Archive | Travel RSS for this section

Keto Chili

Keto-Chili

Enjoy this recipe that I created for www.ketologic.com.

PER SERVING: CALORIES 371 | FAT 31G | CARBOHYDRATES 10G | FIBER 2G | NET CARBOHYDRATES 8G | PROTEIN 13G

While many, if not most, recipes are difficult to alter to a ketogenic version, I have found that concocting (and even finding) a legitimate keto-friendly chili to be especially challenging. More often than not, the protein gets a little out of control in its ratio to fat, and the net carbs are also unusually high in most chili recipes. However, I have devised one here that fits into (or very close to) the ideal macronutrient range. This chili is easy enough to prepare for a beginner cook to prepare, and the flavor of the finished product is superb.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ pound ground hot (or mild) Italian sausage
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste

PREPARATION:

  1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil at medium-high heat. Add the onion and green pepper, and stir for about 3-4 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the ground beef and ground Italian sausage. Stir continuously until meat is browned.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together until thoroughly combined. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve and garnish with cheddar cheese and sour cream if desired.
  • Yield: 8

http://www.ketologic.com

http://www.yourwaycuisine.com

Brandon McDearis is the owner of Your Way Cuisine, http://www.yourwaycuisine.com, a personal chef and nutrition consulting business. He is also a professional wanderer that spends much of his year trotting the globe and working in places such as Alaska, Australia, and Antarctica.

Advertisements

Miso Noodle Soup

Miso Noodle Soup

These days, miso is not as unfamiliar to most Americans as it was even a decade ago. With the increased popularity of sushi bars and authentic Japanese and Chinese eateries around the country, miso soup is more than recognizable to most patrons. While the fermented soybean paste is somewhat high in sodium, and some of its health claims have been recently exaggerated and contradicted, studies have shown that miso can aid digestion, strengthen the immune system and even lower cholesterol. It is also a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids, making it a nice addition to a vegetarian diet.

This month’s recipe takes the traditional miso soup and adds some sustenance by enhancing it with vegetables and buckwheat (soba) noodles. Both the veggies and the noodles add a sufficient amount of protein and fiber, making the soup filling enough to be a complete meal.  The final product yields a light, but satisfying dish that offers a significant amount of vitamins and nutrients, along with a healthy amount of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Enriching this soup with additional vegetables of the cook’s choice is never discouraged. I also recommend the addition of hot chili for those who enjoy a kick.

The recipe serves 6–8. It makes about 4 quarts.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces buckwheat (soba) noodles
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut or olive oil
  • 2 leeks (white part only), split, rinsed, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup miso paste
  • 1 medium bunch Swiss chard
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup edamame (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced

Directions:

  1. Prep all vegetables accordingly. Remove the stalks and stems from the Swiss chard and coarsely chop; set leaves aside. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook buckwheat noodles according to package directions (about 3 minutes or until tender). Strain noodles through a colander and run under cold water; set aside.
  2. Set another large pot on the stove over medium heat. Add oil and heat for 1 minute. Add leeks, chard, carrots and garlic to the pot. Stir/cook often for about 5-8 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften.
  3. Add 2 ½ quarts water to the pot. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, whisk in miso paste and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add edamame and chard leaves. Simmer until chard leaves are wilted and edamame is cooked through, about another 2 minutes.
  5. Divide buckwheat noodles into bowls for serving. Ladle miso/vegetable soup over top. Garnish with tofu and scallions and serve.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 141 / Fat: 3g  / Carbohydrates: 20g / Fiber: 4g / Protein: 9g

Brandon McDearis is the owner of Your Way Cuisine, www.yourwaycuisine.com, a personal chef and nutrition consulting business. He is also a professional wanderer that spends much of his year trotting the globe and working in places such as Alaska, Australia, and Antarctica.

