5 Appliances You Need in Your Low-Carb Kitchen
Starting a low carb-kitchen can be very easy if you have a few of the right tools. As you start to delve deeper into the world of low-carb, you may need to upgrade those tools and appliances.
This can be a bit confusing if you are not knowledgeable about what they do, how they can help you, or if you can get a multi-use option instead. If you are starting off your new low-carb kitchen, here are five appliances you will need.
Show Post Contents
- 5 Appliances You Need in Your Low-Carb Kitchen
- Slow Cooker Low-Carb Breakfast Ideas
- Try These Low-Carb Lunches Using a Slow Cooker
- How to Use a Slow Cooker For Your Low-Carb Dinners
- Ways to Make Low-Carb Pizza With Cooking Appliances
- 4 Ways to Use a Food Processor For Low-Carb Meals
- Why Every Low-Carb Kitchen Needs an Instant Pot
- How to Prepare Meal With an Instant Pot
- Low-Carb Soup and Chili Recipes With an Instant Pot
- Simple Ways to Make Eggs in the Instant Pot
- How to Cook a Chicken With an Instant Pot
- Make These Vegetable Sides With an Instant Pot
- Your Favorite Fried Foods That Are Low-Carb Friendly With an Air Fryer
- Air Fryer vs. Instant Pot: Which is Better?
- 4 Best Meat Dishes Using an Air Fryer
Crockpot Slow cooker
It sounds so simple, but the number one appliance you need for low-carb kitchens is a crockpot. They do not have to be that big. Many low-carb kitchens have three traditional crockpots that are used for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
They are used throughout the day and the week to make the meals with as little fuss as possible. They take up as much counter space as a set of kitchen gadget holders, and canisters would but are much more versatile.
Use them for the day, toss them in the dishwasher at night, and reuse them the next day. They are an all-purpose option that can help you more than you realize.
You are going to find that one way to dress up your low-carb meals is to go with some sauces. You don’t want to buy them though. You want to make them yourself to ensure no additional carbs are going into the mix and you are reducing preservatives and sugar content as well. An immersion blender is an ideal thing to help turn your veggies into sauces quickly and easily.
There will be some meals that you want to make ahead and freeze. You don’t want them to get freezer burn either. You may also want to buy meats in bulk or make marinades ahead of time.
These processes can be done easily with a food saver. A food saver is a simple device that ranges in price from under $100 to a little above depending on the accessories. It uses vacuum seal bags and seals and removes the air to keep the food, marinades, or meats fresh.
An herb keeper is something that many people haven’t heard of. It takes up as much room as a coffee cup and is about the size of a coffee tumbler or travel mug. These herb keepers keep your herbs safe, fresh, and ready to use whenever you are ready.
If there is an herb you use a lot, like oregano, you can start off with one herb keeper and then move up to more of them as you find the herbs you want to use more often and use fresh.
A food scale is going to be vital if you are trying to stay with a low-carb diet while still keeping your servicing sizes to a single-serve amount.
You will find yourself weighing meat as well as vegetables and additional items as well. Make sure you have a digital food scale that measures in ounces to make things easier.
By having these five basic appliances in your kitchen, you will be able to convert your traditional kitchen into a low-carb option. You will be ready for most of the recipes you will come up against and have the ability to———
Slow Cooker Low-Carb Breakfast Ideas
Breakfast is one of the hardest meals to alter when it comes to different diet and lifestyle routines. In the case of low-carb diets, it is even more difficult to alter common foods to fit the diet.
This is primarily due to a large number of breakfast foods containing pieces of bread and carbs of some kind that are combined with sugars and syrups.
If you are facing the issue of converting breakfast foods to your low-carb diet or finding the time to even make the recipes you do find, then consider these slow cooker low-carb breakfast ideas.
Bacon and Cheese Quiche
Quiche is one of those breakfast dishes that brings to mind a bit of indulgence. It is something that most people have on Sunday mornings at a brunch. You can have this indulgence in your slow cooker in the form of a low-carb bacon and cheese quiche.
The recipe, like many slow cookers and crockpot options, is easy. For a full slow cooker, you will need at least ten slices of bacon, ten eggs, some heavy cream, sharp cheddar cheese, butter, spinach, chopped onion, and salt and pepper to taste.
Mix the ingredients, minus the bacon, and put it into the slow cooker. Top the mix with the bacon slices. Cook for 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high.
Granola is a common breakfast for many people. This is especially true if you want to get in your protein and your fiber for the day without overloading on carbs.
