2021 Meal Planning… Menu 4

Have I told you before I eat primarily beef? I am even happy to go bunless on a burger or wrap in lettuce to reduce the calories and carbs, as long as it is beef. Since the rules haven’t changed and beef is still off limits, I am compromising for a turkey burger. I started this menu using some inspiration from https://oursaltykitchen.com/paleo-turkey-burgers/, but chose to simplify life a bit by purchasing the Butterball all-natural turkey burger patties at the grocery store and therefore created my own version of keto, low-carb turkey burgers.

Served alongside the burger are zucchini fries and string beans. I’m not going to share my recipe for zucchini fries because, let’s just say, they weren’t very good. To be honest, the flavor was fine, but they look weird and the texture was odd, I believe because the almond flour was simply not fine enough. I would have rather cut the zucchini fries – just like fries – and roasted them in the oven, or even pan fried in a bit of avocado or olive oil. They would have been just as good – maybe better. The breading of an egg, almond flour and seasoning was to trick the mind and make us think we were eating french fries, but it is time to just be honest… they are either french fries or they aren’t. Tricking the mind into thinking we are eating something we are not only lasts so long. Eventually you just desperately want a stupid french fry – who cares how much fat, starch and calories are in it!? I am not encouraging any of us to go on a french fry binge, but honestly, I would rather have 2-3 really high quality french fries once a month than outcast them for life. Moderation, people, moderation.

In the meantime, I will do the best I can to eat what I should and how I should to get my body as healthy as possible. Just don’t tell me I’ll never again taste a grain of sugar, a bite of the best tenderloin steak ever, or in this case, a hot, glorious oil laden french fry.

Turkey Burgers

Course: Main Course
Keyword: keto, low-carb, turkey
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sliced portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 med sliced onion
  • 1/2 bell pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive or avocado oil divided
  • 4 turkey burger patties Paleo or Keto version
  • 4 slices Vegan provolone cheese
  • 4 fried eggs cooked in ghee butter
  • 1-2 smashed avocado(s) (season with salt & pepper, add a tbls lime juice)
  • 4 lg lettuce leaves
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add two tbls oil and heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy about 10 minutes.
  • Add the peppers and onions to the skillet. Continue to sauté, stirring occasionally, until the peppers and onions soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the vegetables from heat and set aside.
  • Add the remaining oil to the skillet and cook the turkey burgers over medium heat. Season with salt & pepper. Cook until browned on each side, about 5 minuter per, or until a meat thermometer reads 165°.
  • Top each patty with a slice of provolone cheese and melt.
  • Build your burger. Place lettuce leaves on a plate, then add an equal portion of smashed avocado, add the burger with melted cheese, top with vegetables and a fried egg.

I know what you’re thinking… She’s about ready to crack. It’s barely been one week and the woman is going to lose it. Listen to her talk about french fries! Truly, I am just trying to be real. I can do this because I want the benefits on the other side of it, and honestly, I am enjoying alot of these meals. I am cooking things I rarely do, or maybe have never even tried, and they are really good. However, I will be the first to say, in many cases it is taking more time and is more work to get all these vegetables prepped, cooked and everything on the table at the right time.

Overall, I would say we can adopt many of these low-carb principles forever. We could stand to eat far less rice and potatoes, we can easily remove buns from our burgers, add two-to-three times as many vegetables, and eat much smaller portions. We will be healthier, stronger, and more than likely, thinner. Here we go, quickly moving into week 2 and looking forward to it!

Are you interested in checking out the weekly meal planner? Download your copy today… (this file will keep updating as we move throughout the 6-week program)

And remember, please let us know how you are doing on your 2021 healthy eating goals!

Blessings,
Tina

Copyright © 2021 Montana Mountain Maven / Tina R. Cusker. All rights reserved.


29 Years of Wedded Bliss

flowers and sapphire ring
Such a sweet husband I have…

28 years of anniversaries were typically celebrated with travel, getaways, dinner out and of course, being a military family, deployments requiring delayed celebrations. Regardless, the day does not go without notice. This year, given the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be remembered in its own way. Since there was no option for a luxurious dinner out, where we would be served glistening glasses of wine, scrumptious meals or divine desserts, I settled on my own way of honoring our lives together – with beef, of course! I grew up on a farm, and beef is in my DNA. There is no other, ok, better meat in my opinion. When I suggested to my husband I could make Beef Wellington, he responded with, “but, that sounds really complicated.” Well, that sounded like a challenge to me, so I was committed and off to the store I went to buy the one and only beef tenderloin on the shelf.

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Chili x 3…

Several years ago, I was looking for the “right” chili recipe. Some were too spicy, others focused more on beans than meat, white vs. red chili, and so on. None were quite right. (Now, I sound like Goldilocks!) So, I picked elements from a variety of recipes and made my own. We’ve been pleased with it ever since.

Beef & Bean Chili

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork sausage
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 green or yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 can pinto beans, washed & drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, washed & drained
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2-1 cup water
  • 4-6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Instructions

  • Saute the ground beef and sausage, breaking into small bits in a frying pan, until browned. Drain and place the meat in the crockpot. Saute the onion, pepper and garlic in the same pan until softened. Add all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours.  Serve with sprinkles of cheddar cheese, a dollap of sour cream, chives, and/or some hot sauce sprinkled on top for those who need the extra kick.
  • This year, I decided to try it out in my new InstaPot… Saute the meats in the pot for about 5-6 minutes or until brown. Drain the grease off, and set the meat aside. Saute the vegetables in the pot, stirring occasionally for about 3 more minutes. Add the meat and remaining ingredients to the pot. Secure the lid, and move pressure release valve to sealing position. Press manual; cook at high pressure for 7 minutes. When cooking is complete, press cancel and use natural release.

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