low carb diet

Lamb Meatballs with Dill Dip

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It’s about time I post this recipe. I must have made these meatballs about 4 times in the past month alone.  My sister made these Aromatic Lamb Meatballs by Nigella Lawson while I was visiting her one day and they were the bomb. So, of course, I decided to change up the recipe and make my own Paleo version with an optional side of dairy goodness. This whole meal pictured above took me about 1 hour and 15 minutes to make, veggies, dip, and all included. If it was just the dip and meatballs it would have taken me under an hour. I served it with cooked frozen spinach (quick and cheap) mixed with grass-fed butter, s&p. And asparagus that was on sale at Weis, rubbed in oil, granulated garlic, s&p, then broiled on high for 8-10 minutes.

Switching gears here, I’m going to share a short, sweet, and random story. I recently went to one of my best friends birthday dinners and one of the ladies in the dinner group told me she’s a fan of my food blog and asked about how I got into the Paleo diet, how I got into cooking, and so on. Let me just say, I LOVE when anyone asks me this. I will save the whole story of how I started the Paleo diet for another post. But I must say, instances like this remind me of why I started this blog and why I’m sharing my recipes. So, this is a big thank you to that person. It’s a great motivation to keep posting and keep up with this blog. Thank you! 🙂

 

Ingredients:

Makes about 15-17, 1.5 inch meatballs

1lb ground lamb

1/4 cup finely diced yellow onion

3 tablespoons almond flour (optional)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

 

Yogurt Dip:

2% or whole Fage Greek Yogurt-Whole is best

lemon juice

fresh dill, chopped

Granulated garlic

salt & pepper

*all of these ingredients don’t have measurements because I taste as I add them until I get the right balance. I advise starting by adding 1/2 teaspoon of s&p and garlic, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of chopped dill. Then taste and add more of each as you feel it needs. Taste as you go, only add a little at a time. I have extra pics below to give a better idea of what the final dip looked like.

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Combine all meatball ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Form mixture into 1.5 inch balls (about the size of golf balls) The mixture will be pretty sticky.

2. Bake meatballs for 25-28 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle.

3. While the meatballs cook, make your dip. Grab your container of Fage (I had a medium size tub, refer to pics below) and mix it up with a spoon until smooth. Add salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, and chopped dill. Mix well, taste, add whatever you think it needs. Only add a little at a time.

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4. Serve with the dip and some broiled veggies or chopped spinach and enjoy!

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Paleo Mixed Berry Pumpkin Muffin Bars

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OMG these are delicious. I can see why they’re from a blog called PaleOMG. Seriously, her recipes are amazing. I love messing around with them and giving them my own personal cooking touches, adding things here and there. She actually liked this photo on my Instagram yesterday! Yeeaaah I’m such a geek, but I’m a huge fan of hers, so I was really excited about it.

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The best part about these bars?….I doubled the original recipe and it cost me $5. Yes, $5 for 16 bars the size of the palm of my hand, homemade, and healthy! But I have to add, I only needed three more ingredients (a lemon, more frozen berries, and pumpkin puree) to make these. This may seem like a huge ingredients list, but if you’re a regular Paleo/low carb dieter, you probably have coconut flour, maple syrup, honey, nuts, and basic spices already in your pantry. Also, I already had some frozen berries in my freezer. I love keeping frozen berries as back up because I’m a supporter in trying to eat what’s in season. The berries I like to eat aren’t usually available during the winter or else they’re probably shipped from outside of the country, or they’re probably genetically modified or something…I don’t know…I think eating what’s in season is just a nice habit to get into. Think about it, google around. You can google what produce is in season and when and post the list to your fridge. I’m no expert on this sort of thing, but my sister is (almost) a certified nutritionist and I get a lot of advice about food from her.

On a totally random note…I saw Alton Brown LIVE! In Baltimore, last Saturday. I was elated! I have a pretty great guy, getting me such a great gift for Valentines Day. The man knows me so well. I wish I was half as good as buying gifts for people as he is….

If you don’t know who Alton Brown is….*siggghhhh*…….

 
 

Yields two 8×8 inch baking dishes. Feel free to half the recipe and make one dish.

Ingredients:

For the pumpkin muffin part:

2/3 cup pure pumpkin puree (if you get a can, save the leftovers for pumpkin waffles, recipe coming soon!)

2/3 pure maple syrup

1/2 melted coconut oil..or butter..or whatever oil you have that you think would work.

6 eggs, whisked

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut flour (Bobs Red Mill brand- cool, employee owned company. My sister met Bob too. Not the happiest of guys..)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 pinches of salt

 

Berry layer:

4 cups frozen mixed berries (thawed) or fresh berries. You could use just blueberries, cherries…get creative

4-5 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut butter

Zest of one lemon

Juice of one lemon

4 tablespoons coconut flour

 

Topping:

1/2-1 cup of any nuts you like or have lying around. I used raw almonds (banged it up in a zip loc bag using a butter knife handle), macadamia nuts, and walnuts. Could add shredded coconut to that if you want to. Again, get creative!

1/2-1 teaspoon sesame seeds. Add how ever much you like, really.

1-2 tablespoons of honey (depending on the amount of nuts you’re using)

generous sprinkle of cinnamon

pinch of salt

 
 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease two 8×8 baking dishes with butter or coconut oil. Then, line the bottom with parchment paper. You want one, long 8×8 strip, so the edges hang over two sides. This allows you to take the bars out more easily once cooked and cooled.

3. Mix together the wet ingredients- pumpkin, vanilla, eggs, syrup, and oil-in a large/medium bowl.

4. In a separate and smaller bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients of the pumpkin muffin part- flour, spices, baking powder, and baking soda. Then add to the wet ingredients in the large bowl and mix it all together until well combined.

5. Divide the batter among the two greased baking dishes, pouring it into the bottom of each and spreading it out evenly with a spatula. Then pop that in the oven for 30-35 minutes. You will know it’s cooked all the way through if you poke the center with a toothpick/skewer and it comes out clean.

6. While that’s cooking, combine the thawed out berries, lemon juice, lemon zest, butter, and honey in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat. If you have fresh berries, you’ll know they’re done when the blueberries start to burst. If you have frozen berries, you want the fruit to be cooked to the point where you can easily squish the berries with a spoon/spatula. Then add the coconut flour and stir until well incorporated. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to cool.

7. Once the muffin part has finished cooking, divide the fruit mixture among both dishes and spread out evenly again with the spatula.

8. Combine all of the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl and sprinkle/crumble it on the top of the bars.

9. Put them back in the oven for 15 minutes. Let it cool for at least 15 minutes before attempting to remove the bars from the pan, moving it to a cooling rack.

10. Refrigerate the bars, uncovered on plates for a half hour to one hour. After that it will be much easier to cut into rectangles. Keep leftovers refrigerated.

Paleo Reuben

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One thing I really, really missed when I started the Paleo diet were Reubens. I could eat them all day, every day. While on this diet I would only have a Reuben once or twice a year. Now, I have finally found a way I can eat them without the carb and grain loaded bread. Truly amazing. This was so much fun to experiment with and so easy to make. If you’re strict Paleo, Health Bent has a thousand island dressing recipe with only 5 ingredients. Also, you can substitute the heavy cream with full fat coconut milk in my recipe. Always use full fat cream, yogurt, cheese, etc. No point getting low-fat. It tastes worse in recipes, it’s usually higher in carbs, and fat does not make you fat. I can’t stress that enough. The whole ‘eating low fat’ thing was a fad that started in the 80s and just needs to die off already. If you would like to look into this, read Gary Taubes book Why We Get Fat.

 

…How did that just turn into a rant?….I guess that’s what happens when you write in a ‘stream of consciousness’ fashion…anyway…

 
 
Ingredients:

For the waffles (makes 4-5 square slices in my waffle maker):

2 cups almond flour

3 eggs, whisked

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons melted butter, cooled, or your fat of choice

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2-1 teaspoon  poppy seeds

1/2-1 teaspoon sesame seeds (sprinkle it and eyeball it. Doesn’t have to be exact. Same goes for poppy seeds)

1/2 cup heavy cream or coconut milk

salt and pepper to taste

 

For the reuben goodness:

.3-.5 lb corned beef, thinly sliced from the deli (get however much you want! you can always double this recipe!)

1/2-1 cup sauerkraut (again, as much as you want!)

Thousand island dressing

4-8 slices of swiss cheese

1/2-1 tablespoon butter

 
 

Directions:

1. Heat your waffle iron. In a large bowl, mix the almond flour, baking soda, garlic powder, s&p, and seeds. Then add the whisked eggs, heavy cream, and melted butter until well combined. Make sure your butter is cool so it won’t cook the eggs. Then spoonful the batter into you waffle iron and poof…Paleo sandwich bread.

2. When the waffles come out of the iron, set them on your plate(s), lay however many slices of swiss cheese you want on one side, so it will slightly start to melt over it.

3. In a large skillet, melt a tablespoon or 1/2 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add however much corned beef and sauerkraut you want for your sandwiches. You can keep them separate, but in the same skillet. Or mix it. Whatever you like. Heat it up, flipping/stirring, so the corned beef slices start to curl and get slightly browned.

4. Straight from the skillet, pile the corned beef and sauerkraut right on top of the swiss cheese so it melts even more.  Top it with dressing and another waffle slice.