The Primal Low-Carb Kitchen: Comfort Food Recipes for the Carb Conscious Cook

The Primal Low-Carb Kitchen: Comfort Food Recipes for the Carb Conscious Cook

by Kyndra Holley


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Give Your Low-Carb Diet A Healthy, Primal Makeover Without Sacrificing Taste

The healthy, low-carb recipes in this cookbook taste so good you'll forget you're on a diet! Think you have to give up biscuits and gravy, waffles, rich sauces and pizza? Think again.

The low-carb diet has proven itself effective, but when it's done with highly-processed low-carb alternatives, it is not always as healthy as it sounds. That's where Kyndra Holley comes in. She is the mastermind behind the blog Peace, Love and Low Carb, and has melded the best of both worlds: a time-tested low carb approach with healthy, whole-food Primal ingredients.

Following the Primal template, Kyndra cuts out grains and gluten and emphasizes whole, unprocessed, "real" foods. A lifelong foodie with personal experience losing weight on the low-carb diet, Kyndra brings you mouthwatering comfort food recipes such as Caramelized Onion and Prosciutto "Mac" and Cheese, Italian Meatballs with Tomato Cream Sauce, Chili Dogs, Eggplant Lasagna and more.

After all, who says dieting has to be about sacrifice? You'll feel fuller, radiant and satisfied thanks to these healthy, nutrient-dense low-carb meals.

Foreword by Jimmy Moore.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781624141195
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Publication date: 06/02/2015
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 1,184,072
Product dimensions: 8.01(w) x 9.05(h) x 0.56(d)

About the Author

KYNDRA HOLLEY is the author of Peace, Love and Low Carb-The Cookbook and founder of the blog Peace, Love and Low Carb. She lives in Auburn, Washington.

Read an Excerpt

The Primal Low-Carb Kitchen

Comfort Food Recipes for the Carb Conscious Cook

By Kyndra Holley

Page Street Publishing Co.

Copyright © 2015 Kyndra Holley
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62414-128-7



The theme of this book is comfort. That extends beyond just the recipes. I want you to feel comfortable being in the kitchen and comfortable in your primal low-carb lifestyle. This opening chapter is full of great resources to help you do just that. From uncovering hidden sources of gluten to simple swaps, this chapter has you covered.


Hidden gluten is all around us. It is lurking in some of the least likely of places. If you suffer from gluten insensitivity or intolerance, it can be vitally important to be aware of potential sources of gluten that you may come in contact with on a daily basis. Did you know that a surprising amount of gluten is hidden in non-food-related items as well? Here is an outline of some of those sources.

• Artificial colors, such as caramel coloring

• Baby formula

• Baby powder

• Bacon, jerky, sausage, hot dogs and lunch meats

• Baking powder

• Beer

• Bouillon cubes, broths, seasonings and spices

• Canned beans

• Canned meats (tuna, chicken, beef, etc.)

• Canned soups

• Cheese spreads

• Chewing gum

• Colorings and flavorings

• Drywall

• Diet or weight-loss shakes

• Envelopes and stamps

• Food starch and modified food starch

• Frozen vegetables

• Glue

• Hard alcohol

• Hot chocolate

• Ice cream

• Imitation seafood

• Instant coffee

• Ketchup

• Licorice

• Lipstick

• Liquid smoke and smoke flavorings

• Lotions

• Malt

• Marinades

• Makeup

• Medications

• Mustard

• Non-dairy creamer

• Pickles and relish

• Potato chips

• Pre-made cocktail mixes

• Prescription drugs

• Protein powders

• Pudding

• Salad dressings, condiments, gravies and sauces

• Salami and other deli meats

• Shampoo

• Soy sauce

• Store-bought pasta sauces

• Store-bought spice mixes

• Sunblock

• Supplements

• Syrups

• Toothpaste

• Vinegars

• Vitamins

• Worcestershire sauce

• Yogurt

Here are several small steps you can take to make sure that you are not unknowingly gluten-dosing yourself:

• You can avoid accidental cross-contamination with gluten by thoroughly reading and inspecting nutrition labels and then researching ingredients you may not be familiar with.

