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Recipes & Diets

5 Low-Carb Recipes the whole family will love

5 Low-Carb Recipes the family will love MAIN

Whether you’re looking to lose weight, eat a healthier diet or are looking to combat metabolic diseases, these 5 low-carb recipes are simple, delicious and family friendly

Good intentions and a shelf full of cookbooks aren’t enough to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle. What you need is a plan.

A plan underpinned by simple, low carb principles that will help anyone lose weight, combat metabolic diseases and sustain a new way of eating.

With its simple approach, The Diabetes Weight-Loss Meal Plan by Katie Caldesi, £22 (also available to purchase on Amazon, £11.50) will get you started on a healthier lifestyle that’s easy to maintain. It has weekly meal plans – including completely vegetarian variants – and over 100 delicious low carb recipes.

There are quick and easy breakfasts, lunches and dinners

Katie’s simple CarbScale, showing how many carbs you can eat daily depending on your weight-loss target, means the diet is accessible to all, whether you’re looking for dramatic weight loss or just a sustainable eating plan. Backed by expert medical, psychological and nutritional advice, this is a method that really works.

There are quick and easy breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Special occasions and sweet tooths are catered for too, with recipes for a low-carb Christmas as well as brownies, muffins and sponge puddings.

With all these delicious recipes plus ready-to-go weekly plans, it couldn’t be easier to start enjoying the benefits of a low-carb life.

To give you a taster of these recipes, Healthista has picked out 5 of their favourites to get you started…

Low-Carb Recipe #1 Anywhere Chia Porridge

This is a delicious hot or cold breakfast and replaces a bowl of traditional starchy porridge that would be likely to spike your blood glucose.

You can prepare a larger quantity of the dry mixture in advance and store it in a jar or a bag. I take some, along with an apple, for overnight stays in hotels where I’m not sure if I’ll get a healthy breakfast.

I even prepare enough for a seven-day holiday abroad. I can make it up in my room and eat it from a mug! I sometimes do this the night before and leave it in the mini-refrigerator to cool overnight, which allows the seeds to swell further. Or I can take it down to breakfast and add water, yoghurt and an apple or berries.

Travelling often upsets digestion and chia seeds can help your body find its natural rhythm.

Make up the porridge with hot water and a herbal tea bag for extra flavour. Leave out the oats if you are keto.

Per Serving: NET CARBS 4g | FIBRE 7g | PROTEIN 8g | FAT 30g | 326kcal

Optional: 50G (1¾OZ) Greek Yoghurt: NET CARBS 2.5g | FIBRE 0g | PROTEIN 2g | FAT 5g | 62kcal

½ Apple: NET CARBS 12g | FIBRE 3g | PROTEIN 0.5g | FAT 0g | 52kcal 20G (¾OZ)

Oats: NET CARBS 13g | FIBRE 1g | PROTEIN 2g | FAT 1g | 74kcal

Chia seeds porridge

Serves 1


For the dry mixture…

  • 1 tablespoon whole chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons mixed seeds (such as flax, sunflower, pumpkin)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of vanilla powder
  • 25g (1oz) pecans, almonds or walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 20g (¾oz) oats (optional)

To serve…

  • 1 ginger tea bag, optional
  • ½ apple
  • 50g (1¾oz) 10% fat kefir or Greek yoghurt (optional)

1. Make up the porridge with hot water and a herbal tea bag for extra flavour. Leave out the oats if you are keto.

2. Pour the dry mixture into a mug or bowl, add the tea bag, if using, and top up with enough just-boiled water to cover the mixture by a thumb’s width.

3. Leave to steep for 5 minutes to allow the seeds to swell. Discard the tea bag.

4. Eat while warm as porridge or leave to cool. Add more hot or cold water as necessary until you have the consistency of porridge.

5. Cut the apple into slices; there is no need to peel it but do discard the core. (Keep the other half in the refrigerator for another day.)

6. Add to the mug or bowl with the yoghurt, if using. Eat straight away.

Low-Carb Recipe #2 Green Shakshuka

This wonderful, wholesome breakfast is as nutritious as it is pretty. I love to use up whatever greens I have in the refrigerator, such as spinach, rocket, watercress or cabbage, for this.

If I’m out of leaves, I defrost around 8 cubes of frozen spinach, which, once squeezed, makes around 200g (7oz) of spinach. Put the empty half of the avocado shell over the leftover one, or simply wipe it with a cut lemon, to keep it bright.

I like to use Aleppo chilli flakes for their gentle flavour and bright colour.

