Healthy, Recipes

Keto Meatball Casserole

Juicy, flavorful meatballs cooked until golden and then covered with tomato sauce and cheese.

If you are looking for a new dinner this Keto Meatball Casserole should be it. 

I love this keto friendly meatball casserole because it’s really simple to make and delicious.  It’s also great for meal prep!

I took my grandparent’s meatball recipe, made a couple of changes to make these keto/low carb meatballs. They make epic leftovers… so great for meal prepping! 

The Meat

My personal favorite meat combo when it comes to meatballs is a fifty-fifty of ground beef and Italian sausage. 

The Breadcrumbs

As you know, meatballs traditionally call for breadcrumbs for the binder. It’s purpose is to add moisture and keep the proteins in the meat from shrinking and becoming tough. I used crushed pork rinds! They work surprisingly well in lieu of breadcrumbs and they really play up the flavors.

To Pan-fry or to bake?

This is a great debate between Italian cooks – whether meatballs should be baked or pan fried. 

I grew up watching my grandmother, Meme pan-fry her meatballs. So in this house, we pan fry! Pan frying meatballs produces superior caramelization and a flavorful outer crust. You really do get the best flavor. 

Having said that, you can definitely bake up these too. 

The Sauce

Nothing fancy here, just simple and delicious! One can of crushed tomatoes and ¼ cup of red wine, I recommend Scout & Cellar Gallivant Cabernet Sauvignon

The Cheese

You choose the shredded cheese… Mozzarella, Provolone, Monterrey Jack, Cheddar… I personally like a combination of Mozzarella and Provolone. 

Serve warm on top of zucchini noodles or your with a side of your favorite vegetable. 

Ingredients

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • ⅓ cup grated or shredded parmesan
  • 2/3 cup crushed pork rinds
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried minced onion
  • 2 tsp dried minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp Salt and Pepper

Casserole Ingredients:

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs and mix thoroughly. 

Make about 24 meatballs

Heat an oven safe skillet over medium heat. (I used my cast iron skillet)

Drizzle one tablespoon in the skillet. 

Place meatballs into the skillet and cook for two-three minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes. 

Place the skillet into the preheated oven and bake for ten minutes. 

Carefully remove the skillet from the oven, pour the crushed tomatoes and wine over the meatballs. Return the skillet to the oven and bake for another ten minutes. 

Once the sauce is bubbling, sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake for an additional 8 minutes until the cheese is melted. 

Optional: I broiled for 3-4 minutes at the end to toast the cheese. Watch it carefully if you put it under the broiler. The cheese can burn easily.

Recipes, Soups

Keto Friendly Stuffed Pepper Soup

This Keto Friendly soup is made with basic ingredients like ground sausage, peppers, tomatoes and cauliflower rice. It’s a delicious soup everyone will love!

Keto stuffed pepper soup is packed with veggies and flavor plus it’s ready in 30 minutes! 

When you’re craving stuffed peppers but don’t want all the work of making them, this easy stuffed pepper soup recipe is your answer! It’s hearty, full of vegetables, and a cozy meal for cool nights.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 lb Ground Italian sausage 
  • 3 medium Bell peppers (diced)
  • 1 14.5-oz cans Diced tomatoes with green chiles (with liquid, do not drain)
  • 1 14.5-oz cans Diced tomatoes with basil, oregano & garlic (with liquid, do not drain)
  • 1 29-oz can Tomato sauce
  • 4 cups Beef broth
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup red wine such as Scout and Cellar Bookbinder Apprentice Red Wine
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 12 oz Cauliflower rice (fresh or frozen) or white rice

Instructions

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat, until shimmering. 

Add the ground beef. Cook, breaking up with a spatula, for 8-10 minutes, until browned. Remove meat from the pot, adn set aside. 

Wipe the pot with a paper towel and add olive oil. 

Add the onion and minced garlic and saute for about a minute, until fragrant. Then add the paprika and red pepper flakes, stir and saute for another minute. 

Add the bell peppers and saute for about a minute, until fragrant.

Add sausage, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil.

Add the red wine and sugar, stirt. 

Reduce heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until the peppers are tender.

Add the cauliflower rice. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until cauliflower rice is tender.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Recipes, Soups

Keto Friendly Taco Soup

Warm, cozy, easy winter soup that is rich with delicious Mexican flavors. 

