Category Archives: Tasty Tuesday

Because you have to feed them too

Summer Dessert We’ve Loved

For a while now, I’ve been craving the Strawberry Pretzel Salad. I never had this when I was young but loved it several years ago when I had my first taste. The saltiness of the pretzels really paired well with the sweetness of the rest of the dessert.

Well, I saw a keto version of this deliciousness several months ago and decided I needed to make it. Independence Day seemed like a good excuse to make it. ;) The creator said the pretzel layer was her favorite in the original dessert and so she had to get it just right. I believe she nailed it! We loved it!

My Tweaks

I made two tweaks to her recipe.

  1. I used Wild Berry Zinger Tea because I don’t like raspberry. I know, sad but true. However the Wild Berry Zinger Tea worked great for me. This has some raspberry in it but it isn’t blaringly obvious, thus tasted great.
  2. I used Neufchatel, which is a lower fat cream cheese, because I am desperately trying to lose weight and appreciate a few less calories where I can manage it.

That’s it. This deliciousness is easy to make. I made the crust early in the day because it does require baking the three ingredients in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

The cream cheese layer is no-bake and very similar to my no bake cheesecake recipe. Very simple ingredients. Just remember to get the cream cheese (or Neufchatel) out when you make the crust so that it softens by the time you are ready to make the cheesecake part.

The top layer is just sliced strawberries with a small amount of ‘jello’ to hold it all together. I refrigerated my bowl of jello and set the timer to stir it after five minutes and then forgot to reset the timer for the last five minutes and it was a solid mass. So I had to do that part over again but I just reused the same two tea bags from before. (There’s something to be said for not cleaning up after yourself immediately. :D )

I hope you’ll give this dessert a try. It really tastes great! Hubby said, “I think I know what I want for my birthday dessert.” :) My 26yo son said it kind of tasted like a pecan pie wanna be. :D He has a sweet-tooth and added more sweetener to the top of his piece the next day and liked it better; he said the strawberries were too tart/bitter. He’d never had Strawberry Pretzel Salad before so had no idea ‘context’ for what this dessert was trying to recreate. However, in the last couple of years we’ve found that we love pecan pie thus his pecan pie comment. ;) We all loved it! Kudos to Jacinda.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

 

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

My Sourdough Bread Adventure

Friday a week ago, I left off saying that I needed to go feed my sourdough starter and I did. I was preparing to make Glenda’s Honey Oat Sourdough Bread from her cookbook, Around the Family Table: Food, Fun, and Fellowship, which makes five loaves. Yes you read that right, FIVE loaves. However, I only decided to do this because I’d made her single loaf version from her website and it was gone very quickly and loved by the four of us.

Now, we generally go through 1-2 loaves of store-bought sourdough (THM plan approved) bread each week. Hubby takes a sandwich daily for his lunch and has a piece with his breakfast each morning. Son has at least one piece each morning and then the rest fluctuates. Consequently, I knew we needed at least 2 loaves a week and my options were either one loaf made using my KitchenAid mixer or two loaves by hand.

If I was going to have to do it by hand anyway, I might as well make the large batch and freeze three loaves until needed. That way I wouldn’t have to make bread every week. So five loaves it was. Trouble was, I didn’t have a bowl big enough to hold the amount of dough that I was going to end up with for five loaves of bread.

I pulled out my largest bowls and asked my family which they thought would work. Here were the bowls to choose from.I used to think my stainless steel bowl was big. :D but as you can see, it is the smallest one on the table by comparison. I was mixing the dough up in the orange-red bowl and it was already 2/3 – 3/4 full, so I knew neither of those two were going to be big enough for it all to rise in.

The red plastic bowl is one I bought for artisan bread in 5 minutes to sit in the refrigerator, several years ago, but even it didn’t seem like it’d be large enough. And although the punch bowl has a nice large top, its optimum capacity would probably be lacking.

I was beginning to think I might need to divide the dough into a couple different bowls because the cake saver lid just didn’t seem to be the right thing to use and I doubted that the lovely wooden Honduras salad bowl would work.

Then on top of all of this, I needed to cover the bowl with greased plastic wrap which meant to me that it wouldn’t be able to rise over the bowl’s rim. =)) The family voted that the cake saver lid was the best option in spite of the place where the handle is connected on the inside. I took some trusty packing tape and covered it up.

I’ve had some trouble with some pain in my right wrist in the last year or so and was concerned about the stirring of that much dough and the kneading of the dough for nearly ten minutes. Family to the rescue! They were actually quite proactive during the whole process.

Michael helped combine the ingredients with my dough whisk, which I also got for that artisan bread I mentioned earlier. Then after I’d kneaded the dough for about five minutes, I showed Sean how to do it and he spelled me for a bit. I finished it off the last minute. Then oiled the cake saver lid and put the dough inside, turning it over to get a bit of oil on the top and bottom of the dough (exactly for what reason, I do not know ;) ). Then I sprayed the bottom of the cake saver with oil and attached it.

This is what it looked like five hours later. :)

Look at those gorgeous bubbles. When I ordered my cookbook I requested the mature starter from Glenda that she so graciously offers.

It didn’t even touch the “lid”. So I guess it was a perfect fit. :)

I got out all my loaf pans. I have two of the stainless steel ones that Jane recommended, a very old dark and small one, and two glass ones of different sizes.

I stood there looking at it for several minutes trying to figure out how to get it portioned into five loaves. I finally dumped it out onto a mat and used my handy dandy dough knife. Worked like a charm!

Here they are ready to rise for about an hour or so before baking.

Unfortunately I let them rise too long and didn’t do the slits across the tops of the loaves quite right but they are still very good. Oh, and I also forgot to take more pictures.

Here is what is left some 5 days later . . .

It is a great recipe and I was even successful with it. I’ll definitely do it again. I just hope it isn’t next week. ;)

I’m sorry this bread story got so long. I promise to share a recipe with you next week. Well, technically I did share a recipe with you today because I gave you the link to Glenda’s single loaf recipe on her site. It’s what I started with before moving on to the five loaf recipe.

Have you made sourdough from scratch?

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Creamy Comfort Food ‘E’ Pasta

We frequently use Dreamfields noodles for spaghetti in a healthy fats (THM S) meal and add cheese to it to make it nice and creamy/cheesy. But sometimes we need to have a healthy carbs meal (THM E) which means little fat but still desire to have some creamy spaghetti.

We decided to cook up some of this brown rice pasta we got from Aldi and it turned out nice and creamy. :)

We bring the water to boil and then add desired amount of pasta, which we break in half or thirds.

We try to drop them in a slowly so they turn into a big clump. Then give them a stir, still trying to separate the noodles as much as possible. ;) And boil to desired doneness.

It gets pretty cloudy.

Drain but reserve some of this creamy water.

You can save some of the water in a measuring cup or such, so that you don’t have too much water in the noodles but don’t toss too much either. ;)

Then add tomato sauce and season as desired.

We add onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and a pinch of baking soda.

We added a few slices of deli low fat lunch meat to our plate with a side salad which we’d rubbed with a bit of MCT oil.

It was nice and creamy and hit the spot. Adding nutritional yeast is always a good idea too. :)

I’ll show you how I add meat to this and keep the flavor but keep it low fat too. I just have to make it again and take pictures. ;)

I hope this helps you add some healthy carbs into your diet in a healthy way.

Michele ºÜº

Cinnamon Trifle Cake

For Tiffany’s birthday last year she requested THM’s Tiramisu recipe for her birthday dessert. I don’t like coffee, so I made myself a smaller one using Cinnamon Cuffin mixes and eliminating the coffee extract from the pudding or cream, whichever it was in. She tasted both and loved both. So this year she made it easy on me and said I could just do the cinnamon version.

I used 5 cuffin cinnamon cuffin mixes for the cake. We’d gotten several boxes on sale and it is nice to have them for quick things or to make a longer recipe shorter. :)

I fixed up the pudding layer making it vanilla and then the cream layer adding vanilla and butter extracts following the directions in the THM Trim Healthy Table for tiramisu trifle cake on page 387.

Then I simply layered them in the bowl and added a few chocolate chips on top for decoration. Well, that and the fact that Tiffany loves chocolate chips and adds them to so many things. ;)

She loved it! Which is what is important, since it was her birthday dessert. I think I may use either cinnamon butter bundt cake or a pound cake next time though.

This is a nice, light, refreshing dessert. I hope you enjoy it.

Until next time, God bless,

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 Rolls (psyllium)

This is a recipe I got over from AllDayIDreamAboutFood. :) It is a low carb, all purpose bread that can be made into rolls, buns, or even a loaf of bread. I use this one so frequently that I have not one, not two, but three copies of the recipe printed out. Apparently I didn’t think I’d printed it and/or couldn’t find it several times. :)

I usually make hot dog buns, hamburger buns, or rolls with it. This time I made rolls out of the dough. Here is how I did it.

I started by weighing out Trim Healthy Mama psyllium husk and then grinding it into a powder with my clean, dry coffee grinder.

Then I measure the dry ingredients into my KitchenAid mixer bowl and whisk it.

Then add in the wet ingredients, generally including the higher amount of water in the directions. (I don’t dump it all in at once but have found that I usually need the larger amount.)

I do not use the dough attachment, just the regular beater attachment.

After letting the dough sit the required time, I divide it into fourths and then into 3 to form a total of 12 rolls.

I bake them for the full hour to ensure that they are fluffy and not gooey inside at all.

This night we had them with baked pizza meatballs.

So, head on over to Carolyn Ketchum’s blog and get the recipe.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

black cocoa candy ~ Lifeofjoy.me

“OREO” “Skinny Chocolate”

Yeah, I know those are a lot of quotation marks but OREO is a trademark and Skinny Chocolate is a chocolate recipe made by Trim Healthy Mama, so I’m just covering my bases. ;) I also know that this picture is not pretty but I don’t care, I wanted to share this pronto.

So here’s the deal, this is a healthy homemade chocolate candy that tastes like Oreo cookies but is made with the same simple, healthy ingredients that the THM Skinny chocolate is made from.

I never realized that Oreos got their taste from . . . get this . . . BLACK COCOA! Yeah, I went out on a limb after watching this youtube video by Marissa and this one by Lindsey and ordered the recommended black cocoa from amazon.

I got it in time for my birthday this last weekend and Tiffany promptly made some for us. OMG!!!! This stuff tastes like Oreos! So now I am going to try out Kristie Sullivan’s oreo type cookie from her Gatherings cookbook and use this black cocoa in it; I just know it is going to be amazing because if coconut oil, sweetener, and black cocoa powder can taste like an Oreo, then I am sure that the cookie using this black cocoa is going to be amazing. :D

So, don’t hesitate, head on over to youtube and watch how easy this candy is to make.

Oh, we don’t melt the coconut oil. Because the current temperature is a bit warm, our coconut oil is soft but not liquidy. Consequently Tiffany just mixes it with the other ingredients and the spreads it onto a parchment paper lined plate and puts it into the freezer until it solidifies. Then we just break off what we want and enjoy. :)

Yeah, I know the cocoa is expensive but it is worth it!

Michele ºÜº

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