Creamy Steak & Bacon Skillet

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I found a really great recipe for a similar skillet with shrimp in it. My spouse is allergic to seafood so I switched it up with steak and added my own flare. I have never seen someone so satisfied and in love with their dinner before. This one was a big hit in our house!

CREAMY STEAK & BACON SKILLET

6 slices of bacon (I use thick cut, it holds up the best)
3 cups of fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 lb Beef round top steak cubed (or any type of cut you like)
1/2 c heavy whipping cream
1 tbs dried onion (or use fresh if you prefer!)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

1. Fry up the bacon. I like cutting mine into about a quarter of an inch strips 
   before I put it in the pan. Don't turn the heat up too high. 
   You don't want to accidentally burn the bacon. 
   You'll be reusing the bacon fat.
2. Once the bacon is cooked, remove from skillet and set aside. 
   Leave left over bacon fat in the skillet.
3. With the heat still on, add in your mushrooms and cook until they are softened.
4. Once mushrooms are cooked, remove from skillet and set aside with bacon.
5. Add cubed beef to the skillet. Top with salt, pepper and dried onion. 
   Cook the beef close to the way you prefer it (rare, medium rare, well, etc.)
6. Once beef is close to how you prefer it, add back in bacon, mushrooms and 
   heavy whipping cream. Mix well and warm through. 
   Keep in mind the beef will keep cooking as you do this.
7. If you prefer a thicker sauce you can allow the sauce to come to a 
   simmer and reduce a bit. We preferred it on the brothy side.
8. Serve as is or over a low carb noodle such as shirataki noodles.

Macro Nutrients*

Serving size: 1 portion
Servings in skillet: about 4

2.5 Net Carbs
25g Fat
30g Protein
384 Calories

*These are estimates based on the specific ingredients I used

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Week 3 – It’s all in the macros

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I can’t believe it’s already been three weeks. I’m back to making progress this week by following my macros more closely and I’m down about another 3 pounds. I picked up Smackfat Ketone Strips last week to start tracking whether or not I am in ketosis. I was unsure and worrying a lot about what I was eating. Knowing I’m passing ketones and in full ketosis is worth the $10.

This week we also had a date night and a family trip to the local amusement park. I am quite proud of myself to report that I did not “cheat” on my diet. I found some great low carb options on the menu. I brought lots of water to the amusement park and, my favorite, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest Bar. While I was there I also had a bun free burger that wasn’t too bad! The more I eat out the more confident I’m getting about what things I should and should not eat. I generally like to scope places out ahead of time and check out their nutrition menu before going though. I really wish all restaurants had their full nutrition menu online. It would make life a lot easier!

I have also worked on quite a few new recipes these past few days and will get those up to share soon. So far, I’ve only struck out on one dish – which happened earlier this week. I tried shirataki noodles with low carb spaghetti sauce. I couldn’t handle the texture on the noodles. I tried to force myself to eat them but it was too much for me. I’m hoping to maybe try a different type of shirataki noodle in a soup dish but I’m not holding my breath.

Here we go for week 4! I can’t wait to report back on my first month on keto next week. I’d like to set a new goal for myself. I’m assuming it will be around exercise (something I have always struggled with). We’ll see how that goes next week!

Low Carb Flaxseed Bread

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This was my first try at flaxseed bread. Overall I think it turned out great. Next time I’m going to try a smaller pan so it produces taller sandwhich-like slices but the shorter slices I have this time are great topped with butter as a side or for afternoon tea.

LOW CARB FLAXSEED BREAD

2 cups flaxseed meal
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
20 drops liquid Stevia
5 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup organic coconut oil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F
2. Combine dry ingredients
3. Mix in coconut oil, beaten eggs and Stevia.
4. Add in water gradually. You may not need the full 1/2 cup of water. 
   I eyeballed this and used a little less.
5. Pour batter into a greased bread pan.
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes. 
   Check bread either by poking with knife and it comes out clean 
   or bread is springy when you push gently on top.

