Thursday, March 14, 2013

Absolutely amazing dish

I've made this almost once a month for the last year, and just realized for the first time, I never added it to the blog. I altered it so it could be used in our new meal plan.  For dinner, we split it into three servings, one of which we split into four 150 calorie cups as left-overs.  I think next time, I'm going to put the entire thing into cups to use as one of our lunch meals.

Chipotle Chicken Cauliflower Bake


  • 650 g cauliflower broken into ¾" (2cm) florets
  • 450 g chicken breasts grilled and chopped
  • 15 mL fat of choice for sautéing veggies
  • 120 g red bell pepper chopped
  • 60 g green onions chopped
  • 9 g garlic minced
  • 3 mL cayenne pepper
  • 3 mL chili powder
  • 3 mL ground cumin
  • 40 g chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 40 g bacon cooked and crumbled (~6 slices raw)
  • 85 g cherry tomatoes chopped
  • 25 g cilantro chopped
  • 200 mL coconut milk
  • salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Heat frying pan to medium high heat. Add oil or bacon fat and red peppers. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add green onions and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes longer. Remove to large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in chile powder, chile powder, cumin, and salt until well blended.
  4. Stir in crumbled bacon, coconut milk, chipotle peppers, tomatoes, and cilantro.
  5. Add cauliflower and chicken chunks and mix thoroughly.
  6. Pour mixture into a lightly greased casserole dish. Bake at 350°F (180°C) degrees for 20 minutes, or until heated through and the top is golden brown.
  7. Serve.

More Info: Please read this page for more information about recipes on this site, including where to find original versions, additional nutrition info, and printable/tablet versions.
Servings: 3 (425g each) Calories: 566  Net Carbs: 13g Fat: 28g Protein: 65.3g

Saturday, March 9, 2013

One of our usuals, reworked

This recipe is one already on the blog.  I adjusted it to fit to a 600 calorie dinner for the 150 experiment. Over time, I also changed my cooking method for this dish. Now I use a cast iron skillet with a lid. Instead of boiling the kale, I roast it with the chicken. It's not quite as pretty and green with this method, but it tastes amazing and is not losing as many nutrients as it would cooking in water. I also switched out heavy cream for coconut milk to reduce the calories. Coconut milk is thicker, so I reduced the amount by half as well.

We've eaten this pretty regularly over the past year, and neither of us felt the changes detracted from the overall flavor. The original is available from the link to the recipe below to try it with the cream or to compare the difference.

Creamy Chicken, Kale & Red Onion


  • 450 g chicken breasts (or thighs)
  • 110 g red onion
  • 15 mL coconut oil
  • 312 g kale stems removed, cut into bite size pieces
  • 200 mL coconut milk
  • 14 g butter
  • 50 g egg
  • 3 mL garlic powder to taste
  • 3 mL pepper
  • salt to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Slice the red onion, cut the rings in half and toss with olive oil.
  3. Put egg in food processor and let it warm to room temperature.
  4. Rinse kale (do this step even if kale is pre-rinsed, so it has a little moisture on it), remove stems (optional), and cut into bite-size pieces.
  5. Add coconut oil to a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Season chicken thighs on both sides with salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Add chicken to hot skillet and brown one side 3 minutes and then turn so the other side can brown 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  7. Placed sliced onions on top of chicken.
  8. Add kale the skillet. Use a wooden spoon to tuck kale into corners where possible. Dust the kale with a little garlic salt and pepper.
  9. Place lid on skillet and move to the oven. Let everything roast together for 20-25 minutes (to an internal temperature of 165°F/72°C). When done, pull from the oven and transfer to a plate.
  10. While the chicken cools slightly, make the flourless bechamel. Melt butter on low in large saucepan, add coconut milk, raising heat to medium-high and stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
  11. Heat the sauce back to medium-high. Spoon two tablespoons of the hot mixture into your food processor with the egg in it. Add garlic salt and pepper, then pulse. Once combined, add the rest of the coconut milk and pulse until combined. Pour back into saucepan, setting to medium-low.
  12. Shred the chicken into bite sized chunks.
  13. Add kale, onions and shredded chicken to sauce, stir to combine and then heat through thoroughly.

More Info: Please read this page for more information about recipes on this site, including where to find original versions, additional nutrition info, and printable/tablet versions.
Servings: 2 (450g each) Calories: 597 Net Carbs:12 g Fat: 33g Protein: 61g

Monday, March 4, 2013

A San Francisco favorite

Nothing like cooking a meal with lore behind it! I've been making this as a quick post-lifting meal for quite awhile now.  Fortunately it fits right into our 150 Keto Plan and our higher protein macros, as if not, I think Doug might revolt. If I skip making Joe's for a week, he asks me over and over when we're having it.

Traditionally Joe's Special is made with ground beef. I'm trying to get a bit more protein and veggie variety into our shared dinner, so I switched to bison which has less fat. I also added mushrooms, which are not part of the original Joe's Special, but certainly not uncommon when you run across it on a menu in San Francisco. Doug does not particularly like mushrooms, so I sneak them into recipes where he won't have to taste them for the nutrients, especially selenium.

Definitely a favorite around here, and something easy to whip up any time of day. This version we split into thirds. We each have one-third for our 600 calorie dinner, and we split the final third into four 150 calorie leftover meals to reheat later for lunch or snacks.

Joe's Special


  • 300 g eggs
  • 30 mL coconut oil
  • 28 g butter
  • 450 g bison ground
  • 224 g mushrooms finely chopped
  • 200 g red onion finely chopped
  • 12 g garlic cloves minced
  • 312 g baby spinach
  • 5 mL basil
  • 5 mL oregano dried
  • 15 mL black pepper ground
  • salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Beat the eggs with basil and oregano.
  3. Heat the oil in a large, oven-safe heavy skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add the ground buffalo and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crumbly.
  5. Add butter and once melted, add the mushrooms, onion and garlic, half the ground pepper.
  6. Sauté until the mushrooms and onion are tender but not browned.
  7. Stir in the spinach, remaining pepper and salt to taste, cooking until wilted.
  8. Add the beaten eggs evenly and cook on the stove for 1 minute.
  9. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Transfer skillet to oven and cook until eggs are set, 5-10 minutes.

More Info: Please read this page for more information about recipes on this site, including where to find original versions, additional nutrition info, and printable/tablet versions.
Servings: 3 (400g each) Calories: 594.7 Net Carbs: 13.7g Fat: 40g Protein: 45g

Saturday, March 2, 2013

First of the month progress report

We're officially two weeks into our "150 Plan" and I thought I'd give a perspective from the guy who gets to eat all this food.  I find this method of meal planning PERFECT for me.  I go into work with a bunch of little bowls of food, each of which contains 150 calories and is labeled with what it is.  During the day, when I'm ready to eat I grab one or two of them, heat them up if needed, and I'm ready to go.  They are already in MyFitnessPal (my choice for monitoring my caloric intake) and all I have to do is eat and record - easy!

In the evening we have dinner together, which is always around 600 calories (and usually is known by me in advance, so I can plan my other macros around it).  Late at night I might have one more cup (if I'm hungry and have the room in my daily calorie budget) and then I start all over again the next day.

Now, obviously a LOT of work goes into making it easy on the back end.  Lis does the bulk of the work, but I try to help out where I can.  Generally that means I get to wash the dishes, but occasionally she lets me cut something too!  I know she spends a lot of time planning these recipes out, adjusting them to make sure they remain keto-friendly, generally paleo-like and that a portion is roughly 150 calories.  Hopefully as she has a deeper inventory of "adjusted" recipes the work for her will go down some.

So what's the official verdict?  I love this plan, and it's really helping me - I'm down 9 pounds (after plateauing for months) since starting it.  But it's a lot of work, and not for the faint of heart.  It would be less work to simply eat the same thing every day (which a lot of people I know who lift and diet do) but if you like variety AND want to keep a tight rein on what you're eating, this is an amazing approach. Doug+

Monday, February 25, 2013

An early taste of summer

Coming in at 510 calories, this meal actually did not quite meet our 600 calorie requirement for our 150 Keto Plan dinners. We went with it anyway, because I really wanted a dish with zucchini in it that wasn't crazy high in carbs.

