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No sugar, low carbs: GOOD cookbooks


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#1 ElainaA

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:41 AM

A friend has been put (permanently) on a no sugar, very low carb diet to deal with serious health issues. There are lots of cookbooks out there on this topic - but are there any in particular that produce really good food? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero
But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

#2 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:05 PM

Good low-carb cookbooks are few and far between.
Karen Barnaby's "The Low-Carb Gourmet", is about as good as it gets.
Unfortunately, it's out of print, but perhaps you can find it at the library.

Peter Reinhart has a new book out, "The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking: 80 Low-Carb Recipes."
I haven't baked from the book yet, but many of the recipes look very promising.

HTH

~Martin

~Martin
 
Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist and contrarian who questions everything!
 


#3 Ozcook

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:57 PM

I have found some very good recipes in the Dana Carpender books (along with the dross). I often modify the recipes to lower the sweetness or the quantity of dressing as the originals are, to my taste, way too sweet or the salads way overdressed.

#4 pbear

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:12 AM

How hard this is depends on the objective. Is your friend trying to lose weight, manage diabetes, deal with allergies or something else? Is s/he looking for any collection of recipes which fit those parameters or is the goal to have as close as possible to a normal (modern) diet?

Edited by pbear, 27 January 2013 - 01:16 AM.


#5 Ozcook

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:44 AM

How hard this is depends on the objective. Is your friend trying to lose weight, manage diabetes, deal with allergies or something else? Is s/he looking for any collection of recipes which fit those parameters or is the goal to have as close as possible to a normal (modern) diet?


That's a good point. If the OP's friend suddenly has to cook low carb 24/7 then simple recipes are needed far more than gourmet creations. A sous-vide would be very useful, as would a good pressure cooker.

#6 ElainaA

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:22 PM

Thanks for the responses.
My friend has been diagnosed with an intestinal condition involving over production of bacteria (after a terrifying mis-diagnosis of stomach cancer). The dietary changes are 24/7 and probably permanent. His wife, the main family cook, is struggling to find recipes. Ozcook is correct: what they need are every day recipes. Neither is into gourmet cooking, although they have taught me really good things to do with venison, moose and elk, all killed by Jeff. I'm just hoping to find a good cookbook that can help them figure out how to have good food within the constraints prescribed.
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero
But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

#7 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:59 PM

Even the best low-carb cookbooks have recipes that are good and bad as far as carb content goes.
It's best to learn to formulate or adapt your own, short of that, it's essential to be able to analyse a recipe (don't trust what the cookbooks say.)
I recommend getting a good basic book on low carb as well as a good accurate gram counter, one that also includes fiber counts because fiber counts can be subtracted from total carbs to get net effective carbs, the carbs that really matter.
That will give them a lot of the information they need to convert current favorites to low-carb and separate out the good from the bad, carb count wise.

"New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great." by Westmaan, Phinney and Volek is great because it's based on current science.

The USDA Nutrient Database is a good source for carb and fiber values.

~Martin

Edited by DiggingDogFarm, 27 January 2013 - 07:00 PM.

~Martin
 
Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist and contrarian who questions everything!
 


#8 pbear

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:22 AM

Unfortunately, Elaina, I don't know of a good resource. My mother is on a lifestyle low carb diet for weight reasons (she's morbidly obese with an extremely low metabolism) and I've done a lot of work helping her adjust. But the process was more like what DiggingDogFarm describes, i.e., developing a set of principles, preparing a small (easily used) database of food values, and improvising strategies to combat boredom (which is one of the biggest challenges of the lifestyle). My mother's problem is a little different from your friend's. More difficult, as she has to limit calories as well as carbs, but easier in that she can take occasional carb holidays.

Sorry I can't be more help, but I will mention one issue that's pretty important. Your friend should discuss with his doctor and/or dietician (if he has one assigned) just what level of carbs he is allowed, per day and per meal. Everything else revolves around that. Meat, poultry and seafood, of course, are safe, as are eggs. And I assume his wife knows how to cook those. The question is how much (low carb) vegetable, including salads, he can tolerate to relieve monotony. From there, they work backwards from the food charts to develop a diet plan. If there's an "off the shelf" planner to guide those calculations, I haven't found it. OTOH, this isn't rocket science. It's mostly just a bit of research and common sense. If they're computer savvy, a program like MasterCook will help with the calculations. Or they can do it on paper, which is what my mother does.

