Chicken Curry Meatballs with Smokey Bacon Cream (Keto and Whole30)

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I’m pretty sure that these could be made with any meat, but today, I made them with chicken.  They had a fantastic flavor!  And the sauce?  All bets are off.  I’m going to make the sauce to put on pretty much everything.  I mean…bacon…coconut milk…where can you go wrong?

Full disclosure: these meatballs are pretty dense.  They’ll be small, but they pack a mad nutritional punch.  Per meatball, you’re looking at 11.2 grams of fat with half of it being saturated, 2.5 grams of carbs with just over half of that as fiber, 9 grams of protein, and the addition of chia seeds and ground flax meal.  That combined with the bacon fat and coconut milk…I ate three of them and was finished for the night.  They would also be good in a lettuce wrap, but tonight we ate them by their lonesome.

Buon appetito!

Chicken Curry Meatballs with Smokey Bacon Coconut Cream (Keto and Whole30)

20 servings

Nutrition per serving: 138 calories, 11.2 g fat (5.6 g saturated), 2.5 g carbs (1.3 g fiber, 1.2 g net carbs), 0.3 g sugar, 8.9 g protein

1# ground chicken

3 Tbsp coconut flour

2 Tbsp chia seeds

2 Tbsp ground flax meal

1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 ground turmeric

4 tsp curry powder, divided

1 tsp red curry paste

Salt

1 C canned full-fat coconut milk

6 oz bacon, chopped

Coconut oil

1.-In large bowl, mix chicken, coconut flour, chia seeds, ground flax meal, egg and yolk, garlic, spices, and 2 tsp curry paste in a bowl.  Mix until well combined.  Form into 20 small meatballs and chill for at least 30 minutes.

2.-Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy.  Remove and set aside.  Remove all but 1 Tbsp bacon grease.  To the bacon grease, add 1 Tbsp coconut oil.  When hot, add meatballs and brown for 30-40 seconds on each side.  Add coconut milk and 2 tsp curry paste.  Mix the paste into the sauce and cover pan.  When the coconut milk comes to a simmer, turn the heat down to medium-low and let cook for 6-8 more minutes.  Remove lid and stir to coat the meatballs with sauce.

3.-Serve with chopped basil or cilantro.  You could also serve this over cauli-rice.

Bacon-Wrapped Spinach and Pancetta Stuffed Portobello Caps (Keto and Primal)

Bacon-Wrapped Creamy Spinach and Pancetta Stuffed Portobellos

I love portobello mushrooms.  Like, when I was younger and used to hang out at the sheet music store pretty much every day (don’t judge–I’m a nerd), I would order a portobello burger from the restaurant next door pretty much every day.  They’re perfect.  They’re even more perfect when they’re stuffed with delicious creamy things.  But what would make it even better?  Wrapping it in bacon, duh.

These were something that I just sort of conceptualized this past weekend while I was sitting at the San Antonio Stars game with my son and a friend.  Magically, they were PERFECT on the first try.  Do you know how often that happens?  I can count on one hand the amount of times that has happened and not needed any tweaking.  Side bar: they are perfect as is; however, I really want to try these next time with pine nuts.

Bacon-Wrapped Spinach and Pancetta Stuffed Portobello Caps

Makes 4 caps

Nutrition per cap: Calories (165), Total Fat (12.3 g), Saturated Fat (4.7 g), Cholesterol (24.6 mg), Sodium (420.3 mg), Total Carbs (3.6 g), Fiber (1.2 g), Sugars (0.7 g), Net Carbs (2.4 g), Protein (8.5 g)

4 portobello caps

5 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained

2 Tbsp cream cheese, room temp

1 Tbsp sour cream

1/4 C grated Parmesan

1 oz pancetta

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 C chopped pecans, walnuts, or pine nuts

Salt and pepper, to taste

8 pieces of bacon

Olive oil

1.- Clean out portobello caps (scrape out gills and cut out stem) and brush them lightly with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt on both sides.  Place on foil-lined baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes on each side.

2.- Drain and squeeze spinach to remove excess water.  Lightly saute chopped pancetta over medium heat until heated through.  In medium bowl, mix cream cheese and sour cream until smooth.  Stir in spinach, pancetta, garlic, Parmesan, nuts, salt, and pepper.  Spoon about 1/4 C into each portobello cap.

