Going back to basics: plain & simple meals

Sometimes it is easier to just go back to basics and not overcomplicate cooking, especially when you’re short of time or don’t feel motivated to cook. Here are some plain and simple low carb recipes:

Roast Chicken Breast & Buttered Greens

This recipe is super simple and straightforward. You can easily make it your own by adding some extra spices of vegetables, but for a simple dish this is as easy as it gets!

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 25 minutes

Servings 1

Ingredients

1 Medium Chicken Breast

70g Broccoli

84g Asparagus

2 tbsp Butter

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan (390°F/350°F fan).
  2. Whilst the oven is preheating, prepare the vegetables by chopping the broccoli into florets and chopping the bottom of the asparagus off.
  3. Place the chicken breast in a piece of tin foil with 1 tbsp of water, then wrap the tin foil around the chicken breast and loosely cover. Place the chicken on a baking tray in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until fully cooked.
  4. 5 minutes before the chicken is ready, place the broccoli in a saucepan and the asparagus in a separate one. Boil the kettle and fill both saucepans with boiling water.
  5. Bring the water to a boil and cook the vegetables for 5-8 minutes until tender.
  6. Place the vegetables on your plate hot and add 2 tbsp of butter over the top to melt, serve with the chicken when cooked.

Nutritional Information per serving

 Calories 388 kcal |Carbohydrates 4g |Total Fat  25g |Protein 37g|

Veggie Omelette (v)

An omelette is so versatile and perfect for when you are trying to use up ingredients in the fridge. This recipe is a vegetarian one which uses mushrooms, tomatoes and edamame beans for protein. You can add in some extra low carb vegetables, or different variety of beans and flavours to mix it up.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings 1

Ingredients

1 Medium Tomato

50g Mushrooms

2 Eggs

Salt & Pepper

1 tsp Olive Oil

20g Edamame Beans

20g Spinach

20g Cheddar Cheese

Method

  1. Start preparing the vegetables, by slicing the tomato and mushrooms.
  2. In a bowl whisk the eggs and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the olive oil over a medium heat and cook the tomatoes and mushrooms until softened, then add the edamame beans and the spinach. Cook until wilted, then add the eggs over the top and allow to cook through.
  4. Grate the cheddar cheese and sprinkle over the omelette, then place under the grill for 5 minutes.

Nutritional values per serving

Calories 240 kcal |Carbohydrates 8g |Total Fat 14g |Protein 19g|

Chilli con Carne

This is a staple in many people’s households and this simple recipe is perfect for a family-friendly dinner or a meal you can batch cook and save as leftovers in the fridge or freezer.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 4-6 hours

Servings 8

Ingredients

900g Beef Mince

800g Tinned Chopped Tomatoes

1 Medium Onion, chopped

3 Garlic Cloves, minced

1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced

2 tbsp. Chilli Powder

1 tsp. Dried Oregano

½ tsp Cayenne Pepper

2 tsp. Cumin

Salt and pepper, to taste

Toppings:

240g Cheddar cheese, grated

120ml Sour Cream

Preparation Method

  1. Brown the mince in a large frying pan then add to the slow cooker (you may have to cook the mince in batches).
  2. Then to the slow cooker add the rest of the ingredients and stir to mix well.
  3. Either cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
  4. Serve topped with the grated cheese and a spoonful of sour cream.

Why not try pairing with a dollop of homemade guacamole or a side of cauliflower rice?

Nutritional values per serving

Calories 397kcal|Carbohydrates 11g|Total Fat 35g|Protein 8g

Steak with Tomatoes and Mushrooms

Steak lovers this one’s for you. Tomatoes and mushrooms are the perfect side to steak, cook it as you like it and serve it up in under 15 minutes.

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Servings 1

Ingredients

1 Medium Steak

75g Cherry Tomatoes

60g Mushrooms

1 tbsp Butter

Method

  1. Allow the steak to reach room temperature before heating a pan to a medium heat.
  2. Melt the butter in the pan then sauté the tomatoes and mushrooms.
  3. Add the steak and cook to preference; for rare, allow about 3 minutes on each side, until the steak is ‘sealed’. Add another minute for medium, and 2 minutes for well done.

