HCG Diet (or any low-carb diet)-Friendly Recipes

When HCG Drops Direct sent my bottle of drops, they also emailed me a cookbook along with the book Pounds and Inches and an outline of the protocol I was to follow with regards to the drops, diet, and exercise.  I only tried two of the recipes in the eBook, which were both terrible, and I didn’t want to try any others because the sounded terrible.

Fail #1: Lemon Pepper Flounder (with kale). All I could taste was lemon!

Fail #2: Baked Sole Hobo Pack. I wasn’t a fan of the radish and cucumber topping (*gag*)

Given the limited kinds of foods & condiments allowed, I had to be creative in coming up with meals that would not only keep me on plan, but keep my mouth happy.  I think that you will find these quite good, whether you’re on the HCG drops, or another low-carb diet.  And if you aren’t on either and are just eating healthy, change them up how you please!

Classy Finger Food: Boiled Shrimp & Asparagus
serves 1

5 ounces frozen raw shrimp, peels on
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt or seasoned salt
frozen asparagus spears
lemon wedge

Fill a saucepan 2/3 with water and sprinkle on the seasoning.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Remove cover and add shrimp and cook until they turn pink, which should take less than five minutes–they cook fast!

Meanwhile, put the frozen asparagus on your plate and microwave for 2-3 minutes, until hot.  Drain the shrimp and add to the plate and enjoy hot with a wedge of lemon to squeeze over, if desired.  Although this meal looks really classy, it is messy to eat since you have to peel the shrimp so I usually just use my fingers to eat the asparagus too!  I love popping the hot seasoned shrimp out of their shells and into my mouth–delicious!

Favorite Salsa
This is good on meats or serves as a tasty dressing on salad–since you’re not allowed real dressing on the HCG diet!  This is the same recipe I was making before the diet, so it’s good whether you’re on it or not.

1/2 small red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup drained jarred pickled jalapenos*
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained well

In the bowl of a food processor (or a blender), pulse the onion, cilantro, jalapenos*, lime juice, garlic and salt until desired consistency is reached. Add the drained tomatoes and pulse until combined. Don’t overprocess in this step if you want your salsa to remain chunky – just give it a few good 1-second pulses until everything is mixed. If necessary, place the salsa in a fine mesh strainer or sieve and drain briefly. Transfer to a bowl and serve. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week.

*Jalapenos are not listed as an allowable food, but I emailed the HCG Drops Direct company to see if it would interfere with weight loss if I put them in my salsa, and they said “peppers are fine.” I’ll leave it up to your discretion whether you want to use them or not, but my weight loss was never affected by this salsa.

Taco Salad

Taco Meat~makes 4 servings
1 lb. bison meat
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ½ tablespoons homemade taco seasoning (recipe follows)

For each salad:
2 cups mixed salad greens
¼ cup grape/cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons homemade salsa

Brown the bison meat with the onion in a skillet. Once it starts to release moisture, sprinkle on the taco seasoning and continue cooking until meat is browned. There will be some moisture in the bottom of the pan—this is OK—it is not fat, only broth and moisture from the onions. Bison meat is virtually fat-free so you do not need to drain it.

Place salad greens on your plate and top with ¼ of the bison mixture. Scatter grape tomatoes over and spoon on homemade salsa. Serve while meat is still hot.

Divide the leftover meat into three individual Ziploc bags and refrigerate or freeze.  To reheat for later meals, nuke the bag, opened, in the microwave about a minute.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
Since regular taco seasoning mix as cornstarch in it, you need to make your own seasoning mix.  This is another recipe I used before I was on the diet–it’s great for seasoning meat and doesn’t have any scary ingredients.

¼ cup chili powder
¼ cup paprika
3 T cumin
2 T onion powder
2 T salt
1 t garlic powder
¼ t cayenne pepper

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl and store in an airtight container.

Hamburger Salad
I was eating this before I was on the diet because it’s my favorite way to serve a bunless burger.  I was elated when I realized all the ingredients (with a little tweaking) were allowed and I could continue to enjoy it!

serves 1

4 ounces ground bison
salt and pepper
chopped red onion
dill pickle slices
chopped tomato
2 cups mixed salad greens
ketchup* & mustard

Form the bison meat into a patty and salt and pepper both sides. Cook on the grill, a Foreman grill, or in a skillet over medium heat until no longer pink in the middle. Cut into pieces. Place salad greens on a plate and top with the burger, onion, tomato and pickle. Drizzle salad with ketchup* and mustard.

*Ketchup is not an approved HCG diet food. I did use it several days on the diet and noticed my weight loss was less on those days. Tomato paste, thinned with water, can be substituted.

Cabbage Tacos (or rolls, depending on how you like to wrap them)
This filling is great stuffed in a pita if you aren’t on the HCG diet.

serves 4

1 lb. ground bison meat
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce*
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce*
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
dash pepper

For serving
12 cabbage leaves, tough spines at bottom removed
2 cups chopped tomatoes

In a large skillet, combine all filling ingredients and cook over medium heat, breaking apart the meat with a spatula, until meat is no longer pink. Do not drain (as noted above, there is virtually no fat in bison and the moisture here is ony from broth, the soy sauce, Worcestershire, and liquid from the vegetables).

While the meat is cooking, combine the sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

When ready to serve, heat the cabbage leaves in the microwave 1-2 minutes or until tender. For each serving, spoon 1/4 of the filling into three cabbage leaves and top with 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes. Drizzle with sauce (it is quite salty so start with a little and use more if needed) and either eat as tacos or roll up.

*Worcestershire sauce is not an approved condiment but it did not affect my own weight loss. If you prefer not to use it, you can just use more soy sauce in place of it.

Turkey Wraps
serves 1

4 romaine lettuce leaves
4 oz fat-free deli turkey meat, no sugar added

Wash and dry the lettuce and remove hard stems. Divide the turkey between the leaves, squeeze on some mustard and roll, securing with a toothpick if necessary. Serve with fresh tomato wedges, green onions, and dill pickles.

HCG Burger
Lucky us, most of the ingredients in a hamburger are allowed on the HCG diet!

serves 1

4 oz ground bison meat
salt & pepper
1 large iceberg lettuce leaf
3 dill pickle slices
1 slice of red onion
1 large tomato slice
Tomato paste thinned with water & mustard

Form the bison into a patty, salt and pepper both sides, and cook low and slow either in a skillet or on the grill until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Put the lettuce leaf on a plate and put the cooked patty in the center. Spread tomato paste and mustard over the top , then layer pickle, onion and tomato. Fold the lettuce leaf over the top and serve hot.

Chicken & Spinach Salad
This salad has no dressing.  I found that the juicy chicken and tomatoes added enough flavor that I didn’t even need it! Feel free to use lemon juice/vinegar mixed with herbs if you miss dressing here.

4 oz chicken breast
seasoned salt
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped tomato

Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with seasoned salt and grill (I use a Foreman) until cooked through (170 degrees F). Let rest a few minutes (this helps it stay juicy) then chop up and scatter over the spinach and tomato.  I also made a similar salad with boiled, seasoned shrimp, and put some hot chili paste on there (pictured below). I didn’t like this version as much but it’s great if you like really spicy stuff!


About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.
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15 Responses to HCG Diet (or any low-carb diet)-Friendly Recipes

  1. Vicki M. says:

    Those recipes look yummo!

    • Veronica says:

      Thanks, Vicki! I prefer my meals with more carbohydrates and less protein, but I did my best to make tasty meals with what I was allowed!

  2. Hi Veronica, when I was dieting ( not with hcg ) I ate pretty much all the above lots of vegi’s, fruits, white meats. So the last few recipes were awesome that you have here. At the beginning, boy those meals were “BLAH” I know you didn’t like the first 2 dishes! Good luck, keep eating right and your pounds will fall off!! I need to get back to the hussle and bussle and start losing again. I got “BORED”!! Lol, I do this often. I guess you call it a diet roller coaster and it really is. You are doing such a good job! All your photos look wonderful. I can really tell you lost a lot of weight. ;)

    • Veronica says:

      I promise, none of them are “blah” (except the ones I didn’t give recipes for). They are really good and I would eat them whether I was on a diet or not–I only gave recipes for stuff that most people would like. I’m eating normal food for the first time in a while and I’m amazed at how difficult it is to eat enough after eating so little for so long. I’m at 800 calories and don’t know if I can stuff anything else in!

  3. teresa says:

    What an amazing post!! I can’t wait to try the taco seasoning. I can’t stand those packets.
    I love all your recipes. I have to try some because I definitely need to stick with low carbs.
    I am still in the Hot 100. I just had such a lackluster week, I forgot to post about it.
    But I will. It’ll actually help me stay focused and prepare for a better second week!

    • Veronica says:

      Thanks, Teresa! I know some people do better without much carbs. I have had a lot of success that way too but I’m now going for a more balanced approach.

  4. Tish says:

    Your food looks deelish. And the pix are high quality too. Kudos. I especially liked the salsa recipe with a good dose of lime juice. I love lime. You’re doing well. Keep it up!

  5. biz319 says:

    Wow, you really got creative! Love your taco seasoning and the tacos in cabbage – I should eat more low carb things! :D

  6. Half of 360 says:

    Veronica: Thanks for the compliment on my blog! Yes, I’m currently on HCG drops. When I followed the protocol, I generally lost 1 lb per day. I too would loose less than a pound if I ate anything not on the protocol. However, I have recently experimented with the diet protocol by changing the foods I eat. When I started the cycle this time, I eat whatever I want as long as I stay around 500 to 700 calories. This time around I have lost more weight. Some days I’ve lost as much as 4 lbs in a day. Crazy huh?!?!

    • Veronica says:

      OMgosh, I wish I’d known you before I started the protocol! I get rashes when I go low-carb and if I’d known I could eat what I wanted while staying in the 500-cal range, I wouldn’t have stopped them early because the rash was so bad! This helps me b/c I might do them again in future. Thanks!

  7. Thanks for wonderful dishs!!

  8. citysue says:

    Hi Veronica, I made your taco salad and salsa recipe today. THANK YOU so much for sharing. It was delicious !!! I will defintely be doing this one again… Can’t wait to try the other ones =)

  9. Nicole says:

    Hi Veronica I am starting my second time on the drops as i was not very successfull the first time and thought i would give it another go. I really like the look of your recipes but i do have a question. I thought that you are not supposed to mix your vegetables? i love the look of the taco salad but have greens ,tomato etc and also i notice that you have deli meat??? Just wondering if maybe i was told different? I am for sure going to try the salsa:)

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