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5 - Ideas for snack attacks and making meals more interesting

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Snack attacks Making meals more interesting

Atkins and low carb snack attacks

Here are some of my favourite snacks - I never feel I have to miss out when others around me are snacking on crisps, ice creams, chocolates and sweets. Recipes and carb counts for many of these can be found in the Low Carb is Easy Cookbook.

  • Celery packed with cream cheese
  • Cheese crisps
  • Cheese straws
  • Marzipan biscuits
  • Peanut butter and tahini (who needs bread to put it on?)
  • Nuts
  • 85% cocoa solids low sugar dark chocolate
  • Coconut chocolates
  • Chocolate mascarpone
  • Chocolate or fruit mousse
  • Ice cream
  • Rhubarb ice lollies (surprisingly refreshing on a hot day!)
  • Hot chocolate

Making Atkins and low carb meals more interesting

Making meals interesting is important if low carbing is going to be a permanent way of life for you. Once you know the tricks (and have lost your sugar addiction!) you won't even feel that low carb versions are inferior to 'the real thing'!

So leave your old mindset behind of eating flour-based food at every meal, start experimenting and be creative! Most low carb diet books include recipes to get your thinking started, and there are plenty more to try out in low carb 'recipe rooms' on the Web and in low carb recipe books such as the Low Carb is Easy Cookbook.

Here are some ideas:

  • Low carbers often say they don't have the time or inclination for a cooked breakfast of eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes etc. So try slices of cheese and ham. Or low carb muesli, or my all-time favourite, hot porridge (see below). Or what about yoghurt (the Low Carb is Easy Cookbook explains how to make this - yoghurt sufficiently low in carbs is not generally commercially available.)

  • As your daily carbohydrate allowance permits, try making low carb versions of quiche, pancakes, crumble toppings, biscuits, sponges, shortbread, jelly, mousse, ice cream, cheesecake etc by substituting unsweetened soya milk for cow's milk, soya flour and nut flours for wheat flour and artificial granular or liquid sweeteners for sugar. (Obviously, many of these are meant to be treats, to be fitted into your day's carbohydrate allowance but not at the expense of your daily salads and vegetables!)

Here are some other examples of ways to ensure you don't bore yourself off the diet:

  • Put real butter on your green vegetables from time to time.

  • Forget dry and boring salads! Use mayonnaise (read the labels, as some brands are much lower in carbs than others). Or make your own French dressing from good quality oil, mustard and white wine vinegar and a little liquid sweetener if you wish (commercial brands usually contain sugar). Ring the changes by adding herbs. Try making your own Thousand Islands or Marie Rose sauce by mixing a little tomato concentrate and a few drops of liquid sweetener into mayonnaise.

  • Use butter/oil, garlic and herbs as a sauce for chicken, prawns, white fish etc

  • Stir-fry beef, peppers, mushrooms and courgettes, then add crème fraiche for thickening and a luxurious creamy taste

  • Make fishcakes by mixing tinned fish with soya bran, protein powder, mayonnaise and herbs, then frying

  • Use a mixture of soya bran, protein powder and herbs and spices for 'breading' fillets of meat or poultry

  • Mix prawns and avocado with iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced strawberries (but mind the carbohydrate count!) and Thousand Islands sauce as above to make a delicious main course salad

  • Mix whipped cream, beaten eggs, cocoa powder and artificial sweetener and freeze in individual containers to make chocolate ice cream

  • Make cheesecake by adding an egg and artificial sweetener plus flavourings to full fat cream cheese

  • Make up sugar free jelly and eat it with real cream

  • Add cocoa powder, other flavourings and artificial sweetener (or sugar free jelly) to whipped cream to make mousse

  • Make chocolates by mixing artificial sweetener and cocoa powder into mascarpone cheese or unsalted butter, dip nuts then set in the freezer

  • Make porridge by adding a little soya bran and/or unsweetened desiccated coconut to ricotta cheese with sweetener and cinnamon, then microwaving it

  • Make muesli with soya bran, desiccated coconut, nuts and seeds and eat with unsweetened soya milk

  • Make bread with flours made from soya or nuts and seeds such as almonds, sesame and flaxseeds (linseeds)

  • Make cake and biscuits substituting soya flour, soya bran and ground almonds for wheatflour and sweetener for sugar

  • Make a yummy sweet treat by mixing grated lemon rind, a little lemon juice, some sweetener (eg Splenda) with cream cheese. Nice to keep in the fridge and have a couple teaspoons for an after dinner sweet. This tip was contributed by low carber Donna B.

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