This soup is the perfect way to enjoy tacos without the added carbs! 

I’m all about quick and easy one-bowl meals this time of year and this taco soup is at the top of the list. It’s made with my favorite taco ingredients and loaded with mildly spicy & zesty flavors that will keep you coming back for more.

It comes together quickly, with simple ingredients, and minimal effort. You will have a delicious dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes. Oh and this meal is totally affordable… you can get everything for under $20. 

Looking for a wine pairing?

Scout & Cellar 2019 ETNICO CHARDONNAY will pair beautifully with this spicy and zest soup. ETNICO Chardonnay is bright and refreshing with lemon zest, underripe pear, and a touch of pineapple balanced by white flowers and a hint of herbs with a zesty texture.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I used red but green works good too)
  • 1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes 
  • 8 oz cream cheese (I used low fat and cut into fours, it helps it melt faster)
  • 1 Taco seasoning packet
  • Zest and juice of one medium sized lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups beef broth

Optional toppings:

sliced avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, freshly minced cilantro, jalapeno, and a drizzle of lime

Instructions

Add olive oil to a large pot, brown beef, remove meat from pot and discard liquid. 

In the same pot, saute onion, and garlic over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes.

Add the bell pepper, diced tomatoes and saute until pepper and tomatoes are soft and tender.

Add the lime zest taco seasoning packet and stir to combine. 

Add lime juice and cream cheese, until cream cheese is melted and mixed through.

Add beef back to the pot and stir to combine. 

Pour in beef broth and reduce heat to low-medium. 

Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Recipes

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower Mash

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower Mash

This Cauliflower mash recipe is an easy way to cut down on carbs without sacrificing flavor. I mean, what’s the point in eating something at all if it doesn’t taste good, right?

In my opinion, food should be all about balance, so this recipe is a great way to cut out the carbs from regular mashed potatoes, but keep all the amazing flavor. And if you really want to be healthy, the cheese is totally optional. Either way, you’re going to love this tasty Cauliflower Mash recipe!

And Cauliflower mash is actually so easy to make. It’s basically the same process as making mashed potatoes, but with cauliflower instead! Boil the cauliflower, blend it into a creamy consistency, then add in the extras. 

You can use a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. (Or smash by hand!)

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Head Cauliflower leaves removed and broken into large florets
  • 4-6 Garlic Cloves finely chopped and divided
  • 2 cups Chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 cups Water
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated 
  • ¼ cup cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon Chopped Thyme 
  • 1 teaspoon Chopped Rosemary 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Place the cauliflower florets in a large pot and cover with broth and water.

Add in half of the garlic and a good pinch of salt and pepper. 

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-18 minutes, or until cauliflower is fork-tender.

Using a colander, strain the cooked cauliflower and place it into a food processor. 

Add in the remaining garlic, herbs, grated cheese and butter. As the food processor is processing, slowly add in the milk. 

Process until smoothly pureed.

Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Sprinkle with fresh chopped herbs.

Enjoy!

Tip: The cauliflower is not covered fully by the water and broth, this way it will get steamed. 

Cauliflower Mash is a great side with Steak and a glass of Scout and Cellar The Resident Zinfandel!

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Blogs, Recipes

DELICIOUS RATATOUILLE

It’s ratatouille season! 

Ratatouille is a classic summer French style stew, it’s fun to say and even has an adorable Disney movie named after it!

Ratatouille is packed with summer vegetables: tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini and bell peppers and it’s pretty easy to make!

With a little imagination, there are endless ways to serve ratatouille. For Sunday dinner, toss it with pasta or alongside grilled chicken or fish. Or for an easy weeknight dinner, serve with a dollop of goat cheese or with a fried egg on top. It’s even tasty straight from the fridge as a snack (it’s delicious cold)! Seriously the possibilities are limitless! 

For the tomatoes, I love the brand Pomi! They only have one ingredient: TOMATOES! You can find Pomi chopped tomatoes in the canned vegetable aisle. Pomi is usually on the top shelf. 

Looking for wine to pair with Ratatouille? Scout & Cellar 2018 VEINTE MALBEC, Lush and fruit-forward with blueberry, black plum and wildberry jam balanced by mocha on a fresh, well-structured frame with round tannins and a lingering finish. DELICIOUS!

