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Create a Fabulous Low Carb Menu – Dessert Included!

October 19, 2020

By: Duke Diet & Fitness Center Nutrition Team

A low-carbohydrate diet is a sensible and research-proven approach to weight loss. However, the most important part of any eating style is making it enjoyable and varied.

Breakfast – Low Carb Pancakes

Low carb pancakes with almonds and blueberries.


1.5 cups almond flour
½ tsp baking soda
Pinch sea salt
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh blueberries (optional)
Cooking spray

Cooking note: Do not overcook these pancakes. They are most flavorful when they are just golden brown.


1. Mix together almond flour, baking soda, and sea salt.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and then combine the almond milk and the vanilla extract.
3. Pour egg mixture into the flour mixture. Combine until there are no lumps. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes.
4. If adding blueberries, carefully fold blueberries into egg/flour mixture.
5. Heat a griddle with cooking spray.
6. Ladle a ¼ cup pancake batter into the griddle. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side before turning.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving: (without blueberries)

Servings: 6 Serving size: 2 6” pancakes
Calories: 190 Fat: 16g Carbohydrate: 6g
Fiber: 3g Sugars: 1g Protein: 8g Sodium: 185mg
Net Carbs: 3g

Nutritional Analysis per Serving: (with blueberries)

Calories: 200 Fat: 16g Carbohydrate: 9g Fiber: 4g
Sugars: 3g Protein: 8g Sodium: 185mg
Net Carbs: 5g

Lunch – Almond Crusted Tilapia

Almond crusted tilapia.


4 4-ounce tilapia fillets
1 egg
¼ cup almond meal
¼ cup ground flaxseed
¾ tsp salt
¾ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp ground red pepper
3 Tbsp canola oil


1. Dip each tilapia filet into the beaten egg mixture.
2. Combine almond meal, flaxseed, salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and ground red pepper in a large ziplock bag.
3. Add fish to the bag one filet at a time and shake to coat. Remove and shake off excess. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
4. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add canola oil to the pan and swirl to coat.
5. Add fish and cook 3 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Servings: 4 Serving size: 4-ounce filet
Calories: 300 Fat: 20g Carbohydrate: 4g Fiber: 3g
Sugars: 0g Protein: 27g Sodium: 440mg
Net Carbs: 1g

Vegetable Side Dish – Stuffed Italian Mushrooms


Baked mushrooms stuffed with spinach and cheese.

24 large white button mushrooms, cleaned with stems removed
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 ½ tsp salt, divided
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
½ cup roasted red bell peppers
½ cup pitted and diced green olives
2 green onions, green and white parts, sliced
½ cup goat cheese
¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Clean the mushrooms with a damp kitchen or paper towel.
3. Place the mushrooms in a medium bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with 1 teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Stir together gently.
4. Combine the roasted red peppers, olives, and green onions ina small bowl. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Stir to combine.
5. Place the mushrooms, cavity side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spoon the red pepper/olive/onion filling into each mushroom cap. Bake until the mushrooms are tender, approximately 20 minutes.
6. Transfer the mushrooms to a serving plate and top with a spoonful of goat cheese and a sprinkling of chopped basil.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:

Servings: 6 Serving size: 4 mushrooms
Calories: 120 Fat: 9.5g Carbohydrate: 5.5g Fiber: 0.5g
Sugars: 3.5g Protein: 3g Sodium: 750mg
Net Carbs: 5g

Dessert – Cheesecake



24 ounces regular cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
20 individual packets Splenda/sucralose or 1 ¼ cup granular Splenda/sucralose
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 ½ cup crushed pecans
4 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp Splenda
2 Tbsp cocoa powder


1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Add pecans to a food processor and process until a flour-like consistency is achieved. Mix in Splenda, cocoa powder and butter by hand.
3. Spray a pie pan or springform pan with cooking spray. Press the crust mixture into the pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, add cream cheese. With a hand mixer, blend cream cheese until smooth. Add sour cream. Add 1 egg at a time and blend with mixer. Add vanilla and Splenda and blend until just combined. Pour cream cheese mixture over the top of the crust.
5. Place pie pan in another pan with water that reaches to ½ the height of the outside of the cheesecake pan.
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and let cool. Refrigerate for several hours for best flavor before serving.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:

Servings: 10 Serving size: 1 slice
Calories: 545 Fat: 53g Carbohydrate: 10.5g Fiber: 3g
Sugars: 4g Protein: 9.5g Sodium: 314mg
Net Carbs: 7.5g


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