I search a lot of recipes to find low carb dinners. It’s fun to try and find new favorite recipes that I can work into my dinner menu.
But, my absolute favorite way to cook is to take the recipes that I and my family already love and de-carb them.
I think a common misconception for people who are trying to change to a healthy eating lifestyle is the idea that they can’t eat their favorite recipes anymore. Good-bye pasta, pizza, and anything that I once loved!!
But this simply is not true. I have lost my weight, and I still eat all of those things. I don’t live without my favorite recipes, I modify them.
Most any recipe can be de-carbed and modified to fit a healthy lifestyle. Now, when I say de-carb let me make this perfectly clear…I don’t remove all carbs from a recipe.
That wouldn’t work at all!
Rather, my goal is to try and make the recipe as low carb as I can, WITHOUT changing the taste of the recipe. I mean, if I don’t get the warm and fuzzy feeling anymore when I eat one of my favorite recipes, then its not my favorite recipe anymore…it’s a new recipe.
So my cardinal rule of de-carbing is to make modifications to a particular recipe, but make it taste the same, or close to the same.
It’s sort of like a puzzle, and kind of fun.
I know, my definition of fun is odd.
So today let’s de-carb one of my favorites…SLOPPY JOES.
I LOVE Sloppy Joes.
The lick your fingers, tangy sandwiches from my youth. I could not live in a world without Sloppy Joes. I big puffy heart love them.
Everyone has their favorite recipe of Sloppy Joes. For me, I’ve been using an amazing recipe for years that I found on Moms who Think.
This was always my go-to recipe for Sloppy Joes. And it is GOOD!! Put your sweatpants on and eat like 3 sandwiches good. Since my husband and kids don’t like peppers and onions, I usually leave them out for the recipe and stir some in for mine. So, for today’s de-carbing, let’s just leave them out of the equations and make it easier.
When you de-carb a recipe, sit down and look at the ingredients. If you are lucky you will have a recipe with the nutritional information ready for you. If not, you need to get online and search the ingredients.
Write down the ingredients and the net carbs of each. Where are the most carbs? For my sloppy joes, it was a no brainer, the carbs are mainly coming from the ketchup and the bun.
Once you have an idea where the carbs are coming in, try and come up with solutions to modify that number. The bun is easy, you can do without, or because I think a sloppy joe must have some sort of vessel for its greatness, you can come up with another option. Low carb tortilla, low carb bun, portabella cap.
Then once you have your substitutes, experiment with them and see how close you can get to your original recipe. Consider it a success if it reminds you of the original! Bonus points if your family doesn’t even realize you changed it!
So, let’s look at the carbs in my original Sloppy Joes:
2 pounds ground beef – no problem here. 0 carbs
2 teaspoons of yellow mustard – again no problem, 0 carbs
1 1/2 cups of Ketchup. That is a whopping 80 carbs for that amount of ketchup. So, let’s modify regular ketchup with Low Sugar Ketchup.
Heinz makes a version I love. Seriously, I hope Heinz reads this some day and makes a larger bottle, because I really can’t tell much of a difference with this ketchup. But this ketchup only has 23 carbs for the same amount of ketchup. So, it’s a no brainer.
1 tablespoon of brown sugar. That has 4.5 carbs in them. Not horrible, but by swapping out Truvia I can save those carbs and turn that number into 0.
Salt and pepper, no carbs. Well pepper has like .3 for a 1/4 teaspoon but come on, that’s 0 in my book.
1 tsp Garlic Powder. This has 2.5 carbs, but I really like the flavor so I’m keeping that in.
Now I’m a firm believer that a sloppy joe needs a bread-like vessel. But a regular bakery bun like I used to eat has 21.1 carbs!! If I switch to low carb tortillas to carry the sloppy goodness, I can use two of them for 6 carbs (and if I just use one I’d save even more carbs).
But why have 1 when you can have two?
With two tortillas – I can stack them like a sandwich (almost like a quesadilla) or I can serve them as two tacos.
So if you are keeping track here’s how the two recipes compare side to side.
De-carbing this recipe saves me and my family 21.2 carbs!
Seems like a no-brainer right?
So if you think that changing your diet means that you have eat diet food, you are WRONG! You can eat your favorite recipes, you just have to get creative! Some modifications, such as this work great. Others, that we do not dare to name (ahhem….cauliflower crust pizza) are disasters! But keep trying to find creative ways to de-carb your favorite recipes and before you know it healthy eating will be a piece of cake!
Yum…cake…maybe I’ll de-carb that next!