Keep it Simple Stud(ette) recipes that take minimal culinary skills and very little time yet are healthy and delicious

Pork Salad Annie

This falls into our K.I.S.S. series of meals; quick yet delicious and perfect for busy weeknights. Pork salad Annie has become a favorite of ours and I’ve created two versions depending on whether its’s a training or rest day.

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Ingredients

1 pound pastured pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon lard or bacon grease

Preparation

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Season it

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Sear it:  melt the tablespoon of fat over medium high heat in a cast iron skillet and sear the pork on both sides. Bake at 400 degrees for 13 – 15 minutes.  Let set for 10 minutes before slicing.

While the pork is cooking tear up your favorite salad greens, top with your choice of add ons such as bell peppers, cucumbers, onion, carrot and a few olives.  Top with the sliced pork and dress with olive oil and vinegar.  Perfect for a rest day dinner meal.

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If it’s a hardcore training day and you’ve earned your carbs serve with a side of freshly steamed spinach and white rice with a dollop of butter.

To get two meals out of one simply double the recipe above.

Tacos

Tacos?  On a Boardshorts & Bikini challenge?  Is that legal?  Well honestly I’m not sure; I had a request and decided to experiment.  I sourced out Garden of Eatin’ yellow corn taco dinner kit.  The taco shells are made with organic yellow corn that is non gmo.  That’s all good or is it?

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The ingredients are:  Organic stoneground yellow corn masa flour, expeller pressed high oleic safflower and/or sunflower oil.  The good news:  only 2 ingredients and both are easy to pronounce.  The bad news:  it’s still processed and at high temperatures.

We’ll come back to the taco shells, the grass fed ground beef is obviously a winner for clear reasons.  We’re going to add some taco seasoning to it so let’s take a look at what’s in that.

Taco seasoning:  organic rice flour, sea salt, spices, organic evaporated cane juice, organic onion powder, paprika, organic garlic powder, dehydrated onion, citric acid, organic sunflower oil, extractive of paprika, yeast extract, silicon dioxide (as anticaking).  Hmmm, the negative  — a little more than the basic spices; the plus — only 1 chemical when compared to most commercial brands.  We can fix this by making our own…

Homemade seasoning:  1 tablespoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.  In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients.

Taco sauce:  organic tomatoes, organic green chili, water, jalapeño, lime juice, garlic powder, salt. We’re good here

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The toppings:  lettuce, tomatoes, black olives and onions.  Cheese?  Depends on what side of the dairy fence you stand.  I’m for it as a healthy source of fat but it should be raw from grass fed cows and in amounts that fit your macros. This meal falls into our K.I.S.S. series (keep it simple stud/ette).  Prep your toppings by cutting up the tomatoes, onions, olives, lettuce and cheese if using.

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Place your shells on a baking sheet, heat up a cast iron skillet to brown the meat — you will not need any additional fat to sear it in as we working with 85/15.  Once browned drain the drippings.  Stir in your taco seasoning and 1/3 cup of water if you made your own, 3/4 cup of water if you used the package seasonings.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed.  While that is simmering heat your taco shells at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.

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Stuff with your favorite toppings and eat!  These were the Jag’s

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And mine were a little greener.  I went cheese less (sniff) since I had already met my fat quota for the day.

Oh yes, the shells…you can always make a taco ‘salad’ and go without.

So, final verdict?  I would give it an A sans shells and homemade seasoning and a B- with the shells and package seasoning.  It can definitely be a “refeed” aka “cheat” meal on occasion.  Meaning if you’ve been doing very well and staying with your meal plan have it once in awhile.  “Once in a while” would not be anymore than once a week if you’re making consistent progress towards your goals.  Get in some exercise the next day, drink extra water to flush any over indulgence of sodium. And enjoy!

K.I.S.S. Fish Dinner

In the midst of our second fitness challenge at the box this year a common theme is starting to emerge — many people do not like to cook.  While I find that very hard to believe, merely because I love to our goal is to overcome obstacles and find ways to help people.

You can hire a cook or find a healthy meal service; the former is too costly for most while the latter may work fairly well but supplementation is usually needed. While our 3. 2. 1. . . Go! meals can be whipped up in 30 – 60 minutes I’ve found for some people that’s still too much time and effort.  That led to me devise the K.I.S.S. meal series.  Keep. It. Simple. Stud. (ette).

This series is for someone that doesn’t like to cook and doesn’t want to donate much time to the process yet wants to have at home options for healthy and delicious meals.  Most restaurant take out food is loaded with chemicals and additives; especially when dealing with lower end and chain restaurants.  If you want to know exactly what goes into your meals — cook them yourself.  This is how my husband cooks for us Monday – Thursday.  While my nights are Friday – Sunday and much more involved.

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There is some pre planning required but it is simple and will become a natural habit within a couple of weeks.  You will need to go to the grocery store — the weekend works best for most people’s schedules.  Stock up with enough protein (chicken, beef, pork, seafood — whatever you like) for the week, some white potatoes, sweet potatoes and rice and fresh or frozen veggies.  I’m going to assume you have some spices and condiments on hand.  If not, pick those up as needed.

Fish Dinner

1 lb mahi mahi or other white fish
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dill
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

In the morning take out your 1 pound of mahi mahi to thaw if it is frozen.  Take 2 russet baking potatoes and place in a baking dish in the oven.  Set the timer to have the oven come on bake them at 400 for approximately one hour. Have them come out about 15 minutes after you arrive home.  During that time change clothes and shower.

Wrap the potatoes in a kitchen towel to keep them warm.  Season your mahi mahi with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Drizzle with the mustard, add garlic powder, dill and Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until fish is cooked through.

While the fish is cooking steam the green beans by bringing about 2 inches of water to a boil in a saucepan, add the green beans, cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until tender.

It doesn’t get much simpler than this folks.  With just a little effort you can prepare home cooked meals saving your health, waistline and a few dollars.