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Tip Tuesday- Easy 2 week menu complete with grocery list and recipes

My tip for the day is to make sure you have an easy menu and grocery list to fall back on during those stressful times in your life where you barely have enough time to make it to the store let alone find new recipes and menu plan.

Here are 2 weeks of menus complete with recipes and grocery lists. Use them, tweak them, get ideas from them and make a 2 week menu of your own ;)

Grocery list for Menus 1 &2

 

Walmart or other grocery store

Strawberries

Feta Cheese (in my walmart it’s over by produce)

Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges (so are these)

Apples

Spaghetti Squash

Avocado

Tomatoes

Spinach (I like the organic pre-washed bc it’s easy to throw into a wrap when I’m in a hurry)

Cauliflower

Cucumbers

Zucchini

Stoplight peppers or bag of mini bell peppers

Garlic

Onions

Lemon

Celery

Low- Carb Tortillas (6 net carbs or less)

Lean lunch Meat

Turkey Bacon

Frozen Chicken Tenderloins

Ground Turkey (2 packages)

Butter

Cream Cheese (1/3 reduced fat)

Cottage Cheese

2 % Cheddar Cheese

Mozarella Cheese

Lt. Cheese Sticks

Frz. Green Beans

Frz. Broccoli

Frz. Cauliflower

Frz. Blueberries

Frz. Strawberries

Greek Yogurt

Sour Cream

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (30 calories/ serving)

Fat Free Reddi Whip

Eggs

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Full Fat Ranch Dressing or other favorite dressing (carbs need to be 2 or less)

Chicken Broth

Natural Peanut Butter

Parmesan cheese shaker

Pesto Sauce

Salsa

Canned Tomato Sauce (no sugar added, 2 cans)

Curry Paste

Canned Chicken

85% dark chocolate bar

Truvia

Vanilla

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Canned Pumpkin (2 cans)

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Xantham Gum

Flax Meal

Oatmeal

Almonds- dry roasted or plain

Pecans

 

Notes:

* I get some food items at Costco. As a general rule, these foods are cheaper if bought in bulk but Walmart prices are not much more.

*The coconut oil at Costco is a tad more expensive, but the taste is better, in my opinion. LouAna’s coconut oil from Walmart works just as good;)

 

Costco or other bulk item store (except you’ll have to purchase coc oil at a different store if you don’t go to Costco)

Low Carb Tortillas (6 net carbs or less)

Frz. Green Beans

Frz. Broccoli

Frz. Blueberries

Frz. Strawberries

Shredded Cheese

Eggs (I usually get the cheapest to use for egg whites, and organic for whole eggs bc they have the good omega 3’s in them that you want)

Heavy Cream

Greek Yogurt

Coconut Oil

Almonds

Pecans

Canned Chicken

Olive Oil

Truvia

Natural Peanut Butter

Oatmeal

 

Amazon or Online

Note: If you don’t have Amazon prime, find someone that does or invest, it is so worth no shipping fees and getting your products in 2 days!

Unsweetened Coconut

Dried Blueberries

Xylitol (sweetner)

Glucommanan (a thickening agent)

 

Wegmans, Trader Joes, or other Health Food Store

Protein Powder (sweetened with Stevia)

Ezekiel Bread

Almond Flour

Coconut Flour

Xantham Gum

 

Disclaimer: I don’t think it’s right to give you the exact recipes from the book- you should buy the book if you want those and they are great! What I post on here will be from pinterest, blogs, from my own tweaked recipes from the book ;)

Menu 1: 

 

Monday or Day 1:

 B-fast: ½ c. oatmeal, ½ scoop protein powder, 1 t. PB, egg white from a boiled egg= E

Snack: ½ c. Greek yogurt w/ ½ scoop protein powder, frz. blueberries and

flax granola (homemade)=S

*if you don’t make the granola, it’s fine without it.

Lunch: Snack: Cottage Cheese, sliced strawberries, ff redid whip= S

Dinner: Spaghetti Squash w/ Bolognese Sauce/ Green Beans= S

Dessert: Pumpkin Cookies=S

 

Granola:

1 c. flaxmeal

2 c. chopped almonds (or a mix of almonds and pecans)

1/3 c. freeze dried or just dried unsweetened blueberries

Cinnamon to taste

1 c. coconut (unsweetened and shredded)

3 packets Truvia (or sweetner of choice)

 

½ c. water

2 T. vanilla

½ c. coconut oil (micro for 30 sec. to liquefy)

 

  1. Combine water, vanilla, coconut oil, sweetener, cinnamon
  2. On a baking sheet, spread out and mix together flaxmeal, nuts, blueberries, & coconut
  3. Toss wet ingredients w/ dry as evenly as possible
  4. Cook @ 300 degrees for 45 min – 1 hr. stirring mixture every 15 minutes.
  5. Enjoy with almond milk for cereal, or on top of yogurt or pudding for an added crunch;)

 

Spaghetti Squash w/ Bolognese Sauce:

Pierce squash with a knife or fork in several places for heat to escape so the squash doesn’t explode. Cook Whole Spaghetti Squash for 1 hour in a baking pan @ 375 degrees.  Or if you’re in a hurry, cut it in half and micro for 12 min. When cool enough to handle, cut the squash in half lengthwise with a serrated knife. Scoop out the seeds and fibrous strings from the center. Gently shred the pulp into strands with a fork. You now have a yummy substitute for spaghetti noodles! If you’ve never eaten this squash before, you might not be used to the taste but give it a chance. when you top it with your Bolognese sauce and plenty of cheese, you’ll find that it is the perfect low carb sub for pasta.

Bolognese Sauce:

 Sautee onions, bell peppers, and minced or chopped garlic in coconut oil over medium heat. Add in package (3 lbs. ) of ground turkey and brown. Take out ½ of meat and onion mixture and add some taco seasoning to save for tomorrow’s dinner. Add 1 can of no added sugar tomato sauce, cream cheese to taste, Italian seasoning, sea salt, and other seasonings you like. Serve over spaghetti squash and top with mozzarella or parmesan cheese.

