Take your regular weeknight dinner ideas and turn them into healthier, low-carb options you and your family will love. These recipes are simple, and easy to prepare in your kitchen when you’ve had a long day and you want to make something delicious and healthy for yourself, or your whole family.
Low-carb has NEVER been this easy–or this yummy! Plus, these recipes are anti-inflammatory and can help support weight loss goals, and optimal women’s health and wellness.
Benefits of Low-Carb Foods for Women
There are dozens of benefits to incorporating more low-carb meals into your day, including lowering inflammation, weight loss, better energy levels, and more.
Here’s why low-carb meals offer some great benefits for your health:
Fewer carbs means more protein – Replacing empty carbohydrates with other foods like healthy fats and proteins may mean that you’re closer to reaching your protein requirements for the day, which can support your body’s ability to repair DNA and boost your metabolism in women.
You’ll be less likely to have sugar cravings – Omitting foods high in processed carbs can help normalize hunger and fullness hormones, leading to fewer sugar cravings.
Easy intermittent fasting – Eating a lower-carbohydrate dinner may make it much easier to fast the next day thanks to reduced sugar cravings and stabilized hunger hormones.
Weight loss – Fewer processed carbs means less blood sugar spikes and lower insulin levels. Insulin keeps your body in fat storage mode, so keeping blood sugar steady with nutrient-dense foods is a great way to support consistent weight loss.
When your gut is out of balance and your metabolism has slowed down, take a look at how resetting your gut can help you break through patterns of stubborn weight gain–especially around your belly!
Now that you know the benefits of low-carb meals for women’s health, let’s find out how easy they are to make! In 30 minutes or less, you can have dinner on the table and a happy tummy!
1. One-Pan Chicken Bites with Zucchini
One pan? Check. 30 minutes or less? Check. Delicious dinner your family will love? Check. Win-win-win!
Your average chicken dinner gets a fun revamp–and the best news–you can use (almost) any veggie you have on hand to pop into the oven for a quick, low-carb meal.
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2-3 breasts, depending on size)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium zucchinis, chopped into bite-sized chunks
1 teaspoon himalayan pink salt
2 tablespoons butter or ghee
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes.
- In a small bowl, combine olive oil and all seasonings. Add cubed chicken and chopped zucchini to a large baking dish. Drizzle with seasoning mix, and toss to coat on all sides. Then, drop butter or ghee in small dollops evenly over the chicken and zucchini.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 16-18 minutes, or until juices run clear. Stir chicken mid-way through to ensure golden, crisp edges.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven, let cool, and enjoy!
2. Cilantro Lime Shrimp with Avocado
This trio of ingredients is one of my favorite go-to’s for a versatile and tasty meal that I can prep and cook in under 30 minutes. Add this zesty shrimp salad to a low-carb wrap, over mixed greens or zoodles for a satisfying and low-carb meal any time of day.
Shrimp are also a great source of protein and zinc, which supports immune function and thyroid hormone balance.
1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons melted butter or ghee
1 large avocado, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 handful cherry tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: pinch red pepper flakes, more cilantro, parsley
- Toss shrimp with melted butter or ghee in a bowl until well-coated.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp to the skillet in a single layer, searing for a minute or until it starts to become pink around the edges, then flip and cook until shrimp are cooked through–less than a minute.
- Transfer shrimp to a plate and allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Add remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice and toss to combine the flavors.
- Add cooked shrimp to seasoned salad mixture and stir to combine. Garnish with red pepper flakes, more fresh cilantro, or parsley.
3. Lemon Butter Salmon and Asparagus
Need an omega-3 boost to calm inflammation and promote healthy brain function? Look no further. This simple recipe contains low-carb, inflammation fighting powerhouses like salmon, plus asparagus, which is a great source of phytonutrients and vitamins that all women need.
Even a beginner can whip this recipe together and have it hit the table to satisfy hungry bellies in no time flat.
1 medium salmon fillet
1 bunch asparagus, rinsed and trimmed
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup vegetable broth or white wine
4 tablespoons butter
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Optional garnish: lemon slices
- Combine halved cherry tomatoes, and rinsed, trimmed asparagus in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion, salt and pepper, and garlic. Marinate in a shallow plate or bowl while cooking salmon.
- Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-low heat.
- Gently cook salmon on both sides until golden brown and fully cooked. Remove the salmon fillets from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet over medium heat, deglaze with vegetable broth or wine. Bring to a simmer, then add butter and lemon juice.
- Add the asparagus and tomato mixture and cook for 5-7 minutes until asparagus is tender. Add salmon back to the pan and reheat for another minute.
4. Vegan Creamy Tomato and Veggie Soup
Ever looked at the nutrition label on soups and been blown away by how many carbs are in just one serving (nevermind the whole can)? This hearty and filling tomato soup will satisfy your soup cravings, while still keeping your carb intake to a minimum.
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/4 yellow onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
½ cup canned full-fat coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste if you prefer less spicy)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon fresh basil, if available
1 cup vegetable stock
- Heat oil in a pot or saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onions and cook until translucent, or about 1 minute.
- Add diced zucchini. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add garlic, Italian seasoning, pepper, and red chili flakes. Continue cooking, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato sauce and fresh basil (if using).
- Add vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to medium-low. Stir, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Take the tomato zucchini soup off the heat and, using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and creamy. You can also perform this step in a countertop blender.
- To blended soup, add ½ cup coconut milk and stir until fully incorporated.
- Adjust seasoning if needed, then serve in bowls. Garnish vegan tomato soup with fresh basil, croutons, or a drizzle of olive oil.
5. Low-Carb Chicken Taco Lettuce Wraps
A true summer staple, this is the low-carb version of everyone’s favorite chicken taco. Served with a mix of pico and cilantro that will brighten your day (and your dinner). I recommend making plenty for leftovers because the chicken makes a great next-day lunch over mixed greens or other veggies.
1 ½ lbs chicken breasts or tenders
1 head of sturdy lettuce (Romaine or butter lettuce work well)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
½ cayenne pepper
For the Pico de Gallo:
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 Jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
1 large tomato, diced
½ teaspoon salt
Juice from 1 lime
A handful chopped, fresh cilantro
- For the chicken, combine lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and let marinate for about 30 minutes.
- Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and sear the chicken on both sides until golden and cooked through (about 6-8 minutes per side, depending on thickness).
- When cooked, move chicken to a warm plate or a cutting board, and let cool slightly before slicing into strips.
- While the chicken is cooling, combine all ingredients for the pico.
- Stir well and place 1-2 spoonfuls on top of prepared lettuce leaves.
- Place the grilled chicken on top. Best enjoyed immediately!
6. Honey Balsamic Grilled Cabbage Steaks
We’ve all seen old recipes for sad, flavorless cabbage soup that looks like it belongs in, well, depression-era cooking.
This pan-seared cabbage steak is basically the exact opposite of that. Crispy, crunchy, flavorful, and yummy! And if you thought that cabbage only had one mood (which was boring) then I’m here to change your opinions! This warm, savory, pan-seared cabbage steak makes the perfect compliment to almost anything, and it’s packed full of hormone-loving nutrients and fiber.
1 head green cabbage, cut into 3/4-inch thick slices (expect about 5 cabbage steaks)
3 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for the skillet)
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
⅓ cup toasted pecans or walnuts
- Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk 3 tablespoons of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey until combined. Place cabbage slices on a plate and brush with the honey balsamic mixture. Sprinkle with salt and ground pepper.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil to the skillet. Transfer cabbage steaks to the hot skillet and cook on both sides until cabbage slices are crisp and edges are golden (about 15 minutes total). While cooking, brush with honey-balsamic mixture every couple minutes.
- After all the cabbage steaks are cooked, drizzle with any remaining balsamic, sprinkle with toasted nuts, and serve immediately!
Low-Carb Foods for Holistic Women’s Wellness
Cooking and eating low-carb foods doesn’t have to be daunting or complicated, and can start with simple ideas that even a novice home chef feels comfortable with.
The benefits of low carb eating can improve your nutrient intake, which supports healthy weight loss, balanced hormones, and better overall women’s health.
Have you tried low-carb cooking? Which recipes are staples in your routine, and what kinds of benefits have you noticed?