Roasted Vegetable Israeli Couscous

Couscous

Couscous is one of those familiar items seen on many ethnic menus and inside the grocery store, usually on the aisle with the rice and quinoa. Most people assume it is a grain of some sort, but it is actually steamed balls made of semolina flower that originated in Northern Africa. It’s much bigger “cousin” Israeli couscous looks similar, but is much larger and lighter in color. However, aside from their name and shape, the two are actually quite different.

Israeli couscous does indeed originate from Israel, where it is called Ptitum, but its history doesn’t go back as far as one might think. It was first created in the 1950s when rice was scarce in the country, and it is only fairly recently that it has been marketed and sold around the world as Israeli, pearl, or Jerusalem couscous.  Israeli couscous differs from the traditional North African couscous in more than it’s size and color. It is considered a pasta, like orzo, and is toasted giving it a slightly nutty flavor. Israeli couscous is very versatile for cooking and can be used much like pasta, rice or whole grains. Served hot or cold Israeli couscous holds up well when reheated or added to soups.

The recipe below pairs Israeli couscous with a roasted vegetable medley and Mediterranean flavors. The couscous is the main draw here, but much less could be prepared and used as a filler for the vegetables. It’s meant to be served hot, but works great chilled as a salad. While it can be a meal on it’s own, it pairs well as an accompaniment.. The recipe makes about 8-10 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, more possibly needed
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 yellow squash, seeds removed and diced
  • 2 zucchini, seeds removed and diced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup chopped basil
  • 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, handful

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prep all vegetables.
  3. Toss onion, pepper, squash, zucchini and garlic in olive oil and salt and pepper in a bowl.
  4. Spread vegetables out on a sheet pan and roast for about 10 minutes, turning the pan halfway through.
  5. Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan of vegetables and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until vegetables start to get golden brown.
  6. Meanwhile, bring 4 cups of stock to a boil in a medium-sized pot and add the couscous and a generous pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 10-12 minutes (stirring occasionally) until couscous is just tender with a slight bite. Strain couscous and transfer to a large bowl; stir in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  7. Add the remaining ingredients, mix thoroughly, adjust seasoning as needed and serve.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 246 / Fat: 4g / Saturated Fat: 1g /Carbohydrates: 45g / Fiber: 5g / Protein: 6g

Brandon McDearis is the owner of Your Way Cuisine, http://www.yourwaycuisine.com, a personal chef and nutrition consulting business. He is also a professional wanderer that spends much of his year trotting the globe and working in places such as Alaska, Australia, and Antarctica.

Stuffed Peppers

stuffed-peppers

This month’s recipe is a quick and easy meal that can be prepared with ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen. Stuffed peppers are a filling and nutritious meal on their own when served with vegetables or a salad, but they also make for a healthy and satisfying side dish. There are many variations of stuffed peppers found across the world in the cuisines of Spain, Mexico, India, and the Middle East, to name a few.

This recipe is a classic vegetarian version with southwestern and Mexican flavors.  It is meant to be light, but there is always room for more cheese to add to the density, and additional spice and seasonings are welcome. I advise using a hot salsa and/or adding a few shots of hot sauce to the mix if you prefer a little heat. Brown rice can be used to increase the amount of fiber, and chopped cilantro as a garnish adds a bit of flair to the finished product. A little extra salsa, picante sauce or hot sauce also makes for a nice condiment when serving. The recipe makes 4-6 servings depending on the size of your pepper.

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 large red or green bell peppers – tops, seeds and membranes removed
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16oz can salsa
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix ingredients together.
  3. Stuff each pepper with the rice and bean mix.
  4. Place them in a sprayed/greased baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove foil, top the peppers with extra cheese, if desired, and return to the oven uncovered for another 5-10 minutes or until the tops start to brown and the peppers are soft.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 175 / Fat: 5g / Saturated Fat: 3g / Carbohydrates: 24g / Fiber: 5g / Protein: 5g

Brandon McDearis is the owner of Your Way Cuisine, http://www.yourwaycuisine.com, a personal chef and nutrition consulting business. He is also a professional wanderer that spends much of his year trotting the globe and working in places such as Alaska, Australia, and Antarctica. 

