Thursday, July 30, 2015

Baked Spaghetti "Zoodle" Casserole



***This post contains affiliate links. You are in no way obligated to purchase anything. If you do so I receive a small commission, which does not affect your purchase price in any way. By purchasing through my affiliate links, it helps to cover the costs of operating my site. Thank you for your consideration and support!

My favorite thing this summer is zucchini noodles, or zoodles for short. I just CANNOT get enough of them. I'm not sure why I waited so long to try them, but I'm so glad they're a part of my food life now. I use this fun little gadget to turn the zucchini into zoodles. It's very simple to use, and even my 10 year old helps me make them.

Since I started eating healthier 2 years ago, one dish that I've really missed is Baked Spaghetti Casserole. True, I could use Dreamfield's pasta, but I try to use as little processed foods as possible, plus using zucchini packs more of a nutritional punch. Since I started making zoodles all the time, I got the idea to try to use those in place of regular noodles in the Baked Spaghetti Casserole. Well I'm SO happy to report that they worked beautifully and I can now eat my new version of an old classic guilt free.

If you follow Trim Healthy Mama, this is an S dish. This dish is sugar-free, gluten-free and grain-free.

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Printable Recipe
Baked Spaghetti "Zoodle" Casserole  (Serves 4-6)
  • 1# ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • (4) medium zucchini, made into noodles using this (or a similar) gadget
  • 24 oz. no sugar added spaghetti sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 4 T. butter, melted and cooled
  • 16 oz. 2 or 4 % cottage cheese
  • 1 t. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium skillet, over medium heat brown the ground beef, onion and green pepper until ground beef is no longer pink. Meanwhile in a non-stick skillet, salt and sauté the zoodles over medium heat for 7 minutes, making sure to move them frequently so they don't burn to the bottom of the pan. The salt will flavor them, but also remove some their liquid. After the 7 minutes is up, place them on a clean plate. If you feel like they're releasing a lot of liquid, make sure you squeeze them before you transfer them to the plate.
  2. Once the beef is done cooking, add the spaghetti sauce to the pan and simmer on low. In a small bowl, whisk the 2 eggs and add the Parmesan and butter. Stir to combine. Add the zoodles to the egg mixture and toss to coat them.
  3. In another bowl combine the cottage cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, 2 c. of mozzarella cheese and the sour cream. Stir to combine.
  4. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan. Place the zoodle/egg mixture in the bottom of the pan. Press down into the pan. Wash your hands and then place the cheese mixture on top of the zoodles. Next add the sauce and top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes more. Let the casserole stand for 5 minutes before serving. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Meal Plan Monday: 7/27-8/1/15


***This post contains affiliate links. You are in no way obligated to purchase anything. If you do so I receive a small commission, which does not affect your purchase price in any way. By purchasing through my affiliate links, it helps to cover the costs of operating my site. Thank you for your consideration and support!

Wondering how or why to meal plan? Read this first. Wondering what all the letters (S, E, FP) mean after each meal? Check this out. I've also added page numbers if the recipe comes from the Trim Healthy Mama book. If you're still in search of even more meals or drinks take a look at my top 30 "E" mealsmy top 30 "S" meals20 Meatless THM Meals, 25 Bean Recipes35 THM BBQ ideasmy 20 favorite THM soupsmy 20 favorite shakes, smoothies and cold drinks and my 30 THM snack ideas. Also, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest so you never miss a meal plan, tip or recipe.

Don't have time to read it all now? Pin it for later.

We are in the final (hopefully) week of getting our house ready to go on the market. I'm keeping things VERY simple, because I'm dying to get this house stuff done. The less time I spend in the kitchen, the more time I can be painting or packing a box. I took about 35 minutes this morning and did some food prep. This will save me time throughout the week.

Printable Meal Plan
Printable Shopping List

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Monday:
B - Peanut Butter Milkshake (S)
L - out *My kids received a pass to the Pizza Hut buffet for participating in the library reading club. I had salad with oil and vinegar, and I scraped the toppings off of 2 pieces of pizza. Oh but the temptation of the breadsticks nearly killed me. ;)  (S)
S - 1 oz. cheddar cheese and some celery sticks with Cider Pop to drink (S)
D - Egg Roll in a Bowl with water to drink (S)

Tuesday:
B - (1) scrambled egg and 1/2 of a Dannon 000 Greek Yogurt with Sweet & Spicy tea to drink (S)
L - Just Like Campbell's Tomato Soup with fresh veggies on the side with Cider Pop to drink (S) pg. 292
S - 1/2  c. 1 % cottage cheese with 1/4 c. of blueberries on the side with water to drink (FP)
D - Taco Salad topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream and salsa with Cherry Cola Zevia to drink (S)