If you aren’t sold on a low-carb option in the store, then maybe this slow cooker version will grab you. You will need 2 cups of mixed nuts.
Go for non-tin nuts. Things like pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds are best for this. You can also buy the smaller bags since you will only be needing 2 cups in total.
Next, you will need 2 cups of seeds. Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are ideal. Mix the nuts with coconut oil, vanilla extract, unsweetened shredded coconut, stevia, cinnamon, and salt.
Mix everything and cook in the slow cooker for 2 hours on high or until toasted. Place on a cookie sheet to dry for at least one hour. Serve with milk or low-carb Greek yogurt.
Low-Carb Egg Muffins
Sometimes you just need something that is an on the go grab and eats the type of food. You may be thinking that this will rule out the slow cooker. It doesn’t.
There is a great way to get an on the go breakfast that is low-carb and in a slow cooker. Low-carb egg muffins use eggs, cheese, spinach, and sausage.
Mix the ingredients together and put them inside the slow cooker. Cook for 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low. You can cut muffin-sized rounds out while they are still in the slow cooker, or you can line the slow cooker with a slow cooker liner for easy removal and muffin cutting.
These are just three of the go-to slow cooker low-carb breakfast ideas you can use on your new diet. Keep in mind; these are designed with getting a protein boost in mind.
If you are interested in other options for your breakfast, such as getting a boost of vegetables or fruits, play around with these options to fit your low-carb needs and tastes.
Try These Low-Carb Lunches Using a Slow Cooker
Your slow cooker is probably one of the most underused appliances in your kitchen. You may use it from time to time, but it will likely be for dinner or something specific. When you switch to a low-carb diet, you may feel like your slow cooker has no place in the diet and lifestyle.
The truth is, there are many lunches that you make that go hand in hand with your low-carb diet that can be made in a slow cooker. Here are a few of the ideas, most of which can be made in large batches and frozen or used for later in the week.
Stuffed mushrooms are something you may not think of as being a slow cooker low-carb friendly lunch. With just a few tweaks, you can make this a great lunch to make for the home or on the go for the office as well. Ideally, you will want to use Portobello mushrooms for this or larger caps.
The filling should be made of cheese, ground pork, ground beef, and seasonings. Mix your filling and place it in the caps. Place the caps in the slow cooker and cook for 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low. They can be placed into a lunch carrier or be eaten on the spot with some pasta sauce to complete the dish.
Pasta-Free Spaghetti and Meatballs
You may be wondering what pasta-free spaghetti is. It is easy. All you need is either a vegetable spiralizer or some spaghetti squash. If you use the spiralizer, use a vegetable like zucchini. You can even use the zucchini along with the spaghetti squash to make the noodles.
The spaghetti squash can be roasted alongside the meatballs in the slow cooker. Just place a piece of rolled tinfoil in between to keep them separate. The meatballs can be whatever meat you like, just make sure you are not using breadcrumbs as the binder.
Use egg and some cheese instead. Cook the squash and the meatballs on low for 4 to 6 hours. Take out the squash and use a fork to pull out the meat of the squash. It will make the noodles. Then just dress the noodles with pasta sauce and the meatballs.
Pulled Pork Bahn Mi
Pulled pork is incredibly easy to do in the slow cooker, and it can be easy to assemble as a lunch. Just place several pieces of boneless pork chops or a half pork loin in the slow cooker with a little water for 6 hours on high or 4 hours on low.
Cook until tender, but thoroughly cooked throughout. Use two forks to shred the pork. Toss in a low-carb sauce like a low-carb oriental sauce and add some shredded cabbage and other shredded vegetables. Place the mixture into a purple cabbage leaf cup or “bun” for a finished meal.
These are only three options, but by using these options, you can start to find out what other recipes may be good for you. Stuffed Italian pizza peppers, pasta-free pasta dishes, and more can be derived and tweaked to your own taste.
How to Use a Slow Cooker For Your Low-Carb Dinners
In most cases, if you have your breakfast and lunch under control, you may find that dinner is the time you tend to go off track of your diet. It is difficult since dinner recipes are generally heavier, larger, and are more indulgent than other meals during the day.
You may find yourself adding things that throw off your low-carb diet without giving it much thought. Before you do that, consider the ways to use a slow cooker for your low-carb dinners and how to make it work for you even on your busiest days.
Roast Beef Dinner
There is a lot to be said for the versatility of a roast beef dinner. You can have a traditional roast beef dinner with low-carb vegetable options and mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes. You can also go for a shredded roast beef option that can be used in cabbage cups or as part of a larger dish.
