We are finally closing on our house this week! We close on Thursday so, we did not prep a full week of food. Instead of making life easy and just grabbing takeout all week, we still semi-meal prepped. I know you see pork butts on the menu a lot, but for the money, it is hard to pass up when you are wanting to cook a lot of food without putting in a lot of effort. All of us eat pulled pork, so it makes more than 8 meals (lunch + supper) for the four of us. We had some leftover spaghetti, so we ate that first this week and the blueberry salad I am not really cooking, but could easily throw it together if I needed a meal for that day.
My step-dad bought a brisket to cook while we move, so expect to see that next week. The mound of boxes in our house jacks up my anxiety, on top of toys, on top of all the regular life activities, lack of sleep, lack of gym time, and teething 7-month old. I still have a lot of packing to do, but don’t really want to add to the mess. Here’s to hoping I can get the new house organized quickly and it not drag out for weeks. Wish me luck!
M E N U
Pulled Pork Sandwich
Lemon Parmesan Salmon + Yogurt Mashed Potatoes
The spaghetti sauce I use is adapted from a bolognese lasagna sauce. It is a thicker sauce, with lots of meat and vegetables.
To make the sauce, dice the onion and bell pepper, and saute’ with the minced garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms to the pan (mushrooms are not in the lasagna). Once the mushrooms have cooked down, drain any excess water. Add the vegetables to a large pot, along with the canned tomatoes. Once the meat has cooked thoroughly, drain and add to the tomatoes and vegetables.
Stir in the milk and wine, if you are going to put those in. Let the spaghetti simmer on low. Add the tomato paste to thicken the sauce if needed. The amount of tomato paste you add depends on how thick you want your sauce to be. I use to add the whole milk and wine but have recently opted out of putting it in, to simply cut down on the calories. Save the wine and just drink it. It is delicious with or without the wine and milk.
I like to add dried oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, parsley, and any other Italian herbs I have on hand. I don’t use noodles anymore with my spaghetti. If you still want noodles, Carba-nada is a great low-carbohydrate noodle option!
Once I tried spaghetti squash I never went back. It really is not that difficult to make. I cut my squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, spray with olive oil and bake in the oven on 425 degrees until I can stick a skewer all the way through the squash to the outside (not through the outside). I allow the squash to cool and then use a fork to scrape noddle-like strands out of the squash. 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash is 42 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.5 grams of fat.
Ingredients: 4 cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes 1 can Tomato Paste (about 1 cup) 3 cloves Garlic 1 Yellow Bell Pepper (diced) 1 Onion (diced) 8 ounces Mushrooms (diced) 2-4 pounds 80/20 cooked and drained (depending on amount of people serving, I use 3.5 pounds typically and always have leftovers for the kids) 8 ounces Whole Milk (optional) 4 ounces Red Wine (optional) Italian Herbs 2-3 spaghetti squash or noodles of your choice
Pulled Pork Sandwich
There is no link for this recipe because it is so simple that you don’t need anything to guide you. I love being able to get a pork butt to cook it one way and make two completely different meals. Usually, I will have a sandwich and tacos or a pork bowl on the menu.
I used to cook the meat in the crockpot for 8 hours on low. Now, we smoke the pork butt on the RecTec util it is to temperature and season with the honey bacon bbq seasoning from Meat Church. Delicious. If you can’t get that seasoning, what we used to put on our meat is a great go-to basic seasoning that can be used for any recipe.
To season, I evenly coat all sides with yellow mustard, then season with preferred seasoning. Once the meat is in the crockpot I add soy sauce and apple cider vinegar so the meat does not dry out and soaks up some extra flavor. 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. Plus it is just gross.
I do not add the BBQ sauce until I am ready to eat each serving. I make sure to weigh out my sauce for every sandwich before I put it on the bun. I make sure to get a low carbohydrate sauce, so I don’t over waste too many of my carbs on the sauce. Simply put the bowl on the scale, weigh out the meat and the sauce in grams or ounces, depending on the nutritional label. Toast your bun, top with the meat, and pickles, and enjoy!
*Changes I make to meet my macros
Ingredients: 1 Boston Butt honey bacon bbq spice OR Paprika Salt Pepper Yellow Mustard Onion Powder Chili Powder Garlic Powder 1/4 cup Soy Sauce 1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar Brioche Bun Pickles Low Carbohydrate BBQ Sauce
This recipe is pretty identical to the 20-minute shrimp tacos I have made, which are delicious. If you haven’t made them yet and you have some shrimp on hand, run and go make them now! Seriously, one of my favorite salsas yet. The shrimp version had more ingredients in the salsa, but I like that this recipe is a bit more simple. This is my go-to bowl when I want to use pulled pork in a taco or rice bowl.
