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!

Recipe: Cucumber Salad

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I gave this family favorite a makeover to make it keto friendly. Growing up, my parents made cucumber salad a lot. There always seemed to be some in the refrigerator (probably because my dad had a mini garden in the backyard and too many cucumbers)! There is something so yummy about this salad that has a little bit of everything - sweet, sour, spice! It’s super healthy and a great snack especially when you swap out the sugar with sweetener.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cucumbers

  • 1 small onion (optional)

  • 1/2 cup Vinegar (or enough to cover cucumbers)

  • 3/8 tsp (or 1 1/2 packets of Truvia (or to taste)

  • pepper to taste

  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Slice the cucumbers, removing skin if desired. I feel like they soak up the vinegar better if you remove the skin, but if you’re too lazy, it still turns out great! I’m not super precise with this recipe so I usually just kind of wing it, tasting as I go!

Add to a bowl or tray and cover with vinegar. Add Truvia or sweetener of choice, pepper, and salt, to taste. Stir to combine and let sit in the refrigerator for an hour or two so the cucumbers soak up the vinegar. The longer it sits, the better it tastes! But I usually can’t wait that long.

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)

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

I love buffalo chicken wings so a salad inspired by that? I’m all in! This comes together super fast - even faster if you use precooked rotisserie chicken. I poached and shredded chicken breasts and that was the hardest part of this whole recipe. If you can boil water, you can poach chicken!

I did take some time to google the best way to poach chicken because I’ve done it before and had mixed results. I don’t usually like poached chicken unless it’s being used as a base for chicken salad or something else. This turned out pretty great and I was actually looking forward to coming home tonight to eat it again for dinner!

  • 3 Chicken Breasts, poached or otherwise cooked and shredded

  • Water or chicken stock

  • Salt and other herbs for poaching

  • 1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce

  • 2 TB butter

  • Lettuce

  • Celery

  • Blue cheese dressing

If you are going to poach the chicken (instead of using precooked chicken): Put chicken breasts in a pot and cover with water or chicken stock to about an inch over the chicken. Add some salt and any additional seasonings you want to the water. You don’t have to add any herbs or use chicken stock but it may give more flavor. Since this chicken is just going to be covered in wing sauce, I skipped the seasonings besides salt. Turn the heat onto medium and wait for it to come to a low boil. When it starts to boil, reduce hit and let cook the rest of the way for approximately 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove breasts from pot and let rest and cool on a plate for a bit. Shred the chicken with your fingers or two forks.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the wing sauce and stir to combine. Add the shredded chicken and combine so all chicken is coated in wing sauce.

Serve over top lettuce and celery and top with Blue Cheese Dressing. I forgot the celery when I made mine * facepalm * but this was still super tasty!

2 Easy, Healthy Recipes to Get You Through the Work Week

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I spend a lot of time commuting to the day job so I don’t have tons of time to sweat over a hot stove when I come home. I also need a lunch that I can bring to work easily that doesn’t require tons of storage containers and let’s me eat on the go (since I usually eat while I’m working).

Lunch this week is keto-friendly cauliflower chicken fried rice based on a recipe I found on Fifteen Spatulas. Although there are a few parts to this recipe, it all whips together easily and best of all, you can scoop some out into a storage container and reheat easily at work. I used some pre-riced cauliflower and pre-chopped onions, carrots, and celery from the grocery store to save even more time. My grocery store was actually out of ground chicken (they had one suspicious looking package sitting all by itself) so I used ground turkey, but any ground meat would be fine.

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Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided

  • 1 lb ground chicken

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce, divided

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot

  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

  • 1/2 cup chopped celery

  • 2 cloves minced garlic (1 tbsp)

  • 3 to 4 cups cauliflower rice (I used a package of pre-riced cauliflower from the produce section)

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

Instructions

  • Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tbsp of oil. Add the ground chicken, breaking up the meat and cooking until no pink remains.

  • Add 1 tbsp of soy sauce, stir, and put the chicken in a separate bowl.

  • Add 1 tbsp of oil to pan and add the eggs. Cook for about 2 minutes, then flip the egg over to finish cooking, approximately 1 more minute. Remove the cooked egg and chop into small pieces.

  • Add the remaining tbsp of oil, garlic, carrot, onion, and celery. Add 1 tbsp soy sauce and cook for 5 minutes, until veggies are slightly softened.

  • Add the cauliflower rice and the remaining 1 tbsp soy sauce.

  • Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the cauliflower is slightly softened. Add the chicken and egg back into the pan and add the sesame oil. Stir everything together and enjoy!

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BBQ Ground Pork

This recipe came about because I was going to make pulled pork, but my grocery store only had giant $30 pork shoulders so maybe some other time! Because I had my heart set on BBQ pork, I figured I would just cooked up some ground pork and add some vinegar-based BBQ sauce to get the same flavor. I am a fan of the North Carolina style of bbq, which is vinegar based (versus thick, sweet sauce) and these vinegar-based BBQ sauces are usually low in carbs.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork

  • Vinegar-based BBQ sauce (should be low in carbs)

  • Can of southern-style mixed greens

Instructions

I browned the ground pork in a pan until cooked through, dumped in some of the BBQ sauce, and cooked for a bit until blended and hot. I served this with some canned southern-style mixed greens. This recipe is really good if you mix the greens and pork together as you eat!

This has been such an easy meal to come home to! I just scoop some of the pork and greens out on a plate and reheat! A healthy meal in just a minute or two!

Recipe: Tinfoil Tilapia with Salsa

Tilapia cooked in a packet couldn't be any easier! The salsa flavors the tilapia. Serve with guacamole or slices of avocado.

  • 4 oz tilapia fillets (two small fillets)

  • 3 TB salsa

  • 1 tsp lime juice

  • Guacamole or sliced avocado

  • Lettuce

 Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray foil lined baking sheet with PAM spray. Place fish on foil. Spread salsa over fillets and squeeze lime juice over top.  Fold the foil over to make a packet.  Bake for 20 minutes or until fish is flaky. Add salt and pepper, as necessary. Serve over lettuce with guacamole or sliced avocado.

Recipe: Easy Egg Salad

Egg salad is so easy to make. I try to keep some hardboiled eggs around the house for quick snacks and meals. This is perfect for when you are short on time and just need something quick.

I’m lazy so I buy the Eggland’s Best Hardboiled Eggs that are already cooked, but you could boil your own. This makes a small portion (for more, double the recipe).

  • 1 hardboiled egg

  • 1 TB Primal Mayo

  • 1 TB sugar free relish

  • salt and pepper

Chop the egg and add the mayo and relish and season to taste. You can add cheese, hot peppers, curry powder, or whatever your favorite add-ins are! I eat mine with salad. This makes a small serving, so just increase the amount of everything if you want more!

Kale Chips in 20 Minutes

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Kale chips are a great keto-friendly snack. You can buy them already made, but they tend to be expensive for such a small amount. They’re easy to make at home though and a big bag of kale will make tons of them (I don’t make the whole bag at once). There are so many kale chip recipes out there, but this is what works for me.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • Rip kale into bit size pieces and spread out over a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.

  • Drizzle a bit of olive oil over top and mix with your hands to get olive oil all over.

  • Sprinkle seasoning of choice over top. I am using veggie grilling seasoning and salt at the moment.

  • Bake for 20 minutes, checking on them around 10 minutes in.

I like mine crispy and a little burnt on the edges so keep an eye on them towards the end. This amount of time and heat seems to make them come out perfect - crispy, but not overly burnt! If you bake them for too short of time, they’ll be floppy!

You’ll know you made them right if they rattle like the ones above!