Category Archives: Salad

Pasta Salad Healthy Carb, Low Fat

I made this pasta salad last week and we devoured it. I like to make salads when it is blooming hot outside so that it doesn’t get quite so hot inside.

This salad is a THM E(nergetic) salad because I used pasta made from quinoa and brown rice that I get at Aldi. A serving is only 1/4 cup of the dry pasta so I added some lettuce to it as well. I had intended to make a different salad but this one turned out good.

So, here’s what I did:

Bring water to a boil and then add the pasta and cook as directed, drain, and rinse with cold water.

I steamed one bunch of broccoli, just so it wasn’t raw and rinsed it in cool water too.

I added 5 cups of chopped red leaf lettuce, 1 carrot shredded, about 1/4 cup diced green pepper, and a garnish amount of shredded parmesan cheese.

Then I took a piece of chicken breast, cut it thinly, seasoned it with salt and pepper and cooked it in a skillet sprayed with coconut oil.

I also added about 1/3-1/2 cup of the fuel pull 1000 Island dressing because it is very low fat (because I used even less that the recipe calls for so I don’t have to think about how much I’m using) and it needs some kind of flavoring. You could use any low fat healthy dressing but even my daughter liked it and she doesn’t care for dressings. :D

I added some grape tomatoes and some fat free cheddar cheese to my serving. :) (I view the fat free cheese as a personal choice item and try not to eat too much of it but I love cheese so this is helpful to me.)

Pasta Salad Low Carb

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dry penne quinoa and brown rice pasta, cooked, drained, and rinsed with cold water
  • 1 bunch of broccoli, steamed, and rinsed in cold water
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 5 cups of chopped red leaf lettuce or leafy greens of choice
  • about 1/4 cup diced green pepper
  • garnish amount of shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1# chicken breast
  • 1/3-1/2 cup low fat dressing (fuel pull creamy 1000 island)

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta as directed on package
  2. Steam broccoli
  3. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper, cook, and slice (I slice the meat first, season and then cook when I'm in a hurry and don't have some already cooked.)
  4. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and serve.
  5. Serves 4
http://lifeofjoy.me/pasta-salad-healthy-carb-low-fat/

I hope you enjoy this pasta salad.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Pasta Salad ‘E’

I love pasta salad. I feared that following keto and now Trim Healthy Mama that I would never be able to really enjoy it again. My favorite pasta salads use Miracle Whip and that is not on either plan. I don’t like regular mayonnaise and I really don’t want to add another thing to make from scratch. See my dilemma?

Well, I found that I love the THM trimmy thousand island dressing . . . seriously, love it! I had some brown rice and quinoa pasta one day and decided to add a little of it to that pasta. Game Changer!!!!

So today I bring you one of my quick and easy variations on this pasta salad. It’s simple . . . boil the pasta. While it boils, prepare your veggies. Today I used one radish sliced thinly, some diced green pepper, and some cherry tomatoes, with a tiny bit of finely diced onion.

Drain and rinse the pasta with cool water and add to the bowl.  Add a couple heaping spoonfuls of the dressing, salt, and pepper.

Combine.

Yum!!!

I also added a few slices of turkey pepperoni. :)

I’ll be sharing other variations as I make them. This is truly a favorite for me and am glad to have such a delicious E meal.

Pasta Salad ‘E’ Version

Ingredients

  • Quinoa and Brown Rice pasta, cooked and drained
  • radish, sliced thinly
  • couple tablespoons of diced green pepper
  • 3-4 cherry tomatoes, cut
  • about tablespoon finely diced onion
  • 2 heaping soup spoonfuls of trimmy thousand island dressing
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • about 8 turkey pepperoni slices, quartered (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine all and enjoy.
http://lifeofjoy.me/pasta-salad-e/

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Easy Salad 2

Today I thought I’d share another quick salad we like to have for lunches. I use cooked chicken, either leftover from dinner or that I’ve cooked up in the crock pot and shredded.

We add this to a bowl of torn lettuce. My favorite lettuce is either a nice crisp green leaf or tender butter leaf but enjoy a quick romaine heart as well. Point is that we just either chop it quickly or tear it or dump it out of a bag. ;)

I really like to make this an ‘E’ salad by adding a piece of toasted sprouted bread, tearing it into pieces and adding it as croutons. :)

To this I add my fuel pull trimmy thousand island dressing from the THM Cookbook. If I’m out of my dressing, then I massage 1/2 teaspoon of oil (generally MCT oil here) into my lettuce before adding anything else.

