Week 1 Menu & BBQ Beef "Nachos" {Recipe}

One of the biggest challenges of clean eating is the amount of prep required in order to ensure you're not spending hours each day preparing meals. Even when I'm not following the Whole30 guidelines to a T, I still use a very similar prep method because it really makes my life easier.

For breakfast, I'll make a lot of one dish on Sunday and eat it all week.  I need something I can throw in my bag, take to work, and eat it at my desk.  In my pre-paleo days, this was something like a couple muffins or a pack of instant oatmeal.  Now it's much more focused on eggs and protein.

I take the same approach for lunch as I do breakfast: I make enough of one dish to last me all week. This might be a big thing of chili, enough chicken or steak for a week of salads, or maybe a bunch of burgers.

For dinners, each week I pick out 3 recipes to make.  Usually the recipes are big enough for me to get 2-3 meals out of each, so I'll eat leftovers on the other nights.

I also make sure I have plenty of challenge-approved snacks on hand in case I get hungry. My favorites are almonds, cashews, raisins, dates, jerky, olives, and pickles.

So what's going on in my kitchen this week?

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Sausage, & Roasted Sweet Potato
Lunch:      Italian Sausage w/ Roasted Brussels Sprouts {Target's Simply Balanced brand as a couple that are challenge approved}
Dinners: Spaghetti Squash "Pizza" Pie
                Asian Chicken Thigh w/ Green Beans
                BBQ Beef "Nachos" {recipe below}
Snacks:  Trail mix {nuts and dried fruit}
                "Antipasto" snack: red pepper strips, olives, pickles, and prosciutto

Weekly Prep: My shopping day is normally Saturday or Sunday and I prep on Sunday afternoons. This week, here's my to-do list:

  • dice and roast sweet potatoes
  • season and brown ground pork for breakfast sausage
  • roast brussels sprouts

Normally the to-do list a little larger, but since I'll make the eggs every morning and the italian sausage for lunch is fully cooked and just needs to be reheated, it significantly cuts down on prep work.

Every morning, I can grab a plastic container and fill it with that day's portion of sausage and sweet potato. Then I'll throw 2 eggs {raw, in-shell} in a separate container {they'll be scrambled and cooked in the microwave when I get to work. Not world-class cuisine, but it's tasty and gets the job done.}

I'm lucky to be able to come home everyday for lunch, so that's one less thing I have to pack for work. This week, I'll just quickly warm up the sausage on the George Foreman and saute the already roasted sprouts to warm them up (microwave would work just fine too).

When I get home after I put in some time at the gym, I'll eat a banana and work on dinner. This one I'm posting takes a little bit of work, but the crockpot does most of it. {Note: some might consider this meal as "SWYPO" because I'm calling it nachos. If it was attempting to hit the same flavor notes as traditional nachos, I'd agree. But really I just eat it this way because I like eating things with my hands (sandwiches, tacos, etc...)}

BBQ Beef Nachos

Inspired by Well Fed 2's BBQ Beef Waffle Sandwich

What You'll Need:

  • Your favorite BBQ beef & sauce recipe {there are several out there- I like the one from Well Fed 2 but since Melissa has chosen not to post it online, I won't do that here. If you're at a loss, try this one but with beef instead (or you could use pork too)}
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 bag Classic Cole Slaw mix {or chop your own mix of cabbage, red onion, and carrots}
  • 1 large Egg {room temperature}
  • 1 cup Light Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • Dill Pickle Slices
What To Do:
  1. Trim & season your beef roast and cook in crockpot per your recipe's directions. Shred meat with about 1 hour left, add sauce to crockpot, and cook for 1 more hour on low.
  2. During the last hour in the crockpot, preheat your oven to 400F. Prep a baking sheet with foil.  Slice sweet potatoes into thin (1/8-1/4 inch) rounds, like thick chips. Drizzle with a little oil (coconut, olive, etc) and season with salt.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. The rounds will be kind of crisp on the outside, but fluffy like a baked potato on the inside. Don't bake until fully crisp like a chip.
  3. With your rounds in the oven, you can make the mayo for the cole slaw. Crack the egg into a wide mouth mason jar. Add lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and olive oil. With an immersion blender at the bottom of the jar, blitz the egg/oil combo. You'll see it change in about 30 seconds. Then slowly bring the blender up to the top of the jar, but keep it in the mixture, to blend all the oil. Presto-chango: you have mayo.  {Alternatively, if you don't have an immersion blender, this can be done in a food processors, but you have to VERY SLOWLY drizzle in the olive oil}
  4. Mix your mayo {some or all depending on your preference} with the cabbage mix and a little bit of salt and there ya have it- Whole30 cole slaw.
  5. To serve, I like make a "mountain" of meat, cole slaw and pickle chips which I then pick up and eat 'nacho-style' with the sweet potato rounds. 

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