Category Archives: Main Dishes

Salmon Filet: My Favorite Way

My favorite way to have salmon is cooked with maple syrup and soy sauce. But on the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle plan, maple syrup is not conducive to weight loss. So I used the maple syrup that we make for use on pancakes (from the THM Cookbook). You can use soy sauce but I used coconut aminos because it has a bit of sweetness to it.

I know these pictures aren’t the best of the finished dish but it was still good and very good for me. :)

I got this 4 ounce salmon filet at Dollar Tree for a buck . . . not bad.

I recommend thawing it first, as it cooks more evenly and quicker too.

Put the filet into a small skillet and add one tablespoon each of soy sauce or coconut aminos and sugar-free maple syrup.

Cook over medium – medium high heat for about 5-8 minutes. :)

Mine was still frozen so I put a lid on it.

But when I took off the lid there was too much moisture in the pan and it took a while for the liquid to boil down. :(

But it turned out okay in the end. ;)

Salmon Filet: My Favorite Way

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. salmon filet
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar-free maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Place fish in pan
  2. Add coconut aminos and syrup
  3. Cook for about 10 minutes. It's done when you can flake it with a fork and it is cooked through.
http://lifeofjoy.me/salmon-filet-my-favorite-way/

Pork Carnitas Meat

After the first of the year I bought a Ninja Foodi with some Christmas money I had left over from my Christmas fund/budget. I’m enjoying learning to use it.

One of the things I made in my Instant Pot was carnita meat. I don’t say carnitas because we don’t serve it in tortillas. We just eat this delicious meat with caulirice and a salad.

I would get one of those huge pork butt roasts at $1.49 a pound (which I thought was a good deal until I found it nearly fifty cents cheaper a pound later); when I say huge, I mean it was about 10 pounds. I’d pressure cook the sucker for four hours or more. Then I’d shred the meat and package it into about three or four baggies and freeze it. When I fixed it for dinner, I’d thaw the meat and then heat it in a cast iron skillet with some oil and make one side very crispy . . . LOVE that crispy meat.

I went to Cox Costsaver and got one for around $1.00 a pound or so. I couldn’t fit that sucker in a gallon size baggie, so I cut it up to make it fit. :) When I first started shopping at WinCo they had that meat for like 99¢ or such, so I bought another one. But this time it was two roasts in one combined package. I asked them to cut it into three or four smaller pieces for me. That was a wonderful decision. I didn’t have to cut it myself and they have the ability to cut through the bone, when there is one.

Since I had this meat in a more manageable size I looked online to find a recipe in the Ninja Foodi. Oh my! I hit the jackpot. :)

Here’s basically how to make it:

Cut the approximately two pound roast into 2″ cubes and place it into the insert

Add 1/2 cup broth, an onion, and 6 crushed garlic cloves ( I just gave them a good whack with the side of my knife), salt, cumin, and oregano, and pressure cook on high for 20 minutes, then do a quick pressure release. Turn it on saute and simmer to reduce the juices for about 15 minutes.

I was concerned this time that I didn’t let it simmer long enough but turns out that I let it go a little too long. ;)

The next step is to lower the crisper lid and broil for 8 minutes.

Now would be the time to shred the meat if desired but we just like the cubes. :)

Head on over to the original website where she has a video of it too. She includes an orange but I don’t use it but then again, I’ve never had carnitas before fixing this at home either, so I don’t know what I’m missing. ;)

Pork Carnita Meat

Ingredients

  • 2 pound pork butt cut into 2" cubes
  • one onion cut in half or onion powder
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed or garlic powder
  • salt
  • cumin
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Place the meat cubes, broth, and seasonings into the ninja foodi insert.
  2. Place on the pressure lid, vent closed, on high for 20 minutes, quick pressure release
  3. Remove lid, saute on md:high for 15 minutes to reduce liquid.
  4. Close crisper lid and broil for 8 minutes.
http://lifeofjoy.me/pork-carnitas-meat/

I hope you enjoy this. Next time I make it, I’ll share how I make my husband some with other meat. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Cajun Sausage, Rice, and Beans

I have made this recipe from Briana Thomas’ newest cookbook, Convenient Foods, several times. The first couple of times I made it we enjoyed it but the last several times we have loved it. :)

Start by water sauteing a chopped onion in your skillet or dutch oven. :)

I like my onions very soft and starting to brown before I add the next group of ingredients: cooked brown rice, drained canned kidney beans, 6.5 ounces of sliced turkey kielbasi, 1/4 cup water, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne.