You can even take it and make it into low-carb sandwiches with the use of Portobello mushrooms as the bun. The easiest way to start off any roast beef low-carb dinner option is to get a great cut of roast and put it in the crockpot with only a few tablespoons of water.
Season the roast beef with your choice of herbs and then cook for at least 6 hours on low. A trick some people use is to cook it on high for 1 hour then drop it too low for 6 hours to give it a fully roasted deep flavor option. This is a great dinner to make in large amounts and use later in the week in lunches and leftovers as well.
Full Roasted Herb Chicken
Another versatile low-carb slow cooker dinner option that gives you dinners, lunches, and more is a fully roasted herb chicken. This meal could not be easier to keep low-carb. Just take a whole chicken and clean it well. Place it into the slow cooker.
You can fill the cavity of the bird with a whole onion, garlic cloves, and rosemary. Top the bird with some ground herbs, salt, and pepper and then cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.
Make sure you use very little water as the bird will release its own juices that can be used as a low-carb based broth for later cooking.
Add some lemon slices to the top of the chicken for added flavor. You can then cut off the chicken breasts for a roasted meal with cauliflower and veggies. You can then take the rest and shred it for sandwiches or low-carb chicken salad later in the week.
Low Carb Lasagna Dinner
Low-Carb lasagna dinners may bring to mind phrasing like pasta-free or grain-free in recipes that usually aren’t. The trick to the low-carb slow cooker lasagna is to watch what you use for your noodles.
The rest is a piece of cake. Most recipes like this will call for zucchini instead of noodles. You will need a mandolin slicer to handle this. Cut the strips as thin as possible and use them as the lasagna noodle.
Layer your lasagna as you normally would and cook for 4 hours on low or 6 hours on high. You can go a step further and make your own sauce with fresh vegetables and an immersion blender.
Make sure to steam or stew your vegetables until soft enough for a fork to mash. Use your blender to create the sauce and use in between the layers of the lasagna.
Each one of these meals is designed to give you a great tasting low-carb option while also getting in a punch from vegetables and fresh herbs. They also make multiple servings and can be used in other meals throughout the week to make your meal planning easy.
Ways to Make Low-Carb Pizza With Cooking Appliances
When you start a low-carb diet, you may feel like there are no options for things you normally love. One of the biggest misconceptions is that you should give up a pizza on a low-carb diet.
You can still have pizza, although you will need to alter it slightly. You may be thinking that going vegan is the only way to do this. That isn’t true.
There are some great ways to make low-carb pizza with various cooking appliances you already have in your low-carb kitchen. Here are a few.
The basic idea of the low-carb cauliflower crust pizza is that you are replacing the crust with the cauliflower. The rest of the pizza can stick to your typical non-carb toppings and meats or vegetables.
The cauliflower is the hardest part of this, and even that is easy. The misconception is that you cook it first. Though you can steam it, the easiest thing to do is put the cauliflower florets through a food processor and blend until it is like a crust dough, or like little pebbles.
Mix this with eggs and herbs if you like. The eggs will bind the cauliflower, and you can then press it into a crust form. Bake it for about five minutes just to stiffen it up, then add your toppings and continue baking for 10 minutes.
Bell Pepper Pizza
Bell pepper pizza uses fresh pizza sauce, cheese, and your choice of meat and veggie toppings. The trick to the pizza is to choose if you want to use the bell peppers as cups, grilled strips or flattened out in thin slices.
You also need to decide if you want to roast the peppers or if you will be adding the toppings and placing it all in the oven. It really is up to you and your flavor desires.
The aspect that makes this option interesting is the ability to use it in vegan options, raw vegan options, cooked options, and the ability to make personalized options for each member of the family.
A portobello pizza is a favorite of many vegetarians and low-carb eaters. The pizza uses portobello mushroom caps as a base. You then layer the mushroom caps with a little bit of sauce, cheese of your choice, and toppings.
Bake the mushrooms for about 5 to 10 minutes. There is a variation on this pizza that can be done for breakfast as well. Simple use the portobello cap as the base and fill with an egg and cheese mixture. It makes a great protein-packed meal and is very low-carb.
If you have been making pasta-free dinner options, like lasagna and spaghetti, then you already know how versatile zucchini can be. It can take on the flavors you add to it and serve as a great option for a boost of veggies without getting carbs involved.