 

Pumpkin  Chip Cookies:

 1 c. Almond flour (found at a health food store like Wegmans or on Amazon)

1/2 c. Coconut Flour (trader joes or amazon) you could use more almond if u don’t have coconut but coc. is cheaper)

1 c. Pumpkin

2 t. Pumpkin pie seasoning

1 t. Cinnamon

1 t. Sea salt

1 t. Baking soda

1/3 c. Truvia or Stevia

1/3 c. butter softened

2 eggs

1 t. Vanilla

1/2 85% dark chocolate bar chopped up

 

1. Mix dry ingredients together

2. Mix wet ingredients together and add to try, mix well

3. Add in chocolate pieces

4. Drop by T. (Or roll into balls) on a greased baking sheet (opt. Smash down with a fork bc these won’t expand like the cookies you’re used to)

5. Bake at 375 for 10-12 min.

 

Tuesday or Day 2:

 Breakfast: 2 eggs fried in butter= S

Snack: 2 pumpkin chip cookies= S
Lunch: Leftovers-
Spaghetti Squash w/ Bolognese Sauce/ Green Beans= S

Snack: chocolate pudding= S
Dinner: Taco burrito (no beans, low- carb tortilla (6 net carbs- carbs minus the fiber=net, avocado, cheddar cheese, taco meat from Day 1, small tomato, spinach) = S

Dessert: Skinny PB chocolate= S

 

Chocolate Pudding- from PINTEREST

 1 avocado

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 cup cocoa powder

1 Tbsp Truvia

3 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk

1/2 Tbsp cream

 Put all ingredients in your blender or food processor and mix until smooth. This makes 1 cup of pudding but to keep it an S dessert/snack, your serving size should be 1/4 cup. That was just the right amount for me to satisfy my chocolate craving!

 Skinny PB Chocolate:

1/2 c. coconut oil (melt down to a liquid in the micro for 30 sec.)

1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 c. natural PB (opt, but good)

4 1/2 T. sweetner of choice- I like Truvia (make sure there is no added sugar, like in some of the baking blends)

1/2 scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder (optional, but it makes it taste not as dark)

Sliced almonds (optional, but good;)

 

Mix all ingredients. Spoon in mini muffin pan. Freeze and it makes 30. You can also freeze them in tupperware or on a cookie sheet with parchment paper and break off the pieces. These taste like PB cups to me;)

 

 Wednesday:

 B-fast: ½ c. oatmeal, ½ scoop protein powder, 1 t. PB, egg white from a boiled egg= E

Lunch: Ham wrap on Low Carb tortilla w/ LC cheese, spinach, mustard, tomato, plain skinny chocolate (no PB)= S

Snack: Cottage Cheese, sliced strawberries, ff redid whip= S

Dinner: Chicken Parmesan, Macafoni (macaroni made w/ caulilflower, cream cheese, cheese, cream), Green salad w/ cucumbers, red peppers, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar= S

Dessert: Chocolate Pudding= S/ Hot Chocolate= anytime food

 

 Chicken Parmesan- adapted from The Nutritionist Reviews blog: http://www.nutritionistreviews.com/2013/10/3-ingredient-chicken-parmesan-sartori.html

 Ingredients:

4-6 4 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese or mozzarella

½ cup fresh tomato sauce

 

Directions:

1.      Grill chicken breasts until cooked through on both sides.

2.      Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet and top with sauce and cheese.

3.      Broil on high for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

 

Hot Chocolate:

 1 c. almond milk

1 packet Truvia

1 heaping T. cocoa

Dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

Splash of vanilla

Squirt of Reddi Whip

Heat almond milk on stove or in micro. Mix in the other ingredients and top with reddi whip;)

 

Thursday:

 B-fast: 2 eggs fried in butter, pumpkin cookie= S

Snack: Celery & PB= S

Lunch: Chicken Salad- Chicken Breast, cucumbers, red peppers, celery, feta cheese over spinach and salad greens w/ ranch dressing (full fat baby!)= S

Snack: Almonds and cheese= S

Dinner: Light Coconut Curry w/ cauliflower rice= S

Dessert: Cheesecake=S

 

Light Coconut Curry:

 6 chicken tenderloins

Red & yellow peppers

Zucchini

Garlic Cloves

1 T. Red curry paste

4 t. coconut oil

¾ c. almond milk

1 T. butter

Pan-fry chicken over medium/ high heat in butter.  Add veggies until soft. Add milk and seasonings and let simmer. *Can add a jalapeno for flavor, but take it out before serving

 

Cauliflower Rice:

Book Recipe- p. 358

Mini Cheesecakes:

For Crust, combine 1 c. almond flour, 1 egg white,  2 t. sweetner, and a dash of cinnamon

1        Press flour mixture equally into 12 muffin holders.

2        Bake @ 350 for 10 min.

  1. For filling to the following:

1        In a mixer, or blender, combine the following:

i.      pkg. 1/3 fat less cream cheese

ii.      1 c. Greek yogurt

iii.      2 eggs, 10 t. Truvia, splash of vanilla, and juice from ½ a lemon

iv.      ¼ t. glucomannan or xantham gum (optional ingredient but  makes the end result smoother)

2        Mix well for 3 minutes or so

3        Wait for the crusts to cool slightly and spoon filling mixture evenly among the 12 muffin holders

4        Bake @ 350 for 30 min.

  1. Top with frz blueberries, whipped cream, and pecans
  2. Enjoy what tastes like a cheat food, but will actually do your waistline some favors and bless THM!!! J Seriously, I had this for my son’s birthday and our friends had no idea it was sugar free- amazing!

Friday:

B-fast: ½ c. oatmeal, ½ scoop protein powder, 1 t. PB, egg white from a boiled egg= E

Snack: Chocolate Frappa or Protein shake=anytime

Lunch: Baked chicken, green beans and parm cheese w/ olive oil= S

Snack: Yogurt/ Protein Powder= anytime

Dinner: Pizza! Chicken Pesto or Ham and Bell Peppers (As much as you want!!!- my husband and I share a whole pizza;)= S

Dessert: Muffin in a Mug=S

 

Chocolate Frappa:

Book Recipe p. 241

 

Protein Shake:

½ c. almond milk

½ c. water

3 lg. frozen strawberries

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder

Handful of frozen spinach (optional, but you can’t taste the spinach and it’s a great way to get in some extra greens!)