Wednesday:
B - (1) scrambled egg and 1/2 a Dannon 000 Greek Yogurt with Sweet & Spicy tea to drink (S)
L - Waldorf Cottage Cheese Salad with Cider Pop to drink (E) pg. 300
S - 1 oz. cheddar cheese with some strawberries and water to drink (S)
D - All Day Chana Dahl Soup with water to drink (E) pg. 311

Thursday:
B - Green Smoothie (E) ***Omit the banana
L - Loaded Fotato Soup with fresh veggies on the side with Cider Pop to drink (S) pg. 294
S - 1/2 c. of 0% Plain Greek Yogurt with 2 T. of peanut butter and 1 t. of THM Gentle Sweet mixed in with water to drink (S)
D - Grilled chicken breasts over 3/4 c. of quinoa with steamed broccoli on the side with water to drink (E) ***I'm having my husband cook up an extra chicken breast to use for lunch tomorrow.

Friday:
B -  Thin Mint Shake (S)
L - Salad with hard-boiled egg, chicken breast and Ranch dressing with Cider Pop to drink (S)
S - Spicy Nuts with water to drink (S) pg. 396
D - Pizza Casserole with fresh veggies on the side and Cherry Cola Zevia to drink (S)

Saturday:
B - Orange Dream (E)
L - out
S - leftover Spicy Nuts with Cider Pop to drink (S)
D - Fajita Marinated Flank Steak with green peppers and onions served over lettuce and topped with sour cream and enchilada sauce with Blue Sky Free Mandarin Lime Soda to drink (S)

Sunday:
B - 1/2 c. 0% Plain Greek Yogurt with 2 T. peanut butter and 1 t of THM Gentle Sweet mixed in with water to drink (S)
L - Easy Chicken Yogurt Bake with 3/4 c. quinoa and green beans with Cider Pop to drink (E) pg. 322
S - Key Lime Pie Protein Shake (FP) *Omit the instant pudding
D - Family Reunion (will try to eat in an S setting)

Have a great week & happy eating!!!
 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Meal Plan Monday: 7/20-7/26/15


***This post contains affiliate links. You are in no way obligated to purchase anything. If you do so I receive a small commission, which does not affect your purchase price in any way. By purchasing through my affiliate links, it helps to cover the costs of operating my site. Thank you for your consideration and support!



Wondering how or why to meal plan? Read this first. Wondering what all the letters (S, E, FP) mean after each meal? Check this out. I've also added page numbers if the recipe comes from the Trim Healthy Mama book. If you're still in search of even more meals or drinks take a look at my top 30 "E" mealsmy top 30 "S" meals20 Meatless THM Meals, 25 Bean Recipes35 THM BBQ ideasmy 20 favorite THM soupsmy 20 favorite shakes, smoothies and cold drinks and my 30 THM snack ideas. Also, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest so you never miss a meal plan, tip or recipe.

Don't have time to read it all now? Pin it for later.

Printable Meal Plan
Printable Shopping List

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Monday:
B - (2) scrambled eggs with Sweet & Spicy tea to drink (S)
L - Just Like Campbell's Tomato soup with 1/4 c. blueberries and Cider Pop to drink (S) pg. 292
S - Peanut Butter Cup Dip with strawberries and water to drink (S) ***You can find on-plan chocolate chips here.
D - Burrito Bowl - Chicken breast seasoned with taco seasoning, Brown Spanish Rice, black beans, lettuce, enchilada sauce and a dollop of 0% Plain Greek Yogurt with water to drink (E) ***Make a double batch of the enchilada sauce and you'll have enough for the Mexican Stuffed Peppers on Wednesday night.

Tuesday:
B - Thin Mint Shake (S)
L - leftover Burrito Bowl with water to drink (E)
S - leftover Peanut Butter Cup Dip with strawberries and water to drink (S)
D - Egg Roll in a Bowl with Cider Pop to drink (S)

Wednesday:
B - Fruity Blend Yogurt with Sweet & Spicy tea to drink (E) pg. 251
L - Boneless Buffalo Wing Salad dressed with Ranch with water to drink (S) pg. 324
S - Cottage Berry Whip with water to drink (FP) ***I'm making a double batch of this and will eat the rest tomorrow.
D - Mexican Stuffed Peppers with lettuce on the side with Cider Pop to drink (E)

