Cooking Strange Combinations of Foods on Low Carb

‘Fusion cuisine’ is tasty rule-breaking

A fridge clean-out inspired me to swing for the fences in terms of mixing together leftovers and forgottens to make an edible and low carb meal for myself one evening. I needed to cook up some ground beef I had bought last weekend – but how? I decided to make ‘Whatevs’ – whatever I found in the fridge with ground beef. Because of what I found, I decided to do a scary experiment: just how far can I go out-of-bounds of what foods go with what? My ingredients were as follows:

  • 1 pound ground beef, browned in 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1.5 cups of chopped tomatoes loitering in the fridge
  • 1 can of black olives
  • 1 cup of bok choy
  • 2 jalapeno peppers with seeds left in for heat
  • 1 slice chopped Virginia ham
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 cup fresh Asian-style mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 ageing cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large onion

Despite the odd inclusion of bok choy and jalapeno, I seasoned it with oregano, parsley and basil. I let this simmer for a half hour after browning the beef then putting in the rest of the ingredients.

The verdict? Pretty damn good if you ask me. I had a quarter-pan of the stuff. I used the Loseit! calorie-counting app on my iPhone to determine the calories for the entire pot, called it ‘1 serving’, then had a 1/4 of the pot, for a total of 543 calories. I added freshly grated parm cheese and enjoyed every bite. There are 3 servings left that I assure you I will eat, though I might not detail to coworkers and causal acquaintances just what is in my lunch.

While I ate it I was reminded of how our food prejudices prevent low carbers from eating perfectly acceptable foods simply because the combinations are unusual. Why!?! Is it really all that bad to put bok choy, asian-style mushrooms, ham, bacon and jalapeno peppers in a dish together with Italian seasonings? Somebody had to be the first to think that a lemon – a tropical fruit, went well with sea creatures. We don’t question this just because we’re used to it.

Fact of the matter is: if you enjoy the combination, you can eat anything paired with anything else, and if you are willing to experiment, you can come up with plenty of variety for health and enjoyment that might fall out of the mainstream, but can make your life more enjoyable while on low carb.


I omitted a detailed nutrient profile for this stuff – forgive me:

Calories: 543
Net carbs: 10g
Fat: 40g
Protein: 33.5



A Most Awesome Ham, Cheese, and Onion Baked Frittata UPDATE

This photo does NOT do this recipe justice

UPDATE: Stupid here forgot to mention that the thing had eggs in it – which just happens to be the main ingredient. Duh. I think I messed up on the nutrition info as well.

I was riffing on the ‘quiche’ recipes from the previous weeks and thought to try a variation. I found a ‘frittata’ recipe that vaguely resembles this – with low cal this and fat-free that – so of course I had to change it up and do a remix. Using ingredients around the house as well as a special purchase of nitrate-free deli ham sliced as thick as the deli man said he could slice it, I whipped up the following

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1-2/3 cup of grated Kerry Gold Dubliner cheese (that was the entire 7oz. block grated – one package. Keep in mind, any cheese that you can grate would probably work – I am considering trying others.)
  • 2/3 pound deli sliced ham, diced – about 2 cups
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 7oz. container of Greek Yogurt
  • Salt (8 turns of the salt mill)
  • Pepper (12 turns of the pepper mill)
  • 4 tablespoons of melted butter

Mix to a uniform glop and use a soup ladle to put into a 12-cup cupcake pan. Cook for 1/2 hour at 350.

I had greased the pan with an olive oil spray and the little ‘frittatas’ (the recipe I got it from called it that – I have no idea what a ‘frittata’ is) came out nicely with a spatula run around the outer edge.

I think this might have been one of the best concoctions I have yet come up with. Everyone in the family enjoyed these, my daughter stating that they tasted like the souffles from Panera Bread.

There was a perfect balance between the ham and the softened but still firm onions, each adding a layer of texture aside from the cheesiness of the rest, and the Greek yogurt added body and volume. The taste was fabulous if you like ham and cheese, they all came out of the cupcake tin with little effort, held together in a large container, travel well, and warm up great. These have been my lunch and dinner for a good part of the week.

Great for induction. I’m eating 1 or 2 a day, am in induction now and my ketone level is moderate on the test strips – and I am losing weight eating them. That’s important. Induction-friendly stuff can still sometimes cause a stall in some people.

Extra bonus! Nutrition info!

UPDATE: Lazy me sat down and made a tally – thought you might like to see – though looking at it 5 days later I think I screwed this up as well:

  • Calories: 297
  • Fat: 20 g
  • Sat fat: 11g
  • Carbs: 5.7g
  • Fiber: 0.7g
  • Sugars: 1.2g
  • Protein: 20.8g

PS – I looked it up. Apparently a ‘frittata’ is not baked – that’s a quiche. Call it whatever you like.