Category Archives: Tasty Tuesday

Because you have to feed them too

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

chicken prep ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Prepping Chicken for Salads

As my family has gone to the chiropractor, each one has been given a questionnaire to complete as part of the initial consultation. This questionnaire is quite lengthy but helps to determine your body type for the purpose of suggesting the food emphasis you should follow. As it turns out, all four of us are Thyroid Types or T-Type for short.

Unfortunately the t-type diet is a low fat one with moderate carbs, very similar to the THM energizing meals. At first glance I was very saddened by this diet recommendation but realized that it was quite similar to the Stubborn Loser’s Menu on Trim Healthy Mama (THM) where I’d lost nine pounds in three weeks. :)

This t-type diet also suggests that two eggs and a half piece of whole grain toast are the optimal breakfast for this body type. I can work with that. :) Of course, we’re going to stray just a bit on Saturdays, a.k.a. pancake breakfast day. ;) But we will give this a go following THM principles. I’m very thankful for the variety of E recipes available to me, otherwise I this diet would be very difficult for me to even attempt. (I love that THM is so flexible and versatile that it takes all body types into consideration. It truly will work for anyone. :) )

The other evening we had country style pork ribs and Tiffany seasoned them really well. I’ll write it down next time and take pictures to share with you. I fixed chicken breast seasoned the same way for Michael. There was some of his leftover, so Tiffany and I added that to our salad the next day and it really made a difference in our enjoyment of said salad. ;)

Aldi had boneless, skinless, chicken breast on sale for $1.49 a pound last week, so I got two packages of it. We bagged each large breast of one five pound package into a quart size freezer back and then froze them for use later. The other six pound package we cooked up for salads.

3-crock cooker ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I have this three crock cooker and placed two large breasts in each crock. We seasoned one with the yummy bar-b-que seasoning from the other night, one with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar, and the final one with soy sauce, Sukrin gold (which is a brown sugar substitute), salt, and pepper.

Chicken ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Chicken 3 ways ~ Lifeofjoy.me

When it was cooked, I shredded it and stirred it around into all the juices in the pots.

Chicken cooked in crock ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I used the potato masher in a twisting motion to break it up into chunks/shreds and finished it off with forks.

shredded chicken in crock pot ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Once it cooled, I bagged it up and froze most of it. I kept half of the bbq one out for our salads the next couple of days, since I know that one is Tiff’s favorite. We’ll probably have to add more seasoning next time because it wasn’t very strong but better to need to add more than to have it too seasoned. ;)

I hope this gives you an idea of how to prep some chicken and make your lunches a bit easier and more flavorful.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Taco Bites ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Taco Bites

I really missed making my taco bites last year, since we were low carb and couldn’t have the wonton wrappers that I had used to make them before in this recipe. So this year I decided to look for some low carb ones. I figured as a worst case scenario, I’d use low carb whole wheat tortillas.

I was thrilled to find this recipe. It is really quite simple. Unfortunately I forgot to take two of the pictures but I think you can get the idea. ;)

Start by placing about a tablespoon of cheese in a flattened pile on a silpat on a cookie sheet/jelly roll pan. I fit 12 piles on my large tray. Leave about 2 inches between piles. (So sorry I forgot to take a picture of this step. :( )

Brown your meat. We used ground turkey. Drain well and season as you like for tacos. (The other step I forgot to take a picture of. :( )

You bake the cheese on 350º for about 5-7 minutes. You want the edges to be slightly browned and the center melted. Let them cool for about a minute, so you can handle them without burning yourself. The arrange them into mini muffin pans.

mini Taco "shells" ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Add the seasoned cooked ground meat.

undressed taco bites ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Add toppings of choice. No more cheese is needed but some avocado, tomato, lettuce, and/or sour cream are good options.

Taco bite with avocado, tomato, and lettuce ~ Lifeofjoy.me

These were super simple and good. Makes sure your meat is not wet or it will seep out the cracks and holes of the cheese. We didn’t eat ours right away and they were a tad bit cold. I’ll wait to fix them until the last thing next time so they are hotter.

Hope you enjoy them. Go here to homemadeinterest.com for the full recipe.

I hope you have a great New Year’s Day. We are having a nice, laid back day full of rest, relaxation, and gaming (probably individually on different electronic devices as we played board games together last night).

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Christmas Food

Nativity Merry Christmas ~ Lifeofjoy.me

So much food today and the past couple of days! :) Tiffany and I prep as much as we can several days in advance to make things go smoother. I’ll have to let you know later how it actually went since as I type this we are in the midst of the preparation.

