Life can get really busy and when it does, keeping your meals simple is key to a successful low-carb diet.
And it's no different for me. Even as a food blogger I don't always have time to cook. But instead of reaching for quick snacks, I have a routine that helps me stay keto. When I'm short on time, I prep my protein in advance. To do that I just fire up my slow cooker, Instant Pot or make a large batch of meatballs.
I don't always prep my veggies because I prefer to keep them as fresh as possible — and they don't take long to prepare anyway. But you can slice, chop and even cook them and keep in the fridge for several days.
If you don't mind eating the same meal for a few days, just make a large batch. But if you prefer to have a variety, make 2-3 different types of protein and then just mix and match with your favourite veg. And don't forget to add healthy fats to keep your meal keto-friendly by using dressing, mayonnaise, olive oil or avocado.
This healthy low-carb meal is quick to prepare and perfect for batch cooking. Simply make the meatballs, dressing and vegetables on a Sunday and you've got a healthy lunch option sorted for the whole week! If you're cooking for more people, double the batch. Or if you're cooking just for yourself and don't want to eat the meatballs every day, freeze them for later (either cooked or raw).
I used grated Parmesan instead of flour to make the meatballs suitable for the ketogenic diet. It doesn't just make the meatballs tender but it boosts them with flavour. I hope you guys enjoy!
Serving size 5 meatballs + veggies + dressing
Allergy information for Low-Carb Mediterranean Meatball Lunch Bowls
✔ Gluten free
✔ Nut free
✔ Pork free
✔ Avocado free
✔ Coconut free
✔ Fish free
✔ Shellfish free
✔ Beef free
Nutritional values (per serving, 5 meatballs + veggies + dressing)
Net carbs7 grams
Calories from carbs 6%, protein 28%, fat 66%
Total carbs9.6 gramsFiber2.6 gramsSugars4.3 gramsSaturated fat11 gramsSodium735 mg(32% RDA)Magnesium59 mg(15% RDA)Potassium843 mg(42% EMR)
Ingredients (makes 5 servings)
- 500 g ground chicken or turkey (1.1 lb)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (90 g/ 3.2 oz)
- 1 large egg
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- fresh zest from 1 lemon
- 2 tsp dried Italian herbs or 2 tbsp any chopped herbs
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp ghee or duck fat (30 g/ 1.1 oz)
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced (250 g/ 8.8 oz)
- 1 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes or 2-3 regular tomatoes, chopped (188 g/ 6.6 oz)
- 1 large green bell pepper, sliced (164 g/ 5.8)
- 1 small red onion, sliced (60 g/ 2.1 oz)
- 1 large head green lettuce such as butter lettuce or romaine (250 g/ 8.8 oz)
- 3/4 cup homemade Tomato & Basil Dressing (3 tbsp/ 45 ml per serving)
- 5 tsp extra virgin olive oil (25 ml)
- In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs: ground chicken, grated Parmesan cheese, egg, minced garlic, lemon zest, herbs, salt and pepper.
- Using your hands, create 25 small meatballs (about 26 g/ 0.9 oz each).
- Heat a large skillet greased with ghee over a high heat. Once hot, reduce to medium-high and add the meatballs. Cook for about 2 minutes or until crisped up and turn on the other side using a fork. Cook for another 2 minutes or until cooked through. When done, set aside.
- Peel and slice the cucumber, halve the tomatoes and slice the green pepper. Peel and slice the onion.
- To assemble the bowls, fold the lettuce leaves inside 5 Tupperware containers or a bowl. Add the vegetables. If you're making this for meal prep, you can store the vegetables, meatballs and dressing separately in 3 containers and assemble the bowls before serving.
- To serve, add the meatballs (5 into each bowl) and drizzle with the Tomato & Basil Dressing, 3 tablespoons per serving. Drizzle the meatballs with the olive oil. Eat immediately or refrigerate for up to a day. The meatballs can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days or freezer for up to 3 months.
Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, 5 meatballs + veggies + dressing)
|Chicken, minced (ground), breast meat|
|0 g||21.2 g||2.6 g||114 kcal|
|0.6 g||6.4 g||4.6 g||71 kcal|
|Egg, whole, fresh, raw (free-range or organic eggs)|
|0.1 g||1.3 g||1 g||14 kcal|
|0.2 g||0 g||0 g||1 kcal|
|Lemon zest (peel), fresh|
|0.1 g||0 g||0 g||1 kcal|
|Italian seasoning (mixed herbs)|
|0.1 g||0 g||0 g||1 kcal|
|Salt, sea salt|
|0 g||0 g||0 g||0 kcal|
|Pepper, black, spices|
|0 g||0 g||0 g||0 kcal|
|0 g||0 g||6 g||54 kcal|
|0.7 g||0.3 g||0.1 g||6 kcal|
|Tomatoes, cherry, fresh, sweet varieties|
|1 g||0.3 g||0.1 g||8 kcal|
|Peppers, green bell, fresh|
|1 g||0.3 g||0.1 g||7 kcal|
|Onion, red, fresh|
|0.8 g||0.2 g||0 g||5 kcal|
|Green leaf lettuce, fresh|
|0.8 g||0.7 g||0.1 g||8 kcal|
|Olive oil, extra virgin|
|0 g||0 g||4.5 g||40 kcal|
|Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Dressing, homemade (KetoDiet blog)|
|1.7 g||0.8 g||13.3 g||128 kcal|
|Total per serving, 5 meatballs + veggies + dressing|
|7 g||31.4 g||32.4 g||456 kcal|
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