Nutritional Information per serving

Calories 307 kcal |Carbohydrates 5g |Total Fat  17g |Protein 33g|

Easy Creamy Tomato Soup (v)

Another great option if you want to batch cook for the week. Tomato soup is warming and delicious, and this easy recipe can easily become a staple.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes

Servings 2

Ingredients

180g Plum Tomatoes

2 Garlic Cloves

1 tbsp Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper, to taste

150ml Boiling Water

150ml Double Cream

1 tbsp Fresh Basil

2 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds

2 tbsp Greek Yoghurt

Methods

  1. Start by preparing the ingredients. Dice the tomatoes and crush the garlic. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan (390°F/350°F fan). Add tomatoes and garlic to a roasting pan and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 25 minutes.
  2. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and pour into a large pan. Blend using a hand-held blender or electric blender.
  3. Place the pan on the hob over a medium heat. Add the boiling water and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 15 minutes, then add the cream and basil and stir.
  4. Serve garnished with basil leaves, seeds, yoghurt and cracked black pepper.

Nutritional values per serving

Calories 564 kcal| Carbohydrates 8g|Total Fat 55g|Protein 9g|

Pan Fried Salmon with Buttered Asparagus

With only 4 ingredients and taking less than 10 minutes to cook this recipe will be a winner for those short of time or don’t fancy cooking much.

Prep Time 2 minutes

Cook Time 6 minutes

Servings 1

Ingredients

3 tbsp Butter

80g Asparagus

Salt & Pepper, to taste

1 Medium Salmon Fillet

1 Lemon Wedge

Method

  1. Season the salmon then heat 1 tbsp. butter in a frying pan and fry the salmon for 3 minutes on either side until cooked.
  2. Trim the asparagus then heat 1 tbsp. butter in a separate frying pan and fry the asparagus for a few minutes.
  3. Serve the asparagus with the pan-fried salmon topped with a squeeze of lemon and the remaining 1 tbsp. butter.

Nutritional Information per serving

Calories 463 kcal |Carbohydrates 3g |Total Fat  35g |Protein 33g|

Creamy Chicken Stew

This stew uses basic ingredients but the flavour definitely isn’t basic! Another great recipe for the family, or to save as leftovers throughout the week.

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 35 minutes

Servings 3

Ingredients

2 tbsp Olive Oil

300g Chicken Thighs

1 Medium Red Onion

2 Vegetable Stock Cubes

1 x 400g Can Chopped Tomatoes

Salt & Pepper, to taste

100g Spinach

200ml Double Cream

2 Garlic Cloves

300g Carrots

Method

  1. Start by dicing the onion, crushing the garlic and slicing the carrots, then add them all to a non-stick pan along with the oil and chicken thighs. Cook for around 10 minutes, turning the chicken occasionally.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes and stock cubes to the pan and bring to the boil, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the spinach to the pan and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the cream to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, then serve.

Nutritional Information per serving

Calories 599 kcal |Carbohydrates 18g |Total Fat 48g |Protein 24g|

Chicken wrapped in Bacon with Green Beans

A simple but delightful meal, the soft cheese in the chicken makes sure it doesn’t go dry and pairing with salty bacon is a pleasure to your taste buds.

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Servings 1

Ingredients 

1 Medium Fillet

2 Bacon Rashers

1 tbsp Soft Cheese

70g Green Beans

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan (390°F/350°F fan).
  2. Cut a slit down the middle of the chicken breast and spread 1 tbsp of soft cheese inside.
  3. Wrap 2 pieces of bacon around the chicken breast then place in tin foil. Loosely wrap the tin foil around the chicken and place on a baking tray in the oven. Cook for 25-30 minutes until cooked through.
  4. 5 minutes before the chicken is ready, place the green beans in a saucepan with boiling water and cook until tender.

Nutritional Information per serving

Calories 409 kcal |Carbohydrates 4g |Total Fat 23g |Protein 47g|

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