Easy Low-Carb Menu With Skillet Chicken

A day's menu for the early phase of a low-carbohydrate diet

Grilled spicy chicken breast with herbs
Lilechka75/istockphoto

Are you looking for a day's menu for a low-carb diet that won't take much work to create? You may not have time to spend cooking but you don't want to resort to packaged convenience foods or frozen low-carb dinners. This menu includes fresh items and few processed foods.

This menu is very high in fiber and protein and has all the vitamins and mineral requirements for the day except for vitamin D. In addition, it is a very easy menu.

No cooking is needed except for dinner, which is a non-fussy skillet meal. It contains 49 grams of usable carbohydrate and 36 grams of fiber.

This menu is South Beach Diet friendly for Phase Two and beyond. For Phase One, change the melon at breakfast to a glass of tomato juice. It also is largely gluten-free except as noted.

Breakfast

  • 1/2 cup high-fiber low carb cereal, such as All-Bran with extra fiber. If you are eating gluten-free, choose a gluten-free cereal.
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/8 medium melon, such as cantaloupe
  • 1 ounce almonds either slivered on cereal or whole. You can save this to enjoy as a mid-morning snack if you prefer.

Lunch

  • Throw It Together Salad: Bag of salad greens (about 6.5 ounces or 4 cups) tossed together with half of a sliced avocado, 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, 3.5 ounces of whatever protein you like (deli turkey was used for the nutritional analysis, but egg, beef, chicken, fish, or tofu would be fine), and 2 tablespoons sugar-free Italian dressing

    Snack

    • Swiss and Ham Roll-Up: 1 ounce sliced ham and 1 ounce sliced Swiss cheese, with sugar-free mustard if desired, rolled around a medium dill pickle or sugar-free sweet pickle.

    Dinner

    • Basil Chicken with Vegetables: This dish is easy to do with or without a recipe. Cut a boneless chicken breast into bite-sized pieces. Season it and add it to hot oil in the skillet along with low-carb vegetables such as red bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, or summer squash. When nearly done, add garlic and fresh basil. You can substitute pesto sauce for the basil if that is more convenient. It's also easy to do the same recipe with a different protein, such as tofu, beef, or pork. You can vary the seasonings to make it more Italian, Greek, or Thai. You can make extra for lunch or dinner the next day as it reheats easily in the microwave.
    • Dessert: 1/2 cup ricotta cheese with desired flavorings, such as sugar-free flavored syrups, coffee and sweetener, unsweetened cocoa and sweetener (check carbs), or berries.

    Nutritional Analysis

    This menu provides 49 grams effective carbohydrate plus 36 grams fiber, 101 grams protein, and 1569 calories. It contains at least the minimum requirements of all essential vitamins and minerals except vitamin D.

    Menu Notes and Modifications

    The total calories in this daily menu can be varied by adding and subtracting protein and fat. If you get hungry, add more calories. If your particular carbohydrate needs vary from this, you can change the amounts of carbohydrate foods.

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