The Low-Carb Barbecue Book

Book Review by Norene Gilletz


Few things can make our mouths water like the smell of wood smoke and food grilling in the open air. Besides the casual ambience and camaraderie of good friends and family, food somehow tastes better cooked on an open fire.

It should come as no surprise that many people think it is important to own an outdoor grill to use in case of emergencies such as a power outage (That’s me!) And some people I know have admitted to serving something that fell on the ground! (Not me!)

Grilling everything from appetizers to main dishes to vegetables to desserts on my Weber gas grill ( is probably my favourite way to cook for family, friends and the students who attend my cooking classes. And I love my Kitchen Grips extra-long grilling mitts ( which help protect me from burns. Highly recommended!

Most people think that barbecuing and grilling would be ideal for the low-carb dieter because the focus is on large quantities of meat poultry and fish. But did you ever check the label on that bottle of commercial barbecue sauce?

Simply put, most barbecue sauces and marinades are loaded with sugar. Most brands range between 8 and 14 grams of carbohydrate for a 2-tablespoon serving. Homemade barbecue sauce recipes start with sugary commercial ketchup, and then add a cup or more of sugar.

Dana Carpender has come to the rescue with her collection of low-carb grilling recipes. The Low-Carb Barbecue Book (Fair Winds Press; $24.95 Cdn.) contains over 200 mouthwatering recipes that will make your summer sizzle!

Dana Carpender is a nationally syndicated columnist and appears frequently on radio and television. She publishes Lowcarbezine, the popular internet newsletter. Dana has been eating a low-carb diet for the last nine years and is the author of several cookbooks, including 500 Low-Carb Recipes and How I Gave Up my Low-Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds.

Each chapter focuses on a specific component of barbecue, including marinades, rubs, mopping sauces, side dishes, meat, poultry, grilled vegetables – even dessert. Many recipes can be adapted for the Kosher cook.

Here are some recipes from The Low-Carb Barbecue Book that will turn your barbecue into a summer feast. You don’t need to be on a low-carb diet to enjoy them!


Very speedy, especially if you have a gas grill, and very good!

2 tbsp. low-sugar apricot preserves
2 tsp. ground rosemary
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – 1 1/2 to 2 pounds (1 kg) total

First, light your charcoal or start heating your gas grill. You’ll want medium heat.

Simply combine everything but the chicken breasts in a bowl, and mix well. Cut your chicken breasts into serving-sized portions if needed. Start the chicken breasts grilling over medium heat, brushing the side that’s up with apricot mixture. After about 7 minutes, brush with apricot mixture again, turn, and brush with the glaze again. Grill another 7 minutes or so, brushing a couple of times with the apricot glaze, but stop basting with a few minutes of cooking time to go, so as not to reintroduce raw chicken germs to your dinner!

When the breasts are done through, serve. If there’s any apricot glaze remaining, you can heat it thoroughly in the microwave – make sure it boils hard! – and spoon it over the breasts before serving.

Yield: 4 servings.

Each serving will have 4 grams of carbohydrate and and a trace of fibre. Assuming 1 1/2 pounds of chicken, each serving will have 38 grams of protein.

Dana suggests using smallish zucchinis only because they look nice. If you’ve got big zucchinis, feel free to cut them up! You can also use yellow summer squash if you prefer.

6 small zucchinis
1/2 cup (120 ml) bottled Italian dressing (not creamy-style)

Split your zukes lengthwise and cut off the stems. Put them in a big zipper-lock bag and pour the dressing over them. Press the air out of the bag, seal it, and turn it over a few times to coat the zucchinis. Now stash them in the fridge until dinner.

When suppertime rolls around, pull out the bag, pour off the dressing into a bowl or pan, and throw the zucchinis onto the grill. Baste them with the dressing and grill them until they are getting w]soft, with brown stripes; then serve.

Yield: 6 servings

If you consumed all the salad dressing, each serving would have 8 grams of carbohydrate and 2 grams of fiber, but you’ll discard most of the dressing. Figure closer to 4 grams carbohydrate per serving, with the same 2 grams of fiber, for a usable carb count of around 2 grams per serving; 2 grams protein.

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/4 cups drained canned tomatoes, chopped
2/3 cup drained pitted black olives, chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, divided
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste


Onions are higher carb than most vegetables. On the other hand, they’re extremely nutritious and taste incredibly good – and certainly aren’t as high carb as, say, a potato. So Dana grills some onions bus the watches her portions.

2 large Vidalia onions
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp. Splenda

Peel your onions and slice them pretty thickly – about 1/2-inch or a little thicker. Mix together everything else. Lay your onion slices in a grill basket, or on a small-holed grill rack over a medium fire. Baste them with the soy sauce mixture, and grill them until they’re limp, with brown spots; then serve.

Yield: If you can bring yourself to share these between 6 people, each of you will get 4 grams of carbohydrate and 1 gram of fibre, for a usable carb count of 3 grams; 1 gram protein.

Note: You may find that your slices fall apart into individual rings when you turn them. If this bothers you, here’s a trick: before slicing your onions, pierce them with wooden or bamboo skewers (soak them in water for at least 1/2 hour first) a half-inch apart, then slice between the skewers. Your slices will come out neatly skewered across the rings, for easy turning.

The Low-Carb Barbecue Book
by Dana Carpender

Fair Winds Press
$24.95 CDN

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