Per Serving: NET CARBS 6g | FIBRE 8g | PROTEIN 23g | FAT 43g | 525kcal

READ MORE: 3 low carb dinner recipes that will actually fill you up

green shakshuka recipes for diabetes

Serves 2

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch of Aleppo chilli flakes or finely chopped fresh chilli, plus extra to serve
  • 200g (7oz) mixed green leaves (see recipe introduction),
  • roughly chopped, or coarsely grated courgette
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g (3½oz) feta cheese
  • salt and pepper

To serve…

  • handful of coriander, leaves roughly torn, stems chopped
  • ½ avocado, sliced

1. Heat the oil in a medium frying pan (with a lid) over a medium heat, add the spring onions and fry for 5–7 minutes until soft.

2. Add salt and pepper, cumin and chilli. Add the greens or courgette and the water to the pan.

3. Stir through the onions and put the lid on.

4. Cook over a gentle heat for around 5 minutes or until the greens are soft.

5. Remove the lid and add another 3 tablespoons of water if the first few spoons have evaporated and the mixture looks dry.

6. Crack the eggs into the pan, and crumble over the feta.

7. Put the lid back on and cook for 5–8 minutes or until the eggs are done to your liking.

8. Scatter over the coriander and add the avocado slices with a dusting of chilli flakes or finely chopped fresh chilli.

Low-Carb Recipe #3 Layered Mushroom, Goats’ Cheese, Pepper and Celeriac Pie

This stunning vegetarian pie has so much flavour from the gorgeous layers of vegetables.

This is one cheat where I allow myself to use ready-made sheets of filo if we are craving crispy, golden pastry. However, if you are really against ultra-processed foods (which we are 95 per cent of the time), then just leave the pastry off.

If you are using the ready-made filo, do use refrigerated rather than frozen, as it is less fragile. Unwrap it and use the sheets asap, keeping any leftovers tightly wrapped – they dry out quickly and break.

I’ve kept this vegetarian, but there is nothing to say you couldn’t add a layer of the Simple Beef Stew or the Lamb Ragu.

Per Serving: NET CARBS 28g | FIBRE 3g | PROTEIN 16g | FAT 21g | 368kcal

READ MORE: 5 quick and easy low-carb recipes you will LOVE


Serves 8

  • 700g (1lb 9oz) celeriac or swede, peeled and cut into walnutsized pieces
  • 1½–3 tablespoons ghee or butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1kg (2lb 4oz) wild or chestnut mushrooms, trimmed and roughly sliced
  • handful of soft sprigs of thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme or 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 200ml (7fl oz) full-fat milk (any kind) or water
  • 250g (9oz) ricotta cheese
  • 350g (12oz) roasted peppers from a jar
  • 200g (7oz) firm goats’ cheese or smoked Cheddar cheese
  • 4 sheets of filo pastry
  • 20g (¾oz) melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black onion (nigella) seeds
  • salt and pepper

1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the celeriac or swede and boil for 20–30 minutes, or until soft.

2. Heat 1½ tablespoons of the ghee or butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat.

3. Add the onion, season, and fry for 8–10 minutes until soft.

4. Add the garlic and fry for a couple of minutes before adding half the mushrooms, half the herbs and some seasoning.

5. Turn the heat up and fry the mushrooms over a sizzling heat to drive away the water.

6. Tip into a bowl and fry the other half of the mushrooms and herbs, adding a little more of the ghee or butter if necessary.

7. When the celeriac is done, drain it and put into a food processor, or use a stick blender or masher, with the milk, ricotta and seasoning, to taste, then blitz or mash.

8. Once smooth, transfer this mixture to a large ovenproof dish. Tip the mushrooms over the top.

9. Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan (425°F), Gas Mark 7.

10. Pat the peppers dry on kitchen paper and then add to the blender, or use the stick blender, to blitz them into a purée, adding salt to taste.

11. Pour this layer over the mushrooms. Now crumble or grate the cheese over this layer; it doesn’t have to be neat, little mouthfuls of molten cheese are wonderful!

12. Unwrap the filo and gently crumple 2 sheets, then place over the pie.

13. Gently brush these with half the melted butter, then add a further 2 sheets, aiming to get height in the centre. Brush these with the remaining butter and scatter over the seeds.

14. Bake the pie for 15–17 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp. Serve straight away.

Low-Carb Recipe #4 Pepper Quiches

Pepper halves are brilliant, colourful vessels for a variety of fillings and cook perfectly in half an hour.

I have used the typical flavours of French quiche Lorraine, but you could use up whatever is in your refrigerator, such as leftover roast vegetables and various cheeses, or a handful of chickpeas or cannellini beans instead of the bacon.