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Macro Nutrients *

Whole loaf
7 Net Carbs
172g Fat
78g Protein
2,125 Calories

Cut into 16 slices (per slice)
.5 Net Carbs
10.75g Fat
4.88g Protein
133 Calories

* These are estimates based on the specific ingredients I used

The Wondrous Cauliflower

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I see cauliflower used everywhere in keto cooking – pizza crust, tots, roasted, mixed into muffins and mashed. I was really unsure about cauliflower mash. I’ve seen it on quite a few keto sites but assumed the texture would be really weird and lumpy. Much to my surprise, and despite winging it to boot, my cauliflower mash turned out creamy and delicious! The details are below.

CAULIFLOWER MASH

2 cups cauliflower flowerettes (I used frozen)
about 1/4 cup coconut milk (I eyeballed this)
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbs butter
2 tbs parmesan cheese
salt
fresh parsley (for garnish)

Directions:
1. Steam or microwave cauliflower
2. Place 1/2 of cooked cauliflower into food processor or blender.
3. Gradually add the rest of the cauliflower and coconut milk as you blend to a desired consistency.
4. Blend in butter, garlic and parmesan cheese. Salt to taste.
5. That's it! Top with parsley for a pretty (and tasty) garnish.

Makes 2-3 servings (if you can push yourself to share because it is that yummy)

 

Net Carbs: About 8g for entire dish

Note: I did not count the carbs in coconut milk because it is <1g per cup.

Week 2: Progress & Discoveries

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As I started on my journey last week I was very unsure of myself and the choice of switching to keto. That unsure feeling of whether or not I could do it has been overcome by new found confidence in myself and my journey. I feel like week two has solidified my new lifestyle and, while my house is technically a split household (my spouse and son are not ketoers), my cupboards are filling up with more and more low carb foods integrating into my every day life. Now I can just snag something on the fly instead of having to strategically plan ahead all the time.

This past week I have picked up Instagramming nearly every day with new foods and recipes I have tried. I have found some awesome fellow ketoers who have inspired me with both new food ideas and confidence to carry on. The keto community is truly a wonderful place of positivity and inspiration.

My Discoveries this Week

Taco salad is definitely doable as low carb and it is so delicious! You would be surprised how many sugars and carbohydrate additives a majority of food manufactures sneak into taco seasoning. I found a great company that has zero carbs taco seasoning and it is packed with flavor! Everyone in our house eats this one.

There are lots of low carb treats out there! You just have to find them. Lily’s chocolate is just one of the keto/low carb treats that I bought this past week. I still have a few more I’m looking forward to trying.

Flax seed muffins have quickly become my favorite low carb meal or side. I recently started adding a small scoop of chia seeds to my muffin for breakfast which has made it even more filling. A number of times this week I didn’t feel hungry again until late in the day because of this.

Macros & Looking Forward

As I wrap up my second week and have become more comfortable with making food choices I have started focusing more on my long term goals. Initially I am focusing on weight loss. To manage that more thoroughly I have calculated and started tracking my macros (fat, carbs & protein) with an app on my phone called Stupid Simple Keto. It has all of the base ingredients’ nutritional information in the app with the option to add your own food. For example I have added entries for Epic Bacon Bars and Quest Bars that I can add on the fly now. I think this will be an extremely useful tool to help me manage my macro intake.

All in all this week has been eye opening, inspiring, and just plain awesome. I have never felt better and I can’t wait for next week.

Reflecting on My First Week

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I has been a very eye opening and amazing week for me. For so long I struggled with my weight and food, trying different diets and exercise routines to no avail. I have watched both Food, Inc. and Supersize Me along with countless other videos floating around the interwebs. I had the knowledge on the monumental amount of sugar and, quite frankly, CRAP being put into our food but it truly did not sink in until this week.

The “Aha!” moment occurred to me a few days ago as I brainstormed ideas for my week two meal plan. Google unit converter and Fat Secret’s nutritional information became my go-to tools. The more I researched and laid out my options the more I found how absolutely disgusted I was with the sugar count in packaged foods. Everything, literally, EVERYTHING has sugar or some variety of carbohydrate additive in it. Can’t a girl just have a piece of jerky without nearly my entire day’s worth of carbs in it?!

This is what has inspired me to keep moving forward with keto. One step, one meal at a time. Little by little I find new food, expand my horizons and gain even more confidence in my latest life choice. This week I have made tremendous emotional progress. That alone keeps me inspired to continue on but I also made some great physical progress.

In my first week on keto I am down nearly 10 pounds. I have more energy and don’t feel sluggish in the afternoons. It is truly hard to put into words how much better my body feels. Next week my goal is to start setting time aside for Yoga again to heal my body and my mind inside and out.

 

Quick & Easy Flax Muffin

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It has been nearly a full week on keto now and in an effort to continue to expand my keto-friendly pantry I consulted a friend and fellow ketoer who sent me One Minute Flax Muffin – Low Carb from Food.com. I thought this was a great idea! As usual I put my own spin on it and it turned out great!

QUICK & EASY FLAX MUFFIN

1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
6-9 drops Pyure Organic Liquid Stevia Drops
1 egg

Directions:

1. Put butter into coffee mug and melt in microwave (about 20-30 seconds).
2. Remove from microwave then add flax seed meal, baking powder, cinnamon and egg. Mix well.
3. Stir in liquid Stevia drops.
4. Put into microwave and cook for 1.5 minutes on high.
5. Add butter on top for added flavor and enjoy!

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Total Net Carbs: 2.38g

Note: I used the Stevia.net conversion chart to utilize liquid Stevia instead of powder because powder tends to have carbohydrate additives to prevent clumping.

Correction: I have added .38 net carbs to my total count based on the egg content because I felt it was important to consider the carb content within eggs. It can easily add up and put you over your daily intake.

Coconut Butter Coffee

To treat myself this evening for starting on a new journey and rocking my first day I brewed up some Coconut Butter Coffee. This is the first time I’ve had it and it’s AMAZING. As with everything I cook/bake I didn’t follow a recipe but winged my own.

COCONUT BUTTER COFFEE

1 mug of your favorite brewed coffee
1 tab (about 1 tbs) of butter - NOT MARGARINE
About 2 tbs of organic coconut oil

Enjoy!

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And We’re Off!

Today is my first day of keto. I spent a majority of yesterday morning prepping meals for the week. I went with the One Week Meal Plan from the Keto subreddit to start out with. My meals include 73% Lean 27% fat ground beef, boneless chicken thighs, a green pepper, California veggie blend (broccoli, cauliflower and carrots), hard boiled eggs and, of course, bacon. I also included Morton’s Lite Salt which includes Potassium as well as a Magnesium supplement and Multivitamin.

I made sure to stock up on snacks as well – string cheese, almonds, and pork rinds. I have never had pork rinds before but figured I would give it a shot to help stave off any crunchie cravings. Just in case of the keto flu blues I snagged some beef boullion as well. Hopefully I won’t need it!

I weighed myself in this morning (was less than last time so sort of progress already!). Now I have a baseline to start from. I was thinking of picking up Keto Stix because I hate not knowing the status of me working so hard to make the change. I will have to do that this week and report back.

Have a great week!

The Leap

I have had my first week or so planned out now for days. I always have to plan everything out and iron out all the details. Meal plan, vitamin supplements, Lite Salt with Potassium, even a special coffee mixer for keto butta coffee. A couple of my friends are also eating keto and I swear if I didn’t have them I wouldn’t have even got this far (I know, I haven’t even started yet!)

I have to be honest though. I have been terrified of hitting the “Order” button on my groceries (yeah, I order my groceries.. more on that another time). I finally did it today. They should be arriving tomorrow morning. That gives me tomorrow afternoon to prep meals for the week with my first official keto day being on Monday. Here goes nothing…

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