A while back, I had a great convo with my buddy, Danny Vega, about Cuban food, and I spent a good month prior eating through keto-fied versions of some traditional Cuban dishes. Man, did I enjoy that. Picadillo is a very traditional dish in Latin America and the Spanish-influenced Caribbean, and it was one of my favorites of all those with which I experimented. It was also pretty easy to ketofy.
Depending on what region you’re in, Picadillo (which is basically a meat hash) can be made slightly differently. The bones of it, however, tend to be ground beef, tomato, and olives all simmered together, and it’s usually served over rice. Well, change the rice out for cauli-rice and the rest of that is already pretty keto. The only real issue I had to handle was quantities of the aromatics. In most of the traditional Cuban Picadillo recipes I looked through, there were multiple cups of onion and bell pepper to each pound of meat, as well as a little raisin thrown into the mix. I eliminated the raisins altogether (which was extra easy for me, since I didn’t like them in my pre-keto days anyway), and scaled back a bit on the onion and bell pepper, and there you have it: Cuban-style Picadillo in a keto-friendly package.
Notes: If you have a favorite regional version of this dish, feel free to swap in some of those flavors and seasonings. The trick really is getting just enough of the compliant-but-carbier ingredients to give a good flavor without running up the carb count itself. I served my version over steamed cauli-rice (as pictured) and the whole family enjoyed this delightful little taste of Cuba!Print
- 1 tbsp.. (1/2 fl oz/ 15 ml) avocado oil
- 6 3/4 oz (191 g) onion, diced
- 5 1/2 oz (156 g) green bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb (16 oz/ 454 g) ground beef
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 roma tomato (about 1.5-2 oz/ 43-57 g), diced
- 1/2 oz (14 g) green olives, sliced
- In a large pan or skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the bell pepper and onion to the pan and sauté until the onion begins to soften and become translucent.
- Add the garlic into the mixture and stir until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the beef to the skillet and cook, mixing well to break up the meat as it cooks, until it is all browned.
- Season with salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano, then stir in the tomato.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 10-15 minutes for the flavors to meld.
- Remove from the heat and stir in olives. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
- Serve hot.
This dish is wonderful served over cauli-rice!
Per serving: 401.1 cal, 31.1 g protein, 26.8 g fat, 8.1 g carbs, 2.2 g fiber, 5.9 g NET carbs
- Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
Keywords: Cuban, Hispanic, Latino, Picadillo, Hash