Zoodles Perfected!

This recipe is posted as a courtesy to those following a variety of low-carb and ketogenic diets (not necessarily Meal Plans designed by me). This recipe may or may not be appropriate for you.

Last March, I made “zoodles” for the first time. I thought it was ingenious to use shredded zucchini in place of noodles – not realizing that people long before me had thought of the idea! I posted my recipe here, but have since tried to perfect them, to keep them from ending up sitting in a puddle of water.

Someone online mentioned baking the shreds first, immediately after making them. While they oozed less water when served, they were limp. Quite disappointing!

Yesterday, I was craving spaghetti and Bolognese sauce and had some beautiful pastured beef to make it with and fresh oregano that was still surviving in my garden so I decided to see if I could solve the “water problem” of zoodles, without affected the texture.  I did it!

Zoodles perfected!!

Zoodles perfected!

I had both yellow and green zucchini in the house (2 of each) and decided in the interest of colour, to use the yellow ones.  Here’s the technique for perfect zoodles!

  1. Shred the zucchini lengthwise on a mandolin down to the core on each side (but not including the too-soft core).
  2. Lightly salt the shreds and then toss well and let them sit a few minutes to let it start to draw out the water.
  3. Microwave the zoodles for 3 minutes on high, covered with a microwave cover.
  4. Dump into a mesh colander (the kind for sifting flour).
  5. Allow to cool just long enough to handle them (don’t rinse with water to cool them, as they will absorb it readily) then gently squeeze out all the water in cupped hands (as one would do with frozen spinach when preparing it for a recipe).
  6. Top with your favourite spaghetti sauce, serve and enjoy!

These were amazing!! No pooled water!

…and they twisted just like pasta!

zoodles twisted like pasta

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

To our good health,


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Low Carb Chili Con Carne – not too good to be true!

This recipe is posted as a courtesy to those following a variety of low-carb and ketogenic diets (not necessarily Meal Plans designed by me). This recipe may or may not be appropriate for you.

What if I told you that it is possible to enjoy real Chili Con Carne on a low carb high fat plan?  Would you be interested?

This Chili is rich with ancho chili peppers, diced onion and green pepper, with plenty of fresh minced garlic. Along with a hint of ground cumin, a healthy dash of oregano and salt, these classic chili seasonings are simmered gently with browned, medium ground beef, canned diced tomatoes and beans…real beans!

Low Carb Chili – with real beans!

Beans? How can it be low carb with beans??!

Ahhh, that’s because these beans are black soy beans. Yes, they’re a thing!

Black Soy Beans

Black Soy Beans are soybeans that have a black seed coat on the outside of the bean. Inside, they are the same colour as regular yellow soybeans, although they are smaller than yellow soybeans. Though they look quite a bit like Black Turtle Beans, don’t mix the two up, because Black Turtle Beans are high in carbs, as are all legumes and pulses (another word for “beans”).

nutritional label for Black Soy Beans

Black Soy Beans are so low in carbs and so high in fiber, that they have a mere 1 gm of carbohydrate for a 1/2 cup serving – and there is only one can of these beauties in the entire pot of chili.


Canned tomatoes are fairly low in carbohydrate too, and there was only one 796 mL (28 oz) can of those in the entire recipe.

The rest was veggies, meat and seasoning.

Here’s the recipe:

Low Carb Chili Con Carne


2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 kg (2.2 lbs) medium ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
1 tbsp. ancho chili pepper, ground
1 tbsp. fresh garlic, minced finely
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1 tsp. oregano (Mexican or Greek), rubbed
sea salt, to taste


1 – In a heavy dutch oven or cast iron casserole, melt the coconut oil over a medium-high heat.

2 – Add the diced onion and saute until translucent, but not browned. (Don’t let the pan get too hot.)

3 – Add the diced green pepper and saute until wilted.

4 – Add the ancho chili pepper and gently saute until all the vegetables are soft and well coated with the pepper, then add the salt, cumin and oregano.

