Atkins diet induction menu for vegetarians

Planning an Atkins diet induction menu as a vegetarian means counting EVERY carb. This is because the induction phase of the Atkins diet is very low carb - so those little half and quarter grammes add up significantly. As a veggie it's specially important to ensure you are getting at least 60g per day of protein as well, otherwise you will not be gaining sufficient nutrtion from your Atkins diet induction menu. Therefore you need to be counting both. You need to get a notebook or spreadsheet to do this properly!

Here are some example meals to get you started on your vegetarian Atkins diet induction menu. All are written for a single person - let's face it, weight loss is often a solitary pursuit - but can easily be scaled up for families or groups.


Scrambled Tofu (2g carbs, 21g protein):

Heat 2 tbps olive oil in a non stick pan over a medium heat. Crumble in 130g firm tofu (drained), add half a tsp curry powder, and 2 tbsp of double cream (or soya cream for a vegan version). Cook it through lightly until the texture resembles scrambled egg, and serve immediately. If you want to add a slice of branded low-carb bread toasted, remember to add the carbs in.

Mushy eggs (2.5 carbs, 14g protein)

Bring a shallow pan of water with a good slug of vinegar to the boil, and turn down to the scantest simmer. Carefully break one large fresh organic egg into a cup, and slide it into the water (extra style points for swirling the water round and slipping the egg into the central vortex, but really it's not necessary to end up with perfect symmetry!) Simmer the egg for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat, leaving the egg to stand in the water for 8 minutes - then remove with a slotted spoon.

Meanwhile preheat a high grill, and snap the stalk from a large portobello mushroom. Clean thoroughly with kitchen paper, brush with olive oil, season lightly and grill for around 5 minutes each side.

Assemble on a warm plate with a dab of hollandaise sauce or mayonnaise, and a good sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper.

Lunches and light meals
because every meal on an Atkins diet induction menu should be light, whatever the time of day!

Marinaded tofu salad (approx 4g carbs depending on mix of leaves, 8.5g protein):

Dice 70g tofu, and marinade in a mix of lime juice, soy sauce, crushed garlic and some finely shredded red chillies. Leave at least half an hour, or well covered in the fridge overnight.

Shred a generous plateful of low-carb salad leaves: Chinese leaves, endive and mint work well together. Shred 1cm3 fresh ginger root, and toss the salad together with a scant glug of olive oil. Scatter over the marinaded tofu chunks and serve immediately

Greek stuffed peppers (4g carbs, 4g protein)

Preheat the over to 200C/ 4000F.

Lightly toast half a tbsp of pine nuts in a dry pan - watch carefully they burn easily and become bitter and horrible! Cut a green pepper in half lengthwise, going straight through the stem. Remove the ribs and seeds carefully. Place on a baking sheet, and put a basil leaf in each, half a crushed garlic clove, and a pinch of onion powder. Top with 35g feta cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, seasoning and the pine nuts.

Bake for around 25 minutes, feta doesnt really melt but it will soften and the tomato will roast beautifully.

Tofu stir fry (8g carbs, 27g protein)

Marinade a 100g portion of tofu as above but this time add the ginger to the marinade, and season with salt and pepper as it will be cooked. (You can buy ready marinaded tofu but it's not cheap, and you need to check the carbs carefully).

Wash and shred 250g pak choi, and 2 spring onions (scallions). Slice 100g mushrooms. Heat half a tbsp of olive oil in a large pan or wk, then stir fry the veggies for around 3 minutes. Add the tofu, and stir fry for another 3 minutes, then serve.

Broccoli quiche (4g carbs and 25g protein per serving)

You cannot make this for one very easily, so this recipe serves 4, but stores in the fridge for several days and is lovely cold.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350g. Break around 200g broccolli into tiny florets, and steam till tender. Place in a well-greased pyrex or gratin dish. Crumble around 125g stilton or any strong flavoured blue cheese (compare carb values on the different packs when you shop), and sprinkle evenly over the veg. Whisk 6 organic eggs with a little seasoning and then pour carefully and evenly over the dish, allowing time for it to seep down into all the gaps. Grind some black pepper over, and bake for 30 minutes till lightly browned.

You can develop your own Atkins diet induction menu with a vegetarian slant by adapting other popular Atkins recipes, substituting tofu for chicken, seitan for beef etc! Try not to have eggs or dairy at more than one meal a day as whilst excellent sources of protein they are also heavy in calories. Run everything through the carb counter whilst you are doing induction and you'll be fine.

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