Elements of Fitness – A Mother's Memoir

Slow Cooker Thai Beef and Linguine

I wish Smell-O’vision existed… because if you walked into my house right now and smelled this Thai Beef cooking you’d probably pay me for this recipe!   I love my slow cooker.  I enjoy it so much I’ve considered buying 1 more!  I needed an extra one today because I also made Black Bean Soup at the same time as this recipe.   I will post that recipe next’ish.

Anyways, when someone talks about using their slow cooker or crock pot we usually think of pot roast, variations of chili or stews.  But this Thai Beef is to die for and its SO EASY!

Thai Beef and Linguine

thai beef slow cooker recipe1 large white onion
1-2lbs flank steak, fat trimmed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Stevia, (Truvia brand cooking/baking sugar alternative)
1/4 cup + 4 tsp low sodium soy sauce
the juice of 3 limes
2 TBL fresh ginger, finely chopped (reserving 1 tsp of juice)
1 TBL toasted sesame oil
1 pkg shitake mushroom linguine
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
4 tsp thai sweet chili sauce
Optional — 1/4 cup cilantro
Optional — 1 head of butter lettucce (Romaine lettuce will work as well)
Optional — chopped peanuts

If your slow cooker is not non-stick, spray with cooking spray.  Slice onion into rings and lay flat in the cooker.  Pat meat dry and cut shallow horizontal slits against grain on the top.  Place meat on top of onions.

In a med size bowl, combine garlic, stevia, 1/4 cup of the soy sauce, 3 TBL of the lime juice, ginger and oil.  Season with freshly ground black pepper.  Pour sauce over steak to coat.

Cover.  Cook on low for 4 1/2 to 6 hours.  While meat is cooking, mix reserved ginger juice, vinegar, chili sauce and remaining soy sauce and lime juice in medium bowl.  Cover and refrigerate. 

Cook pasta according to package instructions. 

Toss pasta into bowl of ginger dressing.  Remove meat from cooker, cover in foil and let stand for 10 minutes.  Cut steak into 1/2″ thick slices.  Serve pasta over optional lettuce and then place meat on top.  Garnish with cilantro and peanuts, if so desired. 

 

Please try it and let me know what you and your family think.  I bet it will be asked for often once they taste it!

For more recipes, click here!

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November 12, 2014 Posted by | Being a Mom, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Low Carb Swedish Meatballs – Another Recipe Made to Fit a Healthy Lifestyle

20090128swedishmeatballswithnutmeggravyWhen you think of getting lean and trim you’re probably not thinking of Swedish Meatballs for dinner.  However, thanks to me you CAN!  🙂   Of course, not every night, but every so often YES!  And if you have followed me on Facebook or Instagram (@FitnessElements4Life) for a while you know that I LOVE food!  I especially hold a special place in my heart for comfort foods.  Although that usually means fatty foods combined with carbs.  However, as I teach my clients, its ok to eat fatty healthy foods… just not at the SAME TIME as carbs.

Carbs, like oats and veggies, ARE our friends!!  The carbs that are NOT our friends are the cupcakes, ice cream and the junk food alike!   The key to eating carbs is the TIMING.  You don’t eat oatmeal before bed, you eat it in the morning when you WANT your blood sugar to ‘wake’ up.  Same thing with lunch and dinner.  Take for example:  Pot Roast or Beef Stew which is usually cooked with cornstarch or flour for a thickening agent and is usually served with potatoes or noodles .   But to make these great recipes high protein/low carb you just exclude those things.  ***Or you can eat dinner early and only serve it with a few red potatoes (skin-on so the fiber content is higher)***.   You don’t ever want to eat carbs with fat because it spikes your blood sugar causing your body to store the fat (in this case the red meat), and burn the carbs (potatoes).

