Before we get to the main event here- a few announcements! I have completed the Precision Nutrition’s Level 1 Certification Course- only took me 4 months lol! But seriously, the course was a tremendously helpful tool in understanding how the body processes food, how we expend energy, the nutritional needs of humans (athletes especially), and how to achieve a more full picture of health. There are billions of factors and you cannot control it all, but you can do your best. I still think, however much a pain in the rear that it is, daily macronutrient tracking can ensure that the maintain the body composition that you want to have (and this is not always 6-pack abs, although macros can get you there, if you want). Choosing the least processed, highest quality foods to make your macros is the best way to ensure optimum nutritional intake, and hopefully keep you out of the chronic disease cycle. But life gives us no guarantees. We can just try our best.
If you’d like to know more about my philosophies, coaching style or macros, you can email me: shebnation|AT|gmail|dot|com.
Quelle Surprise! Today’s meal prep idea does not involve any legumes, yet still manages to pack a wallop in the fiber department (thanks sweet potatoes and celery!). To continue with my tendency towards vague, cultural appropriation, this stew has a Caribbean Vibe (an ambiance des Caraïbes), with a touch of Gambian cuisine (une touche de cuisine gambienne). But really it’s just vegetables thickened and flavored with the crazy deliciousness that is peanut butter. Who doesn’t love peanut butter??? I love peanut butter! I wish I could eat more but my macros often say no, no, no. They actually say that everyday.
Which brings me to a pervasive health myth that seems to be very common these days: a misperception that “good” or “clean” fats are somehow are processed differently in the body. Too much of anything will throw your body’s energy systems out of whack, and the body does not really discriminate, in terms of lipid break down, repackaging and storage of, say, a high quality MCT oil and shitty old margarine. I am not saying eat shitty old margarine. I am just saying that if you are after a lean body composition that can aid you in athletic pursuits, this is a consideration. There are definitely macro splits available to you that are very high in fat, however, you will be looking at extremely moderate protein and hella low carbohydrate targets. Something’s always gotta give, somewhere to keep the balance. Ok, off soapbox and onto stew!
Pork, Vegetable and Peanut Stew
Macros Per Serving: 512 Calories | 40 P | 16 F | 49 C . Fiber= 9 grams
This may be a bit aggressive in the carbohydrate department for some, but you can mitigate this by using less sweet potato and less quinoa. If the fat is a little high for your macros, you can also reduce the peanut butter, or use a combination of PB2 and peanut butter. The peanut butter gives a lot of flavor though, so another option is to use skinless chicken breast instead of pork tenderloin. Since the meat is not cooked in the stew, you can add any type of protein you like on top, to increase or decrease the total fat and protein content of the dish.
- 14 ml olive oil
- 4 cups defatted chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 Tbsp shallots (40 grams)
- 330 grams raw sweet potato, small dice
- 150 grams red onion, finely chopped
- 300 grams carrots, small dice
- 115 grams zucchini, small dice
- 150 grams celery, small dice
- 1 small jalapeño, deveined and finely chopped
- 1 inch cube peeled and shredded ginger
- 15 ml (1 Tbsp) tomato paste
- 64 grams creamy peanut butter
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp ground Coriander
- 1 Tbsp Chili powder
- 1 Tbsp Cumin
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar, to finish Quinoa:
- 100 grams dry quinoa
- 200 grams water or vegetable stock Pork Tenderloin:
- 567 grams raw pork tenderloin, seasoned with salt, pepper and spice mix of your choice (I used a jerk mix I had lying around). Just make sure the blend you use is compatible with the spices in the stew.
Vegetable and Peanut Stew
1.Cook the quinoa in a small pot on the stove or rice cooker. I like to let it hang out and dry a bit because mushy quinoa=gross.
2.To make the stew: Dice all the veggies, throw them into a bowl and shred the ginger on top of the bowl. Heat all the olive oil in a large soup pot and add the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and sweat this out for about 10-15 minutes. Add the tomato paste. It’s best if you make a small well in the veggies and let the paste have contact with the bottom of the pan so it caramelizes. Add all the spices and stir to combine. Add the stock and simmer for about two hours on low heat. You want the end product to look pretty homogenous and everything to be cooked down. Add the peanut butter, stir to combine. Add the red wine vinegar and let this hang out while you cook the pork.
3.Season the pork tenderloin with salt, pepper and seasoning blend of your choice. Cut into 1/2″ medallions and pan sear until it reaches your desired doneness. Most people cook the hell out of pork but I tend to go until medium. The chances of contracting trichinosis from farm raised pork purchased in a retail setting are about the same as you winning a powerball jackpot but hey, some of us are risk takers and some are not. YOU DO YOU!
4.Divide the cooked quinoa equally into 4 tupperwares, then ladle 1/4 of the stew on top of each portion of quinoa, and finally lay down your protein on top. Voila! Lunch for four days!