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LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) lunches: Desi style
- Sathya Nagaraj

March 17, 2017

Hi lovely ladies!!

Hope you have enjoyed the "Go Green Smoothie" and have incorporated it as your main breakfast food. I have become so used to it, that I can't think of any other breakfast now for the past 8 months. Leaving our idli, dosa, pongal, upma is a big step, but remember this is a lifestyle change and not a diet. As you make the Green Smoothie a habit, you will realize it is an energetic start for the day! If you are comfortable with your change in your breakfast, you are ready for the changes for your lunch.

A bowl of cooked vegetables and a bowl of lean meat for non-vegetarians, or a bowl of cooked vegetables and a bowl of salads for vegetarians is an ideal lunch. I did it for a week or two, but missed my sambar rice, curd rice etc, and this is when I found a recipe on cauliflower rice. It was a treasure, I tried different variations and it suited the lunch menu perfectly.

We are so used to rice, sambar, rasam, curd, veggies, meat etc for regular meals... So, I incorporated that in a slightly different way. My meal will be Cauliflower Vegetable Biriyani or Cauliflower Vegetable Pulao or Cauliflower Bagala Bhath in place of our rice, this helped me most in sticking to my lifestyle change. So, you have a rice, vegs and salad.... It is so filling that you will not be hungry till 6-7pm.

A typical Non Veg lunch
Cauliflower Vegetable Biriyani
Tandoori Chicken wings / legs
Crispy Cabbage Salad

Dos & Don'ts:
• Do not use much of red meat
• Do not use mayonnaise or cream dressing. Use lemon, vinaigrette dressing
• Do not use root vegetables
• Use coconut, coconut milk in veggies & curries
• Though the LCHF diet uses a lot of fat, go easy there as we are prone to cholesterol with lazy lifestyles
• Use fish, yolk free eggs, chicken. You can have them for lunch everyday
• Add one small chappathi if you must

A typical Veg lunch
Cauliflower Rice
Thai Veg Tofu curry
Crispy Cabbage Salad

Dos & Don'ts:

• Do not use root vegetables, corn
• Do not take sambar or dhal till you reach your ideal weight. Lentils have carbs
• Do not use mayonnaise or cream dressing. Use lemon, vinaigrette dressing
• Though the LCHF diet uses a lot of fat, go easy there as we are prone to cholesterol with lazy lifestyles
• Use coconut, coconut milk in veggies & curries
• Use paneer, tofu. You can have these choices for lunch every day but not together. Use one protein main dish at every lunch
• Add one small chappathi if you must

Cauliflower Rice
The basic cauliflower rice would be done by grating a medium sized cauliflower and keeping aside. In a pan, add a teaspoon of ghee and add the cauliflower, Himalayan salt, sprinkle some water, cover and cook on slow flame. It should be ready in 5 minutes. This is the basic cauliflower rice, you can eat it with rasam, vathakozhambu, curd etc. or run your imagination and make varied pulao, fried rice and biriyani too!!

Cauliflower Vegetable Biriyani
Make a basic cauliflower rice. Set aside.
Temper cardamom, cloves, bay leaf. Add a chopped onion, brown. Add half a chopped tomato. Cook well.
Add ginger garlic paste. Stir well. Add chopped mint.
Add a chopped carrot, few sliced beans or peas. Add a bit of chilli powder, turmeric powder.
Cover and cook for few minutes. Check salt.
When done, mix with the cauliflower rice thoroughly, garnish with coriander leaves.

Crispy Cabbage Salad
Largely shredded purple & white cabbage - 1 cup
Large juliennes of cucumber - 1 cup
Pomegranate - ¼ cup
Curd - ½ cup
Lemon juice - 1 teaspoon
Salt - To taste

Mix the curd, lemon juice & salt.
Add the vegetables, finish with pomegranate
You can add a dash of white pepper too.

Thai Veg Tofu Curry

Onions sliced - 2
Tofu - ½ pkt
Carrots julienne - 1 medium
Capsicum red & green julienne - 1 medium
Broccoli florets - 1 cup
Ginger, garlic chopped - 1 teaspoon each
Turmeric powder - ¼ teaspoon
Soya sauce - 1 teaspoon
Coconut milk - 1 ½ cup
Basil (fresh or dry) - ½ teaspoon
Green chilies / jalapenos - 4 or 5
Tomatoes julienne - 1 medium

Heat oil. Add sliced onion, slit chilies. Next add chopped ginger, garlic and sauté.
When slightly brown, add carrots, cover cook till half done. Add tomatoes.
Add broccoli, tofu, salt. Cover & cook for few minutes.
Add coconut milk & soya sauce
Cover & cook on medium heat.
Now add capsicum, basil, mix well. Cook for a minute.
Cover & leave aside.
Serve plain or with Cauliflower rice.

Tandoori Chicken Wings / Legs
Chicken wings or legs - ½ kg
Curd - 1 ½ cup
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tspn
Tandoori masala - 2 tablespoons
Salt - as required
Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon

Clean and cut the wings into bite size pieces. Leave aside.
In a bowl, add curd, ginger garlic paste, tandoori masala, salt, lemon juice. Mix well.
Add the drained wings. Soak overnight.
Arrange on a tray and cook in an electric oven at 250 degrees for 15 minutes and then turn over and cook for another 10 minutes.
You can use a gas oven or air fryer too.

The internet is filled with lovely non veg & veg recipes without carbohydrates. There are appetizing Thai veg curries, great Mexican salad, creative Chinese dishes for you to choose from. You can check the carbohydrate content in all ingredients and make sure your day's intake is not over 50 grams. You can never complain you are hungry after this lunch, nor can you say this is boring.

You can have a sugar free coffee / tea or preferably green tea for the evening with a slice of cheese and a slice fruit. Of course, have a carb free early dinner as of now.

Remember this is a lifestyle change and not a diet. This will keep you healthy and keep Diabetes away too.

Once I am done with lunch, dinner & snack options, I will post interesting recipes for you too!
Now you can start weighing yourself to see results.

As I told you earlier..... Keep a food diary & do not CHEAT!

Sathya Nagaraj is part of the scanner tribe, with many interests and no pressure to filter down to one. In her time, she has worn many hats - NGO founder, Summer camp co-director, travel agent, real estate entrepreneur and film producer happen to be a select few. However, a Chef and Mother would be her top picks. Having an educational background in Catering and Hotel Management and work experience with groups like The Taj, The Sheraton and Safir hotels, Sathya is well-equipped to design eating plans with meals that tantalise the taste buds. She has more recently embarked on a health kick and decided to take the driver's seat on controlling her health and body image.

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