Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Trim Healthy Mama- Swimming Rama Chicken in Peanut Sauce

Don't be daunted by the seeming length of this recipe it's 20 minutes prep, 20 minutes of cooking the dish, and some of that can be made ahead. If you like, skip down to the peanut sauce portion, make it ahead, and store it for a couple of days in the refrigerator, then heat it back up after you've browned some chicken strips and steamed some vegetables.That's a good piano lessons or soccer practice night speedy dinner, if you ask me. Brown rice or quinoa can always be cooked ahead in chicken broth and reheated in the microwave as a side dish for growing bodies or those who need extra calories.

Peanut sauce is hearty and filling and It's quite versatile. At our house it  works nice as a dipping sauce for chicken strips on a stick, or poured over a bowl of stir fried veggies and scrambled egg strips. 


The ingredient you may not have in your cupboard is available in most Asian sections of your supermarkets, labeled fish sauce. Its salty and pungent, and made of anchovies, but it flavors the peanut sauce deftly, and substitutes fall short. I'll put up a salad dressing for steak salad, that you will use more fish sauce in, so you won't feel like you're doing a one time purchase. I predict your family will ask for this one again and again.

Thai Swimming Rama chicken with cabbage and spinach

Feeds my family of 8 (3 teens, 2 parents, 3 littles)

2 (10 ounce) packages fresh spinach or 1 family size  fresh spinach (this is about 10-12 cups raw leaves but makes only 1.5 cups cooked and packed)

1 medium head (about 2 lbs) of thinly sliced but not shredded cabbage. Think egg noodle width, not coleslaw. You may use green, napa, bok choy, savoy, red cabbage, or whatever you prefer, but you'll need at least 5 cups of sliced cabbage.

During gardening season I will slice up a couple of red sweet bell peppers (capsicum), or shave thinly a few carrots, for extra color and variety

Or you may substitute thinly sliced broccoli or brussel sprouts, or cauliflower for a part of the six cups of sliced veggies to go with the 10 cups of spinach. 

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, sliced crosswise into 1/2 inch wide strips 

Peanut Sauce
2 T coconut oil, refined is fine (divided for 3 uses)


1 cup onion, finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup peanut butter, unsugared

4 Tablespoons fish sauce (yes, you need this!)

2 teaspoon paprika, I like the smoky style

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 cups coconut milk, unsweetened (or if nut allergic use chicken broth)


4T Truvia sweetner or Xylitol as desired (or micro-sprinkles of stevia to taste to equal this) (You will be adding lime later, so sweeten up!)



1teaspoon or so of gluccomannon or xanthan gum to thicken



2 squeezed limes  or ~1/4 cup lime juice


Directions:
Toss chicken strips with salt and pepper (start with 2 tsp. salt & 1/2 tsp pepper) and with 1 teaspoon smoked paprika. Set aside while you heat the oil over medium high heat in a large dutch oven or very large skillet or wok.

Heat 2 teaspoons of coconut oil until it's glistening and pan is hot, then toss in half the sliced chicken, and cook until browned on edges but not necessarily cooked through. You will cook more in the end. Set aside in a bowl and add 2 tsp. more coconut oil into the hot skillet and toss in the remaining half of the raw chicken. Cook until browned, and nearly done. Add to the bowl of the browned but raw chicken.

To the hot skillet you cooked the chicken in, please add the remaining 2 teaspoons of coconut oil. Drop in the finely diced onions and mince the garlic into it, taking care not to burn the garlic. Cook and stir occasionally, 2 minutes until the onion is tender, reducing heat at the end to medium. 

Now add your 1 cup of peanut butter to the onions and stir in fish sauce, sweetener to the equivalent of 4T of sweetness, and gently stir in the coconut milk, and add one more teaspoon of paprika, and a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste. My children prefer tiny bits of cayenne, here. Get your whisk ready, and sprinkle one teaspoon of gluc or xanthan gum  over the top of the peanut sauce and whisk whisk whisk until completely smooth.

Now add your mostly, but not completely cooked chicken, to the hot peanut sauce. Let simmer, covered, on low, for the 5-8 minutes as you prepare the vegetables. 