3.- Place two bacon slices side-by-side on a cutting board or piece of plastic film.  Set the cap down and pull the bacon edges over, wrapping the cap.  Wrap each cap individually in plastic film and place on plate.  When all caps are wrapped and on the plate, chill for at least an hour.

4.- Heat oven to 400.  Place caps on foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until bacon is starting to crisp around the edges.

 

 

Lamb Kafta and Tzatziki (Keto and Primal–the Meatballs are Whole30 Compliant)

Lamb Kafta Meatballs

You all know how much I love Middle Eastern food.  There is no other set of flavors in the world that come close to competing.  The only thing about that is…Middle Eastern cuisine can be heavy on the bread.  I mean, many of the countries don’t even use utensils.  They just use pita.  And really, who wouldn’t rather use bread as a utensil?

I messed around with a few of my kafta recipes and found a good mixture of them that doesn’t use bread crumbs, nuts. or any other starch as filler, and they turned out perfectly!  They were so perfectly tender, juicy, and delicious!  The most important part is to use a food processor of some sort when making the meat mixture.  That way, everything was mixed (and further minced) really well.  The tzatziki lends itself well to the meatballs, as well as the lamb shawarma I made tonight (recipe to follow soon).  I might even eat it like yogurt–it has just under 1 g carbs per tablespoon (it’s about 0.7 g per tablespoon), but it’s not something you’ll eat huge quantities of.  Raw garlic can get spicy!

You can likely make these with any meat mince, but traditionally, they would be lamb.  Unless you REALLY don’t like lamb, try it out before you change up the meat.  It’s to die for!

Lamb Kafta

18 servings (1 meatball per serving)

Nutrition per serving: Calories (50), Fat (3.1 g), Saturated Fat (1.1 g), Cholesterol (15.7 mg), Sodium (15), Carbs (0.1 g), Protein (5.1 g)

1# ground lamb

1 Tbsp chopped mint

1 Tbsp chopped cilantro

2 Tbsp fresh thyme

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp ground pepper

1.- Heat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Finely chop mint, cilantro, and time.

2.- In the bowl of a food processor, break up the ground lamb into a few chunks.  Add spices, chopped herbs, and garlic.  Pulse for a minute or two until the meat is well-mixed and becoming smooth.

3.- Roll into 15-20 meatballs (I made 18, so the nutrition is based on 18 meatballs) and place on baking sheet.  Cook in oven for 18-20 minutes.  Serve with tzatziki.

Tzatziki

Makes about 3 C.  Serving size is 1 Tbsp.

Nutrition: Calories (20), Fat (1.6 g), Saturated Fat (0.5 g), Cholesterol (1.6 mg), Sodium (3.4 mg), Total Carbs (0.7 g), Sugar (0.5 g), Protein (0.9 g)

16 oz full-fat Greek yogurt (2 C)

2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced (set back 1/2 cucumber’s worth of fine dice in a bowl and save)

1 tsp basil

1 tsp tarragon

2 tsp chopped mint

2 tsp chopped dill

5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1/4 C extra virgin olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

1.- Put everything except the reserved cucumber mince in a food processor or blender.  Pulse until mixed well.

2.- Pour into bowl, stir in reserved cucumber, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  I added about a tsp of Lebanese seven-spice as well, but that’s just a personal preference.

3.- Chill at least 30 minutes before serving.  This goes well with pretty much every meat on the planet.

 

 

Artichoke Dip Chicken (Keto and Primal)

Keto Artichoke Chicken

One of my favorite things in the world is artichoke dip…but a specific artichoke dip from a local place here called Cerroni’s Purple Garlic.  I don’t know what it is about it (though I think they may have recently changed their recipe), but it has this great flavor, texture, and the way they serve it is great!  First, it is generally still bubbling when they bring it out.  Like…for 10 minutes after it gets to your table.  They serve it with a basket of toasted bread.  It’s all I want to eat when we go there.  If I could, I would make it my entire meal.  Alas, I found out they use flour in it, so I can’t even get it and eat it without the bread (yes, it’s good enough to just eat with a spoon).  At one point a few weeks ago, I started trying to replicate it, and though I’ve gotten close, I’m not a dead ringer yet.  That being said, artichoke dip with fried chicken is DELIGHTFUL.