Thursday:
B - Chia Yogurt Delight with Sweet & Spicy tea to drink (S)
L - leftover Mexican Stuffed Peppers with lettuce on the side with Cider Pop to drink (E)
S - leftover Cottage Berry Whip with water to drink (FP)
D - Crock Pot Balsamic Roast Beef with Mashed Cauliflower and green beans with water to drink (S)

Friday:
B - (2) scrambled eggs with Sweet & Spicy tea to drink (S)
L - leftover Balsamic Roast Beef, Mashed Cauliflower and strawberries with Cider Pop to drink (S)
S - celery with peanut butter and water to drink (S)
D - Fooled Ya Pizza with fresh veggies on the side with Blue Sky Free Lemon Lime Soda to drink (S) pg. 276

Saturday:
B - Peanut Butter Milkshake (S)
L - Salad with hard-boiled egg dressed with Ranch and Cider Pop to drink (S)
S - Dannon 000 Strawberry Yogurt with water to drink (FP)
D - Rice & Beans with lettuce on the side with Grapefruit Bai5 Bubbles to drink (E)

Sunday:
B - Dannon 000 Vanilla Yogurt with 1/2 c. blueberries mixed in with Sweet & Spicy tea to drink (E)
L - Out
S - 1/2 c. 1% cottage cheese with fresh veggies with Cider Pop to drink (FP)
D - "Spaghetti" with meat sauce and small side salad dressed with Ranch with water to drink (S) ***I'm making my noodles out of zucchini using this gadget. 1 medium zucchini is the right amount for me. My family will eat their spaghetti over whole wheat noodles.

Have a great week and happy eating!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Brown Spanish Rice


If you've hung around my blog for any length of time you know that I LOVE Mexican food. It doesn't really matter what type of Mexican food, I just love it all. I made Spanish rice for years and years and always felt like it was a great addition to tacos, burritos or whatever. But when I started eating the Trim Healthy Mama way, I for whatever reason felt like my Spanish rice had to go because it was made with white rice.

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I just couldn't part with it, so I slowly started tweaking my old Spanish Rice recipe. The result is delicious and fills that void for my old rice. It's a very inexpensive side dish and is always a crowd pleaser whenever I bring it to a get together. My favorite way to eat Brown Spanish Rice is in a chicken taco salad. I cook the chicken breast and add taco seasoning. Then I layer it with lettuce, rice, a few black or pinto beans and some on-plan salsa or pico de gallo. Very refreshing and filling! You can have up to 3/4 c. cooked brown rice in an E meal. Sometimes I'll only eat about 1/3 c. of the rice and have some black beans with it. If you are at the stage where you can have an S Helper meal, you can have 1/4 c. of brown rice and eat it with ground beef taco meat. So many way to enjoy it!

Printable Recipe
Brown Spanish Rice (Serves 4-6)
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 c. brown rice, uncooked
  • 1 small red OR white onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 c. water
  • 10.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes with chilies ~ mild, original or hot (i.e. Rotel)
  • 2 T. chili powder ***This makes a medium-hot level of spice, if you want a mild level of spice use 2 t. of chili powder. 
  • 1 t. salt
  • green onions, optional for garnish
  1. Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion, green pepper and rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the water, tomatoes, chili powder and salt and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and let simmer until rice is done (about 40-45 minutes).
  4. Top with sliced green onions if desired.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Meal Plan Monday: 7/13-7/19/15

***This post contains affiliate links. You are in no way obligated to purchase anything. If you do so I receive a small commission, which does not affect your purchase price in any way. By purchasing through my affiliate links, it helps to cover the costs of operating my site. Thank you for your consideration and support!

Wondering how or why to meal plan? Read this first. Wondering what all the letters (S, E, FP) mean after each meal? Check this out. I've also added page numbers if the recipe comes from the Trim Healthy Mama book. If you're still in search of even more meals or drinks take a look at my top 30 "E" mealsmy top 30 "S" meals20 Meatless THM Meals, 25 Bean Recipes35 THM BBQ ideasmy 20 favorite THM soupsmy 20 favorite shakes, smoothies and cold drinks and my 30 THM snack ideas. Also, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest so you never miss a meal plan, tip or recipe.

Don't have time to read it all now? Pin it for later.

I had a great time celebrating my birthday this weekend, but I indulged a bit too much. So I'm starting the week off with some S meals to get the large amount of bad carbs I consumed out of my system.

Printable Meal Plan
Printable Shopping List

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Monday:
B - (2) scrambled eggs with 1/4  c. of blueberries on the side with Sweet & Spicy tea to drink (S)
L - Just Like Campbell's tomato soup with strawberries on the side with water to drink (S) pg. 292
S - celery with peanut butter with Cider Pop to drink (S)
D - White Chicken Lasagna served over zucchini noodles (for me and without noodles for my family) with steamed broccoli and water to drink (S) *** I use this tool to make the zucchini noodles.

