Quick and easy–those are the words every busy mom wants to hear when it comes to dinner. Our desire is to create a delicious and healthy home cooked meal. However, we are tightly squeezed under the pressure of time and the schedules of our family.
Dinner goal number one is a healthy meal. One of my go-to recipes for dinner is savory chicken. Because of being diagnosed with hypothyroidism and the fact that it is hereditary, I purchase whole free range chickens from a local farmer. Not only does this family farm allow their chickens to roam freely in their pastures, but they do NOT give them supplemental feedings with soy or GMO grains. This is vitally important in the life of someone with hypothyroidism or other illnesses like autoimmune disease or even cancer.
GMO grains are inflammatory in nature so when you consume them they create inflammation throughout your body. Soy, GMO or not, is detrimental to your thyroid and your hormones. Thankfully, I was able to find a precious family farm who is conscious about how they care for their animals, which in turn cares for me and my family.
Dinner goal number two is quick and easy. There are times when God blesses us with techology and resources to help us accomplish our goals. A pressure cooker has been amazingly helpful to me for a while now. There are several different brands from which to choose, but here is the brand we use.
Now that we have been blessed with the resources, let’s get cooking!
Place rack in pressure cooker and add approximately 1 cup of water. Sprinkle dry seasonings on inside cavity and outside of chicken. Stuff chicken with quartered apple, quartered onion, celery, and a few springs of rosemary. Cook according to your pressure cooker’s directions. Mine states high pressure for 24-28 minutes and then release pressure.
There are multiple meals you an make with this recipe.
Serve it over mixed greens and raw veggies in a delcious spring or summer salad.
Serve it with mixed seasonal vegetables that have been roasted or sauteed (no nightshade veggies for folks with autoimmune or thyroid problems).
Add a sweet potato and veggies remembering to keep your fuels separated if you are a Trim Healthy Mama.
A delicious side of spaghetti squash drizzled with ghee or coconut oil would go wonderfully with this chicken. Here you’ll find an easy recipe for spaghetti squash.
Mashed cauliflower would pair well with this delicious protein as well.
I pray your meals are quick and easy, and that allows your nights to be filled with plenty of time with God and family.
Fall is approaching, but for some reason I have been craving cool, light, summery shakes in the evenings. This week I experimented with a raspberry cheesecake shake recipe. It was the perfect thing to satisfy my craving at the end of these summer days. I’m looking forward to experimenting with some fall pumpkin recipes!
Begin by blending cottage cheese and cream cheese in Ninja or other blender. Keep blending until it is smooth and creamy like this:
Once the lumps are all blended, add the frozen raspberries, almond milk, vanilla, Sweet Blend, and salt. Blend until mixed well.
Now you’ll need to decide on your optional ingredients. If you want it to be a little thicker, you can sprinkle in a pinch of glucomannan. Some people prefer their shakes to be thin, more like a milk consistency. I like my shakes to be thicker and fluffier, kind of like a milkshake. If you are like me, add ice. You can stop right there if you’re making this for a snack or you can add half a scoop of protein powder for extra protein. However, if you’d like to eat this for a meal like a smoothie, you can add a scoop of protein powder. This also makes it more frothy and fluffy. You could top it with a small dollop of fat free whipped cream. At this point your shake is low carb and low fat, so it is a fuel pull. However, if you add full fat whipping cream it will be an S.
For most of us, back to school means busy, busy, busy. I need lots of meals utilizing a freezer, a crockpot, a pressure cooker, anything that shaves time off of my busy schedule. I’ve compiled a list of meals that will makes my life easier, and hopefully yours too!
If you can carve out a Saturday, or a few afternoons of your time, you can put many of these ingredients in freezer bags and just dump them into the crockpot or pressure cooker depending on the recipe. Double the recipes to make twice as many meals or to ensure you have leftovers for lunch. You can also make large batches of waffles, pancakes or muffins and freeze them for breakfasts as well.
I hope these tips and recipes help you. I know they are going to make my life a lot easier!
Growing up, my sweet grandmama had a pressure cooker. She cooked quite a bit of meals in it, but my favorite was her fried chicken. My mouth is watering just thinking about that chicken–juice on the inside, crispy on the outside… Sorry, I’m getting a little distracted by the memory.
Unfortunately, today’s pressure cookers don’t fry chicken like the old ones, but they are much safer. We recently acquired a Cuisinart Pressure Cooker. I know lots of folks who have an Instant Pot. I think the Instant Pot is the more popular brand, but I from what I understand they are about the same.
We’ve made several recipes like cubed steak, whole frozen chickens (cooked in about half the time it takes to roast a fresh one), dried beans, brown rice, chicken and rice, and more. I think my favorite recipe right now is this spaghetti squash recipe I’m sharing below.
I love that pressure cooking shaves so very much time off of my cooking tasks. I’m always looking for ways to lighten my load and give more time to my family. Pressure cooking has been such a lifesaver for us. In fact, my husband is so intrigued by it that there have been many times when we’ve both had something on our evening schedule, and he has come home, thrown ingredients into the pressure cooker, and prepared dinner for us. I think it’s a bit of a Tim Taylor–MORE POWER grunting mentality, but that’s okay…whatever gets it done!
Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash
1 cup water
Place rack and 1 cup of water in pressure cooker. Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds. (You can remove seeds after cooking, but it’s much easier before. I forgot on to do it beforehand on this particular day.) Place it in pressure cooker. Using high pressure, cook for 8 minutes on high pressure and use quick pressure release.
Using a fork, scoop out squash, which fluffs out into strands like spaghetti noodles. Serve with your favorite meats and sauces.
A sweet aroma is in the air… Well, love is in the air too since it is Valentine’s Week. Today, I’m sharing a new cookie recipe I’ve been making for my sweet valentines lately. It’s a delicious peanut butter cookie recipe that is healthy, sugar free, gluten free, and low carb. For Trim Healthy Mamas, these cookies are a satisfying S that shows how much you love yourself and your family.
Peanut Butter Cookies, low carb, sugar free, THM S
Using mixer, cream butter, gentle sweet, and stevia. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Mix in peanut butter. Add baking blend, baking powder and salt. Stir in optional chocolate chips. Scoop tablespoon-sized amounts of dough and roll into a ball and place on prepared cookie sheet or stoneware. Gently smash down with fork and sprinkle each one with gentle sweet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan.
Rich, frothy, buttery, strong – that’s how I like my coffee. I am always looking for new flavors and healthy recipes for coffee and other drinks.
Mint and chocolate are two of my favorite flavors, and I was REALLY looking forward to having a peppermint mocha coffee. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to find we were completely out of mint extract. I had pumpkin spice and salted caramel earlier in the week, so I was craving peppermint mocha. Not craving any other flavors, I thought I’d see what kind of concoction I could create. Sometimes monumental recipes come from my little “experiments”. Occasionally it is an epic fail. NOT THIS TIME!
This time the cake batter latte was born, and it is SOOOOOO yummy! It may just top peppermint mocha as my favorite. Well, I don’t know it’s hard to top chocolate, but it is CLOSE! This recipe is lowfat, low carb, and very healthy, and I’m sharing it with you today. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
1/4 tsp butter extract (not exactly clean as it contains propylene glycol) You could skip the coconut oil and use 1/2 tsp butter instead of oil and extract; may not produce quite as much buttery flavor as the extract)
Add coffee and all ingredients in order in blender, waiting to add glucommanan and protein powder last so they don’t clump. Blend until smooth and frothy. I think I’ll go curl up on my comfy couch, grab my blanket, and enjoy my cake batter latte. I hope you enjoy yours!
Maple, pumpkin, nuts, caramel–these are the flavors that I love year round. However, it is fall so I’m indulging in them even more now. Tonight I made a rich, butter pecan shake that was so good that I had to grab my computer and immediately share it. If you like this one, you might also like my Turtle Cheesecake Shake or Pumpkin Cheesecake Shake.
Butter Pecan Shake – THM S
2 tbsp chopped pecans
1/2 cup Daisy lowfat cottage cheese
1/2-2 cups of ice (depending on how much ice you like)
Blend cottage cheese and whipping cream first to get a very thick and rich base. Then add remaining ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. If you like it with a little more ice, blend for a shorter period of time. Finely chop a few extra pecans for a garnish if you’d like. Enjoy, and Happy fall y’all!
Sunsets, waves, sand, and shells – our family vacation was a restful and blessed getaway. Returning to reality was not so restful, but that’s okay. I am slowly, but surely easing back into my routine with just a few weeks left before we resume homeschooling.
Vacations are moments when you can take a break from the madness or mundane and set off on an adventure. I’m all for a good long lapse in my busy, everyday schedule, but I’ve learned the hard way that there are some things you just don’t want to break from–time with The Lord is one of those things and my healthy lifestyle is the other.
I’ve worked toohard to flush my progress down the toilet. After being on plan for over 2 years, I’ve also come to recognize those aches, pains, and moments of just not feeling right are usually contributed by a risky and foolish veer off course. My best friend and I both decided that if we were going to alter our THM lifestyle during vacation that it would probably be best just to allow ourselves some crossovers instead of going off plan.
Since I committed to stay on plan during this vacation, before our camping trip to the beach I began planning a menu and a shopping list. Planning ahead and preparing comes naturally to me. I know it isn’t that way for everyone, but anything worthwhile that you purpose to do in life takes some amount of planning. If you expect to keep everything on course without following a path or a map, you’re going to fall apart when the enemy distracts you–and you know he will.
Depending on the location of your trip and the resources available to you, you may be limited but you just have to get creative. Taking a Saturday or an evening or two of your time to plan ahead will make your trip so much more enjoyable. No one wants to return to reality at the end of vacation, but you’ll be able to handle it better if you’ve stayed the course. Returning from vacation feeling sick, bloated, fatigued, or guilty isn’t going to help you.
Here are some things that I don’t leave home without when we go camping:
We don’t eat out much whether we are at home or away from home. Between the expense, my children’s food allergies, and my food intolerances, it’s just not something we do often. If we do plan to eat out, I research restaurants before I even leave for the trip so I can scope out the menus for things we can eat.
We do a lot of camping, so my sweet husband cooks on the open fire or on a portable grill. I do most of the cooking at home, but when we are on vacation he does most of it. Well, we are a team. I prep and he grills. I usually enjoy cooking, but this does give me a much-needed break.
For breakfasts I usually make a batch of muffins or coffeecake at home before we leave for the trip. This makes the first morning of vacation chore free so my husband and I can relax. I save at least one serving of these goodies for the last day of our trip as well, which makes the morning we pack much easier and there isn’t much to clean up.
I bring pancake mix or all of the dry THM ingredients in a zipper storage bag rather than bringing all of my separate containers of ingredients. We also eat lots of eggs, bacon, and/or sausage. For our last trip, we also brought cereal and stovetop granola from the THM cookbook. We were able to sprinkle it on our yogurt or eat it with milk. This made a good snack for the beach as well. I also made packets of dry ingredients for the muffin-in-a-bowl recipe. This is a good FP snack, dessert, or breakfast.
Adding all dry ingredients to zipper storage bags is a great way to plan ahead for hot drinks and smoothies. All you have to do is add liquids and/or ice.
For lunches, we usually eat leftovers from the dinner before. We also bring sandwich meats, sliced cheese, fruit, veggies, and bread. I make the Nuke Queen bread or Bread in a Mug recipes from the THM cookbook.
Snacks are usually packed for the beach pretty quickly by using zipper bags or storage containers. I pack a variety of things like cheese, nuts, raw veggies, greek yogurt, fruit, deli meat. I make THM pudding, gummies, superfood chews from the cookbook before vacation. Of course, I can’t go on vacation without my chocolate! The Skinny Chocolate recipe from the THM cookbook is made from coconut oil, so it melts easily. That isn’t always practical for vacation depending on where you are going and your resources. Even regular chocolate will melt quickly on the beach, so I save my Lily’s chocolate bars for the nights around the campfire when the rest of my family makes s’mores. You could make on-plan s’mores with any THM S cookie recipe, THM marshmallow recipe, and the skinny chocolate. I have done this before, too. I make the cookies ahead of time before I leave for vacation. Josephs pita crackers or any THM cracker recipes from the book are delicious treats as well.
Dinners are pretty easy if you stick to meats and veggies on the campfire or grill. We’ve gotten a little more creative and made these yummy meals:
Pulled Pork and Cole Slaw THM recipes – For our first night of vacation, we like to have an easy meal so that we don’t have to cook while we are trying to set up and settle in. On the day before our trip, I put a pork roast in the crockpot and cooked it all day. I packed a prepackaged bag of cole slaw veggies and packed ingredients to make dressing. All we had to do when we were ready to eat that night was mix the dressing and slaw, and warm up the pork in a pan on the grill.
Pizzas on the grill with side salad – We simply use Joseph’s Pitas, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and our favorite toppings. For my gluten free and soy free children, we used gluten free and soy free tortillas.
Sloppy Joeswith veggies – We made the sloppy joe recipe from the THM book by cooking it in a cast iron skillet and had veggies on the side. You could easily make a bun or bread before the trip, but I just had the filling with no bread.
Burgers – I brought a pre-made bun for the burger my husband grilled, and I topped it with a tomato slice, pickles, avocado, and lettuce. Veggies on the side are great, but the burger by itself is pretty filling.
Grilled chicken and veggies – I seasoned chicken with my favorite rub recipe Fiesta Chicken Rub and we had grilled veggies on the side. If you have the room, you could even bring tortillas and your favorite toppings for chicken wraps or tacos.
Salads – If you have refrigeration, you could easily make salads in a jar using Ball jars. Since the jars seal well, the salads stay fresh for days. You could prepare all of this ahead of time or you could simply make salad on a plate while on the trip.
I know this seems like a lot of preparation, and it was, but if you start early and plan ahead you can make it work. A few weeks before your vacation, you could plan to eat a few of the meals you will have on the trip, double them, and freeze them. Or simply prepare it the week before you leave so that they can safely be stored in the fridge for a few days up to a week before you need them. Be sure to research food safety and storage rules for and check expiration dates.
Making good choices is work no matter how you look at it. Sometimes we’re tempted to take the easy way out and give it to cheating. It’s worth it to take a little time to plan ahead. You deserve to treat your body with wholesome and healthy foods that your bodies needs to rest, relax, and enjoy your vacation.
Well, it’s going to be a while before our next trip so I’m off to enjoy some summer time activities with my children. Then I need to start planning for our next school year. If you are getting read to head out on a getaway with your sweet family, I pray it is a safe and blessed trip. I hope this vacation tips help you stay on plan!
Summer break is here and that means it’s time for lots of fruits and frozen treats! My children have really been craving slushes and ice creams. They have summer fever! We made this strawberry lemonade cream slush, and it was better than the ones I used to purchase at a certain fast food joint! It’s my new favorite dessert!