The Back-Pocket Low-Carb Dinners We Make on Busy Weeknights
Published on May 8, 2019
Last updated December 9, 2020
There are some weeknights when dinner has to be fast and familiar. No trying out that new recipe, no dinnertime acrobatics. On those nights, it’s a back-pocket recipe you’re reaching for — one you pretty much make with your eyes closed. The team at Clean Plates is no stranger to that concept — and we all have those recipes we can whip up with our eyes. From a hearty salad Niçoise to a quickie vegetable-packed rice bowl, here’s what we’re noshing on when our Monday night requires a low-effort, low-carb dinner solution.
1. Niçoise Salad
To call a Niçoise salad a salad feels like a disservice. It’s so much more! The traditional ingredients are hard-boiled eggs, boiled potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, oil-packed tuna, and Niçoise olives, but no one will know if you swap asparagus for green beans or use soft-boiled eggs. If you want to drop the carb count, add more greens and fewer potatoes. Or just skip the potatoes completely.
2. Burger Salad
We just love a burger salad. Salads, in general, are a great way to use up all the odds and ends of cooked and raw vegetables in the fridge. If you have a dressing in the fridge, use it — or just toss greens with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Opt for grass-fed beef, and cook yourself a burger patty while assembling the salad.
3. Stir Fry with “Rice”
A stir fry is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get your fill of protein and veggies. Choose your meat or plant-based protein, add some veggies, and cook it up with garlic, ginger, and tamari. You don’t need the rice, but if you want a low-carb option, we’re loving this new product RightRice. We’re fans of cauliflower rice, but we always feel it doesn’t have the same texture as actual rice, nor does it have a lot of protein. Right Rice has the texture of real rice, a lot of plant-based protein and fiber, and less carbs than actual rice since it’s made from lentils, chickpeas, peas, and a small amount of white rice.
4. Breakfast-for-Dinner Salad
There is such a thing as a bad salad and those under-seasoned, boring salads might turn you into a person who doesn’t consider them a meal. But what if you married your favorite breakfast foods (eggs, avocado, bacon—you get the idea) with salad? That is a salad worthy of being dinner. Here’s what to do: Thinly chop some romaine and toss it with fresh herbs (just use what you’ve got) and some salt. Then add a fried egg or two and a few strips of bacon. And because this is a meal that’s meant to be easy, go ahead and reach for bottled dressing.
5. Sheet Pan Supper
A sheet pan supper is whatever you want it to be — or whatever protein and veggies you happen to have in the house. It’s infinitely customizable, super-fast to make, and the clean up is a breeze. The secret to keeping your meat juicy and tender and your veggies crisp is high heat. Use the broiler, or crank the oven up to 500°F.