Tuesday:
B - Butterfinger Shake (S)
L - Salad with hard-boiled egg, cheddar cheese dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar with Cider Pop to drink (S)
S - Fruity Blend Yogurt with water to drink (E) pg. 251
D - Grilled steak, roasted vegetables and Easy Zucchini Noodles for One with Black Cherry Zevia to drink (S) *** I'm making a double batch of the zucchini noodles to use as a side for my whole family to split.

Wednesday:
B - (2) scrambled eggs with 1/4 c. of blueberries on the side with Sweet & Spicy tea to drink (S)
L - Loaded Fotato Soup with strawberries on the side with Cider Pop to drink (S) pg. 294
S - Cottage Berry Whip with water to drink (FP) ***I'm making a double batch and will eat the other half tomorrow for snack.
D - Grilled chicken, Zesty Italian Cucumber Salad and green beans with butter and Cider Pop to drink (S)

Thursday:
B - Thin Mint Shake (S)
L - Salad with hard-boiled egg, cheddar cheese dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar with Cider Pop to drink (S)
S - leftover Cottage Berry Whip with water to drink (FP)
D - Fiesta Quinoa Chicken Skillet with water to drink (E)

Friday:
B - 0% Plain Greek Yogurt with 1 t. THM Sweet Blend and 2 T. peanut butter mixed in with Sweet & Spicy tea to drink (S)
L - leftover Fiesta Quinoa Chicken skillet with Cider Pop to drink (E)
S - small handful of almonds and strawberries with water to drink (S)
D - Pizza Casserole with fresh veggies and Black Cherry Zevia to drink (S)

Saturday:
B - Reese Peanut Butter Cup Shake (S)
L - Out
S - 1/2 c. 1 % cottage cheese with strawberries on the side with water to drink (FP)
D - Burgers (no bun) with Debbie's Tangy Broccoli & Spinach Salad with Cider Pop to drink (S)

Sunday:
B - Cheddar, Bacon and Veggie Frittata with water to drink (S) ***This will feed my whole family.
L - 15-Minute Lentil Soup with water to drink (E)
S - Peanut Butter Whip with water to drink (S)
D - "Spaghetti" with Meat Sauce with side salad dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar with Cider Pop to drink (S) ***I'm eating mine over zucchini noodles and my family will eat theirs over whole wheat pasta.

Have a great week and happy eating!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Colorful Lentil Salad


***This post contains affiliate links. You are in no way obligated to purchase anything. If you do so I receive a small commission, which does not affect your purchase price in any way. By purchasing through my affiliate links, it helps to cover the costs of operating my site. Thank you for your consideration and support!

As the days are getting warmer all I really want to eat are light and flavorful foods that require little cooking time. I had a lentil salad a few weeks back at a party that someone had gotten from a deli and I thought to myself, I can recreate that. And I'm so glad I did because it's delicious, light and refreshing.

If you don't use lentils very often in your meals, you really should start to use them more. They're a VERY inexpensive protein source that really help stretch your grocery budget and they take on the flavor of whatever you put them with. Lentils are a great source of protein, fiber and iron.

Colorful Lentil Salad can be eaten as a side dish, or you could even turn it into a dinner by adding 3oz. of grilled chicken breast or salmon. Yum! For those of you that eat the Trim Healthy Mama way, this is an E dish.

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Printable Recipe
Colorful Lentil Salad (E) (Serves 6)
  • 1 c. of green or brown lentils, rinsed and sorted
  • 1 c. of frozen peas
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 sm. red onion, diced
  • 2 T. lemon juice, freshly squeezed or bottled
  • 1/2 t. dried thyme
  • 1 T. dried parsley (or 2 T. fresh parsley)
  • 1 t. Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 t. black pepper
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. THM Sweet Blend (or 1 t. honey for those of you not eating THM)
  • 1/8 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Rinse, sort and drain your lentils. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add the lentils. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 17-19 minutes just until they're tender.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the green peas. Cook for 2 minutes, drain the peas in a strainer and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  3. In a bowl add the peas, carrots and red onion. In a large measuring cup combine the lemon juice, thyme, parsley, Dijon mustard, black pepper, salt and extra-virgin olive oil . Set aside.
  4. Once the lentils are done cooking drain them in a colander and rinse with cold water. Add them to the bowl of vegetables. Pour the dressing over top of the lentils and vegetables and gently stir to combine.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Meal Plan Monday: 7/6-7/12/15

***This post contains affiliate links. You are in no way obligated to purchase anything. If you do so I receive a small commission, which does not affect your purchase price in any way. By purchasing through my affiliate links, it helps to cover the costs of operating my site. Thank you for your consideration and support!