• When dining out, do not hesitate to ask the server, chef or managers whether there is gluten in any of the dishes you are interested in. As someone who worked in the restaurant industry for fifteen years, I highly recommend asking to speak to the chef directly. The chef will be the most knowledgeable person when it comes to the menu and its ingredients.

• When you are unsure, the easiest thing to do is just SKIP IT!


Switching to a primal low-carb lifestyle doesn't have to mean giving up your favorite foods. It simply means that sometimes it becomes necessary to get creative and think outside the box when it comes to healthy alternatives. I have compiled a list of creative solutions to leave you feeling satisfied, instead of deprived.

Bread — Gluten-free wraps and tortillas, lettuce wraps, portobello mushrooms

Breading — Parmesan cheese, pork rinds, almond flour, coconut flour, ground flaxseeds and chia seeds

Chips and crackers — Pork rinds, vegetable chips, cucumber slices, prosciutto crisps, pepperoni chips, cheese crisps, kale chips, Brussels sprout chips, sweet potato chips, dried seaweed snacks, nuts, jicama, fried green beans, sliced bell pepper

Croutons — Nuts, cheese crisps, fried gluten-free salami

Flour — Almond flour, coconut flour, flaxseed meal, protein powder, hazelnut flour, macadamia nut flour

French fries — Turnip, parsnip, rutabaga, sweet potato, zucchini

Hash browns — Grated zucchini, celeriac, rutabaga, grated cauliflower, carrot, sweet potato

Lasagna noodles — Sliced eggplant, sliced zucchini

Mashed potatoes — Cauliflower mash, celery root mash, whipped sweet potatoes

Milk — Almond milk, coconut milk, heavy cream

Pasta — Vegetable noodles, shredded cabbage, cauliflower florets, spaghetti squash, zucchini, shirataki noodles, kelp noodles

Pizza — Cauliflower pizza crust, pizza stuffed peppers, pizza chicken, pizza stuffed mushrooms, pizza casseroles

Rice — Grated zucchini, riced cauliflower, shirataki rice

Soy sauce — Gluten-free soy sauce, coconut aminos, tamari, liquid aminos


• Ask stores whether they price match — this saves you from going to multiple stores.

• Avoid products placed at the end of store aisles and on checkout stands.

• Browse ad circulars each week and shop according to the sales.

• Buy discounted meats and freeze them.

• Buy generic equivalents instead of shopping by brand name.

• Buy groceries with cash or debit cards and skip the high-interest credit cards.

• Buy in bulk whenever possible.

• Buy your meat from a butcher or buy an entire animal at a time.

• Grow your own garden.

• Join a CSA or local co-op for your produce.

• Make freezer meals in large quantities.

• Make your meals from scratch instead of buying packaged meals — skip the convenience cost and the additives.

• Meal plan before shopping.

• Repurpose leftovers into new meals.

• Search top and bottoms shelves for less expensive items — the most expensive products are usually in the middle at eye level.

• Shop farmers' markets.

• Shop for produce according to season and don't be afraid to buy frozen.

• Shop multiple stores when necessary to maximize the savings.

• Shop the perimeter of the store — fresh produce, meats and dairy are on the perimeter, whereas junk food normally lines the shelves of the inner aisles.

• Stick to your list.

• Stock up on sale items for products you use regularly.

• Subscribe to store reward programs.

• Take advantage of your vacuum sealer.

• Use coupons.


• Cancel memberships you aren't actually using regularly — gym, wine clubs, media streaming, magazine subscriptions, etc.

• Cancel your cable services.

• Carpool, ride the bus, walk or bike to work.

• Consign unwanted or unused household items.

• Consolidate or refinance loans wherever possible.

• DIY whenever possible.

• Do regularly scheduled maintenance on your vehicles to avoid costly repairs.

• Host an evening of friends and fun instead of going out.

• Keep your home 1 degree cooler when you are home and turn off the thermostat when you leave.

• Negotiate interest rates with credit card companies.

• Only do full loads of laundry and dishes, to save on electricity.

• Outfit your home with energy-efficient lightbulbs.

• Pack a lunch for work instead of going out to eat.

• Reassess wants versus needs.

• Restructure cell phone plans and comparison-shop different providers.

