Sunday, January 14, 2018

Whole30 Southwestern Meatloaf and Beef Recipes!

Sometimes you just need a little comfort food. Some of you may remember the old beef campaign from years ago... "Beef. It's What's For Dinner!"  Thankfully beef is on the menu for Whole30 and that is no surprise to us.  As ranchers, we realize first hand not only the heritage behind raising our own beef but the health benefits from a great cut of lean beef.  Our ranch raises Hereford cattle and it's the only beef we serve on our table.  There simply is nothing better in our estimation than a flavorful Hereford Ribeye steak, cheeseburger, or recipe made with our delicious farm raised beef!

As a rancher and former President of the National Hereford Women, I would be totally remiss if I did not post a blog with ways to incorporate beef or our beloved Hereford beef into your month of Whole30.  My recipes from my blog and recipes from Certified Hereford Beef are staples in homes across the US and world for that matter.  Hereford cattle, their associations on the state and national level and their wonderful people are what helped raise our daughters into what they are today.  For that, we will be forever thankful.  The beef cattle industry has instilled both work ethic and family values on a daily basis.  Beef is on our table most nights for more reasons than one.

For more beef recipes click here for Certified Hereford Beef's Recipe website

As you look through my recipes on and off the Whole30 tab, you'll see many, many beef recipes.  As my daughter Bethany and I continue our second month on the Whole30, we are creating new recipes daily that incorporate healthy and lean beef.

For today's post and to kick your week off, we wanted to share with you a piece of not only our heritage but yet another meal we served our family and rancher, daddy, husband Scott to raves review.

The Ranch Kitchen's Whole30 Southwestern Meatloaf is just that and Ranchman - husband Scott approved. Baked in your cupcake or muffin tins, these little meatloaves are full of flavor and something we think you will add to your recipe list.  These flavorful, mini meatloaves are perfect to serve your hungry family or for yourself as a wonderful evening meal or lunch the next day as you meal prep to be successful on the Whole30.

Click here for the recipe for Whole30 Southwestern Meatloaf
Since flour and bread are off-limits on the Whole30, you must be creative when finding substitutes.  For us, Almond flour was our go to as an ingredient to bind recipes together as in our Whole30 Southwestern Meatloaf,  To be honest, we did not even miss the torn bread bits I put normally in my meatloaf, and the almond flour was a wonderful substitution.

To add a southwestern flavor, I used fresh, chopped green chile such as Poblano's (you can use canned if compliant) and then a really wonderful sugar-free - compliant BBQ sauce.  It was a wonderful substitute for the sugary ketchup I normally place both inside and on top of this meatloaf.

Along with chopped onions and garlic powder, salt, and pepper, these little meatloaves were both filling and made almost two muffin tins.  We had enough for both dinner that night and a few lunches for the next two days.

Do make sure as you combine the meat with the other ingredient and that you do not overwork the mixture as it will toughen your meat and make it chewy after cooking.  Just gently combine until all ingredients are worked through and then place in your lightly greased muffin tins.  I used extra virgin olive oil for my muffin tins.

We served our Whole30 Southwestern Meatloaf with our Whole30 Mashed Potatoes and a side of grilled asparagus with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.  We were all totally filled up afterward and loved this wonderful meal.

Click here for the recipe for Whole30 Mashed Potatoes

Throughout the week ahead we will post several of our Whole30 beef recipes for you to add to your weekly meal plans.  Beef and it's flavorful cuts are the perfect addition to both your diet and meals as you plan ahead.  It is also so simple to reinvent a great steak into fajitas the next night or a quick beef stew.

To help you with meal prepping, here is a sampling of some Whole30 compliant recipes we've added to our site recently.  They are all Ranchman approved and loved by everyone in our family because Whole30 for us had to be tasty and feel like we weren't missing a thing.

So, remember that healthy beef is on the table at our ranch and just plain good for you!

I'll leave you with one of my very favorite beef campaigns of years ago...

Have a great week ahead and stay warm out there!

Alise & Bethany

Friday, January 5, 2018

Whole30 Breakfast - Start Off Your Day Right!

We've heard it all our lives.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This saying and motto are so, so true.  I once heard that you should eat like a king at breakfast, eat like a queen at lunch, and a pauper at dinner. Sound advice.

Metabolism wise, we know our body gains a ton of fuel from our morning breakfast. But far too few of us really eat what we should in the a.m.  I've been very guilty of not eating breakfast and it helped me gain some of the unwanted pounds I put on before the Whole30.

As my daughter Bethany and I meal prepped our way through the Whole30, breakfasts were made in advance on Sunday and midweek as needed.  We love anything spicy around our ranch with ground beef especially, and then turkey and sausage.  So, as you'll see below, two of our recipes can be adapted to include the meat of your choice.

Sunday afternoons around our ranch kitchen became meal prep central around 3:30.  Bethany would prep, I would help prep and clean up the pots and really enjoyed our time together.  Whatever main meal we prepped for lunches for the week, was what we served my husband and youngest daughter each night. 

One of my greatest pleasures is watching my girls enjoyment from cooking.  Each of them in their own way are wonderful cooks. Ilissa likes to cook main dishes, Bethany loves to bake and meal prep, and Audrey has started to dabble in cupcakes and candies. Whole30, for Bethany and I, was yet another way for us to be together and get healthier at the same time.

The breakfast we share with you are all tried and true by us.  They were tasty and above all easy to make.  The most novice of cooks can make these recipes below. As always, if you have questions, email me off my site here or message me from The Ranch Kitchen Facebook and I'll get back to you as quickly as I can.

Easy Whole30 Breakfast!

Whole30 Turkey and Egg Muffins - these were very good and easy to pop in the microwave to warm up for a minute and then eat on the go.  A lot of the time I'd eat one for a mid-morning snack too.

Click here for the recipe for Whole30 Turkey and Egg Muffins

Whole 30 Pumpkin Pie Custard - custard for breakfast! Why yes!  This was a really good little custard.  You do need to let it sit out a while in the refrigerator before you slice it and we recommend cutting it up the next day.  Warm it up a little as well if you like and you have either breakfast on the go or a nice snack after a meal.

Click here for the recipe for Whole30 Pumpkin Pie Custard

Whole30 Fiesta Breakfast Casserole - this savory little breakfast casserole is what I had for breakfast today and for the past few days.  Bethany cut these into serving size squares that were about 3 inches by 2 inches and we microwave them each day for breakfast. Yesterday morning I added an avocado to it on the side for a really tasty meal. If you like your food a little spicier, you can add a dash or two of compliant hot sauce like Franks Hot Sauce brand. 

Click here for the recipe for Fiesta Breakfast Casserole

Whole30 Sweet Potato Power Bowls - this was our first week 'go to' when we started the Whole30 back in November.  I had a hard time even finishing this bowl several mornings as it is so filling.  It's really good and the addition of the Chai Seeds with raspberries and blueberries gives it that extra pop of flavor.  We warmed bowls up, but you can eat this breakfast cold.

Click here for the recipe for Whole30 Sweet Potato Power Bowl
Whether you prep ahead of time as we suggest, or grab a banana and boiled egg like I did many times, get in the good habit of eating breakfast.  You will not be as famished at lunch and your energy levels will stay more consistent during the morning hours.  You will help your metabolism.  Eating like a king at breakfast will become a good habit for your goal of becoming healthier in the long run.

Now go make you some breakfast this weekend in advance!  Remember, Whole30 isn't hard and YOU can do this.  Planning your meals is a big part of being successful in this program.  You will be so glad you prepped breakfast Monday morning as you run out the door to work. Your friends and coworkers may even want a bite or the recipe!

Alise and Bethany

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Whole30 Italian Beef Stew

Did you know it's national soup month?  No other month like January makes you yearn for soups and stews like this one does.  Cold weather has drastically hit the US in unprecedented ways.  Our north has temperatures in the negatives and fellow ranchers are having to literally use axes to cut through the ice to get water to their livestock.  God love and keep both them and their livestock safe.

So, as we try to warm up, stews or soup are natural meals to serve because it makes huge batches, can easily be warmed up, taste better always the next day and is Whole30 compliant!

At our ranch we love our beef and we love, love zucchini.  Each summer we grow a huge garden and lots and lots of zucchini that I used in tons of my recipes here on The Ranch Kitchen.

As we created and ate delicious meals the entire month of our Whole30 journey, this soup was another hit on our ranch. My husband and father really enjoyed it and it was absolutely fabulous to take for lunch on the few cold days we had in December.  The addition of the Italian Seasoning makes this stew smell and taste amazing too.

You'll want to use a large stock or soup pot for this recipe.  It is also easy to double this recipe if you want to even freeze some of it for a week or day later on the Whole30 when you need something to eat when life gets in the way.  This recipe however makes one large pot of stew.

To start, chop one onion, bell pepper and garlic and set aside.  I used red bell peppers that gave this stew a natural sweetness.

Brown your ground beef with the onion, bell peppers and garlic and remove any excess liquid.  Add in Whole30 compliant canned tomatoes (so sugar added) and your vegetables, seasonings and Yukon Gold Potatoes and water.  Again, we have become huge Natural Grocers fans and you can find tons of Whole30 compliant foods and condiments at their store.

Bring stew to a boil and reduce to a low simmer (low boil).  You'll cook this until the potatoes and zucchini are tender.  I promise you that the aroma is wonderful and you will find it hard not to sneak a bite or two as you make this wonderful Whole30 Italian Beef Stew!

Cooks note:  You can also use ground turkey or pork in this recipe if beef is not your choice.


We hope you enjoy this recipe along with all the others we are posting to The Ranch Kitchen site.  By now for those of you that started on the Whole30 on New Year's Day you are 3 to 4 days in.  You are probably wondering just why did I do this?  I'm having to cook a ton and my grocery bill is a little high.  But, consider these facts...  You are eating healthier, learning how to cook foods that you can and will eat the rest of your life, and most of all will feel better.

I can remember after Week 1 of the Whole30 the dramatic difference in my gut health and energy.  I had fewer breakouts from adult acne and my joints were not bothering me near as much. For me those few things were enough to keep me motivated. Plus, my daughter and motivator Bethany made the Whole30 program fun and we challenged each other daily to stay strict and not drink that glass of wine my husband would taunt me with lovingly at nights!

You CAN do this. You are already a few days in or gearing up to change your life for the better! Whole30 will help you feel better, look better and make healthier choices as to what you place in your body. As a food blogger, it's given me a boot kick in the rear to blog more and post more recipes, but most of all be a healthier influence on my daughters.

As for my husband Scott...he's another case.  However, he did lose five pounds just following Whole30 at night.  I'd like to think had he really dug down and been strict, he would have done even better.  Men...but when they really try, they can trim down faster than we ever can!

Happy Week 1 of your Whole30 adventure!  Stay strong, plan and prep your meals and make them fun.  You'll be truer to the program if you make it fun and remember that there are things in life much harder than this. You don't have to eat that tortilla chip, cookie or bread.  You are already on your way.  Don't get sidetracked.

As always, all recipes can be shared by email, pinned to your Pinterest board and copied off to use as an ingredient and recipe list to help you out. To keep seeing my blog post, please like my post on my The Ranch Kitchen Facebook and Instagram this keeps you up to date as we place new tips on the our site.

Try this hearty Whole30 Italian Beef Stew!  You will love it and so will you family.

Alise and Bethany

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Whole30 Rustic Shepherd's Pie and Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon

If you are trying to think of just what to cook for dinner while on the Whole30, then look no further. Here's a super simple recipe that everyone will really love full protein and healthy ingredients and our favorite Hereford beef.  Planning is essential to be successful on the Whole30.  Prepping meals and doing your grocery shopping a week or few days ahead of time will help you stay true to the program with no slip ups.  Leftovers are great for lunch or dinners the next few days as well. 
Click here for the recipe for Whole30 Rustic Sheherd's Pie

Colorful and full of flavor, this rendition on traditional Shepherd's Pie is anything but boring!  Halfway through our Whole30 journey, I created this Rustic Shepherd's Pie for my hungry husband who had been a real sport while my daughter Bethany and I were on the program.  I wanted something that was deceivingly healthy...and this recipe was just the one!

Click here for the recipe for Whole30 Rustic Shepherd's Pie

Our green beans were super simple to make with just Extra Virgin Olive Oil to saute the fresh green beans in with small chunks of bacon, salt and pepper. Just cook until crisp and tender.  Make sure the green beans are Whole30 compliant with no added sugar or preservatives.  We luckily use pork raised by our local FFA, Future Farmers of America students who sold at our local county fair.

Click here for the recipe for Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon

So, here's to your Whole30 journey. Let us know how you like this recipe and check out our growing selection of Whole30 recipes on The Ranch Kitchen Whole30 tab.  

Alise and Bethany

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Whole30 Must Haves

Whole've either started or are gearing up for your next thirty days. The response we've received from friends and family who are joining us on Whole30 this month has been absolutely wonderful.  As we continue to place recipes online on The Ranch Kitchen site under our new Whole30 tab, we are blogging with a post as well to give you tips and tricks that helped us stay 'compliant' while on Whole30.

For today's blog post, we wanted to share with you our 'must haves' while on the program. The list below was the things that will now be staples in our kitchen as we continue to prepare healthier recipes that are Whole30 compliant.

So as you begin either your pre-planning stage or you've jumped right in and need a list to start your shopping with, see below.  This list of will help you with meal prepping for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks and get you through the weeks ahead.



