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Tue, 06/23/2020 - 13:57
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Are you missing Italian food?

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I do love Italian food. Sadly I can’t eat most of it unless I make it on my own. I still go to Italian restaurants these days, but now I either order a steak or a salad since I can’t have the yummy pastas they serve with it.

Today I’m going to feature a recipe to make meatballs. These Italian-style low-carb meatballs are easy to make ... just 30 minutes. They are keto, nut-free and make a perfect dinner or appetizer.

You can serve these over zucchini noodles, alone or even with a salad.

If you are looking for ways to make meatballs without using the dreaded breadcrumb word, try using almond flour, coconut flour, flax seed meal, crushed pork rinds or even grated parmesan cheese. To make your meatballs tender and juicy, soak the dry ingredients in your choice of milk. Use coconut milk beverage for nut-free or unsweetened almond milk. Heavy cream also works fine. Letting everything soak for a few minutes before adding the meat goes a long way in improving the texture of your meatballs.

Italian Style Meatballs

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup sunflower seed meal (or almond flour if not nut-free)

1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning

3/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

3 Tbsp. onion, grated

1 large egg

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley

1 lb. ground beef

3/4 cup marinara sauce (I use Rao’s marinara sauce)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil (grease if using foil).

In a large bowl, stir together the grated Parmesan cheese, sunflower seed meal, Italian seasoning, sea salt, and black pepper.

Whisk in the milk, grated onion, egg, garlic, and fresh parsley. Let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes.

Mix in the ground beef using your hands, until just incorporated. (Don’t over-mix to avoid tough meatballs.)

Form the mixture into 1 in (2.5 cm) balls and place on the lined baking sheet. (A small cookie scoop works well for this. If using your hands, use a gentle touch and don’t pack the meatballs too tightly.) Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the meatballs are barely done. (If you want them more golden, you can place them under the broiler for a couple of minutes.)

Top each meatball with marinara sauce. Return to the oven and bake for 3-5 minutes, until the sauce is hot and meatballs are cooked through. Garnish with additional fresh parsley.

Special thanks to Virginia Starks who is sharing her recipes for Shepherd’s Pie and a salad ... low-carb of course.

Shepherd’s Pie

Meat Mixture

2 lb. ground beef

1/4 lb. green beans

1 zucchini (about .75 lb.)

1 tin tomato paste

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp. dried basil salt and pepper to taste


1 head cauliflower (about 1.5-1.75 lb before trimming)

1 Tablespoon butter

2/3 cup ricotta cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees. 1. Brown ground beef in a pan until no pink remains. Drain cooled meat in a colander and return to pan.

2. Chop zucchini and green beans into aboujt 1/4-1/2 inch pieces.

Add to ground beef mixture and season with salt. pepper and basil.

3. Stir in tomato paste. The mixture will be fairly dry. This is okey, as the vegetables will release some liquid during baking. the mixture should be only warm by now. Add the egg to the meat mixture. Pat mixture into a 9 x 11 baking dish,

4. Chop cauliflower and steam until quite tender.

Remove from heat and mash with a potato masher, Add butter and mash until it’s melted.

Add ricotta cheese and continue to work with the masher until it is well mixed. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Spread evenly on top of meat miixture. Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Serves 6-8 Net carbohydrates per serving 6-8 g.

Cottage Cheese Salad

1 pint cottage cheese

1/2 cup green pepper chopped

1/2 cup onion chopped

1/2 cup radishes, chopped

Mix together about 1 hour before serving. Chill. I served on Lettuce leaf.