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Almost Grain Free Diet Days 3 and 4: Low Carb “Big Mac” and Fries

Posted Sep 23 2010 11:43pm

Yes, you heard me correctly: I found a way to make a low-carb version of a McDonald’s Big Mac® :shock: But before we get to that, let’s talk about my Wednesday “cheat” meal. We went to Union Square Restaurant in Newburgh. We ate there a few weeks ago and I fell in love with their salads, so I knew I had to go back for another sometime soon.

Dustin ordered hot wings. I normally don’t have any when he orders them, but they weren’t breaded, so I had 3 of them with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing…

They were quite tasty! I’m not really crazy about chicken wings like Dustin is, but they interest me once in awhile. At this point I technically wasn’t “cheating” on my grain free/reduced carb diet, which is cool I guess.

I ordered the chopped salad which came with lots of leafy greens, veggies, ham, turkey, and cheese; the dressing options were limited so I went with the balsamic vinaigrette, which was delish!

I used my macro lens, so it doesn’t look that big in this picture, but it was huge. I <3 big salads! I ate half of it and brought the rest home. At that point I still wasn’t cheating and probably could have done without the pizza because I was feeling pretty satisfied, but I had a slice anyway. :P

We ordered half cheese, half garlic and shrimp (my side)… my slice:

SO yummy! The crust was perfectly thin and crispy, it could have used some more shrimp, though! It was really garlicky too, which I liked. YUM! Really the only part of this meal that was a cheat was the pizza crust, everything else pretty much fit in my little experiment. Moments after eating the pizza my stomach started to hurt really badly. :( This meal wasn’t terribly high in carbs, but it was definitely high in fat!! I’ve noticed that my tummy reacts negatively to very fat-heavy meals, or just about anything heavy for that matter. That’s something to pay attention to, I’ll have to tell the specialist about this next month. Gallbladder? Hmmm… I dunno. :(

Wednesday’s Menu

  • Honeycrisp apple
  • Half cup leftover turkey chili
  • Grain free cheddar biscuit
  • 3 chicken wings with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks
  • Half of a deluxe chopped salad, no croutons, balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 slice shrimp + garlic pizza
  • LaraBar
  • Leftover chopped salad from restaurant with EVOO + vinegar
  • Half cup leftover turkey chili with Cholula hot sauce

I ate leftover turkey chili twice in one day out of laziness. :roll:

I have a lot of ground turkey breast, so I decided to emulate a Big Mac® and fries minus the carbs and sodium. But how am I going to eat a burger on a sesame seed bun without grains or carbs? I’d have to get creative, and creative I was. Just a little warning: it’s not gorgeous, but it’s delicious! Trust me. :D

Low Carb, Grain Free, Gluten Free Sesame Sandwich Rolls


  • 14g / 2 TBSP quinoa flour (55 cal)
  • 3oz / 3/4 cup blanched almond flour (480 cal)
  • 30g ground flax seeds (180 cal)
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (60 cal)
  • 15g / 2 TBSP chia seeds (70 cal)
  • 2 TBSP cold butter (200 cal)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 packets Truvia zero calorie sweetener or other zero cal sweetner
  • 2 TBSP sesame seeds (70 cal)


  1. In a bowl, combine the quinoa flour, blanched almond flour, ground flax seeds, chia seeds, baking powder, and sweetener
  2. Pour it into your food processor or mixing bowl (can also do it by hand); add in egg whites and butter, then mix well until batter forms
  3. Preheat oven to 375F degrees, line baking sheet with nonstick agent
  4. Scoop batter onto baking sheet; make 6 piles of it and then flatten it out to accommodate the size of a burger or other sandwich components
  5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, then bake on 375F degrees for 12-15 minutes or until bottoms are browned but not too dark

Makes 6 rolls, 185 calories each, approx. 8g carbohydrates each, but only 3.5 NET carbs each (when you deduct the fiber from total carbs)

Note: When you slice them, do it slowly, straightly, and very carefully!

