Stocking The Low-Carb Kitchen

Stocking The Low-Carb Kitchen - Rani Merens

Welcome to CarbSmart’s newest column, The Low Carb Cook’s Corner. Let me introduce myself. My name is Rani Merens. I’ve been a low carber for 3 years, and I love to cook… almost as much as I love to eat! In order to make this a WOL (Way of Life) and not just a “diet,” I’ve learned to get creative in the kitchen. My background: I am active on a number of online LC support groups and lists, I host an LC cooking chat on AOL, and am editing my own low carb cookbook. I’ve been on television (The Atkins Diet: On The Web And TV) and will be appearing in “First for Women” magazine this fall. Now you know a little about me!

Each month, I will take up a low carb cooking topic in this column. Feel free to write to me at [email protected] with your low carb cooking questions and suggestions for future columns.

Stocking Your Low-Carb Kitchen

This month, let’s talk about stocking the low carb kitchen. Where to start? Start with getting rid of the high-carb foods you used to eat, or at least moving them to another shelf if you have non-low carbers in the family. That helps you avoid temptation!

While you certainly don’t need ALL of these items and certainly not all in one fell shopping-swoop, this will give you an idea of things to stock your kitchen.

Meats and Seafood

Stocking The Low-Carb Kitchen - Rani Merens

  • ground meats (beef, turkey, and pork)
  • chicken (whole, pieces, boneless/skinless, etc.)
  • pork chops or boneless ribs
  • steaks and roasts (beef and/or pork)
  • bacon
  • sausage
  • fish fillets (I only buy fresh fish and cook it the same or the next day, but that’s just me!)
  • deli meats (ham, turkey, and roast beef – be sure to check the label for added sugars!)
  • shrimp
  • scallops
  • lamb
  • veal
  • buffalo
  • venison
  • liver (Stick with poultry liver, it’s lower in carbohydrates than beef.)

Low Carbohydrate Vegetables (fresh or frozen)

Low-Carb Buttery Spaghetti Squash Recipe

  • cabbage
  • zucchini
  • crookneck squash
  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • cauliflower
  • green beans
  • lettuce (in bunches or as mixed, prewashed salad greens)
  • asparagus
  • mung bean sprouts
  • cucumbers
  • wax beans
  • radishes
  • celery
  • bell peppers
  • hot peppers
  • eggplant
  • spaghetti squash
  • jicama
  • kale
  • mustard greens
  • collard greens
  • onions
  • green onions
  • mushrooms

Low Carb Dairy Products

Dana's Kitchen Eggs Eggs Eggs plus some ham

  • eggs
  • real full fat cheese (not low fat cheese or processed cheese)
  • cream cheese (not reduced far or fat free)
  • sour cream (not reduced fat or fat free)
  • heavy or whipping cream
  • butter (not margarine)
  • ricotta cheese (not low fat)
  • cottage cheese (not low fat)
  • Parmesan cheese

Canned Goods

  • green beans
  • mustard greens
  • kale, pumpkin
  • Ro-tel and other kinds of canned tomatoes
  • dill relish
  • coconut milk
  • mushrooms
  • chicken broth
  • beef broth
  • the lowest-carb tomato sauce you can find (I usually use Hunt’s Garlic w/Herb)
  • tuna
  • clams
  • crabmeat
  • salmon
  • pasta sauce such as Alfredo sauce (get the lowest carb ones you can – 4 Brothers is good)
  • mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip; look for a totally sugar-free one if you can find it, such as Trader Joe’s or Duke’s; if not available in your area, Hellman’s or Best Foods are the next best bet)
  • salsa (check the carb count)
  • gravy in jars or cans (get the lowest carb ones you can)
  • mustard (without honey added)
  • sugar-free salad dressings (not low fat or fat-free)
  • vinegar
  • Spam and other potted meats, if you like them
  • tomato paste
  • pizza sauce (the lowest carb you can find)

Artificial Sweeteners 

Splenda 200 Pack Packets

(There are many different types of artificial sweeteners, and I will write in-depth on this topic of a future column. I promise!)

  • Splenda
  • Sweet ‘n’ Low
  • cyclamates
  • aspartame (Equal and other brand names)
  • Stevia
  • liquid artificial sweetener (such as Sweet ‘n’ Low)
  • Sugar Twin
  • Brown Sugar Twin
  • Sweet One
  • Sweet Magic

Specialty Items

Designer Whey Double Chocolate 2lb

  • protein powders
  • sugar-free syrups
  • psyllium husk
  • flax seed
  • nuts and seeds
  • soy flour
  • soy protein isolate
  • not/Sugar
  • not/Starch
  • not/Cereal
  • low carb pancake mix
  • vital wheat gluten or gluten flour
  • xanthan gum
  • agar flakes


Bacon's Heir Pork Clouds - Low-Carb Pork Rinds

  • olive oil or vegetable oil
  • pork rinds
  • powdered drink mixes (such as Kool-Aid, Crystal Light, Wylers, SF Tang, etc.)
  • sugar-free gelatin (Jell-o, Royal, or generic brands)
  • sugar-free pudding
  • Knox gelatin
  • unsweetened cocoa
  • PAM
  • diet soda
  • soy sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Morton’s Light Salt (higher in potassium than regular table salt)
  • spices, seasonings, and extracts to suit your own personal taste

Seems like a lot? Yes, it is, but you probably have some of the items already, and you don’t need to buy it all. Certainly not all at once! Start with the basics and add the more unfamiliar products as you want or need them. (Many are not absolutely necessary to cook low carb, but they can add a great deal of variety and flexibility to your menus.)

Some of these items aren’t readily available at your supermarket and may require a trip to your local health food store or can be purchased them at CarbSmart.

Happy low carbing!

Return to Low Carb Cook’s Corner.

Return to CarbSmart Magazine Home

Check Also

Low-Carb & Keto Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Low-Carb & Keto Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Cover the Keto Stuffed Peppers with plastic wrap and microwave on high for ten minutes, or bake them, uncovered, in a 350-degree oven until the peppers are softened.

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