Tag Archives: THM

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

IP Creamy Chicken Broccoli Rice

Although this dish is not pretty by any means, it is very good. I cooked the broccoli in the instant pot with the raw rice and frozen chicken breast and all the other ingredients because we like our vegetables really well done. Well, the broccoli totally disintegrated. I mean, no lumps at all, which was good for Sean ;) but not good if you actually want to chew broccoli. In which case, I recommend steaming the broccoli separately and mixing it into the finished dish. :)

One other ‘mistake’ I made was with the amount of chicken for the amount of rice, so I’m adjusting it here. This is basically a dump and go recipe that could be done in the crock pot, I would think.

So here goes: Place two pounds of frozen chicken breast in the instant pot. Then add rice, broth or water, broccoli, mushrooms, almond milk, and spices. Place the lid on the pot, close the vent, and press pressure cooker, high, for 25 minutes with keep it warm for an additional 10 minutes.

IP Chicken Broccoli Rice ~ Lifeofjoy.meI used water and some homemade (THM) bouillon.

water ~ Lifeofjoy.meReady to go ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe had one bunch of broccoli and knew it wouldn’t be enough, so added a bag of broccoli florets. Did you know that some Dollar Tree stores carry a pound of frozen broccoli florets for only a dollar? That’s awesome because it is more for less at most other stores; I think it is because the bags I can find are “steamable”.

When it is done, break up the chicken breasts. I use a potato masher or a meat “chopper” similar to the Mix and Chop by Pampered Chef.

IP Creamy Chicken Rice and Broccoli ~ Lifeofjoy.me

IP Creamy Chicken Broccoli Rice

Ingredients

  • about 2 pounds chicken breast
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups water or broth (I used 3 tablespoons of homemade THM Bouillon)
  • about 1 1/2 - 2 pounds broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon each onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and parsley
  • dash of each black pepper and paprika
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon glucomannan powder

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients (except broccoli if you so desire) in the instant pot, vent closed. High manual pressure for 25 minutes then keep warm for 10 minutes.
  2. Release pressure, removed lid, and break up the meat.
  3. Enjoy!
  4. I believe you could do the same thing in the crock pot 6-8 hours on low.
http://lifeofjoy.me/ip-creamy-chicken-broccoli-rice/

IP Creamy Chicken Rice and Broccoli ~ Lifeofjoy.meFYI: It really does look a bit more green in person. I modified this THM Cream of Mushroom Soup recipe.

I hope you like this. We’ll make it again and even put the broccoli in it (but will probably steam some on the side too).

Oh, by the way, we eat this as an E meal on the THM program. (Watch the amount of rice.) Best to add a salad to eat with it, keeping the fats on the salad in E limits, as there are added fats in the dish itself. :)

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

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

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

Sprouted Spelt Rolls ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Spelt Rolls

I learned that sprouted spelt flour cannot be used interchangeably for sprouted whole wheat. Yeah, in spite of a recipe saying that was indeed the case, every time I made that bread, it required more spelt than listed. I finally did some research and found that spelt flour needs 25% less water. I finally decided to just look for a spelt flour recipe and found a gem!

I chose to weigh my flour to ensure it would turn out right.

Sprouted Spelt Flour ~ Lifeofjoy.meI add the yeast and salt. I skip the sugar because I chose to use some honey instead, so I added that to the wet ingredients later.

Added salt ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdding Yeast ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen I put it into my KitchenAide mixer because it’s just easier.

Whisk dry ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meNext I heat up the water, almond milk, honey, and olive oil to 110º – 120º.

Add almond milk ~ Lifeofjoy.meWater ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd honey ~ Lifeofjoy.meheat wet ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen add the wet to the dry and mix for a couple minutes.

mix ingredients ~ lifeofjoy.meI switch out the whip for the dough hook and continue beating as described in the directions on the link.

Kneading spelt roll dough ~ Lifeofjoy.meI failed to get pictures of the rest of the process (but may remember next time I make them ;) ). I just follow Dana’s directions and they turn out wonderful.

