Fatty, fiber-full, and filling foods
October 2, 2013 11:04 AM   Subscribe

What are your favorite recipes that fulfill the following criteria: low in carbohydrates, lots of good fats, medium to generous on the fiber, and filling/hearty? I'm thinking veggies, soups, and sides, mostly, since that's where my recipe book is weakest.

So, I've had decent success being on a low carb diet. However, I believe I'm now eating too many calories overall, because I'm focusing on the carb count and not the overall caloric picture. That was okay for a while, but now that I'm at a lower weight, I have to be more mindful of my intake. For reference, I am a 25 year old woman, 5'3"ish, 130 lbs, and my daily goals are 1300 calories, at a 10/30/60 ratio of carbs/protein/fat.

This means that I need to focus more on filling, fiber-providing foods. I tend towards meat and cheese, which build up calories fast, and isn't ideal anyway.

I am looking for low carb recipes where veggies are the focus, maybe a fantastic salad with a fatty dressing, or soups that are hearty enough to be a meal. I'm also game for dips/sauces. I am a sucker for comfort food and would love nothing more than to eat a whole tray of macaroni and cheese.

A good example of an ideal recipe I found recently was for broccoli 'cakes' which was essentially a broccoli and pepper patty bound together with egg, almond flour, and cheese. They were lovely and filling and bursting with veggies.

Please help me fill my carb void with foods that won't leave me wanting!
posted by rachaelfaith to Food & Drink (28 answers total) 119 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Oven roasted brussel sprouts and whole cloves of garlic tossed in olive oil. For added protein and deliciousness you can finish it under the broiler with a bit of cheese. It is so delicious, even without the cheese!!! I thought I hated brussel sprouts until I ate them oven roasted.

Also, a fritata or crustless quiche can be wonderful. Load it up with veggies and cheese, a little meat if you want (Mmmm... bacon...), toss it in the oven and there you go! Delicious meal. Very filling.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 11:08 AM on October 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Ratatouille is a nice option. This is a nice recipe that adds chicken for protein:

If you wanted more good fats, an extra drizzle of olive oil would be nice.

This recipe feels like comfort food to me.
posted by TrarNoir at 11:09 AM on October 2, 2013

Almonds - they build up calories fast, but satisfy for a long time.
posted by caddis at 11:12 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

My favorite high-fiber, low-NETcarbs snack is avocado. It is filled with fiber and the rest is fat.

Also, as a hot dish, I like to make a lasagna where I replace the layers of noodles with layers of vegetables. Broccoli, zucchini (lower water content than eggplant), spinach and kale are the layers with sauce, sausage, ground beef and cheese as the fillings. Yum!
posted by BearClaw6 at 11:17 AM on October 2, 2013 [6 favorites]

Not a specific recipe as such, but I make a variety of meals that are basically "Stir Fried Ton'O Vegetables/Legumes With Peanut Sauce", which is filling and delicious.

Usual components:


Broccoli, Red peppers, Green Peppers, Shredded carrots, onions


Chickpeas, Black beans, pinto beans

Peanut sauce:

Peanut butter + soy sauce + worcester sauce + gochujang + water

Cooking - fry veggies in pan, mix sauce ingredients semi-randomly until the desired amount of spiciness/saltiness/pouring consistency is reached.

Optional Extra: Fried egg on top a-la-Bibimbap.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:26 AM on October 2, 2013 [5 favorites]

Nthing Oven Roasted Brussels sprouts! Super good!

Steamed broccoli with butter. Oven Roasted Broccoli!

I make a broccoli cassarole with cream cheese, butter, cream, sour cream, bacon, chives, garlic, onion and whatever cheeses i have laying around that is pretty much a low carb version of mac and cheese. But better. It's like every dairy and bacon and broccoli :) Not so much low calorie though.

I love me some crust-less quiches. Here is my go to recipe. This weekend I made it in muffin tins instead of a full pie plate.

