Welcome to my quick guide to low carb high fat LCHF for vegetarians. Effective LCHF eating is not just for meat lovers. Fat comes from many places other than simply bacon and butter. I will show you the many vegetarian sources of good fats and share with you some of my favourite recipes.
When you think of fat you might think of the white stuff on streaky bacon, pork crackling and fatty sausages. Whilst these are delicious sources of fat for meat lovers, they are no good for vegetarians, but that is okay because they are a drop in the ocean compared to the array of good fats out there. On my list of good fats, the vegetarian friendly category is certainly the longest. I have omitted seed oils and vegetable oils because I do not recommend these in your diet in any form. Stick to the list and aim to get a combination of three into your daily diet.
With that cleared up, here are my current top four vegetarian dishes. There is something here for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but why not mix it up and have these delicious dishes any time of day?
1. My #BreakfastRevolution low carb high fat granola.
This is my trusted LCHF breakfast that you can make in batches so that you always have something heathy even when you are time constrained. It has the traditional breakfast feel to it so you will love it whether you are a life long LCHF person or a complete beginner. Enjoy on its own or add to your favourite yogurt, full fat Greek and Coconut Cream Yogurt are super for veggie or vegan respectively.
2. Insalata Caprese – Buffalo Mozarella and Tomatoes
I insist that if you always have great ingredients in the house it is easy to make great food. This is the kind of dish that is indulgent and delicious and also a wonderful way of getting in some super healthy fats. Take all ingredients out of the fridge for at least half an hour beforehand, whenever possible. I like to choose a variety of tomatoes of different colours, shapes and sizes. Here I have served it on a bed of rocket, I am always looking for ways to get fresh leaves and ingredients into my dishes. Dress generously with a good, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil and a good balsamic vinegar (look for real Italian balsamic vinegar from Modena, cheaper ones often have sugar and ‘caramel’ added for thickness and sweetness, avoid these). Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. This can be a light lunch, dinner or a starter to a more substantial meal.
3. Haloumi, Avocado and butternut squash.
This beauty came about after my wife and I cooked up a large butternut squash for dinner. There was enough left over for lunch the next day. So, I cut a block of haloumi into strips and fried them off along with the butternut squash that I cut into similar shaped pieces. I like to peel and slice my avocado in big broad cross sections so that the slices can form a base upon which you serve your haloumi and squash. Dress up with a handful of nutritious watercress and drizzle with your favourite oil such as avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil or both…why not? Here I have added my favourite sugar free chilli sauce and good old salt and pepper to season.
4. Courgetti and Butternut Squash Quick-Bake
I can not claim this wonderful winter warmer as my own. This absolute corker is the brain child of my wonderful wife (she can be found HERE). Chop up your favourite winter squash and bake at about 180ºC in your oil of choice for around 20 mins or until softened. Ghee, olive oil and coconut oil are excellent for baking. In the mean time, carefully cut long tagliatelle like strips or Spiralize one and a half to two courgettes per person. Once your squash has softened, use your potato masher or stick blender to roughly liquidise your squash. I like mine with some texture so I pulse it and leave some small pieces intact. Now, fold in your courgette noodles and dollop on your favourite soft cheese. I love soft French or English goats cheese. Return to the oven for 6-8 mins just to heat through. Take care not to over cook at this point as the courgette can turn a little watery. Serve and drizzle with more of your favourite oil, salt and pepper and perhaps some dried red chilies. Enjoy on a cold winter’s eve with the fire crackling away.
Remember that low carb must be balanced with high fat. Far from restricting calories, it is about rebalancing where your energy comes from and filling your plate with nourishing, beneficial food that tastes great and does you nothing but good. Think about how you can tweak your own dishes by dialling down the carbs and dishing out the good fats.