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Low Carb 1-2-3: 225 Simply Great 3-Ingredient Recipes Excerpt from Low Carb 1-2-3: 225 Simply Great 3-Ingredient Recipes

by Rozanne Gold with Helen Kimmel, M.S., R.D.

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creamy carrot-ginger soup

ILC - Indulgent Low Carb
Carb That Count - 12.5 grams

Sometimes carrots can be a good thing, even for carb counters. You'll be amazed how easy it is to extract the fresh ginger juice needed in this recipe and how perfectly its flavor melds with carrots. Heavy cream makes this soup taste luxurious.

1 1/2 pounds carrots
1 5" piece fresh ginger
4 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream

Trim the carrots, peel them using a vegetable peeler, and cut them into 1" pieces. Transfer the carrots to a medium-size pot and add 4 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook, uncovered, until the carrots are very soft, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the ginger and grate it on the large holes of a box grater. Wrap the ginger in a paper towel and squeeze hard to extract juice. (You will have about 1 tablespoon juice.) Discard the grated ginger.

Transfer the carrots to a food processor and puree until very smooth, slowly adding all the cooking water as you process. Add the ginger juice and heavy cream and process to incorporate.

Return the soup to the pot and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Heat through and serve.

Serves 4

nutritionist's note: Carrots, formerly forbidden on low-carb plans, became acceptable in limited amounts when it was realized that their glycemic load was less taxing than originally thought. Eating carrots in moderation adds beneficial nutrients to one's overall diet.

CTC* Total Carbs Fiber Total Fat Sat Fat Protein Calories
12.68 17.79 5.11 6.57 3.94 2.11 132

parmesan-crusted pork tenderloins

VLC - Very Low Carb
Carbs That Count - 0 grams

This is an unusual combination of flavors, but they really work together. The cheese forms a handsome crust around the pork, helping to seal in the juices. If you're bashful about cumin, feel free to use ground sage instead.

2 pork tenderloins (14 ounces each)
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, about 3 ounces
2 tablespoons ground cumin

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Pat the pork dry with paper towels and lightly season it with salt.

In a small bowl, mix together the cheese, cumin, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Press the mixture all over the pork, coating it as thoroughly as possible.

Place the pork on a rimmed baking sheet or in a shallow roasting pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn the pork over and bake for 10 minutes longer. (The pork should be slightly pink in the center.) Remove the pork from the oven, transfer it to a cutting board, and let it rest for several minutes before serving. Cut the pork into 1/2"-thick slices and serve immediately.

Serves 4

CTC* Total Carbs Fiber Total Fat Sat Fat Protein Calories
0 1.20 1.20 13.75 6.04 50.70 339

sun-dried tomato meat loaf

LC - Low Carb
Carbs That Count - 7.5 grams

Meat loaf recipes are often haphazard accumulations of way too many ingredients, but this version rolls things back to the fundamental few. Ice cubes -- my mother's secret -- keep the meat moist and juicy. You can also shape the meat into burgers and sear them in a skillet.

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
1 medium-large onion
1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Drain the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes into a large nonstick skillet. Finely dice the tomatoes and set them aside.

Finely dice the onion to get 1 packed cup. Set the skillet over medium heat and add the diced onion. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and golden, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the sirloin, diced tomatoes, cooked onion with all the pan juices, 1 teaspoon salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup cold water and 3 slightly crushed ice cubes and add to the sirloin. Mix thoroughly. Shape into an 8" x 4 1/2" loaf and place on a rimmed baking sheet or in a shallow roasting pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the sirloin from the oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4

CTC* Total Carbs Fiber Total Fat Sat Fat Protein Calories
7.56 9.87 2.31 16.17 5.12 37.15 335

quick chicken parmigiana

VLC - Very Low Carb
Carbs That Count - 5 grams

Chicken "parm" is one of America's most popular dishes, but it always comes breaded and fried. I've low-carbed it here (and slashed the calories) by scrapping the breading but not its essential Italian spirit, nor the oozing melted cheese. This is perfect for a get-it-on-the-table-fast lunch or supper.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (8 ounces each)
1 cup marinara sauce
3 1/2 ounces provolone cheese, thinly sliced

In a large, deep, nonstick saut pan, add salted water to a depth of 2" and bring to a boil. Slip the chicken into the water and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the chicken is just firm to the touch, about 10 minutes. Immediately remove the chicken from the water and pat it dry with paper towels. Season the chicken with salt and ground white pepper.

Preheat the broiler.

Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a small nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the sauce and heat until just hot.

Place the still-warm chicken on the baking sheet. Spoon the sauce evenly over the chicken and cover them with the cheese. Broil about 6" from the heat until the cheese is a little bubbly and golden brown. Remove the chicken from the oven and serve immediately.

Serves 4

nutritionist's note: Many jarred marinara sauces are very high in added sugars. Check the nutrition labels and buy one that contains no more than 5 grams of carbohydrates per 1/2 cup.

CTC* Total Carbs Fiber Total Fat Sat Fat Protein Calories
5.03 6.53 1.50 12.41 5.73 59.71 392

roasted portobellos on rosemary branches

VLC - Very Low Carb
Carbs That Count - 3.5 grams

I've combined three big, highly aromatic components that result in a dish with enough style to be served as a first course or as an accompaniment to something simple like a grilled steak or roast chicken.

1 pound medium portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup garlic-flavored olive oil
2 large bunches rosemary

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth and trim the woody bottoms. Cut the larger mushrooms into quarters and the smaller ones in half. Place the mushrooms in a bowl and pour the oil over the mushrooms. Lightly sprinkle the mushrooms with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss well and let sit for 10 minutes.

Remove 1 large sprig rosemary. Scatter the remaining rosemary branches in the center of a rimmed baking sheet to make a large mat for the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms on the rosemary branches. Roast for 12 to15 minutes, until the mushrooms have just softened. (Do not overcook.)

Finely chop the leaves of the remaining rosemary sprig. Remove the mushrooms from the oven and transfer them to a platter with some of the rosemary branches. Sprinkle the mushrooms with the freshly chopped rosemary. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

CTC* Total Carbs Fiber Total Fat Sat Fat Protein Calories
3.29 4.71 1.42 13.90 1.89 3.30 148

string beans with roasted garlic butter

LC - Low Carb
Carbs That Count - 6.5 grams

The roasted garlic butter, which you make yourself, is also dreamy on steamed broccoli, sugar snaps or snow peas, or atop any sauted leafy greens. Garlic butter can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.

1 large bulb garlic
1/4 cup sweet whipped butter, at room temperature
1 pound green beans or wax beans

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Wrap the whole bulb of garlic in a pouch of aluminum foil, making sure to tightly crimp the edges all around. Place the garlic in a metal baking pan and roast for 1 1/4 hours. Remove the garlic from the oven and let cool. Cut in half through the equator and squeeze out the pulp into a medium-large bowl. Add the butter to the bowl and mash together with the garlic pulp. Set aside at room temperature.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Trim the ends of the beans. Add the beans to the boiling water and cook over high heat until the beans are just tender, about 6 minutes. Immediately drain the beans in a colander, shaking off any excess water. Add the beans to the bowl with the garlic butter and toss quickly. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

CTC* Total Carbs Fiber Total Fat Sat Fat Protein Calories
6.57 10.58 4.01 7.80 4.78 2.62 114

fresh raspberries with lemon-maple sauce

ILC - Indulgent Low Carb
Carbs That Count - 12 grams

This is a simple and sophisticated merger of flavors that is indeed more than the sum of its parts. Serve it in chilled martini glasses with a lemon twist, and you'll get oohs and ahhs at the table.

3 pints raspberries
1/2 cup sugar-free maple-flavored syrup
1 lemon

Place the raspberries in a bowl.

In a small bowl, place the syrup. Grate the zest of the lemon and set aside. Halve the lemon and squeeze to get 3 tablespoons juice. Mix the juice into the syrup and stir until combined. Pour the lemon-syrup sauce over the raspberries and let marinate for 15 minutes.

Distribute the raspberries among 4 chilled martini or wine glasses. Top with the sauce from the bowl. Scatter the lemon zest on top and serve immediately. You may also garnish each serving with a long twist of lemon zest or a paper-thin lemon slice cut from an additional lemon.

Serves 4

nutritionist's note: Blueberries lead the list of antioxidant-fortified fruits, but strawberries and raspberries are close to the top.

CTC* Total Carbs Fiber Total Fat Sat Fat Protein Calories
11.90 24.81 12.91 1.02 .04 1.77 115

* CTC = Carbs that Count

Reprinted from: Low Carb 1-2-3: 225 Simply Great 3-Ingredient Recipes by Rozanne Gold with Helen Kimmel, M.S., R.D.  2005 Rozanne Gold Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098.