.  Whether you have 1 minute or all morning to prepare breakfast, these 5 recipes keep the first meal of the day exciting while keeping you on track for the day.

Is there another low carb breakfast that you would add to this list?

Low Carb Fast Food: Wendy’s Chicken BLT Cobb Salad

I’ve been eating ‘super clean’ for awhile now and one of the things I love is that I can actually drive through a fast food restaurant and pick up a fresh, delicious salad anytime I want.

wendys-blt-cobb-salad-low-carb

This Wendy’s Chicken BLT Cobb salad is my favorite fast food salad – they definitely beat the McDonald’s salads for consistency of quality.  At McD’s I get an ‘on the edge’ of not being fresh salad one in three visits.  (They prep the salads ahead of time.)  At Wendy’s they make it right wen you order it – I’ve seen them do it over and over.  I’ve had six salads in the last eight days and haven’t ran into any wilted lettuce.

This is not a sponsored post – though I know I sound like a commercial here ;)

The whole salad with the Avocado Ranch dressing packets is 8 net carbs. 

In this pic you see I’ve got an extra little ranch cup – and that adds a couple carbs to my total.  It’s not that the salad needs more dressing, but I’m not a chicken breast lover (would rather enjoy dark meat) and sometimes I like to dip the chicken into ranch separately, then dig into the salad on it’s own.

Low Carb Pizzas with Joseph’s Bakery Mini Pita Bread

There’s no doubt that Joseph’s Bakery low carb breads are the best thing to happen to my low carb lifestyle since the deviled egg ;)   Take a look at these beauties!

The mini pita breads (4 net carbs each), they make a great ‘hold it in your hand’ mini pizza.

One of the 90 Day Low Carb Challenge members posted a pic of their mini pizza and I knew I had to make one ASAP.  With no pizza sauce in the house, I got creative.

I started by spreading a small amount of extra virgin coconut oil on the bread and sprinkled a bit of my favorite bread dipping spices (Dean Jacob’s Bread Dipping Seasonings Variety Pack) over that.  This provides a foundation of flavor for the other two super simple ingredients.

I cut two thin slices of tomato and cut them into six pieces each and laid them on the bread.  They looked like little tomato pinwheels.

Finally, a big blob of mozzarella cheese and into the oven at 350 until it was good and melted – less than ten minutes for me.  I could have left mine in longer but I was impatient ;)

It was GOOD!  Next time I’ll make sure I have some feta cheese around because that would be a perfect addition to the recipe.

This plate has 10 net carbs tops.

Low Carb Hot Pumpkin & PB2 Cereal

So many low carbers have been talking about Hot Pumpkin Cereal ever since the 90 Day Low Carb Challenge began.  Me being a huge oatmeal lover, I really wanted to give it a try.

I followed the basic recipe shared and found it a bit blah.  I ended up adding quite a bit more sweetener and some PB2 to change the flavor.  Finally, I ended up with a thicker (I like thick oatmeal) cereal with a flavor that appealed to me.  Here’s my recipe:

Low Carb Hot Pumpkin & PB2 Cereal

  • 1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese 6 nc
  • 1 Egg
  • 1.4 Cup Canned Pumpkin 3 nc
  • Pinch Salt
  • 3 Tsp Xylitol
  • 2 Tbsp PB2 3 nc ( I get mine at Netrition.)
  • 2 Tsp Flax Seed Meal – 1 nc

For instructions on preparation, please go read the original recipe on About.com :)

Total net carbs: 17  – (Wha?!)

Not so low carb is it? Well, I couldn’t finish the bowl by a long shot – so that’s probably two servings in that recipe.

I liked it – but I didn’t love it.  Not enough to go through the work anyways.

Fall Into Roasted Vegetable Bliss!

As cooler weather becomes more the norm it brings with it the delightful aromas of roasted vegetables. Roasting vegetable brings out their hidden sweet, nutty flavors – making them appealing while allowing us to enjoy them for their low carb goodness.

Many creative chefs and fellow recipe enthusiasts have created delightful recipes for roasting vegetables. What follows is truly a “garden variety” of vegetables roasted to perfection with love and creativity. Bon Appetit!

Let’s begin with zucchini, romaine lettuce and cauliflower…

Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes shares with her readers recipes tested by her, her family, or her friends. I’ve never eaten much of anything with zucchini other than in soup, but I think Roasted Zucchini with Garlic sounds fabulous! The recipe calls for Herbes de Provence, a traditional herb mix commonly used in France. You can make Herbes de Provence from scratch if you desire if you can’t find it locally. You can also find it at Amazon. One large zucchini is approximately 8 net carbs.