 

Grain-Free Pizza Crust- from http://savvyhomemaking.com

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax meal, optional
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1-2 tbsp italian seasoning, or the equivalent of the italian herbs basil, parsley, and oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste, if desired
  • 1-2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped, optional
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Toppings of choice: cooked chicken, diced veggies, sliced onions, mushrooms, spinach, turkey pepperoni, roasted red peppers

Directions

  1. Mix together egg whites, coconut flour, flax meal (if using), 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, and seasonings.
  2. Using 9×15 cookie sheet, set out a piece of parchment paper on the tray and spray it/oil it to keep things from sticking (I did not do this and it was a pain in the bottom to remove the pizza once cooked).
  3. Pour pizza crust mixture onto the sprayed parchment paper lined cookie sheet and spread around as evenly as possible, making sure to get to the corners.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 450F, or until cooked through all over.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before adding desired toppings.  I LOVE fresh basil with pizza for a more authentic taste, but use whatever strikes your fancy.  We really loaded ours up.
  6. Put back into the oven and bake at 450F for 5-10 minutes, until toppings have baked up and cheese has melted.  Broil on high for a few minutes to brown the crust, if desired.
  7. Slice up and enjoy!  A hearty side salad topped with flavorful S delights is a great addition to this yummy pizza.

 

Baked “Muffin in a Mug”

The MIM (muffin in a mug) recipe is famous in THM- you can make  a muffin in 1 minute in the micro, but it is from the book so I can’t share it here. I will share this one from a blog:


Because I discovered this week that I really, REALLY like the MIM better baked, I took some time to bake ahead so I could freeze a variety and pull them out when needed (especially those times I am headed out the door and need a quick take-a-long snack/meal). Here’s my basic recipe – tweaked because I like a less “eggy” taste – and with some fun variations.

4 heaping T almond flour
2 T coconut flour
2 T oat fiber
2 T ground flax
1 T coconut oil (melted)
1 T xylitol
1 egg
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t sea salt
3 shakes nustevia or 4 ½ T. truvia
almond milk

Mix all ingredients well in a bowl, stirring in enough of the almond milk to make a thick batter. Spoon into four greased muffin tins and bake at 400 for about 15 minutes

vanilla – omit the flax
Italian cream – add in shredded coconut and chopped pecans
peanut butter – cut coconut flour and flax to 1T each, add 2T defatted peanut flour
pumpkin maple – cut down on the almond milk and add in apx 1/3c pumpkin puree and a dash of maple flavoring
mocha – substitute strong coffee for the almond milk and add 1-2T cocoa powder

And what could be better than some FROSTING – THM legal – to go on them?!
Soften and stir together:
2T cream cheese
1 T butter
a dash of vanilla
homemade Truvia to taste (mine is 1/2 c xylitol and 1/2t nustevia ground together)

strawberry – add in 2-3T chopped frozen strawberries (slightly thawed). Great on the vanilla MIM!
Italian cream – use the basic frosting and top with more chopped pecans and coconut
peanut butter – stir in 1T natural PB to the basic frosting
maple/caramel – to the basic frosting, add a dash of either caramel or maple extract
coffee – to the basic frosting add in a bit of VERY strong coffee or espresso
chocolate – add cocoa powder to the basic frosting depending on how dark you want it

 

Saturday:

 

B-fast: French toast w/ egg white, blueberries or applesauce, whipped cream= E

Snack: 0 % Greek Yogurt, Blueberries, sweetner packet- anytime

Lunch: Chicken Salad Wrap on a low- carb tortilla (canned chicken, mayo, ranch, mustard, bell peppers, spinach, Laughing cow cheese)= S

Snack: Pumpkin Frappa or Protein shake- anytime

Dinner: Italian Meatloaf w/Cauli Mashed Potatoes or  Garlic Mozzarella biscuits/ Green Beans= S

 

French Toast:

Use 2 slices of Ezekiel bread to make your French toast and egg whites only. This is from the book, so I can’t give you the recipe but experiment and have fun!

 

Pumpkin Frappa:

Adaptation from the Chocolate Frappa recipe in the book- instead of cocoa powder use ½ c. pumpkin, 1 t. pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, & water, almond milk, sweetener, glucomanan or xantham gum, ice cubes

Italian Meatloaf: from http://gracefulabandon.blogspot.com

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 3tsp oregano
  • 3 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp pepper
  • optional dash of cayenne for some subtle heat
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan (aka “shaker cheese” by my kiddos0
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste or sauce

Mix it all together and smooth it into a 13×9 pan (yeah, the whole loaf thing is cute, but we have company coming and there are already 8 of us, so we’re making a big ole meal!  This will be 9-12 servings, depending on how big your audience is.  We’ll all eat from it (9 of us) and have 2 servings or so left over.

Bake at 375 for 45-55 minutes.  Beware, it shrinks.  Pour out the fat and let it sit for a minute.

Slice and serve on a plate, topped with a generous ladle of marinara and sprinkle on some grated cheese.

For the side we had an antipasto: olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.

 I also made Garlic, Basil, & Mozzarella biscuits to go on the side, by tweaking the Marcy’s Cheesy Roll recipe on p.271 of the book.  We made 2 dozen small biscuits.  The ingredient list is below and you can follow the directions in the book for mixing and baking.

  • 10 eggs
  • 2 1/2 TB olive oil
  • 7 TB water
  • 2 1/2 TB baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3.5 TB gluccie (follow the directions carefully!)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese

 

Cauli Mashed Potatoes

Book recipe- p. 361

 

Sunday:

 B-fast:  Chocolate Waffles= S

Snack: Chocolate Pudding= anytime

Lunch: Leftover meatloaf meal w/ green salad= S

Snack: Nuts/ cheese stick=S

Dinner: Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli Soup=S

Dessert: Muffin in a mug =S

 

Chocolate Waffles

7 eggs

1/3 c. almond flour

1/3 c. coconut flour

4 T. flax meal

3 T. cocoa

4 T. cream, yogurt, or cottage cheese

3 t. baking powder

1 scoop protein powder

1 ½ t. vanilla

4 ½ T. truvia

Mix wet and dry separately and then together. Cook in a waffle maker. Top with whipped cream, pecans, cinnamon, blueberries, strawberries.  Serve with bacon and eggs.

