Lasagna Meatballs

I’ve had a craving for something Italian for the past few days that I couldn’t not get rid of no matter what I ate.  Then it hit me!  Lasagna Meatballs!  I love this recipe.  There is something so satisfying about the tender baked meat balls combined with the flavorful marinara that really hits the spot.  It’s a two step recipe so it takes a little more time to make but it is worth it!  Check it out!

Lasagna Meatballs

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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For the meatballs:

  • 1 Pound Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage (We use sweet)
  • 1 Pound Ground Beef
  • 1/3 Cup Almond Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tsp Lite Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Everything else:

  • 2 Cups Garlic Basil Marinara (Follow link for recipe)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  To start making the meatballs combine all the ingredients on the meatballs list in a bowl and mix well.  Form the meat into approximately 32 one ounce meatballs.  (They’ll be about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.)  Put the meatballs on a foil (or you can use a silpat) lined baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes.

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Once the meatballs are cooked place them in a 13’x9′ casserole baking dish in a single layer.  Pour half of the garlic basil marina over the meatballs.  Spread the ricotta cheese evenly across the top of your meatballs.  Do this one small spoonful at a time so there is enough to cover them evenly.  Then pour the other half of your marinara over the top of the ricotta.  Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top.

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Is your oven still set for 375?  Good.  Place your dish in the oven and continue to bake for another 30 minutes.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

8 Servings of 4 Meatballs:  494 Calories, 39 g Fat, 31 g Protein, 4 g Net Carbs

Recipe originally appeared on http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com

 

 

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Perfectly Melted Cheese

gruyere

I like to get creative with recipes and substitute many ingredients to make new flavors.  I recently found however that I struggled with melting hard aged cheeses while experimenting.  Asiago, parmesan, and gruyère don’t melt as well as softer cheeses and often you get a lumpy greasy mess.  This is where we borrow a technique from molecular gastronomy.  Add Food Grade Sodium Citrate.

Sodium citrate is considered an emulsifying salt.  Basically it’s an additive that reduces the cheese’s acidity, makes the proteins in the cheese more soluble, and prevents it from separating into a greasy mess.  It creates a smooth, creamy texture that will never “break.”

Perfectly Melted Cheese Dip

  • Servings: Varies
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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First bring your cold water to a simmer in a pot large enough to hold your cheese.  Add your sodium citrate to the water and allow it to dissolve.  Once that’s dissolved start adding your cheese a little at a time and blending into your water with an immersion hand blender.  You’ll want to serve your cheese immediately after it’s all melted.  Enjoy!

Cauliflower Salad

Keto dieters are always on a quest for a “substitute” for their favorite foods.  Summer is fast approaching and in this case we wanted something that would fill the role of potato salad at our summer cookouts.  That’s when we came up with this amazing Cauliflower (No Potato) Salad!  It has all the flavor and almost the same mouth feel as real potato salad!  Check it out!

Cauliflower Salad

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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  • 1 Medium Sized Head of Cauliflower (600g)
  • 6 Boiled Eggs, Peeled
  • 2/3 Cup Mayonnaise (Don’t use light mayo, it has more carbs!)
  • 3 Tbsp Yellow Mustard
  • 3 Tbsp Pickle Relish
  • 1/8 Cup Raw Chopped White Onion
  • Lite Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Parley and Egg Slices to Garnish if Desired

Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove.  While that’s heating break the cauliflower florets into bite sized pieces.  Once your water is boiled add your cauliflower to the pot and cook until they’re tender.  If you have a food steamer or another method you prefer you can prepare the cauliflower that way.  It just has to be cooked tender.  Assuming you already know how to hard boil an egg and you’ve cooked the six eggs break them open and separate the yolks into a small bowl and mash them up.  (If you don’t here is How to Cook a Hard-boiled Egg.)  Take the egg whites and break or slice them down into small bite sized pieces.  After that it’s as easy as mixing all the ingredients together in a large bowl!

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This salad tastes best when it is allowed to chill overnight in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!

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1/8th Recipe:  191 Calories, 16.7 g Fat, 6 g Protein, 0.3 g Net Carbs (2.3 g Carbs, 2 g Fiber)\

How to Cook a Perfect Hard-boiled Egg

The ketogenic way of eating includes a lot of eggs.  Having a perfectly cooked hard-boiled egg can make or break your planned meal!  So as a helpful hint I’m going to tell you have to make your hard-boiled eggs perfect the way YOU want them!

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  • 6 Uncooked Eggs, Cold from the refrigerator
  • Medium Pot
  • Cold Water
  • Ice (Optional)

The trick to the perfect hard-boiled egg is starting off with cold water and ending with cold water.  Place your 6 eggs in your empty pot and cover them with cold water from the faucet.  There should be at least one inch of water above the eggs in your pot.  Place your pot on the stove and set to high heat.  Bring the water to a full rolling boil.  As soon as the water has come to a full rolling boil take the pot off the heat and cover with a tight-fitting lid.  This will keep the heat in and continue to cook the eggs.  Here is where you decide how you want your eggs cooked.  Set your Owlet Kitchen Timer to match your desired egg consistency to the list below.

  • For runny soft-boiled eggs (barely set whites): 3 minutes
  • For slightly runny soft-boiled eggs: 4 minutes
  • For custardy yet firm soft-boiled eggs: 6 minutes
  • For firm yet still creamy hard-boiled eggs: 10 minutes
  • For very firm hard-boiled eggs: 15 minutes

When the timer is up stop the cooking process by placing your pot under the faucet and running cold tap water over them.  You can speed the process up by adding ice to the pot after you’ve run cold water for a few minutes.  You can store the whole unpeeled eggs in the fridge for up to one week after cooking.  We cook enough to satisfy a weeks needs at a time so we always have a quick egg salad meal option.  All that’s left to do is crack, peel and eat!  Enjoy!