It is very important to stir this all together, cover it, and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Then add the optional 1/2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1/8 teaspoon THM Super Sweet. Cover and simmer 5 more minutes. This too is very important. It just really gives it a great flavor.

A couple times when I made this, I was out of smoked paprika but had plenty of plain paprika. So I added 1/2 tablespoon of paprika and then added a splash of liquid smoke. :) Yum!!!

Oh My! This is sooo good. It is making my mouth water and I’m full from eating my meal. :D

I also love her Hearty Barbecue Soup recipe. And I just saw that she has a birthday cake ice cream recipe. Birthday cake flavored ice cream is a new favorite flavor around here, so we’re going to have to give it a try.

Cajun Sausage, Rice, and Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
  • 6.5 ounce smoked lean turkey sausage (kielbasi), sliced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon THM Super Sweet Blend (optional)

Instructions

  1. Saute chopped onion in couple tablespoons of water until desired tenderness/color obtained, adding more water as needed.
  2. Add cooked brown rice, drained beans, sausage, water, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. (Add more water if it begins sticking.)
  3. Add vinegar and sweetener, stir, cover, and simmer another 5 minutes.
  4. Devour! 🙂
http://lifeofjoy.me/cajun-sausage-rice-and-beans/

If you haven’t gotten Briana’s cookbook, you really should. She has some great recipes in it. :) I make this one every couple of weeks. It is inexpensive and delicious. (The package of kielbasi from Aldi makes two batches. So I freeze half the sausage for use later in the month.)

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Split Pea Soup (Pork free)

This recipe was touted as being cheap/inexpensive and thus great for people on a tight budget. So naturally I was expecting the split peas to be around 50¢-75¢ a pound but unfortunately they were about double that and the recipe calls for two pounds. :o So for this inexpensive dinner, I was going to have to pay close to $3 and I can get chicken breast for cheaper than that! But I wasn’t just fixing it for being budget friendly, I was fixing it for being healthy and a lighter dinner.

Well, when I started going to WinCo, they had the split peas for less than 70¢ a pound, if I remember correctly. So, I it made it more budget friendly.

Some people don’t eat pork and split pea soup is usually made with a ham bone and chunks of ham. But to eat these carbohydrates and still lose weight, I need to eat them with very little fat, so no ham bone nor ham.

You may wonder how to make it taste good if you don’t use a ham bone. Liquid smoke and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. I’ve never had split pea soup before so I had no taste that this recipe had to live up to. Sean even took one look at it and told me that he’d taste it but that he was probably going to eat something else. :D He ate his whole bowl and got seconds, if I remember correctly. ;)

So you start by soaking the dried split peas in water first thing in the morning. Then early afternoon drain and rinse them.

Next begin sauteing some finely diced onion in a soup pot or dutch oven. Add a bit of water for moisture as it cooks to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot or add up to 1 tablespoon of butter.

Then you simply add the water, peas and just a few seasonings. Cover and simmer for several hours. It can be cooked in the crock pot too, just soak the peas overnight.

I like to cook mine for about 4 hours. Really it is about how it tastes to you, when to stop cooking and eat.

Split Pea Soup (Pork free)

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds dried split peas, soaked about 8 hours in warm water with 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 onion, diced
  • up to 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 12 cups of water
  • 4 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 3 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1-2 squirts Bragg's Liquid Aminos
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • several slices of turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled (I do one slice per person)

Instructions

  1. drain and rinse the soaked peas
  2. saute onion in water or up to 1 Tablespoon butter for a few minutes
  3. Add peas, water and seasonings.
  4. Cover and bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer for several hours on low.
  6. Serve with some turkey bacon bits on top and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, if desired. 🙂
http://lifeofjoy.me/split-pea-soup-pork-free/

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Taco Mac Salad (THM E- low fat version)

Taco Mac Salad is one of our favorite salads, if not meals. I have remade this as a healthy fats meal before using dreamfields pasta. But since this is a favorite meal, I looked for a way to make this without using that pasta.