 

Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli Soup

Ingredients for soup to use and experiment with: Lg. can of chicken, chicken broth or bouillon cubes, Spinach, frz. green beans, broccoli, garlic, sautéed onions and peppers, cut up lunch meat or bacon, avocado, cream cheese, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, almond milk. Great for leftovers!

 

Menu 2

 

Breakfasts:

 

  1. ½ c. oatmeal, ½ scoop protein powder, 1 t. PB, egg white from a boiled egg- E
  2. French Toast w/ Ezekiel bread or other plan approved bread, 2 egg whites, cinnamon- dash of almond milk, sweetner & 1 T. polaner jam or ¼ c. applesauce-E
  3. 2 eggs in butter- S
  4. Omlette w/ cheese, veggies and ham or bacon- S

 

Monday:

 Breakfast: Eggs w/ butter- S

Lunch: Cobb salad w/ turkey bacon, feta cheese, ham or turkey, cucumbers, bell peppers, spinach, ranch or favorite dressing- S

Snack: Almond Joy Smoothie- FP (anytime)

Dinner: Pesto Chicken w/ Zucchini Noodles- use a carrot grater to grate the zucchini into strips, sautee in coconut oil or butter for just a few minutes until soft. Serve w/ broccoli and butter or other favorite veggie- For pesto chicken, buy your favorite pesto sauce and add to baked chicken and zucchini noodles;) S

Dessert: Cheesecake Berry Crunch- S

 

Tuesday:

 Breakfast: Oatmeal- E

Lunch: Leftover pesto chicken w/ broccoli- S

Snack: Nuts, 2 85% dark chocolate squares- S

Dinner: Taco Salad- taco meat, avocado, cheese, sour cream, favorite dressing, lettuce or spinach, cucumbers, bell peppers- S

Dessert: Chocolate Pudding- FP (anytime)

 

Wednesday:

 Breakfast: Eggs or Omelette- S

Lunch:  Taco Burrito (use taco meat from dinner last night, and load up all the fixings in a low carb tortilla)- S

Snack: Greek yogurt, ½ scoop protein powder, sweetener if needed, handful of nuts-S

Dinner: Mexican Meatloaf/ Macafoni/ green beans-S

Dessert: Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt w/ sugar free chocolate sauce- S

 

Thursday:

 Breakfast: French Toast- E

Lunch: Leftover meatloaf, macafoni, and green beans- S

Snack: Minute Microwave Cheesecake- S

Dinner: Crock-pot chicken- S

Dessert: Chocolate Pudding- FP

 

Friday:

 Breakfast:  Eggs or Omelette- S

Lunch: Chicken salad wrap- S

Snack: Cottage Cheese, strawberries, FF reddi whip- S

Dinner: Pizza- S

Dessert: Peanut Butter frozen yogurt w/ sugar free chocolate sauce or skinny chocolate hard shell, reddi whip- S

 

Saturday:

 Breakfast: French Toast- E

Lunch: Cobb Salad-S

Snack: Almond Joy Smoothie-FP (anytime)

Dinner: Soup, Cheesy Garlic Biscuits- S

Dessert: Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Pudding- S

 

Sunday:

 Breakfast: Oatmeal- E

Lunch: Leftover Soup- S

Snack: Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Pudding-S

Dinner: Breakfast Burrito w/ scrambled eggs, cheese, sautéed veggies, salsa on a low carb tortilla-S

Dessert: Hot Cocoa, skinny chocolate-S

 

Healthy Almond Joy Shake (S)- (from Pinterest)

 * 1/2 c. lowfat cottage cheese

* 1-1 1/2 c. Almond Breeze Coconut and Almond Milk Blend or sub 1/2 coconut milk 1/2 almond milk You don’t have to use Coc. Milk if you don’t have

* a heaping scoop of vanilla whey protein powder (please read the serving for your brand of protein) I used chocolate

* a chunk of skinny chocolate for THM’ers or sub 1/4 c. sugar free chocolate chips

* Truvia or stevia to taste (I used a tablespoon of Truvia because I like sweet things) A good amount, otherwise it tastes like pureed cottage cheese needs sweetness!

*a splash of vanilla

*almond extract would be a yummy addition here! I didn’t have

*two large handfuls of ice

*Also I added a sprinkle of Gluccie powder to thicken up a little bit! (xanthum gum would work too)

  1. Blend cottage cheese and milk till smooth and creamy.
  2. Add all ingredients but chocolate and blend till smooth.
  3. Add chunk of chocolate and blend till it turns into tiny chips.
  4. Enjoy your Almond Joy!This makes a large shake or two smaller shakes

 

Cheesecake Berry Crunch S-

 Book Recipe p. 373

 

I LOVE Pearl’s Meatloaf- from book p.317

OR you can try this  recipe from THM blogger Jenni Mullinix. I haven’t tried it, but it sounds pretty good;)

 

Stuffed Muffin Pan Meatloaf- S

Jenni Mullinix

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup ground rolled oats (or oat bran)
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • dash of onion powder
  • dash of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (more or less)
  • Any other extras you want for the “stuffing”
  • Ketchup, if desired (homemade is best!)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grind oats in blender or food processor.
  3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Put a small amount of meat mixture in the bottom of each muffin hole. (I use a muffin tin that makes six large jumbo muffins.)
  5. Sprinkle a small amount of cheese over each one and any other additions wanted.
  6. Evenly distribute the rest of the meat mixture in each muffin hole, making sure all toppings are completely enclosed in the meatloaf.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until top is browned and each loaf is cooked all the way through.
  8. If desired, add ketchup the last 5 minutes of cooking time or right before serving.

 Macafoni- from book p. 359

orif  you want to try something a little different, here’s a recipe from the THM forum

 

Chicken and Bacon Ranch Macafoni and Cheese- S

 While I steamed some cauliflower, I fried some bacon in a skillet (this can be turkey or regular bacon, whatever you prefer) and chopped up some chicken tenderloin pieces. The chicken was still mostly frozen, but I could at least cut it up.