The only thing to really track in the salsa is the pineapple and tomatillos. The tomatillos are awesome roasted with the other ingredients. If you can’t find tomatillos, you can use a jar of premade Verde. Add the Verde, garlic, jalapeno, and spices to a mixer pulse together until blended well.
These fajitas always turn into rice bowls for me instead of tacos. I love this salsa so much and the macros are so great that I can have a lot of it. If you are going low carbohydrate, then skip the rice and just eat in the tortilla or alone. Some fresh cilantro, lime, and maybe avocado to top it off and you are set!
I interchange pork and chicken breast in this recipe often. Since I am making pork sandwiches this week, I will have extra pork on hand. Pork is probably my favorite way to eat this bowl, so I am really looking forward to this meal.
*Changes I make to fit my macros
Ingredients: *chicken breast or pulled pork *Spray pan with olive oil for chicken 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 *High fiber/Low carb tortilla or rice ROASTED PINEAPPLE SALSA VERDE: 6 small tomatillos, husked *verde if you can’t find tomatillos 1 jalapeño 4 green onions juice of 1 lime 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped *1/4 -1/3rd cup pineapple per serving
Lemon Parmesan Salmon + Yogurt Mashed Potatoes
Oh my goodness, I didn’t think I would like salmon any other way than how we normally cook it, but this was great. High protein, low carb, low fat. This left all the room for some good snacks. This is probably one of my favorite meals to make. I love this salmon and this beet salad never disappoints.
Usually, I like salmon our way and try to never deviate from it, but this was too good not to try. Since purchasing a RecTec Grill, we don’t wrap the salmon in tin foil any more with it being on a pellet grill. It does have a different taste to it, but I really loved it the last time we ate it. It is well worth the money in my opinion.
One night we decided to make some mashed potatoes to go along with our steak. Friday and Saturday night is usually not planned but we still try to keep pretty healthy. I saw that I had some non-fat Greek yogurt in the fridge and threw it in there. Josh thought it was sour cream and I just let him think that until he tasted it. Once he gave the approval, I let him in on my secret. Since then that is how I have made our potatoes, even for guests and they have never been able to tell the difference. Make sure to use caution when adding in the yogurt, the more you use the sweeter the potatoes will taste.
*Changes I make to meet my macros Ingredients: Salmon 6-7 ounces per serving salmon fillets *spray olive oil kosher salt and black pepper 2 teaspoons smoked paprika 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated zest of 1 lemon & lemon slices 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes *10 grams reduced fat parmesan per serving Yogurt Mashed Potatoes: 900-1000 grams red potatoes 65-75 grams non-fat Greek yogurt 1 tablespoon butter 6-8 ounces fat free milk salt, pepper, minced garlic, fresh diced rosemary
In an effort to keep the carbohydrates balanced, I try to cook two-three “heavy” carbohydrate meals and two-three light carbohydrate meals every week. I will alternate the high carb and low carb meals between lunch and supper so I don’t go over my allotted carbohydrates every day. I don’t worry about which meal of the day has the high carb or low carb, I just focus on keeping it balanced.
With this salad don’t skip making the dressing, don’t try buying some store-bought version, because it won’t be the same. Any dressing made with lemon juice is right up my alley. I skip the olive oil and just up the amount of lemon juice and it makes it extra healthy. I don’t mind eating fats but I would much rather save my fat for the almonds or avocado, not the olive oil.
Usually, I pick between almonds of avocado. I don’t want to go over on my fat because of one dish. Typically 1/4th of an avocado is 1 ounce. 1 ounce of avocado is 50 calories, 0.5 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of carbs, and 4.5 grams of fat. You can add both, just make sure you watch the calories, fat adds up quickly. Two ounces of avocado is 100 calories and that would be about a fourth of what I would want my total calories to be for one meal. In my opinion, it is just a lot of calories for something so small. Just make sure you weigh it and track it.
*Change I make to meet my macros.
Ingredients: 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound) 8 cups mixed salad greens *1/2 cup to 1 cup blueberries per salad *1 ounce avocado or less per salad *9-12 almonds per salad *10-12 grams non-fat feta 1/2 large red onion thinly sliced Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing: *1/3 cup lemon juice *1 ounce of honey *2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 cloves garlic minced 1 teaspoon poppy seeds 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper to taste