Flax Meal Porridge is a wonderful breakfast (Flax Meal, Protein Powder, Butter, a small splash of heavy cream)

Do you like olives? Olives are fun!

There are tons of websites and books for recipes, but by far my favorite is Linda's Low Carb

Kale chips are just oven roasted kale leaves and go fast. Olive oil, sea salt, pepper, sprinkle with Parmisian cheese when they come out.

One thing to be careful about, if you are in Ketosis and drop your calories too low, that can cause problems for some people. Feeling bad and stalling out on the weight loss.
posted by PlutoniumX at 11:28 AM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Something to use as a base for lots of recipes would be roasted asparagus. Just snip off the ends of one bunch of asparagus, mix spears to coat well with olive oil, and toss with salt and pepper, then spread the spears in one layer on a non stick cookie sheet, and roast in a 450 F oven for 5-6 minutes till crisp/tender. You can serve these hot or cold. This makes a great side, and also can be part of a salad. For example, for a meal, make a salad with vinaigrette, add some of the warm or cold asparagus on the side, and include a poached egg or eggs.
posted by gudrun at 11:29 AM on October 2, 2013

posted by tafetta, darling! at 11:38 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Make a tremendously flavorful tomato-meat sauce. Like lots of garlic, onion, fennel seed, red pepper flakes/sriracha/fresh chiles/other form of hot you prefer, mushroom in big chunks, balsamic vinegar, butter, and then so much good ground beef - 1.5-2lb - that you've basically made Italian chili. It should be a little too powerful to eat on its own.

There is no vegetable you cannot put that over in modest quantities. Cabbage raw or blanched, green beans, summer squashes if you eat them, winter squashes if you eat them, cauliflower obviously but broccoli also sweetens up really pretty with the acid of the sauce. Spinach alone maybe wouldn't cut the intensity enough, but over spinach-cauliflower (or creamed spinach cauliflower!) it would be awesome.

When I get down to less than a serving of sauce, I use the last of it to make a little cauliflower-crust pizza, serve over scrambled eggs, or eat it with pork rinds.

I eat a lot of cabbage when I need to stretch calories. I will snack out of a bag of ready-shredded slaw mix, so it's not like it's a hardship. Bags of broccoli slaw are also awesome.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:42 AM on October 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

I love to put meat sauce on stop of shredded spaghetti squash.
posted by orangek8 at 11:45 AM on October 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Turkey & Kale Soup

This recipe is adapted from The Ultimate Soup Cookbook. It calls for Italian sausage and chorizo, but I usually make the slightly less indulgent version below. However, the original is fantastic! You can also substitute other varieties of greens and beans -- mustard greens with white beans is a good combo.


1lb ground turkey
1 yellow onion, diced
Several cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2T tomato paste
1 14oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch of kale, chopped into 2"-ish pieces
Olive oil
Salt, pepper, cayenne powder, and any herbs you like


Season the turkey with salt and pepper, plus any other herbs or spices. I like to use fennel seed, sage, and oregano.

In a large pot, brown the turkey in olive oil over medium heat. Break it into clumps as it cooks. When it starts to turn a lovely golden shade, add the onion and garlic, plus more oil if necessary. Saute the onion and garlic with the turkey for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the stock, tomato paste, kidney beans, and, optionally, 1t cayenne powder. Bring the soup to a boil.

Add the kale, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes. If you want the kale to retain some crispness in its stems, stop after 10 minutes; for soft, Southern-style greens, go for at least 20.