When the bacon was finished, I added some expeller pressed coconut oil to the pan and then threw in the chicken pieces to saute, along with some sea salt and black pepper.
Then I whipped up the cheese sauce from the THM book recipe “Macafoni and Cheese.” I made this one “3 cheese,” using the cream cheese, cheddar (I used white cheddar), and some Pecorino Romano.
I also added a Parmesan, garlic and herb seasoning to the sauce. You could use a homemade or store bought ranch seasoning mix, or some garlic and onion powder, dried chives, and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. I also used some gluccie to thicken my cheese sauce.
Chop up your steamed cauliflower (I steamed my very soft, and chopped it quite small), and crumble or chop your bacon into tiny pieces.
Mix the cauliflower and chicken into the cheese sauce, and then serve, sprinkling the bacon on top.
So yummy!
This could be a meal all its own, like I had it, or you could have a simple side salad with it.

My notes: I wouldn’t include the chicken with this if I am having it with the meatloaf, but it sounds like a yummy meal all on its own with the chicken;)

 Gluten Free Cream Cheese Crust Pizza-S (taken from PINTEREST)

A rich, perfect, low carb and gluten free alternative to traditional pizza crust. Easy to make, even more family friendly!

Ingredients

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • pizza sauce
  • toppings of your choice, including shredded cheese

 

Instructions

  1. Thoroughly blend first 5 ingredients with a hand mixer or a rubber spatula
  2. spread evenly in a 10 X 15 cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat
  3. bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until browned
  4. allow to cool for 10 minutes or so before adding pizza sauce and your choice of toppings
  5. place under broiler for cheese to melt and brown

 

Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt- S- (taken from Wholefoodmomonabudget.com)

 2 cups 0% plain Greek Yogurt

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup no-sugar added peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup Truvia or 1/2 teaspoon of powdered Stevia or 1/2 to 3/4 cup xylitol – depending on how sweet you like your ice cream (my notes: xylitol is super sweet so it was overly sweet for me, I think 1/3 of a cup would be plenty- MM)
Optional: Sugar-Free Chocolate Syrup

Mix everything together except the optional Chocolate Syrup in a bowl.  Transfer to ice cream maker.  My Cuisinart took 25 minutes.

If you don’t have an ice cream machine: simply transfer the blended mixture to an airtight container, freeze, and stir well every half hour for 2-3 hours.

 

Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup- FP (anytime!)

1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup water
*2 cups xylitol OR  1 c. xylitol and 1 tsp. Stevia OR 3/4 cup Truvia

(my notes: I only used ½ c. truvia and ½ c. xylitol-MM)
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Mix cocoa and water in a saucepan.  On medium heat, stir to dissolve cocoa.  Add xylitol or Truvia and stir occasionally until mixture comes to a boil.  Let boil for 3 minutes.  Take mixture off of heat and add salt and vanilla.  Let cool before using.  Store in a pint jar.  Enjoy!

Minute Microwave Cheesecake- S (from Yourlighterside.com)

2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 egg
½ tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp vanilla
2-4 Tbsp sugar replacement sub (taste as you go)

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high heat for 90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds incorporating all ingredients. Refrigerate until serving.

Optional: Top with fresh fruit, whipped cream and nut meal.

Makes one, one-cup serving.

Nutritional Information per serving: Calories: 299, Carbohydrates: 2.5 g, Fiber: 0 g, Net Carbohydrates: 2.5 g, Protein: 11 g, Fat: 27.6 g.

 

Soups! Soups are so fun to make, super easy and filling. You can experiment with veggies,  leftover or canned meats, creams, and broth. The Sky’s the limit! But if you need some ideas, here are a few:

 

Loaded Creamy Mediterranean Tomato Soup- heavy S- meaning cream and cheese

(Taken from PINTEREST)

THM S Loaded Creamy Mediterranean Tomato Soup (heavy S) 2 cans of tomato sauce, salt, pepper, a dash of cayenne, 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 cup cream, 1/4 cup reduced fat cream cheese, 1/4 cup water, chili powder to taste. Bring to boil, summer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté chopped garlic, turkey bacon and 1 onion. Garnish on top, with herbs and sharp cheddar cheese

 My Creamy Chicken & Spinach Soup

1 lg can of chicken

3 bouillon cubes

Frozen spinach, green beans, broccoli

Minced garlic

Sauteed onions and peppers

Diced bacon or lean ham

¼ of avocado

Scoop of cream cheese

Ricotta or sour cream

Salsa

Almond milk

LF shredded cheese

 

As you can see, I just toss some of this and some of that in so the amounts are not exact, but the combined flavors are yummy!

 

Cheesy-Cheese Garlic Biscuits (Grain-Free Red Lobster Biscuits) from Satisfying Eats

Makes about 9 small biscuits or 6 medium biscuits

1 small biscuit: 100 calories, 8 grams of Fat, 1 Net Carb & 3.5 grams of Protein

1/4 cup blanched almond flour (I use Honeyville)

2 tbsp coconut flour (I use either TT, Honeyville or Bob’s Red Mill)

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 serving of Kal Stevia (yes, just a pinch or just omit it)

1/4 cup heavy cream (or pure sour cream, I use sour cream now)

1 egg, cold

1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated (around 1 oz)

2 tbsp butter, softened (I used salted)

**Finish with Salted butter & dried or fresh parsley

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients. Then add remaining ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until well blended.  Use scoop to scoop out dough onto un-greased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or not, see notes above).  Space 2-3 inches a part. Bake for 13-15 minutes for small biscuits and 20 minutes for medium biscuits.  Once out of oven, smear a bit of salted butter and sprinkle with a little parsley. Best served warm.

 

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Pudding (from the THM FB page)

I was REALLY craving the flavor of pumpkin pie!! I had seen an on-plan recipe for a pumpkin cheesecake, but didn’t want to bake. (Impatient??!?) So I improvised…..mixed cream cheese, Greek yogurt, pumpkin, Truvia, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Topped with real whipped cream. Then toasted some Joseph’s pitas with pumpkin pie spice and Truvia to give a little “crust” flavor. Yum. Yum. Yum. (That’s a tiny little glass dish, maybe 1/2- 3/4 cup total of pumpkin mix… Just enough to satisfy my craving!)

