Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
- Lomo Saltado with Zucchini Fries
- Garlic Herb Butter Roasted Chicken with Olives, Artichoke Hearts, Cauliflower, Broccoli and Feta
- Spicy Pork Chops with Sauteed Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar
- Braised Beef Short Ribs with Mashed Cauliflower and Baby Spinach
We will packing the meals up as we go along but do not place the lids on the containers right away. The food needs to cool completely before adding the lid so bacteria does not form. Once the food has cooled, you can put on the lid, label it and place in the fridge.
Begin preparing the beef short ribs which will be cooking all day in a crock pot. We will make the mashed cauliflower later on.
Ingredients: 2.5-3 lbs of bone-in short ribs (4-5 ribs total), one small sliced carrot, one sliced celery stalk, 2 tbsp liquid aminos, three garlic cloves (thinly sliced), 1 tsp onion powder, 1/8 tsp xantham gum (not pictured) , 1 oz sun dried tomatoes, and1/2 cup chicken or beef bone broth.
Layer the bottom of the crockpot with the carrots and celery and then top with the short ribs. Add garlic, liquid aminos, broth and 1 oz sundried tomatoes to the pot. You don’t need very much broth because as the short ribs cook, they will produce their own liquid. I like the flavor of chicken broth but feel free to use beef instead. The sun dried tomatoes do not need to be reconstituted because that will happen during the braising process. These tomatoes came with a little red chili flake because I love some heat but it is not necessary. Sprinkle ribs with the onion powder and 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper.
Seal the crockpot lid, place the temp to low and set the timer for 8 hours.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and begin to prepare the chicken.
Ingredients: 1/4 cup quartered artichoke hearts, 1/4 cup mixed olives, 2 oz feta cheese, 2 cloves minced garlic, a stick of unsalted, grass-fed butter (softened), several sprigs of finely chopped parsley and one lemon.
Pat your chicken dry with paper towels and grab some kitchen shears. We are spatchocking the chicken with is my favorite way to cook a whole chicken. After patting the chicken dry, place it on a sheet pan and flip it over. Using the shears, cut out the spine.
Set the spine next to the chicken. Do not discard the spine because it is so delicious! Pat the inside of the chicken with paper towels. Heavily salt all sides and areas of the chicken and spine. Cover and place in fridge while preparing the butter rub. The salt with begin to pull water out of the skin making it extra crispy.
Place parsley, garlic and softened butter in a small bowl. Add the zest of a whole lemon, the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well.
Prepare broccoli and cauliflower by removing the cores and creating small florets. Set aside.
Remove chicken from the fridge. Lay it on the sheet pan skin side up. Tuck wing tips behind the shoulders. Lift up the skin of the chicken breast and legs. Take half of the garlic herb butter and place under the skin. Rub the remainder of the garlic butter on all sides and areas of the chicken and spine.
Place on middle rack of preheated oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove chicken from the oven and lay veggies around the sheet pan and return to oven. Cook for an additional 15 minutes or until internal temp reaches 165. Because the chicken is spatchcocked, it will cook faster and more evenly.
Now we will move on to making the Lomo Saltado. This is a traditional Peruvian dish that normally made with french fries but since we are low carb, potatoes are not part of the keto diet. Instead, I will be making baked zucchini fries made with parm cheese and nutritional yeast. The fries can’t be mixed into the steak because the coating will fall off. But they can be served on the side and are so delicious that you won’t miss the carbs.
Ingredients: 1lb steak (I used NY Strip that was on sale), sliced in long strips, 1/4 onion (thinly sliced), one large roma tomato (sliced in quarters) , two cloves minced garlic, one zucchini (cut into long fries) , 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1 tbsp liquid aminos (I prefer this over soy sauce to avoid the consumption of soy), 1 tbsp white vinegar, 2 tbsp aji pepper paste (you can find this in most international food stores), 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, one large egg and 1/2 cup grated parm cheese (not pictured).
Begin by heating a cast iron skillet on high heat. Add 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil and half of the steak strips to the pan. Allow the steak to sear on one side for 2 to 3 minutes without stirring until golden brown and then flip. Let the other side also sear for about two minutes. Remove from pan and repeat with the rest of the steak. You want to cook the steak in two batches so that the pan isn’t overcrowded, giving it a beautiful sear.
Remove second batch of steak from the pan, set aside on a plate and turn burner down to medium heat. Add onions and sautee for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add tomatoes, onions, garlic, aji paste, liquid aminos and vinegar. Sautee, stirring constantly for 3 more minutes. Pour the resting juices from the steak into the pan and stir. Add the steak and mix together with the veggies. Turn off the heat and set pan aside while preparing the zucchini fries.
Cut the zucchini in half and then in long strips. Whip egg in a small bowl. Mix together the parm cheese and nutritional yeast with a pinch of salt and pepper. Dip each piece of zucchini in the egg and then coat completly with the parm/yeast. Place the coated zucchini on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet sprayed with coconut oil or cooking spray.
Bake zucchini fries for 8 minutes, gently flip and continue baking for another 8 minutes. Remove from oven. Place the zucchini fries and Lomo Saltado in a two storage container. **when reheating the zucchini fries, I recommend baking them in a toaster oven for a few minutes each side on 400 degrees so they become crispy again.
