Cuban Picadillo

This is a simple meal, but also very good. I make it often and have since come up with different proportions from the original recipe so I wanted to post it here.

Cuban Picadillo

Cuban Picadillo

(Adapted from Tessa the Domestic Diva)

1.5 lbs ground turkey (could also use ground beef)
1 onion, chopped
1-2 bell peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup raisins
3 Tbsp capers
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 – 1+ cups chicken broth

Cook the ground beef until brown. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and cook until veggies are softened. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a low simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes. Serve with brown rice.

Weekly Meal Plan: Dec 8-14, 2014

Monday: West African Chicken Stew (from Well Fed 2)

Changes: 1) Used almond butter instead of sesame seed butter; 2) Used jarred minced ginger instead of fresh; 3) Didn’t add water (I doubled the recipe and used a full 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes instead) or suggested garnishes.

Tuesday: Spiced Pork Chops with Apples

I’ve made this once before but it was back in November 2012. Tasty!

Wednesday: Yum-Yum Fish Stew

Fish Stew

Thursday: CrockPot Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes, Tomato and Raisins

Changes: 1) Used 2 lbs chicken instead of three, 2) Used 1/2 can full-fat coconut milk instead of yogurt; 3) Didn’t add agave nectar.

Friday: Salmon Pasta with Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce

Salmon Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce

Saturday: Out to dinner for our 1st wedding anniversary

Sunday: CrockPot Chicken & Pumpkin Curry with Apple & Sweet Potatoes

Changes: 1) Didn’t add coconut sugar or spinach; 2) Only added one sweet potato (instead of three).

Weekly Meal Plan: Dec 1-7, 2014

Monday: Snacks in the car

Paul and I drove to Virginia to spend Thanksgiving with my family the week before, so we were on the road all day.

Tuesday: Easy Pasta Bolognese

I went grocery shopping after work so I needed something easy (but delicious) to put together.

Wednesday: Chicken Taco Salad

Ingredients I used for my plate: shredded green leaf lettuce, diced chicken (cooked with homemade taco seasoning), diced red bell pepper, olives, and guacamole. Paul had the same but added ranch/salsa dressing, corn, and tortilla chips.

Thursday: CrockPot Thai Chicken Stew

I ate my portion by itself but Paul had his with rice.

Changes: 1) Used chicken breast (cut into small pieces) instead of beef; 2) Didn’t cook meat or veggies in advance (just dumped it all in the CrockPot at once); 3) Didn’t add jicama or carrots (I did add 1 lb broccoli – a frozen bag that I thawed, then added to the CrockPot at end of cooking time).

CrockPot Thai Chicken Stew

Friday: Ratatouille

Saturday: Tacos

Sunday: Citrus Carnitas

First time making this recipe. I had my in-laws over for dinner and it was a huge hit. I served it with steamed broccoli (my preference) and a side of pasta (for the others). The meat had a great flavor that I’d never experienced before; it also didn’t require any additional seasoning or sauce.

The only annoying part about cooking a pork shoulder is removing the fat — that task took about 30 minutes because I tend to be thorough (I don’t remove all of the fat, which is impossible, but I do remove the large/obvious chunks). The reaction to the meat was so positive though, I’ll definitely have to make it again.

Weekly Meal Plan: Nov 17-23, 2014

I made three CrockPot meals this week because I wanted free time when I got home from work to unpack my new house. There’s still a lot to do but I made a dent! And I still managed to make FOUR new recipes.

Monday: West African Chicken Stew (from Well Fed 2)

New recipe #1. This was excellent! The almond butter gave the sauce some creaminess and it had a nice kick due to the cayenne. I’d definitely make it again.

Changes: 1) Used almond butter instead of sesame seed butter; 2) Used jarred minced ginger instead of fresh; 3) Didn’t add water (I doubled the recipe and used a full 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes instead) or suggested garnishes.

Tuesday: CrockPot Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos

Changes: 1) Used 2 lbs pork tenderloin but didn’t double the amount of sauce; 2) Didn’t add brown sugar. Paul ate his with flour tortillas but I just ate the meat alongside guacamole.

CrockPot Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos

Wednesday: CrockPot Thai Chicken Stew

New recipe #2. Mmm, I really liked this. This is a definite make-again.

Changes: 1) Used chicken breast (cut into small pieces) instead of beef; 2) Didn’t cook meat or veggies in advance (just dumped everything into the CrockPot at once); 3) Used jarred minced ginger instead of fresh; 4) Didn’t add jicama or carrots (I did add broccoli).

Thursday: CrockPot Chicken & Pumpkin Curry with Apple & Sweet Potatoes

New recipe #3. This was much better than I expected. I would make this again, too.

Changes: 1) Didn’t add coconut sugar or spinach; 2) Only added one sweet potato (instead of three); 3) Cooked the onions and apples on the stovetop when I got home from work, then added those ingredients to the CrockPot once the cooking time had ended. Not because I thought it would be better that way – I just didn’t have time to do the chopping before I left for work that morning.

Friday: Paleo Turkey Satay Burgers

Changes: 1) Used 1.5 lb turkey; 2) Used minced garlic rather than grated; 3) Didn’t add green onion.

Paleo Turkey Satay Burgers with Broccoli Slaw

Saturday: Fiesta Pork Chops

New recipe #4. This was okay, but I wasn’t wowed by the sauce. I kinda wanted the sauce to be spectacular (especially on a Saturday when I exert more effort on my meals than I do during the week), but it didn’t quite come through.

Changes: Used coconut oil instead of ghee

Sunday: Leftovers

Weekly Meal Plan: Nov 10-16, 2014

I was busy packing up my house last week for a move into a new house (yay!). I decided to pull out a bunch of old staples so I wouldn’t have to think about what I was doing.

Monday: CrockPot Red Curry Pork with Pickles

CrockPot Red Curry Pork with Pickles

Tuesday: CrockPot Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Wednesday: Chicken Taco Salad

Ingredients I used for my plate: shredded green leaf lettuce, diced chicken (I cooked it with homemade taco seasoning), diced red bell pepper, olives, and guacamole. Paul added ranch/salsa dressing, corn, and tortilla chips to his plate.

Thursday: CrockPot Pork Ragu

Changes: 1) Didn’t sear the pork in advance (just added the meat and spices directly to the CrockPot); 2) Didn’t add grated carrots; 3) Didn’t add red wine.

Paul ate his with rice noodles; I had mine with lettuce.

Friday: CrockPot Creamy Red Shrimp & Tomato Curry

CrockPot Creamy Red Shrimp and Tomato Curry

Saturday: Tacos

Sunday: Leftovers

Weekly Meal Plan: Nov 3-9, 2014

Monday: Yum-Yum Fish Stew

Changes: 1) Didn’t add butter; 2) Used chicken broth instead of white wine

Tuesday: Easy Pasta Bolognese

I ate my pasta with sautéed cabbage; Paul had his with rice noodles.

Weeknight Bolognese with Penne Rice Noodles

Wednesday: CrockPot Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast

First time making this. Very good! I made a number of changes but it turned out really well; I’d definitely make it again.

Changes: 1) Used 2 lb pork tenderloin (didn’t have beef); 2) Didn’t add Aleppo pepper to seasoning mix; 3) Used chicken broth instead of beef broth; 4) Substituted dates for the figs (couldn’t find figs in the dried fruit section of my grocery store).

Thursday: Tacos

Friday: Asian Almond Chicken Salad

I added the sauce ingredients from this recipe to three cups of shredded chicken and ate it with green apple slices.

Saturday: Out to dinner

Sunday: Cuban Picadillo

Cuban Picadillo

Weekly Meal Plan: Oct 27 – Nov 2, 2014

Monday: Ratatouille

Tuesday: Chicken Taco Salad

Ingredients I used for my plate: shredded green leaf lettuce, diced chicken cooked with homemade taco seasoning, red bell pepper, mushrooms, olives, and guacamole. Paul added salsa/ranch dressing, corn, tortilla chips to his plate.

Chicken Taco Salad

Wednesday: CrockPot Pear Ginger Pork from The Paleo Slow Cooker

New recipe #1. Verdict: Pretty good! I doubled the recipe but next time wouldn’t double the amount of liquid; there was too much.

Changes: 1) Used 2 lb pork tenderloin instead of pork chops; 2) Used combination of white wine and chicken broth instead of just one; 3) Didn’t add honey (I’m glad I didn’t because it was plenty sweet without it).

Thursday: CrockPot Thai Chicken Curry

New recipe #2. Verdict: Very good! Next time I would add more meat because there was more sauce than everything else. I’d add more veggies, too.