5- Sprinkle the freshly minced garlic on the top and continue sauteing gently until it begins to become translucent.

6 – Gently crumble the ground beef on top of the cooked, seasoned vegetables and continue to saute over a medium high heat until the beef begins to brown.

partially cooked beef and seasoned vegetables

7 – Empty the can of diced tomatoes on top.

7 – Then empty the can of black soy beans with the liquid, on top of the tomatoes.

8 – Gently stir until well mixed, then simmer over a low heat for at least an hour (preferably until the liquid is thick and flavourful.

Chili con Carne – ready to serve!

9 – Serve the chili in individual soup bowls, topped with your favourite chili toppings. Some popular ones are diced avocado, minced green onions, shredded mozzarella and a dollop of sour cream. Top with Mexican habanero sauce if desired and enjoy!

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Joy’s Low Carb Falafel

This recipe is posted as a courtesy to those following a variety of low-carb and ketogenic diets (not necessarily Meal Plans designed by me). This recipe may or may not be appropriate for you.

Falafel are the iconic ‘street food’ of Israel and elsewhere in the Middle East and are often eaten standing in front of the little shops that make them or sitting at picnic tables outside. Israeli Arabs and Jews often mingle at these little stands, enjoying their delectable, quick meal together. In this post, I’ll give you everything you need to know how to make delicious, authentic-tasting low carb falafel.

Joy’s Low Carb High Health Fat Falafel

For those unfamiliar with falafel, they are slightly “cone-shaped” balls of delicately spiced, ground chickpeas and/or fava beans that fried until their exterior is crispy, yet their interior remains moist, yet cooked.

falafel press

They are formed using a special falafel press, available in Middle Eastern stores or online, but a mini small ice-cream scoop could substitute, in a pinch.


falafel pita

Usually, falafel are served in a split pita with pickles (cucumber and beet marinated turnip), tahina sauce, cut fresh vegetables and sometimes a drizzle of an aromatic hot sauce called ‘harissa’. In my version, large washed and dried leaves from green leaf lettuce substitute for the pita and the mixture itself has the addition of ground, firm tofu to make it much lower carb! Since tofu is made from soya beans, its taste is indistinguishable in the aromatic mixture of spiced chickpeas and fava beans.

Another advantage to my recipe is that regular falafel require the addition of baking powder to make the texture light and soft inside, but this often leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste to the falafel.  In these low-carb falafel, the ground tofu makes the addition of baking powder totally necessary. The texture is just perfect!

At only 2.5 gm net carbs per piece  – and only 14 gm for the 4 falafel “sandwiches” below plus the carbs from the vegetables eaten, what’s not to love about these low carb high healthy fat falafel?

Joy’s Low Carb High Health Fat Falafel

Below is the recipe for this delectable treat!

Joy’s Low Carb Falafel Recipe

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight

1 cup of dried fava beans, soaked overnight

1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)

4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro (coriander leaves)

350 gm extra firm tofu

1.5 teaspoon salt

1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot Aleppo red pepper

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon cumin, ground

2 tbsp sesame seeds

4-6 tablespoons chickpea flour

Falafel Garnish

leaf lettuce leaves, whole

diced tomato

sliced cucumber

sliced 1/2 sour dill pickles

large sticks of beet-pickled turnip (available at a Middle Eastern store, and easy to make homemade!)

chopped parsley

chopped green onion or milder round onion

Tahina Sauce

1/2 cup tahina sesame paste

1/2 cup warm water

1 clove garlic, crushed finely

juice of 1/4 lemon

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Falafel Preparation


(1) This recipe works best when the mixture is made 1 day ahead and left to sit for a day in the fridge, covered.  This way, the falafel don’t fall apart when frying!

(2) I use a meat grinder attachment for a Kitchen-Aid stand mixture to grind mine, but a food-processor could work too provided the mixture is ground in small batches and remains course in texture.