So glad we did, as the flavor of this dish is absolutely incredible. I added more spice than the original and doubled the seafood. The original also specified tilapia. I used wild-caught flounder and listed some other flatfish possibilities.  I'm just not a fan of tilapia as I prefer to buy wild-caught, rather than commercially farmed as much as possible.

Broiled Italian Flatfish & Shrimp


  • 450 g flatfish: flounder, halibut, sole, tilapia
  • 112 g shrimp veined and shelled
  • 56 g butter
  • 15 mL seafood spice mix
  • 336 g zucchini sliced
  • 112 g onion sliced
  • 124 g roma tomato chopped into large pieces
  • 15 g green onion chopped fine
  • 30 mL oregano
  • 1½  g basil fresh
  • 6 g garlic
  • 10 g Parmesan cheese optional
  • 3 mL pepper
  • salt to taste


  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Peel and cut the clove of garlic in half. Rub the surface of the shrimp and fish with the cut side of the garlic. Mince garlic and set aside.
  3. Melt 28 mL of butter in a baking pan. Sprinkle the Seafood Spice Blend over the butter. Dip both sides of the fish and shrimp into the seasoned butter, and spread across pan.
  4. Pop in preheated broiler and cook through (6-7 minutes depending on thickness of fish). Turn broiler off, leaving seafood in oven to stay warm.
  5. Melt 14mL of butter in a medium non-stick skillet. Sauté the onion until it begins to soften. Add the sliced squash and sauté just until half done.
  6. Add the minced garlic, chopped tomato and basil. Continue cooking just until tomato begins to give up its juices and soften, but it isn’t falling apart (about 2 minutes).
  7. Add green onion, oregano, salt, pepper. Sauté for another minute to warm through and remove from heat.
  8. Plate the veggies, top with the Parmesan.
  9. Remove seafood pan from broiler and using a spatula, gently lift fish onto the top of the veggies. Top with the broiled shrimp.
  10. Sprinkle more green onion on top for garnish if desired. Serve at once.

More Info: Please read this page for more information about recipes on this site, including where to find original versions, additional nutrition info, and printable/tablet versions.
Servings: Calories: 510 Net Carbs: 14g Fat: 24g Protein: 60g

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

First meal is a success!

I've been gradually adapting recipes I have made before to our new 150 Keto Plan. This recipe was the first one I had never tried, cooked with the plan in mind.  It's a tad high in carbs, but as it is only a small portion of our food for the day, easily cut out elsewhere. This is a huge recipe and I froze half. We each ate one of the three remaining portions, and then we split the last one into 150 calorie meals to reheat later in the week.

The pesto I used is made locally, but there are plenty of versions out there, or you can make your own. I was lazy as mine is pretty darn close to homemade. It also comes as a paste, and you add butter to create the pesto.  I simply used the paste, which gave a great flavor for this dish.

I also finally got cauliflower mash at the consistency I want.  In the past, I had always microwaved or steamed the cauliflower, and no matter what I added to it or how much I tried to dry it out, it was watery.  Roasting it is much more effective. It came out stiffer and then I added the coconut milk and butter to mash it, rather than trying to thicken something that is already watery.

Since the beginning of the year, I've stopped using anything other than metric for my measurements. Originally I was going to use both here on the blog, but frankly once I started using metric, I don't even think in terms of cups and pounds anymore. Since we weigh everything, it has made things so much easier.  I've added all of our ingredients to MFP in 100g increments so it's super quick to put together a recipe there.

Turkey Sun-dried Tomato and Pesto Meatloaf


  • 900 g turkey or chicken ground
  • 312 g baby spinach
  • 110 g red onion minced
  • 100 g celery diced
  • 12 g garlic clove minced
  • 30 mL parsley fresh
  • 15 mL coconut oil
  • 100 g egg beaten
  • 110 g sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 15 mL coconut aminos
  • 15 mL spicy mustard
  • 15 g dried mushrooms ground to course powder
  • 120 g feta crumbled

Cauliflower Mash

  • 1300 g cauliflower broken into florets
  • 15 mL butter softened
  • 28 g parmesan cheese grated
  • 5 mL garlic powder
  • 5 mL salt
  • 5 mL pepper
  • 10 mL parsley dried
  • 200 mL coconut milk
  • water as needed