#9 ElainaA

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:35 AM

Thank you all for some practical advice. I'll pass all this on to my friends.
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero
But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

#10 Shel_B

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:32 AM

You might consider going to one of the diabetic forums. I found this one to be very helpful: http://www.diabetesforums.com/

.... Shel


#11 Allura

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:44 AM

If you start with the premise that dessert is basically off the table except for berries, very small servings, or things made with artificial sweeteners, it's not actually as hard as it seems at first. The key is not to keep carbs/starch to the side for the rest of the family. Spagehtti squash is a good vehicle for pasta sauce or a dish you might want to put over noodles otherwise. Some programs allow you enough brown rice (2/3 C is often a good amount) that spread out, it's just fine. Add an extra veggie to the meal to replace the one that might normally be starchy. Personally, I find that having an exact amount of carbs per meal really helps. OTOH, the nutritionist I went to (diabetic) basically said that the whole subtracting fiber thing is a gimic. :) I do feel that the less I eat carbs overall, the easier it is to avoid craving them.
Joanna G. Hurley
"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

#12 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:03 PM

OTOH, the nutritionist I went to (diabetic) basically said that the whole subtracting fiber thing is a gimic. :)


A gimmick?
Fiber is not digestible like other carbohydrates.
Even the American Diabetes Association condones subtracting grams of fiber from a food’s total carb count when it contains 5 or more grams of fiber.
A bariatric physician recommended the subtraction of fiber carbs to me many years ago, long before it became a well known technique.

~Martin

Edited by DiggingDogFarm, 28 January 2013 - 01:07 PM.

~Martin
 
Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist and contrarian who questions everything!
 


#13 Allura

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:07 PM

Ok, 5 grams sounds right. I rarely see something that's that high in processed food, though, so I generally just ignore it. It keeps me more honest about my choices.
Joanna G. Hurley
"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

#14 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:19 PM

The best thing about subtracting fiber carbs is that you get to eat more vegetables and the like.
There's no reason to unnecessarily limit yourself.


~Martin

~Martin
 
Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist and contrarian who questions everything!
 


#15 mm84321

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:39 PM

A friend has been put (permanently) on a no sugar, very low carb diet to deal with serious health issues. There are lots of cookbooks out there on this topic - but are there any in particular that produce really good food?


It won't be the cookbook that produces good food, but rather the quality of the food your friend is purchasing and preparing. I would focus less on recipes and more on finding reliable sources for fresh fish, meat, poultry eggs and the like, as that will make up the bulk of his/her diet. Once that is accomplished, your friend can get creative to keep things interesting. Low-carb diets are not as restrictive as one might think. In fact, most of classic French cuisine could be considered low-carb (save for any roux-based sauces).

#16 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:09 AM

If you start with the premise that dessert is basically off the table except for berries, very small servings, or things made with artificial sweeteners, it's not actually as hard as it seems at first. The key is not to keep carbs/starch to the side for the rest of the family. Spagehtti squash is a good vehicle for pasta sauce or a dish you might want to put over noodles otherwise. Some programs allow you enough brown rice (2/3 C is often a good amount) that spread out, it's just fine. Add an extra veggie to the meal to replace the one that might normally be starchy. Personally, I find that having an exact amount of carbs per meal really helps. OTOH, the nutritionist I went to (diabetic) basically said that the whole subtracting fiber thing is a gimic. :) I do feel that the less I eat carbs overall, the easier it is to avoid craving them.


We've been pretty much low carb for 2 years, mostly because my husband wanted to try it for some health issues. We basically did what you said -- just cut out starches. No pasta, no potato, no rice, no bread. Instead of the serving of potato or whatever, we'd have an extra vegetable. It wasn't particularly hard, just a little boring sometimes because it was easy to go to the "Grilled Meat Thing Two Veg Salad" every night, rather than try an unusual stew or soup. Dessert would be a small piece of fruit or some very dark chocolate.