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Mega Meatballs

Click to enlarge

Browsing my favorite food blogs, I came across a lovely picture of meatballs, something I’ve not made in ages.  I decided it was high time I did some meatballs for dear hubby and I love them, too!   The dish I came up with is not classic “saucy” spaghetti and meatballs, as actually very little sauce is put on each serving.  But an adequate tomato-y edge was there and made this a delightful dinner.

I’m providing the nutritional information for the individual parts of this, as many will use this meatball recipe with other sauces, serve it over other bases than the zucchini noodles and will use this thick veggie-heavy marinara sauce for other applications.  This dish is not suitable until Phase 2 Atkins due to the ricotta.  It is OK for Ketogenic diets.  It is however not acceptable for Primal-Paleo.

I like to make large batches of meatballs and freeze the extras for quick uses later on.  This recipe makes 20 meatballs or 10 servings of two meatballs.  Adjust your recipe as your needs dictate.

I absolutely love the Lucini “Rustic Tomato Basil Sauce” (no added sugar or bad ingredients) that I found at my local Walmart.  It’s made with all natural ingredients, has a lovely taste and I buy it for quick sauces and us it for quick pizza sauce.  It’s a great flavor foundation to build on.  🙂   It costs somewhere around $3.99/jar if I remember right.

You can have many more tasty low-carb recipes like this at your fingertips with your very own copy of the latest publications by Jennifer Eloff and friends: LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS. There are now 10 volumes in our complete cookbook collection.  Order yours today to get special discount pricing on complete sets.  Available individually as well.  Order at Amazon or at our direct order site: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

DISCLAIMER: By personal choice I accept no payment for this cookbook promotion nor the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so simply because they are filled with fantastic recipes any cook, low carb or otherwise, would be proud to add to their cookbook library.

MEATBALLS:

1 lb. ground beef (I used 90% lean grass-fed)

1 lb. ground pork

2 beaten eggs

½ c. ricotta cheese

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

¼ tsp. each onion powder, garlic powder, crushed fennel seed and dried basil

½ tsp. dried oregano, crushed

¼ c. Parmesan cheese

MEATBALL DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Measure out all ingredients into a large bowl and mix together with fork or hand until well blended.  Form large 1½” balls by rolling in your palms.  Place them on either a non-stick baking sheet or one with a silicone sheet liner.  Bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned and no longer oozing pink juices.

QUICK MARINARA SAUCE:

3 T. olive oil

½ c. celery, chopped

4 oz. onion, chopped

¼ c. bell pepper, chopped

5 large mushrooms, chopped

1  25.5 oz. jar (3c.) Lucini “Rustic Tomato Basil Sauce”, all natural ingredients with 4 NC per ½c. serving

2/3 c. parsley, chopped

3/4-1c. water, as needed

DIRECTIONS FOR SAUCE:  Heat oil in skillet or large saucepan.  Add celery, onion and bell pepper and saute until nearly tender.  Add mushroom and saute until translucent. Add Lucini sauce, parsley and bring to a simmer on very low heat.  Cook on lowest setting while meatballs are baking.  Stir often, adding water, as needed, to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pan and to maintain a thin marinara sauce consistency.

ZUCCHINI NOODLES “Zoodles”:    VARIATIONS: Serve over spaghetti squash.           

3 medium zucchini (about 10 oz. each)

1 T. olive oil

DIRECTIONS FOR NOODLES:   Cut the zucchini into noodle shapes either with a hand held julienne peeler (what I use) or the more expensive tools like the counter-top Spirooli  that is designed to do this much faster. Heat olive oil in non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.   Add zucchini threads to the pan and lightly saute just until they become translucent.  DO NOT OVERCOOK them or they will get mushy.

FINAL PLATING:  Plate about 1 cup zoodles on each plate.  Top with 1/2 c. sauce.  Place 2 meatballs on top and if desired, garnish with a sprinkle of grated fresh Parmesan.

