Trim Healthy Mama has changed my life. If you struggle with weight issues, blood sugar issues, or just want to get healthy, I cannot recommend this book and way of eating more. It is a game-changer and a life saver!
These hot, hot summer days make cooking in our non-air-conditioned Georgia home a challenge. I dislike heating my home with the oven more than I absolutely MUST. Sometimes the oven is needed, but other times, I just like to be creative in my cooking. My crock pot is getting a work out. I am also using my microwave, not for main dishes, but for muffins in a mug, oatmeal and other assorted and easy items.
Easy breakfasts: eggs fried in coconut oil (S), peanut butter cup oatmeal (E) served with greek yogurt, cottage cheese with fruit (E), muffin in a mug (S) found on page 256 in the book.
Peanut butter cup oatmeal (E) is something I sort of adapted from a variety of recipes I had seen online. A lot of recipes are based on soaking the oats overnight. This would require me to actually plan my breakfast. I am way too fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants to do that regularly. This is a quick, easy and delicious oatmeal recipe ready in 2 1/2 minutes. In a microwave safe bowl, add 1/2 cup Old Fashioned oats (this is important..NOT quick or instant oats!) and 1 cup water. Stir. Add in 1 TBSP de-fatted peanut flour and 1-2 tsp. good quality cocoa powder. Stir with a fork to incorporate the cocoa. Add sweetener of choice. (I like a TBSP of xylitol mixed with a doonk of THM stevia powder.) Add 1/2 scoop unsweetened vanilla protein powder. Stir it all up and cook for 2-2 1/2 minutes in your microwave on high. I eat this with plain Greek yogurt.
Muffin in a mug is made so much easier if you can make a bunch of mixes ahead of time. I use the little 1 cup jelly jars you can find at any box retailer. The dry ingredients fill the jar, then I can use a sharpie to write on the lid what is in the jar (chocolate MIM, cinnamon MIM, etc.). I know that all I need to do is throw an egg and a TBSP of coconut oil into a mug, add my dry mix and microwave on high for a minutes. I often eat some greek yogurt with this. I love the chocolate version found in the book, but there are a number of other recipes available online. Pinterest is a great resource for MIM recipes.
Eggs are good alone, but sometimes I like to change them up by adding some greens. Left-over kale or collards, fried in the oil with a little dash of garlic, then topped with the eggs make a good, healthy greens-filled start to my day. Sometimes I need this meal after giving blood.
I also love to make breakfast smoothies. They always start with about a cup of almond milk, then a protein source (either cottage cheese or protein powder, sometimes both), and then my flavors. If I am going E or FP, I can add a little fruit…. a few strawberries or up to 1/2 cup blueberries for FP. I love to play with extracts. Caramel extract added in with some defatted peanut flour, cocoa powder and sweetener makes a delightful combination. Another one I really love is to use cherry extract and a little piece of an 85% dark chocolate bar (I like the ones from Aldi best) to make a chocolate covered cherry shake. Sometimes I just like to do the Fat Stripping Frappa from the book (page 240.) Often I like a smoothie for my morning snack if I ate my breakfast early enough. Sometimes I like a decadent smoothie like this one from Nana’s Little Kitchen.
I use my crock pot quite a bit to avoid the heat. I like to throw a family pack of frozen chicken breasts into the crock pot….just the frozen chicken with a little sprinkle of sea salt and pepper…and cook on high until they are fall apart tender. I use the boneless, skinless breasts more often. This is a great way to make some FP or E meals. I LOVE to use this chicken in large salads for our evening meal. Sometimes I like to combine the chicken with mayonnaise and other S friendly ingredients for a chicken salad lunch. A family pack of chicken can last two family meals plus enough left over for lunch for one or two of us. (Remember, I generally feed anywhere from 6-9, and up to 14, on a regular basis.)
My family really enjoys my white bean chili. This is an easy (E) meal from a bunch of cans…but it is good. I get my canned beans and veggies from Aldi. If I do not have any fresh or frozen chicken breasts handy, I will use canned chicken (also from Aldi.) Here is my basic recipe: four cans of chicken with broth, or 5-6 chicken breasts (medium size) shredded (save the broth if you boiled these, like I often do in a pinch when I did not plan ahead well.) One can each: white navy beans (plain), lima beans, butter beans, garbanzo beans, cannelli beans (or white kidney beans), 8 oz can diced green chilis, corn. Empty each of the cans into the crock pot with the chicken. Add in about 2 TBSP dried cilantro, 1 TSP cumin, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, salt, pepper, and any other spices you like. (I don’t make it too spicy because the little people in my home do not like it that way, but you could add a little chili powder, or even some cayenne pepper.) If you did not have chicken broth from the cans or cooking your chicken, add some now…or cheat and use chicken bullion. Make sure the beans and chicken are covered with liquid. Cook on low until hot..and all day if you must. Serve with a large salad and some baked blue corn chips. (My kids get regular tortilla chips because they don’t need to lose weight and regular chips are much more affordable.) My children also like to eat this with a dollop of sour cream and a little cheese. I use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream and I skip the cheese.
Last night I found a new and exciting way to use spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is so versatile. We eat it with meat sauce like spaghetti or with cream and Parmesan cheese baked Alfredo style, and sometimes I eat it just with butter, salt and pepper. I have taken to cooking my squash in the crock pot–just plop the whole thing into the crock pot, no need to pierce or add water, and cook on high 5-7 hours (more or less depending on your crock pot.) I have also been trying to better utilize the food in my freezer, so I pulled out a 2 pound bag of “seasoning vegetables” that I bought several months ago at a local store. It was mostly onions and green peppers with some red pepper and celery thrown in for good measure. I also had a 14 oz package of turkey smoked sausage. We sliced and sauteed the sausage with the seasoning vegetables in about 1 1/2 TBSP of coconut oil. I let that cook down a little while I cut open and scraped out the spaghetti squash. I added the squash meat to the pan and let it cook down a bit more, adding about a TBSP of minced garlic and some sea salt and black pepper. There was a lot of moisture in the pan, so we just let it simmer a bit to allow for evaporation. It reminded the kids of sausage and sour kraut without the cabbage. We served this with some balsamic vinegar. It was a delicious light S meal and served six of us with enough left over for the Handy Man to take a small lunch portion.
And then there are the treats, because, let’s face it, I am not going to stick to any eating plan for long if I cannot indulge in something really good now and again. This young lady has a blog and posts some of the most incredible THM recipes. I won’t even take the time to detail my favorites. Just go visit her site and see for yourself! Sometimes a hot, sticky day demands a good old fashioned ice cream treat. In the old days of destructive eating, I would get the Pet ice creams bars when they went on sale at our local store, but now, I have MUCH better, tastier, healthier options. I started with the molds from Wal-Mart ($1.88 per mold, and each mold makes four pops.) This is a really nice FP fudge pop….it is better if you hold it and let it start to soften just a few minutes. Then it tastes more like a pudding pop like the ones Mr. Cosby used to advertise. While you are there, check out some of the other recipes on that site. I have bookmarked quite a few.
One more website that I must share with you, I will name. Gwen’s Nest has so many helpful guides for a beginning THMer. I would always suggest reading the book, but Gwen has some amazing recipes. Here is my current favorite. I love it so much that I rarely get to the part where I coat the pops in chocolate. I just freeze and eat the ice cream. It is that good.
I have so many other recipes I could share, and perhaps I will do so later. Eating well and eating delicious food are one and the same in our home (most of the time!) I have lost 74 pounds eating this way…and hopefully more, but I am not allowing myself to pull out the scale for the month of July.
I hope you enjoy some of these recipe treasures!