Wednesday, August 21, 2013
I can't believe how fast time flies! It's been almost a month since my last post! The August weather in YYC has been better than the earlier months of summer and I've been taking full advantage with an awesome tan to prove it. This month has been full of events which included a wedding, a baby shower, & a QOTSA concert amongst others. I've also just gotten back into eating keto as of this Monday. I had a carb up weekend which turned into a carb up week last week...lol!
The good thing is that I am in ketosis as of this morning and I'm happy it only took 2 days. I read in a couple of forums that the time it takes to get into ketosis depends on the person and getting active helps speed up the process. Thankfully, I've been on a routine for the past few months and try to do cardio, strength training, & yoga every day. Some days I only have time for one of those but one is better than none!
Now that I've been doing keto for a few months, I definitely notice the difference in the way I feel when I eat carbs vs when I'm in keto. I found that I had some trouble sleeping while on carb up and hence felt very tired during the day. I also felt bloated and actually still do today but it is my first day back in ketosis so hopefully in a few days that will go away.
Today, I made some Spicy Pork Lettuce Wraps for dinner. I have a thriving basil plant that needed some leaves plucked as they were getting way too big so I included an easy aoli to top the wraps. This should balance out the spiciness of the pork and give it a more robust flavour.
Here's the recipe:
SPICY PORK LETTUCE WRAPS
1 tbsp bacon grease
595 g lean ground pork
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup diced white onion
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup diced green bell peppers
1 tbsp diced fresh jalapeno pepper
1 tbsp Maggi seasoning
1 tsp Mrs Dash seasoning
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
salt & pepper to taste
12 green leaf lettuce leaves
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Basil Lemon Aoli:
2 tbsp minced fresh basil
3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 large garlic clove
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the aoli, combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth & set aside.
Heat bacon grease in a deep skillet on medium.
Add the lean ground pork, garlic, & onion. Sautee until pork is no longer pink.
Add tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeno, & seasoning. Sautee until cooked.
Serve on lettuce with Basil Lemon Aoli (recipe below) and garnish with green onion & cilantro.
Nutritional Info per Portion:
Wrap - 420 Calories, 28.6 g Fat, 8.7 g Carbs, 1.3 g Fiber, 4.5 g Sugar
Aoli - 49 Calories, 5.1 g Fat, 0.9 g Carbs, 0.2 g Fiber, 0.3 g Sugar
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Growing up in the 80s, I read a lot of comic books. Among those I collected were Tintin, Archie, & perhaps my favourite of all, Garfield. I loved that lazy, cynical orange tabby and his gang of friends. Garfield always tried to blame his shenanigans on Odie, the dumb, loyal dog. Both of them owned by a single guy named John who was very, very dorky and hence, could never get a date. Occasionally, an irritatingly cute kitten named Nermal would show up and Garfield always tried to send him to Abu Dhabi.
One of the most influencing thing about Garfield for me was his love of lasagna. He always obsessed about it and as a young impressionable kid, I thought, wow, this lasagna dish must be something. So when I finally got a chance to try it, I was sold. To me it tasted just like spaghetti, but fancier, and what kid didn't like spaghetti? Although, I did have a phase where I didn't like eating anything red because I thought it was made out of blood, so I guess for awhile there I didn't like spaghetti, but it was short lived. Anyways, ever since then, I've loved lasagna.
A few weeks ago, when I posted a pic of my Zucchini & Eggplant Lasagna on Instagram, I had a few requests for the recipe. I made this dish during an impromptu dinner party I had on a weeknight. I had a couple of my BFFs over for a visit & needed something easy to make. It's a little bit labour intensive with the pre-work but if you have a mandolin, you will save a ton of time & have consistency with the zucchini & eggplant "noodles". Once the lasagna is assembled, you can pop in the oven until done. Since all the ingredients are pre-cooked prior to assembly, you're really only imparting the flavors of the meat sauce on the veg and melting the cheese so I guess timewise, it's not that bad.
Please note that this recipe is not really the "traditional" lasagna recipe as I used zucchini and eggplant for the noodles and I had no ricotta cheese so I used feta & mozza instead. I also have some perhaps non-Italian ingredients in my seasoning so yes, it's not authentic but I assure you, it will taste good!
So without further ado, here's my recipe for keto friendly, gluten free lasagna. I hope you enjoy and thanks for reading my blog!
ZUCCHINI & EGGPLANT LASAGNA
5 baby zucchini2 baby eggplants
1 cup crumbled feta cheese2 cups shredded mozza cheese1 kg extra lean ground beef
3 tbsp olive oil
1 orange bell pepper, diced
2 medium roma tomatoes, diced
8 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, diced (any type will do, I used white)
2 cans tomato paste
2 tsp Maggi seasoning
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
seasoning salt & pepper to taste
Using a mandolin, slice the the zucchini and eggplant lengthwise (about 1/4 of an inch). Brush 2 tbsp of olive oil on each side of the slices and grill on low until grill marks appear. Turn to the other side, then remove and set aside.
Heat a deep skillet on medium.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil, ground beef, garlic and onion until browned.
Add tomato paste, maggi seasoning, worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir well (remember the flavour is in the brown bits at the bottom of the pan stir, stir, stir!)
Add tomatoes & bell pepper and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
Now for the assembly. I used a 9 x 13, 3 qt glass pyrex bakeware. Spoon enough of the meat sauce on the bottom of the dish. Spread out to about 1/4 inch. Then add a layer of zucchini and top with some cheese. Repeat this layering, alternating between zucchini and eggplant.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese on top is bubbling and melted.
Serve with your choice of green salad.
Nutritional info per serving: 190 Calories, 6.5 g Total Fat, 12.6 g Carbs, 2 g Fiber, 6.1 g Sugar, 16.4 g Protein
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Wow, it's been so long since I've done a post!!! I know, I know, I’ve been a bad blogger but I've finally kicked myself into gear and hopefully I can get to posting more regularly. So…what’s new with me?
The past year has been very busy and stressful for me and I’ve gained some weight due to it. I’ve now since realized that in order to be truly happy, I need to reduce my stress, focus more on myself, and get back into a healthy lifestyle. I’m not really a very good dieter as I love to eat so when my BFF told me that she lost a lot of weight doing a keto diet, I was intrigued. I read up more about it and its benefits of weight loss so I decided to give it a go.
It's basically a low carb, high fat diet that keeps your body in ketosis mode, meaning you will be burning fat instead of carbs. You can find more info about the keto diet here.
Since I hate the word diet (it makes me feel very limited), I've decided to adopt a keto “lifestyle” instead, adding daily exercise & making healthier choices when dining out. I’ve been doing it for around 3 months now and I’ve lost around 24 lbs so far. I've cheated here and there a few times, especially during family dinners out (my family eats out a lot!), but I try to eat as healthy as I can and avoid carbs & sugars for the most part.
I’ve been posting pics of my keto friendly, homemade food on Instagram and a few of my followers there have been asking for recipes so I figure, what better way to do that than post it as a blog entry!
So for my newest post, here’s a recipe for an easy dinner that’s keto friendly and very tasty! I was inspired to make this when I saw a chicken stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon recipe someone shared on Facebook. I decided to make it healthier by adding spinach to the cheese & serving the dish with roasted broccoli. Since chicken breast is really hard to keep moist, the spread and the bacon help keep it very moist & juicy.
Hope you enjoy!
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (around 12 oz each)
12 slices of bacon (I used Fletcher's Alder Smoked Old Style Bacon)
150 g of raw baby spinach
2 cloves raw garlic, minced
1/2 a block regular cream cheese (around 15 g)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp Bovril chicken concentrate
salt & pepper to taste
Heat a non-stick pan on medium. Add olive oil, garlic, spinach, poultry seasoning, Bovril, & salt & pepper. Sautee until wilted, about 3 minutes. Let cool
Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
Slice the chicken breasts in half, lengthwise, but not all the way through. Wrap in plastic wrap and pound to flatten until about 1/2 an inch. Do this with all the chicken breasts.
In a blender, combine cooked spinach and cream cheese and blend until a smooth consistency (the spinach will be watery when wilted and this will help the blender blend the ingredients better).
Lay 4 slices of bacon vertically and place a flattened chicken breast. Spoon 2 tbsp of the spinach & cream cheese spread & spread evenly on chicken. Roll all of it together.
Place on an oiled or foiled baking sheet & bake for 30 minutes. Broil on low for about 5 minutes to crisp up the bacon.
6 cups of broccoli florets
3 cloves raw garlic, minced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Lay broccoli evenly on an oiled or foiled baking sheet.
Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.
Note: I put the broccoli in the bottom oven rack with the chicken above about 10 minutes before the chicken was done & kept it there while during the 5 minute broiling as well. Also, my oven has a speed bake option and a fan, which I used in this case so your cooking time may be longer.
Nutritional info per portion:
Chicken Roulade (6 oz.) – 471 Calories, 41.1 g Total Fat, 3.6 g Carbs, 0.4 g Fiber, 3.4 g Sugar, 20.8 g Protein
Roasted Broccoli (1 cup) – 47 Calories, 2.2 g Total Fat, 4.5 g Carbs, 2.2 g Fiber, 2 g Sugar, 3.1 g Protein
Saturday, June 16, 2012
A few weeks ago, Jess decided to have a few friends over for a fire. It was an impromptu get together and we didn't really have any dinner plans. A pizzeria near by just opened the week before and we decided to check it out.
Friday, June 15, 2012
CALGARY, AB CANADA
Ah, the pig, my favourite land animal to eat. Pigs taste good because of their fat. Pork is very succulent and a whole pig is the perfect party protein.
|Is it me or is the pig smiling?|
Monday, June 11, 2012
CALGARY, AB CANADA
Last week I was watching a food show that had featured tamales. I can't remember exactly which show it was but after seeing the tamales & getting a craving, I posted on facebook to see if anyone in Calgary knew where to get good tamales in town.