Heat on medium high heat a large wok or frying pan with a lid. Toss in 1/4 cup of hot water, wait for it to boil, then add the sliced head of cabbage and pour on 1/4 cup of water and several good shakes of real salt. Stir a quick bit, then top with the lid. Let steam on med-hi for 5 minutes, adding 1/4 cup hot tap water at the 2 minute mark if needed to keep steam. Check for tenderness at the 5 minute mark, and add the spinach leaves, push down, cover again, and let the spinach wilt for 2 more minutes. 
Swimming Rama Chicken in Peanut Sauce

Give spinach and cabbage strips a quick toss with tongs to mix them up a bit, Taste to see if you need salt and pepper, and distribute the mixture to a large platter, making a nest to put the Chicken and peanut sauce upon.
Taste your long simmered peanut sauce and chicken. Does it need more salt? Pepper? Cayenne? Now pour in the 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, give it a stir, and taste it again. Does it need another tablespoon of sweetener to balance out the sauce? It should have a balance of salt, acid, sweet, and a little hint or more of spice. If it's just right, then ladle your chicken and sauce right onto your nest of cabbage and spinach.



Optional Garnishes: If you like,  this is where you may garnish it with 1 cup of chopped peanuts, 1 finely slivered skinny red hot pepper, or cilantro-coriander leaves, a handful of raw mung bean sprouts, or all four.


Serve with 1/2 cup of broth-cooked quinoa or brown rice as S helpers, because this is definitely an S meal. Or just enjoy it on your veggies and call it delicious, because it is!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Winter Pumpkin Stew with Sausage - THM


THM - Sausage and Pumpkin Winter Stew

This delicious winter stew has a combination of flavors that work so well together that you'll wonder why you didn't grow up with this for dinner every Thursday night during the winter. The second time you make this (and there will be!! ) you might want to double the batch and freeze some for a quick dinner night.

Don't be afraid of the unusual, they may turn out to be your favorites. I bought a bag of radishes on the advice of a friend and was timid about making them for my family. We always ate them cold and raw growing up, but this recipe, like several other new ones I've tried, cooks them until tender and gently flavored, like a potato. Really!! My children now love them, and come back for more. Toss some in your next pot roast and you'll see what I mean. Low in carbs, and satisfyingly delicious.

Your choice of 1 (12 ounce) roll pork or turkey sausage (try Italian or breakfast or maple flavored sausage) OR


1 pound of venison or other lean bulk sausage (turkey, chicken, wild game meat) of your choice


1 diced onion2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. basil leaf, dried1 tsp. sage or poultry seasoning
2 cups fresh mushrooms, chopped2 cups zucchini or yellow summer squash, small diced OR
2 cups of diced pink radishes


1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin OR
1-3/4 cups of winter squash or pumpkin puree **


4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream or thick coconut milk
1/2 cup water if necessary1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg



Directions: 
Brown sausage, drain, then add the onion, garlic, basil, mushrooms, zucchini, and and sauté until tender. Try the radishes at this point -- see, yummy and not bitter at all!!
 
Add pumpkin to this mixture and mix well.
 
Then stir in the broth and mix well. If necessary add 1/2 cup of water to thin to the consistency you prefer. Add more water as necessary.
 
Simmer 20-30 minutes. Right before serving, add the nutmeg, then stir in 1/2 cup of cream of your choice. Top with a splash of hot sauce in the servings of those who crave the heat.

Makes 6 hearty servings of delicious winter superfood.
** (Bake a squash or pumpkin, scoop out the flesh, puree until smooth with a stick blender or in a blender container, then measure 1-3/4 cups). Use the rest to make pumpkin pie smoothies or puddings or muffins.

Trim Healthy Mama would count this as S for satisfying. 

www.trimhealthymama.com sells the book that inspired me and my weight loss. As mothers of large families, they knew how to keep a real budget and feed the family as well as inspire them all to be healthy.

Luscious Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole

Spaghetti Squash Luscious Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole


Or Trim Healthy Mama -ified 

Mormon Funeral Potatoes.

