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Swedish Meatballs

I’m starting to explore and get creative with all this cooking stuff.  This is a first attempt recipe for me.  Both a first for making meatballs and a first for the complete Swedish Meatball dish.  It turned out really delicious!  I used egg noodles instead of regular pasta and it was awesome.  The noodles had an almost butter flavor that went perfectly with the meatballs and sauce.  Here is the original recipe and the variations I made to it.

Ingredients

1 egg

2 -1/4 cup milk

3/4 cup soft bread crumbs – I chopped up 1 slice of frozen wheat bread

1/2 cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)

1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley – I only had dried parsley.  Use extra when it is dried.

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice or nutmeg – I used allspice

8 ounces ground beef

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules – I used beef bouillon cubes

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Cooked noodles

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Instructions

It’s not that I intentionally break the rules and refuse to follow directions.  At least that is the case most of the time.  Many times when it comes to recipes I have to make adjustments based on what I have on hand or dietary restrictions.  I will provide the original recipe then the variations that I made.

Original

In a large bowl combine egg and the 1/4 cup milk.  Stir in bread crumbs, onion, the 1/4 cup parsley, the 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and allspice. Add beef and pork.  Mix well.  Shape into 30 meatballs (Darling, 362).

Variation

I like using whole spices and grind it myself using a mortar and pestle.  In a large bowl, I combined the egg, 1/4 cup milk, chopped up onion, and 1.5 cups dried parsley.  Then I placed 2 beef bouillon cubes, 1/2 teaspoon of allspice berries,  and 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper in my mortar to crush and grind up.  Once everything was at a fine powered I poured into my bowl with the other ingredients.  Last, I chopped up my frozen slice of bread to mix.  Last I added a package of lean 93% ground beef to the bowl.  I like to mix with my hands (make sure to wash your hands before and after).

 

 

Original

In a large skillet cook half the meatballs at a time in hot butter over medium heat about 10 minutes or until done (an instant-read thermometer inserted into meatballs should register 160 degrees F), turning to brown evenly.  Remove meatballs from skillet, reserving drippings; drain meatballs on paper towels.  Measure 2 tablespoons drippings; if necessary, add cooking oil to make the 2 tablespoons (Darling, 362).

Variation

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First, when it comes to making consistent size meatballs I used an old ice cream scooper.  Frying meatballs turned into a big mess.  I had to keep adding oil to keep them from sticking to the bottom of my pan.  If I didn’t then the meatballs completely fell apart as I was turning them in the pan.  The meat might have fallen apart, but they still tasted delicious.  When it came to making the sauce I had already cooked most of the oil off and had leftover bits of meat in the pan.  I added the flour and milk to the pan with the leftover bits of meant and it made the perfect sauce.

For the final touch, I served these over egg noodles normally used for traditional roman soup.  The noodles had a buttery after taste that went perfectly with the meatballs.

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Works Cited:

Darling, Jennifer D. Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. 12th ed., Meredith Corporation, 2003.

Queso and Nachos

I was massively craving Nachos the other night and decided to challenge myself and see if I could make a healthy version of my favorite queso.  Gotta say I was surprised at how flavorful and colorful this recipe turned out.

Ingredientsimg_2036

Chili powder

Onion

Cayenne

Garlic

Salt

Pepper

Tomatoes

Ground Beef

Mozzarella Cheese

Blue Corn Chips

Cooking Instructions

Start browning the meat in a pan.  While the meat is cooking dice up half the white onion, garlic cloves, and tomatoes.  When the meat is mostly brown make a whole in the middle and pour in the onions and tomatoes.

 

Spices: 2 Tablespoons Chili powder, 1 tablespoon Cumin, 1 tablespoon cayenne (optional), 2 tablespoons of diced garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.

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Once the meat is fully cooked mix stir in all the spices.  Mix thoroughly to make sure the vegetables and spices are covering the meat evenly.

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Spread blue corn chips, spoon the meat mixture on top of the chips, and slice mozzarella cheese all over the top.

Italian Variation

If you want to make your nachos more adventurous you can add the flavors of an Italian pizza. Add pepperoni, marinara sauce, and banana peppers.