I like to serve some fruit with this to round out the meal. On this day, I had a half an orange. If I had been out of my dressing I probably would have squeezed one slice of my orange over the salad as well. :)

It’s a quick, easy lunch that is tasty.

I hope this helps you with your lunch ideas.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Low Carb Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Taco Mac Salad Low Carb Version

We have really missed this meal since going keto, low carb, and THM but last night I Trim Healthy Mama-fied it. :) I made it as an “s” meal, which is a healthy fats, low carb meal, because I wanted me some cheese. :) If you are not on a low carb or low fat diet, you can find the original recipe here.

Here are the changes I made:

  • used Dreamfields pasta
  • eliminated the tortilla chips but did have pork rinds on the table for any that wanted them
  • added some finely chopped mushrooms to the meat to boost the health benefits
  • Michael and I used the FP 1000 Island dressing instead of catalina or ranch

Start by boiling water for your pasta.

Low carb pasta ~ lifeofjoy.meChop up your lettuce and place it in the bowl.

Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meShred or cube the cheese. Unfortunately we used our cheddar cheese because I forgot and used it earlier in the week, so we had to use mozzarella. :(

Cubed Mozzarella ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiff added some diced red pepper. It wasn’t enough but it was what we had.

salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meBrown the ground meat; we used ground turkey.

browning ground meat ~ Lifeofjoy.meQuickly chop mushrooms in a food processor.

chopped mushrooms ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen most of the liquid is evaporated, season it however you like your taco meat seasoned. I used these with salt and pepper.

taco seasonings ~ Lifeofjoy.meVery light on the cumin, oregano, and garlic powder. Heavier on the paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper. And a bit heavier with the chili powder, unless you don’t prefer it. ;)

When the pasta is done, drain and rinse with cool water. Then combine with the lettuce and meat.

Serving Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meSometimes we keep the cheese cubes out for each to include themselves as sometimes they sink to the bottom of the bowl and they are not evenly distributed through the salad. ;) The kids don’t prefer the tomatoes either.

Taco mac salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen I add my dressing.

Dressing on Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meYUM!!!

Taco Mac Salad Low Carb Version

Ingredients

  • 1 box Dreamfields rotini, cooked, drained, and rinsed
  • 1/2-1 cup diced green pepper
  • head of lettuce, broken into bite-size pieces
  • 8 oz. cheese, shredded (We've used cheddar, colby-jack, and pepper jack cheeses.)
  • 1 pound ground meat
  • 8 ounces of chopped mushrooms (for added health benefits)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (or onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, oregano, and chili powder)
  • other items as desired: tomato, onion or green pepper, avocado, et cetera
  • dressing of your choosing

Instructions

  1. Brown the ground meat.
  2. Add chopped mushrooms.
  3. Add seasonings of choice.
  4. Combine all ingredients and serve with dressing of choice.
http://lifeofjoy.me/taco-mac-salad-low-carb-version/

Hope you like it as much as we did last night. :)

Michele ºÜº

Simple shrimp salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Salad with Shrimp

I’m going to share some salads that I’ve been having lately and ENJOYING. That is a vital point. :) It also helps that they have very few ingredients and are super simple to make.

Shrimp in Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI started by heating the frozen shrimp, seasoning them with a bit of onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. If I were smart and on top of things, I’d marinade the shrimp in some soy sauce or coconut aminos before cooking them but I’m not so I add it when cooking. :)

While that is cooking, I take a half piece of sprouted bread and put it into the toaster and proceed to rip several pieces of lettuce up into bite-sized pieces and putting them into the serving bowl.

Shrimp and bread are done. So add the shrimp and either cut or rip the toast for “croutons.”

"croutons in salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s amazing how much that little half piece of toast adds to this salad.

