As part of her means to ensure that her children would be able to cook for themselves, my mother had a grand idea to make each of us prepare a dinner one night a week. Every week, without fail, I made meatballs. A pound of ground beef, an egg, breadcrumbs and seasoning – then into the oven they went while I boiled pasta and made a spaghetti sauce out of canned tomato sauce and tomato paste, onion and garlic powder and dried herbs. Sometimes I even made garlic bread to go on the side (along with salad). It was easily my favorite meal and I really liked being able to control the seasoning because I had a texture thing against onions that was *finally* trained out of me by Michael after a couple years of marriage (ie, he sat me down at the dinner table and watched me eat an entire plate of what amounted to curried onions with chickpeas. At the time, I nearly cried).
In any case, meatballs were my favorite dinner and turned a chore (cooking for a large and picky family) into something I could enjoy. Luckily, they are simple to make low carb friendly.
Italian Seasoned Meatballs
1 lb Ground Beef, thawed
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
1/3 cup Almond Flour
2 cloves Garlic, minced (or about 1 Tablespoon)
1 1/2 tablespoons dried Parsley
1 tablespoon dried Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Sweet Paprika
Salt and Pepper, as desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Chop up your garlic and set it aside. I mixed my dry ingredients (Parmesan, almond flour, and dried herbs and spices minus salt and pepper) in a separate bowl – but this is not necessary. Place the ground beef into a large bowl, breaking it up with your fingers as you do so. Add salt (I sprinkled maybe 1/4 teaspoon) and pepper (about 4 twists of my grinder), the egg and the chopped garlic, mix these until they are loosely incorporated. Do not be the person that mixes these ingredients with a spoon – get in that bowl with your hands, they’re the best tool for the job. Sprinkle the dry ingredients evenly over the top of the beef and then mix again until everything is incorporated – you don’t want any dry deposits or wet spots and the beef should begin to hold it’s shape.
Once you’re at that point, it’s time to roll! Make sure you have a cookie sheet – either grease it plenty or use parchment paper. I used parchment and the meatballs didn’t stick at all. The meatballs should be about an inch big – forming them is super easy. Just roll the beef mixture between the palms of your hand. That should make a nice, even ball shape. Throw the ball on the cookie sheet, make sure there’s a bit of room between each (they won’t expand, but you need the space in order to heat them evenly on all sides). Once you’ve rolled up all the meatballs, place the cookie sheet in the oven. It should take about 20 minutes to cook through, I flipped my meatballs midway through the cooking time – partially to make sure they weren’t sticking and partially to brown the other side.
This recipe makes what I consider to be four generous servings. You can serve the meatballs with a low carb marinara sauce or do what I did: make a pot of Italian Wedding soup.
Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 298 kcal
Fat: 17.8 g
Saturated Fat: 6.5 g
Total Carbohydrate: 3 g
Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 30.5 g