• Skip the daily stop at your local coffee stand.

• Split entrées and skip drinks and desserts when dining out.

• Trade services with others, based on skills and talents.

• Watch movies at home and enjoy your own snacks.

• When dining out, take advantage of happy hours and restaurant promotions.


Box grater — Four-sided box graters are an inexpensive but valuable tool to have in your kitchen. Each side is different, allowing you to zest, grate, shred and even slice.

Cast-iron pans — Cast-iron pans are such a solid investment because they will easily outlive all of us. My mom still has the same cast-iron pans from when I was born. Not a lot of things in this world are affordable and can stand the test of time. They are naturally nonstick, can grill and sauté and even withstand the heat of an oven.

Colanders — Colanders are another inexpensive kitchen necessity. Not only are they useful for draining such things as vegetable noodles and cauliflower rice, but they are also great for washing fresh produce and steaming vegetables and can even prolong the life of moisture-sensitive vegetables, such as mushrooms, when used for fridge storage.

Food processor — What don't food processors do? My most common uses are making low-carb breading mixtures, making cauliflower rice, grinding nuts and making nut butters, pureeing soups and mixing dressings and sauces. It even has a grating feature, which is incredibly handy for grating vegetables or large amounts of cheese.

Food scale — A good food scale will prevent a great number of kitchen disasters. It will help keep your recipes accurate, make conversions a breeze and help you practice portion control.

Garbage bowl — You can use any old large bowl for this. It is so handy to keep a bowl in the center of all the action to put all your unwanted wrappers and scraps into. It saves you from making multiple trips to the garbage can while preparing your meals.

Lots and lots of cutting boards — I am a cutting board junkie. I have a variety of wooden ones, along with glass, plastic and marble. When I set out for a day of cooking, I usually cover my counter with cutting boards. Using a separate cutting board for different food groupings helps cut down on the potential of cross-contamination of foods. You would hate to serve someone fresh vegetables that had come into contact with raw chicken.

Nested stainless steel mixing bowls with lids — Having a variety of different-size mixing bowls really comes in handy when you are making more than one dish at a time. Stainless-steel bowls are easy to clean and last a long time. They will be hanging out with your cast-iron pans, long after you are gone. Getting a set that includes lids comes in handy for making a dish and transporting it in the same bowl.

Parchment paper — Parchment makes clean up a cinch for anything you bake, including those full sheet pans of bacon.

Pots and pans — A reliable set of cookware is a must. I suggest putting some research into this and saving up for a high-quality set. I personally have a Calphalon set, and I couldn't be happier with it.

Ramekins and pinch bowls — I use ramekins and pinch bowls daily. They are great for portioning out chopped veggies, shredded cheeses, seasonings and so on. It is a great way to prep and stage all the necessary ingredients for a recipe. The sets I have are also oven safe and come with lids. This makes them great for baking single portion items and also for storing leftover ingredients.

Rimmed baking sheets — Rimmed baking sheets are great all-purpose baking sheets. The rimmed sides prevent spillage. They are excellent for baking, roasting vegetables, cooking meats, you name it!

Rubber spatulas, wooden spoons and tongs — I often joke that if I were to lose a hand, I could easily get by with one of these as a substitution, especially the tongs. These are an indispensable part of my kitchen.

Slow cooker — Slow cookers are perfect for lazy fall and winter days. They do all the work for you. Toss the ingredients in, turn it on and let it go to work. They are also a great way to tenderize tougher cuts of meat. Cooking meat slowly and at a lower temperature makes even the toughest cuts fall to pieces.

Spiral slicer — A spiral slicer is a low-carber's best friend. The low-carb world changed forever with the introduction of vegetable noodles — so easy to make and such a great way to get more vegetables in your diet.


It is really simple and even kind of fun to make your own spice blends. One of the many reasons I started doing this was because, as we covered earlier, many of the store-bought seasonings are not gluten-free. Not only do many of them contain gluten, but they also have a lot of nasty chemicals and additives to keep them from clumping and to extend their shelf life. Making your own seasoning blends is far more affordable and far better for your health. These are the staples that I always have on hand in my spice pantry. I whip up a batch as needed and just store them in an airtight container. I also like to double or triple the batches and give them out in mason jars as gifts!



