Buttoni's way is best I think for homemade. The problem is I never have leftovers of the low carb baked products that I dont want to eat! But baking bread for a dual reason is also a smart idea. You get two benefits from that effort.
My favorite meatball method? Believe it or not, I love to cook, but almost always buy store-bought frozen meatballs. Most of them are very carb friendly. Just read the label.
Here's one brand I've bought several times, and the product is good:
4 grams net carbs per serving...and at that rate, having a couple extra dont hurt! Its one of our favorite easy meals. I roast them in the toaster oven in a stoneware dish with high enough sides to handle sauce, on high, about 450° to increase the browning for a bit (they are fully cooked), then usually dont even need to drain them, I heat up some jazzed up no added sugar marinara (Walmart sells an organic one for like $2) and pour over the top, back in the toaster oven till you see it start to bubble, top with your favorite Italian cheese and back in the oven to melt/brown a bit, and done! An easy weeknight no hassle meal you can make while preparing a salad to go with it.
I also second the adding a little water. I do make my own sausage, and water or wine is in almost all pro-grade sausage recipes I found. It not only starts the meat off with more moisture but aids in the mixing of spices and ingredients. Usually about 3 tablespoons per pound or so, or 1 cup of liquid to 5-6lbs and it should be preferably very cold, dont use hot water, it melts the meat fat and changes things for the worse. I've even seen to add the spices and mix with the water then adding to the meat mixture, this helps because like others said, what often makes people's hamburgers, meatloaf and meatballs dense is they overwork the mixture. You want to mix as gently and as little as possible to get everything blended, then form very gently.
Once I learned this, and that the best way to cook a hamburger for instance, is on a flat iron griddle or pan rather than a grill, my hamburgers are the best ever in my life now. And I only use fatty ground beef (I grind my own from a chuck roast to 1/4 inch die size and only once, never through the grinder again), never lean ground beef...if you are doing Atkins, you need the fat for your energy anyway, its what your body has been trained to burn. I form my burgers just so they barely hold together while griddling, use only plenty of salt and pepper and only on the surface, never mixed in the meat. and thats it. Best burgers ever and I spent years making "meatloaf burgers" with all kinds of stuff thinking I knew what I was doing. Also, overcooking a burger is not good. The best cooked burgers have a bit of pink in the middle at least, not totally gray. Grinding your own meat is a good way to ensure the meat is from a single muscle and almost completely avoid any food borne illness. Think about it, a medium rare steak is perfect if you ask nearly any chef. It's safe because its a whole muscle and not cross contaminated with other things in the kitchen (where most food borne illness comes from), so being sure your burger meat if from a quality, clean whole muscle makes the burger pretty much just as safe. I've never been sick from my own cooking because I know the rules of cross-contamination and proper hand washing. I was also the NSF credentialed person in a metal shop that made food service equipment, so it helps to understand "Herman the vermin" and where he can hide!
So, the first mistake people make is using lean meat. I'd say 80-20 is the leanest you want to go. 70/30 is even more flavorful and moist. I haven't weighed it out in years but I think my average chuck roast home grind usually worked out about 75/25 (I literally cut the meat up and separated the fat from the flesh and weighed it). I do the same thing with pork butt, you want to judiciously add the meaty and fatty pieces to the grinder evenly together. A lot of butcher shops run the ground beef through twice, this is partly to distribute the fat better because they are not going to do the tedious work I just described. But this also starts you out with a ground meat already a little overworked.
The mushrooms do add some moisture and a decent texture. I did that for years with hamburgers and meatloaf before I learned what I wrote above about gentle handling and proper ground meat to start with. Extra egg never hurts, except it firms up at the same time it leaves a fluffy texture...hard to explain except egg is a binder so it always "sets up"...still good though.
Letting any meat dish rest responsibly is also one of the good recommendations you got in this thread. That's true for meatloaf and steaks alike. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not letting meat rest well before cutting, that goes for birds and roasts and even griddled or pannini sandwiches. One of my favorites is a Reuben, but they can come apart when eating if well stuffed. I learned to remove the sandwiches from the pan/griddle to a wire rack and let them rest, even flipping them over while resting so juices never have a chance to settle on one side...it allows the sandwich to set up before you cut and eat it. Thanks to Buttoni/Peggy I have a caraway version of her Foccacia recipe I can now use to make Reubens again! I smoke my own pastrami too...you will not find anything as good in the supermarket.
Jerky? Heck yea! Got that down pretty well too. Been doing it for years. I have a buddy who brings me his deer kills (I hate to hunt, not the blood and killing, just the getting up early and freezing in the woods for hours with no guaranty of a kill) because he likes my jerky so much..and I make sausage. I only dehydrate tenderized by mallet, well marinated, usually only deer when its available. I never grind the meat and squirt it out of those caulking guns. My jerky never lasts long around anyone, so I started putting severe heat on it with cayenne to make people slow down and think twice!..to protect my stash...I can handle the heat!...but it slows me down too.
Originally Posted by Bonnie OFS
Which is what I count - total carbs. I follow Dr. Bernstein's method for diabetics & total works better for me than net. Also very low carb - under 20. I don't like to "waste" my allowed carbs on processed vegetables.
That's ultra low carb right there. Even Atkins tells you induction level carb intake is not good for you over the long term...a couple months max. Your brain needs some carbs to function right from what I have read, just dont get them from sugar, simple starches, refined wheat and fruit juices.
But then again, a lot of Dr.'s and people think Atkins is unhealthy because of the high fat intake..so our mileages may vary!
If/When I ever get to goal, and I'm OK that taking some more time, I'm 35lbs down in 7 months, a little slowdown is ok...I plan to shift over to what my wife lost her 35lbs on, the Zero Sugar diet. Similar to Atkins but allows much more carbs as long as they are good carbs and the carb/natural sugar balance is not upside down...and never added sugars. But she gets to cheat! (with food of course)...I have never cheated and had a real sandwich or burger when out, once in a while like her, and she has still matched my weight loss...but she doesn't drink liquor in large quantities like I've been doing lately.
Sorry for the novel here, I was in the mood to write and been meaning to chime in on this thread.