To this I add a bit of the low fat low carb thousand island dressing :) and Enjoy! It really is quite good and very low calorie. ;)

Salad with Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 3-4 ounces of shrimp
  • 3-4 large leaves of lettuce, torn
  • 1/2 piece of sprouted bread, toasted, cubed

Instructions

  1. Season shrimp as desired. I used onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and a bit of coconut aminos.
  2. Combine all and enjoy.
http://lifeofjoy.me/salad-with-shrimp/

Well this is a quick and easy. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Michele ºÜº

Salad Chicken Crouton ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Salads!

sweet potato in salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Tiffany and I are embracing the Thyroid Type Body Type Diet, since we both tested out as that body type. I’m very thankful for finding out that information because I’m able to tailor my Trim Healthy Mama food choices into this body type recommendations. In this case it means that we need to eat more Energizing meals which are healthy carb meals.

It is also highly suggested that we have salads with lots of raw veggies: peppers, cucumber, radish, green onion, tomato, and of course, lettuce and such. During the Stubborn Loser’s Menu from Trim Healthy Mama, Tiffany and I learned that this eating style will most definitely help us lose weight. So we are 100% in!

I shared last week, I think, how we prepped a bunch of chicken. It was six pounds that we did and we froze most of it. It’s a good thing too because we are only supposed to have 4 ounces of lean meat with our salad and a total of 1/2 teaspoon of fats with the meal, which falls right in line with THM-E meals. It continues to follow the same idea with only having 1/2 cup of a whole grain carb, which is the low end of THM suggestions.

So in the first salad pictured above we have some of the balsamic seasoned chicken with some fat free cheese. Yeah, I know, neither diet suggests this but I’m just gonna be real with you, we love cheese!!! And totally miss it, so we added 1/4 cup to this salad and are calling it our “personal choice” item. ;)

In the same salad above we toasted a piece of Silver Hills, The Big 16 Sprouted Power Bread, and cut it up into croutons. :) That was our carb source. We take a little squirt (we put our MCT oil in a squirt bottle) of MCT oil and rub it onto the leaves of the salad. You’d be amazed at how far the little 1/2 teaspoon (or less) can go when rubbed or as Pearl would say, messaged onto the leaves.

In this next salad we used a half cup of brown rice as our carb source and some more of the chicken for our protein. We again used the message method for getting some moisture onto our salad.

Salad with squash and chicken ~ Lifeofjoy.me

We’ve really gone outside the box and used baked sweet potato for our carb source. We’ve even used quinoa. This week we used tilapia for our protein source because both diets recommend having fish a couple of times each week.

I’m so thankful for the “e” meals in THM because without them I would be so bored with this diet. For those familiar with THM and their recipes, we’ve had Cowboy Grub and will have Quinoa Goes Cajun too. As of last Tuesday, I’d lost a little over six pounds in just a week . . . of course those were pounds that I put on over the holidays, as I did not pay attention to even the 3-hour rule of eating, and thus overindulged a bit, as well as was a bit abusive to calories, meaning I ate too rich food. ;)

If you are on THM and struggling with finding your balance of fuels, I suggest taking the body type diet questionnaire to determine which diet you should follow to lose weight and then incorporate more of those THM meals into your diet. (The one we did was from our chiropractor and I have seen that many chiropractors use the same or very similar thing.)

I hope this gives you some ideas to brighten up your carb source salads.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Broccoli Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Broccoli Salad

This is a salad with a twist. :) The flavors meld together nicely and this is a family favorite here. I am met with cheers when it is announced as a side dish for dinner.

One day I was looking for a bit of a different salad to have with dinner. I was tired of regular lettuce salad and was looking for a broccoli salad similar to the one I’ve had before–broccoli, red onion, and cheese with a mayonnaise dressing–when I came across this gem.

I had to change some things up a bit because of my picky family members and because I don’t keep pesto on hand most of the time. So, because of these tweaks, I can share it with you rather than just sharing a link and procedural pictures. ;) But do go over to LivingChirpy and see her version of the recipe.

So, star by cooking 2 cups of broccoli. Roasted Cauliflower & Broccoli ~ Lifefojoy.mePasta Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meSteaming this is the best option. I have heard that you should never eat broccoli raw as it can slow the thyroid; also, cruciferous veggies can cause an inflammatory response, so don’t eat them daily.

When the broccoli has steamed to your desired level of doneness, about 5 minutes or so, remove it and let it cool off.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon. I’m using turkey bacon because the hubs cannot have pork at this time.

Cooked Turkey Bacon ~ Lifeofjoy.me

And begin chopping the other ingredients:

Lettuce

Lettuce in salad bowl ~ Lifeofjoy.meBell Pepper

Dice bell pepper ~ Lifeofjoy.meCheese: I slice about 1/4″ slab off my block of cheese

slicing slab of cheese ~ Lifeofjoy.meCut it in half

cut cheese in half ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd cut into cubes.

Cutting cheese into cubes ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow it’s time to make the dressing. Here’s where I make some significant tweaks. Since Tiffany doesn’t like mayonnaise, I use heavy whipping cream and whip it a bit so that it is the consistency of mayonnaise. :)

Now, if you have pesto on hand, then you can simply slightly whip up the heavy cream and add the pre-made pesto to it. I, however, do not have any on hand but I keep pinenuts in the freezer for just such a time as this. ;) OH! I should also admit that I do not have any fresh basil on hand either and use dried in a pinch. So here we go.

Place a few pinenuts and a bit of Parmesan cheese into a mini food processor.

Pinenuts and parmesan cheese ~ Lifeofjoy.me(Upon re-reading the original recipe, I realize that I used a bit too much. ;) ) But we still liked it. Ultimately you only need a tablespoon of pesto. There will not be exact measurements because I just grabbed bits of this and bits of that. ;)

Add a good bit of dried basil.

Added dried basil ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen drizzled in some olive oil.

Olive oil, basil, pinenuts, parmesan ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd then about two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream . . . yep, just poured some in.

Creamy Pesto dressing ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow, give it a good whirl, until it is the desired creaminess.

creamy pesto ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd all of this creamy loveliness, to the salad with all the rest of the ingredients.

Broccoli Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meCombine and serve! :)

Creamy Pesto Broccoli Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI do need to say that I do not include the peas in this salad, that the original recipe called for because of the amount of fats here. On Trim Healthy Mama, we separate our fats from our carbs, except at specific times ( s helper and crossover meals) but if you are at the point in your journey where you can have this type of meal, I’m sure the peas would be a tasty addition.

Creamy Pesto Broccoli Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meCreamy Pesto Broccoli Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Broccoli Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups broccoli, steamed
  • 6 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped or crumbled
  • about 1 cup diced bell pepper
  • about 2/3 cup small cheese cubes
  • 2 cups or so of lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • about 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon basil pesto
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine lettuce, broccoli, bacon, bell pepper, and cheese cubes in a salad bowl.
  2. Whip the heavy whipping cream and add the pesto or combine ingredients for pesto and the heavy whipping cream and whip together. 🙂
  3. Add dressing, salt, and pepper.
  4. Combine and serve.

http://lifeofjoy.me/broccoli-salad/

Here is my recipe to make easy pesto.

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

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Sweet Potato Fries Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Sweet Potato Fries Salad

I’ve found a love for sweet potatoes since starting Trim Healthy Mama. :) I never found them very sweet before but now I think they are pretty sweet without anything on them. I used to like them candied with brown sugar and now I’m good with them plain. My family likes to add syrup to theirs though.

One of the ways I like them is made into fries. Tiffany and I have had them with chocolate “shakes” or frappes. So reminiscent of fries and a milk shake–one of my favorite treats long ago.

So, on to how to make it . . .

Cut the the sweet potato into “fries.”

Cut sweet potato ~ Lifeofjoy.meSweet Potato slices ~ Lifeofjoy.meCut them a bit thinner to get done quicker.

Sweet Potato Fries ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen I finished cutting this one potato it was enough for two people.

I used my air fryer but you could bake them in the oven with just a light spray of oil and a sprinkling of salt. If you are baking in the oven be sure to put them on either a silpat, foil, or parchment paper.

My air fryer is also a toaster oven, so I have a rather large “basket.”

AIr Fried Sweet Potatoes ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis day Tiffany and I used these in a huge salad.

Salad with Sweet Potato Fries ~ Lifeofjoy.meI added low-fat ham lunch meat for protein and tomatoes for moisture.

Sweet Potato Fries Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was delicious!

Bake the sweet potato fries for about 15-20 minutes on about 400º, turning as they brown on one side.

I hope you enjoy this “recipe.”

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Warm Veggie Salad and Roased Okra ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Warm Veggie Salad

Okay, I am probably going to mess with some of your thoughts on salad here, so hold on to your hat. ;) The first time I was introduced to having warm foods on my salad was when I ate in my cousin’s restaurant, where I had Steak and Fries Salad. I loved it soooo much I recreated it at home using chicken since my hubby cannot eat beef right now.