2 tbsp (20 g) chili powder
2 tbsp (15 g) ground cumin
2 tsp (5 g) onion powder
2 tsp (7 g) garlic powder
2 tsp (5 g) celery salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp garlic salt

PER SERVING: 9 Calories; trace Fat; trace Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carb



1½ tbsp (10 g) paprika
1 tbsp (10 g) garlic powder
1 tbsp (7 g) onion powder
1 tbsp (5 g) dried thyme
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp celery salt
½ tsp dried oregano

PER SERVING: 6 Calories; trace Fat; trace Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb



1 tbsp (5 g) dried thyme
1 tbsp (2 g) rubbed sage
1 tbsp (10 g) dried onion flakes
1½ tsp (8 g) sea salt
1½ tsp (5 g) garlic powder
3/4 tsp black pepper

PER SERVING: 4 Calories; trace Fat; trace Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb



4 tbsp (40 g) dried onion flakes
2 tbsp (30 g) organic, gluten-free, powdered beef bouillon
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley
¼ tsp celery salt
¼ tsp black pepper

PER SERVING: 10 Calories; trace Fat; trace Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carb



3 tbsp (55 g) sea salt
1½ tsp (4 g) onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp black pepper

PER SERVING: 2 Calories; trace Fat; trace Protein; trace Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; trace Net Carb



2 tbsp (40 g) sea salt
1 tbsp (10 g) + 1 tsp dried onion flakes
1½ tsp (4 g) paprika
1½ tsp (4 g) cracked black pepper
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp granulated onion
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp celery salt
½ tsp dried cumin

PER SERVING: 3 Calories; trace Fat; trace Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb



The starters or appetizers section is easily my favorite part of any menu or cookbook. Why? Because I love food! The portions are typically small and therefore, I can order multiple dishes without feeling guilty, or without crazy looks from service staff as I ramble off my vast list of selections.

My husband and I dine the same way. We just want to taste everything. We are a restaurant owner's dream come true. "The perfect check," as they call it in the industry: drinks, starters, salads, entrées, dessert, coffee. We hit all the courses. Before we know it, our bill looks as if a family of eight was just at our table. Recently we have changed our game plan a bit in an attempt to scale it down budget-wise and waistline-wise. Now we typically each get a salad and then share anywhere between two and four appetizers. That way we get to taste a little of everything without being tied down to one large main dish. The alternative would be going around to other tables and asking for bites of their dishes. No one wants that!

The other thing I love about starters is that it is the one course that brings everyone together. This is where the magic happens. It is the course made for sharing. Sharing of food and sharing of conversation. How many meaningful conversations have you had while sharing a plate of delicious food? Countless, right? One could argue that starters bring people together, even if only through a shared love of food.

This chapter has some new spins on classic favorites. Make some Loaded Sweet Potato Bites and Baked Heirloom Caprese Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette, pour some wine and let the conversation flow.


One of my all-time favorite appetizers is and always has been potato skins. These sweet potato bites have all of the pizzazz of a potato skin but with a much lower carb count and pack a lot of essential vitamins and antioxidants into your diet. This is one of my favorite dishes to take to potluck-style parties. It is so simple but always manages to impress.


1 lb (455 g) sweet potato, sliced in 1/4 inch (6 mm)-thick slices
3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil, plus more if needed
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
½ cup (60 g) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup (40 g) sour cream
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 green onions, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400ºF (205ºC).

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweet potato slices, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Toss until the sweet potatoes are well coated.

Line the sweet potato slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake on the top rack for 25 minutes.

Top each sweet potato with cheese, sour cream, bacon and green onion.