Wondering how or why to meal plan? Read this first. Wondering what all the letters (S, E, FP) mean after each meal? Check this out. I've also added page numbers if the recipe comes from the Trim Healthy Mama book. If you're still in search of even more meals or drinks take a look at my top 30 "E" mealsmy top 30 "S" meals20 Meatless THM Meals, 25 Bean Recipes35 THM BBQ ideasmy 20 favorite THM soupsmy 20 favorite shakes, smoothies and cold drinks and my 30 THM snack ideas. Also, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest so you never miss a meal plan, tip or recipe.

Don't have time to read it all now? Pin it for later.

For those of you that saw my post earlier this morning about the Eat at Home Challenge, have you joined yet? And for those of you that have no idea what I'm talking about, eight THM bloggers and myself put together this really fun challenge to eat at home. Not only is it better for your wallet, but it's usually better for your waistline too. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE to eat out, but sometimes its good to buckle down and eat at home more. I, along with these eight other bloggers are all accepting that challenge and we hope you'll join us too! As a bonus we're giving away a $40 gift certificate to the Trim Healthy Mama store to one lucky winner. You can enter here! ***You will see that I'm eating out once this week for my birthday on Saturday night. My husband always takes me out to dinner, just the two of us, for my birthday so I wasn't about to pass that up. Other than that I'm eating at home. :)

Printable Meal Plan
Printable Shopping List

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Monday:
B - Peanut Butter Milkshake (S)
L - Salad with hard-boiled egg and Ranch dressing with water to drink (S)
S - Fruity Blend Yogurt with water to drink (E) pg. 251
D - Taco salad with pico de gallo, sour cream, cheddar cheese with Cider Pop to drink (S) ***Use this recipe for your taco seasoning

Tuesday:
B - (2) scrambled eggs and strawberries on the side with Sweet & Spicy tea to drink (S)
L - Loaded Fotato Soup with strawberries on the side with Cider Pop to drink (S) pg. 294
S - Peanut Butter Whip with water to drink (S)
D - Spaghetti with Meat Sauce with a small side salad and leftover Ranch dressing (from Monday) with water to drink (S) ***I will be using zucchini noodles as my pasta and the rest of my family will be eating whole wheat pasta.

Wednesday:
B - Thin Mint Shake (S)
L - leftover Spaghetti with Meat Sauce with fresh veggies on the side and Cider Pop to drink (S)
S - Cottage Berry Whip with water to drink (FP) *I'm making a double batch of this and will use the other half for snack tomorrow. Just throw it in the freezer and pull it out about 10 minutes before you want to eat it.
D - Dirt-E-Rice with water to drink (E)

Thursday:
B - Apple Cinnamon Yogurt Swirl with Sweet & Spicy tea to drink (E) pg. 250
L - Very Berry Salad with Cider Pop to drink (S) ***When I make this salad I dress each portion individually so that I can eat the leftover the next day. If you dress it and then let it sit overnight in the fridge like that, it will be mushy and gross the next day.
S - leftover Cottage Berry Whip with water to drink (FP)
D - Grilled steak (my kids will eat hot dogs) with Easy Zucchini Noodles and buttered green beans with Black Cherry Zevia to drink (S) ***I'm making a double batch of the Easy Zucchini Noodles.

Friday:
B - (2) scrambled eggs and strawberries on the side with Sweet & Spicy tea to drink (S)
L - leftover Very Berry Salad with water to drink (S)
S - Peanut Butter Whip with water to drink (S)
D - Pizza Casserole with fresh veggies on the side with Cherry Cola Zevia to drink (S)

Saturday:
B - Raspberry Smoothie with one scrambled egg (S)
L - High Protein Mediterranean Salad with strawberries on the side with Cider Pop to drink (E) ***This will feed my whole family and leave enough leftover for me to have for lunch tomorrow. I don't have flax oil so I'm using all olive oil.
S - celery with peanut butter with water to drink (S)
D - Out to celebrate my birthday!

Sunday:
B - Peanut Butter Cup Shake (S)
L - leftover High Protein Mediterranean Salad with Cider Pop to drink (E)
S - Fruity Blend Yogurt with water to drink (E) pg. 251
D - "Spanish Rice" Quinoa with black beans on the side served on top of lettuce with water to drink (E)

Have a great week and happy eating!!!