Meal Planning

Fall Cooking

Sunday I made some keto chili. With some help! Logan wanted to chop things. He has a special knife (a toddler plastic knife that is about as sharp as a plastic knife but it can cut SOME things) and he tried to chop celery (that didn’t really work) and then switched to onions. He did that for awhile and then said “the onions got me”. LOL

So I finished up chopping onions and stuff. Then he helped stir a little:

Then he lost interest. 😉 But we are trying! I made a few substitutions. I didn’t have low carb beer, so I used a splash of red wine instead. I also added celery (one stalk). I also did a combo of ground beef and chunks of stew meat to give it a little variety of texture since I wasn’t adding corn and beans and stuff.

The Best Paleo & Keto Chili

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic ran through a press
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 500 g ground beef
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder *
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground cumin to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons paprika to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder optional, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional, to taste
  • 1 400 g can diced tomatoes
  • 240 ml beef broth
  • 120 ml (gluten free or low carb) beer optional**
  • 60 ml strong brewed coffee optional**
  • kosher salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat up olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium/high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook until it just begins to brown (about 8 minutes). 
  2. Lower heat to medium, add ground beef, cloves and a large pinch of salt. Cook until it begins to brown, stirring every so often (5 to 7 minutes). Add in all the spices and cook for a couple more minutes until fragrant. Some peeps enjoy their chili spicier, others strong on cumin, etc… so feel free to adjust the spices slowly as the chili cooks (the fun part!). 
  3. Add tomatoes and continue to cook over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Lower the heat to low and continue to cook for 15 minutes, stirring every so often.
  4. Add in the beef broth, beer (optional) and coffee (optional). Continue to cook for 3 to 8 hours. Adding 1/4 cup water (or broth) at a time, as needed. Remember that the longer you cook it, the more flavor it gets! 
  5. Allow your chili to rest for 10 minutes prior to serving with your favorite toppings.

Recipe Notes

*Chili spices can vary a lot in taste (and preference!). Buying a ready-made chili powder mix is a good place to start. But do feel free to play around with the individual spices to your liking (think chili, oregano, cumin, coriander, paprika, chipotle… you could even add some chili ancho!).

**Adding in some (gluten free, low carb) beer and coffee add a bunch of flavor. But totally optional, and your chili will still be magnificent without them! 

Please note that nutrition facts were estimated per serving (assuming a yield of 6). Nutrition Facts: Calories 251 Fat 17g Saturated Fat 6g Carbohydrates 6g Fiber 2g Sugar 2g Protein 16g

I put everything in the crockpot because I had a lot of stuff to do and would rather do chili in a crockpot all day anyways.

It turned out pretty good but not quite chili. It was more like a beef stew. I topped it with some shredded cheese, chopped red onion, sour cream and some pickled radishes (David Lebovitz’s are my favorite, and if you don’t follow him on Instagram, you should!). The pickled radishes on top were kind of an excellent addition!

Next time I would drain the can of tomatoes so there was a little less liquid.

The other recipe I tried was Lean Green Bean’s Spicy Yogurt Marinated Chicken.

SPICY YOGURT MARINATED CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS

1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
3/4 cup plain yogurt (regular or greek)
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, minced
juice from one lime
pinch of salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag.
  2. Close tightly and use your hands to mix everything around and make sure the chicken is well coated.
  3. Marinate in the fridge at least 2 hours. (24 hours is best!)
  4. Remove the chicken and cook as desired, discarding the remaining marinade. I cooked mine on a sheet pan with green beans at 400 for 15-25 minutes. Time will vary depending on the thickness of your chicken. Check internal temperature until it reaches 165. You may need to remove the green beans before your chicken is done!

NOTES

To cook the sweet potatoes, thinly slice, spray with oil, season as desired and bake at 400 or 425 for 20-25 min flipping once.

I let it marinade for over 24 hours and then we had it for dinner Monday night. I loved having a quick and easy meal nearly ready for a Monday night meal.

This one was definitely a winner! It had some spice, too! Loved the flavors, loved how easy it was.

The only changes I would make: I’d use chicken breasts instead of thighs and I’d put the green beans in the oven half-way through the chicken cooking. The green beans got a little overdone. They still tasted great, but were a little soft.

Will definitely make this one again!

Sun Basket Week 3

This is the last post for awhile. We’ve done this experiment for three weeks and enjoyed the diversity and the unique recipes we wouldn’t normally try. But the cost was a little out of our budget and honestly, I was looking forward to being able to experiment more with new recipes on our own. That is not to say that I am quitting Sun Basket, but I am skipping the next few weeks of delivery and when I see a week that sounds really good to me, I might try it. I am thinking once a month this would be a good service to do.

Week Three

Spanish shrimp fritters with artichoke relish

420 calories, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Mediterranean, Diabetes-Friendly

The first meal of this box we did the shrimp fritters. I did all the prep work and then Michael stepped in to make the fritters while I put Logan to bed.

There was a medium amount of prep involved in this particular dish, but it wasn’t too bad. We both really liked the texture and flavor of the roasted green beans. As for the fritters, I was especially excited about this recipe because it sounded so unique. I was a bit disappointed. The flavors were kind of bland. Michael thought the fritters needed to be cooked at a higher temperature next time and I agree. I wanted them to be slightly crispier.

The green beans were great. The relish was just ok. I liked the concept and would recreate it, but I would probably use a different flavor profile–like spicy/cajun seasoning for the fritters and a corn and onion relish instead.

The serving size for the green beans also seemed a bit big. We got three servings out of what they sent. Which was fine with me because I had the beans for lunch the next day!

Spicy Balinese chicken with cucumber-cabbage salad

530 calories, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Lean & Clean, Diabetes-Friendly

We LOVED this one. It was pretty easy to make and it was absolutely delicious. It was definitely MY flavor profile (I love everything spicy and curry-ish) and Michael is less interested in those flavors. He is not a fan of Indian food but I love it and I keep trying to sneak in recipes that are SORT of Indian that I think he’ll like. I’m glad he liked this one.

The chicken was great (boneless chicken thighs) and delicious. Lots of flavor, lots of spice and the chicken wasn’t dry. I liked the cashew dressing and the chopped cashews on top.

I was a little nervous about the mint–mint can be really overpowering, but it worked. All of it was great. This was definitely a winner and we will definitely make it again! Be aware–it IS spicy! Which is nice, because most “spicy” recipes are not spicy at all. I thought it would be nice with a dollop of plain greek yogurt on top of the chicken, too.

Taiwanese noodle soup with pork and baby greens

470 calories, Dairy-Free

I was really looking forward to this recipe. The weather is turning cooler and darker and I am feeling more tired and like I’m possibly fighting off a cold. So a hearty, warm, flavorful soup sounded really good.

This recipe had a little more prep and more steps involved, but it was ok. First off– we both loved the freshly made ramen noodles. They were amazing! So much better than store-bought, dried noodles. Second, the kitchen smelled amazing.

How was the soup? It was pretty good! We both felt like it was missing something but it still tasted really good. We decided we’d make it again and use 2 cups of beef broth and 3 cups of water for the soup broth (instead of just 5 cups of water like the recipe said).

It was kinda like pho but not exactly. We topped the ramen and pork with fresh onions, raw minced garlic and the cilantro. All the flavors of the toppings were really nice in the soup. And we both added sriracha! It was a great fall soup for dinner.

I have a discount code, if you want to use it!