So what I do, is take my favorite recipes like pot roast, beef stew, meatloaf, chili, etc and I exclude the carbs.   I am constantly trying new recipes, tweaking them to accommodate a healthy lifestyle  especially the likes of comfort foods, and making them healthy so that you can enjoy them and still lose weight!  You don’t always have to eat just grilled chicken and steamed vegetables!

You’re welcome.

 

Meatballs:

  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Add the onion, garlic, egg, parsley, salt and pepper to a large bowl and blend. Mix in the turkey. Shape the turkey mixture into 1 1/4-inch-diameter meatballs.

Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and saute until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil and pat dry the meatballs so there’s no unnecessary grease.

Transfer the meatballs to your slow cooker.

Sauce:

  • 1 TBL butter
  • minced garlic
  • diced onion (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken)
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • dash of nutmeg
  • parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Loganberry or red currant jam (optional)
  • Dreamfields Low Carb Rotini pasta (optional)

In a small skillet, sauté onions in butter and garlic.  Once caramelized, pour over meatballs.   Add the remaining ingredients and stir.  Let simmer in the slow cooker for at least 2 hours.  Serve alone or on top of low carb rotini.

For more of my low carb recipes click here.

 

October 16, 2014 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, Products That Work | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Can Beef Stroganoff Be Low Carb? Simple.

beef stroganoff editedWith fall right around the corner, you may be ready to start making your favorite soups, stews and other comfort foods.   I hate mushrooms but the best part about designing your own recipes is making it your own way.  Beef Stroganoff is one of my all time favorite comfort foods and I think you’ll enjoy the recipe as much as we do!

If you’ve been a subscriber of mine for a while you know I believe eating carbs is ok so long as they’re ‘good carbs’ AND that you’re not eating a lot of fat at the same time.   The same is true in reverse:  eating fat is ok (think good fats as in avocado, banana, red meats on occasion) so long as you’re not combining it with high amounts of carbs at the same time (like bread or starchy carbs like potatoes).  Also, make sure to eat protein at every meal so you’re not hungry again an hour later!

With all that in mind and a couple of key alternatives, take this recipe and try it out!

wineIngredients:
  • 1 ¼ pounds choice premium stewing meat, tenderized and cut into 2 x 1 cubes
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 box Dreamfields low carb rotini pasta
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup finely chopped Spanish onion
  • 3 ounce small white mushrooms (if you like that sort of thing!)
  • ¼ cup dry red wine (cabernet sauvignon)
  • 1 cup beef broth (not low sodium)
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
Directions:
  1. Turn crock pot to high setting.  Add meat and sprinkle with salt and pepper and splash the meat with a little wine and a little beef broth and set the rest aside.  Cook meat for 3-4 hours stirring occasionally, the last 2 hours turn temperature down to low.
  2. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, start preparing in a pot the low carb rotini pasta.
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add garlic.
  4. Add butter and onions to skillet and cook 3 minutes, until softened.
  5. Add mushrooms. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushroom liquid evaporates.
  6. Add the rest of the wine; cook 5 minutes. Stir in the rest of the beef broth and cook 10 minutes, until mushrooms are coated with a thick sauce. Stir in sour cream and mustard. Add mixture to meat and accumulated juices.
  7. By now, pasta should be done.  Drain and add as much pasta as you want or keep it separated and serve as much as you would like of each per serving.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

For more low carb recipes, click here.

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September 21, 2014 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Low Carb, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, Products That Work | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Low Carb Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken

fettuccine alfredoWell, I figured since my tuna noodle casserole is so popular that I would add my low carb fettuccine alfredo recipe.  It is delicious.  After all, the only thing that separates it from traditional fettuccine alfredo is the carbs from the normal pasta.

 

1 box Dreamfields low carb linguini (yes linguini and not the fettuccine)
1 rotisserie chicken (traditionally seasoned) chopped/cubed
1 stick of butter                                     
3/4 pint heavy cream
1 pinch of garlic powder
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup peccorino romano cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Start the pasta as indicated on box.  (As soon as you put the water on high and wait for it to start boiling immediately start alfredo sauce).