The next solution I had was to use brown rice pasta or brown rice & quinoa pasta. You could use any alternative pasta like lentil, black bean, chickpea, or other such pasta. This night we used brown rice pasta from WinCo.

I took about a pounds worth of thawed boneless skinless chicken bread and put it in the food processor. I then ground it up, cooked it in a fry pan, and seasoned it with taco seasoning.

Meanwhile, I boiled the pasta and chopped up some vegetables. It’s important to measure the pasta so as not to overdo the carbs.

It is probably best to only 40g weight instead of 52-68g worth of pasta to give some space for some beans.

Tear the lettuce and chop the green pepper. I serve the diced tomatoes separately because the kids don’t like them. Drain, rinse, and heat up a can of black beans (it can be added to the meat).

Combine the drained, cooked pasta, beans, salad, and a cheese stick or two (sliced) in a salad bowl.

Serve with low fat/low carb dressing, low fat/fat free sour cream or yogurt and any other veggies you desire. I do choose to use some fat free cheddar cheese as well.

If you used a low enough carb pasta, you can probably add a tostada to it. :)

I added some nutritional yeast. :)

I hope you like it as much as we do.

Taco Mac Salad (THM E- low fat version)

Ingredients

  • brown rice pasta (or other alternative pasta, such as brown rice & quinoa, black bean, chickpea, lentil, etc)
  • boneless skinless chicken breast
  • lettuce
  • green pepper
  • tomato
  • low fat mozzarella cheese stick
  • fat free yogurt or fat free/low fat sour cream
  • taco seasoning (chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper)
  • black beans, drained and rinsed
  • tostada (corn, lime treated) optional

Instructions

  1. process chicken breast into ground chicken in a food processor
  2. cook chicken and add taco seasoning
  3. boil pasta
  4. chop veggies
  5. add beans to meat
  6. add meat, beans, and drained pasta to the chopped veggies
  7. serve with toppings desired
http://lifeofjoy.me/taco-mac-salad-thm-e-low-fat-version/

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Creamed Turkey (low carb)

Creamed turkey is one of those things that my mom made with the Thanksgiving turkey carcass. Recently I’ve started making it with the leftover dark meat and my family has been loving it.

I was concerned about how to make it without using a flour rue and that gluccie (glucomannan) would end up being slimy but it turned out great. The key is to sprinkle it in  very finely as the broth is simmering.

I got this salt shaker from Dollar Tree and keep some gluccie (pronounced glue-key) in it with one of the little silica gel packets in vitamins, to keep it from getting moisture in it and making it clump up.

So here’s how to make the creamed turkey.

Chop the turkey into bite-size pieces and place into a pot.

Add enough water or broth to cover and give you enough gravy. I use chicken broth because it is more flavorful. You can use water and bouillon or broth made from the turkey carcass. Once it comes to a slight simmer, sprinkle in the gluccie and stir.Keep adding and stirring until it thickens slightly. Add just a bit at a time. The shaker makes it easy not to get clumps. I added about 4 shakes at a time and stirred for a little before adding more shakes. I added shakes about 3 or 4 times, stirring well between additions.

Then we served it with creamed cauliflower.

I assure you this did not have the slightest fishy/slimy taste at all. It was delicious and was the comfort food we love. :)

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do. I know it is hard to have a “recipe” without exact measurements but this really is easy and customizable to whatever amounts you have. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Delicious Tender Simple Ribs

These ribs are delicious, tender, relatively quick, and simple to make.

Glenda Goff of Around the Family Table blog talked about how much she loves her Ninja Foodi. Then she shared that the model she loves was on sale, direct from the company. I happened to have some money left over from my Christmas budget, so I was tempted to purchase it.

We had a Cruisinart Toaster Oven/Air Fryer and I was never pleased with how it air fried things. Things either didn’t get crispy enough or got burnt. I was not impressed with air frying. Then several months ago it died. We’d had it about a year and a half–not good.

So I’ve been wanting an air fryer. This Ninja Foodi is an air fryer but I have an 8 quart Instant Pot. Thus I didn’t think that I needed another pressure cooker, which the Foodi is also. BUT it is also a dehydrator and I’d love a dehydrator. I have a very old one but the lid is cracked and parts are broken and melted. (Hey, it was a great deal MANY years ago, at only $3 at a garage sale . . . awesome stocking stuffer from my sister and hubby.)

The foodi is a 6.5 quart machine, which is something I’ve been wanting too. As I mentioned, my IP is an 8 quart and I didn’t realize when I got it that things would take longer to cook in it than a 6 quart machine. I’ll keep my 8qt IP but I think this Foodi is going to be used a lot more.

So . . . I’d gotten a decent deal on the ribs and did a quick internet search to see how best to make them. Foodi to the stage!

So according to the recipe I found, the first step was to remove the membrane on the one side of the ribs. This proved to take longer expected. Also, my ribs were about 5 pounds and the recipe used about 3 pounds, if I remember correctly.

I’d gotten it off of all the meat on the right and was working on this part when I asked Tiffany to get some pictures for me.

She made up the rub for me to put on it. I decided to use a rub instead of a lot of barbecue sauce, which I didn’t have at the time.

I used this recipe for the spice rub. I’ve used it before and liked it, so it was Tried and True. :)

Once I got off the membrane and rubbed the spice mix on it I realized mine was bigger and it wasn’t going to stand in the foodi the way they did on the recipe I was following. I decided to just let it fall over on itself.

Now, I am not one for sour things and usually reduce vinegar when called for but I knew that without the barbecue sauce for liquid in the pressure cooker (Foodi), I would NEED the the whole amount of vinegar. I hoped I’d just make up for it later in the sauce I was going to create. So I added the 1/2 cup of ACV (apple cider vinegar).

The recipe called for pressure cooking it for 30 minutes for 3-4 pounds of ribs, so I set mine for 40 minutes. They were super tender.

While it was cooking I whipped up a barbecue sauce with some tomato sauce I had–it turned out pretty good. I’ll share it after I make it again, so I can get the measurements right. I just put a bit of this and a bit of that and a bit more of this and mixed them all together. ;)

When they were done, I did as the recipe stated and poured out the juices from the pot and cleaned it out. Added the rack, placed some of the ribs on it with some bbq sauce and let the air crisper do its thing!

Here’s the recipe I followed: https://temeculablogs.com/ninja-foodi-ribs/ She has a ton of other Ninja Foodi recipes there. I’m looking forward to trying them out. :)

Tiffany and I had leftovers for lunch the next day and I had the little bit that was left on Tuesday. Yummo!

If you’ve thought about getting the Ninja Foodi, go ahead–I’m loving mine. It’s earned its place on the counter. I heated up my bit of ribs with the fryer function and added some seasoned cauliflower. Tasty in a fraction of the time it takes to make in the oven and quite a bit cooler too.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Pasta Again :) (Goulash)

So at this point I guess I’ll admit that when there is a meal scheduled that we don’t feel we have the energy to make or time to make, we switch it up. And a lot of those times we end up with a pasta dish of some sort. We love pasta.

Yesterday I started painting late in the afternoon and didn’t get it finished until after five. At that point I was too hungry to wait to cook the spicy sausage and butternut squash dish, so we went for “hamburger helper” which is what we call pasta dishes. ;)

So like other pasta dishes, we diced some onion, mushroom, and bell pepper and cooked them in an oil-sprayed frying pan and added water to keep them from sticking. ;)

cooked onions and mushrooms ~ Lifeofjoy.me
We actually had diced green pepper too but I didn’t get a picture of it. :(

Meanwhile, we cook up the ground meat; we use cheap ground turkey. Brown it and then rinse it.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd also boil the pasta. :) This time we used the brown rice macaroni noodles. I really love these! Be sure to measure out the proper serving amounts. We actually use a scale and weigh in grams to get every gram we have coming to us.

Season with salt and pepper. I also used some oregano. Oh, and a little nutritional yeast (don’t add it if you don’t want to ;) ).

When the macaroni is done, drain it and add it to the meat and cooked veggies,

along with an eight ounce can of tomato sauce.

Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Those in wanting a crossover, can add some cheese but it is fine without it. We add nutritional yeast and more salt individually. We also serve with a side salad.