  1. Put the chickpeas and fava beans in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight.
  2. When ready to prepare mixture the next day (a day or two before planning to make falafel), drain the soaked beans and rinse well with cold water.
  3. Put the drained, rinsed, uncooked chickpeas and fava beans though the meat grinder, being sure to use the smaller-holed press.
  4. Then, put through the extra firm tofu, onion, parsley, cilantro and garlic.

    If using a food-processor, process until coarsely textured, but not pureed!

  5. In the bowl that has received the ground mixture, mix in the salt, hot pepper, garlic, cumin and sesame seeds and sprinkle with 4 – 6 tablespoons of chickpea flour
  6. Cover bowl and refrigerate, covered, until the next day.
  7. When ready to cook, form the chickpea mixture using a falafel press or by hand into balls about the size of walnuts. Form one side into a slight cone-shape (gives more surface area when frying!).
  8. Heat 2 inches of coconut oil to 375° F degrees in a deep, heavy pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. Once sure the oil is hot enough (not too hot, either!) fry 5 falafel at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  9. Drain on a layer of kraft paper lunch bags.
  10. Once all the falafel are cooked, assemble as desired, with vegetable of choice at the bottom, falafel on top and drizzle with tahina sauce, and harissa thinned with olive oil (if using).


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Turkey or Chicken Low Carb Lasagne – great for leftovers

This recipe is posted as a courtesy to those following a variety of low-carb and ketogenic diets (not necessarily Meal Plans designed by me). This recipe may or may not be appropriate for you.

It’s the day after Canadian Thanksgiving and many people are wondering what to do with leftover turkey.  Well, here’s an almost no-carb idea for a delicious LCHF Lasagne! It can also be made with sliced cooked BBQ chicken breast, as well.

Almost no-carb turkey or chicken lasagne


Grease an 8″ x 10″ ceramic or glass baking dish liberally with butter or a high quality fat of your choice.

In a bowl, place 500 ml (2 cups) plain tomato sauce and season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, fresh squeezed garlic, rubbed oregano and extra virgin olive oil and set aside.

In another bowl, beat 3 eggs and add enough whipping cream to bring the volume up to 500 ml (2 cups).  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add 100 gm (3 oz) grated Parmesan (or Asiago) cheese. Grate a bit of fresh nutmeg into the mixture, and set aside.

In the microwave, cook 2 pkg. of chopped, frozen spinach until defrosted, but not cooked.  Place in a sieve and press out water with the back of a large spoon.  With clean hands or a cheesecloth (if you prefer), squeeze out the excess water and leave in sieve while preparing the rest of the ingredients.  In a small bowl, beat 3 eggs and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and then add the well-drained spinach.  Add a touch of whipping cream to increase volume / adjust texture, if desired.

Slice the turkey or chicken breast to 3 mm slices (not to thin as it won’t have the correct texture when baked).

Now you are ready to assemble the lasagna, but while you are doing that, preheat the oven to 450° F.

In the bottom of the greased baking dish, layer 1/2 the tomato sauce mixture.  Add one layer of sliced turkey (or chicken) – about 1/3 of the total quantity, being sure to leave no gaps between pieces.  Spread the sliced poultry with a layer of the spinach mixture and top that with 1/2 the cream mixture. Add the second layer of poultry and on top of that, spread the rest of the spinach mixture and top that with the remainder of the cream mixture.  Finish with the remainder of the sliced poultry and top with the rest of the seasoned tomato sauce and cover the top well with shredded Parmesan cheese, or a mixture of Parmesan or Asiago cheese mixed with shredded mozzarella.

Bake at 450° F until bubbly and hot and slightly browned on top.



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LCHF Thai Green Curry (Vegetarian friendly)

This recipe is posted as a courtesy to those following a variety of low-carb and ketogenic diets (not necessarily Meal Plans designed by me). This recipe may or may not be appropriate for you.