Thai Curry Noodle Soup

curry-noodle-soup

This month’s recipe is a classic Thai curry soup that is very quick and easy to prepare. I have been a big fan of Thai food since my teens, but my true love affair with it commenced during my travels in Southeast Asia a few years ago.  After sampling as many different dishes as possible while touring that section of the continent, I have spent many days and nights trying to recreate authentic versions of all of my favorites. I have had mixed luck competing with the authenticity of the pros in Thailand, but this red curry soup comes pretty close to one you might find on the street in Bangkok.

This recipe makes for a very satiating meal that provides numerous health benefits. The herbs and spices, along with the onion, garlic and ginger provide an abundance of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying elements to the dish. While coconut oil and coconut milk have gotten a bad rap in the past for their high amount of saturated fats, recent studies have shown them both to actually lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good cholesterol), while reducing arterial damage and providing minerals such as manganese, phosphorus and magnesium.  Using light coconut milk in this recipe helps to cut back on the total calories and fat in the dish.

This curry soup can be prepared in well under an hour even with the lengthy prep work involved. However, when time is on your side, more flavor will develop the longer it sits at low heat. There is always room for any additional vegetables, such as the optional mushrooms and kale, and you won’t go wrong adding in another protein such as chicken or shrimp. The recipe makes about 8-12 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or broth
  • 3 cups light coconut milk
  • 2 cups kale, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup button or cremini mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 1 pound extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 package thin rice noodles
  • 1-2 limes cut up into wedges
  • fresh cilantro
  • sliced scallions
  • fresh basil
  • bean sprouts
  • thinly sliced fresh red chili peppers (optional)
  • thinly sliced bell pepper (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Heat a large stockpot to medium-high heat. Sauté the onion in the coconut oil for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and red curry paste and stir continuously for another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the vegetable stock or broth and stir thoroughly, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Add any desired (optional) vegetables of your choice at this point, such as mushrooms and/or kale.
  4. Add the tofu at the last 2 minutes of cooking to heat through.
  5. Taste the broth and season to preference with kosher salt and/or a dash of soy sauce or fish sauce if needed.
  6. You can either cook the noodles according to the package directions and cool them by running under cold water, or you can break a chunk off and put them in a bowl dry and ladle the hot soup over top and allow to sit for a couple of minutes until they soften.
  7. Squeeze a couple of wedges of lime into the soup bowl and garnish with the rest of the desired ingredients.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 235 / Fat: 11g / Saturated Fat: 5g / Carbohydrates: 26g / Fiber: 4g / Protein: 11g

Brandon McDearis is the owner of Your Way Cuisine, www.yourwaycuisine.com, a personal chef and nutrition consulting business. He is also a professional wanderer that spends much of his year trotting the globe and working in places such as Alaska, Australia, and Antarctica. 

Ratatouille

Ratatouille

This month’s recipe may sound familiar, yet many people do not know what ratatouille is other than a French culinary term, and a popular children’s movie. Ratatouille is really nothing more than a stewed vegetable dish that originated in the Provencal region of France. It has been regarded as a go-to summer meal throughout the Mediterranean coast. Traditionally, ratatouille is prepared by sautéing each item separately before being layered in a dish and baked. However, recipes have evolved so that it can be prepared faster and easier with less cooking time that in turn retains more of the nutrients in some of the vegetables. This recipe is an excellent side dish with any meal. It is also ideal to have in the fridge as a leftover to be mixed in with pasta, quinoa or soup. It can even make for a nice topper or garnish for your favorite protein dish.

