Meal Preps with Olive Oil

I feel most at ease when I have prepared and thought out meals for the week with this diet. It is difficult to do things on a whim, because nutritional values are really taken into account. There isn’t a quick way around most meals, and it seems that maybe, despite how cumbersome it can be, that is one of the big positives to this diet. It makes you think about what you are putting into your body.

For the most part, I can do fine with no salty snacks around. If you have followed my blog for a while, you might have noticed that sweets are more my thing. Bread is Shane’s weakness. In general, we both love food, and we love a variety of it. So when he and I wandered into our local olive oil store, we were in for a tasty surprise.

The Enchanted Olive sells olive oils, balsamic vinegar and white balsamic vinegar. You can get just the normal, non-flavor infused ones, but I promise they still pack a punch. Or you can get ones that are infused with a rainbow of flavors. Currently, I am obsessed with my recent purchase I made when my mom came to deliver to me my new Hoosier cabinet. I told her we had to go to this shop, and she wasn’t disappointed, walking away with several oils and teas herself. My purchase from that day is now my newest obsession in the kitchen, I got the cara-cara orange and vanilla white balsamic vinegar, the coconut white balsamic vinegar, and the Persian lime infused olive oil.

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These flavors all mesh so well and are so fresh tasting; they are very inspiring for these cold winter days, bringing to mind bright beaches rather than the sepia tone, cold nature outside. So I planned out four meals using all three of these robust flavors that would be keto friendly.

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Citrus Prosciutto Salad

  • Two cups coarsely chopped lettuce of choice
  • 8 oz can of artichoke hearts, rinsed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped baby tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 2.25 oz can sliced black olives
  • 2 oz prosciutto
  • Bunch of basil, coarsely chopped
  1. Tear prosciutto into smaller pieces
  2. Combine above ingredients

For the Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons Persian lime infused olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cara-cara orange and vanilla white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Shake together in jar dressing ingredients and drizzle over salad

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I included tilapia fillets, sautéed in the lime oil for about two to three minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Then I drizzled those with the coconut white balsamic vinegar. In the other two meals, I used salmon, sautéed skin side up in the lime again for about three minutes before flipping and finishing the cooking in my preheated oven for a few minutes at 450 degrees. The salmon were drizzled with the cara-cara orange and vanilla white balsamic vinegar. Now I have four keto-friendly meals awaiting me in my refrigerator for this week!

 

Keto Diet Snack

The truth is, I never figured I would walk into one of those weird fad diets. One that had you eating coconut and almond flour willingly, cooking with ghee, or containing the words “gluten free”. It is funny what you will do for those you love though, and Shane and I started our journey with the ketogenic diet after repeated, long lasting gout attacks that would practically cripple Shane.

In the middle of summer, we began and stuck to a keto diet. We did so pretty well for about four months. Heading into the holidays, we weened off of it and still ate healthy, but Shane admitted to feeling better when on the diet, and he was the reason we were doing it in the first place. So, we are weening ourselves back on, which is difficult to do during the holidays, going to peoples houses and eating what they serve. We almost always come across I am sure as picky eaters and often times, if headed to my moms, I will redirect the menu to include things such as bacon wrapped asparagus and side salad instead of just sweet potatoes, beets, and cornbread.

Honestly, when you first undertake this diet, it can be pretty depressing. I am being totally honest, I wish I could say after a week, I stopped craving sweet things, but I didn’t. I just really love sweet things, and stevia is not the same tasting. There is no, “Oh, just use natural honey instead!” or “But, maple syrup is a safe sweetener!” Sweets are pretty much out of the picture, and that pretty much even means fruits. About the only thing that saved Shane and I the first time around was that I do genuinely love spending time in my kitchen, so I was getting to do a lot of that on this new diet plan.