For most people on a traditional low-fat “diet”, a Thai green curry is definitely ‘out’ – considered to have “way too much fat” in the coconut milk, not to mention in the deep fried poultry (or in this case, tofu)!  But for those eating Low Carb High Fat, the fragrant aroma of the galanga root and kaffir lime peel in the Green Curry Paste beckon.

Thai Green Curry is a meal of contrasts, with the crunchy bitterness of miniature Thai eggplants, the gentle bite of zucchini cubes or golf-ball size green Thai makhuea eggplants, short pieces of long beans or Western green beans and an abundance of tender anise-like leaves of Haropha basil.

What’s not to love about the natural creamy sweetness of pure coconut milk offset beautifully by the salty pungency of Thai Nam Pla (fish sauce)?

Whether one adds pieces of deep fried tofu or an abundance of cut up boneless chicken or duck, Thai Green Curry can be a meal in itself.

Green Thai Curry

If it is felt that Thai food must be served over rice, then why not make white cauliflower ‘rice’? It’s so easy and only 5 carbs per 1/2 cup (125 ml).

Cauliflower “Rice”

Cauliflower “Rice”

All there is to making Cauliflower “Rice” is to microwave finely chopped raw cauliflower with a tablespoon of water for 3 minutes covered at power level 10 (100%).  Then, let it stand covered for another 3 minutes, and voila!

When it is made from fresh compact heads of cauliflower, it has virtually no taste of its own and no smell!  Cooked as above, it is surprisingly hard to distinguish from the carb-laden original.

LCHF Thai Green Curry

Thai Green Curry can be made using any fresh vegetables you have on hand, or you can be a purist and shop at a South Asian market for a variety or traditional ones.

I usually use one or two varieties of Thai eggplant, long beans and when available, fresh miniature ears of corn (a mere 2.5 grams of carbs in an ounce (30 gm)).

Here is a basic recipe and cooking method;

  • 2-3 bunches Thai miniature green eggplant, taken off stem
  • 1/2 lb (250 gm) Thai round (golf-ball size) green eggplant
  • 1 bunch of long beans (1/2 lb / 250 gm) or equal quantity of green beans, cut in 1″ (3 cm) pieces
  • 1 medium size green zucchini, cut in 1/2 ” (1.5 cm) cubes
  • 1-2 bunches of Thai basil, washed and taken off stem
  • 1 package of deep fried tofu* (or 1 lb of chicken or duck thighs, marinated in a mixture of Thai green curry paste (1 Tbsp), 1 Tbsp Thai fish sauce, 2 Tbsp Thai coconut milk (100% pure).
  • coconut oil
  • Thai Green curry paste (available in jars at most supermarkets)
  • 250 ml of 100% pure coconut milk (boxed is preferable)

*some people avoid tofu due to its naturally containing phytoestrogens and goitrogens.  Then again, there are LCHF paleo-adherents that avoid most vegetables due to the compounds they naturally contain, such as phytates, oxylates and trypsin inhibitors which can bind minerals such as calcium and iron.  I think the nutrient benefits of non-starchy vegetables, their fiber content as well as their anti-oxidant properties are well learning what foods they shouldn’t be paired with, to avoid an anti-nutrient effect.

Heat a heavy cast iron saucepan, frypan or wok.  Add the coconut oil and heat.  Spoon in a heaping tablespoon of Thai Green Curry Paste (less, if you don’t want it spicy!) and splash in 1 teaspoon of fish sauce (or to taste).

If using poultry, add it at this point and stir fry it until 80% cooked. Then add the vegetables beginning with the most dense, first.  (I start with the miniature eggplants and then the long beans or green beans, along with the larger Thai eggplants).  Toss them around in the fragrant seasoned oil until the vegetables begin to cook.  Then add about 1/2 of the coconut milk and turn the heat down to medium and cover. When the veggies are ~ 80% cooked, add in the more tender vegetables such as zucchini cubes and if serving with Cauliflower “Rice”, add the rest of the coconut milk. If serving alone, I don’t add more coconut milk, because there’s nothing to absorb it when serving.  Cover, and let the zucchini cook slightly.