There are two ways that I cook this, and I’ll let you decide which way you make it: chicken on top, or chicken on bottom.  If you cook the chicken on top, the skin retains that great crisp that you work hard to get in the pan, prior to baking.  BUT…if you pile the artichoke dip on top of the chicken, it really keeps the chicken moist and the flavor soaks in.  It’s good both ways, so try it both ways and see how you like it.  This is also one of those meals that usually holds me over for 15-20 hours before I eat again, depending on what I ate prior to this.

Artichoke Dip Chicken

Serves 4

4 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)

1/2 C sour cream

1/2 C mayonnaise (homemade is the best)

8 oz soft cream cheese

1 C grated Parmesan

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1.- Heat iron skillet to medium.  Salt and pepper the skin of the chicken.  Put chicken in the pan and fry it for 10-15 minutes per side (until they are almost cooked through and the skin is crisp).

2.- In medium bowl, use mixer to mix sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese, garlic, and Parmesan until smooth.  Add in salt and pepper to taste.  Fold in the artichoke hearts.

3.- Heat oven to 350.  If cooking chicken on bottom, place chicken in the bottom of am 8×8 glass baking dish.  Cover with artichoke dip.  If cooking chicken on top, spread the artichoke dip on bottom of 8×8 glass baking dish and place the chicken on top.  I grated a little Parmesan over the chicken skin at this point.

4.- Put dish in oven, uncovered, and bake for 30-40 minutes (until dip is starting to bubble).  Take out and enjoy!

Nutrition (per serving):  Calories: 596; Carbs: 12 g; Fiber: 3 g; Net Carbs: 9 g; Fat: 48 g; Protein: 32 g; Sugar: 4 g

 

Keto Chicken and Waffles

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…Because sometimes you need some comfort food…especially when you haven’t had bread in over a month.  Am I right?  These waffles are a recipe I made out of a few different recipes.  I didn’t want to use 400 types of paleo flours.  I didn’t want it to be high-carb, but I DID want it to be high fiber.  I wanted it to be similar to regular waffles, but not *so* identical that I would start trolling for syrup.

And fried chicken.  Everything is made better with fried chicken.  For the love of all things holy, use the dark meat cuts too!  I know too many people who only eat the white meat.  I’ll break it down for you: white meat is only protein (and a little fat, but mostly protein).  Dark meat has protein, fat, and a whole lineup of vitamins!  It’s important to get vitamins when partaking in a keto diet, especially if you aren’t getting your daily allotment of carbs from berries and vegetables.

So go drag out these ingredients and get out the waffle maker!  (Tip: use a high heat setting on your waffle iron…I used “medium” and as you can see, they are blonde.  They are only browned in the center, where the iron really hit the batter)

Side bar: These are most definitely kid-friendly.  I’m pretty sure Isak ate a stack of these (okay, three) in a few seconds, then started picking pieces off my plate to eat.

Waffles

Makes 10 small waffles

8 eggs

1/4 C butter melted + 1 Tbsp cold butter, divided

1/2 C canned coconut milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 C sifted coconut flour

Heaping 1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt

  • If you want to make these more dessert waffles, add any mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, lemon zest, or poppy seeds.
  • I suspect you could bake this in a muffin pan and use it like a base for strawberry shortcake, but I haven’t tried it yet.  I’m planning on doing that this weekend

1.- Whisk eggs 3-4 minutes, until bubbly and starting to pale in color.  Whisk in the butter at a slow drizzle.  Add vanilla and coconut milk and whisk until well-combined.

2.- In small bowl, mix sifted coconut flour, baking soda, and salt until combined.  Slowly whisk dry ingredients into the egg mixture until starting to thicken.  Let it rest about 10-15 minutes, so the coconut flour can absorb more liquid.  It will get thicker.  If it gets too thick (like, if you let it sit for an hour), add a little more coconut milk.

3.- Cook according to the directions on your waffle iron.

 

For this particular recipe, I fried chicken thighs and set one thigh on top of two waffles.  I sprinkled the skin on the thighs with salt and pepper, and friend them for about 10-12 minutes on each side in a seasoned cast iron skillet.

 

Nutritional Content per Waffle: Calories (96), Total Fat (7g), Saturated Fat (3.3g), Cholesterol (155.7 mg), Sodium (58 mg), Total Carbs (3.4g), Fiber (2.4g), Net Carbs (1g), Sugars (0.8g), Protein (6.3g)