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Patreon NutritionI love sharing all of my recipes, however, keeping the business and page running takes money. If you like the posts and work please consider subscribing to my Patreon account. For $5 a month you will get the full archive of all of my recipes to enjoy. Click below for all of my recipes. They work great for people who are short on time. These meals take 30 minutes or less to cook. Most of these meals are low in carbs and organized for a Macro based diet. They are tasty, cheap, fast to cook, and really great for you.

https://www.patreon.com/ironsidemc

 

 

Omelets and the 3 States of Matter

I’m no Gordan Ramsey with advanced skills in cooking.  I’m more like his 3rd cousin twice removed who has a vague idea of where the kitchen is located and can name the basic food groups.  What I do have working for me is my incredibly picky palate, if the food tastes gross I’m not eating it; and an obsession with making things as efficient as possible.  Using those two concepts as my guiding principles I have come up with a tasty omelet recipe and a fun approach to cooking it, the scientific way.

Liquid

Eggs in their raw form take on the shape of whatever container you keep them in.  Eggs also act as a bonding agent in cooking.  They are literally the glue of the cooking world.  Don’t believe me try making a batch of cookies without eggs.  The dough tastes delicious and the cookies come out looking like a hot mess.  Anyhow back to making a quick and easy omelet.  If eggs are your base and the “glue” an omelet is just about any ingredient you want to be mixed together with eggs, kinda like cement. For my omelet, I added bacon and cheese. Mix it all up and microwave for 2 minutes

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Solid

When you microwave eggs they take on the shape of your container as they cook.  If you are cooking them in a standard size bowl they are perfectly shaped for a slice of bread.  You can easily scoop the entire mixture out of the bowl and place it on toast or an English muffin for the perfect breakfast sandwich.

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Gas

Do I really need to explain what happens after you get a delicious breakfast???  Uncomfortable stare….just kidding.  The gas is the delicious steam coming off the omelet.  Then the entire house will smell like breakfast, a great way to motivate your sleepy heads to get up and greet the day.

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Patreon Nutrition

I love sharing all of my recipes, however, keeping the business and page running takes money. If you like the posts and work please consider subscribing to my Patreon account. For $5 a month you will get the full archive of all of my recipes to enjoy. Click below for all of my recipes. They work great for people who are short on time. These meals take 30 minutes or less to cook. Most of these meals are low in carbs and organized for a Macro based diet. They are tasty, cheap, fast to cook, and really great for you.

https://www.patreon.com/ironsidemc

 

 

Spaghetti – Low Carbs

Whether you are on a diet, doing the gluten-free thing, or dealing with the grocery store being sold out of pasta have no fear Spaghetti is here!  This recipe is how to make a scrumptious plate of spaghetti using spaghetti squash instead of pasta.  Spaghetti squash has a sweet flavor, so pay attention to the seasonings and tips.  They will help counterbalance the sweetness of the squash and make your finished dish taste more like the traditional plate of spaghetti.

This makes 5 meals.

Ingredients

Spaghetti Squash

olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 lb Ground beef – I use the 93% lean meat

Jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce – I like the stuff made with extra garlic

garlic

onions

oregano

Basil

Rosemary

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Cooking instructions:

Spaghetti Squash First

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.  This part is harder than it seems.  Make sure the use a big sharp knife and brace the spaghetti squash well, its round and likes to slip around.  Once you have it cracked apart scoop out the seeds.  Drizzle the inside of the squash with a small amount of olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano.  Stab the outside of the squash a few times with a fork, this is a great stress relief by the way.  Place the spaghetti squash cut side up on a baking sheet.  Cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until outside edges are lightly brown.  Remove from the oven and let the squash cool.  Move on to making the sauce and come back to this next part.

Hold the squash in a towel, it’s going to be hot and slippery.  Use a fork and scrape the strands from the side of the squash.  Scoop it out and place it on your plate or in your meal prep containers before adding the sauce.  Scrape as close to the edge as possible and use up all the squash except the outer shell.

I find one squash makes 5 meals.

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Spaghetti Sauce

In a pan add the ground beef and cook until it is brown stirring often to keep from burning it.  Drain the grease if necessary, this is one of the reasons I like cooking with lean meat there isn’t a lot of grease from cooking.  Pour in the jar of spaghetti sauce.  Add salt (just a pinch or two don’t go overboard with this).  Add 5-6 cloves of chopped up fresh garlic or 1-2 tablespoons of garlic from a jar or 1-2 tablespoons of garlic powder.  That may seem like a lot but the garlic with help with the overpowering sweet flavor of the spaghetti squash, also garlic is delicious.  Add half a diced white onion or 1-2 tablespoons of onion powder.  These measurements are really up to you and your taste buds.  You want the sauce to be a little on the bitter/savory side to balance out the sweetness of the spaghetti squash.  Lastly, add a ton of oregano, basil, and rosemary.  I don’t normally measure this I just pour a generous amount, my guess 2-3 tablespoons of each based on how much you like these seasonings.  Experiment and see what works for you.  When it is done serve the sauce on top of the spaghetti squash.  I usually do equal parts sauce to squash.