That experience opened up a whole realm of possibilities to me. There was something about adding French fries to a salad that unlocked my salad eating, although I must admit, it wasn’t completely unlocked until the last couple of years or so.

I’ve realized that you can sauté or otherwise cook almost anything and add it to a salad. You are only limited by the items you have on hand. ;)

Today I’m going to share the salad Tiffany and I had for lunch yesterday. We started by putting some cut okra in the toaster oven to roast. Then proceeded to sauté some cauliflower and broccoli for Tiffany (I’m currently cutting back on cruciferous veggies so I didn’t have any).

Cruciferous ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe also sautéed some onions, mushrooms, and radishes for us both, as well as some squash for me.

sauté squash ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe we added some ground beef for our meat choice and cooked it with the onions, mushrooms, and radishes.

Meat and veggies  ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhile that was all cooking away we tore some lettuce leaves. We used some green leaf and some baby artisan lettuces from Aldi this time.  We added some diced colored peppers and some shredded carrot.

Lettuce and Peppers ~ Lifeofjoy.meLettuce carrot peppers ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen the veggies and meat were cooked to our liking, we added them to the salad.

Warm Veggie Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe could have added the okra too it but we decided we wanted to enjoy that on the side. (For the record, before THM I did not like okra. It’s pretty good roasted and sprinkled with nutritional yeast.)

Roasted Okra ~ Lifeofjoy.meWarm Veggie Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

There really isn’t a recipe to write down. Cook veggies to your liking and add them to what cold veggies you want. Tiffany and I have also added cooked salmon to a salad like this. Yum!

Oh! Don’t forget the salt and pepper! It’s the key to a good salad.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Pizza Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Pizza Salad

The flavors you love on a pizza over a bed of lettuce.

Well, we had a bit of a heat wave before the cooler temperatures are here, to stay I hope, and we had Pizza Salad.

Pizza Salad is super simple. You put whatever toppings you like on a pizza on top of a salad! Yep, I know, not really much of a recipe but it was good.

I took some chicken sausage links, removed the casings, and pinched it off into smaller pieces and browned them.

Browned Chicken Sausage ~ Lifeofjoy.meI also sautéed some onions and mushrooms because I love those on both pizza and a salad. :)

Make your base salad as plain or as jazzed up as you like. We just had some lettuce, a few sliced radishes, some diced yellow pepper, a little shredded carrot, and CHEESE the other night. I had some really good mozzarella from Aldi that we added to this with a little shredded cheddar. The mozzarella was really good and creamy.

Pizza Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI cut up a roma tomato because I had one that needed to be used. I put it in a side dish because not everyone likes tomato.

The first time I made this, we used some Parmesan cheese instead of the other cheeses. We also add pepperoni, either turkey or regular.

Pizza Salad 1 ~ Lifeofjoy.meOh! Tiffany likes sun-dried tomatoes, so we have those available too. Seriously, this is all about whatever flavors you like on your pizza. :) We love meaty pizzas, so we even add bacon bits sometimes. Ham is not out of the question either.

Some times I cut the pepperoni into quarters and sprinkle throughout the salad.

I served it with a homemade catalina that used tomato paste in it. I cannot remember which one now but I think it was a mix of these two here  (eliminated the honey) and here (and I used an on-plan sweetener, not splenda).

Pizza Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meEach person’s plate of salad looks a bit different. To each his own. :)

Tiff's Pizza Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meSean's Pizza Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.mePizza Salad ~ lifeofjoy.meIt is almost silly to add a recipe but here goes anyway. :D

Pizza Salad

Ingredients

  • Lettuce or bagged salad (we like green leaf or butter leaf lettuce in a bag)
  • pizza toppings of choice:
  • pepperoni
  • sausage
  • bacon bits
  • ham
  • onion
  • bell pepper
  • mushrooms
  • tomatoes
  • sun dried tomatoes
  • cheese
  • shredded carrot
  • sliced radishes
  • dressing of choice, we use homemade Catalina or just plain olive oil

Instructions

  1. Cook the sausage.
  2. Assemble the lettuce and any toppings liked by all diners.
  3. Place optional items in side bowls to allow each individual to have the amounts of each thing they desire.

http://lifeofjoy.me/pizza-salad/

I hope you enjoy this.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº