Cooking

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.

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Cooking

Overnight Peach Oatmeal (THM E)

Peach Oatmeal

 

 

I love oatmeal and I love my crock pot, as you all know. So when I can combine things I love, it makes me *really* happy! This recipe is easy and tasty. You can swap out the fruit for other kinds you enjoy. My family likes apple, raisin, craisin, blueberry, etc.

You will need:

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1.5 cups almond milk (regular milk works, too)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 peaches, peeled and sliced (you can use canned peaches if they are in their own juice, not syrup)
  • 2 quart crock pot
  • Sweetener of your choice in the morning

Pour all of your ingredients into the crock pot, give them a little stir, set the heat on low, and let it cook for 5-6 hours. I sweeten individual servings in the morning because we all enjoy different levels of sweetness and use different sweeteners. I also add a splash of almond milk to mine right before eating. YUM! Yields 3-4 servings, and the recipe easily doubles in a large crock pot.

I am a night owl, so I just turn the crock pot on when I go to bed between 1:00 and 2:00 AM. Five hours is the right time for mine, as I like the brown, crunchy bits on the side. Some can cook as long as 7-8 hours with the warm feature (if your crock pot has one). You can also purchase a Christmas tree light timer and set that for perfect oatmeal in the morning (if you do not have a timer built in to your slow cooker, and you go to bed during reasonable bedtime hours). They are cheap – around $10 – and work perfectly!

If you are concerned about the oatmeal burning, you can place the smaller crock into a larger one (like the 2 quart into the 6 quart slow cooker) and surround the smaller crock with water, like a double boiler. I never do this because I like those brown, crispy bits. Just offering options! 🙂

Cooking · Food

Chicken, Kale, & Kidney Bean Soup (THM E)

I have been working on a pretty simple (but very delicious) soup recipe for a while now. It’s a healthy, super-food-packed soup that is an E meal, if you are a Trim Healthy Mama. If you are just health conscious, it’s good for everyone!

 

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The cast of characters:

  • 2 cups cooked, diced chicken
  • 2 small onions
  • 1.5 cups of chopped carrots
  • 2 cups cooked kidney beans (probably two cans if you buy canned beans
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts, drained
  • 8 cups of broth (I used a mix of homemade and store bought)
  • seasonings to taste (sea salt, pepper, chopped garlic, paprika, chili powder, fresh oregano, rosemary, and basil
  • 2 cups of kale (just before serving ONLY)

I used my food processor to chop the carrots and onion. Throw all of the ingredients except the kale into a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for at least one hour, but I prefer two. I enjoy the flavors having a chance to really meld. Stir occasionally. Five minutes before serving, add the kale. Serve nice and hot with a side salad.

photo 2

 

For a printable PDF, click the image below. 🙂

Chicken Kidney Kale Soup

 

Cooking

Easy Crockpot Lentil Soup (THM E)

Do you remember two weeks ago when I posted the Layered Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken?  In that post I mentioned that I would be using the carrots and celery, and reserving some of the chicken, for soup.  Well, here is the post about that soup!  It’s an incredibly easy lentil soup that was inspired by THM, but I made a few tweaks.

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of soaked lentils (I soaked overnight)
  • 8-10 cups of chicken broth
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped
  • 3-4 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 chicken breasts, cooked, diced (optional)
  • 1 handful nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp sea salt*
  • Pepper, paprika, chili powder, Italian seasoning to taste

I soaked the 1.5 cups of lentils overnight.  In the morning, I simply drain, rinse, and toss them into my 6 quart slow cooker.  I had recently made a giant batch of broth from two chicken carcasses, so that is what I used, but you can use store-bought broth.  *The salt in this recipe is listed as 2 Tbsp because it was homemade broth and low in sodium.  If you are using store bought broth, watch your sodium content!*  I chopped up my previously cooked celery and carrots and added them, along with my remaining ingredients.  You can (I suppose) use raw chicken since it will cook for 8 hours, but the idea is not a pleasant one for me.  I baked the chicken breasts and then diced/shredded them before adding.  Chicken is optional as the lentils have plenty of protein, but I really like it with a little meat in it.

Cook this on your lowest heat setting for 8-10 hours.  This is healthy and totally delicious! I like a little sprinkle of parmesan cheese just before eating.

Cooking

Layered Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken (THM E)

I love layered dinners in my crockpot.  They are easy, versatile, and satisfy my pickier eaters who prefer their food not to be mixed together like a stew.  The variations are endless.  The best meats for this are generally fattier – chicken thighs, cheap steaks/cuts of beef, etc.  I happened to use chicken breast for this one because I am on a specific eating plan.  For any other Trim Healthy Mamas (THM) out there, this meal is an E.  It is also gluten-free.

If you’ve had issues with cooking chicken breast in your crock pot in the past, here are a few tips:

  1. Include plenty of liquid.  I always add a marinade AND chicken broth.
  2. Cook on the lowest setting your crock pot has available.
  3. Cook for only 5-6 hours…any longer and you run the risk of really overcooking it.

Meet my cast of savory characters:

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  • 1 medium white onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic (or more, if you prefer)
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (not pictured, I forgot it in the fridge)
  • 2/3 cup fat-free balsamic dressing (Maple Grove Farm, gluten-free and contains no corn syrup!)
  • 4-5 pieces (ea) celery AND carrots
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes or yams (I used white sweet potatoes today.  If you can only find larger ones, cut them down)
  • 3-4 stalks of broccoli

Slice your onion and layer half of it in the bottom of your slow cooker.  I saved the other half to make soup tomorrow.  🙂  Coarsely chop the three cloves of garlic and add them in.  I cut my chicken breasts in half because they were huge.  I added 5 pieces and reserved three for tomorrow’s soup.  Layer in the chicken pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Pour in your broth, then add the balsamic dressing.

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Clean and trim your celery and peel your carrots.  Layer these on top of the chicken to make a rack for your sweet potatoes.  These will also go into my soup tomorrow, but they are yummy to eat with dinner as well.  🙂

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Clean and stab your potatoes (HA!) and layer them on your DIY veggie rack.  Turn your crock pot onto the LOWEST heat setting and cook for approximately six hours.  My crock pot has the 4 (high), 6 (high), 8 (low), and 10 (low) hour options.  I chose 10 hours LOW for this.

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I didn’t forget the broccoli!  While the meal is simmering away, cut the broccoli into florets and leave them.  You now have two choices:

  1. Add them around & on-top of the potatoes 90 minutes before you plan to eat –  they will steam in the crock pot.
  2. Steam them on the stove/in the microwave for 10 minutes before you plan to eat.

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Voila!

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I dressed my sweet potato with 1 tsp of organic coconut oil, cinnamon, and Truvia.  I always add a couple of spoons of liquid to my chicken before eating, but you could also add an additional splash of the balsamic dressing.  This was tender and definitely not dry.  Enjoy!