Italian Food Recipes
I’m following a low carb diet plan, so I’m all into low carbs. One challenge I’ve encountered is Italian food. It’s probably my husband’s favorite, and he never seems to get tired of it. Few things make him happier than when I tell him I’m making homemade spaghetti or lasagna for dinner. Obviously, on a low carb diet, I can’t enjoy either of these traditional Italian recipes. I’ve learned, however, that I can enjoy many of the same flavors found in Italian food and still stick to my low carb diet by making some substitutions. For example, I make a low carb lasagna that’s pretty darn tasty. If you’re interested, you can click to get that recipe. You see, the problem with Italian food recipes and low carbs is mostly the pasta and the sauces. The other ingredients, like ground beef, sausage, chicken, cheeses, butter, and herbs and spices are all low carb or no carb. Most of the veggies used in Italian food recipes are low carb vegetables, like spinach, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell peppers. Olives have low carbs, also. Today I’ll tell you how to make delicious stuffed Portobello mushrooms that you can feel good about eating on a low carb diet plan.
Low Carb Italian
Does low carb Italian really exist? Yes, it does, but you have to get somewhat creative. As you probably already know, pasta is high in carbs. For my low carb lasagna, I use low carb tortillas for the noodles. For low carb spaghetti and Alfredo dishes, I use no-carb Miracle Noodles.
Marinara sauce, Alfredo sauce, and spaghetti sauce aren’t low carb foods, either, mostly because of the sugars or wheat flour involved. The red sauces contain sugars, and traditional Alfredo sauce sometimes uses flour as a thickener. You can, however, make Alfredo sauce with just cheeses, butter, and cream, which is pretty low carb. I make it sometimes and serve it over sautéed low carb vegetables or shrimp. But what about the red sauces? You can find low carb marinara sauce, and n fact, Walden Farms has one that’s totally free of carbs, fat, and calories. This product is pretty good after I tweak it by adding some extra herbs and a little Splenda. You can buy this low carb product below.
Low Carb Pasta Sauce:
Stuffed Mushroom Recipes
I make several different stuffed mushroom recipes. Before I started my low carb diet plan, I often made seafood stuffed mushrooms, like the ones you find at Red Lobster. Along with the crabmeat and chopped shrimp, I used some type of breading. Depending on what I had on hand at the time, this might have been Italian breadcrumbs, crushed Ritz crackers, or soft white bread.
Let’s talk about the sauce now. Traditional marinara sauce delivers about eight grams of carbs in a serving size of ¼ cup. That count could be much higher, depending on the brand you use. I’ve already told you about the Walden Farms version, but it’s easy to make your own low carb marinara sauce with crushed tomatoes. ¼ cup of crushed tomatoes has just two grams of carbs. Turn it into a tasty sauce be adding minced garlic, onion powder, salt, artificial sweetener, oregano, and basil. Use it with your stuffed mushroom recipes in place of regular marinara or spaghetti sauce. I really don’t think you’ll notice the difference!
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms – for Low Carb Diets
How do you make stuffed Portobello mushrooms for low carb diets? Let’s start with the mushrooms. An average size Portobello mushroom cap, with gills removed, weighs about two ounces. One that size would contain twenty calories and have zero grams of fat. It would have two grams of carbohydrates, but it would also have two grams of fiber. If you know about net carbs, you know that combination means zero carbs. Mushrooms are no carb or low carb foods. Does that mean you can have any type of stuffed mushrooms you like on a low carb diet plan? No. the mushrooms themselves are fine, but the stuffing can be a problem. Many stuffed mushroom recipes use carb-dense ingredients in the stuffings, so you have to think differently.
For your stuffed mushroom recipes, used ingredients that are low in carbs or that contain no carbs. Use cooked ground beef, cooked ground sausage, or cooked and diced chicken. Cooked shrimp and crab meat are also great low carb options. You probably want your stuffing ingredients to “stick together,” so you’ll need to use some sort of binder. I often use mayonnaise, grated mozzarella cheese, a raw egg or egg white, ricotta cheese, or cream cheese for this purpose. Sometimes I use more than one in the same stuffed mushroom recipe.
Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Recipe
This stuffed Portobello mushroom recipe makes enough for two servings. That means you can half all the carb counts I’ve provided below, provided that you eat just one mushroom. I usually remove the gills, but you don’t have to. To do so, just scrape the inside of the cap with the point of a spoon.
½ pound ground beef – 0 carbs
1 tablespoon chopped onion – 1 gram carbs
1 teaspoon minced garlic - 1 gram carbs
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese – 0 carbs
¼ cup crushed tomatoes – 2 grams carbs
2 teaspoons Splenda – 0 carbs
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 Portobello mushroom caps – 0 net carbs
2 slices provolone cheese – 0 carbs
Rate my stuffed mushroom recipe. Thanks!
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
- Brown ground beef and onion in a skillet. Crumble beef. When the beef is almost done, add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Drain mixture on paper towels.
- While still hot, combine beef mixture with shredded mozzarella. Add crushed tomatoes, Splenda, basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt.
- Rinse and dry mushroom caps and remove stems and gills. Place stuffed mushrooms in a small glass baking dish. Divide beef and tomato mixture between the two mushrooms.
- Top each mushroom with a slice of provolone cheese. Add ¼ cup water to dish.
- Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, until mushrooms are tender.
Low Carb Meals
How do you turn these stuffed Portobellos into low carb meals? What to serve with the stuffed mushrooms? If you’re sticking to a low carb diet plan, leave off the garlic bread! Instead, serve the ‘shrooms with some Italian green beans, stir-fried spinach, sautéed zucchini, or asparagus. A nice green salad works well here, too. In fact, you might want to serve more than one side dish. This makes a really delicious low carb dinner, and you won’t feel at all deprived enjoying it. Since one of the stuffed mushrooms packs just two net carbs, it’s a guilt-free pleasure. The protein from the meat and cheeses will keep you full and satisfied for hours, too, while providing healthy calcium. You’ll have a wonderful meal and still be staying on your low carb diet plan!
Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 19, 2018:
It's yummy, guys! Thanks for reading!
Kari Poulsen from Ohio on February 18, 2018:
I'm always looking for good low carb food. This looks amazing. I can't wait to try it!
Wendy Henderson from PA on May 16, 2016:
This looks yummy. I'll have to try it out.
Jack Skylander on May 07, 2016:
Do you have a spaghetti Squash recipe?
LynneD on June 22, 2013:
Wonderful Recipe! I used chorizo instead of ground beef to spice up a bit and we just Loved it.
Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 04, 2013:
Thanks a bunch, CarNoobz!
CarNoobz from USA on February 04, 2013:
Wow Habee! That looks SO GOOD =)
Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on January 31, 2013:
Thanks for reading, random!
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 31, 2013:
My mouth is watering! What a unique idea for portabello mushrooms, and there are so many ways that you can customize it. Thanks for sharing.
Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on January 30, 2013:
Thanks, Carol. I promise these stuffed mushrooms are D-licious!
carol stanley from Arizona on January 30, 2013:
Looks yummy and falls into the low carb group of foods. Will have to try this and we do love those mushrooms.. Voting UP and pinning.