The recipe makes about 8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, medium-large diced
  • 1 eggplant, medium-large dice
  • 1-2 red bell peppers, medium-large diced
  • 1-2 zucchini, medium-large dice
  • 1-2 yellow squash, medium-large diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 (28oz) can of diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Preparation:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot at medium-high heat and add the onion. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Add eggplant and bell peppers and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes until vegetables begin to soften.
  3. Add zucchini, squash and garlic and more olive oil at this point, if needed. Continue stirring and cooking for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add thyme, salt, pepper and tomato paste and stir together thoroughly.
  5. Add white wine and stir until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add canned tomatoes and the bay leaf, then reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. The vegetables should be soft, but not mushy.
  7. Turn off the heat or set to very low and add the balsamic, basil and parsley. Stir together.

This can be served immediately, but letting it sit for longer allows the flavors to develop more intensely. Remove (or just avoid eating) the bay leaf.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 136 / Fat: 8g / Saturated Fat: 1g / Carbohydrates: 13g / Fiber: 4g / Protein: 3g

Brandon McDearis is the owner of Your Way Cuisine, www.yourwaycuisine.com, a personal chef and nutrition consulting business. He is also a professional wanderer that spends much of his year trotting the globe and working in places such as Alaska, Australia, and Antarctica. 

Vegetarian Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Pho

Nearly every country has at least one national dish recognized worldwide. Just as Thailand has pad thai, India is known for curry, and Spain is renowned for its paella, Vietnam has pho noodle soup. Traditional pho is a popular street food consisting of a meat-based broth cooked for hours or even days. This vegetarian version can be prepared at home in under an hour. The ingredients can be as extensive or as simplified as desired. Most recipes call for whole cloves and star anise in the broth, however, I find it unnecessary to purchase a whole jar of each just to prepare this variety.

This recipe is light but filling, and offers an assortment of nutritional benefits. It is low in calories and fat, and the herbs and spices give the soup many cleansing and detoxifying properties. There is room to add any desired vegetables to increase the nutrient density, and the flavor can be tweaked to be either subtle or bursting with the spice and heat of your preference. The recipe serves 8.

Ingredients:

Broth:

  • 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 large onion, diced large into about 8 chunks
  • 1 medium stick fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves (optional)
  • 3 star anise (optional)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 bunch of basil stems (reserve leaves for pho)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro stems (reserve leaves for pho)

Pho:

  • 1 package rice noodles
  • 1 8oz package baked tofu
  • cilantro
  • basil
  • sliced green onions
  • bean sprouts
  • shredded carrot
  • lightly sautéed or roasted mushrooms, sliced
  • lightly sautéed or roasted bok choy
  • thinly sliced hot peppers, such as Thai chili
  • crushed peanuts
  • lime wedges
  • fish sauce, dash
  • soy sauce, dash
  • hot sauce, dash

Preparation:

  1. Combine all of the broth ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil at high heat, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Strain broth, return to the pot, cover and keep hot at low heat. Discard solids.
  2. Meanwhile, start prepping your pho ingredients. Any combination of the above ingredients may be used and anything else desired may be added.
  3. Cook noodles according to package directions. Run under cold water to keep from overcooking.
  4. If using raw tofu, mushrooms or bok choy, I find it best to make a quick stir-fry or roast them before adding to the soup. If stir-frying, heat a large pan or wok until hot, add a tablespoon of oil (coconut is recommended for stir-frying) and add ingredients to be sautéed. Season with a bit of salt and pepper or soy sauce. If roasting, toss all ingredients in olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on a roasting or sheet pan (greased or sprayed) and roast for about 7-8 minutes at 400 degrees.
  5. Ladle about 1-2 cups of broth into a bowl. Add noodles and any other desired ingredients. Season to perfection.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 220 / Fat: 5g / Saturated Fat: 1g / Carbohydrates: 35g / Fiber: 5g / Protein: 8g

Brandon McDearis is the owner of Your Way Cuisine, www.yourwaycuisine.com, a personal chef and nutrition consulting business. He is also a professional wanderer that spends much of his year trotting the globe and working in places such as Alaska, Australia, and Antarctica.