Balsamic Chicken & Kale Pita “Pizza” (THM FP)

I’ve missed you! I have been busy eating garbage food since Thanksgiving (just being honest here) and so I had no new recipes to share with you. I decided to get my act together for the new year, so I started a THM Fuel Cycle. It’s just a more pure version of the THM eating plan, minus cheese and nuts, and with a set way to eat for two weeks. You can learn all about it in Chapter 28.

I always find myself struggling on the fuel pull days. Those of you familiar with the plan will know what I mean. Fuel pull means no significant source of carbs OR fat. You are really asking your body to burn up your own stores. Food choices get really limited and meals can become challenging.

Yesterday I was looking for something yummy and filling to eat, and I came up with this! I hope you enjoy it. I didn’t take a any extra photos, so I hope you can get the general idea. You can absolutely adapt this recipe to be an S meal, or even an E with a little more effort. I will post ideas after the main recipe. But when you can have a delicious FP, I say go for it! I am calling it “Balsamic Chicken &  Kale Pita Pizza.”

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Joseph’s Pita
  • 1 Light Laughing Cow cheese wedge
  • 3 oz boneless chicken breast, baked and cubed
  • 2-3 large handfuls of raw kale, torn into small pieces
  • 1 medium roma tomato, diced
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 2-3 Tbsp fat free balsamic dressing (I used Maple Grove Farms)
  • salt, pepper, oregano to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 400°.  Mix the chicken, kale, tomato, garlic, balsamic dressing and seasonings in a medium bowl until well combined. Set aside and let it marinate while the oven heats up. Spread the laughing cow cheese over the pita and place it on a baking sheet. Pile the yummy chicken and veggies on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the pita is crispy and everything has had a chance to get nice and toasty.

I called this a pizza, but in reality, you will probably need a fork to eat it. It was scrumptious and my hubby loved it…he ate TWO!

Variations:

To make this an S, add real mozzarella or other cheese on top. You could probably also add olives for added flavor.

To make this an E, you could ditch the pita and use Gwen’s easy bread dough for the crust. I would pre-bake the crust and then proceed as planned.

Bon apetit!

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THM Stuffed Acorn Squash (E)

This was a pretty easy and very tasty recipe that was perfect for a November dinner. I tweaked the recipe I found here to be THM friendly by skipping the higher fat items, keeping this meal high in healthy carbs, but low in fat. All nutrition info will be listed at the bottom. 🙂

THM Stuffed Acorn Squash (E)

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 3/4 cup quinoa (I used red for color and flavor preference)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 2 slices of sprouted wheat bread, toasted and cubed
  • Ripped up handful of kale
  • 1 Tbsp+ extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 2 Tbsp chicken broth
  • Sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, poultry seasoning, and ginger to taste

I apologize again for never ever measuring spices! I am a shake and eye ball kind of girl but I used in the neighborhood of 2 tsp of salt, 1.5 tsp of pepper, 1 tsp of garlic powder, rosemary, and poultry seasoning. I just added a shake or two of ginger.

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  2. Slice the acorn squash in half (without losing a limb) and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Spray or brush the cut sides of the squash LIGHTLY with oil. I sprayed mine very minimally.
  4. Put the chicken breast and squash in separate pans and pop them into the oven (don’t prep the chicken,  just cook it).
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  6. As soon as you put the squash & chicken in the oven, start cooking the quinoa.
  7. Chop and prepare any veggies.
  8. Start sauteeing the onions in 1 Tbsp of oil. When they start to carmelize, add the fresh garlic and the mushrooms. Season, season, season.
  9. Add the cubed bread, liquid aminos, broth, and handful of kale – heat through.
  10. When the quinoa is finished, add that and set the stuffing aside.
  11. Remove the chicken and squash from the oven when fully cooked.
  12. Cube the chicken and add it to the stuffing mixture.
  13. Stuff the acorn squash (really pile it on!) and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Drool. Eat. Enjoy every bite.

Nutrition info:

Serves Four

Calories – 366.

Fat – 7.9 grams (that includes the chicken, which should not be counted if you are a THM). Saturated fat – 1.4 grams. Polyunsaturated fat – 1.3 grams. Monounsaturated fat – 3.5 grams.

Carbohydrates – 45.6 grams. Fiber – 3.5 grams. Sugar – 3.7 grams.

Protein – 32 grams.

Perfect Mashed Cauliflower (THM S)

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This recipe is DELICIOUS, if you like cauliflower, and if you are not on a diet that limits fat. Fat is my third favorite “F” word. One of them is “Friday.” You can use your imagination on the other one…I am working on it, ok? 😉

This recipe is NOT low fat, as I was heavily hinting at above. It’s healthy depending on your perspective on the subject. If you are going to eat this with something sugary/carby, that would be bad. If you plan to eat a sensible, low-carb meal, it’s very healthy! You will need a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, I can make no guarantee about how creamy it will turn out.

On to the recipe! You will need:

  • Two 12 oz bags of frozen cauliflower (I use these because they are convenient, affordable, and steam nicely)
  • 3-4 Tbsp cream cheese (you can use reduced fat)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley flakes (optional) to taste

Pour the frozen cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl. Add a tiny bit of water, cover and steam for 15 minutes. Remove and drain well in a colander. You can even press down on the cauliflower a little bit to get extra moisture out. Dump the cauli and remaining ingredients into your food processor. Use the blade that reaches nearly to the edges of the processor…you want this well-blended and very creamy, with no lumps. Pulse a few times to make sure the cream cheese and butter start to melt in, and then set that puppy to “ON” and let it go to town.

After a minute or two, you should have very creamy, super yummy mashed cauliflower. Feel free to add it to another serving dish, or you can be lazy like I am and just spoon it right from the processor. It’s YUMMY! So very, very yummy! I barely miss mashed potatoes.

It is also really good with a clove of garlic. I steam the clove with the cauli and then blend it right in. Your breath will smell like garlic for hours after – fair warning. Obviously, if you use fresh garlic, skip the garlic powder.

This recipe makes 4 large servings, or 6 smaller servings.

Braised Leg Quarters with Brussels Sprouts

I whipped this up last night in a frenzy of “oh crap, I took meat out to thaw but forgot to put it in the crock pot.” I am sure I am not alone in that. I had good intentions, but a busy morning, and it was nearly dinner time before I realized I never started dinner. It was a happy accident, however, because this dinner was really yummy.

I am not technically sure if I am allowed to call it braised, but I am going with it. Just humor me. 😉

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 packages Brussels sprouts
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 8-12 garlic cloves (or more, go crazy!)
  • Salt, pepper, paprika, oregano to taste*

 

Preheat your oven to 375. Add the olive oil to a skillet and heat it up. Season the leg quarters well, and then fry them in the oil to nicely brown the skin. This is a bit of work, but the end result is really, really yummy. You don’t want pale, unseasoned skin…trust me.

photo 2

 

While you have those frying, add the Brussels sprouts, garlic, onion, chicken broth, and some more seasonings to a dutch oven or other covered baking dish. I used my Pampered Chef Deep Baker.

photo 1

photo 3

Arrange your browned leg quarters on top, cover, and bake for one hour. I set my timer for 40 minutes and started a batch of red quinoa during the last 20 minutes of cook time. The flavor was pretty awesome on this and the chicken was tender and delish. I will definitely be making it again, because getting my kids to rave about Brussels sprouts was a major win. Also, it’s pretty easy. Ten minutes of effort and then sitting around waiting for it to finish.

photo 4

YUM!

Italian-Style Stuffed Zucchini (THM S)

You know when you decide to experiment with a recipe for dinner, and right after you begin cooking you think, “Gee, I should probably take pictures and blog this?”  No?  I guess it’s just me then.  🙂 I had a few zucchini sitting in my veggie crisper and I was craving lasagna, but I didn’t want to go through all the hassle of making low carb zucchini lasagna.  What’s a girl to do?  Well, obviously, make an easier stuffed zucchini version!  I forgot to take pictures until I got started, but I think I managed to get everything but the onion. The cast of characters:

photo 2 (6)

4 zucchini, sliced lenghtwise

photo 1 (6)

1 lbs ground beef (Italian sausage would be delish!)

1 cup ricotta cheese, 2 roma tomatoes (diced), 1 medium onion (chopped, not pictured), 1 cup of chopped spinach, 1 cup reduced sugar spaghetti sauce, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder (to taste), Italian four cheese blend

Pre-heat oven to 350°.  Pre-slice and dice all veggies before beginning.  Place sliced zucchini into a foil-lined pan (I strongly reccoment foil…learn from my sadness) and pre-bake for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, begin browning the ground meat and when nearly done, add the onion for flavor.

Beef and onion...Mmm!

Beef and onion…Mmm!

Cook meat completely, with no signs of pink.  Drain grease.  Take the zucchini out of the oven and scoop the middle, creating a zucchini “boat.”  Chop up the zucchini innards and add it to the meat, along with the diced tomato and spinach.

Meat and all veggies.

Meat and all veggies.

Cook the meat & veggie mixture for an additional 5 minutes, then add the spaghetti sauce, ricotta cheese, and spices.  Heat though.

Almost ready for stuffing!

Almost ready for stuffing!

Stuff the zucchini boats with a generous portion of the filling.  Top with a generous sprinkle of the four cheese blend and pop them into the oven.

OMG - cheesy goodness!

OMG – cheesy goodness!

Bake 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown, and the zucchini boats are softened.  Enjoy!

photo 4 (4)

Sooooooooo good!

And finally for the very first time, a printable recipe!!  I am really getting my blogging act together.  Go me!  Just click below for a printable pdf.  🙂 Untitled

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