Category Archives: Tasty Tuesday

Because you have to feed them too

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 ­čÖé (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. ­čÖé 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 ┬║├ť┬║

Cornbread Muffins in a Jiffy

It’s soup season and with soup I like some kind of bread. Cornbread is nice with chili and Gwen, of Gwen’s Nest, has a tasty low carb, low fat version that I’m going to share with you today.

She shares a single serving but I’m making enough for four. Also, my daughter has a sensitivity right now to flax meal, so I’m following her alternative baking blend version today.

So you start with Greek yogurt. (Tiffany tells me that she’s used regular yogurt on accident before and they turned out okay.)

Add water and egg whites.

Add dry ingredients.

The key is the masa flour that has been treated with lime. Be sure to read that part of Gwen’s post on the recipe page link below. I have found a small package of the masa flour at Dollar Tree, which is nice so that you don’t have so much sitting around, especially if you only make the single serving. Even making a quadruple batch, I have had the package around for a long time! Do yourself a favor and get the small bag from Dollar Tree.

Combine and put in oil sprayed silicone muffin liners and bake. I chose to bake in the oven rather than the microwave. ;)

So, here’s the link to Gwen’s wonderful recipe. I hope you enjoy these too.

Until next time,

Michele ┬║├ť┬║

Making a Menu and Grocery List

I remember when I was first married, I went to the grocery store about every week and a half to two weeks and just bought things that looked good and things that we had run out of. Then after we’d been married about ten years, had moved half-way across the country, and things were a bit tight, my neighbor showed me how she bought food on a tight budget.

It all started with looking over the sales flyers that came in the mail, today you can look on the flipp app. She would see what meat was on sale and plan a menu around sale items, filling in the gaps with inexpensive meals like beans and cornbread and soups.

 

Since we eat mostly chicken and ground turkey, I don’t bother with looking at what meat is on sale until I shop and then I use the built in portion of my budget to buy a bit of any special meat that might be on sale (like salmon or chicken sausage or bacon).

When temperatures are fluctuating, like they are right now, I take a piece of paper and write down the days for a week and the high temperatures from my weather app. That way I can plan for a nice hearty soup when it is cold and a pasta dish or other item when it is warmer.

I write down dishes that I know I want to include and then either flip through my stack of printed recipes or a cookbook for inspiration for the rest of the days’ meals.

From there, I write down the ingredients I will need that I may not have on one list and the ingredients I know I need to buy on the grocery list, separated by store–we go to 3-4 stores that are all within a mile of each other.

I sometimes write any extra recipes I’m considering making somewhere on the paper (this time on the upper right of the page). Sometimes I note meals I that sound good but I’d already filled in the week’s menu and I want to consider them next week.

I use tally marks when I’m going through the recipes and I encounter duplicates e.g. chicken needed for two meals and two cans of tomato paste are needed this week.

Then I check the questionable list against what is on hand and add any missing items to the grocery list. Then I consider items we eat for the other meals of the day and add needed items to the list as well. Things like eggs, mayonnaise, milk, butter, and such.

I keep a marker board on my refrigerator for adding things throughout the week that need replacing on grocery day. I also keep the menu on the refrigerator so it doesn’t get misplaced.

As you can see, we don’t need many extra things this week. Some of them are carry-overs from last week and got smudged but I still know what they say or I’d re-write them. ;)

Now, just because I have pizza written for Friday’s meal does not mean that we are most definitely having pizza on Friday. We need to run errands Friday and so I will switch up the meal to another day or it may be too hot to have soup one day because it got hotter in the house than I thought it would and so I may switch to another night’s meal or completely change it up and have sandwiches, salad, or a pasta dish. The menu is a tool for me and I am not a slave to it.

I hope this helps you with your menu planning.

Until next time,
Michele ┬║├ť┬║

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 ┬║├ť┬║

Sourdough French Toast

This is something Tiffany has been eating a lot of lately. She just pours a little of this and a little of that into her bowl and soaks her bread in it.

First we slice two pieces of sourdough bread. My poor bread is still very short, maybe one day it will rise and bake properly. :)

Ours is still a bit frozen. :D But this knife does the trick.

Pour some cashew milk (probably about a 1/4 cup) into a container that will hold your bread flat and keep it in contact with the liquid.

(This is the second time she’s made this today, so you can see there is already some of the mixture in the container. ;) )

Next add about two egg whites (about 1/4 cup from a carton of whites). Yes sometimes I need the simplicity of the carton over the frugality of the eggs and separating them myself.