Pasta Again 🙂 (Goulash)

Ingredients

  • ground meat
  • ~ 1/2 onion, diced
  • ~ 1/4 bell pepper, diced
  • ~ 2-4 mushrooms, diced
  • brown rice macaroni (248 grams which is about half the bag)
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sprinkling of oregano
  • spray oil

Instructions

  1. Boil pasta and drain.
  2. Brown meat and rinse with very hot water.
  3. Spray skillet with a little oil (we use olive oil spray) and cook diced veggies until desired doneness. 🙂 Add a few splashes of water as needed to keep them from sticking to the pan as they cook.
  4. Add rinsed meat and seasonings of choice.
  5. Add drained macaroni and tomato sauce.
  6. Stir to combine.
  7. Serves 4
http://lifeofjoy.me/pasta-again-goulash/

This is an easy and tasty THM-E meal. I hope it helps you include a few more healthy carbs in your menu.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Cowboy Grub Taco

I made Cowboy Grub from Trim Health Mama Cookbook page 59, last week. I used the canned tomatoes that have the green chilies in it. Either I’ve never made this correctly before or my tastes have changed because this was delicious!

As you can see I used chicken breast instead of ground meat because I don’t like to rinse my meat and lean ground meat is a bit pricey for frequent use. I also used the par-boiled brown rice from Aldi to make my life simpler. I also used the frozen seasoning blend (albeit the chunkier version) which I broke up a bit with my mix-and-chop hand-held gadget. I served it with canned green beans with a bit of onion powder and liquid smoke in them. I might have served a bagged salad too, for ease.

When I served the leftovers, I followed the suggestion of stuffing it into tortillas with cheese (and sour cream).  I used a sprouted grain tortilla and used a light laughing cow cheese wedge. This really changed the taste, making it seem like a different meal completely.

At lunch the next day I used up the rest of the leftovers and added a bit of fat free cheddar–my personal choice item. I only used half of a tortilla because we have the huge ones and they are 28g of carbs for one and I knew that would put it a bit too many carbs but a half of one worked nicely. I’ll pick up some of the smaller ones next time. I’m trying to only use the Mission low carb tortillas once a week or less, so that wasn’t an option for me this time around.

I heated it up on the flame of the burner. :) I love my gas range.

Yes, I used an entire wedge and it made it nice and cheesy. :)

It was yummo! I ate the bit that didn’t fit on the tortilla with a spoon. :)

Do you have meals that you’ve found a way to make the leftovers seem like a completely different meal? Please share in the comments, if you do. I love easy meals.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Low Carb Wraps Expectations

A few months ago I saw an ad for a “free” book of keto “carb” recipes. I’m normally enticed to get more keto recipes as they are generally higher in calories than what my body can handle. But it included recipes for noodles, ravioli, buns, wraps, and even croissants.

It was the croissants that got me. I caved and spent the $6.95, supposedly for shipping and handling. I denied all other offers they tried to push on me when I did so. It granted me immediate access to the recipes in pdf format. I looked through them and was looking forward to the small book of recipes arriving. It took several weeks before it did so.

Tiffany has not been able to eat a lot of almond flour and definitely not flax or chia, which currently cause her stomach distress. The first thing we made was some naan. It looked nothing like the pictures in the cookbook but my daughter liked it well enough.

I was intrigued by the wraps. They looked so white and so much like regular white flour tortillas. These used pork rinds ground to a powder. I thought this might lend a nice flavor to the wraps. So I tried them.

I ask you, does that look anything like the picture? See how white/pale the ones in the picture are? Mine have a very yellow look, although you cannot see it well in this picture. It was tasty enough but I think it is more caloric than other low carb wraps I’ve tried.

It is pretty sturdy but as you can see, nothing as white as what is pictured. This was the last of my prepared wraps, so I’ll be needing to make up a batch of wraps soon. I don’t think I’ll make this one again because of the pork rinds. I’ll work on finding a new recipe. I may try the THM one again. (The one from the Trim Healthy Table Cookbook.) The problem with the THM one is it uses baking blend but it has flax in it, so Tiffany can’t have them. So I’ll be looking for one she can have or maybe modify one of these.

I’ll post again when I find a wrap recipe that is sturdy and lower in calories. Yeah, I know, we don’t worry about calories but since I’m menopausal I need all the help I can get and the higher calorie intake of keto recipes is not conducive to me losing weight. ;)

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº