Dinner side dish ideas without or low carbs?

I was raised on dinners with meat, potatoes and a veggie and I'm struggling to plan meals without or low carb sides. If I plop down a chicken breast and veggies on the plate, it looks like it's missing something - like potatoes! Every meal usually always includes a starch, i.e. rice, pasta, potatoes.. Any ideas on how to fill a plate with no or less carb side options? If I fill plates with only veggies and meat it won't be received well. :-) 3 of the 4 people I cook for (I am one of those 4) are trying to lose weight and the other one will eat anything I serve w/o complaint.. thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Replies

  • SuzySunshine99
    SuzySunshine99 Posts: 2,731 Member
    First of all, unless you have a medical reason to limit carbs, you can still eat them and lose weight. It's about calories only, so you can make room in your calorie goal for some potatoes or rice or pasta if that's what you like.

    But, if you want to/have to go low-carb, you can look into things like riced or mashed cauliflower and spiralized vegetable noodles.
  • terry44448161
    terry44448161 Posts: 4 Member
    Thank you Suzy! I don't want to cut them out, just choose healthier carb options or serve some meals with none. I've tried both the mashed cauliflower and zoodles, a good choice if I can find some way to make them less bland.. I'll look into some recipes with those, thanks!
  • missysippy930
    missysippy930 Posts: 2,547 Member
    Potatoes are healthy. Why not roast them wit your meat and other veggies.
  • terry44448161
    terry44448161 Posts: 4 Member
    Hmm, that would work, like a sheet pan meal, then I could still have a little starch and more veggies.. thx!
  • MsCzar
    MsCzar Posts: 768 Member
    Can't beat a good stir-fry! In a good non-stick pan, stir fry onions, celery, bok choy or cabbage, mushrooms and a carrot along with minced garlic and ginger, 1/2 c chicken broth and a splash of soy sauce. I sometimes add 1/2 T of sesame oil for flavor, heat and smoothness - but you can save the calories and omit that if you like. Add heat with cayenne pepper or low-cal Thai chili paste. I fill my entire plate with veg and plop a piece of chicken or fish on top of the pile. VERY filling and low calorie!
  • littlegreenparrot1
    littlegreenparrot1 Posts: 603 Member
    I have no idea has to the relative carbs, I pay no attention to that. But I quite often do roast root veg instead of potatoes because I like them. A tray of roast parsnips, carrots and onion is lovely.
  • Noreenmarie1234
    Noreenmarie1234 Posts: 7,243 Member
    edited November 2020
    You could make mashed cauliflower. I loveeee that. Feels like you are eating mashed potatoes for barely any calories. I just puree steamed cauiflower in a blender, add some unsweetened almond milk, and TONS of spices. It comes out great. I don't add any sour cream, butter or anything but you could do that to make it taste even better.

    I rarely have a carb with my meals but I know my mom and dad are the same way. They feel like you have to ALWAYS have meat, veggie and potatoes in some form, lol.
  • Dogmom1978
    Dogmom1978 Posts: 1,581 Member
    Low carb veg that I found that I love is spaghetti squash. I’m a super super picky eater. I broke down and bought one last week. Cut it in half, sprinkled it with salt, pepper and olive oil. Cut side down on a cookie sheet covered in tin foil. I roasted it at 450 for 40 min.

    Had some homemade meatballs and some shredded mozzarella and my favorite jarred sauce. Yum

    That said, you can eat as many carbs as you please and lose weight. It’s just CICO for weight loss. Make some healthy choices and try not to change everything at once. The more you try to rush the changes, the more likely you are to fail.
  • terry44448161
    terry44448161 Posts: 4 Member
    Love the last few comments, all sound delicious to me, I'll just have to make something without onions, cabbage and squash for that picky person.. :-) thanks all!
  • cosmiqrecovery
    cosmiqrecovery Posts: 172 Member
    cold times always feel like roasted sides season for me! i love roasted carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, brussel sprouts, or zucchini/yellow squash as a side. for brussel sprouts in particular i love letting them marinate in a balsamic glaze for a few hours before cooking, but the others can just be tossed in olive oil with a bit of salt and rosemary. i've had just as good results using an olive oil cooking spray instead of straight oil, so if you want to save on those calories that's an option.
  • mariomicro
    mariomicro Posts: 74 Member
    It takes time before you readjust to the idea of not having the texture of starches in your dishes, but you'll simply get used to it. It took me a few weeks before I accepted not having bread with my meals. One day, I decided to go cold turkey and I haven't gone back since then. Our ancestors simply ate the meat they hunted without bread, potatoes or cereals and they did it for tens of thousand of years, so can we.
  • Dogmom1978
    Dogmom1978 Posts: 1,581 Member
    mariomicro wrote: »
    It takes time before you readjust to the idea of not having the texture of starches in your dishes, but you'll simply get used to it. It took me a few weeks before I accepted not having bread with my meals. One day, I decided to go cold turkey and I haven't gone back since then. Our ancestors simply ate the meat they hunted without bread, potatoes or cereals and they did it for tens of thousand of years, so can we.

    But we have evolved and have 0 need to eat as if we are cavemen. If it works for you, great, but it is 100% not necessary for weight loss.
  • HeidiCooksSupper
    HeidiCooksSupper Posts: 3,830 Member
    I really like the green giant frozen riced cauliflower risotto. It has mushrooms and bits of asparagus in it. They have another similar one. They do a good job of replacing rice or potatoes.
  • Slacker16
    Slacker16 Posts: 1,185 Member
    edited November 2020
    <3 starchy carbs <3 but, if I'm planning a big meal and want to cut down on calories, I'll chop up mushrooms (not too small) and saute them with some onions or scallions.

    It's satisfying, flavourful and super quick/easy ETA: and fairly low-carb by volume.
  • emmies_123
    emmies_123 Posts: 513 Member
    I roast potatoes now instead of having fries, and I weigh out my portion each time as I fit them into tracker.

    I also swapped out regular tater tots for Brocolli tots or Cauliflour tots, and between the two tend to go for Brocolli. I can't taste it, it has carbs BUT it also has a bunch of fiber. So it is useful starchy side =)
  • Strudders67
    Strudders67 Posts: 959 Member
    I was also raised on meat and two veg. However, a T2 diabetes diagnosis meant I had to rethink my meals a little to reduce my carb count. It's an added bonus that the replacement veg that I now use to fill my plate have fewer cals than the potatoes / pasta / rice.

    I make potato wedges. A small potato looks far more on the plate when cut into 8 wedges, boiled for a few mins, tossed in a v small amount of melted butter to coat, then baked for 35 mins. I often sprinkle some paprika or cayenne pepper into the butter to make spicy wedges.

    Alternatively, do mashed potato but use half the amount of potatoes and bulk it out with mashed cauliflower mixed in. Ditto for rice- half the rice and bulk it out with grated cauliflower that has been baked in the oven. I use a spiralizer and have courgetti with my pasta, again so that my portion size is half what it would have been previously.

    Similar to a post above, I often do a huge stirfry, either with prawns or diced chicken / pork / beef mixed in or topped with a baked salmon fillet. The mound of veg is so big that there's no space on my plate for rice or noodles.