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Variations:

If you want to change things up and add more veggies to your sauce that is excellent.  Check out Spaghetti Bowl for a different variation on how to make a yummy sauce.

 

Patreon Nutrition

I love sharing all of my recipes, however, keeping the business and page running takes money. If you like the posts and work please consider subscribing to my Patreon account. For $5 a month you will get the full archive of all of my recipes to enjoy. Click below for all of my recipes. They work great for people who are short on time. These meals take 30 minutes or less to cook. Most of these meals are low in carbs and organized for a Macro based diet. They are tasty, cheap, fast to cook, and really great for you.

https://www.patreon.com/ironsidemc

 

 

Healthy Snacks to Try

Depending on what dieting research you are reading you may find experts telling you to eat 4-6 times a day.  Usually, that means 3 small meals and 2-3 snacks.  Tasty snacks can be hard to figure out.  I don’t know about you, but I also don’t want to torture myself and never eat sugar again.  I just can’t live without my chocolate fix…I am being a touch dramatic, but the fact remains if you are miserable you won’t stick with a long-lasting diet.  Here are a few of my favorite tasty snacks that help keep my sweet tooth under control without destroying my macros and diet restrictions.

The Key to these snacks is moderation!

Rice Cake Cookie

One Rice cake no flavor or extra stuff added to it, honestly, you don’t need the extra synthetic stuff.  One of the rules of dieting is eating real food.  Dehydrated, fake flavor, overly processed foods are things to avoid.  They give you a ton of empty calories and no nutritional value.  It is impossible to avoid them entirely, try to keep things in a balance and practice moderation.

One Rice Cake

a spoon full of your favorite peanut butter

a spoon full of chocolate chips – Personally I prefer dark chocolate (it is slightly better for you)

Spread the peanut butter on top of the rice cake.  Then evenly spread the chocolate chips over the peanut butter.  The finished product looks like a chocolate chip cookie.

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Note: peanut butter and chocolate chips make good toppings on just about anything.  Celery sticks, for example, are good with this combo if you want a veggie instead of carbs.

Trail Mix

This is my all-time favorite!  It has a little fruit, chocolate, protein, all the perfect combinations for an ideal snack.  Here is the one catch, trail mix is high in calories.  Keep an eye on the serving size.  For the trail mix in my picture, it is 1/4 cup has 150 calories.  I measure out my trail mix and keep it in individual bags.  If 1/4 cup seems small, that’s because it is, remember these are snacks.  If you are still hungry look at your full meals and the time spent between when you are eating.  Chances are you are using a snack instead of a meal.  Your body is pretty wise once you learn how to listen to it.

Note: there are a ton of different varieties of trail mix out there.  Most of them make really good snacks.  They are great for traveling or when you are out in the mountains because they don’t need to be refrigerated. The sugar gives you instant energy and the protein helps you stay fueled.

Tea

Honey and sweet-tasting drinks are a great way to combat that pesky soda craving.  I drink water all the time.  The only other drink I tend to allow myself is a glass of milk in the evening.  However, not everyone is that crazy.  Especially, if you are just starting out cutting down on sugary drinks is absolute torture!  Here is a healthy alternative:

Start with your favorite tea – I love Celestial Seasonings.  For this snack, I used Carmel Apple Dream

Honey – I usually do one tablespoon per teacup

Milk – I just add a little at the end to help cool down the tea and give it a creamy finish

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Patreon Nutrition

I love sharing all of my recipes, however, keeping the business and page running takes money. If you like the posts and work please consider subscribing to my Patreon account. For $5 a month you will get the full archive of all of my recipes to enjoy. Click below for all of my recipes. They work great for people who are short on time. These meals take 30 minutes or less to cook. Most of these meals are low in carbs and organized for a Macro based diet. They are tasty, cheap, fast to cook, and really great for you.

https://www.patreon.com/ironsidemc