It’s important not to overcook the curry. The vegetables should be “just” cooked and still slightly crunchy. If cooking Cauliflower “Rice”, have it ready to go and cook it right at this point. Cooking it too far in advance will result in it having a strong cabbage-like smell.

Toss the basil leaves into the curry and serve immediately.


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Nutritional Info: The only carbs in this dish are 5 gms of carbs for every 1/2 cup serving of vegetables and 6 gms of (net) carbs for 3 oz (100 gm) of tofu.  If using poultry, then there aren’t any carbs. A half cup of 100% pure coconut milk has only 2 gm of carbs.

Low Carb Chow Mein

This recipe is posted as a courtesy to those following a variety of low-carb and ketogenic diets (not necessarily Meal Plans designed by me). This recipe may or may not be appropriate for you.

This recipe was made on the spur of the moment, when I felt like the taste and texture of Chow Mein, but without all the empty carbs of wheat or rice-based noodles.

I found a package of Bean Curd Strips at the local Chinese grocery store and since they had almost no carbs in them, I decided I would see how they would “sub” for noodles.  They were amazing!

They were chewy and crispy – with almost no discernible taste of their own.

Bean Curd Strips

I prepared them exactly as I would for real Chow Mein.

I plunged them into boiling water for a minute and tossed them around so they softened, then lifted them out and placed them into a colander to drain and shocked them with ice water.

I quickly blanched some cut up Chinese Broccoli (Gai Lohn) and sliced baby carrot in the same hot water, to save cooking time, later.

Then I heated a non-stick skillet on medium hot, added some coconut oil and fried the blanched Bean Curd Strips gently until golden and crispy on the bottom.  I flipped the whole mass over and continued frying them on the other side, while gently grinding Himalayan Pink Salt on the top.

I happened to have a defrosted boneless duck breast on hand, so I cut it in strips and marinated it in a mixture of real soy sauce, a bit of Chinese cooking wine and a splash of sesame oil.

I heated up a wok, added some coconut oil and about a tablespoon of diced fresh garlic then stir-fried the duck breast until almost cooked, and set aside.  In the same wok, I added a bit more oil, a bit more garlic, then added in the blanched veggies and some sliced zucchini and snap peas that I had on hand, to round out the colour and texture, then added back the almost-cooked duck breast. I poured in a little bit of chicken stock and then when the whole thing was cooked, thickened it with the tiniest amount of tapioca starch and water – just to give the sauce some body.  If I wasn’t a purist, I could have added butter to bind it, as the French would do.

Any meat could substitute, as would any vegetable of your choosing. The focus, after all was the noodles…and they did not disappoint!

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Low Carb Beer Batter Fish

This recipe is posted as a courtesy to those following a variety of low-carb and ketogenic diets (not necessarily Meal Plans designed by me). This recipe may or may not be appropriate for you.

I have been asked so many times for this recipe, that I’ve decided to post it and while this isn’t everyday fare for me, one of my sons would eat it as often as I would make it. There is a local fish and chips place right on the Pacific Ocean and I’ve been told this easily rivals theirs.

Have a look:

Low Carb Beer Batter Fish

The batter is light and crispy – like the best tempura batter.

In fact, when I make fish this way, I dip slices of zucchini in the leftover batter, and make a deep fried side to go with it. I mean, why not?  Once you’re frying, might as well, right?

This is definitely not “everyday food” but “sometimes food”, but oh, is it good!

Low Carb Beer Batter Fish and Zucchini

I fry in cold-expressed virgin coconut oil, as it has a high smoke point and unlike commercial refined seed oils like grapeseed, soybean, sunflower,  safflower  and corn oil, cold-expressed virgin coconut oil doesn’t produce  Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs), which can cause oxidative damage to cells in the body.