Low Carb Big Mac® Taste-alike and Butternut Squash Oven Fries

It’s not pretty, but it was delicious!!! I think it actually looks better than some fast food I have seen in my day. hehe

Ooops, I burned the butternut squash fries a little! I didn’t turn them over in time. :oops: They were still yum yum, carcinogenic charred parts and all. lol :roll:

  • 4oz ground turkey breast burger (120 cal) cooked on the stove with 2 1oz thinly sliced deli American cheese slices (1 oz), mixed Bibb lettuce, 1 dill pickle sandwich topper, and sauce made of Hellmann’s olive oil mayo, a teaspoon of sweet relish, and about a teaspoon of ketchup on a homemade grain free, low carb roll (185 cal)
  • Peeled butternut squash cut into fry shapes, tossed in EVOO and baked on 375F degrees for about 25-30 minutes.

Original Big Mac®: 540 calories, 1040mg sodium, 45g carbs
Jenn’s version: Less than half of the sodium and about 9g carbs
Medium order of McDonald’s French Fries: 380 calories, 270mg sodium, 48g carbs
Jenn’s butternut squash oven fries: Less than 150 calories, about 30-40mg sodium, approx. 15-18g carbs

75% less carbs and arguably tastier, but definitely healthier! Ok, American “cheese’ isn’t healthy, but I like it! Don’t judge me. ;)

The rolls were outstanding! I really couldn’t even tell that they were gluten free, much less grain free!! :shock: Wow! You can’t taste the almond flour or flax seeds, it just tastes like a very thin, but chewy, roll with a lot of seeds. It was awesome. Looks look I’m going to be eating sandwiches all month without missing a beat. YAY! :mrgreen:

Thursday’s Menu

  • One medium banana
  • 2 TBSP Smart Balance peanut butter
  • 2 Sargento reduced fat string cheeses
  • 1 serving Vitaminwater zero calorie lemonade
  • Olives from olive bar (about 10)
  • Turkey burger with American cheese on homemade grain free roll; mayo/ketchup/relish, pickle, Bibb lettuce mix
  • Butternut squash oven fries with EVOO
  • Bite of Dustin’s filet mignon
  • 1 small piece very dark chocolate bar
  • Homemade low carb sesame seed roll, TBSP peanut butter

We went to Staples and Shop Rite this evening so I could pick up a few things, but by that point I had only eaten a banana and peanut butter– hours apart. So you can imagine how disciplined I was in a grocery store LOADED with temptations and me about to gnaw my arm off, lol. I knew I wouldn’t make it until dinner that I had yet to cook AND bake rolls for, so I bought some string cheese and a zero calorie Vitaminwater to eat on the way home. I was feeling pretty fatigued and had a hunger headache, but it went away as soon as I ate and drank. When we got home I dug into the olives. :twisted: I couldn’t stay away from those sodium bombs very long!

I honestly don’t miss bread or pasta or other high carb yumminess that much, but I was mourning the loss of legumes when I passed by the hummus in the store. :cry: Despite my pizza crust cheat meal, I haven’t been feeling the lower carb “flu” that some people experience. Probably because I still eat a good amount of fruit, but even still, I’ve reduced my carb intake a good 75-80% in the past 4 days. When I did the semi-raw diet this summer I felt the same way. I find it odd that I don’t miss bread or pasta when I don’t have it, especially because I am borderline obsessed with it. :lol: It’s weird, but these low-carb “breads” satisfy me all the same. I guess that’s a good thing, it would suck if I actually went through physical withdrawals like some people do. I don’t seem to have that problem, thankfully.

I have noticed that I am pretty hungry and tired,  though,  just like when I did the semi-raw diet experiment. I think that can be attributed to waiting too long to eat and my sinuses acting up due to changes in barometric pressure. I guess we’ll see how the rest of the month goes! I haven’t worked out this week, I wanted to slowly transition into it and let my body adjust to this grain reduction first. I haven’t noticed any digestive changes, either. Like I said my stomach hurt right after the pizza yesterday, but it started to hurt after the turkey burger that I ate tonight, too. So the common ingredient: cheese! :( But then again, I was fine after eating the string cheese, so I really don’t know. It seems to be just about everything without rhyme or reason. I guess I’ll have to be patient just a little bit longer. :)

Time to get some rest! Zzzzzzzzzz

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