Paula's Sixteenth Week on Ideal Protein
Magic! Yep that’s right, I did manage to hit that magic number this week! Not only did I hit it, I exceeded it! Not by much, but I did. If you’re confused as to what I’m talking about, check out last week’s post. I’m now less than ten pounds away from my goal. That means that I should be going on phase two within the next couple of weeks. My journey is almost over, wow. Now that I can see the light, I’ve come to enjoy watching cooking videos from popular creators like Tasty. I couldn’t watch them before because every video had things I liked but couldn’t eat due to the restrictions of the program.
Seeing as Black Friday, my birthday, Christmas and Boxing Day all happened during my journey, I have collected a few new kitchen toys. Some of them being a pasta maker, food dehydrator and an air fryer. We’ve been using the food dehydrator to make some IP friendly beef jerky (I’ll put the recipe below) but that’s about it. I know there is so much more that can be done with it other than beef jerky. Now, before you say anything about the other two things promoting unhealthy food, let me just say something. Any food is unhealthy if you eat too much of it.
Something I learned from the free videos provided on the program is, things like French fries or pasta is okay. But there is one specific rule…it’s only okay if you make it yourself. Why? Well, if you make it yourself, you’re unlikely to spend the time to do it every day and therefore, you won’t be eating pasta or French fries every day. I love this rule. I don’t love it because it allows me to eat anything I want, but it gives me a way to moderate the unhealthy things like French fries or pasta.
I’m the type of person who likes to plan. I love knowing, to a degree, what the future will hold. It allows you to ensure that what you need and want will actually happen. For Cody and I, one our past issues was lack of meal planning. That’s why at least three times a week we would be eating out. You know how some people have specific days of the week for different types of food? Well, I made one for every day of the week for when I’m off the program. Microwave Mondays (where we use the microwave to either cook or warm something up), Pasta Tuesdays, Take out Wednesdays (I figured that if we have a designated day, this will help curb the habit of ordering out), Leftover Thursdays, Fryer Fridays (let me just say, the air fryer can do much more than just frying food), Sandwich Saturdays and Slow Cooker Sunday. This is not set in stone of course. However, I feel like something like this will help us stay healthier than what we were doing before.
As promised, here is the beef jerky recipe. You can definitely do this in the oven if you don’t have a food dehydrator. Also, I found that marinating the beef for 30 minutes is preferable than more than an hour, but it’s up to you. Also, flank steak works best.
2 pounds flank steak (or eye or round or top round steak)
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons coarsely-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Thinly-slice the steak into 1/8-inch thick strips, either with the grain (which will result in a chewier beef jerky) or against the grain (which will be more tender). I recommend popping the steak in the freezer for 15-30 minutes before slicing so that it is easier to cut.
Transfer the strips of steak to a large ziplock bag*.
In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients until combined. Pour the mixture into the ziplock bag with the steak, seal the bag, and toss until the steak is evenly coated.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day.
If you’re making the jerky in a dehydrator, lay the strips out in a single layer on the trays of your dehydrator. Then follow the dehydrator’s instructions to cook the beef jerky until it is dry and firm, yet still a little bit pliable. Cooking times will vary based on the thickness of your meat, and the heat/brand of your dehydrator (Check your dehydrator’s manual for more information on cooking time for meat). Mine takes 8 hours at 165 degrees. Remove jerky and transfer to a sealed container. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.
If you’re making the jerky in the oven, heat oven to 175°F. Adjust the racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line two large baking sheets with aluminum foil, and place wire cooling racks on top of each sheet. Lay the strips out in a single layer on the wire racks. Bake until the beef jerky until it is dry and firm, yet still a little bit pliable, about 4 hours, flipping the beef jerky once about halfway through. (Cooking times will vary based on the thickness of your meat.) Remove jerky and transfer to a sealed container. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.