Atkins Diet Recipes: Low Carb Cocktail Meatballs (IF)
I continue in my mini-series of New Year’s Eve party recipe ideas with these low carb cocktail meatballs. One of my viewers, Laurie “Avalanche,” is doing dairy-free low carb plan, so I exchanged the Parmesan cheese I normally use in my binders for pork rinds. Pork rinds work really well as a binder in your meatloaf or meatball recipes and would be fine for any phase of Atkins. Best of luck to all those who are just starting the diet today or tomorrow, and if you have any questions, please be sure to ask.
With this video, I start a new mini-series of New Year’s Eve party recipe ideas with this video. I wanted to have a good dip recipe for the party like for pork rinds or vegetables. This one has none of the bad stuff found in commercial dips, like MSG, food starches, or sugars (dextrose). The onion flavor also kicks the butt of what you find in a commercial variety.
Atkins Diet Recipes: Low Carb French Onion Dip (IF)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Serving Size: 1 tbsp
Calories per serving: 70
1 small onion, diced
1 tbsp butter / olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp beef broth
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp hot sauce
In a medium skillet, add olive oil and diced onions. Sprinkle salt over the top, and cook until carmelized. It will take roughly 30 minutes. After about 20 minutes, add beef broth. It will speed the carmelization process.
In a medium bowl, add sour cream, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, parsley, black pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Combine ingredients well.
Process carmelized onions in a food processor or ninja for 10-15 seconds. Do NOT turn into onion mush. Stir into dip mixture in the medium bowl.
Chill for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Info per serving (1 tbsp):
70 Calories, 6.5g Fat, 1.8g Total Carbs (.1g Fiber), 1.1g Protein
I have completed two previous product reviews on the new Atkins Nutritional frozen entrees (video and Beef Merlot post). Those were frozen foods that were sent to me for review by Atkins Nutritional. I was told select Walarts would start selling them early, but nationwide they would be available on January 2nd. I checked before my cruise in a Tampa Walmart for them, and they didn’t have them yet.
I was surprised to see them in my local Ankeny (Iowa) Walmart though when I got home. I was also really pleased at the price point they were at too. Their MSRP is $4.49, which is about $1.50 more than comparable Weight Watchers and Lean Cuisine meals. I was concerned I would hear critiques about affordability of the meals. As the photo to the left indicates, Walmart has them listed for $3.48 for the main entree meals. That price is excellent, and equivalent to what one would pay for value meal at any fast food restaurant. This is great news!
I purchased two meals — Italian Sausage Primavera and Chicken Pot Pie. I had the Primavera yesterday, and I was really happy with it. It was tasty and spicier than say other cafeteria food. I am big fan of spicy Italian food, and the Italian sausage as well as cheese had a bit of a kick to it. That’s a big plus in my book. Nothing says boring food like frozen dishes, and this entree was not that. There was a good amount of Italian sausage in the meal.
I liked the cauliflower, bell peppers and spinach. Honestly almost every meal could feature cauliflower, and I would be happy. I could do without the green beans, but that is more a personal quibble. From an ingredients standpoint, this one is close to ideal. The questionable ingredients are at the end of the list, and I would have no problems eating this meal. From a nutritional standpoint, here are the stats:
Fat Percent: 73%
Net Carb Percent: 8%
Protein Percent: 19%
Net Carbs: 5g
At this price and these ingredients, I will be purchasing this one again.
It’s been bitterly cold in Iowa lately especially coming back from our family cruise in Tampa. This Shepherd’s Pie is ideal way to keep warm and comfort food. The combination of rich beef and gravy with fauxtatoe layer is a marriage made in heaven. I really think you’ll like this recipe if you try it.
I completed a review of the Atkins Nutritional Chicken Broccoli Alfredo earlier this week. I liked the quality and the taste of the meal. It was good, and the chicken pieces were large and not rubbery. The broccoli florets were bright green, and the right texture (not too limp). I think these frozen foods could have role in many new comers to the diet menus as they adjust to the lifestyle and for me personally when I travel away from home.
