Easy Greek Tzatziki (THM FP)

Tzatziki is incredibly versatile. Use it as a topping for a burger, salad, or as a dip for meat and veggies. The good news is, it’s also easy to make.

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Tzatziki is refreshing and takes just minutes to make.

I always used 0% fat plain Greek yogurt in my recipe, because you can use it with any THM meal.

For the cucumbers, I like to use hothouse cucumbers as they usually have less water than others. I lightly skin them, cut out the seeds, and finely dice.

Next, zest and juice the lemon. Add the parsley, dill, salt, and pepper and you’re done! Refrigerate for about 30 minutes prior to enjoying, so that the flavors have a chance to come together.

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It is so creamy and delicious! The yogurt has a tang, while the lemon delivers a punch of freshness. The cucumbers are crunchy and refreshing. And the herbs tie it all together with brightness.

It’s perfect on salads, burgers, as an appetizer dipper, or as a sauce for meat and fish.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Greek Tzatziki (THM FP)

  • Servings: Makes 1/2 cups
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients



– 1 1/4 c nonfat plain Greek yogurt
– 1/3 c finely diced hothouse cucumber
– zest and juice of 1 lemon
– 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
– 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
– salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  2. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Low Carb Blender Ranch Dressing (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

This homemade ranch dressing is so easy to make, you’ll never want to buy bottled again!
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What if I told you homemade ranch was just a turn of your blender away? Well, brace yourselves, because it’s true!

This ranch batch blended beautifully in my Ninja blender, and it only took a few minutes.

This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups of salad dressing, however you can stretch it a little further. My dressing tends to thicken after refrigeration, and the flavor will intensify, so you can thin it out with a little half and half, almond milk, or water if you prefer.

My kids love this dressing with literally anything – cut veggies, salad (yes, they eat salad ^_^), nuggets, pizza, you name it. I love this dressing because I get to control the quality of ingredients, and because it tastes incredible. [Seriously, it’s better than those $5 bottles of organic dressing at the grocery store. AND IT DOESN’T COST YOU $5 A BATCH.]

Blender Ranch Dressing (THM S)

  • Servings: Multiple
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 c mayonnaise
  • 1/2 c sour cream (full fat is fine. I used reduced fat, because it had slightly fewer carbs than full fat)
  • 1/2 small bunch fresh parsley
  • 1/2 small bunch fresh chives, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c fresh dill
  • 2 small cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 5 dashes hot sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • half and half or plain, unsweetened almond milk to thin, optional

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend well. Adjust the seasoning as needed, and thin with half and half or almond milk if desired.
  2. Place into a pint mason jar and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before use. Keeps in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Salmon Niçoise Salad (THM Deep S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Here is a quick and easy rollover dinner or lunch for that fabulous leftover roasted salmon from my Salmon en Papillote.

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Niçoise salad is usually characterized by tuna, green beans, potatoes, olives, and boiled eggs.

I swapped tuna for my gorgeous leftover salmon. In order to keep this light, and THM approved, I removed the potatoes entirely. However, if you would like some light carb action, you can top it with up to 1/4 cup white beans. I would choose a great northern variety or cannelini, but it’s up to you. I also swapped the olives for capers, which I think go better with salmon (it almost reminds me of lox and bagels!).

Since you’re using leftovers for this salad, the only thing you need to cook is a couple of boiled eggs. And I have an awesome tip for you on how to get perfectly yellow boiled eggs every time!

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I was watching “Brunch at Bobby’s” on Food Network the other day, and he was making boiled eggs using a tip I had never heard before.

Lay the eggs into a pot of cold water, and set it over high heat uncovered on the stovetop. When the water is almost boiling (not rumbling, but almost there), turn the heat completely OFF, put a lid on, and leave the pot on the hot eye for 14 minutes.

After 14 minutes, drain the hot water and turn it into an ice bath by adding a few handfuls of ice cubes and running cold water over the top. Let them sit for about 8-10 minutes, then peel away! You’ll have perfectly yellow yolks in your boiled eggs every time.

After the eggs are cooked, simply combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and dress with your favorite vinaigrette. I used a simple vinaigrette of 1/2 lemon, juiced, about 1 1/2 Tbsp EVOO, salt and pepper. Easy, fast, and fresh!

Balsamic vinaigrette would also be a good alternative to use here.

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That is one beautiful, fresh, and flavorful lunch or dinner! This meal would pack well for on-the-go, or as a make-ahead. It’s the perfect protein-packed lunch or dinner.

