Category Archives: Tasty Tuesday

Because you have to feed them too

Our Easter Food

Ham ~ Lifeofjoy.meI fixed the ham I’d gotten on clearance a few months ago (and froze) for most of us. We did not locate a turkey ham, so we got the turkey pastrami from the deli for Michael. Unfortunately we did not have any sukrin gold fiber syrup, so we combined the sukrin gold “brown sugar” with mustard for the topping. It was good. :)

I’d planned to get some Dreamfields’ spaghetti and break it up before cooking in ham broth to make noodles but our stores were out of stock. Thankfully I coerced my hubby into stopping at store on the other side of town on his commute. He came home with 4 boxes! :D

We had caulitaters in the stead of mashed potatoes, and fried green beans, which are always a hit at our dinner table.

Peanut Caramel Candy ~ Lifeofjoy.meI made a double batch of PayOff Day Candies, which were gone in 24 hours. (I cut each ‘bar’ into 3 or 4 pieces to encourage slower eatage. ;) ) I made the Easter Story Cookies, which I wrote about here. I also made Carolyn’s Boston Cream Poke Cake (from AllDayIDreamAboutFood and Swerve website) but it was too warm the first evening and then still wasn’t my favorite the next day when it was completely chilled. I think I’d like a THM Trifle better.

Of course the ham is a gift that keeps on giving. :) So we had Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole a few days later and lovely leftovers for several lunches. :)

I mention this now because it is after the holiday is over that I like to stop and see what worked and what didn’t so that I can make notes, in my bullet journal, for next year and thought maybe there were others that were making their notes as well.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Pecan Meringues ~

Easter Story Cookes (Pecan Meringues)

I’m really desiring some Easter traditions. We did the whole basket thing when the kids were little but I’m wanting something else. So Saturday night I made the Easter Story Cookies before I went to bed so that they’d be fresh Sunday morning. :)

Here’s the link for the recipe WITH the story part to do with children. Since my kids are all adults now and my only grandson (so far) isn’t here, I just made the cookies. :) I made modified it to use sugar alternatives.

We liked them. The pecans really gave these substance. I’ll be sure to chop them a bit more finely next time.

And here’s how I did it.

Separated my eggs to get to room temperature before whipping (about 30 minutes).

Egg whites ~ Lifeofjoy.mePlaced my metal bowl and whisk in the freezer to chill.

Chill bowl and whisk ~ Lifeofjoy.mePreheated the oven to 300º (very important to do that first!).

Chopped the cup of pecans (can toast them for more flavor).

pecans cup ~ Lifeofjoy.mePut the vinegar (1 tsp) in the mixing bowl.

Vinegar ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdded 3 egg whites to mixing bowl.

Vinegar and Egg whites ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdded the pinch of salt. Then whipped until soft peaks formed.

Whip egg whites ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen gradually added in the sweetener and continued whipping until all sweetener was added and stiff peaks formed. I used 1 Tablespoon erithritol and a heaped teaspoon of stevia, powdered.

Whipped whites ~ LIfeofjoy.meThen gently folded in the pecans.

Fold in pecans ~ Lifeofjoy.meDropped onto silpat (could have used parchment paper) on cookie sheet and put them in the oven. Turned the oven off and got them out in the morning.

Meringues ~ Lifeofjoy.meI followed the link’s directions for ‘baking’ but they were a bit crumbly.Ester Story Cookies ~ LIfeofjoy.meI found several other directions on baking meringues. Next time I will bake at 225º for 20-25 minutes and then turn the oven off and leave it overnight.

Easter Story Cookes (Pecan Meringues)


  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of pecans chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon erithritol, powdered
  • slightly heaped stevia, powdered


  1. chill bowl and whisk while egg whites get to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 225º or 300º
  3. Put vinegar in chilled bowl and add egg whites.
  4. Blend to soft peaks.
  5. Begin adding in sweetener.
  6. Blend to stiff peaks.
  7. Fold in chopped pecans.
  8. Drop onto silpat or parchment paper and put in the oven.
  9. Option 1: turn off 300º oven and leave overnight.
  10. Option 2: bake on 225º for 20-25 minutes and then turn off oven and leave overnight.

