Meatball and Zucchini Casserole

I made some meatballs the other day using the Keto Quick Bread in place of regular bread. Then I sliced the meatballs to add to my meatball and zucchini casserole.

Keto casserole ready to bake
Keto casserole with zucchini, meatballs and tomato sauce

Ingredients for the Casserole

  • 2 zucchini, thinly sliced and not cooked
  • meatballs sliced, or cooked ground beef (about 1 pound)
  • shredded cheese – I used a combination of mozzarella and parmesan
  • homemade tomato sauce, or jar of sauce
  • 1 container fresh mushrooms, sautéed in butter / oil

Make the meatballs or cook the beef. Make the sauce. I used one can of organic, low sodium tomato sauce and added spices, a spoonful of sugar, some olive oil, and the cooked mushrooms. Slice and cook the mushrooms before adding to the sauce. Shred the cheese.

Put ghee or oil in the pan to prevent sticking and begin the layers. I put my layers in this way: half the zucchini, sliced meatballs, 1/2 half the sauce, 1/2 the cheese. I did this twice. My casserole dish is only a 1.5 Quart, I think – it’s small. Just double everything to make a larger casserole.

Layering the meatballs and zucchini
Layering the meatballs and zucchini

I enjoyed making this meal and it will last me a couple of days – with part of it put into the freezer for a later time.

Keto casserole
Baked

My casserole dish was too small so it bubbled over near the end of cook time. I baked it at 320 degrees for an hour. I wanted it to slowly simmer so it wouldn’t do this. I just about made it.

A longer bake time will help the flavors to mingle. I am happy with this meal. The mozzarella cheese I used was strange and turned into clumps, but the meal had lots of flavor and good healthy ingredients.

Meatball and zucchini caserole
Meatball and zucchini casserole is Keto friendly food

There are plenty of Keto meals floating around the internet to find and follow, but it’s not necessary to continually follow recipes. Once you have a grasp of what foods are low carb, meals like my casserole here can be made up with what’s on hand.

Another tasty tomato sauce casserole you might like is my Poblanos and Beef. The beef could easily be left out of this one.

Check out my Pinterest board where I save favorite Keto / low carb meals.

Eggplant and Pepper Casserole Keto Friendly

Eggplant and tomato sauce and cheese go together well. For my next Keto friendly casserole I am including these ingredients along with Poblano peppers.

Here it is ready to bake. Read on to see how I made this simple meal.

Eggplant casserole ready to bake
Small casserole with eggplant layered meal

Ingredients For the Casserole

First I sliced the one eggplant into thin slices. I layered them in a sieve and sprinkled with salt to pull out any bitterness. I’ve found varying advice about salting, and I never leave the salt on. Some places say the salt pulls out the water so the eggplant won’t be soggy. Some say it’s for bitterness.

Here’s what I do: layer with salt in a colander for 20 – 30 minutes. I then rinse and remove moisture between paper towels. I certainly don’t want salty eggplant. This seems to work fine for me and it hurts nothing.

how to treat eggplant
Eggplant ready to layer

Meanwhile I am cooking one can of organic tomato sauce and mixing in coconut sugar, basil, oregano, and whatever you like in your tomato sauce. It simmers on low while I fry the peppers.

Organic tomato sauce
One can works for this recipe

I let that simmer while I de-seed the peppers and brown them in ghee. I’m still not sure about what to do with these peppers, but adding them to a casserole is flavor-inducing. I discovered this in my ground beef casserole.

poblano peppers sautéed
Sautéed peppers

I also shredded a block of parmesan cheese. Using fresh parmesan is definitely the way to go. It has much more flavor and goodness than the powdered stuff in a canister.

Layer some sauce in the bottom, add a layer of eggplant, cheese, peppers and so on. My layers were created to use up all the ingredients with sauce and cheese for the top. It was covered with the glass cover that came with the dish and baked at 350 for 25 minutes.