 

 

 

Tip Tuesday- Basic THM friendly Walmart grocery list

My tip for the day is to write out a basic THM grocery list for your favorite go-to store and make several copies of it, so on those weeks when you’re just too busy to plan, you can grab your grocery list and shop knowing you will have the right groceries in the house to stay on plan. Get any off plan groceries OUT OF THE HOUSE!!! If they are not there, you cannot eat them ;)

Here is my basic THM Wal-mart Grocery List:

Apples

Clementines/Oranges

Bananas

Strawberries

Cantaloupe

Lemons

Cucumbers

Snap Peas

Zucchini (can make “pasta noodles” with these)

Cauliflower (can make pizza crust, “mashed potatoes,” “macafoni” with this)

Carrots

Celery

Romaine Lettuce

Spinach

Bell Peppers

Tomatoes

Broccoli

Spaghetti Squash

Sweet Potatoes

Low- Carb Tortillas (make sure they only have a net carb count of 6)

*some Walmarts carry Joseph’s pitas and flatbreads

Chicken Breast

Ground Turkey

Lunchmeat

Turkey Bacon

Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges

Cheese

Cream Cheese

Cottage Cheese

Butter

Fat Free Reddi Whip

Heavy Cream

0 % Greek Yogurt

Cottage  Cheese

Unsweetened Almond Milk (30 cals/ 1 cup)

Frz.Blueberries

Frz Strawberries

Frz Green Beans

Frz Broccoli

Frz Cauliflower (great for making pizza crust or macafoni or mashed cauli)

Coconut Oil

Flaxseed Meal

Almond Flour (it is cheaper online, but if I’m out I’ll get it here)

Cocoa Powder

Extracts- they have tons of flavors- my favorites are caramel, raspberry, and coconut

Sweetner of choice (stevia or truvia)

Eggs/ Liquid Egg Whites

Canned Chicken

Canned Tuna

Almonds

Natural Peanut Butter

Chicken Broth

Uncle Sam’s Cereal (great for mixing in yogurt)

Tip Tuesday- Meal & Snack Cheat Sheet

I have a FB page called THM for dummies and I often encourage my fellow THMers to make lists to put on their fridge for quick reminders. This is my go-to quick and easy meal and snack cheat sheet. When I’m in a bind and I need something quick, I just look at this list on my fridge to give me a quick reminder as to what I need to be eating, what I like to eat, and what is quick to fix. I encourage you to make your own meal and snack cheat sheets to keep on your fridge, in your car, at work or wherever else it may help you ;) I also included a list of activities I can do as an alternate to eating, it may seem silly, but it really helps to have these little reminders!

Breakfasts:

E: Oatmeal, PB, apple, egg whites

E: French Toast, Egg whites, salsa and feta

S: Muffin, Egg

S: Eggs with butter, greek yogurt parfait

S: Omelette

S: Egg McMuffin

S: Protein shake with flax, peanut flour, pro powder, almond milk, spinach, straws

Lunches: (Protein, veggies, fat or carbs, light dessert)

S: Chicken Salad Wrap

S: Chicken Salad Lettuce Boats

S: Cobb Salad

S: Burrito

S: Ham and Swiss Wrap

S: Soup

Dessert with S meals: Pudding/ Skinny Chocolate (2 pieces)

E: Mexican Bowl

E:Chicken Sandwich

E:Ham and Swiss Sandwich

E: Chicken/ Sweet Potato

Dessert with E meals: Fruit

Snacks: (pick 2- am/pm snack)

E: 2 Wasa Crackers/ 1 LC Cheese Wedge, tomato

E: Clementine

E: Apple, 1 tsp. PB

E: 2 cups of popcorn with nutritional yeast or parm cheese

E: Cottage Cheese, strawberries, FF whipped cream

E: Apple Cake

E: Greek Yogurt, berries, whipped cream

S: Greek Yogurt, granola

S: Greek Yogurt, peanut flour, cocoa powder, protein powder

S: Eggs/butter

S: Broccoli/butter

S: Light Cake in a mug (with flax)- pumpkin, cinnamon, lemon

S: CNC- light cheese, nuts, 1 square chocolate

S: Peanut Butter and 2 stalks of celery

FP: light cake in a mugs

FP: Lemon or chocolate pudding

FP: light cake in a mugs

FP: Lemon or chocolate pudding

FP: Laughing Cow Cheese on Celery

FP: Swiss Cheese rolled up with lunch meat, mustard, and cucumber or pickle

FP: Veggie Soup

FP: hot cocoa

I’m still hungry! (Maybe I’m actually hungry for something other than food;)

Drink water, chew gum

Call a friend

Blog

Clean and listen to podcast

Read

Take a walk with the baby in the stroller

What’s Up Wednesday- Thoughts on how to get back on track after a holiday

For those of you who missed this on the main THM page, I thought I’d share it here for you to read. Coming off of a holiday can be rough if you enjoyed some off plan Easter treats with your family. I went off plan this Easter a bit, but tried to stick as best I could to my THM candy, baked macafoni, ham w/ cloves and sugar free jam, and baked macafoni;) We had family visiting that we hadn’t seen a very long time and they put together a before dinner passover presentation where we ate bread and figs at a certain time in the reading. I felt like it was something I should participate in, so I did. I also had some of the delicious angel food cake my husband’s cousin brought, again not wanting to be rude. Most of the time, I share my own THM desserts, and feel justified in doing so but in this circumstance, I made an exception. But I didn’t beat myself up about it, I consciously did it, and the next day I jumped right back on plan. Deep S is a lifesaver and really does help you lose any weight you might have gained during the holidays. I love how Pearl advises not to try and starve yourself but to use healthy fats to really fill you up. It works for me and I know it will work for you too;) I’ve already lost the weight I gained on Easter. Think of how far you’ve come and don’t let one slip up discourage you from continuing on your journey. Here is the wonderful post by Pearl:

Feeling Derailed? Getting Back on Track is as Easy as 1… 2… 3…

Let’s get it all out in the open… some of us went right off plan over the Easter weekend. I’m raising my hand. Life happens, while Serene never chooses to eat any off plan foods – I do now and then. If you chose to stick with luscious THM foods over the weekend I am thrilled for you and fiercely proud of you. You determined what your body and mind needed – you stayed the course and I imagine you didn’t even feel a little bit deprived.

