We’re now in the second week of January, which also means you’re in the second week of tackling your New Year’s resolution. Leading a healthier lifestyle is one of the most common goals people set for themselves this time of year, and food plays a big part in achieving that goal. Is that your resolution as well? What a fantastic thing to aim for!
One way you could go about approaching it is by choosing low-carb meals. But, if you’ve never tried eating low-carb, a handful of simple tips and tricks (that we’ve outlined in this blog) will help make it easy for you to shop and cook low-carb. Plus, we have a few recipe ideas for you to try - one for each of the three main meals of the day, as well as dessert!
What is a Low-Carb Meal?
In order for you to successfully whip up a low-carb dish, you must understand what it means. “Low-carb” is short for low in carbohydrates, which is actually one of the food types that power our bodies. However, it’s important to note that there are two categories of carbohydrates - simple and complex.
Complex carbs include foods like veggies, fruits, beans and whole grains and are perfectly fine to incorporate in your low-carb meals along with your protein (i.e., eggs, chicken, lean pork and beef, fish, etc.). On the other hand, simple carbs are foods like pasta, sugar and bread, which should be eaten in moderation.
Need an example? Continue reading for three low-carb recipes you can quickly and easily make at home.
Simple Shopping Tips for Low-Carb Meals
Now that you have an understanding of what “low-carb” means, you’re ready to put your knowledge to use, start making some delicious and nutritious meals and achieve your goal of leading a healthier lifestyle this year. And with the following four tips in mind, shopping low-carb can be a little easier:
- Make a plan for your meals. Having a plan before you head to your local Food Lion is key when following your New Year’s resolution. With a solid plan for your upcoming meals, you can write out a complete grocery shopping list and make it easier to only pick up the things you need. So, take some time before your next shopping trip and think through what you want to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner over the next several days and make your list.
- Check out our Weekly Specials to save on the items you need. You can even base your meal plan and shopping list around what’s on sale to keep your low-carb meals low in cost too. Talk about a win-win, right?
- When in doubt, read the nutrition facts. Eggs, lean protein, berries, nuts and leafy greens are all examples of foods that are low in carbohydrates. But, when shopping, you can always check the nutrition label on packaged items if you’re ever unsure whether something is actually low-carb.
- Look for select low-carb options. Some brands offer alternatives so you can enjoy the items you love. For instance, low-carb tortillas and wraps can be found in many of our stores and make perfect substitutes in order to make lunch wraps with grilled chicken or lunchmeat and chopped greens or breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs and sautéed vegetables.
Besides these tips to make your grocery shopping easier, there’s another thing that’ll help you stick to your resolution. When choosing low-carb meals to prepare, make sure they are dishes that your family will love too! And we think the four recipes we’ve suggested below are great options to do just that.
Low-Carb Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Dessert
Low-Carb Breakfast: Egg Muffins
When it comes to breakfast, do you and your family enjoy a fluffy omelet or scramble in the morning? Both are tasty, filling and packed with protein to start your day right. However, you don’t always have time to make them even when a craving strikes. So, with this low-carb meal idea, you can make your egg dish early in the week and heat it when you’re ready to dig in.
Using a lined muffin tin, bake your egg mixture with your favorite chopped veggies, cheese and meat (if desired) for about 20 minutes and voila! Your low-carb breakfast is served.
Want a little inspiration for your morning meal? Here’s a flavor combination we used in our Breakfast Egg Muffins recipe:
- Green bell pepper
- Cheddar cheese
- Spices, including garlic powder, salt and pepper
Sounds pretty delicious, right? Give it a try this week!
Low-Carb Lunch: Tomato Bun Sliders
Burgers are a family favorite food; however, bread isn’t exactly low-carb. So, make a simple swap and slice some small vine tomatoes in half. These will be your “buns” for these lunchtime sliders. Then, top with cheese, lettuce, mayo, pickles and your hamburger patty, of course. A toothpick through the middle will help hold everything in place as tomatoes tend to slide around. Now, take a look at the full recipe for our Tomato Bun Sliders here!
For your family, feel free to still use slider buns for their dishes if they prefer. Whole grain slider buns are an excellent better-for-you choice for a more wholesome lunch. And here’s another tip for this recipe! Cook the burgers ahead of time and warm them up when you’re ready to assemble your sliders. It’s a great way to make the most of your time and enjoy something tasty when you have a lot on your plate during the workweek.
Low-Carb Dinner: White Wine & Honey Glazed Chicken
Our third low-carb meal features marinated chicken in a sweet honey glaze. Sounds scrumptious, doesn’t it? The glaze or sauce is made with a tasty combination of butter, white wine, chicken broth, honey and thyme, which is reduced on the stove for about seven minutes before pouring over your pan-cooked chicken breasts.
For serving, we suggest topping your chicken with a little chopped parsley for added fresh flavor. And for your side, carrots or roasted sweet potatoes pair perfectly with the glaze on the chicken.
Then, if you have leftover meat, slice it and enjoy it in a salad for lunch the next day. Or, place it in a low-carb wrap with chopped lettuce, shredded carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Want to make this White Wine & Honey Glazed Chicken dish for a low-carb dinner? Visit our recipe portal for the step-by-step directions!
Low-Carb Dessert: Homemade Fruit Rolls
How about a little dessert after your low-carb meal? That’s right! You can still have a little something sweet. But wait, isn’t sugar a simple carbohydrate? Yes, however, these Homemade Fruit Rolls are made with fruit, unsweetened applesauce and a pinch of salt, so any sweetness is all-natural. No added sugars here! So, you can enjoy these nostalgic sweets even while sticking to your resolution.
Once you take a look at the full recipe, you’ll see that these take a bit of time to make - four hours and 10 minutes, to be exact. With that said, you may want to plan on making these on a weekend when you have a little free time. But don’t worry. You won’t have to be in the kitchen the whole time, just for the 10 minutes of prep time and to check on the fruit rolls occasionally while they’re in the oven. Then, you’ll let them cool slightly, cut them into strips and store in an air-tight container at room temperature until your sweet tooth (or your family’s) has a craving.
As you continue tackling your New Year’s resolution of leading a healthier lifestyle, we hope these tips for shopping low-carb and tasty recipe ideas help you achieve your goal this year. As you can see, it can be so simple to make low-carb meals that your family will enjoy too. And we know that as a parent, that’s so important. From our family to yours, we hope this year is filled with health and happiness!