With a zucchini based pizza, keep the idea of a French bread pizza in mind and cut the zucchini in that boat like a style. Layer as usual and bake or make a raw pizza option with vegetables and a cool vegetable puree.
Each of these recipes uses a low-carb kitchen appliance in some way. Pasta sauces can be made with the immersion blender or regular blender.
The zucchini and peppers can be sliced with a mandolin slicer. Herbs come from the herb keepers. Also, don’t forget you can make a ton of sauce for each of these, that can be used at any time, with your slow cooker.
4 Ways to Use a Food Processor For Low-Carb Meals
Switching to a low-carb diet is a fairly easy step in changing your lifestyle. Once you are on the low-carb plan, and you see that it is working for you, the next step is to go into meal planning.
To do proper weekly meal prep and planning, you will need the right tools and appliances. One of those is a food processor. Here are four ways you can use a food processor to help create your weekly meal prep for low-carb meals.
Purees are great as a base for pasta type dinners, using vegetables as the pasta. They can also help create the bases for different dressings, soups, stews, and other low-carb items.
If you have done this by way of traditional methods in the past, then you likely spent a lot of time cutting up vegetables and herbs for the puree before you steam or boil the ingredients.
Though this is a way to handle it, you can speed this up greatly by using the food processor to puree the food for you. In fact, most people use the food processor to chop up the vegetables than to mix the puree from the cooled steamed vegetables and ingredients. In this way, the food processor takes the place of immersion blenders as well as regular blenders.
Create Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower is your best friend when it comes to low-carb cooking. It can take the place of so many of the carbs that you love. Potatoes are just the tip of the cauliflower alternative iceberg.
One of the other high carb foods that cauliflower can replace is rice. You may think this is impossible, but you can get the right texture and size by simply using your food processor on pulse.
Just cauliflower florets and a little salt, pepper, and water. That is all you need. Use the pulse setting. You can use steamed cauliflower, cool it down, use the food processor on pulse, the heat up as you use it.
Chop Vegetables for Soups and Stews
Chopping of vegetables for soups and stews can take a while. This is especially true if you are trying to prepare the vegetables in different ways.
For example, you may want chunky bites of carrots while also using thin slices of zucchini. With the right blade attachments, your food processor can handle most of the cuts and chops you will need.
Prep Cheeses for Use in the Week
Cheese is used in a lot of the low-carb recipes you are going to find. One of the most common is sharp cheddar in shredded form. You can slice and grate cheese in a food processor with the appropriate blade attachments.
This takes several minutes but is much faster and healthier than either doing it with a traditional knife or grater or by way of buying it already made at the store.
Keep in mind; shredded store-bought cheese is dusted with starch which may throw off your low-carb diet and some of the recipes as well.
By using these methods, you can make several of your basic sides and dishes for the week. Remember, these techniques can be used with other foods as well and can span out over several meals, not just lunch and dinner.
Why Every Low-Carb Kitchen Needs an Instant Pot
Instant Pots are somewhat of a new appliance for many people. They look a little complicated but are supposed to replace the major large appliances in your kitchen like rice cookers and crockpots.
You may be wondering how you can justify the cost of the Instant Pot, or if you will even use it that often in your low-carb kitchen. Here are a few ways to consider using the Instant Pot and why you likely need it for your low-carb cooking.
Quick Dinner Options
If you are pressed for time during the afternoons and evenings, then an Instant Pot is ideal. Instant Pots offer you a one-pot option for all your meals without giving you mushy meals that may come from a slow cooker.
You can also do them quickly and easily. That isn’t really where your time saving comes in though. When you use an Instant Pot, you can set everything and leave it.
You are not standing over the stove or oven. You can take the time it takes to make the meal and use it to do other things around the house and free up even more time. It is like a crockpot, but faster.
If you have a smaller kitchen or if you just want to keep things minimal, then you need an Instant Pot. When you think of the processes you need to complete for a low-carb meal, you will note that you need a rice cooker for cauliflower rice, crockpot, pressure cooker, and sauté pan at the minimum.
The Instant Pot does all of these things. With this appliance and a food processor, you could handle at least 95% of the food you would be making on the low-carb diet.
Delay Your Cooking
All of us have long days where we need to get sleep, and we need to start a meal by a certain time. This is especially true for holiday meals.
Well, if it is something that simply requires the cooking of meat or a one-step dish, then you can delay your cooking time for up to 24 hours with the Instant Pot.
You just simply fill the pot, set the delay timer, and set the timer for the process you need. The Instant Pot will handle the rest for you.