MEATBALL NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 20 very large meatballs.  Two per serving.  Each 2-meatball serving contains:

290 calories, 23 g  fat, 1.18 g  carbs, .8 g  fiber, .38 g  NET CARBS and 20.2 g  protein, 155 mg sodium

SAUCE NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes ten 1/2 c. servings of sauce.  Each serving contains:

97 calories, 7.2 g  fat, 7.27 g  carbs, 1.93 g  fiber, 5.34 g  NET CARBS, 2.24 g  protein

ZUCCHINI NOODLES NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 10 servings of noodles.  Each 3 oz serving contains:

59 calories, 4.7 g  fat, 4.2 g  carbs, 1.4 g  fiber, 2.8 g  NET CARBS  1.5 g  protein

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London Broil

Shown with Garlic Herb Butter.

When you want to tenderize a tougher cut of meat, like flank steak or London Broil, you have to marinate it to loosen up those meat fibers a bit.  This is one of my favorite steak marinades to use on London Broil.  If you can’t get flank or London Broil, use a piece of lean chuck roast. The flavor on the outer crust of meat is just divine.  The longer you marinate the meat, the more tender the meat will get.  Marinating all day long is preferred, but a minimum of 4-5 hours is a must lest you end up with a very tough, difficult to chew experience.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins provided those still on Atkins Induction sub in some beef broth for the red wine.  It’s also delicious with my Garlic Herb Butter.

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own copy of our cookbooks  LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  Volume 8 is almost exclusively comprised of my recipes with some new George Stella and Jennifer Eloff creations.  Order your books from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. piece of London Broil or flank steak

½ clove garlic, minced

1½ tsp. tomato paste

½ c. red wine (or beef broth if still on Induction)

¼ c. low sodium soy sauce

2 T. balsamic  vinegar

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

DIRECTIONS:  Coat the meat with the black pepper and set in a glass or plastic marinating pan.  Add the remaining ingredients, stirring in the tomato paste well until it is evenly distributed in the liquid.  Using a basting brush, drizzle the marinade over the meat and place marinating pan in the refrigerator.  Marinate for at least 4 hours to all day long, drizzling over the meat carefully hourly.  Turn the meat once or twice while marinating.

When ready to cook, prepare a hot charcoal fire.  Lift meat out of marinating pan and discard the marinade.  Place meat directly over the hot coals and grill for about 8-10 minutes on a side or until it reaches your desired stage (around 8 minutes per side for medium rare; around 10 for medium as shown).  These two cuts of meat are really too tough to cook them well done.  Just being honest.  Serve with a nice salad or your favorite green side dish.  This is delicious with compound butter, if you have a favorite recipe.  Here’s the one I used tonight:  Garlic Herb Butter.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  As the marinade is discarded, a firm count per serving is difficult to arrive at.  No more than 1 T. is consumed on the meat surfaces, if THAT much.  1 T. marinade contains around 1.27 net carbs, so that is what is added to the serving below.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Serves 6-7 people nicely (maybe 8), so each serving of meat with 1 T. marinade contains around:

297 calories, 12g fat, 1.3 carbs, 0 fiber, 1.3 NET CARBS, 44 g protein, 101 mg sodium

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Beef Eggplant Curry

Beef Eggplant Curry

This is a quick, tasty and wonderful way to use up leftover beef pot roast (chuck).  I made it again for dinner last night so I thought I’d share again for new followers to try.  This one’s a keeper, both for ease of prep and incredible flavor layers!  We are always pleased with this quick curry.  What it lacks in photogenic qualities, it gains in taste!  Using the Garam Masala spice mixture makese it taste more Indian; the Baharat makes it taste more Middle Eastern.  This dish can also be made with lamb.  I love how easy most Indian curries are to prepare!  This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto and Primal-Paleo as well.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Order your 10-volume set TODAY for special set pricing! (available individually also) from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. olive oil or coconut oil

2 c. cooked beef (or lamb), trimmed of fat, cut in ½” dice (or use ground meat)

6 oz. eggplant (I used Japanese purple eggplant), cut in 1″ cubes

3 oz. onion, diced large

½ c. red bell pepper, chopped (omit for lower carbs)

½ c. cilantro, cut roughly

1 large tomato, cut in 1″ cubes (2 oz.)

2 tsp. my Garam Masala Spice blend (or 1 tsp. Baharat Spice Blend)

1/4 tsp. curry powder

1/8 tsp. turmeric

Dash salt

½-1 c. water (beef stock if you have some is better)

OPTIONAL:  ½ tsp. crushed fenugreek leaves if available

DIRECTIONS:   Cut up meat, eggplant and onion as indicated above. Heat oil in non-stick skillet over hi heat.  Add onion and slightly brown.  Add eggplant and continue to saute, stirring often.  Add beef and brown a bit.  Add cilantro, tomato and all spices.  Add water as needed to just barely surround meat.  Lower heat.  You don’t want this soupy, but add more water as you cook the dish if all evaporates.  Simmer on medium heat about 15 minutes to allow flavor to mingle.  Serve on cauli-rice, cauli-mash, toasted low-carb bread or muffins, or eat it straight up!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

237 cals. , 12.5g fat, 7.05g carbs, 2.77g fiber, 4.28g NET CARBS, 24g protein, 107 mg sodium

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Click to enlarge (wrap made with patty sliced laterally)

(On a homemade Flour tortilla)

These wonderful little meat patties were ready in just 15 minutes!  I most DEFINITELY liked the flavor and confess I ate two of them they were so good.  I served them with some tzatziki yogurt sauce and a lovely Greek salad.  The leftovers, 2 days later, ended up in the sandwiches you see pictured above.  The flavor of the leftover meat seemed to have improved on the refrigerator shelf!  This meat mixture would also make great meatballs and be great added to Mediterranean casserole dishes with eggplant, tomatoes and feta. I already had some low-carb no-flour tortillas made up so the sandwich you see above was on the table in no time.  This recipe can also be made with beef or lamb and is suitable for all phases of Atkins.  Primal-Paleo folks can eat this meat on a Greek salad or plan-suitable “wrap”.  When used in wraps, my delicious tzatziki sauce is also very good on these sandwiches, particularly with a little extra chopped parsley sprinkled on top!   Click here for the recipe for the tortilla wraps.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella, myself and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Order your 10-volume set TODAY! (available individually also) from Amazon or find special sales pricing at: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. lean ground pork (ground beef or lamb are more traditional)

about 1/3 c. kale (what I could easily pick up in 1 hand with my fingertips)

about ¼ c. parsley

1 oz. onion

1 clove garlic

½ jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine

¼ c. feta cheese, crumbled

Dash each salt and black pepper

1/8 tsp. Homemade Cavender’s Greek Seasoning

1 T. my chimichurri sauce

1 medium egg

DIRECTIONS:  Place all but the meat in a food processor or blender. Pulse until fine, but don’t reduce it to paste in texture.  You want it about like pesto sauce.  Place the meat in a bowl and with a rubber spatula, scrape the spice/herb mixture on the meat.  With a fork or your hands, blend it all together like you would a meatloaf mixture.  Form into 6 equal patties.  These are traditionally cooked over charcoal on your grill, but almost as good browned in non-stick or lightly oiled skillet on each side until meat in completely cooked.  Your choice. Serve at once with your favorite sides or veggies OR let it cool off a bit, slice the patties laterally so that each one will make a Mediterranean-style wrap sandwich on your favorite plan-suitable tortilla/pita type bread.  If you are using cold, leftover meat for a sandwich the next day, after slicing the patties, I would sear a couple seconds in a non-stick skillet to warm them slightly.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 patties, each contains:  (numbers are only for the meat)

240 cals, 19g fat, 1.65g carbs, 0.33g fiber, 1.32g NET CARBS, 15g protein, 155 mg sodium

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Indian Beef with Mint "Kheema Matar"

