Fast Food And The One Step, Two Meal Shuffle….

With the average American eating nearly five meals from a restaurant each week, it’s no wonder we are less healthy and have to take so many medications for cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes.  What if you could make truly fast food at home where you know what you are eating, you can make it quickly, it’s really tasty and you can recreate some of the ingredients for additional meals later in the week?  These meals have the key nutrients for keeping you full and out of the kitchen later at night.  They have the right combination of healthy protein, high fiber, and good carbs to keep you blood sugar from spiking and your belly satiated.  It’s the magical meal shuffle to make healthy and fast food.  It goes like this.

This Week’s Magical Meal Shuffle:  Healthy Fast Food

This week we are going to work with a bean and pork focus.  To keep cost down, I prefer to use dried beans.  If you would prefer not to do this, then you can just buy four 14 ounce cans of black beans for the week.  I like to prepare 2 bags of black beans and just freeze some for another time since they freeze well.  I do that with all my grains too since it saves me a step for another time.  If you looked in my freezer you would find containers of cooked quinoa which I will use in my egg custard, brown and wild rice for a seafood saute, and beans to put in soup or wrap.  I’ve even frozen some of my homemade hummus, pesto sauce and lots of soups to eat at another time when I’m feeling lazy.

The key to the magical meal shuffle is to use the weekend to do some preparation so that the week days will be easier.  You will be preparing enough pork tenderloin for two meals.  Here is your week’s fast food instructions:

Sunday Dinner Preparation

1.  Saturday evening, using The Bean Institute’s recommended Hot Soak Method for preparing dried beans, rinse 2 packages of dried black beans in a colander, place in a large pot adding 5 cups of water for every cup of beans.  Bring to a boil and boil for an additional 3 minutes.  Remove them from the heat and let them stand covered overnight.  In the early afternoon, drain, and then rinse the beans with fresh water.  If you prepared two bags like I often do, then freeze about 5 of the 13 cups of beans for another week’s time-saving step.  Place the rest of the beans in an air tight container in the refrigerator for further recipe shuffles in the week.

2.  Make the Feisty Rub for the pork tenderloin.  This makes enough for at least 5-10 meals.  In a 2 cup sealable container (I use an empty spice container) mix the following:

  • 3 tbsp. coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 4 1/2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 4 1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. ground thyme

3.  For Sunday dinner you are going to cook 1(if for 2 people) or 2( if for 4 people) pork tenderloins in a cast iron pan.  Butterfly the tenderloins and then cook them following my One Pan Dinner recipe.   If you are cooking two tenderloins then use another pan to cook the beans and vegetable.  You can use an 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes or a whole jar of salsa if you prefer.  Allow 3/4 cup black beans per person.  Double the beans and greens if you are cooking for four.  A serving of meat is 4 oz and each pork tenderloin is about 16-18 oz or 4 servings. Save half of the pork for another dinner later in the week.

Nutrient Breakdown:  

  • Pork: Serving size: 4 oz.  Calories: 120.  Fat: 2.5g.  Carbs: 0.  Fiber: 0.  Protein: 24g
  • Bean/Tomato Mix:  Serving size: 3/4 cup.  Calories: 150.  Fat: 0.  Carbs: 36g.  Fiber: 20g.  Protein: 13g.
  • Spinach:  Serving size: 1 cup cooked.  Calories 41.  Fat: 0.  Carbs: 7g.  Fiber: 4g.  Protein: 5gms
  • Total Nutrients for meal:  Calories:  311.  Fat: 2.5g.  Carbs: 43g.  Fiber:  24g.  Protein:  42g.

Monday – Black Bean Chili

When you first get up Monday morning take a 4 quart crock-pot and set to high setting.  Place the following ingredients in the crock-pot and mix well until the meat is well dispersed.