Using Less Energy
One of the issues that many people have with cooking at home is the issue with energy. You either end up heating up your kitchen and living area from the stove and oven, or you end up using a lot of energy with all the appliances in your home.
This can get expensive, especially if you need to keep within a budget on your monthly energy bills. By using the Instant Pot, you can avoid using multiple appliances, and you avoid the heat that generally comes from the oven and stove.
One of the main reasons people switch to the Instant Pot is to reduce the number of appliances in their kitchen while having an appliance that can truly multitask.
Instant Pots are available in most kitchen stores, and can even be found in thrift stores and consignment stores if you are into going the budget route for this handy appliance.
How to Prepare Meal With an Instant Pot
When you read about meal planning, you may be left with the idea that everything starts and stops with the meal planning step. The truth is, meal planning has several steps to the process that culminated with prepping certain aspects of the dinners, lunches, and prepping ahead for even breakfasts.
Meal prepping is vital if you are trying to stay on your meal plan and stay on track. Here are some ways that you can meal prep with an Instant Pot, keep to your meal plans, and keep things on track for the week.
Spaghetti Squash Pasta
Pasta is one of the main ways that larger families make it by during the week while staying on budget. You may be wondering how you will be able to do the same thing when you switch to a low-carb meal plan.
One way to do this is to go with pasta free options by replacing the pasta with vegetables. You may already know about using cauliflower to replace rice, but one of the other ways is to use spaghetti squash.
Simply cut the squash in half and roast it in the Instant Pot for 5 minutes on high pressure. Remove the squash and use a fork to remove the squash meat.
It will come out in pasta like the form that can be used for pasta throughout dinners and lunches through the week. Use just like you would regular pasta.
Shredded meat is one of the easiest and most versatile foods you can make in the Instant Pot for low-carb meals. All you need for this is the meat and some water.
You can add salt and pepper to taste as well. Place the meat into the Instant Pot along with a quarter cup of water. Most meats will produce their own juices. Remember to save the runoff juices and water as a broth for other recipes later in the week.
Set the timer for 1 hour on high pressure. When the meat is fully cooked, shred with a fork, and added the spices. You can use this meat in pasta style meals, salads, low-carb sandwiches, and other meals throughout the week.
When you are prepping for your lunch and snacks through the week on a low-carb diet, one aspect that should not be overlooked is the need for protein. One way you can do this is through boiled eggs. One boiled egg to two a day can be fit into your lunch or snacks.
You can make these for the whole week by placing the eggs in a steamer basket in one cup of water in the Instant Pot. Put the Instant Pot setting to 13 minutes on low pressure. Remove the eggs and allow them to cool. Add them to your lunches each week.
A meal that is easy to make and can be used in either lunches or dinners is soup. You can prep several soups for the week using your Instant Pot.
Each soup takes about an hour from start to finish, so you could easily prep all your soup based lunches for the week in about two hours, switching between two recipes. The two basic options are the broccoli and cheese Instant Pot soup and the chicken vegetable soup.
Start off with your vegetables on sauté in the Instant Pot for about 10 minutes. Add the broth, meat, and other ingredients to the sauté and cover the pot. Set the Instant Pot to 5 minutes on the soup.
Keep in mind, with meal prep you need to keep a solid focus on your meal plan. Try to plan meals that use the same meat at least twice during the week.
This way you can cook larger amounts and make sure all your meals are covered. Also, make sure the ideas you have during your meal planning stage translate well to Instant Pot options.
Low-Carb Soup and Chili Recipes With an Instant Pot
You may be fine with meal planning for the spring and summer months, but when it comes to winter, you may run into some issues. Certain fruits and vegetables are not as readily available, and meals turn to more hearty options.
This can be difficult for a low-carb eater. One of the ways you can combat this is to use your Instant Pot to create low-carb soups and chilies.
If you aren’t sure how to take your traditional soups and chili’s and bring them to a low-carb status while using the Instant Pot, here are some ideas.
Basic Low-Carb Chili
If you are going for a low-carb chili, the main ingredient to remove is any pasta or potatoes. Some people use these items to build the chili and make it heartier and filling for larger families.
Rice is also something that some people may use. The trick is to remove these and go with what many people call a pure chili recipe. This includes the beans, the seasonings, diced tomatoes, chilis, and tomato paste.
You can add a beef broth for an additional flavor. Place the meat and the vegetables in first in the saute setting. This should cook, without the lid, for around 10 minutes. After the meat is cooked, place the rest of the ingredients in the Instant Pot on the meat/stew setting for 35 minutes.