PER SERVING: 210 Calories; 15g Fat; 6g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 12g Net Carbs


Excerpted from The Primal Low-Carb Kitchen by Kyndra Holley. Copyright © 2015 Kyndra Holley. Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword 6

Introduction 7

Resources 9

Hidden Sources of Gluten

Simple Swaps

Creative Ways to Maximize Your Grocery Budget

How to Increase Your Grocery Budget Without Increasing Your Total

Monthly Expenses

My Kitchen Must-Haves

Simple Seasoning Blends

Starters 17

Loaded Sweet Potato Bites 19

Roasted Red Pepper and Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus 20

Bacon Guacamole 22

Olive Salad 25

Baked Heirloom Caprese Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette 26

Almond Parmesan Zucchini Fries 29

Garlic-Parmesan Brussels Sprout Chips 30

Buffalo Chicken Tenders 33

Spicy Beef Queso Dip 34

Caramelized Onion and Horseradish Deviled Eggs 37

Cajun Crab Cakes 38

Smoked Salmon Bites with Herbed Cream Cheese 41

Main Dishes 43

Caramelized Onion and Prosciutto "Mac" and Cheese 44

Chicken-Fried Steak with Country Sausage Gravy 47

Bloody Mary Burgers 48

Shepherd's Pie 51

Chicken Fried "Rice" with Bacon 52

Beef Stroganoff Meatballs 55

Balsamic Pepper Steak Kebabs 56

Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls 59

Italian Meatballs with Tomato Cream Sauce 60

Stuffed Flat Iron Pinwheels 63

Muffuletta Chicken 64

Mexican Spaghetti Squash Taco Bake 67

Chili Dogs 68

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Bacon Barbecue Sauce 71

Supreme Pizza Stuffed Peppers 72

Reuben Stuffed Sweet Potatoes 75

Old-Fashioned Meat Loaf 76

Eggplant Lasagna 79

Shrimp Scampi 80

Lemon-Garlic Pork Steaks with Mushrooms 83

Zucchini Noodle Puttanesca with Prawns 84

Herbed Butter Roasted Chicken 87

Coconut-Cashew Crusted Chicken 88

Pork and Cabbage Stir-Fry 91

Chili-Lime Shrimp Avocado Boats 92

Soups and Salads 95

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup 96

Blackened Steak Salad 99

Three-Meat No-Bean Chili 100

Buffalo Chicken Wedge Salad 103

Italian Chopped Salad 104

Broccoli Slaw Chicken Salad 107

Philly Cheesesteak Soup 108

Brussels Sprouts and Kale Chopped Salad 111

Cashew Chicken Salad 112

Chicken Pot Pie Soup 115

Thai Cucumber Noodle Salad 116

Hearty Slow Cooker Clam Chowder 119

Lemon Caper Tuna Salad Stuffed Tomatoes 120

Sides and Snacks 123

Cheddar Dill Biscuits 124

Bacon Sweet Potato Tots 127

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus with Hollandaise 128

Sweet and Spicy Green Beans 131

Steamed Artichokes with Lemon-Garlic Aioli 132

Cheesy Garlic Creamed Spinach 135

Rainbow Vegetable Noodles 136

Pancetta Parmesan Risotto 139

Brown Butter Balsamic Broccoli with Mizithra Cheese 140

Zesty Coleslaw 143

Sour Cream and Onion Cauliflower Mash 144

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole 147

Lemon Blueberry Muffins 148

Coffee-Cocoa Roasted Nuts 151

Breakfast 153

Spicy Sausage, Sweet Potato and Tomato Frittata 154

Biscuits and Country Sausage Gravy 157

Breakfast Sausage 158

Chili-Cheese Egg Muffins 161

Crab Cake Eggs Benedict with Cajun Hollandaise Sauce 162

Waffle Breakfast Sandwiches 165

Lemon Chia Pancakes 166

Cinnamon Waffles 169

Kitchen Sink Breakfast Skillet 170

Dressings and Sauces 173

Creamy Chive Blue Cheese Dressing 174

Hearty Meat Sauce 177

Hollandaise Sauce 178

Russian Dressing 179

Easy Peasy Pizza Sauce 181

Sweet and Tangy Bacon Barbecue Sauce 182

Creamy Avocado Citrus Dressing 185

Tomato Cream Sauce 186

Creamy Horseradish Sauce 189

Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette 190

Ranch Dressing 193

Balsamic Vinaigrette 194

Lemon-Garlic Aioli 197

Thai Peanut Sauce 198

Artichoke Tartar Sauce with Capers 201

Acknowledgments 202

About the Author 203

Index 204

Customer Reviews