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Add coconut oil to pan, add garlic and and sauté for 1 minute, add onions and cook for 1 minute, add spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.
  3. Transfer vegetables to strainer, removing as much liquid as possible, patting with towel, and set aside.
  4. Beat the eggs with the sun-dried tomato pesto, mustard, and coconut aminos in a very large bowl.
  5. Add all remaining ingredients (including the reserved onion mixture and spinach) and combine very well using your hands.
  6. Pack the meat mixture into two loaf pans (or shape into two free-form loaf shapes and set it on a baking sheet or broiler pan). Bake for 45-60 minutes to an internal temperature of 160°F. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing.
  7. If desired, serve with extra sun-dried tomato pesto and/or feta crumbles.

Cauliflower Mash

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spread out cauliflower florets. Roast for 20-25 minutes until just golden brown on the edges.
  3. Place roasted cauliflower, butter, Parmesan and spices in a food processor.
  4. Blend together while slowly adding coconut milk.
  5. Add water until desired consistency is reached.
  6. Reheat as necessary in pot to serve.

More Info: Please read this page for more information about recipes on this site, including where to find original versions, additional nutrition info, and printable/tablet versions.
Servings: 6 (294g each) Calories: 605 Net Carbs: 15g Fat: 39.2g Protein: 48.2g

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The '150 Keto Plan' experiment

So Doug and I have really been struggling to dump the last of our weight.  Outside of the occasional cheat night, we haven't been off Keto at all since we started in September 2011, but we've definitely been over-eating/drinking.

Due to an injury followed by illness in July 2012, I stopped lifting for several months. In December, we got back into lifting routinely again. Unfortunately during that hiatus, we kept eating like we were lifting, and gained back a little of what we had lost.

After getting back on track, we did a 'no-weigh' January, which turned out to a be a 'no-weight-loss' January.

So for February, we switched from Starting Strength to Stronglifts 5x5. We completely deloaded and are starting over at pretty much bar only for everything but deadlifts. (Fitocracy: Doug | Lis )

I am doing 20 minutes of low-intensity Stairmaster on my non-lift days.  I'd really like to add Yoga, as I have some real flexibility issues with my lifting. I can't find a class nearby at a time that works for me, and I have injured myself a couple times using videos. Hopefully it is something I can work into by summer.

On top of the workout adjustments, we've created out own meal plan to get rid of that last 20ish (for me) and 40ish (for him) pounds. Our goal is to stick to it until the weight is gone and we can go into lifting maintenance mode. Today through May 11th, we are also participating in Reddit's Body Transformation Challenge for fun and motivation. (BTFC Intro: Doug | Lis )

We have a 'date night' once per month during which we won't go crazy, but we typically drink alcohol and have enough carbs to kick us out of Keto for 24 hours. We also have a family reunion to attend, so for 4-5 days, we won't have great control over our food or have access to a gym.  We'll do our best, but we will definitely be off the plan.

150 Keto Plan

The first thing we did is tweak our Keto macros (Macros: Doug | Lis ) to make sure we do not lose muscle mass, which meant higher protein than is typical for most r/Keto folks. We are using the calculator created by darthluggi for r/Ketogains.

Then we set about creating meals that meet those macros.

Every evening, we split a 1200 calorie dinner. Throughout the rest of the day we have prepackaged, homemade Keto/Primal meals that are 150 calories each that we've put in 6½ ounce portion cups. We spent all day Sunday cooking enough for the entire week. I eat 4 of those per day on top of my 600 calories from dinner.  He eats 8 of them. Individually we choose which ones to eat based on hitting our own macros while taking our joint dinner into consideration.

On lifting days, we also add 2 servings of Organic Whey, 2 servings of MCT Oil and 1 serving of BCAAs.

We have a spreadsheet on Google docs with a list of our meals. They are all entered into both Plan To Eat for shopping and My Fitness Pal (MFP: Doug | Lis ) for tracking.

I'm also adding them all to this blog, but not until I've finished the spreadsheet, cooked and weighed them, and double-checked all the macros.