Low-Carb Broccoli and Cheese Soup
One of the easiest soups to make, and to keep on hand throughout the week or as an easy lunch is the low-carb broccoli and cheese soup. You can make this in the Instant Pot easily.
What you will need is heavy cream, whole milk, broccoli, sharp cheddar cheese, onion, carrots, and seasonings of your choice. Take the vegetables and dice them into smaller pieces if possible.
Try to avoid using the stalks of the broccoli. If you are going to use the stalks, chop them in a vegetable chopper into chunky, but not too small of pieces.
Place the vegetables in the Instant Pot on sauté for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and turn the Instant Pot on the soup setting for an additional 5 minutes.
Paleo Egg Roll Soup
When you think of an egg roll, you likely think of the wrapper first, which means carbs. If you are going for a low-carb option, you can still have your egg roll as a soup.
For this unique Instant Pot meal, you will need shredded pork, a large diced onion, meat broth, cabbage, carrots, garlic, salt, and ginger. This is as simple as using the sauté option for 10 minutes on the vegetables and then adding the broth for 5 minutes on the soup setting.
You can adjust these basic recipes by adding more veggies, changing up the meats, or altering your sauces and bases. These are great recipes if you have never your Instant Pot for soups and chili’s to get you used to those settings and methods.
Simple Ways to Make Eggs in the Instant Pot
You may think your Instant Pot is just for larger meals, soups, or rice. The truth is, you can use your Instant Pot in more ways than you probably imagined.
One of the biggest ways to use your Instant Pot is to meal prep your eggs for the week. You don’t have to stick to one method either. Here are a few ways that you can make eggs in the Instant Pot for your week and stick to your low-carb diet.
Hard-boiled eggs are one of the easiest egg options to make in the Instant Pot. They are an excellent option for meal prep and lunches as well.
To make this go-to protein, place the eggs into the steamer basket of an Instant Pot. If you don’t have a steamer basket for your Instant Pot, you can use a regular stainless steel steamer basket instead.
Add one cup of water to the Instant Pot and add the steamer of eggs. Hit the pressure button and leave the eggs for 13 minutes. Take them out, put them in a cold water bath, and enjoy.
Scrambled eggs can be made in the Instant Pot if you know what you need to do for the timing and mixture. The basics of this recipe are to use two eggs for one person and up to 5 eggs for two people. Mix the eggs with a bit of salt, pepper, and milk.
Fluff the mixture with a fork like you would for traditional stovetop scrambled eggs. Once the mixture is made, put it into an Instant Pot safe bowl that has been sprayed with a small amount of cooking spray. Place the mixture in the Instant Pot, in the bowl, for seven minutes on low pressure. Remove them and enjoy them.
Poached eggs are something that many people enjoy for brunch as part of a larger meal. You may be wondering if you can regulate this option to an Instant Pot. Keep in mind, that you can do it, it just may take more time and effort. If you do plan to go ahead with this option, which is
a great and safe way to teach younger kids and teens how to do it, then you will need a few items beyond the eggs. You will need to have some silicone egg poaching cups, cooking spray, and patience.
Place the eggs in the sprayed silicone poaching cups. Place the cups in about a cup of water inside the Instant Pot. Use the low-pressure setting and cook for 12 minutes on low pressure.
Remove them and allow them to cool slightly before removing them from the poaching cups. Use a toothpick to break the top seal between the egg and the silicone, so you don’t break the yolks during the removal process.
You can use these techniques for large family breakfasts, lunches, or to prep for the week of meals. Keep in mind; you may want to play around with the settings and ideas to get the right ones for your meal plans.
Write down what you do and timing if you are trying a new dish to make sure you remember it for later when you want to go back to one of the egg recipes for your Instant Pot.
How to Cook a Chicken With an Instant Pot
There are hundreds of recipes out there that include chicken and low-carb options. When you look at the chicken and then look at your instant pot, suddenly you may be in a world where you have no idea what to do with the two items.
Before you give up and just toss the chicken into the oven, consider these methods for cooking chicken in an instant pot. Each one offers you the chance to meal plan for the week with chicken without doing the same old tired way.
Clean the Chicken
This may sound odd or like a side comment, but many people do not clean the chicken before cooking it. Even if the chicken is factory sealed and organic, you still need to do at least a rinse off before you begin seasoning the chicken.
During this step, you want to make sure you have removed all the innards including the neck and the gizzards that may be bagged inside the bird. Make sure the bird cavity is empty.
