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By Christine Luken
Your Strong Tower
I love carbs! I love pasta, bread, rice, pretzels, cake and muffins!
However, I do not love the effect of too many carbs in my diet: feeling sluggish, bloated and puffy.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons they call it a “muffin top.” I recently read an article in First for Women magazine that showed carb-cutting for two consecutive days per week (and eating a well-balanced diet the rest of the time) was actually better for blood sugar control and weight loss than constant carb-cutting. That’s good news, because I wouldn’t give up my beloved spaghetti, tacos or mashed potatoes.
I thought this week I would share some low-carb dinner ideas that are so tasty you’ll barely miss the starch.
Veggie Spaghetti ~ Instead of using pasta with my sauce, I will sauté bell peppers, zucchini and onions cut into strips in a little olive oil. I will use my veggie strips as the “pasta” and top it with spaghetti sauce with ground turkey or Italian-style sausage.
Salad with Beans ~ I like making a big Greek chicken salad with baby spinach, garbanzo beans, chicken, cucumbers, feta cheese and a sprinkling of pine nuts. The garbanzo beans have a good balance of protein, carbs and fiber so you feel satisfied, not stuffed. You could also make a taco salad, minus the shell, and add some black beans for a filling dinner salad.
Oven Fried Chicken ~ Find the recipe here. The chicken is lightly dusted with bread crumbs and coated with cooking spray. It seems the bone-in chicken breasts in the stores are colossal, so pairing it with a side salad is plenty of food.
Foil Packets on the Grill ~ These foil packets are great because you can switch up the meat, using chicken, beef, pork, even shrimp.
Grilled Mushrooms ~ Brush some portobello mushrooms with a little Italian dressing and toss them on the grill alongside your steak, salmon or chicken. Because mushrooms are 80 to 90 percent water, they help to fill you up with very few calories.
What is your favorite low-carb meal or recipe?
Meal Planning Monday is a regular feature of yourstrongtower.com, a website dedicated to promoting the financial well-being of families through the use of coupons and good money management principles. Financial coach and self-proclaimed Coupon Queen Christine Luken, along with partner Craig DeLisle, aims to reduce the cost, time and stress of shopping and meal preparation so families have more time and money to invest in the things that matter most to them. Read more of Christine’s money management tips and check out her Coupon Wizard at yourstrongtower.com.