Per Serving of 2 HALVES: NET CARBS 11g | FIBRE 4g | PROTEIN 32g | FAT 38g | 536kcal

READ MORE: Low-carb dinner: lamb feta burgers and Greek salad

p86 Pepper Quiches diabetes recipe

Serves 2

  • 2 red peppers, halved, cored and deseeded
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion or fat spring onion, finely chopped
  • 100g (3½oz) smoked bacon or ham, diced, or 1 sausage, peeled and crumbled
  • 4 eggs
  • 25g (1oz) mature Cheddar or other hard cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper

1. Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan (425°F), Gas Mark 7.

2. Put the peppers in a small, oven dish or roasting tray. They should fit snugly so that they support one another and can be easily filled.

3. Roast them in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove and set aside.

4. Meanwhile, make the filling by heating the oil in a medium frying pan and gently frying the onions and bacon, ham or sausage together over a medium heat for 5–7 minutes until the onions are translucent and the meat is lightly browned.

5. When done, tip the contents of the frying pan on a plate to cool.

6. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl with a good pinch of salt and plenty of pepper. Stir in the cheese and then add the onion and bacon mixture.

7. Pour this mixture into the peppers, making sure they can’t tip over. If any halves worry you, support them with a little scrunched-up foil.

8. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the filling is set and lightly browned.

9. Serve with a salad or some green vegetables.

Low-Carb Recipe #5 Peach and Hazelnut Tart

This stunning dessert is a great choice, even when living a low-carb lifestyle. Use berries or canned apricots, or a mixture of them both if fresh stone fruits aren’t in season.

This toasted hazelnut pastry is naturally sweetened with orange zest, so it positively bursts with flavour.

Per Serving with Amaretto and Honey: NET CARBS 8g | FIBRE 3g | PROTEIN 3g | FAT 19g | 226kcal

Per Serving with Amaretto and Erythritol: NET CARBS 7g | FIBRE 7g | PROTEIN 3g | FAT 19g | 221kcal

peach and hazelnut tart diabetes recipe

Serves 10

  • 400g (14oz) peaches, nectarines, apricots or berries, stoned and finely sliced
  • 200ml (7fl oz) whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons Amaretto, brandy or rum (optional)

For the pastry…

  • 150g (5½oz) blanched or skin-on hazelnuts or other nuts
  • 1 tablespoon honey or 1 heaped tablespoon erythritol
  • 100g (3½oz) butter, softened and cut into small cubes
  • 40g (1½oz) coconut flour
  • finely grated zest of ½ orange or 1 small lemon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

1. Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan (425°F) Gas Mark 7.

2. Roast the nuts on a baking tray for 8–10 minutes or until golden brown, giving the tray a shake halfway. If the nuts have skins, when done, tip them onto a tea towel and fold it over the nuts. Rub the tea towel over the nuts to loosen the skins. Pick out the nuts and put them into a shallow bowl to cool. Turn the oven off and close the door to retain the heat.

3. Cut a circle of baking paper about 4cm (1½ inches) larger than a 22cm (8½-inch) tart tin. Tear off another piece bigger than this so that you can roll the pastry between them.

4. If making the pastry by hand, roughly chop the nuts to a texture of sand and gravel, then mix with the remaining pastry ingredients in a bowl with a spoon. Alternatively, blitz the nuts and remaining ingredients briefly in a food processor until just combined. You may need to push the mixture down with a spatula a couple of times.

5. Reheat the oven, this time to 190°C/170°C fan (375°F), Gas Mark 5.

6. Place the pastry between the 2 pieces of baking paper and roll out, using the circle as a guide and bearing in mind that you need the pastry to come up the sides of the tin by 1.5cm (5/8 inch).

7. Peel off the larger piece then turn the tart tin over the circle. Put your hand underneath the paper and invert it into the tin. Push the pastry down into the edges and up the sides a little. Be fussy now and make sure the pastry is evenly up the sides and thick enough to hold its shape once cooking.

8. Prick a few holes in the pastry base with a fork to stop it rising. Bake for 12–15 minutes or until firm to the touch and golden brown all over.

9. Remove the pastry from the oven and let it sit in the tin for 10 minutes to firm up. Then, use the paper to lift it carefully on to a cooling rack. I like to serve it in the paper.

10. While the tart cools, slice the peaches. Whip the cream with the vanilla and Amaretto, brandy or rum, if using, until it forms soft peaks, then chill in the fridge.

11. As soon as the pastry has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to a flat serving plate. Spoon the whipped cream into the pastry case and even out with the back of the spoon.

12. Top with the sliced fruits and berries. Serve straight away or chill for up to a day in the refrigerator.

The Diabetes Weight Loss Plan Diabetes recipes

The Diabetes Weight-Loss Plan by Katie Caldesi is published by Kyle Books, £22

Also available to purchase on Amazon, £11.50

Photography by Maja Smend.

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