Changes: 1) Used two chicken breasts (cut into bite-size pieces) instead of beef; 2) Used almond butter instead of peanut butter; 3) Didn’t add brown sugar or bamboo shoots; 4) Substituted arrowroot powder for the cornstarch.

Friday: Cuban Picadillo

I ate this with sautéed cabbage.

Cuban Picadillo

Saturday: Thai-Inspired Salmon

I hadn’t made this in over a year. Too long!

Changes: 1) Didn’t add scallions, lemongrass or green beans; 2) Used a full can of full-fat coconut milk.

Sunday: CrockPot Pork Tikka Masala

Changes: 1) Used 2 lb pork tenderloin that I shredded after cooking (instead of using chicken); 2) Doubled the amount of sauce so there was more liquid; 3) Used dried cilantro instead of fresh; 4) Served with rice noodles for my husband and his parents (I had mine with sautéed cabbage).

Whole30 Take Two, Days 23-30

My second Whole30 is done! I’ll write a recap post later but for now, here is the final food log.

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Day 23, Monday Oct 20

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs + leftover chicken breast + raw carrots

Lunch: Bora Bora Fireballs + Caramelized Coconut Chips

Dinner: CrockPot Chicken Tikka Masala + sautéed cabbage

This was good! I’ve made Tikka Masala in the CrockPot before, but this was my first time using this particular recipe. I liked it better.

Changes: 1) Used 2 lb chicken that I shredded after cooking (rather than leaving in bite-size pieces); 2) Doubled the amount of sauce; 3) Didn’t add coconut milk or cilantro; 4) Served with rice noodles for my husband.

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Day 24, Tuesday Oct 21

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs + Bora Bora Fireballs

Lunch: CrockPot Chicken Tikka Masala + sautéed cabbage

Snack: Caramelized coconut chips + almond butter

Dinner: Cauliflower Puttanesca (no pasta, of course) + extra olives

Cauliflower Pasta Puttanesca

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Day 25, Wednesday Oct 22

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs + CrockPot Chicken Tikka Masala with sautéed cabbage

Lunch: CrockPot Chicken Tikka Masala + sauteed cabbage

Dinner: CrockPot Pumpkin Turkey Chili

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Day 26, Thursday Oct 23

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs + Cauliflower Puttanesca (no pasta)

Lunch: CrockPot Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Snack: Caramelized coconut chips

Dinner: Paleo Chicken Curry + sauteed cabbage

First time making this. It was good, but not regular-rotation worthy. I enjoyed the addition of the veggies. I used diced chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs.

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Day 27, Friday Oct 24

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs + Cauliflower Puttanesca (no pasta)

Snack: Apple + caramelized coconut chips

Lunch: Paleo Chicken Curry + sauteed cabbage

Snack: Banana + almond butter

Dinner: Paleo Turkey Satay Burgers + Broccoli Slaw

First time making this. I really enjoyed it and would definitely make it again. Paul liked it as well.

Changes: 1) Used 1.5 lb ground turkey; 2) Added a bit of fish sauce to the almond butter sauce instead of coconut aminos.

The broccoli slaw came from a bag; I didn’t make that from scratch. I cooked it on the stovetop in coconut oil for about five minutes to soften it.

Paleo Turkey Satay Burgers with Broccoli Slaw

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Day 28, Saturday Oct 25

Breakfast: Paleo Turkey Satay Burgers (no sauce) + sautéed cabbage

Lunch: 3 scrambled eggs + taco seasoned ground turkey

Snack: Caramelized coconut chips, banana with almond butter

Dinner: Turkey Zucchini Meatballs with Curry Sauce + raw sunflower seeds

I made this for the first time a few weeks ago and liked it so much I had to make it again.

Changes: 1) Didn’t add green onions or kaffir lime leaves (didn’t have any); 2) Used regular coconut milk instead of light (full can).

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Day 29, Sunday Oct 26

Breakfast: CrockPot Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Lunch: Turkey Zucchini Meatballs with Curry Sauce + raw sunflower seeds

Dinner: CrockPot Red Curry Pork with Pickles

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Day 30, Monday Oct 27

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs, black olives, caramelized coconut chips

Lunch: Taco-seasoned ground turkey with steamed broccoli

Dinner: Ratatouille

Ratatouille

Whole30 Take Two, Days 16-22

This week I challenged myself to make recipes for dinner Monday-Friday that I’d never made before. I was successful! Although I definitely enjoyed some dishes more than others.