INGREDIENTS

  • 26.46 oz Pomi Chopped Tomatoes
  • 14.5 oz Diced Tomatoes, drained
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced into cubes
  • 1 large red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, cut into ¾ squares
  • 2 medium zucchini , diced into ½-inch cubes
  • 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided, more to taste
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit 

Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper for easy clean-up, if desired.

On one baking sheet, toss the diced eggplant with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until lightly coated. Arrange the eggplant in a single layer across the pan, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and set aside.

On the other baking sheet, toss the bell pepper, and zucchini 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer. 

Place the eggplant pan on the middle rack and the other vegetables on the top rack. Set the timer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. 

Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and caramelizing on the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the garlic, stir, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 

Add the tomatoes, and use a wooden spoon to stir any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan into the mixture. Reduce the heat to medium-low, or as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer.

Once 15 minutes are up, remove both pans from the oven, stir, and redistribute the contents of each evenly across the pans. This time, place the eggplant on the top rack and other vegetables on the middle rack.

Bake until the eggplant is nice and golden on the edges, about 10 more minutes (the eggplant will be done sooner than the rest). Remove the eggplant from the oven, and carefully stir the eggplant into the simmering tomato sauce.

Let the zucchini and bell pepper pan continue to bake until the peppers are caramelized, about 5 to 10 more minutes. Then, transfer the contents of the pan into the simmering sauce. Continue simmering for 5 more minutes to give the flavors time to combine.

Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in 1 teaspoon olive oil, the fresh basil, dried orengo and red pepper flakes. 

Season to taste with additional salt and black pepper.

Serve in bowls, with additional chopped basil, or black pepper on top (all optional). 

Like all stews, this ratatouille’s flavor improves as it cools. It’s even better reheated the next day. Ratatouille keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for 4 days, or for several months in the freezer.

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Recipes

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Boats

Spaghetti squash is such a fun, underrated vegetable! 

Spaghetti squash is so healthy and versatile. You can simply enjoy it with some salt and pepper as a side dish, or drizzle it with melted butter or your favorite sauce.

Squash has little to no taste so it’s amazing the different flavor combinations you can come up with!  I wanted to do something a little different than just marinara so I thought it’d be fun to make individual squash boats tossed with a creamy sauce, broccoli and sausage. Chicken sausage that is.  Publix Greenwise Italian chicken sausage is DELICIOUS, but really you could use any type of sausage you’d like!  

Creating the “noodles” from this squash is so incredibly easy.  All you have to do is cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, bake them (cut side down) for about 30-40 minutes in the oven then start scraping with a fork!

The cream sauce is so flavorful and seriously so simple to make. To bring the sauce up a notch, I added a drizzle of truffle oil  but you can skip it, if you are not a truffle fan. 

Toss the spaghetti squash in with the broccoli and sausage and transfer everything into the squash boats.  Top with cheese, broil in the oven and enjoy!

This recipe pairs beautifully with Scout & Cellar Chardonnay!

Click the link to purchase a Clean-Crafted™️ bottle from Scout & Cellar!
https://scoutandcellar.com/?u=whiskawaykitchen

Spaghetti Squash Ingredients

  • 1 medium Spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Italian Seasoning 
  • Salt & Pepper 

Stuffing Ingredients

  • 4 Italian chicken sausage, removed from casings
  • Head of Broccoli, chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, chopped 
  • 3 tablespoons of White wine

Cream Sauce Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup White Wine
  • 3 ounces truffle oil (black or white), optional
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. shredded parmesan cheese
  • Salt and Pepper

Spaghetti Squash Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and ribbing. Drizzle the inside of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.

Place the spaghetti squash cut side down on the baking sheet and use a fork to poke holes. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned on the outside, fork tender, but still a little bit firm. The time will vary depending on the size of your squash. 

Remove from the oven and flip the squash so that it’s cut side up. When cool enough  to the touch, use a fork to scrape out the strands from the sides of the squash. Do not toss the empty squash halves. 

Stuffing Instructions

While the squash is roasting, prepare the stuffing. 

In a skillet, brown the sausage crumbles. Once browned transfer to a plate and deglaze the pan. 

Pour in 3 tablespoons or so (enough to cover the bottom of the pan 1/4″ or less) of white wine, with the heat still on, and scrape the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spatula vigorously as the liquid comes to a boil. 

Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the same skillet, once the butter has melted saute the broccoli for 3-5 minutes. 

Move the broccoli to the sides of the skillet, creating a well to add the garlic and shallot. Saute for one minute and then combine broccoli, garlic and shallots- sauteing for an additional 3-5 minutes. 

Once the squash is done, scoop the strands into the skillet with the broccoli mixture. 

Add the cooked sausage to the skillet and stir to combine. 

Cream Sauce Instructions

Add butter to a sauce pot. Turn the heat on medium. 

Once the butter has melted, add 4 tablespoons of flour, whisk until combined.

Pour heavy creamy, wine and truffle oil into the pot, whisk to combine. 

Once the mixture is hot, slowly whisk in the cheeses. 

Let the mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes until it’s thickened, stir occasionally. 

Season to taste with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to low.

Assembling Instructions

Drizzle cream sauce into the bottom of the squash halves.

Divide sausage and broccoli mixture among the halves.

Drizzle Cream sauce over top.

Sprinkle it with mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. 

Broil until cheese is browned and squash warmed through, 4 to 5 minutes. 

Serve hot with a glass of Scout & Cellar Chardonnay!

Shop for the perfect Chardonnay on my Scout & Cellar page

https://scoutandcellar.com/wine?u=whiskawaykitchen

Recipes

Zucchini Taco Boats

Looking for an alternative to your Taco Tuesday?

These Zucchini Taco boats are made with fresh zucchini stuffed with seasoned ground beef, bell peppers, and topped with cheese and salsa. But the filling could literally be anything, from chicken and corn, to meatballs with tomato sauce! 

They are low carb and keto diet friendly. 

Start with 3 or 4 small zucchini. 

I used a small cookie scoop to scoop out the middle of the zucchini, but you can also use a small spoon. I got a little close to the edge on one of them, but don’t worry about it. The meat filling will cover it up. I love using the insides of the zucchini I scooped out to add filler, so place the insides to the side.  

Pour 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa in a baking dish- I used Pace. Lay the boats on top of the salsa and sprinkle each with salt. 

Now it’s time to make the filling.  Heat a pan over medium-heat and cook the meat. You can use any ground meat, I used ground beef.  Once the meat is cooked, transfer to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out the same pan and add a drizzle of EVOO.

Sauté the insides of the zucchini. Make sure to cook it down to reduce the liquid. Then add bell peppers,- any color,  I used red and yellow. Sprinkle it with chili powder, cumin, and salt. Stir together and cook for about two minutes. Add the red onion and garlic. It should start to smell like it’s almost Taco time! 

Continue to cook until vegetables are softened and water has absorbed. Lastly, add the meat back to the pan, and stir together. Once it is combined, it’s time to fill up the boats. Go ahead and fill those babies up- don’t be shy! Let the meat spill over if you need to.

I love cheese and, what’s a taco if it doesn’t have any cheese on it? Cover the filled boats with shredded cheese. I used Cheddar but Monterrey Jack or a Mexican blend would work great, too. 

Place the baking dish in the 400°F preheated oven and cook for 20-25 minutes. 

This recipe  is great if you’re looking for a low-carb option for tacos, or need to get more veggies into your diet. Try them out for Taco Tuesday and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Zucchini
  • 1lb Ground Beef
  • 1/2 cup Mixed Red & Yellow Bell Peppers, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup Red Onion, diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced  
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 8 ounces Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Salsa

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400°F

Prepare your zucchini, cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a measuring spoon (teaspoon) to hollow out the zucchini forming a boat… save the insides and set aside. 

Pour salsa into a baking dish.

Place the zucchini boats in the same baking dish and sprinkle a small amount of salt over them.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef. Once cooked, transfer to a bowl. Wipe out the same pan and add a drizzle of EVOO.

Add the inside of the zucchini, water will release. Let it cook down to reduce the liquid, then add bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Stir together and cook for about two minutes. Then add the red onion and garlic.

Continue to cook until vegetables are softened and water has absorbed. Add the meat back to the pan, stir together. 

Once combined, fill each zucchini boat with the beef and vegetable mixture.

Top the zucchini boats with cheddar cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes or until zucchini has softened and cheese is melted.

Serve hot!