Sprouted Spelt Rolls ~ Lifeofjoy.meI tried it as bread too but had a mishap with the rising of the loaf.

Spelt Bread ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was still edible and yummy. :)

So, go check out Dana’s recipe over on Minimalist Baker. These marvelous rolls work in an E or S-Helper setting on Trim Healthy Mama. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Matcha Nin

Energy Boosting drink with great health benefits.

Matcha Ninny is the newest of the Trim Healthy Mama drinks. It can be served hot or cold. It’s summer, so we are drinking ours cold. Here’s the link to the video on the benefits and how to make it. If that link doesn’t work for you, here’s a different one.

So we make a few tweaks to their recipe. We use chocolate protein powder!!!! They use plain protein powder but we love the hint of chocolate that the other gives to the drink. I’m not a huge fan of milk, but chocolate milk, that’s a different story entirely. :)

Sooo, in this house, you don’t make one of anything. :D So we are making two here. For yours, you’d just use half of your chosen container for both almond milk and water. Ours are these cute pint jars. We got the red one at Dollar Tree, so cute. The other has a chalk board label and was about $3 at TJMaxx or Ross or someplace like that. ;)

By using half almond milk and half water it lightens the caloric load.

water in jar ~ Lifeofjoy.meAlmond Milk in pint ~ Lifeofjoy.meIngredients ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Add the liquid to the blender.  Then add the other ingredients: matcha, sweetener (We use Super Sweet.), vanilla, coconut oil, and salt. We just get inexpensive matcha at Walmart. It probably isn’t the best quality but we like it and can afford it.

Matcha add sweetener ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd matcha ~ lifeofjoy.mecoconut oil ~ lifeofjoy.mepinch of salt ~ lifeofjoy.meDon’t forget the vanilla.

Blend.

Blend matcha nin ~ lifeofjoy.meThen add the protein powder and give it a quick whirl. Now if you like it frothy/foamy, then blend it longer but we don’t like foam.

Pour into your containers. We add a couple ice cubes because it is so hot right now that we need cool refreshment. Enjoy!

Matcha Nin ~ Lifeofjoy.meYum!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Weight Loss Progress

Weight Loss Progress ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo I did really good over the holidays at the end of last year staying within three pounds of my current weight. We had all kinds of yumminess (if that is not a word it should be ;) ), I did not feel deprived whatsoever, and I did not stick to the ‘three hour rule’ of Trim Healthy Mama (THM), which means that I did not carefully watch the clock to ensure that I was not eating too often and if others were having a snack, I joined in.

Well, I was certain that after the holidays I would faithfully follow that rule and get back to eating more salads and veggies in general, and would begin losing weight once again. But alas, March came and went and I was still firmly planted in the same weight, even my allowed three pounds up. I began getting frustrated with myself and knew I needed to do something.

Last September I was in a similar position only about twenty pounds heavier. I’d been on THM for a few months and saw a little weight loss but not much. I had been on keto for a good while prior to THM and the scales had not moved much. So I have come to realize I have stubborn weight issues. This probably has come from a stint on the hCg diet, entering menopause, and really a lot of dieting/lifestyle changes over the years.

When I purchased the Trim Healthy Mama Table cookbook they offered a free month on their membership site with it. I doubted that it would be very beneficial to me but since it was free, I checked it out. One of the things on that site are some ready made menu plans. I don’t generally like menu plans because it usually includes foods I wouldn’t normally eat. But one of them caught my eye, Stubborn Losers Menu, and there were three of them.

I talked with Tiffany and we decided we’d give it a try. Now, I used to weigh myself daily and when I was really addicted to the scales, more than once a day but that proved to be unrewarding. :D Anyway, in the previous year and a half to two years I had stopped weighing altogether. I could tell how well things were going by the tightness or looseness of my clothing; trust me when I say that clothes do not shrink in the laundry as much as I had hoped they were. ;) Okay, in all honesty, I would step on the dreaded scales when I needed to prove something to myself or just to know my clothes were telling the truth. At any rate, I decided I needed to know exactly where I was at the beginning of trying the Stubborn Losers Menu to see if it was working. I also gave myself the leeway to check in again halfway through the week to see if eating things I wouldn’t normally eat was worth it.

