Often when I am cooking low-carb meals, I rely on assembling whole foods: roast chicken, a salad, green beans, grilled fish, etc. About once a week I crave a big yummy casserole, particularly in the winter.
My apologies for not having any pictures – my iPhone doesn’t do justice to anything. But I will give you the links of recipes and their source, as well as my honest opinion.
The first is right here at home: Adrienne’s Chicken, Broccoli and Curry casserole. This is a classic casserole with a mayonnaise base and is very, very easy to put together. I cut Adrienne’s recipe in half to fill a 6x9 casserole dish, also knowing that my husband would turn his nose up at it. Planning to eat it all week for lunch, I didn’t make it past Day 4 because I kept picking at it! I also added a pinch of sea salt flakes to the top after it baked because it didn’t have quite enough seasoning for me. I also used the full amount of curry powder recommended (I like it spicy). And if you want to be even more authentic, try making this casserole with cauliflower instead of broccoli. Recommendation: absolutely! Net carbs: 10-15 per serving, depending on the vegetable used. Remember, full-fat mayonnaise has carbs.
The next recipe I tested was one featured on lowcarbhighstyle’s blog: Curry Meatballs in Creamy Tomato-Coconut Sauce, adapted from a recipe on Mark’s Daily Apple. Another, good, savory recipe with heft that I served with steamed spaghetti squash instead of the recommended cauliflower rice (steam cauliflower, rice it or pulse it in a food processor, voila: a facsimile of rice). I needed to add a bit more salt to the meatballs, which I think would also taste fantastic made out of ground turkey or chicken thighs in addition to the ground beef in the recipe. I recommend making the meatballs ahead of time, baking them in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees, and freezing them. You could then serve them with the sauce in the recipe, another sauce, or plop into soup to make a mock version of Italian Wedding soup. Recommendation: yes, high yum factor. Net carbs: 8-10 per serving, NOT including cauliflower or squash.
My final recipe which I had for lunch today is a lasagna made with spaghetti squash I found at this website: http://www.sugarfreelowcarbrecipes.com/. All of the traditional flavors are present, but if you’re looking for the chewy pasta noodles, this does not deliver. My favorite part of any lasagna is the gooey, partially-burnt, crusty corner piece that’s nearly stuck on the pan (fond memories of eating cold lasagna for breakfast on a Saturday morning in high school, and making sure I was up by 6 AM to beat my brother to the corner piece, are flowing through my head right now). I went rogue from the recipe specifics in that I added two tablespoons of leftover homemade pesto to the ricotta mixture, and I added plenty of herbs and garlic to the ground meat as it was cooking. Next time, I will steam the spaghetti squash and sauté it a bit in a mostly dry pan to rid it of moisture. Recommendation: yes, with caution. Make this for yourself before you serve it to company, a finicky eater, or bring it to a potluck. Net carbs: recipe states 5, but you’re probably going to eat a bigger helping unless you serve this with a salad.