How To Eat Low Carb in Venice

Eating Low Carb While Dining Out

Low Carb Restaurant Swaps

Dining at home is easier for low carb, thanks to meal prepping in advance. Eating out while on a low carb plan can be a little daunting, but it’s easy to make simple food choices to stay on track. Even fast food places can provide options with a little thought. So many people eat low carb now most restaurants accommodate special orders with no problem. Where you choose to eat will help determine how easy it will be to find what you want and need.

Where to Eat and What to Order

When you’re craving comfort food

Diners and cafes are an ideal choice since they generally serve breakfast all day. Eggs, meat, and veggies are a filling and tasty choice. Omelets are a wonderful menu item for low carb eating. Load them with cheese, peppers, mushrooms, onions, spinach, or any other vegetable you might like. Substitute pancakes or potatoes with sliced tomatoes and skip the toast.

Local Suggestion: Venice Ale House
Try the Greek Salad or check out their specials on “Keto Thursday”

For a Special Night Out at a Steakhouse

Steakhouses are another good place for low carb choices. Grilled steaks and chops are satisfying and delicious. Skip the bread and baked potato here, and choose a salad or steamed vegetable instead. Be sure to pick a low carb vegetable such as broccoli rather than something starchy like corn. Caesar, chef, or side salads are available at nearly all restaurants. Add chicken, meat or seafood, extra veggies, boiled eggs, cheese, and nuts or seeds to amp up your meal. Take care to avoid sweet dressings and dried fruits, as they will add unwanted sugar. Keep in mind, if you want a savory dressing such as ranch or bleu cheese, full-fat versions have fewer carbs than low fat.

Local Suggestion: Chaz 51 Bistro
The Blue Cheese Steak Salad is mouthwatering, skip the croutons, you won’t miss them anyway. There’s also the sizzling naked burger, served in an iron skillet topped with cherry peppers and onions.

When You Just Want a Big Cheeseburger

American restaurants and gastropubs are fabulous for the whole family. When ordering a hamburger, ask to replace the bun with a lettuce wrap, or thinly sliced cucumber. If this is not possible, just ask that the bun not be served. Make it more of a meal by loading the burger patty with lettuce, tomato, bacon, cheese, onion, or any other topping you like. If lettuce is available, request extra so you can wrap it yourself. Rather than fries, try a crunchy vegetable like carrots or celery as a tasty side with added texture.

Local Suggestion: Off The Wagon Brewery & Kitchen
With a number of different specials that change daily, there’s always something new to try. The chef is fabulous at making adjustments when needed for dietary restrictions. Try the best burger in Venice with a side of coleslaw and just skip the bun.

When You Need to Order Takeout Chinese or Sushi

Asian food can be a bit of a challenge. The best bet is to order a stir fry with extra veggies, but skip the rice or noodles. Sushi is rice based, so opt for sashimi instead. Try to order steamed vegetables, because sauces are usually not added. Sauces are often loaded with sugar or flour for thickening. Don’t hesitate to ask if a dish has added sugar.

Local Suggestion: Star Thai and Sushi
Chef Mike goes above and beyond for his customers. Instead of rice, ask for your sushi with a cucumber wrap instead!

Mexican can be the Ultimate Low Carb Indulgence

Eating Mexican is easier than you might initially think. A lot of places have bowl meals – basically the same ingredients as burritos or fajitas without the tortillas. If those aren’t available, simply make your own. Open up a fajita or tortilla and only eat the delicious ingredients inside. Deconstructed dishes are all the rage right now. Request extra sour cream, guacamole, olives, and cheese for extra flavor and to make it more filling. Taco salads will work the same way, as long as you can resist eating the bowl.

Local Suggestion: Latin Market and Restaurant

Fight the Challenge of the Carb Loaded Italian Cuisine

Italian restaurants can sometimes be the most for difficult low carb options. Certain chains have very limited options other than pasta and breaded dishes. Look for chicken breast meals or sandwiches here, and simply order them with no bread or bun. Request Alfredo sauce and cheeses as toppings since those have very few carbs, but add lots of flavor. Surprisingly, marinara sauce can be quite high in carb count, and so should be avoided if possible. If you simply must have marinara, ask for light sauce to cut down on added sugar.

Local Suggestion: Made in Italy

The chef is very accommodating of substitutions to allow meals to be as low carb as possible. In fact, if you give advance notice, he may even prepare a cauliflower crust pizza!

When You Want to Enjoy Local Seafood

Seafood restaurants are a great choice as long as you pick grilled or broiled fish or shrimp. Lemon juice and tartar sauce can add flavor, but try to avoid shrimp sauce, as it often has hidden sugars. Order a salad rather than coleslaw due to sugar content as well.

Local Suggestion: Pelican Alley

Newly renovated and reopened after the devastation of Hurricane Irma, this beautiful restaurant has delicious grouper dinners that will delight your tastebuds. Go for the vegetable medley as your side dish and you are all set for a low carb seafood meal.

Think outside the box

Sometimes there just aren’t going to be many options on a menu and this is when you may have to get a bit creative.

  • You may be able to order a couple of appetizers rather than an entree to fill your needs.
  • Chicken wings are a great item, but take care to pick the right sauce or no sauce at all. Boneless wings are often breaded, so ask before ordering to make sure you know what you are getting.
  • Keep in mind not every meal must include meat. A vegetable plate can be delicious and filling.
  • Side dishes are sometimes the yummiest things on a menu and can fit your dietary needs better.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask about the ingredients used in dishes so you can make an informed decision.
  • Since so many sauces and dressings have more sugar than you want, try adding avocado, lemon juice, salsa, full-fat salad dressings, and oil and vinegar for more flavors.
  • Order raw veggies and ranch dressing as a dip rather than chips.
  • Fried meats are fine as long as they are not breaded. If you must choose a breaded option, simply pull the breading off and discard it.

With a little forethought and a trade-off here and there, you can eat out nearly anywhere without feeling too restricted. By taking a few minutes to check the menu online before heading out the door, you can be sure to get what you want without sacrificing your health.

About The Author
Raye Wiedner is an active widow, living in the Midwest. She has been a health care worker for most of her life, with a passion for trying new adventures.

6 Steps to Start Your Low Carb Meal Prep

Are you ready to live the low-carb life? Is it daunting to think about incorporating low-carb into your active or busy lifestyle? Are you scared to fail with all of the tempting “white foods” like pasta, rice, sugar or bread? Here are some trouble-free meal prep ideas which are here to help you steer clear of dieting difficulties. We’ll touch on the best ideas for meal prepping for success. Let’s get started!

3 meal prep containers

Meal Prepping & Planning Ahead

Spending a little extra time planning and prepping your high-protein, low-carb meals for the week (or longer) makes it easier to accomplish your health goals. Setting aside the extra time to plan ahead really makes all the difference. Get your favorite low-carb recipes together and go from there. Make sure to include ingredients which include high protein, healthy fats and lots of veggies. They are designed to help you feel full longer.

Here Are Some Easy Steps to Get You Started

Choices, Choices . . .

Choose a selection of quick and easy low-carb recipes which excite you to help build a recipe base that motivates you to stay on track. You can use resources like Pinterest, search low-carb Facebook groups, or visit mainstream recipe websites like Delish or AllRecipes. When considering your meal choices, try to find ones which incorporate fresh, organic vegetables, meats, seafood, and eggs. Remember you can always substitute foods in recipes. Be creative.

Stay Organized and Make a List

Make a shopping list of the ingredients and quantities you need to prepare your food for the length of time you choose. Your list should include items such as broccoli, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, and healthy, nutrient-dense foods like avocados. Other great items are eggs, fish such as salmon, and most meats, even including jerky. If you don’t own some already, include quality containers with compartments on your list for your meals. You’ll need enough for the number of meals you are planning to prepare.

My Favorite Low Carb Meal Prep Containers

Good

Better

Best

How and Where to Shop

When shopping, make sure not to go to the supermarket on an empty stomach. You are more likely to buy items which don’t fit into your plan if you are hungry! Shop the perimeter of the grocery store first, where you find all of the fresh items. This will keep you away from a lot of the processed high carb foods. Farmers markets are a great place to find the freshest ingredients for healthy and flavorful food.

Let’s Get Prepping

Now that you have everything you need, go ahead and get started. Look at your ingredients and work through each meal, prepping them like an assembly line. If you are making two different recipes which both call for the same ingredient, prep them both at once. This will be more efficient and make your life easier in the long run.

Take it Step By Step

Follow your favorite low-carb, Pinterest-worthy recipe step by step. Make sure to check your ingredient measurements and increase the amounts accordingly for the week. When ready, assemble each container with the correct portion size of each finished dish and store in your fridge for the week. This makes everything super easy.

Channel Your Inner Chef

Always remember to keep it fresh and change up your recipes each week so you won’t get bored. Even if you make a similar meal, use different herbs and spices to make it new and fun. Variety is a big key to success in any diet or lifestyle plan. Low-carb doesn’t have to taste bad or be plain. Be your own chef! There are many unique and innovative ways to prepare foods, and eating low carb is no exception.

This post was guest written by Stefanie Resciniti. Stefanie is a graphic designer and marketing professional with a passion for learning, traveling and trying new things. She is excited about any opportunity to inspire creative content.

Check out this low carb pizza that I make all the time!

5 Sandwiches Transformed into Low Carb Bowls

In a world filled with the latest low carb craze (keto anyone?) it seems everyone is looking for ways to continue to enjoy their favorite foods in a healthier version.

I don’t know about you but one of my all-time favorite comfort foods are sandwiches. There are so many options! This then begs the question-how can I enjoy my favorite sandwich without all those dang carbs? The easiest option is to take the ingredients and toss it into a bowl! Subway and Jersey Mike’s already jumped on the bandwagon of low carb bowls based on sandwiches, and you can too!

The easiest way to turn a sandwich into a bowl is to deconstruct it. Take out the bread; add lots of lettuce or spinach and your favorite low carb toppings.

Here are a few of my favorite sandwiches deconstructed into a bowl that is still delicious, filling and cuts the carbs. These will fill you up so you aren’t reaching for the chocolate later, and the best part is you won’t feel like you’re just eating a salad!

1. BLT Bowl:

One of the most classic sandwich combinations, crispy bacon and lettuce with juicy tomatoes and a creamy sriracha dressing.

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • Bacon-2 or 3 slices cooked as crisp as you like and chopped (because let’s be honest bacon makes the world better!)
  • ½ tomato diced (or if you like bigger bites, go for wedges)
  • Lettuce (I prefer a good spring mix or crispy romaine)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Mayonnaise (1 tbsp.)
  • Sriracha (I’m wimpy but a little Sriracha adds great flavor and only a little heat)
  • chopped chives

Directions

  1. In a serving bowl, toss together your lettuce of choice, the chopped bacon, and tomato. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate bowl mix 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise with a dash or two of Sriracha. Add this to your bowl as a dressing.
  3. Top with the chopped chives

*TIP: You can also add additional toppings like spouts, cucumber; avocado…the list goes on.

2. Cuban Bowl:

Serves: 4

I know, I know… one of the best parts of the Cuban is that crisp pressed panini-style bread. I promise you will not miss it!
For the crunch, try subbing parmesan crisps instead!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. pork loin fat trimmed and cut into bite size cubes
  • ¼ lb. deli ham cut into cubes
  • Spring mix lettuce
  • 4 oz. Swiss cheese cut into cubes
  • 1 cup diced dill pickles
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed or finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • Zest of 2 limes plus the juice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Directions

  1. Take your cut up pork loin and add it to a gallon-sized Ziploc baggie.
  2. Add the lime zest and juice from 1 lime, salt and pepper, 1 tsp oregano and 2 crushed cloves of garlic.
  3. Let marinate for 2-3 hours in the fridge.
  4. Heat a pan and add olive oil.
  5. Add half the pork and cook until done.
  6. Remove from pan and cook the remaining pork. (It should be firm to the touch with no pink but have a nice crisp on the outside.)
  7. In a small bowl whisk together the zest and juice from the second lime, the remaining garlic and oregano, the mustard, and some olive oil to create a dressing.
  8. Layer the spring mix with the cooked pork, ¼ of the ham and Swiss cheese, as well as ¼ cup of dill pickles.
  9. Drizzle with the dressing and enjoy!

3. Meatball Sub Bowl:

This bowl is so easy to create and package away for a quick grab and go. If meal prepping store the meatballs in the sauce in a separate container so it can be heated before adding to the bowl.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg frozen meatballs (cook following package directions)
  • 2 oz. cooked quinoa per serving
  • ¼ cup marinara sauce (your favorite homemade or jaris fine)
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. In a serving bowl layer spinach or other favorite leafy green along with the quinoa and warmed meatballs and sauce.
  2. Top with the shredded cheeses. (Told you it was simple!)

*Note: The combination of the greens and quinoa add fiber to keep you fuller longer.

4. Chicken Salad Bowl:

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 can chicken drained (I prefer all white meat, or you can use left over rotisserie chicken shredded)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 stalk finely chopped celery
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. mustar

Directions

*TIP: This is surprisingly filling and delicious. Even better, you can substitute albacore tuna or canned salmon for the chicken and it is just as good.

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients until desired consistency. (You may choose to add more mayonnaise or mustard. Keep in mind if you are worried about calories there are many low fat/low calorie options for mayonnaise. A favorite of mine is made with Olive Oil.)
  2. In a serving bowl, layer your lettuce or leafy green of choice.
  3. Add a scoop of chicken salad.
  4. Top with cucumbers and bell peppers if desired.

5. Shrimp Taco Bowl:

Serves: 4

This may not technically be a sandwich, but it’s still traditionally a handheld meal wrapped in a carb fill vessel. Plus it makes for a delicious bowl!

Ingredients

  • 1 small package frozen peeled and deveined shrimp thawed and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • Shredded cabbage/coleslaw mix
  • Diced fresh cilantro (1 tsp per serving)
  • Pico de Gallo (You can make it fresh or use a premade salsa)

Directions

  1. Coat your thawed and rinsed shrimp in a bowl with the flour and Cajun seasoning.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat cook the shrimp with olive oil until pink. The flour will give them a nice crisp coating. If gluten is a worry you can skip the flour.
  3. In a serving bowl toss the shredded cabbage with the cilantro. Top with the shrimp and Pico de Gallo. Add some lime wedges to squeeze on top and a dressing won’t even be needed.

Create Your Own Combination

The key to a great and easy sandwich bowl is taking your favorite deli meat, some lettuce or cabbage, add in some great veggies (cucumber, peppers, avocado, tomato), make a simple dressing with olive oil, some spices and toss in some mustard and mayonnaise. Below is a list of ideas of things you can choose from to make your own sandwich bowl. The possibilities are endless!

  • Lettuce (romaine, spring mix, spinach etc.)
  • Cabbage
  • Rice (brown)
  • Quinoa
  • Tomato
  • Bacon
  • Avocado
  • Pickles
  • Olives
  • Nuts for crunch (Use this guideto help choose the best for low carb)
  • Other non-starchy veggies (cucumbers, peppers, carrots etc.)
  • Dried fruits (craisins are amazing in bowls)

When it comes to dressings, you have to be careful of the sugar content. Ranch, Blue-Cheese, and mayonaisse based dressings are best!

What are some other ideas you can think of for bowls?

Comment below and share your ideas! You should also check out my recipe for Egg Roll in a Bowl! (Yes, I love bowls!)

This post was written by a guest author, Janna Florie.
Janna Florie is a single mom of 4 boys. She loves crafting and all sorts of DIY projects. She is also an ambassador for the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer 3 Day. She is a strong believer in building women up.

Chicken Tikka Masala with Spaghetti Squash

Jason and I love Indian food, the flavors and rich aroma inspire cravings often. We are trying to eat healthier and cook more, so when he asked me about Indian food for dinner, I came up with a new twist on Chicken Tikka Masala… serve it with spaghetti squash instead of rice! I also roasted cauliflower with Ras El Hanout seasoning which is a mixture of coriander, tumeric, cardamom, sea salt, black pepper and clove.

 

 

Here Is How You Make It!

Ingredients:

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Prepare the spaghetti squash by slicing it in half and scooping out the seeds. Use a paper towel to dry the top of each half, rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the cut side down on a baking sheet.
  3. Take out the stem of the cauliflower and rub it with olive oil. Season with the Ras el Hanuot seasoning. Place the cauliflower on the baking sheet.
  4. Roast cauliflower and spaghetti squash in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. 
  5. In a saute pan, combine the paste and heavy cream, whisking it together until it simmers into a sauce. 
  6. Slice chicken and add to sauce to heat through. 
  7. To Serve, use a fork to separate the spaghetti squash into strands. (Need a tutorial? Check out Elizabeth Rider’s blog)
  8. In a medium bowl, put the spaghetti squash on the bottom and serve the chicken with the sauce on top. Chop up the cauliflower into bite sized pieces and add to the top of the bowl. Enjoy!

Have another recipe for me to try? Comment below or Email it to me at Alyssa@VeniceFoodies.com!

Products Used:

Keto Friendly Pizza? Yes, Please!

Keto recipes don’t have to be difficult. In fact, many keto dishes can be delicious and easy to make!
Original photo by: Brandon Bales // Delish.com
A new year and a renewed commitment to living my best life. One of the biggest struggles I faced this past year was giving up certain foods like pizza, pasta and fruits! Then I discovered that I could find fantastic alternatives to still give me the flavors of these foods without the carbs. I know that I have not posted as many recipes as I should, however, I hope to be more consistent with that soon! As for now, I wanted to share this with this fabulous Keto Chicken Parmesan Pizza I discovered on Delish.com that has a whole lot of protein and minimal carbs. To make it even better, I can make it relatively quickly and easily!

Keto Chicken Parmesan Pizza

*Cooking Tip: Use the broiler to get some extra color and crunch for your pizza!* YIELDS: 4 SERVINGS PREP TIME: 10 MINS TOTAL TIME: 40 MINS INGREDIENTS 1 lb. ground chicken 3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan, divided 1 tsp oregano 1 tsp basil 1 tsp garlic salt Freshly ground black pepper 1/4 c. marinara sauce 1/2 c. freshly shredded mozzarella Basil leaves, for garnish DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 400º. In a large bowl, stir together ground chicken, 1/2 cup Parmesan and spices.
  2. Spray prepared baking sheet with cooking spray. Form chicken mixture into a large round crust, about 1/2” thick.
  3. Bake until chicken is cooked through and golden, 20 to 22 minutes. Remove from oven and heat broiler.
  4. Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce, leaving a small border around the pizza. Top with mozzarella and broil until cheese is melted and browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Feel free to add other toppings and customize as much as you like! I love sprinkling fresh basil on top.

Products I recommend to make this recipe:

This recipe was definitely a hit in my house! Even my husband went back for seconds which is enough of a statement for us. This will become one of my keto friendly staple meals, especially for those busy nights. If you’re looking for another super simple recipe, check out Eggroll in a Bowl!

What toppings would you put on your Keto pizza?