Mediterranean Low Carb is the perfect approach for the maintenance phase. Yes, we are very proud of our Keto Mediterranean diet (KMD). When you do this diet properly, it enables natural healing, weight management and body recomposition. However, many Ketonians reached their goal sooner than they expected. After that, they wonder if they can get a bit relaxed. Yes, they can. The answer is Mediterranean Low Carb. It’s almost identical to KMD, but it’s a bit more relaxed with the choice of ingredients.
Mediterranean Low Carb is still KMD but relaxed
Firstly, you will still be keeping your carbs low by adding smaller amounts of different foods to your meals. This means that you’ll be able to introduce more colours and seasonal varieties like Mediterranean people do. Furthermore, you can use small amounts of those ingredients which are slightly higher in carbs, but not starchy vegetables or grains. For example, in this Mediterranean Low Carb stew, you will notice I used a handful of mixed veggies. Some of them are higher in carbs but the amount is minimal.
Secondly, you will keep your protein as your primary nutrient the same as we do in KMD. For example, your meals will predominantly contain ruminant animal meat and offals. Furthermore, seafood, fish, and finally, eggs. These are your main ingredients. All your meals should consist of 70% of these ingredients. The plant-based foods will be used as a decoration or to enhance the flavour of your meals. You can also use them as small side dishes.
Thirdly, you will keep the fat moderate and go for naturally occurring fat. There’s no need to add too much fat if your protein source comes packed with it. Namely, fatty cuts of meat, bluefish can be cooked with minimal added fat. However, for whitefish, you can add a tablespoon or two of Olive oil or a teaspoon of butter. This will be more than enough for a single portion. When you think about it, Mediterranean Low Carb is quite economic, isn’t it?
How much can fit into a handful?
Some of these veggies (peas, onion) contain more carbs than others, but the amount is lower than in a potato, rice, wheat, barley etc… Additionally, how much can fit in a handful of mixed veggies? Not a lot at all! It is enough to lift up the flavour, texture and overall feeling. The meal is still Low Carb but feels more relaxed and plentiful. Always make your meals colourful, attractive and inviting – this is something we borrowed from Mediterranean cooking.
What can we learn from this example?
Firstly, we got a lot of good micronutrients which are important to achieve satiety. I used mussels which are rich in selenium, vitamin B12 and zinc. If you have vital minerals and vitamins as a priority, the macros will naturally follow. They also have a lot of quality protein and their carb content is much lower than protein. I used a teaspoon of butter which packed fat-soluble vitamins.
Secondly, macros are Low Carb but I use Mediterranean ingredients. I got high protein, moderate fat and low carb. Additionally, I used just a handful of mixed veggies. Now, you can choose which veggies you’ll use in your mix. Have in mind, If all of them are high in carbs then the method has no point. It would not be smart to use high carb veggies such as potatoes, but it’s quite ok to use carrots. Are you getting it? 😉
Thirdly, this Mediterranean Low Carb stew it’s unbelievably tasty. The secret is in the caramelisation of onion in a small amount of butter. This is an important detail from Mediterranean cooking. I did not use olive oil because the caramelisation is better with butter.
Be creative and learn that less is more
Naturally, a handful of mixed veggies added a lot of flavour to this Mediterranean Low Carb stew. Isn’t it interesting, just a handful made so much difference. For my main protein source, I used mussels, but this would work equally good with cubed meat, liver, heart, shrimp, crab, even pieces of fish. Naturally, if you use whitefish, you’ll start with a bit more butter because this type of fish is very lean. For mussels, I used just a teaspoon of butter. This is the relaxed part, you play with the amounts but always end up with a delicious, easy to digest, satisfying and empowering meal. Finally, I used just a pinch of dried Mediterranean herbs. This is the minimalistic approach, something I still have to work on! How about you?
Mediterranean Low Carb Seafood stewCourse: Main courseCuisine: Mediterranean, Low CarbDifficulty: Easy
1 tsp butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
150g (5.2 oz) mussels (cleaned)
1 handful of mixed vegetables of your choice (My mix in notes)
1/2 tsp sea salt
A pinch of dried Mediterranean herbs of your choice
- Melt the butter in a deep pan over medium temperature and add finely chopped onion. Allow it to caramelise but don’t let it burn. It takes approximately 5 minutes. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon.
- Add the mussels and stir again. If you use frozen mussels make sure you defrosted them first. Cover the pan with a lid and let the mussels cook for 10 minutes.
- Now throw in a handful of mixed and chopped vegetables of your choice. Add a splash or two of water. Stir and cover the lid again. Let it cook for another 5 minutes.
- Finally, sprinkle your stew with sea salt and dried Mediterranean herbs of your choice. Serve immediately.
- Before cooking, prepare your mix of vegetables. Carefully choose the ones you can digest. Use 4-5 different veggies. Make sure they are chopped so the pieces are the same size. Alternatively, you can use frozen vegetable mix but make sure there are no additives or preservatives.
- You can add garlic powder or red paprika powder to your Mediterranean herbs. Use any spice you like and a pinch or two of it will be enough to add flavour.
- I used a mix of green beans, red bell pepper, carrot and just a little bit of peas. You can make your own mix. However, leafy vegetables would not work for this recipe. Try to pick the solid vegetables which can be chopped into small pieces.