Then in a med size sauce pan, combine all remaining ingredients except parmesan cheese and bring to a moderate boil.  Once bubbling turn down to med high.   Once pasta is prepared, drain and serve.  Then top with the parmesan cheese.  (You can top with a little parsley too.  You could also add artichoke hearts, peas, or broccoli).

This is a very simple, fast and easy recipe that the whole family will love.  Each serving yields about 10-15 carbs depending on how ‘big’ your serving spoon is.

The pasta is controlled carb pasta so while it is significantly lower in carbs than traditional pasta you should only eat 1-2 servings because too much will actually convert to sugar in your body thus, being totally counter-productive to a low carb diet.  But, if you don’t eat much that means leftovers! 

So enjoy it for dinner tonight and again for tomorrow’s lunch.

Happy Low Carbing…

Also, to all Atkins or low carb followers out there, Atkins has come back with their bake mix and their own low carb pasta.  I just pre-ordered mine today!  Can’t wait to start baking! 

Look to the right for more of ‘My Low Carb’ recipes.      —————->

July 13, 2009 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Eating Low Carb, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Low Carb vs. Lower Carb. What’s Right?

Nobody seems to agree on what “low carb” really means.  I mention it a lot on my blog so I thought I should clarify what low carb means to me.  To me, it means 25 carbs a day filled with healthy, unprocessed meats, cheeses and veggies and organic whenever possible. 

low carb food pyramid

Yes, I am an Atkins follower, however, I do not eat fatty meats, nitrate filled bacon and sausage or processed foods all day.  When Dr. Atkins wrote his first book he states that induction should be at least 2 weeks long.  This 2 week period is just to switch your body to burning fat instead of carbs for energy.  That’s it!  The problem here is not many people hang in there long enough to graduate to the next phases of Atkins.  So please take every negative thing you’ve heard about the “Atkin’s Diet” and realize that for someone who has been eating a high carb/sugar unhealthy diet that the 2 week adjustment period is much needed.  It basically gives the body a much-needed shock.  It’s not a long term committment. 

There are others, such as bodybuilders, who believe low carb is 40% of their daily calories should come from carbs instead of the traditionally recommended 55% to 60%.   But this really isn’t low carb at all because the majority of the calories are coming from carbs…yet some people do call it that.

There is a different carbohydrate intake number for everyone.  Not everyone can lose weight on 40, 50 or 60 grams of carbs a day.  It took me a long time to figure out that 25 carbs a day is where I need to be to lose weight.  And sure, I go over that number occasionally but it’s what I stick to as my guide.  Frank’s number is 55.  I envy him for that but he’s also a guy with a very muscular build so I get it.

But for anyone, the most important aspect to your success is to burn more than you eat.  But where carb intake becomes important is in how it affects hormone and blood sugar levels.   That’s why you can’t even cheat here and there ‘just a little’.  Because that tiny bite of Ben N Jerry’s ice cream will send your blood sugar levels way off kilter and make you crave more sugar.

My typical low carb dinner is a protein and a veggie (no carbs except what’s naturally in the vegetables).  This meal is quite filling and will last me until breakfast the next day.   But if I eat a pasta dinner from, let’s say, Olive Garden I will want seconds and possibly dessert at the end!  Because that’s what carbs do – they stimulate cravings and make you want more of them!  Why?  Because your body is not getting what it truly needs.  It doesn’t need all those carbs to  survive.  When you ingest too many carbs at one meal your body makes you keep eating more carbs in hopes that you’ll finally feed it something nutritionally abundant.

Think of it this way, go back to basics.  Eat the way our ancient ancestors did:  an all natural diet filled with meats, eggs, nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies. 

Happy Low Carbing!