Salmon Niçoise Salad (THM Deep S)

  • Servings: Single
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 leftover salmon filet from Salmon en Papillote
  • Mixed salad greens
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • cucumbers, diced
  • frozen green beans, thawed
  • 1 Tbsp capers or chopped pitted olives
  • 1 small radish, thinly sliced
  • 1 boiled egg, sliced
  • 1/4 c white beans, any variety, optional
  • For the Dressing:
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2-3 Tbsp EVOO
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients for the salad in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Drizzle the dressing over the top and toss to combine. Serve immediately or store the dressing for later.

Creamy Jalapeño Ranch Sauce (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

If you are lucky enough to have a Chuy’s Tex-Mex restaurant near you, then I bet you already know the sauce I’m talking about. We discovered Chuy’s over the summer, and now my daughter begs to go there at least once a week. We try to appease her by going once or twice a week.

On to the legendary Creamy Jalapeño Sauce. At Chuy’s, you can put this sauce on anything you want – tacos, enchiladas, nachos, chile rellenos, and even dips your chips in it. It’s ah-mazing. It has a hint of ranch flavor, a ton of freshness, and just a little *bite* of fresh jalapeño.

After I made some wildly successful Homemade Buttermilk Ranch, I decided to build on that recipe to replicate copycat Chuy’s Creamy Jalapeño Sauce.

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What’s wonderful about this recipe is that it takes maybe five minutes to put together. You throw all of the ingredients into a food processor or high-powered blender and whip together until everything looks uniform. Then taste, taste, taste! Add more flavor as you wish – more dill, more cilantro, salt, pepper, etc. Make it your own! What you end up with is a fresh, creamy, slightly spicy sauce.

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A few tips…

*Grate or finely mince the garlic prior to blending it. Garlic can be tough for blenders and processors to get to, because it’s already small so it will get “chunked” instead of blended.

*Finely chop the jalapeño prior to blending it as well. Again, just helps ensure that you won’t end up with chunks of jalapeño. If you would like tips on how to take the seeds and ribs out without setting your hands on fire with pepper juice, check out my how-to here.

As with any homemade dressing/sauce, the flavor will intensify over time. It’s best to stir it before each use.

Use this fabulous sauce on your salads, tacos, enchiladas, as dip for crudités, or anything else your heart desires.

Creamy Jalapeño Ranch Sauce

  • Servings: Multiple
  • Time: 7 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 c mayonnaise
  • 1/2 c reduced fat sour cream
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley
  • 3 Tbsp fresh chives
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 tsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 small sprig fresh dill, or 1/2 tsp dried dill, fronds removed and roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • half and half to thin out as needed

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into a high-powered mixer or food processor and blend well.
  2. Adjust seasoning as needed. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Wedge Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

I’m probably preaching to the converted here, but I’ll go ahead and say it – ranch dressing rocks my world.

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I’ve spent time scouring store brands trying to find something that’s Trim Healthy Mama compliant while keeping within my budget, and it’s either a unicorn or it doesn’t exist. Most brands have varying sugar levels, and it seems the sugar levels and price have a variable relationship. Smaller levels, higher price. Quite frankly, I’m just not willing to pay upwards of $5 per bottle for something I’m not sure I’ll enjoy.

Enter: homemade ranch.

Honestly, it blows my mind how much better homemade dressings/sauces taste than store brand. I’m not even remotely exaggerating!

After mixing this dressing together, I really had to refrain from drinking the entire bowl.

I chopped everything by hand, but if you like the pieces smaller feel free to use a food processor.

*NOTE: Even If you’re using a food processor, still grate the garlic so that you don’t get any large pieces. I used a fine hand grater.

Start off by making a homemade buttermilk from unsweetened almond milk and apple cider vinegar.

Combine all other ingredients in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper, and add the buttermilk to your desired consistency.

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It tastes best when it has a few hours to hang out in the fridge, but straight from mixing to serving works too. The taste will deepen over time.

The first night, I paired this with one of my favorite classic sides: the wedge salad. There’s something about a wedge salad that feels so simple yet elegant. Even when I make it at home, I feel like I’m in a fancy steakhouse.

The best way to get your iceberg wedges is to start by cutting the stem end off the head of lettuce. Then cut diagonally down toward the center twice, and rock your knife side-to-side to free your wedge slice from its prison.

Add it to a bowl with some chopped seedless cucumbers, tomatoes, blue cheese crumbles, and bacon. Season with a little salt and pepper.

And finally, drizzle on your homemade ranch dressing.