This dish can be made with either ground lamb or ground beef and is equally good with both.  This Indian dish is traditionally cooked with peas and served atop basmati steamed rice.  But I have I found it is just as good with made small cut frozen green bean pieces (to lower carbs) and then served on a bed of shredded, sauteed cabbage.  I think I may even like it that way better than over the traditional basmati rice!    The nutritional info below does not include the cabbage (or rice).  My husband and I found my first attempt at Kheema Matar, which we have often had at Indian restaurants, to be pretty darn good!  It has rapidly moved into my quick and easy recipes category.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella, myself and several other talented cooks to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.   Order your set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or use our direct order site for special sales going on right now: http://amongfriends.us/order.php 

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef, lamb or goat

1 T. olive or coconut oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove minced garlic

½ tsp. minced ginger

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. ground coriander

¼ tsp. salt

2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped

½ c. frozen cut green beans, cut again into halves

1 carrot, cut into small dice

2 T. chopped cilantro

2 T. chopped fresh mint (I use spearmint)

½ jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1½ tsp. my Garam Masala

OPTIONAL:  Add 1/2-1 c. chicken stock and simmer a bit for a moist gravy.  Thicken a bit with your favorite thickener if desired.

DIRECTIONS:  Place carrots and green bean pieces in small amount of water in saucepan and cook just until tender crisp.  Add oil to large skillet.  Brown chopped onion.  Add meat and break apart as it browns.  Add garlic, tomatoes, jalapeno and all spices except mint and cilantro.  Lower heat to simmer, cover and cook 15-20 minutes until tomatoes and onion well cooked.  Now add the drained carrot/bean mixture, cilantro and mint and stir well.  Cover again and cook additional 5-10 minutes or so for flavors to blend well.  Serve atop bed of shredded stir-fried cabbage (my preference) or basmati rice for those non-low-carbers at your table.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 4, each serving contains: (does not include cabbage base)

187 calories, 23.8 g  fat, 7.55 g carbs, 2.38 g fiber, 5.17 NET CARBS, 23.8 g  protein, 620 mg sodium

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Click to enlarge

Skillet Pizza (for 1)

I’m currently revisiting Atkins Induction for a “reset” and remembered this delicious recipe that literally got me through Atkins Induction 10 years ago.  I’ve tried so many of the popular low-carb pizza crust recipes and just don’t like but a few that I have developed or tried in the interim.  A lot of sodium in pizza toppings.  Even this amount of sausage and cheese packs a whopping amount of sodium, as seen in the nutritional stats below!  But hey, when you’re still on Induction and craving pizza, this’ll do occasionally.  Best of all, it can be ready in 10-15 minutes!  Moreover, I don’t end up with “sausage fingers” and swollen ankles the next day from water retention due to the sodium in most low-carb crust recipes.  I’m so sodium sensitive, I leave off pepperoni from my pizzas as a rule.  Just increase ingredients accordingly if you need more servings.

Now this “pizza” isn’t one you can pick up and eat with your hands.  Even as it cools a bit and the cheese firms up, you’ll still have to eat with a fork.  So I don’t do this recipe for company.  🙂  But I find not being able to pick it up and eat by hand doesn’t bother me one bit.  This tastes just like the best sausage, mushroom, bell pepper pizza I ever had in any Italian restaurant or pizza parlor!  You may prefer to use all sausage or all beef, your call, but nutritional info is for the recipe as written.  If watching your sodium intake on doctor’s orders, using all ground beef and also lowering the cheese to 2 oz. would be wise choices.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Order your set TODAY! Special pricing going on right now, too!  Books are always available individually or as a set from Amazon or: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

INGREDIENTS:

001

Ready to dig in!