Here’s a link to my most popular low carb recipes:

Low Carb Shrimp Fettuccine
Grilled Cheese
Low Carb Tuna Noodle Casserole

July 2, 2009 Posted by | About Me, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Eating Low Carb, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, Organic | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Low Carb Shrimp Fettuccine

I am still amazed that my low carb tuna noodle casserole  recipe is one of my top 5 most visited posts.  So for that reason, I am compelled to share more low carb recipes.

Last week we took the kids to Brio Italian grill.   We all love the food there.  They even give the kids dough balls to play with while you wait for your food.  It is possible to go there and not eat the carb loaded food but Frank and I know how good their dishes are so even our best intentions go out the window as soon as we walk in! 

We both ended up ordering the shrimp and lobster fettuccine.  We had never ordered it before and it was delicious.  But I couldn’t help but realize the same dish could be made without all the carbs!   So here’s my low carb version and, might I add, just as delicious.

1 box Dreamfields fettuccine
extra virgin olive oil                                      
2 TBL butter
2 cloves garlic, or minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sherry wine
pinch of sea salt
pinch of dry parsley
1 large bag of frozen shrimp (buy organic if you can)
artichoke hearts (if desired)
1 small on the vine tomato (diced)
Pecorino Romano cheese (as much as desired)

Thaw shrimp as directed on bag.  Cut tails off shrimp and set aside.  Prepare pasta as indicated on box but add 1 TBL butter and a splash of EVOO for taste.  In a skillet on med high, coat with EVOO,  butter, lemon juice, sherry, salt, parsley and artichoke hearts.  Saute for about 4-5 minutes until shrimp is golden brown.  Serve your pasta, pour shrimp on top and sprinkle with tomatoes and cheese.

I promise you will love it!   Each serving yields about 10-15 carbs depending on how ‘big’ your serving spoon is.

The pasta is controlled carb pasta so while it is significantly lower in carbs than traditional pasta you should only eat 1-2 servings because too much will actually convert to sugar in your body thus, being totally counter-productive to a low carb diet.  But, if you don’t eat much that means leftovers! 

So enjoy it for dinner tonight and again for tomorrow’s lunch.  And sorry I didn’t include a picture.  I will take a picture the next time I make it and post it.

Happy Low Carbing Everyone…

For some more recipes visit  https://amothersmemoir.wordpress.com/2009/06/08/another-delicious-low-carb-recipe/.

June 12, 2009 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Eating Low Carb, Family Friendly Restaurants, Nutrition, Organic, The Critic | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A High Protein Low Carb Casserole?

Well today’s the day!  A low carb recipe that you won’t believe is low carb.

One of my very favorite dinners my Mom used to make when I was growing up was tuna noodle casserole.    I loved it and she would either top the casserole with crumbled potato chips, breadcrumbs or cheddar cheese.  So here’s my low carb version and, might I add, just as delicious.

1 box Dreamfields Penne Rigate
1 large can of your favorite tuna
1 small can cream of chicken soup                                       
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 TBL butter
splash of whole milk (if you have it) – if not, use water
salt to taste
small bag of shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 375.  Prepare pasta as indicated on box.  In a med size pot, combine remaining ingredients and bring to a moderate boil.  Once pasta is done, pour into 13×9 glass baking dish.  Then pour remaining ingredients over pasta.  Bake 13 min.  Sprinkle cheese over casserole and put back in oven til cheese is melted.

It’s that easy.  And I promise you will love it and so will the kids!   Each serving yields about 10-15 carbs depending on how ‘big’ your serving spoon is.

The pasta is controlled carb pasta so while it is significantly lower in carbs than traditional pasta you should only eat 1-2 servings because too much will actually convert to sugar in your body thus, being totally counter-productive to a low carb diet.  But, if you don’t eat much that means leftovers! 

So enjoy it for dinner tonight and again for tomorrow’s lunch.

Happy Low Carbing…

For more of my tricks visit A Secret for Weight Loss that Men Don’t Possess

May 13, 2009 Posted by | Diet and Exercise, Eating Low Carb, Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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