This meal is Keto friendly, with no big-carb ingredients. It could be eaten with a Quick Keto bread, if you are still trying to get over the no-noodle and no-bread thing.

Keto friendly eggplant and poblano casserole
Little casserole for a low-carb diet

I’ll tell you that this eggplant casserole was totally delicious. I love my new little casserole dish, because what I bake is for my eating pleasure only, and it’s the perfect size. The dish does not have handles, so that is a bummer, but it’s small enough (1 1/2 quart) to be lifted easily.

I’ll probably freeze some of it for later.

Shrimp and Veggie Stir Fry

This delicious and healthy meal is very simple to make. Chopping and preparing takes the longest. Break the tough ends of the asparagus, and break stalks into bite-size pieces. Wash and slice mushrooms. Slice peppers and onions. I cut my shrimp into small pieces.

Cooked a box of brown mushrooms first, in a cast iron. (I used my favorite cast iron with the high sides). Remove and set aside. Cook broken up asparagus in ghee for a few minutes, until it’s still crunchy.

Remove asparagus and add sliced red pepper, onion, and after a minute or so, chopped (bite size) shrimp. Cook a couple minutes until shrimp is turning pink.

Add all ingredients back into the pot, heat off, and stir in Tamari. Stir well and remove to a dish. Serve with something else like spaghetti squash or noodles, or eat plain. It’s really good!

stir fry in cast iron
Stir in the Tamari last, and it’s done!

I never, well almost never, add salt while cooking. The Tamari is a form of soy sauce, and I buy low sodium. That adds the salt at at the end. The vegetables in my meal are crunchy, and I cook them separately so none will be mushy.

Use any vegetables on hand. When I go shopping I buy whatever looks freshest and good, then I decide what to do with it all. This recipe would work with chicken, or beef as well.

Any leftover veggies in the kitchen, that are going out of date, can be used to make broth. Add chicken bones, or beef if you have it, or simply make a vegetable broth. Freeze the broth to use in chili, soup or other dishes.

Shrimp cooks very quickly and can get tough if you over-cook it. We caught this shrimp ourselves and froze it. Since we’ve had it a while, I know we need to use it up.

Quick Keto Bread in 45 Seconds

I love this quick Keto bread because it is very fast to make, and it is not bad as far as taste goes. My first attempt was okay. It’s cooked in the microwave, so blah… but then you must toast it and add butter. In fact, when you mix this recipe up, add some poppy seeds, any other Keto-friendly item, it’s pretty good.

quick Keto breads
Fast and easy little “breads”

Find the full recipe just about anywhere online. That’s right, I’m not even sure whose recipe this is because it is EVERYWHERE. Eating on a dime is the place I first discovered this recipe, so that is the one I will link to. It’s not my recipe, but you can see the easy mixing directions at the link.

If you have ever tried to come up with a replacement for real, normal bread, you will quickly realize there is no substitute. All Keto, and gluten-free bread is simply not bread as we know it, in my opinion. But, this little batch of very quick bread / muffin will fill the gap. It’s not bad.

The recipe at the site I found says to make it in one dish and bake in the microwave for 90 seconds. I made mine in two little ramekins and baked each one for 45 seconds. I slice one of them in half and toast to eat with my breakfast. The other I save in the fridge for the following day.

Keto breakfast of quick bread and omelet
My breakfast

Above is one of my favorite breakfast omelets. I first sauté spinach in butter and remove from the pan (this would work with kale, peppers, onions, etc.) and remove it once cooked.

Then I break one (or two) egg(s) into the pan and scramble a bit to make a flat layer. Then I sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese (or any cheese) and top with the spinach. Fold over the ends of the egg to make a “roll” and flip to finish heating.

For the quick Keto bread you will need almond flour (which is the only ingredient you may not have), 1 egg, butter, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. You will need a dish to bake it in, and a microwave. See the link above for directions and amounts.

If I am craving bread or toast, I have a good substitute. There are other Keto breads I plan to try as soon as I have all the ingredients.