Well, that first week at the mid-way point I had dropped a pound and a half. That was good considering I’d been stuck at the same area for a while. It encouraged me to continue on. By the end of the first week I’d lost a total of three pounds. Now that was good. So we proceeded on to the week two menu. By the end of that week, I’d lost an additional three pounds! That was six pounds in two weeks. Now that may not be good for a lot of people but I was thrilled I was finally loosing weight again. The same thing happened with week three. So in three weeks I’d lost nine pounds.

I was concerned though because our church had a conference the next week and I would be eating out most days. I was very concerned that I wouldn’t be able to keep the weight off and that would be depressing. But by the end of conference week I’d lost an additional two pounds!!! Hallelujah!!!  And that is pretty much where I have stayed ever since. Michael’s birthday happened and then the holidays and my sole goal throughout the holidays was not to gain any weight and enjoy the holidays with family. I was successful.

However, I expected to begin losing again after the first of the year but here it is nearing the end of April and that did not happen. Nearly a third of the year is gone and I’m still where I was last October, give or take a few pounds. Now I must admit that I am at a weight that I lived at for many years; it is one of my set points of weight, so I know it will take a bit to get through it.

So, Tiffany and I decided it was time to do the Stubborn Losers Menus once again. I began by weighing myself so that I knew where I was starting from . . . yep, at the high end of those same three pounds. Ugh! This time I did not need to weigh myself during each week because I know that if I follow it without cheating, I will lose the weight. We are currently nearing the end of the second week and a few days ago I ate some on plan chocolate chips (too many of them) when I wasn’t supposed to. I decided that I needed to see where I was. Unfortunately I was only down a pound and a half! But I was down that pound and a half even after the chocolate chip indulgence (fyi: they are stevia sweetened) so at least I am making progress.

I determined to be strict with myself and stop allowing myself the little bit extra each meal, if I was not still HUNGRY; there are provisions to keep you from being hungry and miserable. ;) Low calorie and hydrating suggestions. The next morning I weighed once again to see if I’d lost those chocolate chips and thankfully another half pound had disappeared.

So, I probably won’t weigh again until after the end of the third week on the plan and will decide how strict I’m going to be afterwards at that point. Odds are high that I’m going to need to have salads daily. Sometimes they are tricky and you think you are getting away without a salad for a meal but they just disguised it by putting it into a “wrap”. :D

So that is where I am. The progress is slow but sustainable. Really at this stage of my life, I’m just so very thankful that God has lead me to something that works. I am anticipating a breakthrough to the next lower ten-pound bracket within the next month and then expect there to be a weight loss whoosh! :) Yes, very technical. hahaha But every so often my weight becomes stubborn and doesn’t desire to leave but I force it into submission by eating things I wouldn’t normally eat (like plain tuna in a salad of some lettuce and lots of celery and green onion not with mayonnaise but with soy sauce and sesame oil for example) and lower calorie snacks like Tummy Tucking Ice Cream or Fat Stripping Frappes instead of allowable chocolate chip cookies or fudgey cake or chocolate zucchini cake or cream-filled chocolate cupcakes. All of those things are delicious and completely allowable on THM BUT not conducive to ME getting rid of stubborn weight.

I highly recommend Trim Healthy Mama to you, not just for weight loss but for life. But if you’ve tried everything and still cannot seem to get the weight to move, it is soooo worth the $10 to the THM membership site to get access to the Stubborn Losers Menus. On top of that, you also get 10% off any orders you place from them.

I hope this is an encouragement to you. I’ll try to remember to get some pictures together this week to share a good recipe next week (but I’m not making any promises :D ).

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº