Sunday, February 12, 2012

Low Carb Vegetarian style

I decided a couple of years ago that I wanted to lose weight before I turned fifty. And I did, only about half of what I needed to lose. And then I gained it all back when someone very close to me was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I had to take care of her. But, you know, I've had some sort of excuse for being fat ever since I became a vegetarian. But the truth is, when I gave up meat, I replaced it with carbs. Lots and lots of carbs. It didn't really become a big problem until I gave birth to my son. After that, I couldn't get a handle on my weight. I've been yoyo dieting ever since. Well the baby will be turning 18 this summer and I'm turning 51. Yikes!

I simply refuse to turn 51 and be fat and unfit. I've gone back on my low carb diet, but this time I feel like I can be successful, even if a tragic even should come my way (fingers crossed that it doesn't). One excuse I used was that it's too hard to be a low carb vegetarian. There really wasn't a lot of information out there about it. In fact, lots and lots of people say you can't eat low-carb and be a vegetarian. WRONG! You can, it's just a bit harder. But really, it's not that hard.

Take my dinner from tonight, as an example. I made up a lasagna recipe I read from somewhere and tried to make from memory. It turned out fantastic and the tortillas made an excellent substitution to pasta. Good thing too because I have sworn off pasta for the rest of my life.


2 meatless Italian Sausages - I use Trader Joe's brand, Chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
5 medium mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
16 oz ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 oz Parmesan cheese, divided
6 small low-carb tortillas - 3 net carbs each, cut in half
1 jar low carb spaghetti sauce - I used TJ's 4-cheese sauce and had about 3/4 cup left over
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

Saute onion, mushrooms, and onion in the olive oil until soft. Add Italian seasoning and set veggies/sausage aside. In a medium bowl, wisk 2 eggs. Add the ricotta and 1 oz of the Parmesan cheese and whisk until smooth.

To assemble, put some sauce in your glass baking dish. Just enough to cover the bottom. Place four 1/2 pieces of the tortilla in the pan, cut edges against the edges of the dish. Your dish should be rectangular and small enough that most of the bottom will be covered. Drop half of the riccotta mixture onto the tortillas, and spread them to cover. Take half of the veggies/sausage mixture and sprinkle evenly over that. Place half of the spaghetti sauce over the veggies and then cover that with 4 oz. of mozzarella. Lay 4 more half tortilla pieces on the cheese. Cover with the rest of the ricotta, the rest of the veggies/sausage mix, and most of the sauce. Place the last 4 tortilla halves on top and cover with the left-over spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling around the edges and in the middle and the cheese is browned. Let sit for 15-20 minutes before serving so the cheese can set up. This makes 8 large servings. I could only eat half of the serving from the picture. I had grilled some red peppers, mushrooms, and half of a zucchini and ate that while I waited for the lasagna to set up. I'm stuffed!

Who says low-carb vegetarian was hard?


  1. I'm so glad you're doing this, Sherril. I'm definitely trying this lasagna; thanks for the recipe.

    Have you tried Dreamfield's pasta? I get it at Nob Hill or Raley's. It has very low net carbs and it's good. I made some, ate the amount that satisfied me, and my blood sugar was fine.

    1. I don't really trust the Dreamfield's pasta. Some people are fine on it and others have difficulty. Also, the longer you cook it or let it set in the refrigerator seems to break down the indigestible quality and make it digestible which will affect blood sugar.