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Eat Unbelievably Delicious Food During the Holidays without Blowing your Low Carb Diet

Updated on February 7, 2014
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What Can I Eat On My Diet?

I started a low carb diet in May of this year. Not to toot my own horn, but I have to say I've done pretty good. I've passed milestones such as my birthday, summer cookouts, a roadtrip, and countless invitations to restaurants and managed to stay about 90 percent low carb. I'm not telling you I haven't strayed, there's been bumps along the way, but I have had success and managed to lose weight.

Now I am faced with another hurdle, the holidays. There will be Thanksgiving at home, Thanksgiving with extended family, Christmas parties, Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas dinner. What's a low carb girl to do? Luckily, I have started planning my diet early. This is key to sticking to your diet during this carb-laden time of year. You can have control over what you make for yourself for the holidays. These recipies are delicious enough that your guests won't even realize they're eating low carb. They will think you've fallen off the low carb wagon when you serve them this wonderful food.

Christmas parties to which you are invited, however, may be a bit trickier. If you are asked to bring a dish, you can bring a dish that you know you will be able to eat at least one thing that is low carb. If you know that it's unlikely there will be anything low carb served at the party, then you should eat a meal before you arrive so that you are not hungry and tempted with food that you know is not good for you. You've made it this far, you don't want to gain back any weight you may have lost during the year!


I've managed to find a cookbook full of full flavor, low carb recipies, it's called Nutritious and Delicious by Maria Emmerich. Most of them are foods we used to love, just remade into a low carb form. I have listed a few here to show you that you can have a traditional holiday meal that stays within the confines of your diet.

Meats

It's very easy to stay low carb with meat as long as you don't eat anything that is breaded. If you are faced with a situation where there are many sides that have a high carb content, I recommend doubling your meat intake and just taking small portions of sides. This way you will still be polite, but you won't be sabotaging your diet either.

You have even more control when you're making dinner for your family or party guests. Here is a carb breakdown of your typical holiday meats:

  • Roast Turkey 0
  • Baked Ham 0
  • Roast Chicken 0
  • Roast Duck 0

Sides

Sides can be a bit tricky. You want something that you and your family are going to enjoy, not something you feel that you have to eat because you're on a diet. These sides are easy to make and absolutely delicious. You won't feel deprived when you serve these this holiday season.

Scalloped "Potatoes"

1 1/2 pounds cauliflower stems, thinly sliced

2 TBS butter, divided

1 cup chicken broth or heavy cream

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

4 slices provolone cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese

sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease a 1 1/2 quart or larger casserole dish with butter or nonstick spray. Layer half of the cauliflower slices in the bottom of the casserole dish. Dot with half of the butter. Arrange half of the garlic slices over the cauliflower. then pour half of the broth or heavy cream over layers. Repeat layering of cauliflower, garlic, broth/cream and cheddar cheese, then top with the slices of provolone cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the top with parmesan or romano cheese. This will create a semi-hard cheese crust. Continue baking uncovered for another 30 minutes, or until cauliflower slices are tender when tested with a fork. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: 210 calories, 1.7 carbs

Specialty Ingredients For This Recipe

Brussels Sprouts With Pancetta

Water to steam

1 lb Brussels sprouts

2 oz thin-sliced pancetta

1 TBS garlic

8 fresh basil leaves, shredded

1 TBS coconut oil or butter

1 TSP balsamic vinegar

salt to taste

hot sauce to taste

Instructions:

Add water to a steamer and bring to a boil. Trim the sprouts: Slice off the base and remove the outer leaves. Cut each sprout in half lengthwise through the core, then make V-shaped cuts to remove the core. With your thumbs on either side of the V, twist the sprout to open up the leaves a bit. Steam the sprouts for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute the pancetta over medium heat in a small skillet until the edges have started to brown, breaking it into pieces with a spatula while it cooks. Add the garlic and cook for a minute.

Drain the water from the steamer and return the sprouts to the hot pan. Stir in the pancetta and garlic mixture, including the fat in the skillet. Add the basil, oil, and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and hot sause and toss well. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Toss again and serve. Serves 4.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: 111 Calories, 7g carbs, 4g fiber, 7g protein

Dessert

It just wouldn't be the holidays without pumpkin pie, but you can have that slice too! It tastes just as good as its high carb cousin, but it won't make you stray from your low carb lifestyle.

Pumpkin Pie

CRUST:

1/2 cup vanilla whey or egg white protein

3/4 cup almond flour

1/4 TSP sea salt

4 drops stevia

1-2 TBS water (just enough to hold dough together)

FILLING:

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin

1 cup coconut milk or cream cheese

1 TSP vanilla or maple extract

1/2 TSP cinnamon

1/2 TSP sea salt

1/4 TSP ginger

1/4 TSP nutmeg

3/4 cup Splenda

3 TBS gelatin

1/4 cut hot water

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F.

CRUST: In a large bowl, cream the butter and sweetener together until very smooth. Sift the salt and whey into the almond flour, the slowly add the almond flour mixture into the butter mixture. Mix until well combined, then slowly add water just until the dough is soft, yet able to roll out. Form into a tight ball and place in refrigerator to chill. Place into a pie pan and spread out over the bottom.

FILLING: In a large mixing bowl, dissolve gelatin in 1/4 cup boiling water. Combine pumpkin, coconut milk, cinnamon, extract, ginger, nutmeg, sweetener and salt. Mix into the gelatin. Pour into pie shell. Cover the edges of the pie with aluminum foil (otherwise it will burn).

Bake for 70 minutes or until set in the middle. Store covered in the refrigerator. Serves 8.

Nutritional information per serving: 210 calories, 4.1 carbs

I Can Make It Through The Holidays!

By following these tips and using these recipies, you will stay on track and lose weight instead of gain this holiday season. When you make your New Year's resolutions in January, you will be able to mark "lose weight and eat healthy" off your list because you didn't gain an ounce!

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