There’s a lot of talk about different kinds of diets that help you lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle — the keto diet, low-carb, low-sugar diet, paleo diet, Atkin’s diet.
The one thing they all have in common is no grains (along with sugar and starchy vegetables, but that’s another article).
We decided to come up with great meal ideas that are grain-free and work for any of today’s low-carb diets.
We’ll focus on meals that have low net carbs and high fat (keeping the sugar, legumes, rice, and potatoes to a minimum).
Grain-Free Breakfast Ideas
Who says you have to give up crunchy cereal to keep low carb? That’s crazy! Some genius came up with grain-free granola recipes that are nut based and absolutely delicious.
Try NuTrail nut based granola — it comes in a ton of different flavors, and you won’t even miss the grains.
Grain-Free Granola Recipes
- Bowl of Nut Granola — Let’s start with the basics. Nut granola with cold almond or coconut milk really hits the spot…any flavor, any time.
- Greek Yogurt Topped with Nut Granola
- Low-Carb Pancakes or Waffles with Granola — try blueberry granola with fresh blueberries or cinnamon pecan granola with monkfruit maple syrup.
- Low-Carb or Grain-Free Toast — spread with nut butter and sprinkled with nut granola for a crunchy breakfast that’s loaded with protein for energy.
- French Toast with Grain-Free Bread — coated with egg and granola or top your French toast with granola.
- Smoothie Bowls topped with Granola — Smoothie bowls can be topped with all kinds of fun things but start with granola for crunch. Then add fresh berries (or other fruit that works on your type of diet), coconut shreds, sliced almonds, cacao nibs, chia seeds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), hemp, or flax seeds. You can also add a quick dollop of nut butter or yogurt, and don’t forget a drizzle of honey or agave.
Other Grain-Free Breakfast Ideas
- Eggs — Baked, fried, poached, or scrambled. Try omelets, frittatas, crustless quiches, breakfast casseroles, benedicts (with carb-free muffins or a protein base like bacon of course). You can have them hard-boiled, soft-boiled, or coddled. And don’t forget the absolute best of all — Shakshuka!
- Avocado Toast with Low-Carb Bread — Here are some great ideas to dress this classic up with fun alternatives and add ons.
- Chia Pudding — By mixing two tablespoons of chia seeds with ½ cup of almond or coconut milk and one teaspoon of sweetener (honey or monkfruit depending on your diet plan), you have a great breakfast that has protein and tastes delicious. You can also top with fresh fruit, granola, nuts, cacao nibs, and coconut. It the perfect ‘overnight’ recipe — just mix the night before and keep in the fridge overnight. The next morning, you have a creamy pudding that’s ready to go.
Grain-Free Lunch Ideas
- Cottage Cheese — Great protein and it can be topped with nut granola for something sweet, or tuna and vinaigrette for something savory.
- Salads are a great way to get your veggies and protein and can be made of all kinds of great things. Use every kind of green and vegetable and then top with a protein, like chicken, shrimp, salmon, egg, tuna, cheese, avocado, or tofu. Try nuts, seeds, or nut granola for crunch and finish with a dressing of lemon juice or vinegar and good olive oil.
- Chicken or Tuna Salad — Good by itself or stuffed in a tomato or avocado. Just add mayo, sliced celery and red onion to shredded chicken or tuna and mix. Some people like fruit, like grapes or blueberries, and nuts, like walnuts or pecans. You can add a touch of Dijon mustard, champagne vinegar, or lemon juice for a little pop of flavor too.
- Lettuce Wraps — You can wrap anything in lettuce that you would wrap in a traditional wrap or bun. Try hamburger (thank you Carl’s Jr.), BLTs, deli meat and cheese, or fruit and cheese (like slices of apples and cheddar or pear and brie). You can also add Asian-inspired fillings like a traditional lettuce roll and dip in a low-carb peanut sauce.
- Perfect for Meal Prep — Try prepping hard boiled eggs, slices of deli meat, olives, nuts, cubes of cheese, and sliced veggies for a box lunch that you can grab on the go.
Grain-Free Recipes for Dinner
- Fried Chicken or Chicken Tenders — coat pieces of chicken or chicken tenders with unsweetened nut granola or a nut flour, like almond flour — dredging in egg first. Then fry (or bake) for a great tasting fried chicken. Even better, mix equal parts almond flour and grated parmesan cheese (be sure it’s grated, like the kind you put on pizza) for a great fried chicken crust.
- Roasted Veggies and Italian Sausage — This works great on a sheet pan — mix slices of Italian sausage and bite-sized pieces of your favorite veggies (we like red pepper, broccoli, zucchini, and onion). Mix with olive oil and your favorite Italian spices and pop in a 37⁵⁰ oven for about 30 minutes. You can top with shredded cheese when there’s just five minutes left.
- Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Parmesan — Super simple to make and great for leftovers. Just cook the spaghetti squash — this is where an Instant Pot or pressure cooker comes in great. Once done, scrape the squash strands out of the shell. Then just add olive oil, two to three fresh garlic cloves (minced), a tablespoon of butter, and ½ cup of Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parsley to serve.
- Garlic Lemon Salmon and Asparagus — Another sheet pan favorite — place the salmon and asparagus on a sheet pan and dress with freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, and fresh chopped parsley and pop in the broiler for 8 to 10 minutes. You can use tuna steaks or tilapia in place of salmon if you like.
- Tuesday Night Tacos — Choose your protein — chicken, steak, tofu, shrimp, pork — cook with spices that add heat and flavor and then assemble using lettuce leaves for taco shells or store bought gluten-free tortillas. From salsa to sour cream, tomatoes to black olives, most taco toppings work for low carb meals.
- Friday Night Pizza — Who doesn’t love a cauliflower pizza crust? Substitute homemade marinara sauce for store bought spaghetti sauce and pile on the toppings. Pepperoni (in moderation), veggies, olives, and cheese — Yum! Now who gets to choose the movie?
- Steak! — Really any protein grilled and served with roasted, steamed, or grilled veggies make a great meal that’s easy to fix and satisfies the pickiest eater.
- Greek Chicken Bowls — The best part of bowls is they’re so easy to assemble. Add grilled chicken (seasoned with dill, garlic, marjoram, and Greek oregano) to a bowl with bite sized pieces of tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, kalamata olives, and feta cheese. Toss with lemon juice and olive oil and top with tzatziki sauce (Greek yogurt, dill, minced cucumber, garlic, salt, and pepper).
Grain-Free Recipes for Dessert
- Baked Fruit with Nut Granola — Apples (if that’s part of your eating plan) or berries work perfectly. Stir in some nut granola and pop in a 35⁰⁰ oven for about 35 minutes. Out comes a delicious treat that can be sweetened to your personal preferences with Splenda or monkfruit.
- Yogurt Parfait — Easy to make and delicious to eat, just layer fresh berries with Greek yogurt and top with some nut granola. This makes a great dessert but can substitute as a breakfast too.
- Cherry Cobbler — Here’s a simple recipe that uses coconut flour, frozen cherries, and cacao-flavored granola for a chocolate-y cherry treat.
- Strawberries Rolled in Nut Butter and Granola — Simple, yet elegant! Like a chocolate covered strawberry, but healthy.
- Pecan Granola Apple Crisp — this is best when Granny Smith apples are in season. Just add some keto sweetener, a little cinnamon, and pecan nut granola for a warm, rich dessert.
Whatever type of diet or eating plan you follow; these recipes should make it into your cooking repertoire. Low carb, grain free and delicious, you can’t go wrong with these inventive low carb ideas.
Learn more about healthy eating a low-carb diet and explore our products at NuTrail.com.