Think low-carb is hard? Think again


Think low carb eating means you need to be restrictive, go heavy on meat, or skip treats like pancakes? Think again! Our researchers have been busy creating a book full of flavoursome recipes to help make low-carb eating easy, flexible, and accessible.

CSIRO Low-Carb Diet Easy 100 is available now and has plenty or recipes including variety of meals, snacks, drinks and even pantry tips to help support you through your low-carb day.

To celebrate the newest book in the CSIRO low-Carb Diet Health Program we’d like to share two meat free meals (and spoiler alert one is a pancake!) so you can try easy low-carb eating the CSIRO way today.

Meat-free, gluten free and, low-carb

Tofu Saag has a creamy spinach base using herbs to create a complex flavour sensation that has only 10 grams of carbs per serve. Add tofu and you have a good source of protein.

Tofu Saag (Serves 4 | preparation 15 minutes | cooking 15 minutes)


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

600 g firm *tofu, cut into 2 cm dice

1 onion, finely diced

1 large zucchini, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 kg English spinach, thick stems removed (2–3 bunches)

Juice of 1 lemon

1⁄2 cup (130 g) **low-fat natural yoghurt

450 g cauliflower rice, heated according to the packet instructions


1. Heat half the olive oil in a large, deep-frying pan over medium heat.

Add the tofu and cook, tossing occasionally, for 5 minutes until

the tofu is golden brown on most sides. Transfer to a bowl and

set aside.

2. Return the frying pan to the heat with the remaining olive oil.

Add the onion and zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally,

for 4–5 minutes until the vegetables are golden. Add the garlic,

turmeric, cumin and garam masala and stir for 1 minute until

fragrant. Add the spinach leaves, a large handful at a time, and

stir until wilted.

3. Transfer the mixture to an upright blender, along with the lemon

juice, and process until smooth.

4. Return the pureed spinach to the frying pan, along with the tofu

and the yoghurt. Stir everything together, then reduce the heat to

low and cook for 1–2 minutes to warm through gently.

5. Divide the warmed cauliflower rice and tofu saag between four bowls and serve.

You can freeze this meal too if you’re cooking for one or two. Divide individual portions of the tofu saag into containers, allow to cool, then freeze for up to 2 months. Freeze the cauliflower rice separately and heat it separately from the tofu saag.

Meat free, low-carb and a pancake!

Think you must skip pancakes while eating low-carb, think again! This recipe is a savoury low-carb delight at just 17 grams of carbs per serve. Chickpeas and eggs provide a good source of meat free protein in this beautifully presented meal.

Zucchini Pancakes with Crispy Chickpeas (Serves 4| preparation: 15 minutes cooking: 30 minutes)


750 g zucchini (about 4 medium zucchini)

4 × 55 g free-range eggs

1⁄3 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

1⁄3 cup (30 g) chickpea flour (besan)

21⁄2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


1⁄2 cup (130 g) * natural yoghurt

1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground

black pepper

Juice of 1⁄2 lemon

40 g Danish feta


1 cup baby spinach leaves

1 cup micro green sprouts

Juice of 1⁄2 lemon


2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 × 400 g tin salt-reduced chickpeas,

drained, rinsed and patted dry

1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric


1.To make the pancakes, finely grate the zucchini on the small holes

of a box grater. Use your hands to squeeze out the excess water

from the zucchini over the sink, then place in a large bowl. Add the

eggs and parsley and whisk to combine. Stir in the chickpea flour

until well combined. Set aside for 10 minutes before cooking.

2. To make the yoghurt dressing, combine all the ingredients in

a small bowl, mashing the feta in with a fork. Set aside.

3. To make the green salad, place the spinach and sprouts in a bowl,

squeeze the lemon juice over and toss to coat. Set aside.

4. Heat a dash of the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium–high

heat. Scoop up 1⁄4 cup amounts of the zucchini batter and place in

the frying pan – you should be able to cook three pancakes at once.

Cook the pancakes for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Set aside and repeat with the remaining olive oil and batterer.

Transfer the pancakes to a plate and keep warm.

5. To make the crispy chickpeas, heat the olive oil in the same pan,

add the chickpeas and cook, tossing occasionally, for 4–5 minutes,

until the chickpeas are crisp on the edges. Sprinkle in the

turmeric and toss again for 1 minute until fragrant.

6. Spread the yoghurt dressing across four plates, top with the

pancakes, the green salad, and crispy chickpeas and serve.

Many of the meals in Easy Low-Carb 100 offer freezing instructions too, so you can easily prepare the meals for one or two and freeze the remainder.

CSIRO Low-Carb Diet Easy 100 is available in digital format and paperback and has plenty of tips and support tools for your low-carb journey.

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