Friday, January 27, 2012

Phase 1 friendly Moussaka & Meatballs and Cabbage

Life has kept me from blogging.  There were some tense family moments this week, but everything has been ironed out and the world is right again.   Crisis averted:)

I meant to post this days ago, so here goes.  This is my low carb version of moussaka.  It's also Dr. Poon phase 1 friendly.  Moussaka is a traditional Greek eggplant casserole.  It is made with ground beef, eggplant, tomatoes, and bechamel sauce.  I can't eat tomatoes or bechamel sauce (right now), so I've improvised.  It's not a traditional moussaka, but still was tasty.  It's easy to add your own preferences as well!

First I started with:

  • ground beef (1 lbs)
  • mushrooms (8 oz)
  • garlic (1 tbsp)
  • onion powder (1 tsp)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • half salt (1/2 tsp)
  • low sodium beef stock (1 cup)
I browned the ground beef and drained all the fat.  Then I added the rest of the ingredients and cooked it until the liquid evaporated (about 15 mins).

While the liquid was evaporating, I placed a layer of sliced, salted (to remove moisture), rinsed and dried eggplant to a casserole dish.

I spooned the finished meat mixture on the eggplant.  Over the meat I added chopped, frozen spinach, and another layer of eggplant that was first sliced, salted, rinsed, dried, then fried in olive oil.  Over the layer of eggplant and in place of the bechamel sauce, I whisked together a tub of Allegro 4% ricotta cheese and 2 eggs.  After I whisked it smooth, I poured it on top of the casserole and baked at 350 for 45 minutes.  I let it sit for 15 minutes before serving.
It was good.  I'm not a huge fan of eggplant, but it was something different and was an easy lunch for work.

Another meal I ate this week that was actually quite yummy (because I really like cabbage) was meatballs and cabbage.
I know this would not be to everyone's taste, but I sauteed the sliced cabbage in a skillet with olive oil, half salt, pepper and chopped garlic.  Cooked it until tender.  I made the meatballs ahead of time and just added them to the pan to heat up.  I served it with yellow mustard and it was YUMMY!

I just realized that I eat A LOT of red meat.  Part of that is because I am anemic and have been since being pregnant with my son.  I haven't had my blood tested since beginning my lifestyle change, so maybe things are different now.  All I know is that I eat red meat like it's going out of style.  I actually crave it.  It's not good to eat as much red meat as I do, so I'll have to start using ground chicken and turkey more in my ground meat recipes.  No sense in exchanging one health problem (obesity) for another (heart disease).  Have a good weekend all!