I grew up with a mother who cooked for our big family and in a church with a warm-hearted tradition of providing a family meal for funerals. Often this hash brown casserole known as Mormon Funeral Potatoes (or just Funeral Potatoes) was served alongside ham, green beans, and homemade rolls -- food to soothe grieving hearts. Families gathered at round tables in the cultural hall and reminisced of happier days when they were together. This dish holds warm memories for so many, that I had to try this version to keep it on our recipe list while trimming our waistlines in a most delicious way.  . Cracker Barrel makes a good one, too, but mine is more slimming, when paired with a low carbohydrate dinner. Try it, even if it is your first attempt at spaghetti squash.


Almost... Funeral Potatoes

2 medium spaghetti squashes or 1 really big one

1/4 butter or coconut oil
1 large sweet onion, shredded on a grater
1 teaspoon dried  thyme leaves
1 cup sour cream or 0% Greek Yogurt
1cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese for the dish
1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese for topping


First cut squash in half. Use a big knife, stab through the middle and wedge it down toward the outside. Then take out the knife and repeat on the other side working outwards. (It’s easier that way than trying to cut through the whole thing at once). 

Now remove the seeds. Place in a covered dish with a ¼ inch of water and microwave for 10 -12 m
inutes, per each medium squash. Repeat for the second one, and check at 12 minutes on the large one, to see if it's tender enough for the strands of the squash to separate with a fork.

Or if you prefer, put all your cut squashes on a baking sheet with sides, cut side up in a 350* oven and bake until tender, approximately 45 minutes for all of them. They will look a little bit dried out, and a fork should be able to easily shred the flesh into spaghetti strands, when it's done. You can cook these ahead in the day, and then assemble the squash dish later on, if that's more convenient. Just start with warm or room temperature squash strands.


In a medium sized skillet over medium heat, add the butter or coconut oil, onions, thyme and cook until the onions soften but don't yet take on any color. Salt and pepper to taste. Start with a 1/2 tsp. of real salt, as this has to flavor the whole dish, not just the onions. You can add some minced garlic if your family likes it, here too, some ham or turkey chunks, or leftover roast beef to make it a main dish casserole.

Add the sour cream and 1 cup of shredded cheese, and stir to warm and melt together. Taste for sufficient salt, and don't forget the black pepper. If you like spicy food, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Reserve the last cup of cheese for the top.


Using a fork, scrape the insides of the squash and transfer to a mixing bowl.  Pour the warm sour cream & cheesey onion mixture over the fork-shredded squash strands. Gently fold the sauce in, without smashing up the squash. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 13x9 baking dish and top with remaining cheese. If you prefer you can also toss 1/2 cup of low carbohydrate bread crumbs with 2 T of melted butter and top the dish to make a more crunchy topping.
Place into a 375º for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top. If it browns too quickly, cover with a tent of aluminum foil to allow it to heat more evenly all the way through.

This is a delicious dish, as S for satisfying fats, on the Trim Healthy Mama plan. If you use 2% cheese and 0% Greek Yogurt, it would be an E for energizing.

To find out more about the book, Trim, Healthy Mama, please see the authors' website at 
http://www.trimhealthymama.com/



Friday, October 11, 2013

Trim Healthy Mama - Asian Lettuce Cups


Quick Asian Lettuce Cups - Trim Healthy Mama


This can be put together quickly with ground meat, store bought shredded carrots, prepackaged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage), or your food processor. A quick toss of raw peeled cubes of butter nut squash into the food processor will have this ready in no time! Then a quick stir fry, and you're ready to eat. Fabulous flavor, fiber, and figure friendly fun!

1 pound ground meat --use lean ground pork, chicken breast, turkey, grass fed beef, venison or other lean meat

1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped green onion or scallion
2 small cloves garlic, pressed or minced
3 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp. water
2 tsp. truvia sweetner, or sprinkles of pure stevia extract


1 T coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil for sauteeing
2 cups cabbage, shredded (1/2 small head or use pkg'ed preshredded)
1 Tbsp. of water
2 cups shredded peeled butternut squash or other raw winter squash or carrots (3 large raw) - not low carb

Iceberg lettuce, Romain Lettuce, or Other lettuce to make cups or wraps. Butter lettuce makes easy little cups too.


Directions:

Combine the ground meat, green onions, water, soy sauce,  sweetener, pepper, garlic, and water.  Marinate for 1/2 hour or add 1/4 tsp. meat tenderizer (unseasoned) and wait 5 minutes. 