The chicken should be done at this point so remove it from the oven. Place in storage container.
We are half way done!!! Now we move on to the spicy pork with Brussels Sprouts.
Ingredients: 1lb boneless pork chops cut into 1 inch cubes, spice rub (2 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tsp tumeric, 1 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp pink salt, 1 tsp black pepper), 1/4 sliced red onion, 1/2 sliced jalapeno (seed removed), 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp lime juice, 2 cloves minced garlic), 2 cups shredded Brussels Sprouts, 2 tbsp avocado oil (or olive oil) and 1 tbsp grass-fed unsalted butter.
Begin by coating the pork with the spice rub. You will probably only need about 3/4 of the rub so you can keep anything you don’t use for another recipe.
Heat 1 tbsp avocado oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add pork. Allow the pork to sear a couple of minutes on each side then add onions and jalapenos and cook until onions are soft. Because the pork is cut into small pieces, it will cook quickly. Remove from pan and set aside on a plate.
We want to use the fat that rendered out of the pork to cook our veggies so leave the drippings in the pan. Turn burner down to medium and add butter and remainder of oil to pan. Put the Brussels Sprouts in the pan but do not immediately stir! Again, we want the spouts to brown so if you stir like crazy, they will just sautee and not get that gorgeous dark golden color. After a few minutes, stir the sprouts and let them cook for another minute or two. Add apple cider vinegar. This will help to release the brown bits from the pan without having to use alcohol. Keeps it low carb/low sugar and healthy. Yay! And it adds such a wonderful brightness and acidity to the veggies. Use a flat bottom wooden spoon to scrape up the bottom of the pan and incorporate those lovely little brown bits into the sprouts.
Now add the minced garlic. Turn the heat down to medium low. The pan will still be pretty hot and will cook up the garlic but the lower heat will keep it from burning. Add lime juice for a little more acidity and flavor and pink salt and black pepper. Now take the plate the pork has been resting on and pour the resting juices into to pan and stir into those veggies for even more flavor! It’s a serious flavor situation happening here
Continue cooking for about 5 more minutes until sprouts are soft. Remove from pan. Place sprouts on bottom of storage container and top with pork.
Oh my gosh, home stretch time!! The short ribs should have quite a while to go but we can go ahead and make the mashed cauliflower.
You will need half of a head of cauliflower cut into small florets, 1 tbsp heavy cream, 1 tbsp grass-fed butter, 1 tbsp grated parma cheese, 2 tbsp cream cheese and pink salt and pepper to taste.
Place cauliflower, cream and butter in a microwave safe dish, cover and cook on high for 10 minutes.
Remove dish from microwave and carefully take off the lid. There will be a ton of steam escaping so please be careful.
Add cheeses and black pepper but no salt yet.
Using an immersion blender, whip ingredients together until everything is fully incorporated. Add in more cream or butter if it needs to loosen it up a bit. You are the master of your mashed cauliflower so whatever consistency you like, you do it your way. But only add a little cream/butter at a time so it doesn’t become too liquidy. Now we are going to stir in a little salt but remember that the cheese already has a lot of salt in it so it is important to go easy, taste, then adjust until it is the exact amount that makes your taste buds happy.
Go ahead and put the mashers in a storage container and top with a nice layer of fresh baby spinach. You don’t have to cook the spinach because we are going to top it with the braised short ribs and lots of braising liquid so the spinach will soften up.
When the short ribs are finally done, turn off the slow cooker and carefully remove the lid, being mindful of the steam that will escape. Also escaping is the most heavenly aroma coming off those ribs and you are going to want to put them all in your mouth but you must resist!! Ok, if you absolutely have to do a taste test I will forgive you. But I will warn you that it will be hard to stop eating so taste test at your own risk.
The ribs should be super fork tender by now. Mine were literally falling off the bone so the only way I could get them out of the slow cooker was with a long fish spatula! Using whatever utensil you can to keep them intact as possible, take those yummy ribs out of the slow cooker and place in the storage containers, reserving all of the braising liquid and veggies.
This liquid is divine. I’m not even exaggerating. It’s basically a super flavored bone broth.
Pour the liquid and veggies into a medium sized bowl and add 1/8 tsp of xantham gum. This stuff is powerful so you need barely any at all. Using an immersion blender, emulsify everything together. It will start to thicken up pretty quickly. You shouldn’t even need additional salt or pepper.
Spoon a bunch of this sauce over your ribs. Then put the rest in a small container so you can add more to your ribs when you eat them. Trust me, you will want to add more sauce. And if you still have some left and find yourself drinking it straight out of the container, I promise I won’t tell anyone.
Let the ribs cool down and then lid them up and place in the fridge.
And with that, you are done with this meal prep!!! Well done! (Applause applause applause). You are going to be so happy when you need you some dinner and it already made! Especially if you are intermittent fasting, nothing is so exciting is being able to eat right away.
Each of these meals can be reheated in the microwave on high in about 3 minutes. The only item I would recommend to stick in the oven for a few minutes are the zucchini fries. They heat up really well in a toaster oven too!