Eat and rejoice!
posted by Sullenbode at 11:46 AM on October 2, 2013 [4 favorites]

Best answer: spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles topped with tomato sauce and meatballs. yum! that's actually what i'm eating for dinner tonight.

i eat the absolute crap out of pureed cauliflower. boil (or roast!) cauliflower florets, puree with a bit of butter and cream. add salt and black pepper. faux mashed potatoes!

you can also make cauliflower "rice" and make taco bowls with chicken/steak/carnitas/beef, salsa, sour cream.

my go-to meal lately has been cutting chicken breasts into pieces, then sautéing them with various veggies - usually whatever i get in my csa box or whatever is on sale at harris teeter. last week i did it with a package of broccoli slaw, a yellow squash and a zucchini. the week before it was yellow squash and asparagus and i served it on top of roasted brussels sprouts. last night it was with broccoli squash and bok choy.

just saute or roast a bunch of veggies in olive oil and garlic and it's probably gonna be good. that's like a life rule. and when in doubt, add bacon... especially to cruciferous veggies like brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, etc. perfect pairing.

you might get some inspiration from paleo blogs - paleomg is great, or nom nom paleo. paleo is grain- and dairy-free, but you can always modify recipes to fit your needs.
posted by kerning at 11:59 AM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've been making this salad lately:

Dice tomatoes, peppers, avocado, bit of onion. Add beans. Lemon juice + EVOO.
posted by domnit at 1:01 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Butternut squash is wonderful every way, if it's not too carby for you:

1. As a side: cubed, lightly coated with oil, plenty of salt, some nutmeg or pepper. Roast til scrumptiously browned.

2. As a soup: you don't even need to peel it for this one. Put it whole in the oven or toaster oven. Roast til exterior is brown (takes a while. Over an hour.) Scoop out flesh. Blend with stock and milk or cream; season with salt, nutmeg, sage and lemon.

3. As a sauce (I just finished eating this on roasted cauliflower, omg so good:) Roast whole, like in #2. Do everything like for soup, but also add parmesan. I add garlic salt too since it's going on bland cauliflower.

People are always saying you can steam/nuke instead of roasting, but the flavor is nowhere near as good.
posted by fingersandtoes at 1:04 PM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Reddit has a vegetarian keto subreddit that would be useful to you.
posted by KathyK at 1:12 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Really, anything nutritarian.
posted by bearwife at 1:51 PM on October 2, 2013

Yeah, salads are a good bet, and the options are abundant for adding fiber: a diced up hard-boiled egg, chickpeas, beans, tuna salad, shredded chicken, olives, blue cheese, walnuts, almonds, bacon chunks, parmesan, etc. Mixed and match for a little variety, and pair it with whatever veggies you prefer. I'm partial to baby spinach, myself.
posted by likeatoaster at 2:01 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Every week a friend gives me a huge bag or two of veggies (no fruit) from the farmers market and I give him a loaf or two of homemade bread. I like trying new recipes but at least 50% of the veggies usually end up in soup.

Most of the veggies get sauteed, (although now that it's cooling off I'll start roasting some, too) and they go in a huge pot of boiling water. Other veggies, like lettuce and cucumber, go in raw. Add garlic and other seasonings and then puree it in a blender or with an immersion blender and when it's cooled down a bit you can stir in some cream and/or butter. If it needs a little oomph you can add some chicken stock. You can stir in anything else, including proteins, and if you're looking for more fat you can sprinkle some cheese over it before serving.

The selection almost always include chard, leeks, zucchini, and different lettuces plus whatever else works. (Almost everything does.) One extra thing I like to do is to buy some mushrooms, slice them, and saute them low and slow, and then stir them into the soup at the end.

This also works with fritattas.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:24 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

So I eat paleo (low-carb, high nutrient density, lots of veggies and proteins) and I just wanted to share another blog I've been cooking from lately. I'm loving Stupid Easy Paleo. The recipes are, in fact, stupid easy, and delicious. Very easy on the brain for nights that I'm tired but want to eat something healthy. I did the pan-fried chicken and ratatouille for dinner the other night and it was fabulous.
posted by chatongriffes at 2:56 PM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

chatongriffes: "I'm loving Stupid Easy Paleo."