Store the dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks (although I’m almost certain it won’t be around that long), stirring before each use. This recipe makes about 8 servings.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing (THM S)

  • Servings: Multiple
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 c mayonnaise
  • 1/2 c reduced fat sour cream
  • 1/2 c unsweetened, plain almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated (I use a hand grater
  • 4 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp fresh chopped dill
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chives
  • 1/2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
  • few dashes hot sauce
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Combine almond milk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and set aside. This makes your “buttermilk”
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Add the reserved buttermilk until the mixture reaches your desired consistency. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Lamb Spanakopita Burgers with Tzatziki (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

I love Greek food. I think I must have some Greek in my background, because I just can’t get enough of their food.

I also love a good burger. You can make a burger however you want it – with bacon and eggs, with onion jam and barbecue sauce, with grilled pineapple and teriyaki sauce, or with tzatziki over salad. Endless possibilities!

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For the tzatziki sauce, I combined fat free Greek yogurt, lemon juice, dill, finely diced cucumbers, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Let it hang out in the fridge while the burgers cook so that the flavors have a chance to get to know one another.

For these burgers, I started with a base of ground lamb. If you’re hesitant to use lamb, can’t find lamb in your grocery store, or think it’s too expensive to use just use ground beef (or a mix of beef/pork, if you like).

In fact, by using different meat (with different fat content) you could make this an E or FP meal. As it is, if you used 96% or higher lean ground beef this would be a FP because there are no significant carbs in this meal. If you want to be in E territory, you could sandwich these babies between a sprouted bun (*Note that this is for a case of 6).

I seasoned the lamb with shallots, lemon zest, garlic, oregano, ground cinnamon, frozen cut leaf spinach, and feta cheese crumbles. Then I threw in one egg, and mixed it all up with my hands, formed a loaf in the bottom of my bowl, and scored it with my hand to make sure I got even patties.

When I form burger patties, I always make a little well in the center to keep them from puffing up in the middle when they cook. The center always puffs up to a normal height when cooking, so the burgers end up being even all the way around.

My favorite way to cook a burger is in a cast iron skillet. You get even cooking (with no burnt spots) and no sticking.

Cool the burgers slightly before putting them over your salad greens, otherwise your lettuce will get sad. Throw on some diced cucumbers, tomatoes, and  your cooked burger on top of your choice of salad greens, then slap some tzatziki on top.

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That’s what I call an easy, flavorful, and fresh meal.

Lamb Spanakopita Burgers (THM S)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2lbs ground lamb
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 c frozen cut leaf spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
  • 1/4 c feta cheese crumbles
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl until everything is mixed (being careful not to over mix).
  2. Form a loaf in the bottom of the bowl and score the meat with the back of your hand. Form patties with a small well in the center to prevent puffing.
  3. Place patties into a preheated cast iron skillet over medium heat, and cook to desired internal temperature, flipping only once.
  4. Remove from pan, cool, and top with tzatziki sauce.

Greek Tzatziki Sauce (THM FP)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c fat free Greek yogurt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/3 c finely diced seedless cucumbers
  • 1 Tbsp fresh dill
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until serving time.

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Marinated Antipasto Salad

I used to get an antipasto salad at Quizno’s (are they even around anymore?) back in my days of roaming  my college campus nearly all day. Until recently, I had almost completely forgotten about it, but in trying to come up with adult-friendly finger food for my daughter’s birthday party this weekend it all came back to me.

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You can mix up the flavors any which way you please, based on what you like in an antipasto platter. Things not included in my salad which may be good are: marinated mushrooms, giardiniera (an Italian mix of hot-pickled vegetables), cucumbers, different cheeses (hunks are parmesan, provolone, feta, or swiss), or roasted red peppers.

I picked up most of my salad fixings at the salad bar of my local Sprouts. It was much easier, and cost-effective, than doing jars of every item. Plus, in  picking the marinated olives, I got to choose more black than green ^_~.

Marinated Antipasto Salad (THM S)

Multiple Servings

  • 1 roll of dry Italian salame, sopressata, or hot ham (or a combo!)
  • 1 8-oz container bucatini (small fresh mozzarella rounds)
  • about 1/2 c mixed marinated olives (I got green and black, even though I hate green olives)
  • about 1/4 c pickled cherry peppers
  • about 1/2 c marinated artichokes
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (I use the heirloom cherries from Trader Joe’s – tasty and colorful!)
  • 2 Tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 6 Tsp EVOO
  • 2 tsp herbes de Provence (or dried Italian seasoning)
  • salt and pepper

Cut the salame and bucatini into bite-size chunks (I did 1/4 inch pieces). Roughly chop all the other ingredients and add them to a large bowl.

In a small jar or bowl, combine the vinegar, herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Stream in the EVOO as you whisk until the dressing comes together. Taste and adjust for seasoning as needed.

Drizzle the salad with 2 Tsp of the dressing and toss to combine. Cover and marinate for 4 hours, or overnight.