I’ll definitely be making these again next year. :) I loved it even if the rest of the family didn’t understand why. ;)

Michele ºÜº

Low Carb Taco Mac Salad ~

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


  • 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


  1. Brown the ground meat.
  2. Add chopped mushrooms.
  3. Add seasonings of choice.
  4. Combine all ingredients and serve with dressing of choice.

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

Michele ºÜº

Sweet Potatoes ~

Sweet Potatoes

I am thankful to have a Trim Healthy Mama membership and thus have access to their various menus, including their newest Veggie-Full Ultra Trimming Menu. Pearl shared some information about sweet potatoes in the menu plan.

So I did some researching and found that sweet potatoes have soooo many health benefits. They help with memory, vision, inflammation, and a lot of other things. Here are some webpages that share the virtues of sweet potatoes and have links to source information as well. :)

Baked Sweet Potato ~ Lifeofjoy.meA new concept I heard about is Resistant Starch. Apparently baking low and slow is important to keep most of its nutrients and refrigeration is important to the resistant starch. I don’t really recall all of it but just know that they are extremely beneficial and they are supposed to help lose weight.

Oh, one more thing, remember that it is important to have the 1/2 teaspoon of fat with an “e” meal/low fat meal.

Surprisingly, I’ve been eating these for breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner. Of course, I have found out that our favorite way to eat sweet potatoes is deep fried, as french fries but that isn’t supposed to be the healthy way of eating them. :( But they are good for any meal. :)

I hope you’ll be encouraged to eat more sweet potatoes, as I have been.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Simple shrimp salad ~

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


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


  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.

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

Michele ºÜº

Salad with fp 1000 ~

THM FP Thousand Island Trimmy Dressing Tips

I love a sweet dressing on my salads. My preferred dressings are Catalina, Russian, which is nearly unheard of now, and Thousand Island, although I do like a creamy Vidalia Onion too. Consequently, I was thrilled when I found a recipe for a fuel pull Thousand Island dressing in Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table cookbook.

The first time I made it, it turned out a bit more solid than a dressing should be, so the next time I made it I reduced the amount of gelatin. It worked better but still seemed rather involved. I stopped having so many salads and thus stopped making the dressing.

Last month I started eating salads in earnest–generally two a day–and needed a low calorie dressing to use on them. (I know that with THM we aren’t generally concerned with calories but I’ve got some seriously stubborn weight that needs to go, so I’m trying to be as conscientious as I can without actually counting anything. ;) ) Thus I decided it was time to make this dressing again.

When I made it a month or so ago, Michael tried it and loved it. So now I have to make a double batch every week! :D So I’ve got it down rather simply and thought I’d share what I’ve learned to make the process go a bit more smoothly and get more consistent results.

Tip 1

Measure out all the dry ingredients into a small bowl first.

Tip 2

Next measure out the vinegar and mct oil in another small bowl. I do the dry first so that the sweetener doesn’t stick to the measuring cups/spoons.

Prep most the ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meTip 3

Concerning the tomato paste, when I make a double recipe I do not feel like measuring out 6 tablespoons of the stuff, so I found from the can that 2 tablespoons weigh 33g. I like to weigh ingredients because that way I’m certain I’m not being too miserly or too generous. So weighing out 99g of tomato paste for the double batch is easy. :)

weighed out tomato paste ~

I then put whatever is left of the can of tomato paste into a freezer baggie and flatten it out before freezing. That way it is easier to weigh for the next batch; just break off however much I need.

ready to freeze tomato paste ~ Lifeofjoy.meTip 4

Slice off a wedge of onion. I don’t really like bits of onion and pickles in my dressing, so I just put the whole wedge in the blender and let it pulverize it. :)

Onion wedge ~ Lifeofjoy.meTip 5

Oh! I get my water to a boil as I’m measuring out other ingredients and turn it off. Well, to be honest, I use my instant tea kettle, so it turns itself off after it boils. But as I’m getting the gelatin ready, I turn the kettle back on to get the water hot again. I also make sure to use a 2-cup measuring cup since I’m making a double batch. :)

softening gelatin ~ Lifeofjoy.meTip 6

Be quick to add all the ingredients after the initial blend of the gelatin. I don’t know if it makes much difference but I think it is one thing that contributes to how firm and separated the dressing gets. Sometimes I put the onion wedge in with everything else and sometimes I add it afterwards. I’m not sure if it makes a difference.

initial gelatin blend ~ Lifeofjoy.meBlending fp 1000 island ~ Lifeofjoy.meTip 7

Use a grated Parmesan jar lid for the quart mason jar. I stored the single batch in the empty grated Parmesan jar.