Then a sprinkling of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla.

Then just combine with a fork to ensure the egg whites are broken up a bit and blend with the milk and cinnamon.

Soak the bread in the mixture, flipping to soak both sides.

The put in a heated skillet over medium to medium high heat.

Since our bread was still somewhat frozen, it didn’t absorb as well, so we pour a little more of the mixture on top as it cooks, so that each piece gets its fair share. ;)

Flip and cook on the other side.

Then serve with desired toppings. I usually use a bit of on plan syrup and/or a bit of sugar free jelly. Tiffany likes to add some sugar free chocolate chips and sugar free syrup. :)

Chocolate Fix

So, after conference last week, I’m a bit tired. I’m not feeling like doing much of anything today. (Truth be told, I’m writing this Monday afternoon and I’m hoping Tuesday will be better since we have to prep for Michael’s birthday this week.) I’m also craving some chocolate and we are out of sugar-free chocolate chips. :(

In my desperation, I opted to make something chocolatey. We had two options: 1) make skinny chocolate with cocoa powder, coconut oil, and sweetener or 2) melt down some unsweetened chocolate and add some sweetener. Tiffany looked at the calories of the coconut oil versus the unsweetened chocolate and deemed the unsweetened chocolate the winner.

So Tiffany was a sweetie and made the sweets, melting down the chocolate in a double boiler.

If you don’t have a double boiler, you can put a heat safe bowl over a pot of simmering water. Add sweetener to taste,┬á to the melted chocolate. Keep it over the water until the sweetener dissolves. (Taste for sweetness.) We used about a third of a cup of xylitol but I think I would have preferred it a bit sweeter. ;)

Then we spread it out on parchment paper and put it in the freezer to firm up quickly.

Remove when firm and break off pieces.

I decided it could benefit from a bit more sweetness and a little salt, so I put some powdered sweetener and salt in a bowl and dipped the chocolate in it before eating it. :)

This cured my chocolate craving without adding too many calories to my day. :)  I hope it helps you too.

Until next time,

Michele ┬║├ť┬║

Philly Cheesesteak Wrap

When I was in college, I worked summers at the local pizza/sub shop. I absolutely love pizza but I found I got sub sandwiches most of the time. My favorite was a steak sub. I liked and ate others like hot ham & cheese or the Italian sub. I occasionally got a small pizza but it was rare, which surprised even me.

They made their steak and cheese subs with meat like a steak um and provolone cheese. I sometimes get a hankering for a steak sub and will buy a box of Steak Ums. Lately has been one of those times. ;)

I start by chopping up some onion, mushrooms, and peppers because that’s what I like on mine now. :) I get those cooking with some salt and pepper.

I add a bit of oil of some kind since I’m having this as a Trim Healthy Mama S meal. Sometimes I’ll add butter, sometimes bacon fat, and sometimes coconut oil.

When they are almost as done as I want them to be, I break up my Steak Um into pieces and add it to the pan.

I sprinkle on a little oregano.

Next I heat up my wrap. I try not to use too many low carb Mission tortillas because THM says that if you are not losing weight and you are eating these (and other “frankenfoods”;) then try cutting them out for a while and see if you start losing again. So that’s what I’m doing.

Last Saturday after I made the double batch of sourdough pancakes, I had Tiff whip up the batter for Trim Healthy Mama’s Wonder Wraps 2 from their Trim Healthy Table cookbook. They have a bit of psyllium husk flakes in them, so they are really beneficial to my health. :)

I made these on my griddle and then let them cool on cooling racks. Then I placed them between sheets of parchment paper and put them in a gallon baggie. Then I just heat them up in a skillet for a few seconds.

I spread a Light Laughing Cow cheese wedge on the wrap and added the filling.

I sprinkle on some nutritional yeast.

Fold and eat. :)You could definitely add some cheese on the meat and veggies and let it melt but I’ve been going a bit overboard with my meat and cheese intake lately and that’s not conducive to weight loss. :( I was surprised that the laughing cow wedge tasted so good on this.

Steak Ums aren’t cheap but I found the name brand is cheaper than the off brand at my local stores. I don’t use these for a family dinner but use them for lunches on occasion. :)

I hope enjoy this as much as I do.

Philly Cheesesteak Wrap

Ingredients

  • Frozen steak um
  • onion
  • peppers
  • mushroom
  • butter
  • wrap
  • light laughing cow cheese wedge
  • salt, pepper, and oregano
  • nutritional yeast, optional

Instructions

  1. Chop veggies and saute in a teaspoon or so of butter.
  2. When nearly done to your liking, break up the steak into pieces and add to veggies.
  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a bit of oregano.
  4. Heat wrap and spread with light laughing cow cheese wedge.
  5. Add cooked meat and veggies and nutritional yeast, if desired.
  6. Fold and eat.
http://lifeofjoy.me/philly-cheesesteak-wrap/

Until next time,

Michele ┬║├ť┬║

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 ┬║├ť┬║

Sugar-Free OREO®Chocolate Milk

Okay, I’ve shared sugar free chocolate milk here before but that was one my son made. I’m sharing one I have since modified and absolutely love.

I loved Oreos ┬« but they are not on plan for me any more. ;) I’ve shared OREO skinny chocolate before too but sadly, that is not really conducive to my weight reduction because I love it too much and eat way too much of it. But this is portion controlled and yummy!!!

First you must have some Black Dutched Cocoa Powder. I get The Cocoa Trader brand.

I’ve done this with almond milk and cashew milk but you could use whatever milk you like. :)

I put 2 cups of milk in my blender, add two tablespoons of black cocoa, a pinch of salt, a dash of vanilla, and two tablespoons of THM Supersweet, which is an erithritol stevia blend. And just blend away.

Quick, easy, and lovely oreo taste. :)

I forgot to take photos when I used my last bit of black cocoa today, so I’ll add pictures as soon as I get some in but wanted to share this deliciousness with you pronto. :)

Sugar-Free OREO®Chocolate Milk

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk of choosing, I use almond milk.
  • 2 tablespoons black dutched cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons THM super sweet (erithritol stevia blend)
  • pinch salt
  • dash vanilla

Instructions

  1. Put all in a blender and blend. I blend mine about 30 seconds.
  2. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy! ­čÖé
http://lifeofjoy.me/sugar-free-oreochocolate-milk/

Until next time,

Michele ┬║├ť┬║

 

Another Pasta Skillet

We love Aldi’s brown rice & quinoa pasta. This pasta is a THM E meal, which means it is a healthy carbs and low fat meal. We like to weigh the pasta to ensure that we get the right amounts cooked for each of us. :) Measuring by cup doesn’t usually yield the correct amount of food.

So, bring the measured amount of pasta to boil. Be sure to check the serving size because it can vary per type of pasta.

Meanwhile saute your chosen vegetables. Seriously, pick whatever veggies you like. It is best to stick with non-starchy veggies since you’re having the carby pasta. Only spray your pan with a light coating of oil of your choosing (we either us olive or coconut spray). Then if your veggies need a bit more moisture, add a bit of water to the pan to help keep them from sticking.

This time we chose onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and zucchini.

Tiffany has discovered that although she does not like raw tomatoes, she does like them cooked. :)

We added some minced garlic and stirred it in.

I just used the jarred variety this time. You don’t have to add garlic if you don’t prefer it.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it and then add it to the cooked veggies.

We had some chicken breast that we’d cooked up a few days prior in the crock pot. This is what we used but you could use any low fat meat. Canned chicken breast or canned tuna ( or fish from a pouch) would work well too.

This night Tiffany decided to add one wedge of Light Laughing Cow Cheese to add a bit more creaminess, but we’ve done it without it and it is just fine too. :)

Stir it in and serve. Of course add whatever seasonings you like.

This had me saying “Mmmm” with the first several bites and declaring how much I was enjoying it throughout the meal. The serving size of pasta is quite filling, so we didn’t serve it with anything else but a side salad would be good. Just keep it low fat to stay in E mode. :)

I hope you like this “recipe”. I’ll include what we used below but know that you can use whatever non-starchy veggies you like (and even a bit of the starchy ones, since it is an E).

Another Pasta Skillet

Ingredients

  • Brown Rice & Quinoa Pasta
  • Veggies of your choice: onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini were our picks this time
  • You could add some carrot or peas or a bit of corn if you like
  • Seasonings of choice: garlic, salt, and pepper were ours
  • Optional light laughing cow cheese wedge (1)
  • Protein: cooked chicken breast was ours

Instructions

  1. Boil measured pasta until done, and drain.
  2. Spray pan with cooking oil, lightly.
  3. Saute diced/sliced veggies.
  4. Add seasonings, drained pasta, and protein.
  5. Serve
http://lifeofjoy.me/another-pasta-skillet/

I hope you enjoy this “recipe;” we sure have.

Michele ┬║├ť┬║