low-carb

Hearty meatball and vegetable soup (that's almost a stew)

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The Guy (also known as Max) and I have a shared resolution this year: We Must Lose Weight And Get Fitter Or Else. He has high blood pressure, I have high or disturbingly fluctuating blood sugar. But we both have this basic problem, that we love to eat good food. And, especially during the day, we need our tummies comfortably filled or we get cranky.

One solution to this problem: soup for lunch!

Okara and crab salad

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Here's a super-easy recipe for a pretty healthy and versatile salad, using one of my favorite should-be-more-popular ingredients, okara.

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Bento contents:

  • 2 sandwiches made with 2 kouya dofu sandwich 'breads', filled with cucumber, ham and mayonnaise, 600 calories
  • Lettuce and cherry tomatoes, 50 calories

Total calories (approx): 650 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 30 minutes (if 'bread' is made in the morning, less time if you make it in advance and just assemble the sandwich in the morning)

Type: Low carb, gluten-free, alternative sandwiches

Low carb gluten-free freeze dried tofu (kouya dofu) fried sandwich 'bread'

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How to make really low-carb, gluten-free sandwich 'bread' with fried freeze dried tofu.

Zucchini Basil Muffins revisited: Low-carb and gluten-free version

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Here's another low-carb, gluten-free muffin recipe -- a remake of an old favorite.

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Bento contents:

Total calories (approx): 250 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 30 minutes (if all components are made in the morning, much less time if you make things in advance)

Type: Japanese, low carb, low calorie, vegan, "zen"!

Sweet pepper and carrot confetti

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I am calling this colorful dish confetti, because it's not quite assertively flavored enough to call it furikake. It is sort of a no-sugar (low-carb) and much lower calorie variation of Cooked to Death Hot and Sweet Peppers, though I have made the hot peppers optional. Even with no added sugar or sweetener, I think the natural sweetness of the vegetables comes through nicely. It's a really useful vegetable side dish, to just pack on the side or sprinkle on top of rice or other things. You could also fold in a spoonful into tamagoyaki to make it really colorful. It can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days, or frozen.

Meatballs with lettuce in tomato sauce

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Lettuce in meatballs? I know it sounds weird, but it really works. Tons of chopped lettuce and onion in the meatball mixture gives them an interesting crunchy-crispy texture when freshly cooked. (Picky kids may object to that texture, just because it's different, but give them a try!) After a time, especially if the meatballs are frozen, the texture disappears, but the meatballs remain juicy and succulent. Plus, the vegetables lighten up the meatballs and lowers their per-ball calore count without sacrificing flavor. The meatballs are simmered in a thick, flavorful tomato sauce.

This is a really versatile recipe that can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days, or put into your freezer stash. You can make this for dinner and serve it over hot pasta, and set aside some for your bento the next day. It goes well with pasta or rice, can be a filling for a assemble-at-lunch sandwich, and so on.

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