Larabars:  These little bars are protein-rich and delicious. You will feel like you are cheating, but you are not.  Not all, however, are compliant on Whole30, so read, read the labels.  We absolutely loved the Pecan Pie, Cherry Pie, and Cashew Cookie Bars...delicious! We took a stab at the RX Bars that everyone raved over, but they were too chewy and dry for our taste.  Click here for a link to Amazon to purchase your own.  The neat thing is Amazon makes a Whole30 option on a couple of different products (Larabars, jerky, etc.) that make it easy to stay compliant.
Larabar Fruit and Nut Bar - Cashew Cookie  16ct, 1.7oz

Fresh Fruit: Bananas for a quick breakfast and for snacks I turned to grapes, tangerines, oranges and fresh pineapple that were huge for me while on Whole30.  I also realized halfway in that I could have the Dole Fruit Cups with natural juices that were downright amazing too.  Tangerines would give me that afternoon snack and natural sugar I needed around 4:30 - 5 each day and were great for a late night snack.  As I'd cook dinner, having grapes on hand were a sweet treat as well.

Earl Grey or Chai Tea - My morning or evening pick-me-up without sugar of course!  Love, love my Yeti cup that kept it hot or cold all day.  Being a Southern gal, we love our sweet tea...but I finally did learn to enjoy tea without sugar!  The added cinnamon in the Chai tea made me feel like I was having a treat and it also was a nice in the afternoons when my energy would sink.

Twinings Chai Tea, 20 Count Bagged Tea (6 Pack)       Twinings Tea, Earl Grey, 100 Count

Sweet Potatoes - We ate them with everything from the bottom layer of a breakfast casserole to the placing shredded chicken on top of it, or making a sweet potato hash with a fried egg that was really wonderful!

Sweet Potato Hash using Hereford Beef.
This was one of the first recipes we created and probably our very favorite.

Beef - For that matter Hereford Beef off our ranch.  As those who follow my blog know, we are ranchers.  We raise our own Hereford beef and proudly serve it to our family. Whole30 does not limit beef and the ability to continue the tradition of serving beef on our table was a must for me.  For recipes, check out Certified Hereford Beef for a multitude of ways you can create compliant recipes.

Picture compliments of Certified Hereford Beef


Avocado Oil - A new oil for our family.  After doing much research, Bethany saw that this was a great oil to use to cooking. You can find this at most grocery stores.

LaCroix - This was huge for my Bethany who loves her carbonation in her drinks. It would get her through her day and the carbonation - fizziness was a must for her.  Her favorite flavors are Pamplemousse, Lime and Lemon.  If you link to the LaCroix site, you'll see that they are a partner with Whole30 as well.

Kombucha - This fermented tea is compliant for Whole30 and made her feel like she was 'almost' having a glass of wine at night!  She would even pour it in a wine glass to give herself the thought that she was having a cocktail! Other benefits include stomach health with this increasingly popular tea.  We found ours at Natural Grocers in our neighboring town. ***Make sure that it is Whole30 compliant as some Kombucha Teas are not. Whole30 makes you read your labels.

Coconut Oil - Bethany cooked with it and used it to season pans as well.  She'd even use it for moisturizer on her hands.  You can buy it in bulk at food clubs like Sam's Club. This oil stores well and the multi-use capability of it really makes it a useful ingredient to add to your kitchen.

Unsweetened Almond Milk - This was used as a coffee creamer and substituted for milk in recipes as needed.  The shelf life on this is long and must be refrigerated after opening. Be sure to DOUBLE check that it is unsweetened. There are also great coconut milk option to look at as well. Bethany tried the NutPods for creamer, but they were inconvenient to have to order a small (we mean small) package from Amazon and the flavoring wasn't strong enough for her liking.


While on this program you will find just how much dairy and sugar you really consume on a daily basis.  In moderation neither of them is necessarily bad for you and especially not the dairy.  But, in order to see how these affect you, the thirty day process of elimination will help you figure that out.  Bethany realizes now that dairy can really mess with her system and I know now for a fact that sugar and flour really cause all the joint pain and stomach bloat I had been experiencing.

And if we had to have a #11 on the list it would be individual meal containers like the Gladware brand.  Prepping meals for the days in advance is a KEY to staying on the program and being successful.  One day's planning is worth a week of success!

As you begin your Whole30 journey, comment on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and The Ranch Kitchen site blog post to let us know how it is going.  If you create an amazing recipe or have found something that gets you through your days, let us know about it!  You can easily 'Share A Recipe' on my blog, or shoot me the recipe and I'll submit it for you!  Be sure to include a picture, even if you took it off your phone, please.

Together we will get healthier and feel so much better come February and the spring/summer seasons ahead...for that matter life!

Thanks for coming along with us on Whole30!

Alise & Bethany