If you’re ready to have your vegetable savvy challenged, then you need to perk up for the Grilled Romaine Lettuce recipe Elise shares on her website. Though this recipe says to grill the lettuce, it can be considered roasting as it is done in the oven in the same manner as most roasted vegetables. Romaine lettuce is a vegetable you’d normally save for the salad. However, grilling this vegetable with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and herbs in your oven takes it to a whole new level of appreciation. Romaine heart lettuce is nearly perfect as a low carb food with approximately 1 net carb per 3 oz serving.

One last recipe share at Simply Recipes is a new twist on Roasted Cauliflower. I really try to eat as many vegetables as I can to get in all the nutritious goodness they contain. I have to admit that cauliflower is not my favorite vegetable to eat, especially raw. What this recipe does is make it friendlier to my taste buds! All you need to jazz cauliflower up when roasting it is to add garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, seasoning, and parmesan cheese. Simple and delicious! Cauliflower is another low carb lover delight coming in at approximately 3 net carbs per cup.

Next up is eggplant, artichokes and broccoli…

I visited a cool website called “I Breathe… I’m Hungry” run by Mellissa Seigny. The first recipe I encountered in my quest for roasted vegetables was Roasted Baby Eggplant. I’m an eggplant virgin! I have no idea why, but I’ve never been interested in learning more about eggplants until this recipe. These interesting little vegetables are roasted in an oven with olive oil and seasoning then sprinkled with ricotta cheese, olive oil and more seasoning before serving. One thing to note is that Mellissa used Wild Fennel Pollen on her eggplants when roasting them because she had it available. She does mention that this ingredient is optional though because not every kitchen will have that in stock (mine doesn’t). Mellissa states that the approximate carb value per half of an eggplant is 1 gram. Another low carb vegetable star!

Roasted Artichokes is another great recipe find at I Breathe… I’m Hungry. This is also another vegetable I’ve not had a lot of experience with. Artichokes just seem difficult to work with, and I lean towards simplicity most of the time. I’m learning though that to experience a vegetable in all its tasty glory, I need to expand my own cooking limitations. I believe that the secret to this roasted vegetable lies in the lemon tarragon butter that is drizzled over the artichoke prior to serving. According to Mellissa, the taste is hard to explain, but it’s delicious. A medium artichoke weighs in at approximately 6.3 net carbs.

What would any vegetable side dish be without the mention of broccoli? With that said, how about trying Spicy Sriracha Roasted Broccoli to take your tastebuds to a new place! This recipe is all about quick and easy and tasty. Mellissa spices it up by adding Sriracha hot sauce as well as a touch of soy sauce. Other ingredients include mayonnaise and lime juice. It’s so creative – a little spicy and a little sweet! The best part, other than the goodness of the dish itself, is that the net carb count is only 4.5 grams per serving. Broccoli alone is approximately 3.5 net carbs per 1 cup raw.

Beets anyone?

Elana’s Pantry is a blog run by Elana Amsterdam. She and her son were diagnosed with celiac disease which led to her creating recipes that in her words, “I needed to make gluten-free food that tasted like regular food.” So it is with her recipe Roasted Balsamic Beets. I’ve had beets on occasion at a restaurant or two and found them to be really tasty. I’ve not tackled them in my own kitchen though, yet. This recipe might just do the trick! It’s a simple recipe with only four ingredients – beets, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and sea salt. One small beet is approximately 5.8 net carbs while balsamic vinegar is approximately 5 net carbs per tablespoon.

Roasting multiple vegetables will add in more net carbs per serving, but sometimes the blend of multiple vegetables are the only way to go for a unique, delicious dish. The nutritional value is crazy good too!

With that in mind, check these out…

The Tartelette Blog is run by Helene Dujardin, a former Pastry Chef of a French restaurant. I was drawn to her Roasted Vegetable Soup With Polenta Croutons simply because I adore vegetable soup! Her soup recipe calls for vegetables such as cauliflower, onion, potatoes and turnips. She first roasts the vegetables and some garlic cloves in the oven before adding them to a blender and pureeing them. She suggests garnishing with flavored sea salts, herbs, Polenta croutons, and an oil flavor of choice such as almond, avocado or pumpkin. This recipe is so creative! The saving grace with this higher net carb recipe is that it is a soup and can be eaten in smaller portion sizes. I might add that the Polenta croutons are not required if you want to keep your carb count as low as possible. (Picture Copyright Helene Dujardin)

Tessa at Tessa Domestic Diva brings great recipe ideas to the kitchen table. She shares a clever sauce called Easy Roasted Vegetable Blender Pasta Sauce. The vegetables in this recipe include cherry tomatoes, carrots, an onion, and a red pepper. The fear of pasta deprivation is a deal breaker for many attempting a low carb diet. Perhaps in small portions and cooked al dente, you can experience an occasional pasta meal with this nutritious roasted vegetable sauce. Another idea would be to add the sauce to other vegetables or as a starter to a great soup.

Another worthy mention comes by way of Julie at Tastefully Julie. She created a Roasted Vegetable Salad that looks divine! Some of the vegetables included in this creation include turnip, asparagus spears, baby carrots, red bell pepper, onion, and mixed greens or baby spinach. The roasted vegetables  are added to selected greens after they have cooled. It’s a colorful, nutritious way to get in delicious vegetables. I really love this recipe!

I hope you enjoyed all of these clever roasted vegetable ideas. I’d love to know if you have great recipes to share as well! 

Low Carb Cream Cheese Pancakes

I’m in pancake heaven over here.  One of the group members over at 90 Day Low Carb Challenge pointed out this recipe for Cream Cheese Pancakes.

I made them with her exact recipe and it was delicious! Delicate, crepe like pancakes.  A little thin, they fell apart really easy – but oh so good!

Wanting something a little thicker, I decided to try making them with just a little almond flour added in.  I put in a bit less than 1/4 cup and used a squirt of Torani SF flavoring instead of Stevia and they turned out great!!  A bit thicker, they held their shape really well and tasted so good.

My Cream Cheese Pancake Recipe:

  • 2 ounces of cream cheese – 1.5
  • 1/4 cup almond flour – 3
  • 2 eggs – .5
  • 1 squirt SF Torani syrup – 1
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon – 0

Mix and pour small amounts on a preheated pan and flip when you see the drying at the edges.  They cook pretty fast.

Serve with butter.  (I used a tiny bit of sugar free syrup too.)

Total net carbs: 6

The Magic Bullet Made Them Easy

The original recipe also turned me on to the Magic Bullet personal blender.  I decided to treat myself to one and WOW – I love it!

This is the exact set I ordered: Magic Bullet MBR-1701 17-Piece Express Mixing Set

 

Low Carb Roasted Radishes: Better than you think!

No, these are not little red potatoes… it sure looks like it doesn’t it?

I, Kelly, bought radishes. Trust me – it’s a shock!

I’ve never liked them, but I’ve only ever had raw.  Tonight I roasted them and I didn’t hate them at all.  I don’t LOVE, probably because my eyes are telling my taste buds that it should taste like a potato.  That’s ok, I think they’ll grow on me over time.

Clean one radish bunch, and trim off the stem and bottom.

Cut them to fairly uniform size so they finish cooking at the same time.


Toss in extra virgin olive oil with your choice of seasoning.  I used Rosemary & Garlic. (Dean Jacob’s Bread Dipping Seasonings Variety Pack)

Roast in an over or toaster oven at 450 for 20 minutes or until tender.

This yields a bit less than one cup and is only 2 net carbs.

I’m going to get some more radishes and try them in a potato salad recipe – I think they might work really well for that.

Fried Rainbow Veggies and Cheese: Low Carb Yumm!

When my friend Nicole mentioned having ‘fried coleslaw’, I was partly intrigued, partly repelled.  ‘Fried’ carries good memories but cooked cabbage does not.  Then Tracy mentioned ‘broccoli slaw’ and I though, hmmm – maybe there’s a broccoli/cabbage slaw combination?  Well, there is – but there’s also this:

This is ‘Rainbow Salad’ at Meijer.  It was right next to the cole slaw and broccoli slaw and all that.  It has shredded cauliflower hearts, broccoli florets, shredded carrots and red cabbage.  I decided it was coming home with me for a taste test.

As per Nicole’s instructions I put some butter (well, lots of butter – at least two tablespoons LOL!)  in the ban and poured in a nice serving of the rainbow veggies.  I cooked it over medium/high until everything was almost all the way soft, seasoning with salt and pepper.

Right out of the pan I sprinkled some shredded cheese on top, just a couple of tablespoons – and here it is.

It was delicious!  I’m thinking this would make a great baked casserole for a large group. I’ll play with that next holiday I think :)

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