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Day 16, Monday Oct 13

Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs with taco-seasoned chicken, diced red bell pepper, black olives

Lunch: 3 scrambled eggs, caramelized coconut chips, raw sunflower seeds, raw walnuts, 1/2 sweet potato with coconut oil

I wouldn’t normally have eggs for both breakfast and lunch, but it was a holiday and Paul and I were hanging out at his parents’ house for a few hours while one of our cars was being repaired nearby. I raided their fridge for the eggs and supplemented with the snacks.

Dinner: Meatza Pie
(This recipe is from Well Fed. Another version can be found on the author’s website, but it’s not exactly the same – she uses salsa instead of making her own sauce, for instance, and I enjoyed the slightly more complicated version found in the cookbook.)

Verdict: We really liked it! Not something I would make on a regular basis but I would definitely make it again. Our toppings were yellow bell pepper, mushrooms, black olives, and guacamole (Paul also added shredded cheese to his).

Meatza Pie with Guacamole

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Day 17, Tuesday Oct 14

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs + roasted Brussels sprouts

Lunch: Meatza Pie

Snack: Caramelized coconut chips + raw walnuts

Dinner: CrockPot Lemon Chicken Kale Soup

I wouldn’t make this often, but I enjoyed it! Nice lemony flavor. Changes: 1) Used 10-oz package of baby kale (stalks trimmed); 2) Used Meyer lemons instead of regular; 3) Only used 1/4 cup olive oil.

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Day 18, Wednesday Oct 15

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs + roasted Brussels sprouts

Lunch: Asian Almond Chicken Salad

I liked this – great lunch idea. I did change it up a bit: I added the sauce ingredients to the shredded chicken and served it with sliced apples, but didn’t include the other stuff. For the sauce, I didn’t add applesauce (didn’t have any) and substituted rice vinegar for the coconut vinegar. (This was my first time trying almond butter! It’s way tastier than peanut butter, although it’s also more expensive.)

Snack: Caramelized coconut chips

Dinner: CrockPot Cheater Pork Stew

Verdict: I didn’t love this. We had some leftovers and I ended up throwing them out (which I never do unless we really don’t care for something). Changes: 1) Used 2 lb pork tenderloin; 2) Chopped cabbage into bite-size chunks rather than wedges; 3) Used crushed tomatoes instead of marinara sauce.

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Day 19, Thursday Oct 16

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs + roasted Brussels sprouts

Lunch: Asian Almond Chicken Salad + CrockPot Lemon Chicken Kale Soup

Dinner: Rogan Josh + sautéed cabbage

This was delicious. I had purchased Rogan Josh spice blend from Penzey’s in the past, so I used that instead of making my own. Otherwise I followed the directions exactly.

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Day 20, Friday Oct 17

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs + roasted Brussels sprouts

Lunch: Rogan Josh + sautéed cabbage

Snack: Raw walnuts & cashews + apple

Dinner: Crockpot Mango Chicken Coconut Curry

This was really good! Definitely something I would make again.

Changes: 1) Used 2 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces; 2) Didn’t add honey (not allowed on Whole30) or fennel (they didn’t have it at my grocery store the last time I visited).

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Day 21, Saturday Oct 18

Breakfast: Crockpot Mango Chicken Coconut Curry

Lunch: Taco seasoned ground turkey + sautéed cabbage

Snack: Bora Bora Fireballs

First time making these! I liked them a lot. Changes: 1) Used fish sauce instead of coconut aminos (didn’t have any); 2) Didn’t add jalapeño.

Dinner: Country Captain Chicken + sautéed cabbage

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Day 22, Sunday Oct 19

Breakfast: Crockpot Mango Chicken Coconut Curry + sauteed cabbage

Lunch: Bora Bora Fireballs

Dinner: CrockPot Pot Roast with potatoes and carrots

Whole30 Take Two, Days 9-15

Day 9, Monday Oct 6

Breakfast: CrockPot Pork Ragu

Lunch: Ground turkey, sautéed with onion and bell peppers, over lettuce

Snack: Caramelized Coconut Chips + handful raw walnuts

Dinner: Cuban Picadillo with sautéed cabbage

After work, I spent hours in the kitchen cleaning, chopping, and cooking veggies that I’d purchased the day before. While I’m out of the habit of doing so much prep at one time, I really do love eating most vegetables. It had been a long time since I made sautéed cabbage (I used a combo of green/red cabbage this time around), and I could eat an entire pan of roasted Brussels sprouts and okra by myself – a little olive oil, salt and pepper…yum! This is one reason why I knew restarting the Whole30 would be good for me.