The rest of us are going to get back on track and if you’re not sure how to do that, I want to guide you through it in this post. I’m going to give you my three steps back to safety.

1 – First things first – shake off any guilt or shame. Maybe in other years you fudged whatever stringent diet you were doing, ate off plan for a holiday celebration and never got back on due to self loathing. That AIN’T going to happen this time! Trim Healthy Mama is a life time approach, eating off plan treats now and then to celebrate family, faith and life blessings is a mere blip on the radar of your THM journey. . I know the way I ate over the weekend is not the way I will eat for the rest of my life and I’m sure not going to punish myself for it.

2 – Don’t Purge! Holiday feasting is notorious for creating a vicious cycle that I call “Indulge and Purge.” Yes, you need to come back to the THM green pastures, but you don’t need to eat nasty, dry, rabbit food meals to get yourself back on track. I hear this question a lot, “Help, I ate terribly… should I do all Fuel Pulls for a few days?”

“No!”

Deep S meals like fried eggs in generous amounts of butter are the best ones for getting back on track and all those excess sugars out of your cells. Or get some of that leftover meat, put it on a huge plate of salad and use heaps of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in your dressing. Eating too low calorie and denying yourself of fats to try to combat your splurge will only make holiday cravings worse. Remember that fats satisfy. Sure, you can still have your usual amounts of Fuel Pull snacks or enjoy a Fat Stripping Frappa as a meal now and then, but don’t overdo these low calorie items, especially around Holiday seasons. I think that a couple of deep S meals in a row are the best way to do a THM reset (from my own experience).

3 – Enough is enough! This cannot be a whole season of cheating. The freedom THM offers is one thing, but seriously harming your body is another. Don’t give yourself license to spike your blood sugar with off plan foods every day from now until next month. You’ll wake up in May desperate and more apt to make extreme food choices, which will only create another vicious cycle.

But… I know some of you may have trouble jumping right back on the THM wagon after a big splurge meal or two. Old habits of self-sabotage die hard sometimes. You feel like you are on a downward cycle and can’t pull yourself out. In a perfect world, you’d jump right back to your next slimming THM meal which is always only three hours away, but the reality is… getting back on the wagon is hard for you when part of your minds whispers , ‘I can’t stick to anything… might as well eat what I want.” – You feel derailed, you feel like you can’t fight your food past coming back to demolish your health and weight progress.

If this is where you are at I am going to go all Serene on you for a minute. I’d welcome a lecture from her to shake me out of that path of destruction if that is where I was stuck. You are wonderfully made by our creator; you can overcome past bondage with his help and with the knowledge that the foods you get to eat on THM are not boring and nasty. You have a world of scrumptiousness in your future that boosts your health rather than pulls it down. You don’t have to go back to doldrums and deprivation this time.

Take action if the foods that derail you are still calling your name. If they are in your home they go in the trash or they go to a shelter, they do not stay in your house! You don’t want to waste? It is a greater waste of health to continue to eat them and ill health is much more expensive than throwing away a box or two or cookies. You have plenty of incredible THM treats to replace them with. (hoping I was Serene enough here)

So I’m right here with you… walking back to plan. All of our THM journeys are unique. Mine includes liberties to eat things now and then that are normally not part of my food world. Your own journey may not and that is perfectly fine. But that’s the beauty of this plan – it embraces all approaches to food and all styles of women. Hope this encourages you today. – Pearl.

Tip Tuesday- My Top 11 FP snacks!!

I LOVE FP snacks- you don’t have to worry too much about if you had an E breakfast and you’re going to have a S lunch or vice versa, you can have these even at the 2 1/2 hour mark and you’re golden. I keep a list of my favorite FP snacks on the fridge to eat with a meal if I’m still not full yet or I’ll pick a few for a good filling snack ;)

Here are my fave FP snacks:

1. 2 boiled egg whites, a small diced tomato, light laughing cow cheese, basil (fresh when I have it on hand), on top of 1/2 Joseph’s pita or just boiled egg whites with salt and pepper

2. 1/4 c. cottage cheese w/ a few strawberries and ff reddi whip on top

3. Protein shake- 1 T. Peanut flour, 1 c. almond milk, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1/2 tsp. coconut extract, 2 drops liquid stevia, handful of spinach, handful of ice- so yummy and so satisfying. The protein really helps with the hunger!

4. A slice of lean deli meat wrapped around a dill pickle spear, sometimes I eat two of these;)

5. Hot cocoa w/ Cinnamon dippers

low-carb-cinnamon-crisp-rec

6. About 7 almonds w/ light string cheese

7. 1/2 Joseph’s pita nuked for about 50 sec., broken into chips, served w/ LC cheese and salsa or about 1/4 c. cott cheese and salsa

8. 1/2 c. greek yogurt w/ TRUE cherry limeade or TRUE mango peach drink packet mixed in w/ a little ff reddi whip on top

9. 1/4 c. cottage cheese w/ a small sliced tomato and some italian seasoning

10. Lemon Muffin in a bowl-  Follow the directions for the MIB (THM p. 258) & replace cocoa w/ vanilla protein powder, use 1/2 juice of lemon or 1/2 tsp. lemon extract), put a squirt of reddi whip on top

11. Pre-washed green beans or sugar snap peas w/ some humus

What are your favorite FP snacks?

Just be sure when you are eating a FP snack in between a meal that you do not food stack. To avoid this choose a small snack to get you through to the next meal ;)

Here are some more FP snack ideas:

Pinterest FP snacks

More FP snacks from Pinterest

Jennifer griffin’s Top 5

 

Tip Tuesday – Ordering speciality ingredients and products

Although you CAN do the THM lifestyle without specialty foods, it is a whole lot more FUN with them;) And if you have a sweet tooth, you’ll need to experiment with sweeteners to see which ones you like. But sometimes it’s hard to find the specialty foods in your local grocery store. I’ve had to hunt around a bit to find which stores carry which foods. Fortunately in this day and age, I can always go online and order the foods that I can’t find in the store (or that are cheaper online). Plus, you can’t beat having groceries delivered to your door step!