I heat the coconut oil to between 160-170 °C or 320-340 °F, which is hot enough that a piece of batter dipped vegetable begins to puff and get golden quickly, but still allows some frying time for the internal parts to be fully cooked.

My favorite fish to fry this way is fresh Pacific Cod loins, but even defrosted Haddock Loins come out pretty good, if defrosted in the fridge until ~80% thawed, then pressed dry with a paper towel prior to dipping in batter, to get the excess water out.

Okay, enough background…here’s the recipe:

Low Carb Fish and Vegetable Beer Batter
  • 11 Tbsp unflavoured Whey Protein Isolate powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt, ground
  • 1 tsp guar gum (or xanthan gum)
  • 3 eggs, large, free-range, beaten well
  • 3 Tbsp low carb beer (such as Sleeman Clear 2.0) or sparkling water (Club Soda, Seltzer)
Cooking Instructions
  1. Slice 6 cod or haddock loins in half and pat dry well with a paper towel.
  2. Cut one or two firm slender zucchini into 1/8″ (1/3 cm) slices.
  3. Heat the coconut oil in a heavy pot until between 320-340 °F. (160-170 °C).  Make sure there it is deep enough that the thickest piece of battered fish can float.
  4. Mix all the batter ingredients together in a wide, shallow bowl and whisk well for a minute or two, to make sure there are no lumps. (You can’t toughen the batter, as there is no gluten!)  The batter should be a light creamy yellow.
  5. When the coconut oil is hot enough, dip your zucchini (and/or other vegetables) and fry first on one side and then the other and set aside on a plate lined with several paper lunch bags, to absorb the excess fat. Don’t over cook. Be sure to whisk your batter back together for 20 seconds or so before dipping the fish to ensure the perfect consistency.
  6. Dip your dried, cut fish loins in the batter and coat well on both sides, and fry in the coconut oil until the batter is golden brown on the first side. Flip each piece over gently and fry on the second side, until the fish is cooked in the middle and a golden and crisp.*Don’t overcrowd the pot, as it will cause the oil temperature to decrease to much, and your fish will be greasy. I fry two pieces at a time in a 10″ (25 cm) pot.
  7. Transfer each piece to a plate lined with paper lunch bags, to absorb the excess oil.


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Spaghetti Zoodles with Bolognese Sauce

This recipe is posted as a courtesy to those following a variety of low-carb and ketogenic diets (not necessarily Meal Plans designed by me). This recipe may or may not be appropriate for you.

On a cool, rainy day, there is nothing quite as comforting as Spaghetti and Bolognese Sauce, but who wants all those carbs? So I invented “Zoodles”; “noodles” made from zucchini. Well, I don’t think I exactly ‘invented them’ because I have since seen other people post articles about them, but they were innovative at the time.

Now that I’ve made these a few times, I actually prefer them to wheat-based noodles, because you can eat a large plateful and not feel overstuffed afterwards.  And when cooked just right, they actually can be wound up on a fork, just like pasta!

al dente Zoodles and Bolognese sauce

So how do I prepare Zoodles?

For two large servings, I take 2 or 3 slender, firm zucchini (less seeds this way) and shred them on a Japanese mandolin*, using the middle thickness of cross blade.

* I use the Benriner mandolin, but one of those "spiralizers" would work too, except it would be difficult to avoid shredding the pulpy middle.
shredded zucchini, ready to cook

I place the pile of raw “Zoodles” on a plate, sprinkle about 1 tsp. of water on top and cover with a microwave cover.  Then I microwave them at 80% power for 3 minutes, then let stand for 3 minutes. I drain the excess water by placing the cooked Zoodles in a colander and leave them covered until ready to serve.

cooked zucchini Zoodles, ready to top with sauce

Top with your favourite sauce and voila! Spaghetti Zoodles Bolognese – without the carbs!

Spaghetti Zoodles with Bolognese Sauce

Buon appetito!

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