We have baked the bacon and browned the chicken sausage ahead of time for our breakfast casserole. We pattied up the burgers for our Christmas Eve lunch and made low carb buns for said burgers.

I made some Pay Off Day Candies to give as gifts to a few people. :) And then there was the pecan pie, cinnamon butter bundt cake (low carb/THM), and apple pie for today. We made a double batch of breakfast casserole on Christmas Eve morning for breakfast so we’d have some to take for Christmas morning breakfast.

As I write this, I have not yet recreated the family nut roll in a low carb way but I hope it will be a smashing success. :) I knew I’d be way too busy to think about writing a blog post on Christmas day this year, so I hope this gives you some yummy food ideas for Christmas and I hope I’ll remember to take enough pictures to share some of the yumminess with you in the near future.

Until next time, Merry Christmas and God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Peanut Caramel Candy ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Pay Off Day Candies

Michael loves Payday candy bars. So every now and then I make him these candies. The first several times I made them I followed the directions and tried to spoon it out into circular candies, which did not turn out well for me. However they tasted delicious. So I got creative and decided to let laziness take over. ;) I put the candy mixture into a loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper to make it easier to remove. Then I just cut it into pieces/bars. :)

So here’s how you do it.

Put the butter, gentle sweet, and stevia into a pan and begin stirring as it melts.


butter to melt ~ Lifeofjoy.me
melt butter and sweetener ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Sweeteners ~ Lifeofjoy.me

While it is just starting to heat up get your other ingredients ready to go: nuts, peanut butter, heavy cream and caramel extract.

Add caramel extract to heavy cream ~ Lifeofjoy.me

When the butter and sweeteners are melted, add in the heavy cream and caramel extract.


melted butter and sweetener ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Add cream and caramel ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Whisk as it slowly boils.


Whisk away ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Keep whisking until it becomes a nice caramel color.


Nearly caramel colored ~ LIfeofjoy.me

Watch it carefully once it begins to brown because it goes from that to this in just a few seconds, it seems.


Right colored caramel ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Now we add in the tiny bit of natural peanut butter and the slightly chopped peanuts and combine.


Adding peanuts and pb ~ Lifeofjoy.me
pay off day candy ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Here’s where I cheat and just put it in a parchment lined loaf pan. Since I made a double batch today, I’m putting it in a parchment lined 8×8 pan.


Put in pan ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Then I put it in the refrigerator and let it harden up. I’ll cut this in half and then each half into 8 strips/bars. The recipe is supposed to make 16 pieces, so I reckon each of our bars are two pieces. ;) It doesn’t last long around here.

DIY Payday Candy ~ Lifeofjoy.me

The full recipe is on page 381 of the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook and can be found online if you search for it, especially if you have a THM membership.

I hope this helps you make this delectable candy.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Breakfast pancake sandwiches ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Pancake Sausage Egg Sandwiches

Breakfast sandwiches made from pancakes, egg, and sausage (inspired by McGriddles)


This is a little bit involved but very easy. You start by making a batch of my maple chips.

Maple Butter Bits ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Then make a batch of pancake batter. I use the bring on da buttah pancakes (family batch). Add the maple butter chips.


add maple chips ~ lifeofjoy.me

Now, I put this in two muffin top pans. If you don’t have muffin top pans, you could just pour it into a jelly roll plan and cut it into squares when you are done. Square breakfast sandwiches taste as good as round ones. ;)


Muffin top pancakes ~ Lifeofjoy.me

While this is baking (375º for about 10-15 minutes), take a roll of sausage, make into twelve patties, and cook on the stove.

Then when the pancakes are done and have cooled down enough to get them out of the pan, pour the beaten eggs (8) into the pan and bake for about 10 minutes.


baked pancake muffin tops ~ Lifeofjoy.me
See those dark bits? That is the yumminess of the maple butter chips.
bake scrambled eggs ~ lifeofjoy.me

Assemble: one pancake, one egg, one sausage, and another pancake.

sandwich assembly ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Then wrap the ones you aren’t ready to eat, in foil and store either in the refrigerator or freezer. Heat in a oven or toaster oven when ready to eat. If you are going to microwave them, wrap them in parchment or butcher paper.


wrap in foil ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I hope you enjoy them like we do.

Until next time, God bless

Michele ºÜº

Remove maple chips ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Maple Butter Chips

Little sweet, buttery, maple morsels that I use to make a homemade McGriddle breakfast sandwich.

This recipe is super simple and was created to make my family some homemade pancake sandwiches. The McGriddles you buy at McDonald’s has little syrup pockets that make those sandwiches so good.

