Hello there. I have been laying low since school got out for the summer and apparently for the first few weeks of school too. I started writing this two weeks ago…so motivation and time to get back on the blog are lacking.
I continued to post on Instagram, but not near what I had been doing. I changed classrooms and moved houses in the last two weeks of school. I moved into a veteran teacher’s classroom and if you are a teacher, you know what I am talking about. If not, let me tell you, teachers have A LOT of stuff. I still feel like life is up in the air. We are still in the process of selling our first house and there is still plenty left to do at the new house, to make it feel complete.
I took a break from the blog, but that was about the only thing I let fall by the wayside. Moving, three kids, all the summer fun…I just did not want to feel burdened by my blog and start to dislike it. I started copying old posts, so I knew it was time to press pause and just get myself together. I still feel like I am trying to get it together. I have not been to the gym since school started back. It just doesn’t fit. Thomas consistently wakes up in the 5 o’clock hour and I can’t wake up early enough to work out before he wakes up and get ready for work. Summer spoiled me for sure. I could sleep until 6:30, get the kids fed and go to the gym. I was working out alone, but I was at least going.
Now I am reduced to working out on the screened-in porch with my dumbbells while Thomas crawls around in the afternoons. It is not ideal, but I do feel much better after I work out. I just started doing this, so maybe it will stick. I have always enjoyed working out in the morning, but I have got to do something over nothing.
I had a super stressful Friday a week or so ago. When I got home I was just over it and really did not want to go on the porch and workout. I had not worked out all week, but I needed something to get my mind off of the stress. I got the kids settled and busted my butt on the porch. I felt so much better after making myself move. It might be the last thing I want to do, but I always feel so much better after. My mindset shifts when I am working out. I used to hate working out with the kids, but it is either workout with the kids or not at all right now. I just can’t take my workout very seriously with Thomas crawling on me as I am doing leg raises. Something is always better than nothing and I have to start back somewhere, even if it means I am not going as hard or heavy as I would like.
Side note: I think I would really like to write a MACRO cookbook one day.
Pulled Pork Sandwich
Pork Loin + 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
Oh, this salad gets me so excited for supper and lunch the next day. To say I love this salad is an understatement. I have used the zesty seasoning so many times since the first time I tried it and it never disappoints.
The first time I made this dish, I did a mixture of shrimp and chicken, which is a cheaper way to get more protein in. The chicken was great, but the shrimp were right on the money. So good. The lemon and lime zest mixed with the spices, and one ounce of honey…such a good combination! This time I am going to use backstrap. It is super lean and we have a good bit of it saved up in the freezer right now.
To be 100% honest it is SO frustrating trying to calculate the macros for this dish because there are so many separate parts to it. I put everything into one recipe on my app, but keep all the ingredients separate to divide evenly to each salad. It is tedious, but worth it to get the exact macros. When I made this dish before, the macros were 286 calories, 42.2 grams of protein, 20.6 grams of carbohydrates, and 5.7 grams of fat. I did add some extra shrimp for the second day because the calories are very low and the shrimp were amazing.
*Changes I make to meet my macros
Ingredients: 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined *zero calorie olive oil spray 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder 1 teaspoon smoked paprika *1 ounce honey zest of 1 lemon and 1 lime kosher salt and pepper 6 cups mixed greens spinach or arugula *245 grams peach (split into 4 servings) *1 cup sweet corn 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved if large AVOCADO VINAIGRETTE * 3 ounces avocado, halved and pitted 1 cup fresh cilantro 1 jalapeño, halved and seeded, if desired juice of 1 lime * 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 pinch of kosher salt
Pork Loin + Yogurt Mashed Potatoes
We are going to grill a pork loin on the RecTeq. For this recipe, you will cut the loin as if you are going to cut it into chops, stopping about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch from the bottom to stuff. Then season the outside of the loin and inside of the cut slices with Meat Church Honey Bacon BBQ and Holy Voodoo. Next wrap thinly sliced pieces of peach with prosciutto.
The amount of peach and prosciutto was not much, but I still got an estimate on what each piece weighed and counted that into my macros for the final recipe. One slice of peach weighed roughly 10 grams and the prosciutto was about 6 grams for each slice. I put one slice of wrapped peach and one slice not wrapped into each slice.
To keep the meat and peach secure, stick two long metal skewers through the meat, then place it on the grill and cook to temperature.
If you do not want to stuff your loin, you can simply season it with your favorite Meat Church and Kosmos seasonings and be done. If you aren’t in the Meat Church, Kosmos, and/or RecTeq group on Facebook/Instagram I highly recommend joining for some awesome food inspiration.
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: Whole pork loin preferred seasoning, Meat Church Honey Bacon BBQ and Holy VooDoo 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