  • 2 pound ground turkey breast or 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 4 cups of the black beans
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 1 bag frozen chopped spinach, kale or collard greens
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or 1 minced jalapeno peppers(optional)
  • 1 heaping tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce

Get ready for the day and come back to the crock-pot in about 45 minutes to stir all the ingredients and turn the crock-pot down to low.  Let time take over!  This makes about 8 servings and will have enough leftover for a dinner later in the week.  Serve with Akmok crackers or make my delicious corn bread (you can use regular cornmeal if you can’t get the blue)

Nutrient Breakdown:

  • Chili:  Serving Size:  1 1/2 cup.  Calories: 242.  Fat: 1.5g.  Carbs: 32g.  Fiber: 17g.  Protein: 40gms
  • Cornbread:  (makes 9 servings)  Serving Size: 2.5″ square.  Calories: 227.  Fat: 8g.  Carbs: 33g.  Fiber: 3g.  Protein: 6g.
  • Total Nutrients per meal:  Calories: 469.  Fat: 9.5g.  Carbs: 65g.  Fiber: 20g.  Protein: 46g.

Tuesday – Tangy Bean Salad and Pork Leftovers

Set the oven to 300.  Slice the leftover pork into small slices, wrap in foil and put in the oven while you make this delicious bean salad that makes 8 servings!

In a large bowl mix the following ingredients together:

  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 cups black beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 diced red pepper
  • juice from one lime
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro or for ease, 1/2 tsp dried oregano

If you would like to add more vegetables to increase the volume, I’ve added a cup or two of chopped green cabbage to this mix which adds a nice crunch.  I’ve also added small pieces of cucumbers and fresh diced tomatoes from the garden in the summer.  Serve on a bed of fresh spinach or arugula with the warmed sliced pork tenderloin.

Nutrient Breakdown

  • Bean Salad:  serving size: 3/4 cup  Calories: 130  Fat: 5g.  Carbs: 27g.  Fiber: 12g.  Protein: 9g.
  • Pork: Serving size: 4 oz.  Calories: 120.  Fat: 2.5g.  Carbs: 0.  Fiber: 0.  Protein: 24g
  • Total Nutrients per meal:  Calories: 250.  Fat: 7.5g.  Carbs: 27g.  Fiber: 12g.  Protein: 33g.

Wednesday – Franks and Beans

I use Applegate organic beef hot dogs because they are made from organic grass-fed beef, have no nitrates or preservatives.  Served on a whole grain hot dog bun and topped with a small amount of the leftover chili, with a side of the above Tangy Bean Salad, this is a 2 second tasty meal!  There are 7 hot dogs in a pack – enough for everyone to split another hot dog without going overboard.

Nutrient Breakdown

  • Applegate hot dog:  Serving Size:  1.  Calories:  90.  Fat: 7g.  Carbs: 0g.  Fiber: 0g.  Protein: 6g
  • Bean Salad:  serving size: 3/4 cup  Calories: 130  Fat: 5g.  Carbs: 27g.  Fiber: 12g.  Protein: 9g
  • Hot Dog Bun: Servings Size: 1 roll.  Calories: 110.  Fat: 2g.  Carbs: 21g.  Fiber: 3g.  Protein: 5g.
  • Total Nutrients per meal:  (based on one hot dog serving)  Calories: 330.  Fat: 14g.  Carbs: 48g.  Fiber: 15g.  Protein: 20g.

Thursday – Leftover Chili and Cornbread

You can just have the chili and cornbread for dinner or you can have a salad on the side.  My husband makes the best salad in the world – everyone asks him to bring a salad to any gathering because it is so fresh and tasty.  The key is that everything is chopped.

Pete’s Chopped Salad

  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 large head romaine
  • 1 3″ wedge of green cabbage
  • 1/2 onion
  • 8 kalamata olives
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Chop all the ingredients separately into a large salad bowl, poor the olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper and mix together with tongs.  For a nice twist, roast some sunflower seeds in a pan with no oil for a few minutes stirring constantly and substitute sesame oil for the olive oil.  The calories from this salad would mainly come from the avocado and the oil which is about 400 calories but divided over 4 people then that is not too bad for this delicious salad.  You could also just skip the avocado to save about 140 calories.

Fast Food Shuffle

The key to eating healthy is to simplify steps in food preparation, make extra ingredients to freeze or use in other meals and use time to save you steps.  It’s the make once, use twice shuffle to keep you healthy and not add stress to your already crazy day.






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