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Get Ready For Swimsuit Season With These No-Carb Recipes

Whether you’re on a keto, Paleo, South Beach, or Atkins diet, refined carbs are a definite no-no. Studies seem to agree that for weight loss, there’s really something about lessening or removing carbohydrates like bread, rice, or pasta in order to shave off the pounds. While there may differences between these diets, especially in terms of fat intake, it’s important to remember that you’ll still need to load up on nutrients to stay healthy. To get you started, here are three no-carb dishes that will stave off your hunger pangs from morning to evening.

Instead of a boring egg white omelette for breakfast, Chef Jill Sandique suggests a baked egg white dish loaded with healthy and nutritious kale and mushrooms. For lunch, try this Pinoy version of an Italian caprese salad with kesong puti instead of mozzarella. Prepared by Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin, it’s full of vitamins and minerals, and calcium, too.

The best part about many of these low-carb diets is there’s not much restriction on the meat, including the fat. So yes, for dinner, why not indulge in everyone’s favorite lechon kawali or fried pork belly. Chef Nancy’s version, though, is roasted instead of deep-fried—in case you don’t want to overdose on the fat. Just don’t forget to stay away from the rice!



Baked Egg Whites with Kale and Mushrooms

By Chef Jill F. Sandique


Serves 2


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 to 4 cups kale, trimmed then blanched
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • 1/2 to 1 cup fresh mushrooms (button, oyster, enoki, etc.) 
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons skim milk
  • paprika, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 2 oven-proof containers with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Set aside.  

2. Chop kale into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

3. In a small, non-stick sauté pan, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. Pan-grill onion until golden brown and aromatic. Set aside. In the same pan, add mushrooms and cook until liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.

4. Stir in garlic and cook briefly. Add the kale. Cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and set aside briefly.

5. In a bowl, whisk together egg whites and skim milk. Add grilled onion and sautéed vegetables. Pour into prepared containers and top with paprika. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until firm and golden brown. 

6. Serve hot with salad greens.




Heirloom Tomatoes, Arugula, and Kesong Puti

By Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin


Serves 4


  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 ripe heirloom or salad tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 500 grams fresh kesong puti or white cheese, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 kilo rocket or baby arugula


1. First make the balsamic glaze. Mix balsamic vinegar with honey in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly.

2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until glaze is reduced by half. Let cool before serving.

3. Place a tomato slice on each salad plate. Then season with salt and pepper. Top with a slice of cheese and repeat to make 4 layers. 

4. Top with rocket or arugula. Drizzle with balsamic glaze.




Roasted Lechon Kawali

By Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin


Serves 6 to 8


  • 2 kilos pork belly, cut into 2 pieces
  • water, enough to cover meat
  • 1 cup diced onions  
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons salt


1. In a large deep pot, place the pork belly and fill with water until submerged. Add all remaining ingredients and boil on medium heat. Cook until meat is tender. Meat should be easily pierced with a fork.  

2. When pork is cooked, remove from the stock. Place pork belly skin up in a roasting rack and set aside to cool.

3. Preheat oven to 425°F. Use a convection oven if possible. Pierce the skin of the pork using a fork. 

4. Place the pork belly in the oven. Roast until brown and crisp. Let the pork rest then cut into small slices.



Baked Egg Whites with Kale recipe first appeared in FOOD Magazine Issue 3, 2015

Heirloom Tomatoes, Arugula, and Kesong Puti recipe first appeared in FOOD Magazine Issue 1, 2015

Roasted Lechon Kawali recipe first appeared in FOOD Magazine, August-September 2014 issue

Photos by Paolo Valenzuela

Baked Egg Whites styling by Jill Sandique

Heirloom Tomatoes styling by Nancy Dizon-Edralin

Lechon Kawali styling by Tina Concepcion Diaz