I have tried other methods and none of them worked well. So back to making these buttery maple chips. It’s not hard, it just adds another step to a rather long process anyway.

So here is how to do it.

Take 4 tablespoons of butter and melt it in a saucepan over medium heat.

Butter ~ Lifeofjoy.meMelting butter ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd 3 tablespoons of Gentle Sweet or your preferred sweetener equivalent. (Gentle Sweet is powdered.)

Add Gentle Sweet ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd 1 teaspoon maple extract.

Add Maple Extract ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd whisk until sweetener is dissolved into the butter.

Whisk until dissolved ~ Lifeofjoy.mePour onto hexagonal trivet or into chocolate chip molds. I don’t have any chocolate chip molds yet, so I use these silicone trivets that I got cheap somewhere.

Pour onto molds ~ Lifeofjoy.meSpread it around with a spatula.

spread maple chip butter on trivet ~Lifeofjoy.meIt fills one trivet for me.

butter maple chips ~ Lifeofjoy.meI put it in the freezer until it hardens into chips.

freeze the trivet ~ Lifeofjoy.meRemove maple chips ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat is the hardest part of the process, getting all those little luscious chips out of their grooves. ;) I may try spraying the trivet lightly with coconut oil spray next time and see if that helps. If it does, I’ll update this post.

I’ll be sharing my McGriddles recipe soon.

Maple Butter Chips

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Gentle Sweet
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add sweetener and extract.
  3. Whisk until sweetener is dissolved.
  4. Pour onto molds and spread around with a spatula.
  5. Freezer.
  6. Remove from trivet.

http://lifeofjoy.me/maple-butter-chips/

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Hot Cocoa THM ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Hot Cocoa – THM version

Warm chocolately goodness in a cup. Just the thing to warm you on chill evenings. Made sugar free and dairy free too.

For years we’ve made hot chocolate or hot cocoa, whichever you prefer to call it, using the recipe I found on the Hershey’s Cocoa can years ago. I don’t know if it is still on the can or not.

We substituted almond (or cashew) milk for the regular milk and Gentle Sweet (a blend of xylitol, erythritol, and stevia but you could use your favorite sweetener) for the sugar. It’s such a simple recipe that it was quite easy to modify.

Here we go . . .

Combine 1/3 cup cocoa (or as little as 1/4 cup if you prefer a milder chocolate flavor)

Cocoa powder ~ Lifeofjoy.mewith 1/2 cup Gentle Sweet or your preferred sweetener (Gentle Sweet is supposedly a little less than twice as sweet as sugar. If you use straight xylitol or erythritol, you’d use the same amount as you would sugar, so I’m told.)

Cocoa Powder and sweetener ~ Lifeofjoy.mewith a couple pinches of salt in a pot.

Cocoa dry ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhisk it, add in 1/3 cup of water, and bring to a boil on medium to medium high heat.

Add Water for cocoa ~ Lifeofjoy.meBoil for 2 minutes.

Boiling cocoa base ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd in about 5 or so cups of almond (or cashew) milk.

Add almond milk ~ Lifeofjoy.meKeep whisking until it reaches desired temperature.

Hot chocolate thm ~ Lifeofjoy.mePour and serve! :)

Ladel into mugs ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe really enjoy this. I hope you do as well. :)

Hot Cocoa – THM version

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup cocoa (1/4 if preferred less dark) powder
  • 1/2 cup Gentle Sweet
  • 2 pinches mineral salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5+ cups almond (or cashew) milk

Instructions

  1. Whisk cocoa powder, sweetener, and salt together in saucepan.
  2. Add water and turn heat to medium/medium high.
  3. Whisk until it comes to a full boil.
  4. Reduce heat slightly and continue stirring. Boil for 2 minutes
  5. Add milk and continue whisking until desired temperature is reached.
  6. Pour into mugs.

http://lifeofjoy.me/hot-cocoa-thm-version/

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

A Menu Plan for Leftover Turkey

Roasted Turkey ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe will go to my sister’s home to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family this Thursday. I love Thanksgiving leftovers but since I don’t make the dinner, I don’t have leftovers. Hence, I buy a turkey and bake it the day after Thanksgiving. :) And I buy a large one, because remember, I said I love leftovers. :)

So this year I was thrilled to get my turkey for 87¢ a pound. That’s a great price for Oklahoma but I saw a friend of mine in Virginia got one for 27¢ a pound! Wow!!! Oh well, I’m still thrilled with my deal.

I thought I’d share my menu plan for using some of those plannedovers. :)

Of course it starts by cooking the bird and having it as the main course with lots of side dishes so that there is lots and lots of turkey leftover. After dinner, I will remove all of the meat off the carcass and bag in portions for the remaining meals and any remainder for sandwiches, as desired. (Hubby loves fresh turkey sandwiches.)

One night I will make Turkey Noodle Casserole, where I just substitute turkey in for the tune of Tuna Noodle Casserole. (Of course, I’m using a THM version and it will be an E meal, as we will use some quinoa and brown rice pasta from Aldi or some red lentil pasta.)

Another night we will have another E meal (that’s one low in fat with some moderate healthy carbs) of the sliced turkey breast, sweet potatoes, rolls, and we’ll probably add in a salad.

Then we’l have a healthy fats meal of Creamed Turkey, fried green beans, and some caulitaters. There may be some kind of “noodles” thrown in for good measure. ;)

We will have turkey sandwiches for lunch after church Sunday and round out our menu with Turkey Soup complete with daikon radish, carrots, and some kind of “noodle”.

We’ll round out our week with this nice Italian Style Hamburger Helper with either some roasted green beans or roasted okra and a salad.

So there you have my after Thanksgiving menu. Of course, you’d need to add one more meal in there if you actually have your main turkey meal on Thanksgiving. One of the things I have done in the past was to make turkey nachos but that would take some thinking to keep it from being a crossover because the way I used to make it was with tortilla chips (or nacho flavored ones), turkey, refried beans, cheese, lettuce, and tomato. If breast is used, you could use baked Tostitos chips, and go very light on the cheese, all the rest would work. If I wanted to make it a healthy fats (S) meal, I’d use the dark meat too, skip the beans and I’d have to use pork rinds or Joseph’s Lavash or Pita cut pre-crisped into chips. With this version I could add some avocado.

Well, that’s it, our turkey menu. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Rant: Split Peas and Lettuce

split peas ~ Lifeofjoy.meI decided to make Cheapskate Soup (THM Cookbook pg 88) which is a split pea soup. I had been getting my split peas from Sprouts but when Tiffany looked for them last grocery day she couldn’t find them. She asked someone and they said they discontinued them in the bulk bins because there was no demand for them. UGH! I got them on sale last month or so for about 89¢ a pound! That is good.

We looked all over the place for them at Walmart. Tiffany even asked someone. This is not a young person that she asked and she didn’t even know what we were talking about! Seriously, she had no idea what split peas were.

They have dried beans in, not one, and not even two, but THREE different places in that crazy store! I know this because I found the first two places and then stumbled upon the last place when I was looking for something else. There they were, pretty as you please, in a small one pound bag on the next to the bottom shelf. However, they were $1.37 for that one pound bag!!! I kid you not.

I do not consider that cheap! Especially not for dried beans. Ugh. You see, I can get a one pound roll of ground turkey in the same store for only $1.50, so that is just 13¢ more than the peas. Then of course, you can get chicken thighs for 79¢ a pound. Albeit, for a family of four you need several pounds because of the bone and skin there but those have such health benefits and you can keep the bones to make broth too. Sad thing is that I needed two pounds of those peas to make the soup. We’ll have a couple servings for lunch or yo-yo (you’re on you’re own) dinner another day though.

Let me talk to  you about lettuce for a minute too. You have to be careful about buying too much lettuce at once because if it gets wet at all (thank you water misters in the produce section) and you don’t get it dried off (giving you yet one more thing to do as you put away groceries) it will get funky–wilted and nasty in spots. Then you have to be careful when you are using it.

So the alternative is to buy bagged salad but that isn’t cheap and if you’re not quick about it, it’ll start getting just like that other lettuce from condensation in the bag. YUCK!

So I thought I hit on the perfect thing: boxed salad greens! The first week it worked like a charm. It made our salads so super easy! Then last week I got two of those tubs of lettuce greens and was a little concerned about them because they seemed a bit damp.

I was right to be concerned! We didn’t even get to eat the first salad out of them before they started pulling the same YUCK fest that the other ones did.

So, I don’t even know what the answer is to this dilemma, except maybe to just be very picky about the salad greens and reject it if it is moist. Ugh! Because I NEED to be eating salads every single day of the week.

Next spring this shouldn’t be a problem because we are going to have a garden and these greens are one of the things we are supposed to be planting. I cannot wait!!! Okay, I can wait but I’m very eager for it to happen.

Well, I’ve rambled and ranted long enough for today. I made a nice meal today that I wish I’d have taken pictures of to share with you but alas, I didn’t. So, maybe I’ll have it together for next Tuesday. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº