Recipes + Menu

One of the most daunting tasks for most people when they start tracking their food, is learning the app and more specifically how to create recipes in the app. Recipes can be tricky when all you want to know is how much you are supposed to be eating. Cooking for just two or even one person can be hard enough, knowing just how much to cook and how much of a serving to eat is even more difficult.

To create a recipe in the app, it is just like writing down the ingredients list, but the macros and calories are attached to it. This can be a game changer when you are actually tracking. You can’t omit anything from your ingredients list in the app unless you are certain it has zero calories and zero macros. Some people like to actually write down every ingredient, its macros, and calories, then do the calculations before putting into the app. That is not really necessary.

Let’s just look at a simple side dish as an example, cauliflower mash. I do make changes to the original recipe to make it work for me, as shown below. I enter the list of ingredients in the amounts that I use. From there, I weigh out the total amount of the dish. Knowing the total weight of the dish is important because you will divide the weight by the number of servings you want. This tells you how much each serving will weigh when you portion it out.

This is a list of all the ingredients in the app.
This is where you will create the amount of servings you would like to have and the macro nutrients will reflect the amount in each serving.

The number of servings can be determined in two ways. One way can be based on how many macros each serving contains. You might cook a dish, like the coconut cream cheese sauce in this recipe and do not need to just split the sauce into 4 servings. If you were to split this sauce into just 4 servings, the macros would likely bust your fat for the day or it would be too many calories for something so small. For the cauliflower mash, you are not concerned about macros and just want to eat as much as possible. You still track everything but you know that the macros in the mash will not bust what you have allowed yourself.

I like to play around with the serving amounts and ingredients until I get a serving that will adequately meet my macros for that meal. Remember, you don’t want to completely deplete one macro-nutrient in a single meal. Make sure you spread the macro-love throughout the day, so you are not panicking at supper because you have already eaten all the carbohydrates you have allotted yourself or you have a ton left to eat and don’t feel like eating anymore. Don’t plan to eat pasta at lunch, pretzels for a snack, and a pork bowl with rice for supper. You will more than likely be overeating on your carbohydrates and that is not how you will reach your goals.

If you are just starting out, you can divide your macros by the number of meals you plan on eating. I like to account for snacks and a possible dessert, so I leave a little wiggle room for those treats. If you are a 3-meals a day, with no snacking between and no chance of dessert or alcohol, then just divide it evenly. Another important thing to remember is eating around your training. I always eat the bulk of my carbohydrates before and after my workouts. It helps to sustain my energy and helps me to recover quickly from the workout as well.

My best advice for those that do not have food sense, is to honestly track what you are eating on a daily basis for a couple of weeks. Knowing what foods are going to help you reach your goal and those that will put you way over your goal is half the battle. Learn what is really in the food that you are eating. You would probably be surprised to know how many calories and carbohydrates are in less than a hand full of pretzels. You will be able to make smart choices regarding snacks and what food to omit from the recipes and which ones to dial back. Since I have been tracking so long, food sense just seems like common sense to me, but it really is a learning process.


New Food Review

No new food this past week to report on. I am sure I will be making something new soon for you to read about!


M E N U

Pork Bowl

Hamburgers

Carne Asada

Chicken Fajita Stir Fry

Pork Tacos


Pork Bowl

I know we had a pork bowl last week, but I love this dish so much I would eat it every week. I bought twin packs of pork butts and threw them in the freezer still in the same packaging. I mean, who has freezer bags big enough for an entire pork butt? Instead of cooking the second pork butt and freezing it, yet again, I am going to use it this week. I had so much meat leftover from the first butt, that it lasted me through the weekend.

Two weeks in a row I have been unable to find tomatillos and have had to substitute with salsa verde. It really hasn’t made much of a difference other than I like the fresh roasted taste. I added all the ingredients in the blender with the verde, topped it off with pineapple, and it was a great salsa. I am going to hopefully find some tomatillos this week and roast them in the oven with the vegetables. I only used 1/3rd of a cup of pineapple in each bowl this week, but plan to use more.

For the pork butt, I cook the meat in the crockpot for 8 hours on low. To season, I evenly coat all sides with yellow mustard and season with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and paprika. Once the meat is cooked thoroughly, let it cool and then separate the meat from the fat. It really does defeat the purpose of healthy tacos and sandwiches if you leave the fat in there.

As I was writing my grocery list, I realized almost every recipe has bell peppers and onions. Sorry about that. Just chop it all at one time and you are good to go!

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:  
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
*pork butt 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*omit 
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
kosher salt and black pepper
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
6-8 small flour tortillas, warmed
*1/2 cup cooked jasmine rice per bowl 
*limes for topping 
ROASTED PINEAPPLE SALSA VERDE
6 small tomatillos, husked
*salsa verde if no tomatillos
1 jalapeño
4 green onions
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
* add garlic 
1 cup diced pineapple 
*1/2 cup per bowl
 
For the pork butt:  
1 Boston Butt  
Paprika  
Salt  
Pepper 
Yellow Mustard  
Onion Powder  
Chili Powder  
Garlic Powder   

Hamburgers

School will be out this week, the kids are done on Wednesday and I am “off” for the summer (minus different meetings and such) on Friday. Which means lots of extra time to be outside and grill some good food. Hamburgers get a bad wrap for being unhealthy, but if you keep them simple or even eat them in a lettuce wrap you can keep them fairly healthy. Grilling the meat allows for the fat to drip off, so in my opinion you aren’t really eating as much fat as you are tracking when you put in raw 80/20 or 93/7. I did look up the nutritional value of cooked and drained 80/20 and that is the meat I plug into my app when I cook ground beef. You can also opt for turkey burgers to cut back on fat as well.

We keep our hamburgers simple, but feel free to jazz it up anyway you would like.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:  
80/20 ground beef or ground turkey 
Brioche Buns (164 calories, 5g protein, 27g carbs, 4g fat) or Lettuce Wrap
Lettuce
Heirloom Tomato
Onion 
Pickles
Ketchup 
Mustard 

Carne Asada

This recipe is only for meat, which they put into tortillas and topped with guacamole. I plan to make it a sheet pan dinner and serve over rice or in a tortilla depending on how my macros look that night. To make this more complete and filling I am going to add some vegetables and cook them along with the meat in the oven at 425 degrees until the meat is medium-rare. I don’t like my steak overly cooked, so I am going to put the steak in the oven after the vegetables have roasted for 10 minutes, so they get enough time in the oven to soften. Since this calls for the meat to marinate, I will put it in the marinade before I start my meal prep and let it be the last thing that I put into the oven with the vegetables that I plan to eat with it. I am going to season the vegetables with the same seasoning as the pork bowl.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
*omit oil
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
Juice of 1 orange
*1/2 cup
Juice of 1 lime
4 cloves garlic, minced
*add fresh minced ginger
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds flank steak 
*add in preferred vegetables (zucchini, bell pepper onion)
*season vegetables with:  
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
kosher salt and black pepper 

Chicken Fajita Stir Fry

We haven’t made a simple stir fry in a long time. A lot of the meals I cook could technically be a stir fry, but all in one pan, one big meal with no salsa is what I am after this week. Josh made a simple stir fry about a year ago and we haven’t had it since. Luckily, this blog is an archive of all the food I have cooked in the past year and a half (give or take a few months) and I can always pull up the old post to see exactly what we did.

There is no link since he made the recipe up using vegetables we had on hand at the time. I am leaving out a few ingredients and making some slight changes.

Cut up the vegetables and season well with salt, pepper, 1/4th cup soy sauce, and 1/4th cup teriyaki marinade. Cut the chicken into 1 inch chunks while the vegetables cook down. After 5-8 minutes or once the vegetables have started to soften, add the chicken to the pan to cook down with the veggies. Lastly, he added 1 cup of cooked jasmine rice to the pan to heat up in the pan and soak up some of the flavor. I am skipping this step, because tracking the macros with the rice added makes it more difficult than I would like. If you aren’t worried about tracking your food, then add the rice to the pan. I will pour the extra sauce onto my rice in equal amounts.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:
3 chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
2 Heads of broccoli 
3 Zucchini sliced 
1 Onion 
Salt 
Pepper
Soy Sauce 1/4th cup 
Teriyaki Marinade 1/4th cup 
Jasmine Rice- 1 cup cooked  

Pork Tacos

We are going back to the basics and making the pork tacos like we used to. Every time I make a salsa to go with pork tacos, it turns into a pork bowl, like the first recipe above. I am not complaining about a pork bowl one bit, but I have rice or a bun with every meal this week and need one to be lighter than the rest.

This taco recipe is just about as simple as it can get. Chop the peppers and onions and saute them until soft. Do not add the verde to the peppers and onions, wait to add that to the meat. The pork butt will already be cooked, so you can add the verde to the meat after you have weighed out the portion you want to eat.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:
Pork Butt 
2 Green Bell Peppers
1 Red Bell Pepper 
1 Onion 
1 jar Salsa Verde
Low Carb/high Fiber Tortilla

E N J O Y !

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