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 Loaded “Baked Potato” Soup

Thick, creamy, and a low-carb alternative to Baked Potato Soup!

Loaded baked potato soup is prime comfort food, but it’s also loaded with calories. My lightened-up version swaps the potatoes for cauliflower while keeping all of the comforting appeal. Roasting the cauliflower takes this soup to the next level. Topped with all your favorite fixings, there’s nothing potato soup can do that this soup can’t.

Ingredients

  • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 sprigs thyme, divided
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, diced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Scout and Cellar Dove Hunt Dog Chardonnay
  • 6 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream
  • crispy bacon, crumbled
  • cheddar cheese
  • sliced scallions or green onion

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425°. 

Divide cauliflower between two large baking sheets. Drizzle each baking sheet with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and scatter 4 thyme sprigs on top.

Bake until cauliflower is golden and tender, about 20 minutes.

In a large pot (or dutch oven) over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy, about 8 minutes. Drain cooked bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate, reserving fat in the pot, then chop bacon into small pieces.

Add onion and celery to bacon fat and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, another minute, then pour in wine. Cook until wine has mostly reduced down, about 2 minutes.

Add roasted cauliflower to the pot and pour over chicken broth. Add bay leaf, all seasonings and remaining thyme sprigs. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the cauliflower is falling apart, about 20 minutes. 

Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs from soup. Let the mixture cool slightly then carefully pour it into a blender. Cover that center opening with a towel, holding your hand over the towel, and process the soup mixture on low at first (gradually increasing the speed) until completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. 

Pour the smooth soup back into the Dutch oven on the stovetop. 

Whisk in the heavy cream and sour cream.

Set it over medium heat to let it warm through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper, if needed

Serve warm with cheddar, chopped bacon, and chives.

Recipes, Soups

Bok Choy & Rice Noodle Soup

Did you know in China, soup is something that is always on the table, particularly at dinner. According to Chinese tradition, dinner should always include at least three dishes and one soup. Chinese soups are very easy to make and usually made with simple ingredients. And this recipe is no exception!

I absolutely LOVE the flavor and crunch bok choy brings to this fragrant garlicky ginger soup! If you can’t find Bok Choy, you can use any green, such as cabbage, spinach or other Asian greens.

This recipe also calls for one of my new favorite spices…Star Anise. I was first introduced to Star Anise by one of Gordon Ramsay’s recipes.The star-shaped pods look beautiful and have an exotic flavor you’ll fall in love with. It has earthy, subtly sweet spice that is perfect in savory dishes. Star Anise is also an ingredient in Chinese five spice, where it’s combined with fennel, cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns and cloves. So if you can not find Star Anise, you can use Chinese five spice.

Honestly this is one of my go to soups, it’s perfect in cold or even warm weather, who doesn’t love a nutritious, comforting, and flu-fighting soup! Get your grocery list together and let’s get cooking!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped, green and white divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger, fresh, minced)
  • 5 ½ cups chicken broth (or water)
  • 2 whole star anise or ¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice season
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 10 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 oz rice noodles
  • 1.5 heads bok choy, roughly chopped
  • sesame seeds (for topping)
  • red pepper flakes (for topping)

INSTRUCTIONS


Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium-sized stockpot over medium heat.
Saute the shallots over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the shallots turn translucent and start to soften. Stir often.
Add the white part of the green onions, garlic, and ginger to the shallots and mix.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes or until garlic and ginger is fragrant.
Carefully pour the chicken broth into the pot and bring to a simmer.
Add the star anise and soy sauce. Cover and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the lid from the pot and carefully remove and discard each star anise from the soup.
Add the mushrooms, uncooked noodles, and bok choy to the pot and simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until noodles and bok choy are tender.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with sesame seeds, the green parts of green onions and red pepper flakes.

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!