THM FP Thousand Island Dressing ~ Lifeofjoy.meTip 8

Stir with a clean spoon before serving to break it down if it is a bit too gelled for your liking. :)

That’s it! These tips have made my weekly dressing making much less frustrating. I hope it helps you. It would work with any of the trimmy dressings in THT. This actually makes all recipes easier; you just have to read through the recipe first to see if there are anythings that need to be combined in certain orders or anything.

Well, I’ll run for today,

Michele ºÜº

When All Else Fails . . . Diet Desperation

Diet Desparation ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo, I have found how to stay the same weight but I am struggling with releasing weight. I say it that way now because I have read that there is something psychological that happens when you lose something; you feel a loss and want to reclaim it or at least that is how I remember it. (Do your own research on the topic if you want the details though.) So it was recommended to say that you are releasing weight, this gives your psyche what it needs to keep it off.

I think my problem is that I love food! I like to eat. I’m also a social eater. However I have had a few times in my life where I was determined to get rid of some weight and managed to do so. I did well on the hCg diet. Now, I do believe that I probably did some harm to my body through that but the restrictions on that prove to me that I can indeed restrict what I eat when I put my mind to it. And that is one time I really put my mind to it. Unfortunately I reclaimed many many of those lost pounds and sooo want to rid myself of them again.

So, I’ve decided to severely restrict my food intake, both the amount and the variety of foods eaten, for the rest of Lent. It helps to put it in this time frame because then I have more of a reason to stick with it and a finish point.

I will have a few days omitted from this, which began last weekend with Brian, Lauren, and Liam being here and getting together with family to celebrate birthdays. And I will omit Sean’s birthday from my food restrictions but will keep it in control. I control what I eat. I do not let my appetites control what I eat. :D I’m still going to be applying THM standards as much as I can.

One of the things that you are supposed to eat during the dieting phase of the hCg diet is grissini, which is a breadstick. Unfortunately the ones that are available in the store are not sprouted whole wheat nor fermented, so I’ll be making my own. Thankfully I found a recipe that uses whole wheat pastry flour, which I have but now I have to figure out if it will work in the artisan bread in five minutes method. We’ll see.

I do not really want to restrict myself in this manner but I really want to release some of this weight! So, I’m pushing on. I can do this. Hopefully, this will get me to a place that I don’t eat as much and when I follow the THM principles after Easter, will not regain anything. Of course, I’m praying all through this process and am relying on His strength to help me through all of this. In the end, I will learn the proper amount of food to sustain my body and eventually release even more weight.

I wish I were one of those people that could lose weight on THM, keto, Adkins, or anything else, but the truth of the matter is that I eat too much and too often. I have to have some outside restrictions to get me headed in the right direction. I believe that once I get a grip on my appetite and eating less food, that THM will work for me because it does to a degree right now, I just bend the ‘rules’ a bit too much and need this fast for now. Yes, I’m looking at it as a fast because I am not eating the things I really want to be eating.

Well, I hope this unusual Tasty Tuesday post can be an encouragement to you. I’ll share about those breadsticks when I figure them out. ;)

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

bbq flavor seasoning ~

BBQ Seasoning

I shared some ways we use chicken thighs last month. One of those ways is BBQ seasoning. I decided I should go ahead and share how we do BBQ seasoning on chicken. I prefer a sweet barbecue flavor and not vinegary. Now don’t get the wrong idea, this is not a barbecue sauce; it’s just to give you some flavor of barbecue.

We just sprinkle the seasonings on each thigh but you could mix the dry ingredients up in a bowl and then add the worcestershire sauce onto each thigh individually. You could mix all the ingredients up together and smear the paste on each thigh but that is too much work for us. ;)

Place the thighs on a rimmed baking sheet. You can use a silpat or parchment paper for ease of cleaning later but we didn’t. Then sprinkle on the onion powder and garlic powder.

Chicken thighs ~ Lifeofjoy.meNext sprinkle on a bit of paprika, ground black pepper, and salt.

