Who needs bread crumbs to make meatballs? Not me! Liver is very nutrient dense, but not everyone loves it all on it’s own, so most people don’t eat it. Liver is probably the BEST source of bioavailable iron and vitamin A, and since iron deficiency is one of the top nutrient deficiencies world wide, we need more liver (and organ meats) in our lives. These super nutrient packed, keto friendly, low carb, and gluten free meatballs are sure to please the taste buds and deliver a wallop of nutrition at the same time. Coconut flour is the secret binding weapon to keep these meaty morsels from falling apart. Can be made dairy free by using nutritional yeast instead of cheese.
Serve with a spicy red sauce, a side of cauliflower mash and a big ol’ salad.
1/4 pound beef liver, frozen
1 -2 tablespoons bacon grease
1 small onion, minced
1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
2 large eggs
2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup shredded pecorino romano cheese
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon salt
Remove liver from freezer and thaw for a few minutes, just to the point where it is easy to grate it by hand. Set aside in large bowl that will be used to mix the ground beef.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and then add the bacon grease. Stir in the onion and mushrooms and saute until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool
In the large bowl that contains the liver, combine the eggs, ground beef, tomato paste, cheese, coconut flour and salt. Add onions and mushrooms when cool. Blend together with your hands until well mixed. Shape into 2 – inch balls and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 – 25 minutes, until cooked through (thermometer inserted should read 155 degrees F).
Serve. May be cooled and refrigerated for several days, or frozen for later use.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 24 meatballs. 3 – 4 meatballs makes a main meal or use individually as snacks or party appetizers.
Nutrition Info (per meatball)
Macros: 124 calories, 2 g carbs, 0.6 g fiber, 8 g fat, 11 g protein
Vitamins and Minerals (DV): B12 70%, riboflavin 15%, niacin 14%, B6 10%, vitamin A 32%, copper 37%, iron 7%, selenium 13%, zinc 14%
I’m launching a 90 Day Keto Challenge in January 2016. Would you like to join me? It includes weekly webinars, meal plans and shopping list, a workbook, and private online support group. For more info, click here.
This is the most nutrient-dense keto dish I have created so far! Go ahead – scroll down there and check out the nutrient information on this recipe. Amazing, right? One of the secrets to packing in so much nutrition in this dish is using chorizo, a spicy Mexican sausage that is made from organ meats. You get tons of flavor in addition to all the nutrients organ meats provide us. (It really is delicious, I promise!) (If you can’t find chorizo, you can substitute spicy Italian sausage.)
And if you love cheese, you’ll love this dish because I was extra generous with the cheese ingredients: 1 pound of mozzarella and 2 pounds of ricotta!
Spicy Keto Lasagna with Pepperoni and Chorizo
10 ounces of fresh spinach
9 ounces chorizo
1/2 pound pepperoni
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Frank’s hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon water
32 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese (I bought mine at Trader Joe’s)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 pound of zucchini, sliced 1/8th inch thin, length-wise (I used a hand-held mandoline like this one)
1 pound whole milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat a large pot of water to boiling and blanch the spinach. (Cook in the boiling water for about 1 minute, until it turns bright green.) Remove from heat and pour into colander. Set aside to drain and cool. (Alternately, you can use frozen spinach; defrost and drain well.) Squeeze out all excess water once it has cooled.
In a medium skillet, cook the chorizo for 3 – 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked through. With a slotted spoon, remove the cooked chorizo and place into a small bowl, leaving most of the grease behind in the pan. Chop the pepperoni and add to the same bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, Frank’s hot sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of water. Stir to combine. Stir the tomato mixture into the medium bowl of pepperoni and chorizo. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, eggs, salt, and pepper and stir well. Set aside.
In a 9×13 inch glass baking dish, drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Layer half of the zucchini slices over the bottom of the dish, overlapping slightly if needed. Spread out all of the ricotta mixture over the first layer of zucchini. Top the ricotta mixture with the spinach (be sure to have squeezed out all excess water). Now top with the remaining zucchini, overlapping again, if needed. Top with the meat and tomato mixture, spreading out evenly. Next, sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and spread out evenly.
Place the baking dish onto a sheet pan. Cover baking dish with foil and place into preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 20 – 30 minutes, or until the edges of the cheese start to brown and the whole dish is bubbly at the edges. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Here are more pictures of the layers as I went along:
First layer: olive oil and zucchini noodles (I had a GIANT zucchini to work with)
Ricotta cheese layer. Creamy goodness.
Spinach goes next.
Another layer of zucchini noodles, topped with the meat and tomato mixture (I started to put the mozzarella on before I snapped a pic, oops!).
Top with tons of cheese, then cover with foil and you’re ready to bake.
Yield: 8 servings
Nutrition info: 764 calories, 9.8 carbs, 1.6 fiber, 60 g fat, 45 g protein RDA info: thiamin 26%, vitamin B12 37%, riboflavin 47%, niacin 19%, vitamin B6 27%, folate 27%, vitamin A 91%, vitamin C 35%, vitamin D 15%, vitamin E 10%, vitamin K 232%, calcium 70%, iron 19%, magnesium 20%, manganese 32%, potassium 22%, selenium 71%, zinc 35%
Oh EM gee, this is delicious! If you’ve never had chicken hearts, they taste similar to dark meat chicken, just a tad firmer. Like all organ meats, chicken hearts are rich in bioavailable nutrients, especially minerals (take a look at the RDA info below). If you are anemic, or low on energy, you probably need more organ meats. Since they are firm, they lend themselves well to slow cooking. This stroganoff is rich and earthy, with tons of mushrooms. The spices used give it a lot of pep-per! It turned out a little runnier than I would have liked, so I may be tweaking this recipe in the future. The flavors were so delicious, however, I really didn’t care about the consistency! I hope you enjoy this, too.
Chicken Hearts and Mushroom Stroganoff
1 pound mushrooms, rinsed and halved
1 pound chicken hearts, cut into quarters
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 -4 cloves)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 ounces of cream cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley, for garnish
Place mushrooms, chicken hearts, and onions in the crock of your slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the chicken broth, garlic, mustard, salt, black pepper and cayenne. Stir until smooth and then pour over the ingredients already in the slow cooker. Stir. Top with cooker lid and cook on high for 2 – 3 hours or low for 4 – 6 hours, or until the chicken hearts are cooked through.
Place the cream cheese into blender. Strain out 1 cup of liquid from the slow cooker. With the blender on low, slowly add the liquid to the blender until smooth and creamy. Pour cream cheese liquid back into slow cooker and stir to combine. Ladel into bowls and sprinkle chopped parsley on top for garnish.