Low-carb meatball casserole

Pasta used to be a staple in my diet and I cooked it almost weekly for my family. It was probably the one thing I didn’t think I was willing to go without. Turns out, I was wrong.

Low-carb meatball casserole

Ingredients:

  • 2-2.5 pounds of meat (I used sausage and pork this time)
  • 1/4 cup Almond flour
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Onion (optional)
  • Garlic, Salt, Pepper, Onion powder
  • Basil
  • Spinach
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Heavy cream (see note below)

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grab a large bowl and add your meat, almond flour, parmesan cheese, egg, onion and spices. You’re going to have to use your hands and mix it all together. You can also add grated mozzarella cheese to the meatballs if you want. Roll the meat into balls. This is where I just kind of wing it. You don’t want them too big, they take too long to cook as it is. Sometimes they all fit in one 9×13 dish, this week I needed a second smaller dish.

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Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes to start. While the meatballs are baking get your sauce simmering on the stove. I buy the unseasoned tomatoes (Cento brand) and add fresh basil, garlic, salt, pepper, whatever seasoning you have on hand. I also add a dash of heavy cream to up the fat content. I know that’s not an actual measurement. It’s not 1/4 cup, it’s maybe 2-3 tablespoons. And a splash of red wine if I have a bottle opened.

I usually buy the whole tomatoes, it’s the lowest carb for some reason. Always check your labels!

Then I use my stick blender to puree them.

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After 30 minutes in the oven, remove the meatballs, pour the sauce over them and place back in the oven for 25-30 minutes. This is not an exact science as the length of cooking depends on the size of the meatballs. Mine usually take 70 minutes. If the sauce is bubbling too much cover your dish with foil.

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The last 10 minutes pile the fresh spinach on the top and mozzarella cheese to cover the whole casserole. Bake until cheese is melted and slightly crisp. So good.

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Serve with something green to keep this low carb. Green beans and bacon are always a great choice! And that’s just how it sounds. I cooked the bacon in the pan then add a bag of frozen green beans that I have cooked a little in the microwave. Add butter, salt and pepper. Serve quick because we all know green beans don’t stay warm!

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Here’s the final plate. Our family really likes this dish! If you have carb eaters in your family you can always add pasta on the side for them. I don’t think they will miss it though!

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Hope you enjoy this as much as we do! It makes great lunch leftovers if you have any. You can also make meatball subs using the fathead dough if you want to change things up.

Happy cooking!

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Low-carb Enchilada Casserole

We have adjusted very well to our low-carb lifestyle. I do get asked if I miss carbs. It’s a loaded question. If I place emotion on food, then yes I’d say I miss it. But, I don’t miss how I felt. I don’t miss being overweight despite working out 6 days a week. I don’t miss feeling like crap, that’s pretty much what it comes down to. Plus, I’ve adjusted a lot of recipes to work for us and there are TONS online, so many bloggers cooking and baking low carb, it’s hard to feel like I’m missing something.

This is a lazy enchilada casserole. I used to make it with tortillas and corn. This one replaces the tortillas with poblano peppers and just recently I added a few sheets of the Fathead dough, recipe found here. No corn at all. The Fathead dough can be used for so many things! It does have carbs, but it’s low.

Low-carb Enchilada Casserole

Ingredient list:

  • Poblano peppers, leave whole without seeds and stem
  • Ground beef, turkey or chicken. Whatever your preference.
  • Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, Pepper jack cheese, again preference.
  • Ro-tel tomatoes. I buy the brand at Aldi, it’s the lowest carb I found.
  • Fathead crust. I made 3 sheets for my 8×8 pan.
  • Cream Cheese. Philadelphia is the lowest carb I’ve found.
  • Salt, pepper, onion, garlic, cilantro, taco seasoning. Whatever you like to use.
  • 8×8 pan
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Guacamole (optional)
  • Salsa (optional)

Check your brands. So many off brands add carbs, even if it’s the full fat version. I don’t quite understand that. Also, some name brands are higher than store brand. I check constantly for something better.

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Here’s the carb count of the Philadelphia, less than 1 carb so we round up. The Kroger brand I was buying had 3 carbs per serving.

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Start by roasting the poblano peppers. You can do this in advance to save time. I buy these several weeks during the month, we use them a lot. They can be roasted and frozen whole (minus the seeds and skin) or pureed for all kinds of recipes. Mostly not spicy. I did buy one batch that was!

Here’s how I roast my peppers.

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I already had Fathead dough made, in the fridge. I usually double this recipe when I make it. It freezes well. Just throw it in the microwave for 30-60 seconds to warm it up so you can roll it out.

No, it’s not perfect. 🙂

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Here it is out of the oven! Watch it closely, it will burn quick. I start mine at 5-6 minutes.

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On the stove top, cook your meat, add ro-tel and cream cheese, cook until it’s melted. I did use 1.5 packages of cream cheese last time. Depends on how much sauce you want. If you have a larger family you may want to double this whole recipe.

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So yummy!

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Next, grab your 8×8 dish and all your ingredients to start assembling. Start with Fathead dough on the bottom, layer the meat sauce, peppers and cheese.

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This is what I mean when I say leave it whole, in “sheets”.

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Now cheese. This time I did pepper jack in the casserole.

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Now continue your layers. I topped it with monterey jack slices since I ran out of shredded pepper jack.

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Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Everything is hot and cooked, it just needs to set up. I turned the broiler on at the end to get some color on the cheese.

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I served it with a salad this time. Guacamole, sour cream and salsa go great with this dish! If you have family members not watching their carbs, give them tortilla chips. I’m sure that would be tasty!

It may not be pretty, but it tastes good!

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We love our Tex-Mex food and I am so happy to be able to convert some of our favorite recipes!

Do you have a favorite Tex-Mex recipe?

Are you low-carb?

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