August 20, 2021

I have mentioned before how I struggle to come up with something to fix for dinner.  While we are not on a low carb diet, we do try and be carb conscious.  A low-carb diet limits carbohydrates and stresses foods high in protein and fat, reducing or eliminating grains, starchy vegetables, and fruit.   Melissa has been good about cutting down on the bread but is still tempted by potatoes.  My downfall is rice and pasta.  The problem I have with dinner is potatoes, rice and pasta are the easiest quick meals to make.  I generally default to one of the three as the basic ingredient for our evening meal.  Even though I add the protein and vegetables to make it more nutritious it is hardly low carb.  Occasionally I tire of this routine and look for low-carb alternatives for a meal.

When I looked online, I found while a low-carb diet is generally used for weight loss, some low-carb diets have health benefits beyond weight loss, including reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.  Carbohydrates are grouped as simple natural (lactose in milk/cheese and fructose in fruit), simple refined (table sugar), complex natural (whole grains or beans) and complex refined (white flour).  In general, complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly and they have less effect on blood sugar than refined carbohydrates do.  They also provide fiber.  Common sources of naturally occurring carbohydrates include grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, nuts, seeds, and legumes (beans, lentils, peas).  Another way to say this is, everything I like to eat.

After looking for quick meals I came across an interesting alternative to nachos.   This was a low carb version that was based on green bell peppers.  The peppers were cut into quarters and then piled with the same toppings usually found on nachos.  That included taco meat, onions, beans, cheese, and olives.  The “nachos” were then baked in the oven at 425F for 10 minutes.  When we tried the dish, it was different to say the least.  It tasted nowhere like nachos, and I later thought the peppers should have been blanched to soften before they were placed in the oven.  Melissa’s reaction was priceless.  To make the dish more palatable, she ate these low carb nachos with tortilla chips.

Thoughts:  When I lived in Berkeley, I had the habit of ordering nachos as a late-night appetizer.  I enjoyed the different ways they were fixed and the variety of toppings that would be loaded onto the pile of chips that were provided.  One of my favorites were the stone fired nachos I found in a local pub that also served individual pizzas.  One night I ordered nachos from one of the national chains and instead of a pile of chips, there were 12 individual chips that had been loaded with toppings.  This was immediately dubbed “designer nachos” (by me).  I did not appreciate these any more than last night’s low carb bell pepper nachos.  Tracking the virus spread has identified obesity as one of the key factors in the virility of the contagion.  Yet another reason to eat low carb.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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