Party ideas: Serve as is or on skewers (just cut everything a little bigger). For individual servings you can have it as is, or put it over mixed greens with some onions and cucumbers and drizzle with some additional balsamic dressing (this was my favorite!).

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This was incredibly easy to toss together, and makes lunchtime prep a breeze.

Enjoy!

Ranch Dip for Any Meal

Ranch dip has a very special place in my heart. I’ve been eating it a long time, and gave it up once I started my Trim Healthy Mama journey because there’s not one ranch dressing on the market that’s reasonably priced and within the plan guidelines. At least, not one I can find in any of the grocery stores I frequent.

I got to thinking a few weeks ago, that since I make my own dry ranch seasoning I could for sure make my own ranch dip or dressing. It took some experimenting, but I think  I found a great FP option ranch dip.

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Ranch Dip (THM FP)

Single-serve

Ranch seasoning:

  • 1 Tsp minced dried onion
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Add 1 Tsp of dry seasoning to 3 Tsp fat free sour cream. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper as needed.

In an E setting, there’s no limit for this since there’s no fat. In an S setting, keep the serving to 2 Tsp.

If there’s leftover ranch seasoning, place it in a zip-top bag and store in a cool, dry place for later use.

Enjoy!

Pesto Chicken Salad with Almonds (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Back in my hair salon days, I worked down the street from this amazing little lunch cafe that made the best everything. Tomato basil soup, tortilla soup, chicken salad, sandwiches, you name it – they were the best at it.

My favorite item was their basil chicken salad on their house-made cranberry nut bread. Although I can’t really do the cranberry nut bread, I can certainly recreate the pesto chicken salad at home.

This salad is quick and easy to make. The flavor is straightforward, yet unexpected.

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This is fabulous on its own, or you can wrap it up in a low carb tortilla with some lettuce. It’s a great lunch item to make on a Sunday for the whole week. Plus, kids really love it. The flavor is simple, but very refreshing.

Pesto Chicken Salad (THM S)

  • Servings: Multiple
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2lbs chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 c mayonnaise
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 c fresh parsley
  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1/4 c grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
  • 1 handful sunflower seeds or pine nuts
  • 1/2 c sliced almonds (not necessary, but adds great texture)
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. In a blender or food processor, add the basil, mayo, EVOO, sunflower seeds, parsley, grated garlic, cheese, salt, pepper, and an ice cube. *NOTE: The ice cube will help keep the pesto mayo nice and green. Sometimes, when basil is chopped in a processor or blender it will get brown and “bruise.” The ice helps prevent that.
  2. Blend until you get a smooth puree, and add it to the shredded chicken. If the mixture still seems a little dry, you can add more mayo if needed. Adjust for salt and pepper, and add the sliced almonds (if using). Toss it all together, and refrigerate or serve immediately.

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Seared Tuna Salad with Wasabi-Orange Vinaigrette (THM Deep S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Sushi is my kryptonite. In a former life, I must have been Japanese because I cannot get enough of this cuisine.

Even when I’ve been through both of my pregnancies, I had to sneak sushi every now and again. (SHHH! Don’t tell) I just can’t stay away from the stuff for 40 whole weeks – inconceivable!

But, alas, I can’t always spend a chunk of change at my favorite sushi place. So, I have to find ways to satisfy my cravings at home.

>Seared Tuna Salad with Wasabi-Orange Vinaigrette (THM S)

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

    For the Salad:
  • 1-lb sushi grade ahi tuna
  • 2 Tbsp gluten free soy sauce
  • 1/2 in piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 large cloves garlic, grated
  • 4-7 large leaves romaine lettuce, torn
  • 1/2 hothouse cucumbers, julienned
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • For the Vinaigrette:
  • 2 heaping tsp no-sugar orange marmalade, such as Polaner’s All Fruit
  • 1.5 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1-2 pea-sized dots of wasabi paste (the kind you get on a sushi plate – the green stuff. You can ask the sushi chefs at your grocery store for a small container of it.)
  • 2-3 Tbsp EVOO
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. In a shallow dish, combine the soy sauce, garlic, and ginger with the tuna and marinate it on the counter for 7-10 minutes.
  2. While that’s happening, chop all the ingredients for the salad and add them to 2 medium bowls.
  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tuna and sear 1-2 minutes on each side (top, bottom, and sides also). Remove it from the pan, slice into 1/2 in slices and cube into large chunks. Add it to the salads.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and divide it evenly over each salad. Toss to combine.

There is seriously nothing more gorgeous than a hunk of seared tuna. It’s fatty and delicious without being heavy or weighing you down.

Sprouts has had a great price on ahi tuna this summer! You can get a 1-lb filet for between $5.99 and $7.99.

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