healthy

Meat Lovers: Jerky Snob

IMG_2413

In my pursuit of really cool monthly subscription services (and low-carb snacks) I stumbled upon Jerky Snob. A monthly service that sends you, or someone you really love, a box of amazing, artisanal jerky. This month’s box had 2 flavors from each: Lawless Jerky out of Phoenix and Mikey’s Jerky from Chicago.

FullSizeRender-3

I thought it’d be fun to sample the different flavors on fancy plates, because I’m classy. I believe that the hands down winner was the Honey Chipotle by Lawless, but all 4 flavors really were winners in my book. Lawless prides itself on 100% grass-fed, dry-aged beef and the ingredients read like a sonnet to those of us who avoid corn syrup and Frankenstein-esque chemicals like the plague. (You’ll be be pleased to know that all of the brands that Jerky Snob partners up with pride themselves on having no MSG, no nitrates, and no HFCS.)
ezgif.com-crop

I’m also now a huge fan of Mikey’s Original flavored jerky, and its perfect amount of kick. In fact, I’ve been working my way through the bag all morning. (I can’t put that one down!) If you’re low-carb, Paleo-ish, health-minded, or just want a surprise bag of amazing snacks at work: get this box. Get 20% off your first box with the code: AMBER

Thai Inspired Shrimp & Shirataki Noodles

shirtaki-noodles-recipe

Shirataki noodles are those “scary” looking noodles that you may find near the meat alternatives/dairy products at your local grocery store. Generally, they’re stored somewhere cold. They promise 0 calories, or in some cases, 20 calories per serving, and are extremely low in carbs. I’ve been eating them for years, and highly recommend getting the type that’s blended with tofu. I was in the mood for Thai the other night, and whipped up a delicious shrimp stir fry to use with my noodles.

IMG_5040

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb frozen shrimp
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 1″ peeled, chopped ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 red chilis
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • basil
  • cilantro
  • fish sauce
  • lemongrass
  • soy sauce
  • chili oil
  • toasted sesame oil

IMG_5041

I heated a large skillet with a blend of toasted sesame and chili oils. I added garlic, ginger, onion, tomato, zucchini, bell pepper, jalapeño, red chili, and fresh lemongrass (peeled and sliced in large chunks) to the oil. As I let that cook over medium-high heat, I thawed my frozen shrimp using cool, running water. As soon as the shrimp were ready, I added them to the pan, and used a colander to rinse my shirataki noodles for several minutes under hot water. Trust me, you want to do this. Shirtaki noodles have a strange smell to them until they’ve been either thoroughly rinsed, or par-boiled. With the shrimp now in the pan, I added both soy and fish sauce to taste. When the vegetables looked soft, and the shrimp were almost done, I added the juice of 2 limes, a bit of my fresh basil, and some green onions. At this point I poured the mixture, and subsequent sauce, over a bowl of shirataki. You may also want to try stirring the noodles into the pan ahead of time so that they absorb more flavor. Once it was all done, I covered the dish with even more basil, and a fistful of cilantro leaves. This dish is so low in both carbs and calories that you can enjoy it guiltlessly and frequently.


Broccoli Bacon Cauliflower Cheese Soup

broccolibacon

I’ve been doing the low-carb thing for almost 8 months now, and the results are great. Sure, there are days when I have a little way too much wine, and my weight goes up a bit, but all in all I am consistently shrinking my waist. One of the biggest downsides of the diet has been that I find myself eating eggs constantly, and I do mean constantly.

 broccoli-bacon-soup

 I was recently craving something that didn’t come from a shell, and recalled the pureed soups I used to make back in my vegan days. I was always amazed at how something could come out so silky and creamy without the use of milk (dairy or otherwise) or cream. I decided to take the idea of a decadent ‘baked potato soup,’ and combine it with the low-carb, veggie-packed elements of those blended soups.

cauliflower-garlic-onion

One of the greatest things about this recipe is its versatility. You can make it vegan/dairy-free if you want, or load it up with cheese and bacon if that’s more your style. It’s very low in carbohydrates either way, and a decadent tasting treat that you can add spinach, and other nutrient packed items to.

   broccoli-bacon-soup-cheese

You can even eliminate the greens, and go straight for the cauliflower for something that more closely resembles a baked potato in a bowl. Essentially: you do you on this soup. 😉

broccoli-bacon

Ingredients:

Fistful size floret of caulilfower

Large broccoli Crown

Enough vegetable/chicken stock to barely cover vegetables

3 cloves of garlic

1/2 white onion

3 slices bacon

Salt and pepper to taste (I add cayenne)

Cheese (I mix 2 different kinds: cheddar and a white cheese made for enchiladas, but anything goes)

Optional: spinach, parsley, jalapeño

Instructions:

Cook the bacon over low/medium-low heat. Boil the stock, and add one of the pieces of bacon to the stock when it looks about 3/4 of the way done. Add the vegetables (chopped) and cook until soft. Remove bacon when it is finished and drain on paper towel before cutting into bite sized pieces. Once the vegetables are soft, remove pot from heat and use immersion blender to puree until smooth. If this mixture is too ‘liquidy,’ add more cauliflower/broccoli and cook until soft, then puree again. Ladel into bowls, garnish with a sickening amount of cheese and bacon in each. I’d recommend a good dose of salt (after tasting) and pepper. Pasley also works well, if you have it.

Food Find: Salata

Image

Healthy lunch options can be few and far between in North Austin, especially if you’re adhering to phase 1 of the Atkin’s diet. (It’s working great! I can fit into things I thought I’d never be able to wear again!) It was just my luck, rambling about my diet at a fancy party near downtown, that I ran into the owner of Salata, a fresh, healthy restaurant that lets customers completely customize their salads just minutes from where I work.  (more…)