Add oil to pan, heat.  Stir in meat mixture. Cook until meat loses its pinkness, but not quite done.  Remove from pan. 

Sauté vegetables in a small amount of oil for 2 minutes, then add the water, and cover and cook for 2 more minutes. Taste a shred of squash to see that it's crisp-tender (al dente).   Add meat and heat through to finish cooking.  
Cayenne pepper, hot curry powder mix or red chili peppers may be added to make it spicy for the adventurous eater. Serve piled into crisp lettuce cups, or serve with crisp leaves of lettuce for diners to roll up their own like a soft taco. Quinoa or brown rice cooked in broth is nice served alongside.  This is excellent with a Quick cucumber salad. Recipe included below.

Quick Cucumber Salad.

Peel a large cucumber or leave zucchini unpeeled, slice into matchsticks or rectangles, and set aside. In small bowl, stir 2T truvia into 2 T. of vinegar of your choice. Add 1 tsp. real salt or celtic salt. Stir until crystals all dissolve, add 1/4 tsp. powdered ginger, and pinch of turmeric. Stir well, and toss with match stick cucumbers. Match cut Radishes may be added if desired.  If desired a sprinkle of cayenne powder may be added to the dressing. This can be eaten right away.
The book that inspires me is by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett. Trim Healthy Mama: No More Fads!: A Common Sense Guide to Satisfy Your Cravings and Energize Your Life (Kindle Locations 8923-8938). Above Rubies.  www.trimhealthymama.com

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Trim, Healthy, Mama Harvest Treats - Pumpkin Cheesecakes




 Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts - Trim, Healthy Mama  S 
Harvest Treats

CRUST for the tarts
3/4 cup almond meal, almond flour, or home ground almonds

1.5 T melted butter or coconut oil
1.5 T  Truvia sweetener
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice

FILLING:

  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) Greek yogurt style cream cheese or Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup  canned 100% Pure Pumpkin or cooked butternut, or other winter squash from your garden
  • 1/2 cup granulated Truvia plus a few sprinkles of pure stevia extract powder (I use Trader Joe's) -- to taste1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or use  1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ginger, 1/8 tsp. allspice, pinch of nutmeg)
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt, plain, unsweetened, mixed with 1 tsp. Truvia
  • 1/4 cup Sugar Free Hershey's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, melted with 1 tsp. coconut oil or butter

PREHEAT oven to 325*. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper or aluminum foil liners.

COMBINE
 almond meal, spices, sweetener and butter in small bowl. Press scant tablespoon onto bottom of each of prepared muffin cups. Bake for 5 minutes.

BEAT cream cheese, pumpkin, sweetener, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until blended. Add eggs; beat well. Pour into muffin cups, filling 3/4 full.

BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack. Remove tarts from pan; refrigerate. Right before serving garnish the tarts with sweetened yogurt, and a drizzle of melted sugar free chocolate chips.


 Place morsels in small, heavy-duty plastic bag. Microwave on HIGH (100%) power for 20 seconds; knead. Microwave at additional 10-second intervals, kneading until smooth. Cut tiny corner from bag; squeeze to drizzle over tarts.

 The following recipe was adjusted to make it low carb and Trim, Healthy, Mama -- friendly. You can learn more or order the book for your family at www.trimhealthymama.com or see their page on Facebook.


http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/28492/pumpkin-cheesecake-tarts/detail.aspx?cmp=FB_recipe_10-07-13

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Trim Healthy Mama - Kolz Garden Pizza Casserole

Kolz Garden Pizza Casserole (made with Venison or Grassfed Beef)

I used the inspiration from www.trimhealthymama.com 's "Pizza Casserole" which is an "S" in their diet plan. S for satisfying, yet trimming.


Brown 2 lbs. of venison or grass fed beef (which should be lean and have nothing to drain off, if not, then drain please). Add some garlic salt to taste, and a good pinch of celtic or REAL salt with minerals. Spread 1/2 of this meat as a layer of ground, cooked meat in the bottom of a large casserole dish (13x9 works for me).  Top with a thin layer of no-added-sugar Pizza or Pasta sauce that you prefer. You can even use alfredo sauce here, if you like, and add a little extra garlic -- that's my favorite.

Now sprinkle the whole lot of it with dried basil, oregano, and some garlic powder.

In the same skillet saute 2 onions***, a finely diced green pepper, a zucchini (shred or finely dice), until onions are clear, softened and veggies are nearly tender. It will cook more in the oven. You may add mushrooms if your family likes them too!


Sprinkle the cooked veggies on top of the sauce. Now add chopped olives if you like, sprinkle lightly with shredded mozzarella or farmer cheese. Top with turkey pepperoni now.

Use the rest of the ground meat for the next layer, and add a thin layer of your sauce again. Top the sauce with a thin layer of mozzarella cheese again, and sprinkle with more pepperoni scattered on top. Or diced bacon. It's your call. Bake at 400*  for 20-30 minutes, to heat all the way through, which should crisp your topping and warm up all the cooked veggies.

If you find your oven on the fritz, you can cook on the stove top, and then assemble into your crockpot, and leave it on low until you're ready to eat, which will melt the cheese!

You may include a layer of cooked spaghetti squash on top of the hamburger, to make this recipe even more hearty and filling. Just leave out the zucchini in that variation. I think your family will really like it.

****For speedy prep, just put a de-seeded bell pepper, 2 peeled onion, and zucchini into the food processor and bzzt until it's shredded up, and fry them in olive oil until tender, and you're almost done with this recipe.

Consider some of these combos:  Chicken and onions and peppers and alfredo sauce with spaghetti squash; beef and sausage and peppers and onions with marinara sauce and zucchini; beef and garlic and green chiles and cumin and green salsa instead of pasta sauce, topped with chorizo instead of pepperoni.







The book that inspires me is by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett. Trim Healthy Mama: No More Fads!: A Common Sense Guide to Satisfy Your Cravings and Energize Your Life (Kindle Locations 8923-8938). Above Rubies.  www.trimhealthymama.com

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Trim Healthy Mama - Swiss Chard Pockets with sausage and turkey

My camera is out of commission, so this is not my photo, but our stuffed swiss chard pockets looked eerily similar. Just picture the toddler helped me pour the spaghetti sauce over the top in our 13 x9 casserole pan. Thank you.




Swiss chard cooks tender rather quickly, so it doesn't require the long cooking that cabbage rolls would. My family likes sausage so that's a natural marriage in our household, to include sausage and ground turkey as a filling for swiss chard pockets.

Ingredients:
16 swiss chard leaves (large)
1 large sweet onion, chopped small
1 pound turkey or venison sausage (breakfast or Italian style)
1 pound ground turkey, plain
1 quart of marinara or spaghetti sauce, no sugar added please
1 8 oz. can Hunt's tomato sauce (this is natural, no sugar added)
2 tsp. oregano leaf, dried or few tablespoons chopped fresh leaves

Preheat oven to 375* F, or Gas mark 5 for my European friends.

Wash and dry the swiss chard leaves, and cut the large celery like stems off, and mince the stems and set them aside.

Saute' in a non-stick pan your sausage and ground turkey meat, the onion, the chopped chard stems, then season it all with garlic salt or minced garlic and celtic salt. When meat is cooked through, add canned tomato sauce and oregano, and stir to combine. Taste to be sure it's well-seasoned.  Cook a little longer to dry the mixture up a bit, so it's not too loose. Divide the meat mixture into 16 servings, roughly, so that you can fill each leaf.

Use cooking spray to coat 13x9 or similar baking pan. On a large cutting board or dinner plate lay out the raw swiss chard leaf, and spoon a narrow allotment of sausage mix into the leaf, fold or roll, seam side down and lay it into your pan. The food police do not live at your house, so just get them stuffed and folded and filled. Repeat 15 times, then sprinkle the rolls with a little salt and pepper, cover the pan of rolls with the quart of spaghetti sauce, wrap tightly with aluminum foil or other lid, and bake in oven for 1 hour until rolls are fall apart tender.

This dish has enough sauce that you'll be pondering serving it over mashed potatoes for those with high metabolisms, or faux-tatoes (creamed mashed cauliflower) for the rest of us, or even 3/4 cup of steamed quinoa. It's very good any of those ways. You can have this delicious dinner guilt free, and even top it with parmesan cheese if you like.

This is low fat, and has a reasonably small amount of carbohydrates, which would be an E food for the THM plan.