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!

Keto Meals Week 1

Here is the first week in meals. Everything I ate (100%):

Day One

Breakfast – Cheese omelet with sausage on the side. Unsweetened iced tea. Coffee with nutpod creamer.

Lunch  – SkinnyTaste’s Picadillo on salad with avocado

Snacks – Walnuts, Olives stuffed with jalapenos, Cheese

Dinner – Turkey Burger with Smoked Gouda Cheese, Bacon, Mayo. I made a cucumber salad with avocado and Newman’s Own Lite Italian Dressing (low carb and no sugar! Yay!) and a glass of red wine.

How I felt & how I did- Felt good! Wasn’t hungry! Like not at all! Didn’t feel tired or run down, either. I even worked out. My macros were great! I was pretty close on all the macros, not perfect, but that’s ok. The important part was I got to 20 net carbs. Yay me!

Day Two

Breakfast – 2 scrambled eggs (with heavy cream), with sausage and red peppers topped with cheese and sour cream and hot sauce. Coffee with heavy cream and nutpod creamer. Unsweetened iced tea.

Lunch – Antipasto Salad. Green salad with Italian dressing. Salami, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, cucumber, Greek peperoncinos and olives.

Dinner – This was the first challenge–going out to a restaurant. I could have changed our start date so that we began the Keto diet after our dinner plans with friends, but I wanted to be able to make this work even going out. We met our friends at Hopworks (basically a beer and pizza place but it’s kid friendly). I got a Cobb Salad (salad with blue cheese dressing, blue cheese crumbles, tomatoes, bacon, avocado, hard boiled egg). It came with a breadstick, which I did not eat but wanted to!

I did have a glass of wine but just one.

Overall, my second day was good. I was MUCH closer to my macro goals (67% out of 70% of fat, 23% out of 25% on protein) but today I was at 27 net carbs for the day, so over. Looking over my day I discovered that my highest carb count was the avocado–ironically–but that’s ok because it’s the good carbs. (I mean HOW is the avocado higher in carbs than my WINE?!?!)

But I worked out today, so maybe the few extra carbs were a good thing?

Day Three

Breakfast – Omelet with cheese and bacon and hot sauce. Unsweetened iced tea and coffee with heavy cream and Stevia. Still not quite the same as my coffee creamer. WAHHHHH!!!! 🙁

Lunch – I got home from swimming feeling the first effects of the coming Keto-flu (I think). I was weak and shaky and felt like my muscles didn’t work. I had steamed broccoli with Goddess Dressing and some pork rinds (which are kinda weird but good if you are craving chips). Then I had a “wrap”–two slices of turkey and salami and a slice of prosciutto wrapped around a hunk of fresh mozzarella with mayo and mustard.

Snacks – Today I had a mug of bone broth. It was good! Warm and filling. I also had a piece of cheese and, some nuts and some olives.

Dinner – Michael made pastrami on the traeger grill! It was a week long process, too! But it was cool to have homemade pastrami for dinner and we have a ton for lunches for the week. Dinner was pastrami in a low carb wrap with mayo and lettuce. It was really good!

Day Four

Breakfast – Scrambled eggs (with heavy cream) with red peppers and sausage topped with some shredded cheese. Unsweetened iced tea. I had coffee with heavy cream and Stevia when I got to work.

Lunch – Pastrami in a low carb wrap! These wraps are really great! Not only are they actually tasty but they are low in calories and low in carbs. They are only 5 net carbs. So I made a wrap with mayo, mustard, pastrami, some lettuce and cheese. Bone broth.

Snacks – I made ranch dip from scratch (Hidden Valley packet with Tillamook full fat sour cream) and had raw broccoli and cucumber. Then later I had mixed salted nuts and a piece of cheese.

Dinner – Zoodles with pesto and meatballs. Some mozzarella on the side.

Day Five

Breakfast – Cheese omelet with hot sauce. Unsweetened iced tea. Coffee with heavy cream and stevia.

Lunch – Pastrami (no wrap), avocado, mozzarella, Newman’s Own Lite Italian dressing.

Snacks – Mixed salted nuts (only 1 ounce this time), cheese in the morning. In the afternoon I had homemade ranch dip with cucumbers and broccoli.

Dinner – Pork chop with herbed butter sauce and shaved brussels sprouts.

My Take Away From Week One

  • It is actually a lot harder to get fat in your diet than you think.
  • I’m going to miss my Kombucha. 🙁
  • I have a lot more thoughts and working on a post for next week!