Low Carb Fruits & Veggies

#ThisGirlLovesToEat

Protein Packed Meatballs

proteinpackedmeatballs

I am guilty of not getting enough protein in my diet and need to take every chance I can to pack extra grams in where I can.  These #KetoFriendly meatballs can be served as an appetizer, between meal snack, light lunch main with a salad or vegetables, or even added to a sauce with zoodles for a perfect #KetoMeal.  Of course, if you aren’t Keto, feel free to add them to any rice, potato, or pasta dish you choose!

Protein Packed Meatballs

Combine everything except the ground beef in the container for your blender, food processor, or Vitamix.  Set your speed to the lowest, or start with a pulse, to begin chopping your spinach up.  Once the spinach is broken down, turn the speed up to medium to make sure your ingredients are combined but not liquified.  It should only take about 15 – 20 seconds.

Put your ground beef into a medium mixing bowl and pour/scrape the blender contents on top.  I put on rubber gloves at this point and use my hands to mix everything thoroughly.

Give the bottom of the basket of your air fryer a very light, quick spritz with olive oil spray.  Roll balls with about 1 TBLS of the meat mixture (doesn’t have to be exact) and set them into your air fryer basket.  Leave a bit of space between them, you want the air to circulate around them so they cook evenly.

When you’ve filled your basket with 12-15 about 1″ meatballs (that’s how many fit in my Dash Deluxe 6 Qt Air Fryer basket), set your timer for 9 minutes at 375° F.

Shake your basket at about 6 minutes to make sure the bottoms release and get browned.  When they’re lightly browned all over, remove them from the basket and cook the rest of the meatballs.  You should end up with about 30.

If desired, serve with your favorite low-carb / sugar free marinara sauce.  Some good ones are Rao’s, Newman’s Own and Yo Mama’s.  You can see all of them (and their nutrition information) at this link#ThisGirlLovesToEat

Nutrition Information (Serving Size 5 Meatballs)

  • 231 Calories
  • 15 g Fat
  • <1 g Carbs
  • 18 g Protein

 

Keto Friendly Anytime Smoothie

AnytimeSmoothieDeciding how you spend your carb allowance, when you are following a #KetoLifestyle, presents you with many options, depending on what stage of Keto you are at.  When you are in your induction and weight loss phase, smoothies are generally not the way to spend your day’s allotted carbohydrates, but this one tops out at 9 Net Carbs so it can be included from day 1.  This light and frothy smoothie a great #PickMeUp for that late afternoon slump plus it gives you a big protein, vitamin and fiber boost without piling on the calories.

Once you’ve hit maintenance phase smoothies packed with a higher berry to spinach ratio are a great way to get your fruits and veggies in with relatively little impact on your carb count.

Keto Friendly Anytime Smoothie

  • 1 Cup Cold Water
  • 1 Cup Halved Strawberries
  • 2 Cups (packed) Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 1 Scoop No Carb Protein Powder (I use Isopure Zero Carb Creamy Vanilla)
  • 1 Cup Ice Cubes

Starting with your water, put all of your ingredients, except your ice, into your blender or Vitamix.  If you have a smoothie setting, like I do on my Vitamix, include the ice, switch to that mode and hit start.  Your Vitamix will stop when it’s ready.  Otherwise, start on a low setting until ingredients are combined then turn your machine up to medium high and blend until smooth.  Without turning your machine off, Open your ingredient addition port (hole in top of blender lid) and add in the ice until desired consistency.

Nutrition Information (Serves 1)

  • 162 Calories
  • 0 g Fat
  • 8 g Carbohydrates
  • 28 g Protein

22 Minute Chicken Schwarma

Earlier today I posted recipes for #KetoFlatbread and Lemon Tahini Sauce.  Now, thanks to this #HowToVideo, here’s something to top your Keto flatbread with! #ThisGirlLovesToEat

22 Minute Chicken Schwarma

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 4 Keto Flatbreads
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 1/2 large English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/4″-thick half-moons (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 3/4 cup small cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (about 5 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, 2 Tbsp. oil, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, 12–15 minutes; wrap pitas in foil and warm in oven during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  2. Toss cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in another medium bowl.
  3. Thinly slice chicken. Place 1 warmed Keto Flatbread on each plate and top evenly with chicken and tomato-cucumber salad. Drizzle each Keto Flatbread with 2 Tbsp. Lemon Tahini Sauce; top with dill and mint. Serve remaining Lemon Tahini Sauce alongside.

Broiled Flat Iron Steak

broiledflatironsteakWhen I’m meal prepping, I like to multi-task.  Often I have something in the air fryer, the pressure cooker, in the oven, and even in the broiler simultaneously.  It’s easy to do that when you pre-plan your meals and know your timeline.

I love this marinade for flat iron steak (or any cut of beef) because it allows me to do other dishes while the meat sits in the bag to absorb all of the flavors for four hours.  If you marinate the steak while you’re at work during the day, you’ll be ready to have a great meal on the table for your family in under 30 minutes.  Steam a package of vegetables in the microwave and it’s a simple clean up as well!

Broiled Flat Iron Steak

  • 2 Pounds Flat Iron Steak
  • 2/3 Cup Red Wine (I used full-bodied Westerly Merlot)
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 4 Cloves Crushed Garlic
  • Freshly Ground Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a gallon sized zip bag then add the raw steak to the bag.  Push out as much air as you can then zip the bag closed.  Place the bag in the refrigerator and allow the meat to marinate for 4-6 hours.

Set the oven temperature to broil.

Line a broiler pan with foil and top with either the broiler pan top or a roasting rack if one fits on top of your pan.  My oven is a Kitchen Aid and didn’t come with a broiler pan.  There was an option to order one by mail or $49 + Tax and shipping.  I searched the part number on Amazon and found it (with the included roasting rack) for $34.51 + free shipping!  I use it all the time!

When oven has reached it’s temperature, place the pan under the broiler and cook for 6-8 minutes per side.  If you have a nice thick piece of steak you should get a medium end result.  Adjust your time up or down to fit your desired degree of doneness.

For most tender result, slice diagonally across the grain.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Nutrition Information (8 – four ounce servings)

  • 331 Calories
  • 26 g Fat
  • 3 g Carbs
  • 21 g Protein

Amazing Lemon Everything Sauce

There’s no way around it, when you are dieting or following a low carb lifestyle, you will get tired of the same old, go-to, chicken or fish recipes.  It’s inevitable.  You can avoid this by keeping a stockpile of flavorful sauces to change up your routine.  This lemon sauce is one I’ve used forever!  It found it in the November 2014 edition of Cooking Light Magazine, and it’s a perfect solution to chicken burn out!  This sauce is so versatile that you can spoon it over any style chicken or fish, use it on veggie kebabs, drizzle it over a pile of zoodles, sauteed or steamed asparagus, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, or even dip luscious steamed artichoke leaves in it!

Amazing Lemon Sauce

  • 2 Cups Unsalted Chicken Stocklemoneverythingsauce
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 2 TBLS Grated Lemon Zest
  • 2 + 1/2 TBLS Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 TBLS Olive Oil

Heat the chicken stock over medium-high heat in a heavy, medium saucepan to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around the edge. Do not boil.  Once you reach the tiny bubble stage, turn the heat down as low as you can.

Combine the eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the wire whip attachment.  Beat on medium until the eggs are frothy and lighter in color.  If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a hand blender or whisk by hand in a medium bowl or use your Vitamix or blender.

Slowly add about a cup of the hot chicken stock into the egg mixture 1/4 cup at a time, while stirring on low speed, or lightly by hand, constantly with a whisk.

Once you’ve mixed the cup of stock in, add the egg, lemon, and stock mixture back to the pot, stirring to combine.  Warm the sauce gently, until it thickens enough to a spoon. Turn off the heat.

Whisk in the olive oil to finish and serve warm over your favorite meat, fish or vegetables.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Nutrition Information (per 2 TBLS)

  • 19 Calories
  • 1.4 g Fat
  • 1.5 g Protein
  • <1 g Carbs
  • 28 mg Cholesterol
  • 84 g Sodium
  • 5 mg Calcium

Air Fryer Chicken Kebabs

chickenonrachOne way to meal prep for the week is to do kebabs in the air fryer.  Not only is it fast, but it’s a perfect way to measure out exactly what you’re eating.  Today I made chicken kebabs and put them together with 3 different sides for 3 different healthy meals this week.  These can easily be laid atop a bed of fresh spinach topped with olive oil and salt & pepper, beside a green salad, or on a mound of cauliflower mash.  Except for needing to remove and heat the kebabs separately with the salad, it’s a quick & easy minute in the microwave for a hearty weekday lunch or dinner.  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Air Fryer Chicken Kebabs

  • 1 – 12 oz Chicken Breast, Trimmed (I used chicken breast fillets)
  • 1 Medium Zucchini, Cut into 1/2″ Slices
  • 18 Plum or Cherry Tomatoes
  • 6 Bamboo Skewers or metal skewers supplied with rack
  • 3 TBLS Low Carb BBQ Sauce

Cut the skewers (if using bamboo skewers & necessary) with a pair of kitchen shears, down to just short of the length of your Air Fryer Tray.  Soak the skewers in water for 10-15 minutes.

Cut your chicken into about 1″ Chunks and toss in 3 TBLS low carb BBQ sauce.

Thread each skewer with 3 slices Zucchini (About 1 oz), 3 plum or cherry tomatoes, 2 oz chicken breast cut into 4 chunks.  Start and end with a piece of zucchini for stability and alternate pieces of chicken and cherry tomato with a piece of zucchini in the middle.

If you have a rack for your air fryer (for holding skewers), place as many skewers as will fit without crowding (mine holds 3).  Cook for 9-10 minutes at 350° F then remove cooked skewers and finish cooking the rest.  Brush with more BBQ if desired.

Nutrition Information (Serving Size 2 Skewers)

  • 166  Calories
  • 1.2 g  Fat
  • 10 g  Carbs
  • 28 g  Protein