My go-to site for ordering online is Amazon. You can find just about anything on Amazon, and their prices are usually pretty good. And I love Amazon Prime. If you are a member you can often get free two-day shipping! You can even try it for FREE for 30 days to see if you like it:)

So I created a new page on my blog called “Favorite Products” (find it on the menu bar) where I’m cataloging all the products that I’ve found and ordered online. It’s a work in progress, so check it now and later to see what’s there. Also, if you find a good source online to order THM ingredients, let me know and I will add it to the page to share with everyone.

I’m going to highlight my mini crockpot. This is one of my all-time favorite products. I’ve made overnight oatmeal in it and almost daily, I throw in a few chicken tenderloins in the morning with some garlic seasoning or sometimes just some salsa and it’s done by lunchtime. I can make wraps, salads, fajitas, any lunch item I’m in the mood for with no fuss;)

Crock-Pot SCR200-B Manual Slow Cooker, 2 Quart

If you’re looking for Joseph’s products and can’t find them in your local Walmart or BJ’s, here is the website:

Joseph’s products

These pita breads are a MUST if you like chips and salsa (cut them in half, nuke for about 50 sec. and voila! they can easily be broken into chips to eat with salsa and cottage cheese, salsa and queso, or salsa and laughing cow cheese) A STAPLE in my house;)

Other Joseph’s products I love are the flatbreads, tortillas, and you can even get Dreamfield’s LASAGNA noodles off of their site (I’ve never seen the lasagna noodles at Walmart;)

Another great website I’ve found that I order from a lot is iherb.com where you can find sweeteners, flours, etc. Sometimes they have great sales and have free shipping if you order more than $20 worth;)

iherb.com

Right now this liquid stevia is on sale for $1, along with the plain and french vanilla flavors. I don’t prefer to use stevia in my baking because it is too bitter for me, but I love it in my hot cocoa and other drinks;)

 

Tip Tuesday- Let’s Get Organized! Recipes and Meal Planning – updated

A very important key to being successful on any eating program is to be organized.

Organizing Recipes:

When I first started THM, I was in love with all the dessert recipes I saw on Pinterest and on all the facebook pages but had a hard time keeping track of all the ones I wanted to try. When I read the book, I noticed that not all of the recipes were in the index, so I decided to start writing down quick recipe I found in the book or online on colored 3 x 5 notecards. I print the longer recipes out and keep them in a binder, but we can save the binder for another day.

I use a photobook to store all of my recipe cards because they are a lot easier to find than in a recipe box and color code them by meal type.

Breakfast- Yellow (the sun is up!)

Snacks- Red (stop and think-don’t eat too many snacks;)

Lunches- Green (go for it! Big lunches go a long way in keeping me satisfied, and I usually eat them after a workout so that helps!)

Dinners/Sides- Blue (the sun is going down;)

Desserts- Purple (the fun color!)

When I want to use a recipe, I simply flip to the meal type section I am looking for, pull out the recipe card and use it, and then put it back in its place. Easy peasy and it doesn’t take nearly as long as it used to when I was sifting through my recipe cards in my recipe box. It’s definitely a time saver, which is always a plus!

Here is a sample of what one of my snack pages looks like:)

I am a very visual person and sometimes I just need to be able to get an idea at a glance, especially if I’m hungry and want a quick idea and don’t want to eat what’s on my menu for the week (hey, it happens!) So this week, I went through the book and looked up recipes that I like and know I want to try. I started writing just meal ideas, not recipes on notecards with the pg numbers divided into meal types- breakfast-yellow, lunch-green,snacks- red, dinner-blue, dessert-purple and S, E, or FP including my own favorite recipes and favorite Pinterest or Internet recipes. This way when I’m hungry or meal planning I can see ideas at a glance which is really helpful. I posted these on my whiteboard in my kitchen. It’s still a work in progress, but when I want to add something to a notecard, it’s quick and easy to do so.

 

Quick and Easy Meal Planning:

Now that I’ve talked about how I organize my recipes, here is how I try and keep my meal planning quick and easy. I have a menu bank for dinners. I choose the dinners I want to make for the week and simply transfer them over to my weekly whiteboard. I like to have a theme for each night of the week so I don’t have to think too hard about dinners.

These are my current themes:

Monday- Italian

Tuesday- Mexican

Wednesday- New Recipe

Thursday- Quick and Easy- Crockpot or baked salmon or chicken I can throw in the oven

Friday- Pizza

Saturday- Burgers or Sandwiches and Soup

Sunday- Breakfast for Dinner

We don’t always stick to this, but I’ve found that if I at least have a menu to pull from, if I feel like something different to eat on a different night, I have the ingredients for it.

Several months back, I decided to write down all of the dinners we like to eat or as many as I could think of. I typed and printed them out, laminated them, put magnet strips on the back and color coded them according to the day of the week I plan to eat them on. I also left some blank for new ideas and eventually the idea is that I get around to typing and printing them out as well;) I keep my menu bank on my main white board and then have a weekly white board. When I want to menu plan, I simply choose whichever dinners I feel like making for the week and transfer them to the weekly white board.  You’ll also notice my chores, but you don’t have to pay attention to that! Just look for the meals under each day of the week;)

IMG_5350  

For me, planning dinners is not enough. I like having tentative meal ideas for breakfast, lunches, snacks, and of course desserts. It really save me time and money when grocery shopping. I laminated a generic weekly schedule with enough spaces for each of these categories. Every Sunday, I fill in my meals with a dry erase marker and the next week it’s easy enough to wipe off the old meals and write on new ones. It looks like this:

 

Update: This week, a fellow THMer named Sally Belle Wheeler posted this fabulous idea for keeping track of her recipes. I love it because you can easily swap the recipes in and out for the week and you don’t have to go searching for your recipes when it’s time to cook or do your meal prep! She says she just keeps the template on her computer and copies and pastes recipes to the original.

Photo: Hi ladies!  Many of you ask how some of us save recipes, so I thought I'd share how I save mine. Back in February Sheri Graham posted a link to recipe cards she created. I keep the original on my computer and copy & paste to that... Then print them off and last night I finally organized them! You can find the cards at www.sherigraham.com.

This is where she got the recipe card template:

Free Recipe Card Download