Prepping the Chicken
Once you have cleaned the chicken, you will need to prep it properly. You may already know what to do with the outside of the bird as far as lemon and other seasonings go.
However, the vast majority of the flavor for a chicken that is roasted in the instant pot comes from the inside of the bird. Make sure that you use a whole onion, cut in quarters. Also add rosemary sprigs, carrots, and celery.
All of this will play into the flavors you are trying to create. Remember, you want to keep any runoff juices from the bird. You can dilute the water and use them as a broth in other low carb cooking ideas.
Cooking the Chicken
Once you have the chicken prepared and ready to cook, place it in a lightly greased instant pot. This is where you need to pay a bit of attention to timing. Make sure you lock the pressure cooker lid before choosing the cooking time.
You will need to cook the chicken for 25 minutes in a high-pressure setting. Allow the pressure cooker to release the pressure and then remove the bird.
With the multiple settings on the instant pot and the versatile nature of chicken, you can develop weeks’ worth of options. Each option is unique, and each option can be altered for your tastes and texture profile.
Make These Vegetable Sides With an Instant Pot
You may already have your meat meal prep planned using the oven or some other appliance in your kitchen. What you may not have worked out is how you are going to make the sides and ensure that everything is done in the right portions of the low-carb method.
One way you can do that is to use the Instant Pot. You may think that will limit you, but there are several ways to use the Instant Pot to make more than just your typical steamed vegetable option.
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are one of the most common sides of traditional meal prep and planning. They are easy to make, easy to buy in many forms, and easy to add flavorings and other ingredients too.
The issue with mashed potatoes is, of course, the carbs. In a low-carb household, you can change things up, and still have a mashed potato-like side by using cauliflower.
Just break down the cauliflower into florets and put through your food processor on pulse. Put them into the Instant Pot and cook on low for 5 minutes. You can also choose to put the florets in and then mash them when they are cooked.
Spiral Pasta-Free Noodles
Zucchini, spaghetti squash, and other similar vegetables can be used as pasta noodles. You can do this easily with a spiralizer or by roasting the vegetables in the Instant Pot.
If you use the spiral cutter first, just put the noodles in with the sauce and meat for 5 minutes on the soup setting to finish off the dish. If you are roasting the vegetable first, make sure it is a hard squash. Use a fork to remove the vegetables meat and use the shredded vegetable as the pasta.
Sweet and Tangy Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are an easy vegetable to roast, but honestly, it can take almost an hour in the oven and can heat up the entire kitchen. Instead, you can put the Brussel sprouts with some bacon, garlic, and balsamic in the Instant Pot.
Set it on low for 5 minutes, and you have roasted vegetables without the time waste and without the need to heat up the entire room or use too much energy.
These are just a few of the ways you can use the Instant Pot to make vegetable sides. Remember, you don’t have to stick to steamed vegetables, and you can do everything from purees to mixes. Play around with these ideas and use them as the base point for your meal planning and options.
Your Favorite Fried Foods That Are Low-Carb Friendly With an Air Fryer
One of the hardest things for people to get over when they switch to a low-carb diet is the idea they will have to eat grilled, baked, or broiled options. That all fried foods must go to the wayside and you will never be able to have fried chicken or fish again.
The truth is, with the right appliances, you can still have those things in a low-carb way and have them taste good. One appliance that makes this happen is the air fryer. Here are some fried foods that are low-carb and air fryer friendly.
You may think that you will never be able to have the crispy and crunchy texture of a buffalo chicken bite or breast again if you go on a low-carb diet. This isn’t true. With an air fryer, you can cut out the carbs and still get the crispy chicken that you need for the chicken.
The trick is to use crunched up pork rinds for the breading. This is a no-carb option and still gives you the fried texture you are looking for. When done, remove the chicken and toss in a buffalo wing sauce or buffalo sauce.
Carb Free Chicken Parm
Chicken parm is one of the dishes that many people love and think they cannot have once they go low-carb. The truth is, you still can have it with just a few tweaks to the original recipe. As with any fried chicken that is no carb, go with a no-carb coating like pork rinds or something similar.
Once coated, cook the chicken on the normal setting in the air fryer. For the pasta, just use a vegetable option like squash or zucchini noodles. Use a regular pasta sauce to cover and parm cheese to dress and complete the dish.
Vegetarian Fries (No Carb Fry Alternative)
When you think of low-carb, the first thing you usually think about removing is the fries. You can keep the fries while staying low carb and healthy. Just replace the potato fries with a vegetarian option like zucchini or carrots.