You begin to figure out things that work for you. You find favorite recipes, and because your body is craving correct fuel, we have yet to grow tired of these favorite recipes that I often make once a week, like our chicken breast pizza in the crockpot, of course no bread like substance included, and our venison crustless pizza in the crock pot. On occasion, we stumble into a snack that is delightful, and this is one that I wouldn’t even hesitate to bring to a party.

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Salmon Cucumber Sliders

  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 8 oz smoked salmon
  • 1-2 avocados, depending on size diced
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Persian lime infused olive oil, available at places like The Enchanted Olive
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
  1. Mix mayonnaise, lime olive oil, and parsley until combined
  2. Top cucumbers with avocado, followed by salmon and finally a small dollop of mayonnaise dressing

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If anyone would like the nutritional break downs of this bite sized treat shown, I can take the time to do so. For the most part, I discovered I do better not tracking my macro’s like a mad woman. I have a sense of how much protein I should be having a day now and know if I am irritable or tired, often times that means I need a little more fat. Oddly enough, I feel like I can go much of the day eating very little, then a big dinner feels good, but Shane is the opposite, eating small all day and a small dinner.

Hot Buttered Rum

Recently, Leah and I took a trip down to D.C. and visited my other cousin, Carlie. Carlie has lived down that direction ever since college, and it was time Leah and I pay her a visit. We are fortunate to all be so close, I feel like I am the literal link in between them, Leah a cousin from my mom’s side and Carlie is from my dad’s. We all enjoy history, museums of all types, and food.

Leah and I got brunch one morning on our trip at George Washington’s place. It was cozy, all of Mount Vernon was festive, and the food was so delectable. There was one thing we were a little put out by though, when we ordered a hot buttered rum we were told that they were out of butter. Only under the understanding that this was an old-timey drink, we wondered how one could be out of butter.

Well now we know!

Leah was excited to send me a recipe for a hot buttered rum before Shane and I headed up to Connecticut for the New Year. It seemed simple enough, a stick of butter, three-fourths cup of brown sugar and various spices. Everyone was intrigued as we began to mix it up in my Kim’s pretty little bowl and soon we had “orders” to fill for various family members.

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When people asked Leah and I about it and where we got the idea to make it, we kept answering with, “It is a traditional holiday drink. They had it on the menu at Mount Vernon.” Suffice to say, we didn’t actually know much beyond that, but upon returning home, I actually found out more about the warm goodness that we stirred up for the family.

Unlike a hot toddy, this drink is a little more “American” because of the use of rum. More specifically, it is a little bit more of a New England drink because of their history with molasses rum and the rum trade.

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Meanwhile, having it served at Mount Vernon made sense as well because apparently in the American Heritage Cookbook it says the drink found it’s way into domestic politics in George Washington’s time. The rum mixture was used to sway constituents and influence votes. Fortunately, we made it to just enjoy, no ulterior motives.

Once our butter batter was in our mugs, we poured an ounce or two of black spiced rum, depending on what people wanted.

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Next was whistling hot water. We used approximately six or eight ounces. Here is where I later read that the whole idea of oil and water not mixing and the drink not having a very good visual appeal. Going into this little experiment with out having even thought of that, we topped our warm drinks with Kelly’s homemade whipped cream. Apparently doing that or a dollop of ice-cream can take away from that “oil versus water” look too.

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With a dash of cinnamon on top, the traditional drink was ready to serve with the wonderful desserts that made their debuts here and there in the kitchen.

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It was a drink that warmed you through and through. We discovered served with a spoon or stir stick would probably be best since the sugar tended to settle towards the bottom. It is well worth mixing up a double batch to keep on hand in your freezer or fridge for a cold winter day!

Hot Buttered Rum Butter Batter

  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • 3/4 cups of light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves, feel free to omit

Combine above ingredients. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator if you don’t use it all.

Hot Buttered Rum

  • 2 tablespoons butter batter
  • 1-2 oz of dark spiced rum
  • 6-8 oz of boiling water
  • Top with whipped cream or ice-cream to avoid seeing separation of liquids
  • Dust with cinnamon

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