One of the things I had yet to do was to attempt to verify the net carb claim on the package. In other words, what was the impact of the frozen food on my blood sugar since we have seen many low carb foods prove not to be so low carb. I didn’t have any reason to doubt Atkins Nutritional given the ingredients, but like a great politician said, “Trust, but Verify.” With that in mind, I conducted my testing of the third product I received — Beef Merlot. The picture on the cover gave me hope for big pieces of beef with broccoli florets. Having had two good meals from Atkins already, I thought my hope was well placed.
In this instance, the product I received was closer to beef stew with broccoli than chunky beef in a dark gravy sauce. I had 2 good chunks of beef, and the rest was a shredded mixture in the gravy. The beef was tasty, but what I expected from package. The broccoli also was not nearly as green as the Broccoli Alfredo. It was much limper in texture, and dark green.
Overall, the product was OK, but it was my least favorite of the three meals I was sent. I would be willing to retry the product once officially released to see how big of the beef chunks are in that one. From an ingredients perspective, this one had a larger portion of modified food starch than the other two, and it also included MSG on the list as well. It was 6g net carbs overall. My recommendation if Atkins was listening to me would be to cut the gravy by half or more, which should drop the carb and questionable ingredient amounts, and ensure the beef was more in chunks than loose, shredded. I might also suggest having a second chamber for the broccoli in this meal as gravy covered-broccoli is not as appetizing as say Alfredo covered.
From a blood glucose perspective, here were my results:
Pre-Consumption – 87
15 min – 79
30 min – 105
45 min – 101
60 min – 94
75 min – 89
From a size perspective, this one was also about half the size it would take to make me full.
I was asked by Atkins Nutritional to do a product review on their new lineup of frozen dinners. I am excited by this group of products both for myself and those just starting the Diet. These products are all 6g net carbs or less and should be acceptable for all phases of the diet. I am often asked questions by those just starting who don’t know how to cook and simply want something as easy and quick as they used to eat. Often times, these people fall into hot dogs and green beans syndrome. Where they are eating quick processed foods with little nutrition. I see these meals as a delicious step up from those meals.
Personally, I would use these meals when traveling and as a means to not have to eat out every meal. Often times when traveling, I will have a room fridge with freezer and a microwave, and these would a way to have a good meal whether for breakfast or dinner. If you didn’t feel like cooking, these meals would definitely be a good option.
The only nits I have would be the same nits with any preportioned foods. They are typically “one size fits all” foods, and the meals were a bit small for me. They were good size and value for most, but being active, I would typically have a bit more. I know some will complain about the ingredients in the less 2% area of the ingredients, like potato starch or modified food starch, but I am not concerned for myself. The amounts are minimal, and while I might talk about it in terms of perfection. The meal is certainly no worse than going out and eating those foods.
I really think these foods will benefit a lot of new low carbers who are adjusting to the diet and need an easy way to adopt the lifestyle. I hope though that they’ll learn to make these foods for themselves too in time.
I made this dish for Thanksgiving dinner, and it was a favorite amongst low and high carbers alike. I initially shot this video a week ago, but the video was lost to the great /dev/null in the sky. If you love a good cheesecake, I am pretty sure you’ll love this cherry cheese pie. Due to the cherries, this is for the Ongoing Weight Loss phase, but the cherry sugar free pie filling only adds less than 1g per slice of additional carbs.
Atkins Diet Recipes: Low Carb Cherry Cheese Pie (OWL)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Serving Size: 1 slice
Calories per serving: 256
1/2 cup Sugar Free Cherry Pie Filling
1/2 cup almond flour or chopped almonds
1/4 cup raw coconut
1/4 cup flax meal
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp Splenda (or liquid eq.)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp Splenda (or liquid eq.)
1 tsp vanilla
Cream Cheese mixture:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Splenda
Preheat Oven to 375F.
Combine almond flour, coconut, flax meal, butter, and Splenda together. Press into 9-inch pie pan or spring-form pan. Use a piece of plastic wrap to prevent sticking to your hands. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes. Set aside to allow to cool.
In a stand mixer, combine heavy cream, Splenda, and vanilla extract. Beat until soft peaks form and no liquid is in the bottom of the bowl.
In your stand mixer, cream cream cheese and Splenda together on medium speed. Fold in half whipped topping, but be careful not to over-mix and lose the fluffiness of the whipped topping. Chill until nut crust is ready.
On top of cooled crust, spread the cream cheese-whipped topping mixture out to the edges. Make as even as possible. Spread sugar free cherry pie filling on top of the cream cheese mixture.
Pipe the remaining whipped topping along the outside of the pie pan.
Nutrition Info per serving (assuming 8 servings):
256 Calories, 24.6g Fat, 4.7g Total Carbs (1.5g Fiber), 5g Protein
Judy Barnes Baker of Carb Wars and Nourished fame (I can not say enough great things about having Judy as an author in this cook book. She is super knowledgeable and a pioneer in the field of low carb cooking. I really look forward to reading her recipes and trying some.)
Vanessa Romero of Healthy Living How To blog (I met her and husband Tom on the Low Carb Cruise this year, and they were as nice in person as she is helpful on her blog. I am honored to share the pages with her.)
Kyndra Holley of Peace, Love, and Low Carb blog (Her recipes are new to me, but I am anxious to try a few out. Her food photos look fantastic!)
Jennifer Eloff of LCAF, vol 1 and vol 2, and numerous Splendid Low Carbing cookbooks
I turned in my recipes, and the final editing process is completed. Some of my favorite recipes are included in this version from awesome desserts like low carb Scotcharoos and Whoopie Pies to delicious main dishes like Smoked Pork and low carb Wiener Schnitzel to breakfast ideas like Cinnamon Roll Pancakes. The books should be getting ready to be sent off to the printers within the next couple weeks.
I feel guilty that I haven’t been making videos or updates here as I once was. I talked about that in my last video, but I am glad to say the light is definitely at the end of the stress tunnel. Work at Microsoft has been going well. While I have still been working longer hours, I have less stress about the presentations. You give a similar presentation 10 times, and you should eventually get good at it. It helps when you have a good story to tell and have had a chance to see the benefits yourself or better had customers tell you the benefits they saw. I have even been able to break away during the day and start running again over lunch.
On the topic of running, I have two races in the last three weeks. When I started at Microsoft, I rapidly recognized two facts. I had no time to continue my marathon training schedule due to the aforementioned stress and additional work. My hip, which had been bothering me, was not getting any better. It would ache after runs and even as I walked around the office. I asked Tara the pace team coordinator to replace me from the 4 hour 40 minute pace team for the marathon. She understood and wished me well. I was a little sad to not be able to participate in the Marathon for the first time in 5 years, but I was going to volunteer to help out that way. With 4 days prior to the Des Moines Marathon, Tara called me as I was driving back from Omaha.
She asked if I would be willing to run 5:25 pace group on Sunday. I told her I had not run more than 10 mile run in 8 weeks and probably less than 40 miles in the 8 weeks. I questioned whether or not I could finish it regardless of the time, but at least we figured out 5:25:00 was roughly 12:30 miles (or ~3 minutes slower than I would run normally). I said I would try (I know Yoda would be displeased), and I was glad I could help. My goal was to run – walk, and I asked Tara if she could find someone to help out at mile 17 or 21. I had helped another marathoner in the previous year who was recovering from appendicitis doing the same thing. The weather Sunday was awesome and perfect for running.
My Garmin time was 5:24:59:22. In other words, I missed perfect by 78 hundredths of a second. I won’t say my pace was perfect as I still trying to find the groove for 12:24 pace, but kept wanting to run fast (11:45-12:15) despite taking longer or more often walk breaks. I tried my best to motivate others along the way and cajole, encourage, prompt them to start or keep running. In the end, it was a good day, and I met some awesome people and finished.
Yesterday, I ran RCC Run the Woods with my son, Brett. It’s only 4 miles but features pretty steep hills and numerous fallen trees blocking the path. Brett did well in the first mile, running it in less than 9 minutes. However as the hills mounted and ankles were twisted, it became harder and harder. He did well, and I kept encouraging him whether he liked it or not. He also beat Tasha’s time when she ran it with me last year.