Side note:  I feel like this is a good place to add that eggs are not a carb-less food.  Eggs contain the natural sugars essential to the development of chicks.  Many ketogenic dieters don’t understand that and as a result eat more eggs and don’t count those carbs.  Over consumption of eggs might be a contributing factor to some weight loss stalls.

1 50 g Egg:  78 Calories, 5 g Fat, 6 g Protein, 0.6 g Carbs

Bunless Keto Burgers

Life has been hectic around here the last few weeks with soccer, work and summer yard work starting up.  Having little to no time to plan or cook a meal we’ve had to resort to shaking up old pre-keto favorites and making them low carb!

Summer time around this house means cooking on the grill! We have a Char-Griller 5050 Duo Gas-and-Charcoal Grill and it gets a workout every summer! We fired it up for the first time the other day to make Bunless Keto Burgers.  This isn’t exactly rocket science.  It’s just a burger without a bun!

Bunless Keto Burgers

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  • 1 lb 70/30 Ground Beef Divided Into Four 4 Oz Patties
  • Morton Lite Salt and Pepper To Taste
  • Your Favorite Keto Friendly Toppings!  (Picture is 1 Oz Swiss Cheese, 2 Strips of Crisp Bacon, A Few White Onion Slices, Yellow Mustard and Mayonnaise)

Fire that grill up to medium heat and start cooking!  I generally keep the burgers on one side for 4-6 minutes depending on how thick the patty is.  Once the burgers are charred to your taste and heated on the inside to a minimum of 160 degrees (Food poisoning is bad, mmkay?  Check it with a thermometer!) you’re ready to dress your burger how you like!  No bun?  No problem!  All the flavor of our favorite fast summer time meal with none of the carbs.  Enjoy!

Non Scale Victory: 7 Months on Keto

I hesitated to make this post but I feel that I should.  Every once in awhile on a diet we feel like we are burnt out, sick of food and thinking about it, planning meals religiously and weighing and portioning food.  It gets harder and harder to stay motivated and mistakes happen.  I know I struggle with these things from time to time.  The ups and downs of dieting can drain the mind and body.  I hope this helps.

I’ve learned several things in the last seven months.  The most important thing I’ve learned is that I am in complete control of my body, my mind and my own fate.  In the beginning it felt overwhelming.  There are many resources that contain so much information that I couldn’t process it all.  I struggled with conviction and staying true to being very low carb.  Small victories along the way like pounds or inches lost kept motivating me to move forward.  When I hit a six week stall (Yes, six weeks….) I felt like giving up but I persevered through and began to lose weight again.  By sheer determination I continued to succeed even when I didn’t have any observable achievements to motivate me.  It was that realization that confirmed I was stronger than I knew.

Sure I had failures along the way.  No one is perfect.  I cheated at least once a month and was reminded just how bad the American diet truly is.  There were days when I was so uncomfortable from carbs that I physically could not move from my chair.  Lesson learned?  Maybe.  I can’t say I won’t ever do it again.  I can say however that the next day I was back on the wagon and limiting my carbs.  I couldn’t give up because I had dedicated myself fully to this way of eating.  As the saying goes “Keep Calm and Keto On.”

I created this blog to simply life for newcomers to keto.  I wanted to be able to give my audience small samples of easy things to make that have helped me be successful at losing weight.  I struggle with calling my posts recipes because they really aren’t.  I quite literally make myself something to eat, take a picture of it and share how I made it.  My family is full time everything and most days we don’t have an hour to make dinner.

I want to leave you with a personal victory of mine.  Hopefully it will offer some inspiration to those of you who are struggling or about to give up.  Maybe some inspiration for someone trying to start.  It took me a lot of courage to put this here but I know it will help someone.  Here it is – seven months on keto, 13.5 inches lost from my waist and 65 lbs gone from the scale.

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So no matter where you are in your weight loss journey keep going.  There will be highs and there will be lows.  You’re in this to make a positive difference in your life and you are strong.  Until next time keto on.

Keto Snack Pizzas

Sometimes you want a snack.  Sometimes you want pizza.  Sometimes you want pizza as a snack.  Keto snack pizzas are fast, easy and hit the spot when the pizza cravings hit!  Made with the ever versatile Mama Lupe Low Carb Tortillas (We just used them as chips!)  these pizzas are done in just 10 minutes!  While the “crust” doesn’t get as crispy as a thin crust pizza this reminds me of a sloppy New York style slice.  You have to support it with two hands to eat it!

Keto Snack Pizzas

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  • 1 Mama Lupe Low Carb Tortillas
  • 1/8 Cup Garlic Basil Marinara Sauce or your favorite low carb pizza sauce.  (I used 1/4 Cup in the pizza pictured.  Makes a sloppier pizza but I love my sauce!)
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
  • Any additional pizza toppings like pepperoni, sausage, grated parmesan or bacon!.

Preheat the over to 350 degrees.  Lightly coat a baking pan with olive oil or other non stick spray.  (Even better if you have a pizza stone.  It will make your tortilla crispier!)  Place your tortilla on the pan and evenly spread your marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese on top.  Place in the oven once it’s heated for 8 minutes depending on your oven.  Then set your oven to broil to finish melting and browning the cheese.  Watch it closely so it doesn’t burn!  Allow a minute to cool before cutting and eating.  Enjoy!

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One Pizza with 1/4 Cup Sauce:  170 Calories, 11 g Fat, 11 g Protein, 6 g Net Carbs