Chicken thighs seasoned 2 ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow, we use Sukrin Gold but I believe there is a Swerve brown sugar substitute. You could also make your own. I found these three version you could try: 1. suggests including an extract rather just the molasses, 2. also suggests an extract but uses stevia glycerite instead of the molasses, 3. uses less molasses per cup. (I’m also noting them for myself, in case I need them in the future. :) )

So this next step is to add 1/2 teaspoon – 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar substitute to each piece. Tiffany used 1/2 tablespoon this night and it was too sweet for Sean’s liking, so you may want to err on the side of less sweetener.

Adding sweetener ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen add Worcestershire sauce and bake at 350º until done. Length of time depends on the size of your thighs, about 45 minutes, give or take.

Thighs with Worcestershire ~ BBQ seasoned thighs ~ Lifeofjoy.mebbq seasoned thighs ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe use the same seasonings on chicken breasts and cook them in the crock pot too. Yumm!

BBQ Seasoning


  • about 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • about 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • about heaping 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • about 1/8 teaspoon black ground pepper
  • about 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons - 3 Tablespoons brown sugar substitute (Sukrin Gold)
  • about 6 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


  1. Either sprinkle each individual on the meat
  2. OR
  3. Combine dry ingredients together, sprinkle over meat.
  4. Add Worcestershire sauce to each thigh individually.
  5. OR
  6. Combine all ingredients into a paste and smear over each thigh.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

crock pot chicken and sprouted spelt no fat noodles ~

Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles (Soup)

I got this simple and cost effective recipe from something I got from the Money Saving Mom years and years ago. I shared it with my homeschool support group and I’m sharing it here today. This recipe has stood the test of time in our house and is an easy one to throw together. :)

Start by putting enough chicken breast in the crockpot for your family. We are a family of four so one large chicken breast (one pound) works for us. Then add some carrot. We like our carrot with zero crunch in the end, so I slice them up on my mandolin.

Crockpot Chicken and noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meI forgot to add a dice onion this night, so I added onion powder later but generally, you’d add the onion now too. :)

Next add about 3-6 cups of water or broth. I started with 3 cups this day. It’d been a while since I’d made this and forgot how much water/broth I usually use.

Add Liquid ~ Lifeofjoy.meFinally add seasonings: salt, pepper, and basil.

Add seasonings ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd the lid and you’re ready to go. Cook on high for about 3 hours or so, until you can shred your chicken. I used a frozen breast and cooked it about 4 hours I think.

Shredding chicken ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen the chicken is done and shredded.

I used my sprouted spelt drop biscuit dough and cut it thinner for the noodles. :)

spelt noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meadd noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd your noodles and cook for another 30-60 minutes, until the noodles are as done as you like them. :) You can use Reemes frozen noodles, as that is what the original recipe called for. When we went to serve the dish, I realized that we wanted it more of a soup and quickly heated up a can of chicken broth (about 2 cups) and added it to the pot.

Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meI made half a batch of my sprouted spelt drop biscuit dough and ended up only using about 2/3 of it in the soup. I sprinkled some garlic salt on the rest and baked in the oven  for a few minutes. :)

Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles


  • 1# chicken breast (I used frozen)
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 batch of sprouted spelt drop biscuit dough or a bag of frozen Reemes noodles


  1. Place all ingredients in the crock pot except the noodles.
  2. Cook on high for about 3-4 hours, until the chicken can be shredded easily.
  3. Add the noodles and cook for another 30-60 minutes on high, until noodles are done.

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

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Breadsticks ~

Sprouted Spelt Bread Sticks

Last month I shared how to make sprouted spelt drop biscuits, sprouted spelt drop biscuits, which my family loves. Well, I took the same dough and flattened it out. Then cut it into strips.

sprouted spelt dough ~ Then I sprinkled it with a bit of garlic powder and then some salt.

Sprouted spelt bread sticks ~ lifeofjoy.meDrop biscuits have a rougher texture on the outside whereas these bread sticks have a smoother texture. They are quite good.

Sprouted Spelt Bread Sticks ~

Sprouted Spelt Bread Sticks


  • 3 cups sprouted spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups non-fat plain yogurt
  • Garlic powder
  • salt


  1. Preheat oven to 425º.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Fold in the yogurt.
  4. Roll out onto parchment paper, cut into breadsticks.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden brown. 🙂

Look at the link to see the pictorial directions. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº