A quick update for the old gang: I’ve been away because, well, I had nothing to write about. On April 2nd, however, I went full-bore into a strict ketogenic diet. I’ve written a whole lot about that, but it’s not ready for publishing yet – but how about a recipe?
I’ve been deep into ketosis and have been very strict for the past 2 weeks. I use the weekends to cook and wanted to have a goto meal for the week so I thought: why not chili?
In the past I have not watched my carbs as closely as I am now, and it has paid off: a 10 lb. loss in 2 weeks, a 20-40 point drop in blood glucose levels, and ketones as measured by a blood testing meter averaging between 2-3 mmol/ml.
So unlike in the past where I might have gone apeshit with onions and other higher carb vegetables, this chili measures nutrients down to every damn spice.
So here’s the ingredients and the numbers:
2 lbs. 80/20 ground beef
5 Tbsp bacon fat
7 slices bacon
1 medium onion
1 can Trader Joes Chiles
1 14.5 oz can Trader Joes Fire roasted organic tomatoes with green chiles
1 large green bell pepper
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
Total for the entire pot
Total Per Portion (1/10)
It was a pain in the ass to pull these numbers together – especially as different sources give different nutrient counts for the same thing, but I think this is about as accurate as I’m going to be able to get it.
The instructions are simple:
Melt the bacon fat in the bottom of a pot
Set the burner to high and add ground beef, black pepper, and some salt (add to taste later)
Let it cook on high while you deal with cutting the vegetables and bacon, stirring occasionally
Dice the bacon and toss in the pot
Cut the onion and toss in the and give it a stir
Do the same for the pepper
Toss in the can of chilis and tomatoes
Add the remaining spices
Now set it to a low simmer and let cook for 2 hours to let the flavors meld.
The verdict: pretty darn good. I’ll be eating this all week. I found it very flavorful by itself, but I’m sure with a little shredded cheese on the top – and maybe a dollop of sour cream – I’d be in some serious flavor territory.
A fridge clean-out inspired me to swing for the fences in terms of mixing together leftovers and forgottens to make an edible and low carb meal for myself one evening. I needed to cook up some ground beef I had bought last weekend – but how? I decided to make ‘Whatevs’ – whatever I found in the fridge with ground beef. Because of what I found, I decided to do a scary experiment: just how far can I go out-of-bounds of what foods go with what? My ingredients were as follows:
1 pound ground beef, browned in 3 tablespoons of olive oil
1.5 cups of chopped tomatoes loitering in the fridge
1 can of black olives
1 cup of bok choy
2 jalapeno peppers with seeds left in for heat
1 slice chopped Virginia ham
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1 cup fresh Asian-style mushrooms, chopped
4 ageing cherry tomatoes
1 large onion
Despite the odd inclusion of bok choy and jalapeno, I seasoned it with oregano, parsley and basil. I let this simmer for a half hour after browning the beef then putting in the rest of the ingredients.
The verdict? Pretty damn good if you ask me. I had a quarter-pan of the stuff. I used the Loseit! calorie-counting app on my iPhone to determine the calories for the entire pot, called it ‘1 serving’, then had a 1/4 of the pot, for a total of 543 calories. I added freshly grated parm cheese and enjoyed every bite. There are 3 servings left that I assure you I will eat, though I might not detail to coworkers and causal acquaintances just what is in my lunch.
While I ate it I was reminded of how our food prejudices prevent low carbers from eating perfectly acceptable foods simply because the combinations are unusual. Why!?! Is it really all that bad to put bok choy, asian-style mushrooms, ham, bacon and jalapeno peppers in a dish together with Italian seasonings? Somebody had to be the first to think that a lemon – a tropical fruit, went well with sea creatures. We don’t question this just because we’re used to it.
Fact of the matter is: if you enjoy the combination, you can eat anything paired with anything else, and if you are willing to experiment, you can come up with plenty of variety for health and enjoyment that might fall out of the mainstream, but can make your life more enjoyable while on low carb.
I omitted a detailed nutrient profile for this stuff – forgive me:
Net carbs: 10g