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Day 10, Tuesday Oct 7

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs + roasted okra and Brussels sprouts

Lunch: Cuban Picadillo with sautéed cabbage

Snack: Caramelized Coconut Chips

Dinner: CrockPot Red Cabbage and Apples + CrockPot Curried Chicken Wings
(These two recipes came from a cookbook called The Paleo Slow Cooker)

I was able to make two CrockPot recipes in one day because I can walk home from work on my lunch break. I cooked the red cabbage dish in the morning, cooled and put it in the fridge over lunch, broiled the chicken, and dumped the ingredients for the curried wings into the crock without bothering to wash it first.

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Day 11, Wednesday Oct 8

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs + roasted okra and Brussels sprouts

Lunch: Cuban Picadillo with sautéed cabbage

Snack: Caramelized Coconut Chips (I’ve recently become addicted to these things!)

Dinner: Cuban Picadillo with CrockPot Red Cabbage and Apples

I had almost the same thing for lunch and dinner today because I had enough leftovers in the fridge that I didn’t need to make a new meal (my husband was out of town for work).

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Day 12, Thursday Oct 9

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs + roasted okra and Brussels sprouts

Lunch: Shredded chicken with sautéed cabbage + Caramelized Coconut Chips

Snack: CrockPot Red Cabbage and Apples

Dinner: CrockPot Chicken with Mushrooms and Artichokes + sautéed cabbage
(This recipe also came from The Paleo Slow Cooker.)

Ugh. We didn’t enjoy this at all. Sometimes Paul will like something more than I do, but even he said I shouldn’t make this again. We both ate our dinner portions but definitely didn’t enjoy it. I made a few small changes to the original recipe but I do that all the time and still enjoy the dish – whatever I changed wasn’t significant enough to cause a dramatic change in flavor.

Changes: 1) Didn’t brown the chicken in advance; 2) Substituted coconut oil for the butter; 3) Used 1 cup chicken broth instead of combo of broth/white wine.

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Day 13, Friday Oct 10

Breakfast: Shredded chicken with sautéed cabbage

Lunch: Roasted okra and Brussels sprouts + 2 eggs (over easy)

Snack: Caramelized Coconut Chips + small handful raw walnuts

Dinner: Asian Meatballs + sautéed cabbage

These were VERY good. I’ve really been enjoying the meatballs I’ve been making lately. Paul ate his with rice noodles.

Changes I made to the recipe: 1) Used regular button mushrooms instead of shiitake; 2) Added diced red bell pepper instead of shallot; 3) Used ground turkey instead of ground beef.

Asian Meatballs with Sauteed Cabbage

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Day 14, Saturday Oct 11

Breakfast: Asian Meatballs, sautéed cabbage + 2 eggs (over easy)

Lunch: Taco-seasoned ground turkey + CrockPot Red Cabbage and Apples

Dinner: Salad with raw walnuts (no dressing), roast beef, two small red potatoes (whole, not mashed)

Paul and I attended a wedding and reception on Saturday night. Before I started this Whole30 a few weeks ago, I thought I might give myself a cheat night and have some wine. But when the day dawned, I realized I was feeling so good that I didn’t want it. I ordered club soda from the bar and had black coffee after dinner.

The night went just fine! The only time I missed alcohol was when I tried to get out on the dance floor — sober dancing at a wedding wasn’t really working for me.

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Day 15, Sunday Oct 12

Breakfast: Asian Meatballs, sautéed cabbage + 2 eggs (over easy)

Snack: Caramelized Coconut Chips, red grapes, handful of roasted/salted mixed nuts

(Note: I didn’t have any peanuts with the mixed nuts but I noticed after the fact that vegetable oil, and possibly peanut/soybean oil, was an ingredient. That’s what I get for not reading the label in advance!)

Lunch: Salad of taco-seasoned chicken, lettuce, red bell pepper, black olives, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, drizzled with olive oil

Dinner: Salad of taco-seasoned chicken, lettuce, red bell pepper, black olives, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar