Saturday, December 31, 2011

Low Carb Eating


Make-Ahead Meatballs

In September we went back to Low Carb Eating around here. After my dad had a horrible reaction to Statin drugs, his doctor told him he needed to go on an Atkin's type diet. Ryan does much better on the diet as well. I'm not sure of my dad's cholesterol numbers but Ryan's off his Diabetes meds and totally controlling his blood sugar with diet. We've done okay over the holidays and even hosted 2 gatherings, I supplied food that they could eat and had everyone else bring the goodies and other sides.

Note: the kids and I are not on this diet but if we eat cereal and bread at breakfast, lunch, and snacks then we don't need carbs at dinner to balance. I sometimes make pasta or potatoes if the main dish needs it but I've stopped making rice since the kids really don't like it and my mom and I don't need the extra carbs either.

Dinners now look like a high protein main dish, a huge salad, and a vegetable (if I'm good, 2 if I'm really on the ball). Ryan and dad take care of their own breakfast and lunches- lots of eggs, sausage, cheese, and fish (for my folks). Dad makes jalapeno omelets that Jonah and Tovah really like and I found a baked omelet roll recipe that I want to try using jalapenos instead of ham. I'm finding Pinterest to be very helpful when searching for something new, I just need to make a low-carb board so I don't have to go back and weed through the pasta recipes.

Some of our favorite dinners (I'll link to the recipe if I have one):

  • Make-Ahead Meatballs- I'll type out the recipe at the end of this post
  • Upside Down Pizza
  • Corned Beef- I can't find the link or recipe, but basically after boiling it you glaze it with Honey Mustard and brown sugar and broil until bubbly. My family went from Corned Beef haters to lovers! I boil it with the cabbage and carrots but make oven fries out of the potatoes and the kids are happy.
  • Creamy Chicken Picasso - I also did a variation on this with my homemade enchilada sauce
  • Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork - I got an enamelled dutch oven for Christmas just to make this recipe
  • Cream of ??? Soup- 12 years ago when we first did Atkins I found that Alfredo Sauce in a jar has relatively few carbs and when thinned with 2-3c of milk makes a wonderful creamy soup. I add whateer I have on hand: cooked chicken, cooked bacon, broccoli, sauteed mushrooms, sauteed onions and peppers (red and yellow are my favorite), cauliflower, spinach. Ryan made a variation in the crockpot for a work potluck that he really liked- italian sausage and spinach. Once I had some leftover baked potatoes and I fried them up and let the kids add them to their own bowls- actually that night I just made basic soup and let everyone build their own bowls, it was the best option because no one threw away mushrooms they didn't want.
  • Roast Beef or Pork
  • Roast Chicken- I do 2 at a time in my Pampered Chef baker with lemon pepper, garlic, and chili powder

During the fall we grilled everything- chops, steaks, veggies; but even though our BBQ is under cover it's just too cold to stand out there most nights. We've cut back on Taco Night because my dad and Ryan only get Taco Salad and neither is excited about it. I'm going to try adding some dried beans in and see what happens, mainly because we are getting a little tired of meat all the time.

Make-Ahead Meatballs
10# hamburger
6 eggs
1 onion, finely minced so the kids don't see it
2t salt
2t black pepper
2t garlic powder

Mix well. Shape into 1" balls (I use a med. Pampered Chef scoop). Bake at 400-deg. for about 15 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle. Makes 160 meatballs. Freeze in meal size batches.

For our party I just transferred them into my crockpot once they were baked. I served BBQ sauce and Swedish Meatball Gravy (I had packets from Ikea) and cranberry sauce on the side. I also served Chicken, Sausage, & Peppers- I doubled the recipe and as each step was finished I added it to the crockpot.

Has our grocery budget gone up? I'm not sure that it has, Yes, I'm buying a lot more meat but I'm not buying a lot of snacks or baked goods or convenience foods and those are what always seemed to drive our bill up at Costco. Since I've been on break we've taken the time to go to Winco and Cash & Carry when we shop. During school Ryan usually does our shopping and I don't know if he'll continue.

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