Thanks for this link. The Paleo Mediterranean Meatza Pies sound fantastic.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:44 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've been cooking this chickpea stew recently. It uses a number of excellent cooking tricks to make a tasty combo - wine to deglaze the pan, for instance, improves the taste of the tomato sauce. I use the stock recipe here, which makes a very herby bouillon that can be stored for quite some time.
posted by The River Ivel at 4:11 PM on October 2, 2013

Best answer: Wonderful ideas here.
If you want 'fast food,' there is nothing like a couple cans of no-salt-added green beans.
Drain, dry with paper towels, fry in hot-hot olive oil.
Add spices -- curry powder, cumin, cardamom, whatever.
Throw in some sliced almonds, minced garlic, salt to taste. A splash of vinegar or citrus.

Takes about 5 minutes and you'll have mucho fiber, a bit of protein, healthy fat, and not much else.
posted by LonnieK at 6:55 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is the soup I eat (almost) every day for lunch. It's filling enough that I end up eating a pretty light dinner.

1 can (the big 14-15 oz size) diced tomatoes
1 (or 2) cans of kidney (or cannellini) beans
1 (or 2) Italian sausages

Dump the cans (with all liquid) into a pot and throw the sausage(s) in with them. Cook over medium until the sausage(s) are cooked (pierce the casings so all the good juice & fat leak out). Fish out the sausage(s) and cut them up into spoon-sized pieces and dump them back in the pot. Add a big old spoonful of pesto to taste, and lots of ground black pepper. I suppose you could add salt too, but I never do- the sausage & pesto add enough for me. Serve hot over fresh chopped spinach (or baby spinach). Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

The hot soup will wilt the spinach, but not cook it enough to make it slimy and it's just a super filling meal. I suppose you could add some stock if you want a thinner broth, but I like it more stew-like.
posted by dogmom at 7:39 PM on October 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

I've been making a soup lately that fills these requirements, but it doesn't really have a recipe. It goes something like this:
- start an onion and some carrots cooking in a fat (usually butter), with celery and/or leeks if I've got them.
- while those are going, pull out a couple of sausages and any vegetables in the fridge that look interesting.
- brown the sliced sausages in with the onions, etc., while chopping the veggies.
- add the veggies, starting with the ones that take the longest to cook.
- add stock, maybe a can of diced tomatoes.
- season to taste; serve with oranges, pickles, cheese, or whatever else is lying around.

Recent soups have been: cajun sausage with greens, tomato, beets, peppers, zucchini; italian sausage with cabbage, peppers, beets. We get a CSA veggie delivery, so I just use whatever we have lying around, but it wouldn't be hard to buy up a bunch of your favorite veggies and do the same.
posted by linettasky at 11:04 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Nthing dogmom's recipe. We have been on Slow Carb for 8 months, and it's a staple recipe for us. Delicious! Filling! (We also add diced onion and don't add the cheese)
posted by getawaysticks at 6:19 AM on October 3, 2013

This is an awesome roasted cauliflower recipe.
posted by 912 Greens at 2:08 PM on October 4, 2013

I would suggest anything on a so-called Mediterranean Diet as fitting your criteria exactly. Here are some well-known examples:

Massabaha is sort of deconstructed hummus: a plate of cooked-to-tender chickpeas served on tahini and garnished with olive oil and parsley.

Shakshuka is a hearty, many times spicy, tomato and bell pepper stew with eggs broken in it at the last moment so the white is just set and the yolk runs into the stew as you break into it. The dish is welcoming to proteiny additions: feta cheese and spicy sausage meats are popular.

Majadra is onions fried until brown and fragrant, then cooked with green lentils and often bulgur. This is the one dish on the list that has carbs, but it is low on the glycemic index.

Baba ghanoush is an eggplant almost burned on the grill, or under a broiler, split open and garnished with a very lemony, garlicky tahini.
posted by tryscer at 12:28 AM on October 5, 2013

Oh, and take a gander at this.
posted by tryscer at 12:30 AM on October 5, 2013

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