2 oz. pork sausage (breakfast or Italian)

1 oz. ground beef (or more pork sausage)

¼ tsp. fennel seed

Dash oregano

Sprinkle of garlic and onion powder

1/3 can drained, canned mushrooms (or 2 fresh, sliced)

2 oz. bell pepper

3 T. low carb spaghetti sauce (I use Bello Vita)

2 oz. grated mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS: Brown meat in no-stick skillet on medium heat.  Add veggies and continue to cook until pretty tender, about 5 minutes.  Add spices and stir.  Using spoon or spatula, neatly push ingredients away from the edges of the skillet as shown in picture.  Dot the surface with the tomato sauce but no need to stir.  Top with the cheese, trying to keep it pretty much on the ingredients.  Cover and lower heat to lowest setting and heat long enough to melt cheese.   Should be ready in just a few minutes.  Allow to cool a couple minutes so cheese will firm up a tad before attempting to “slice” into two slices.  Using a broad spatula, slide a portion out of the skillet onto the serving plate (or toasted French bread, for non-Atkins eaters). Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 1 and contains:

531 cals, 39.3g fat, 11.2g carbs, 2.9g fiber, 8.1g NET CARBS, 34 g  protein, 1312 mg sodium

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Indonesian Beef Soto

Our best friends of some 30+ years are wonderful cooks and often introduce us to interesting Indonesian foods and spices.  Though he is as American as apple pie, she is of Indonesian heritage.  This dish came about after receiving some Indonesian spices from them for Christmas one year as well as much personal reading of Beef Soto recipes on-line.  I combined a mixture of spices traditional to the dish, added a bit of the spice blend they gave me, and then added my personal choice of veggies I thought would also be good in the soup. The result of this experiment was delightful, and quite simple since the grass-fed beef brisket I used in this was already cooked.

This dish would also be good made with cooked lamb or venison.  What a hearty, rib-sticking meal this was!  You can prepare this from scratch with raw beef, but it will naturally take much longer than my version made with pre-cooked beef meat, as the meat will have to be first browned in oil and then simmered in the broth/water for at least an hour to get tender before adding veggies to the pot.  This dish could also be served as a dinner entree if you made it with less broth, thickened it with your favorite thickener or mashed veggie puree and served it over basmati rice (for the non-low-carbers, of course).  This dish is suitable for Atkins Induction and passes Paleo-Primal muster as well.   🙂

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. palm or coconut oil

3 oz. onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 shallot, chopped fine

10 oz. lean, cooked beef (or lamb), cubed large

8 oz. summer squash, cut up large chunks (calaba, zucchini, or yellow)

12 cherry tomatoes

1 tsp. dried red guajillo chiles (these are mild), seeded and chopped coarsely

Click to enlarge

Guajillo Chiles

½ tsp. ground cinnamon (or 1″ stick if you prefer)

1 tsp. Thai red curry paste

Dash of chipotle chile powder (or ½ chipotle chile, seeded and mashed (from canned chipotle in adobo sauce)

1 thin slice ginger, minced

½ tsp. each galangal powder (I use Penzey’s) and turmeric

around 2 c. beef stock or water (to cover meat)

OPTIONAL:  1-3 tsp. Thai Seasoning Blend ( I used The Gourmet Collection brand)

DIRECTIONS:   In a large soup pot, heat the palm oil.  Brown the onion until it begins to caramelize.  Add shallot and continue to saute until shallot begins to “toast” a bit.  Add garlic and cubed meat and saute a few minutes longer.  Lower heat, add liquid and the cinnamon, guajillo chiles, ginger, turmeric and galangal powder, along with the Thai curry paste.  Simmer for 15 minutes if meat was already cooked, simmer for 30 minutes or longer if meat was raw when you started.  This will allow the spices to mingle with meat and the meat to get tender.  Add cubed squash and continue to simmer until squash is done.  Add tomatoes and Thai Seasoning (if using).  Cook just until tomatoes have softened up a bit, but have not fallen apart.  Thickening is optional, but you can at this point if desired.  I had a dab of leftover sweet potato puree in the freezer and added 3-4 tablespoons of that for thickening my soup a bit.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 3 large servings, each contains:

309 cals, 19.8g fat, 9.23g carbs,2.23g fiber,7g NET CARBS,24g protein,193 mg sodium

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