Cut the vegetable into slices like a fry, coat with pork rinds or similar no-carb option and fry in the air fryer like you would traditional potato fries.
The air fryer can give you the same frying texture that you grew to love from traditional fried oil methods. You use very little oil, and you still come out with low-carb options.
In fact, for many people, an air fryer is one of the appliances that help many people make the transition from their normal eating habits to low-carb.
Air Fryer vs. Instant Pot: Which is Better?
When you are trying to get your low-carb kitchen set-up, one of the biggest issues is deciding what appliances you need. You may want to do like most people and go with an option that will multi-task and provide more bang for your buck.
This really doesn’t come into play until you start to look at air fryers and Instant Pots. Which is best? Which will do what you need? Here are the pros and cons of each one to help you decide.
Pros of the Air Fryer
There are several pros to using the air fryer. One of the biggest benefits is the use of very little oil. This can take the low-carb diet to the next level, and it can make it easy for people that need to reduce the amount of fat and carbs in their diet.
You can also benefit from the pro of having the same crispy fried style food that you liked on your other eating plans or lifestyles. The thing to keep in mind is that, if you are into fried foods this is the option for you.
Cons of the Air Fryer
The air fryer is not a multi-tasker. It is a low oil frying option. You can do some limited roasting, but overall it is limited to the technique of frying like that of a traditional oil frying machine. Air fryers are also smaller.
If you have a large family, this will likely not work well for you. You can only cook for one to three people at a time in limited amounts. You can buy an extra-large option, but it still may be limiting. You will still need other appliances to cook with as well as a prep with.
Pros of the Instant Pot
An Instant Pot can do everything but fry foods. It can make rice, pasta, soups, stews, high-pressure cooking, low-pressure cooking, and can even saute.
It takes the place of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice maker, and stew pot. This makes it an excellent investment for a multitasking option.
It makes food for all your meals, in larger crockpot sized amounts. It can also help you with meal prep for the week since most of the dishes are cooked quickly and in less than an hour. Clean up is easy so you can clean in between uses.
Cons of the Instant Pot
The Instant Pot does not make crunchy foods. You will not get the fried aspect from the Instant Pot. If fried foods are something you enjoy and are the way you may derail from your low-carb diet, then the Instant Pot may not help.
You also need to play with some of the settings to decide what works for you and what needs to be tweaked slightly to accommodate.
Though you may find yourself starting with one and moving to the other appliance, both have their merits for someone starting off in the low-carb lifestyle.
Keep in mind, you can always buy one later, but the initial choice is truly going to come down to your current eating habits and which one helps you transition best.
4 Best Meat Dishes Using an Air Fryer
When you think of meat dishes and low-carb, you likely go straight to the idea of baking or grilling the meat. You may never think of frying because, in traditional methods, frying means using carbs of some kind.
The truth is, there are many ways to create meat entrees using an air fryer. If you have never considered what an air fryer can do for you and your meat dishes, consider these options.
Carb Free Fried Chicken
Carb free fried chicken is easier to make than you think. Prepare the chicken as you would traditionally and simply replace the traditional bread-like coating with a carb-free option. There are many on the market, but one of the easiest to find are pork rinds.
Simply run them through the food processor until they are dust and coat the chicken like you would with any other coating. Fry in the air fryer and you have the traditional meat dish without the carbs and oil.
Honey Ginger Salmon
Salmon is an item that you may love to have, but think is impossible when it comes to getting the crispy skin like you would in a pan-fried option. You can still get that crispy skin in low carb and the healthy way the air fryer.
Just put the salmon in the air fryer for 8 minutes. Remove and add the garnish along with a nice low-carb side dish like balsamic Brussel sprouts and cauliflower rice.
Air Fried Steak
Steak is something that you may not think belongs in an air fryer, but it can work out very well. Prepare the steak as you normally would.
Place the steak in the air fryer for 14 minutes for rare, and 18 minutes for medium. You will need to keep in mind that you will need the extra-large air fryer for this meal.
Shredded Pork Dinner
You can do a lot with a well-shredded pork loin. It can go into carnitas, tacos, and even soups. You can do this in the air fryer easily.
Just dress the pork as you normally would before you oven bake it or place it in a slow cooker. Place the loin on Medium for 25 minutes.
These are just a few of the options available to you. You can expand on these options as you learn how your air fryer works. You can also try different foods in the air fryer to see how they create a crispy option for you that you may be missing with your low-carb options.