Lunch During the Week Vs. Lunch On My Day Off

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I had the day off today so I got the southwestern salad from California Tortilla for lunch today after spending way too much at DSW. I forgot to ask for no corn or tortilla strips, but I’ve been really good lately so I just said fuck it and ate the small amount of corn and tiny tortilla strips mixed into the salad. I swapped the grilled chicken for taco meat because I’ve been hankering for a good taco salad for days now. I don’t go here often because it’s sort of out of the way for me, but it’s good when I need a change.

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I made turkey burgers for during the week. I eat a turkey burger with A-1 sauce and green beans with butter every day for lunch at work. It’s easy to throw into a Tupperware to bring to work, easy to reheat, and is filling. Since I’ve been eating this for lunch, I’ve been losing weight better. I really like the Mighty Spark burgers, which taste great and also give back to charity. Feel good food!

So far, I haven’t gotten sick of my turkey burger and green bean lunches. I figure I can swap out the veggies or change sauces if I get too bored with it!

Food Prep for During the Week

Having Monday off is always so confusing because I do “Sunday Things” on Monday! That means today was food prep day for during the week. My menu this week is:

Breakfast: Cream Cheese Pancakes with butter and Walden Farms 0 carb syrup with McDonald’s bacon and coffee with cream

Lunch: Turkey burger with A-1 sauce and Green Giant broccoli with cheese sauce

Snack: Banana Cream Protein Shake

Dinner: Salmon with kohlrabi noodles and parm (and maybe Chipotle or other “out” food later in the week)

Dessert: small piece of keto fudge (coconut oil + cocoa powder + Truvia)

Snack: avocado

I purposefully tried to make this week’s menu super simple. I’m going to be pretty busy at work this week so I didn’t want to fuss with complicated recipes. I need grab and go! The cream cheese pancakes are easy to make the night before and reheat well. I’m going to supplement them with some bacon from McDonald’s since I stop there every day to get my coffee.

Turkey burgers are super easy to throw on my George Foreman grill so now I’ve got burgers to last the rest of the week. I use the pre-shaped burgers from the grocery store and add a bit of Montreal Chicken Seasoning before they go on the grill. I’m keeping it simple with just A-1 as a topping and a frozen vegetable side. The Green Giant broccoli with cheese sauce tastes great although a box doesn’t make very much. I only got two smallish servings out of it.

I have some frozen salmon that I’ll heat up tomorrow or dinner with some kohlrabi noodles with parm and butter as a side. That will be at least two dinners. The other nights will probably be my old standby - Chipotle!

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Dessert is keto fudge. I make this once or twice a week and just nibble away at it throughout the week. Put 1/4 cup coconut oil and 3 TB cocoa powder in a mug with dash of Truvia or other sugar free sweetener. Microwave for 40 seconds and pour onto a parchment lined plate (or container of your choosing). Put in the freezer. I just break off a small piece when I want a sweet or chocolatey snack.

I’ve got some avocados on standby for snacks. I’ve been making parm chips with everything bagel seasoning as well when I need a snack. Pile a generous pinch of shredded parm onto a plate. I usually make three piles and pat them into a circle shape. Microwave for one minute. Let stand for a few seconds until they hardened up a bit and then pry off the plate with a fork and top with seasoning.

So, there’s my food for the week!

Perdue Lightly Breaded Chicken Strips in a Salad

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While looking for some new lunch/dinner options, I saw people raving over Tyson Blackened Chicken Strips. People couldn’t stop talking about them, which is odd for a frozen chicken strip. The Tyson site was full of reviews about how great they were, many from fellow Keto dieters, but also complaints that people couldn’t find them anymore. The Tyson folks were kindly answering questions in a friendly vague way that wasn’t really all that helpful. A quick search showed there were no Blackened Chicken Strips anywhere near me. I began to mourn a chicken strip I had never even had.

During my grocery trip today, I searched in vain, just in case the internet was wrong, but alas, no blackened chicken strips. I did, however, find some Tyson Lightly Breaded Chicken Strips that were only 6g carbs. I had tried the fresh version of these that is available with the lunch meat and prepared foods, but I’d never tried the frozen ones, which oddly have like half the carbs!

I wasn’t in the mood for cooking this week so my plan was to just make a simple Cobb-ish type salad with the chicken strips, eggs, black olives, feta cheese, lettuce, and dressing. All was well until I noticed I bought the fat free Feta by accident. It’s not the end of the world, but is pretty much the antithesis of keto. There’s plenty of other fats in my salad so this isn’t a crisis, just more of an annoyance because who wants fat free feta anyway! Blech. The salad turned out okay, even with the fat free feta. Thank god I got some parm as a backup.

Last week I was having the kohlrabi noodles every night. Well, today, there was NO kohlrabi noodles to be found. They were gone! This blog isn’t that popular to cause a rush on kohlrabi noodles….or is it! I’ll have to check back in a day or so to see if they’ve stocked up again. I’m sad about it. They didn’t even have any shirataki noodles. My whole area must being doing keto.

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I did some massive shopping yesterday. My clothes are getting pretty tired and I felt like I needed a bit of an upgrade since I’m starting a new project at work. The scale is as stubborn as ever. My weight loss for the week was .2 pounds, but I am getting smaller somehow! I’m feeling really great about how I look at the moment so that’s been nice. I still haven’t even reached my former “fat” weight so it’s nice to feel so good about myself even if the scale is doing its own thing.

Recipe: Ginger Garlic Ground Beef Bowl

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I saw this recipe on Wholesome Yum and I knew I had to try it. This is exactly the kind of meal I like to bring to work for lunches during the week - easy to put in a storage container and easy to reheat. An added bonus was that I had a lot of these ingredients already because it has a lot of the same ingredients as the egg roll in a bowl recipe that I’ve made before. My grocery store had all the ground beef on sale, but that made me super skeptical so I got the grass-fed beef instead. Don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients or the multiple steps. It came together so quick and easy!

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Cauliflower Rice Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Olive oil

  • 1 lb riced cauliflower (I used bagged fresh riced cauliflower from the store)

  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt

  • 1/8 tsp Black pepper

Beef Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Olive oil

  • 1 lb Ground beef (I used grass-fed beef)

  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt

  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced (I used the kind in the tube)

  • 1/4 cup Coconut aminos

  • 1/4 cup Beef broth

  • 2 tsp Sesame oil

  • 1/4 tsp Ground ginger (I used Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Ginger)

  • 1/4 tsp Crushed red pepper flakes

Optional Garnishes:

  • 1/4 cup Green onions, sliced

  • 1 tsp Sesame seeds

  • 1 small Cucumber, sliced

Instructions:

  1. I used bagged, riced cauliflower, but if you are making your own, rice the cauliflower in a food processor.

  2. Heat 1 TB olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.

  3. Add cauliflower rice. Season with sea salt and black pepper, if desired. Saute for 3-5 minutes, until cooked through. Remove the cauliflower rice from heat, set aside, and cover to keep warm.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut aminos, beef broth, sesame oil, ground ginger, and red pepper flakes. Set the sauce aside.

  5. Turn the heat back to medium-high. Add another tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Add the ground beef and season with sea salt and pepper. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spatula and stirring occasionally, until browned.

  6. Make a well in the beef and add the minced garlic. Saute for about a minute, until fragrant, then mix into the beef. (I used minced garlic from a tube and just mixed it in with other sauce ingredients and it still tasted fine).

  7. Pour the sauce over the beef. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the sauce is reduced and thickened. I had no liquid left at the end.

  8. Divide the cauliflower rice among plates. Top with ground beef. Garnish with sliced green onions, sesame seeds, and/or cucumber slices. I used cucumber only, but any of the optional garnishes would be great!

This was supposed to make 4 servings, but I only got about 3 out of it (plus a small tasting dish).

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Calories: 513, Fat: 36g, Carbs: 12g Fiber: 3g Protein: 35g (net carbs = 9g)

Quick Keto Lunch Ideas

I’m always looking for quick lunch ideas that don’t require a lot of prep and are easy to transport to work. This pre-made chef salad from my local grocery store has plenty of turkey, ham, cheese, eggs, and veggies and even comes with a dressing packet. Here’s some other quick ideas..

  • Tuna or chicken salad with veggies or lettuce

  • Roasted or grilled chicken with roasted veggies and dip

  • Bacon, hardboiled eggs, and lettuce or veggies with dressing or guac

  • Turkey or chicken sausage with cooked or raw veggies and dip

  • Pepperoni, salami or other meat with string cheese and tomatoes

  • Cobb salad

  • Caesar salad with chicken (minus the croutons - use parmesan crisps instead)

  • Bunless burger with cheese and your choice of toppings (pickles, onions, mayo, mustard, guac)

  • Steak, pork, or chicken bowl with cauliflower rice, cheese, salsa, sour cream, cheese, guac

What are some of your favorite Keto lunches?