Low Carb Ranch Pasta Salad (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 pasta salad is a quick and easy side dish to make ahead for lunch or dinner – perfect for those busy weeknights!

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If you’ve ever been to a Ruby Tuesdays, you very likely know the pasta salad I’m talking about. Creamy, crunchy, and a little salty from the ham and Ranch.

Growing up in Woodstock, Georgia (which was very small then) Ruby Tuesdays was one of the only sit-down restaurants in our area. When my parents felt like treating us to a dinner out, we usually went there or our favorite Mexican food joint.

My mother loves to tell stories about what a veggie lover I’ve always been (apparently, I used to ask for a breakfast of carrots, celery, and ranch – who’d have guessed?!). So naturally I gravitated toward the salad bar and piled it high. The pasta salad became one of my favorites very quickly.

I haven’t been to Ruby Tuesdays in forever! The last memory I have of going there, I was pregnant with my daughter (which was 5 years ago). So, you can understand my excitement when I found this pasta salad EVEN BETTER than the one at the favored restaurant chain.

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It’s a fantastic use of leftover ham, veggies sitting in the fridge, or those last few Tablespoons of Ranch at the bottom of your jar.

My kids were digging this pasta salad too, even the veggies (that they normally shy away from).

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This salad is creamy, delightfully crunchy, and FRESH. Just look at all those flecks of fresh herbs from the homemade Ranch dressing – gorgeous!

Ranch Pasta Salad (THM S)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 8oz Dreamfields Pasta (any short cut variety, I used elbows), cooked (makes about 2 cups cooked pasta)
  • 1 1/2 c finely diced ham
  • 1/3 c frozen peas (don’t worry about thawing or cooking, they thaw very quickly)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2-3 heaping Tbsp Homemade Ranch Dressing
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, and add more mayo and/or ranch if the salad gets too dry.
  2. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

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)

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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.

Teriyaki Chicken and Shiitake Lettuce Wraps (THM FP)

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 will probably make me sound weird, but I don’t care – I love lettuce. All of it: leafy, crunchy, green, grassy lettuce. [Maybe I’m half rabbit?] It’s so versatile and refreshing, plus it’s AWESOME for you.

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I used ground chicken as the protein for these wraps, but you could also use ground turkey or pork, if that’s your thing. I find chicken to be a “blank canvas” that you can make into pretty much anything. I sautéed  it with onions, garlic, shredded carrots, and shiitake mushrooms, then seasoned it with mild curry powder and ground coriander. At the end, I added a few chopped water chestnuts for more crunch factor.

I tossed it all in one batch of my paleo Teriyaki Sauce for a flavorful, slightly sweet and mildly spicy finish.

Lettuce is the crispy, crunchy vehicle for the savory, flavorful chicken and mushroom stuffing. And don’t be fooled – if you choose a lettuce with large enough leaves, you can really pack it in there. I had some leftover iceberg that I used for these, which worked perfectly because the leaves are big, sturdy, and foldable. But, really, the sky’s the limit on what you could use – green leaf, butter lettuce, red leaf, romaine, you could even use cabbage leaves!

This was also an awesome make-ahead meal for lunch or dinner. All I had to do was gently heat up the chicken mixture, put it into my lettuce leaves and top it – SO EASY. Same thing can be done for lunch – just keep the chicken mixture and lettuce/topping separate so that nothing gets soggy or wilted. Toss it together at the last minute, and enjoy!

Since this is a THM FP, it’s low in both carbs and fat so you can make it what you want. Pair it with some fluffy brown rice and veggies for an E meal. Have an extra wrap for a light S. Pair is with some peanut satay zoodles for a Deep S.

Chicken & Shiitake Lettuce Wraps (THM FP)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 3 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, diced
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
  • 1/4 c chopped water chestnuts
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 batch of Paleo Teriyaki Sauce
  • Lettuce of choice (I used iceberg leaves)
  • Toppings of choice: fresh sliced radishes, bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, cilantro, chili sauce, scallions, etc.

Directions

  1. Heat a large, deep sauté pan over medium heat with a spritz of coconut oil spray. Brown the chicken, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula, and season with curry powder, coriander, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and carrots and continue cooking until onions are soft.
  3. Turn off the heat, add the chopped water chestnuts, and toss everything in the Teriyaki Sauce.
  4. Cool the mixture slightly before filling your lettuce cups with it to prevent wilting. Enjoy!

Chipotle Burrito Bowls at Home (THM S/E/FP)

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!

Chipotle is a staple in our house. My favorite date night with my kids it to take them to our neighborhood Chipotle, and then next door for cupcakes.

Chipotle is an excellent on-the-go choice, or just for those nights when you can’t cook ANOTHER meal, because they use clean, sustainable ingredients. You know when you’re eating there, that it’s good quality and you can pack in the veggies.

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The meat base of these bowls is boneless skinless chicken breast, because it’s versatile for FP, S, or E meals. I put together my own spice blend using cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, chipotle chile powder, salt, and pepper. I seasoned my chicken liberally with the seasoning, and rubbed it all together.

I then grilled it using my cast iron grill.

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Next we have the pairings! I’ll start with Fuel Pull options. Go simple with some grilled onions and peppers (which I did in a dry cast iron skillet with a touch of salt and pepper), lettuce, copycat Chipotle verde salsa, and maybe a dollop of fat free sour cream with a squeeze of lime juice.

E Options: Use the FP base, add some copycat Chipotle cilantro lime rice to the mix with 1/4 c drained and rinsed black beans and some diced fresh tomatoes.

S Options: Use the FP base with 1/4 c of black beans and some copycat Chipotle guacamole, maybe some shredded queso or Monterrey jack cheese, and diced tomatoes.

Really, it’s that easy! I was able to throw together a Chipotle-style lunch for my family in about 30 minutes, as I had most of it prepped and ready to go.

Meals don’t have to be complicated to taste great. Sometimes all you need are some flavorful, fresh ingredients and a little prep time.

Spice Rubbed Grilled Chicken (FP)

  • Servings: About 4
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2lbs chicken breast
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Add the chicken to a bowl and sprinkle with the dry rub mixture. Toss the chicken together, coating every inch of it in the spices.
  3. Throw it onto a hot grill and cook through.

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
  • Print


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.

5- Ingredient Egg Salad (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 quick, easy salads that I make one day, and eat for lunch all week. I usually go for chicken salads of some sort, but sometimes I go for something a little simpler.

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This egg salad is creamy, delicious, and filling. And it only takes a few minutes to prepare!

The base starts with hard boiled eggs, of course. My trick for easy-peel boiled eggs is to sit them in ice water after they’re done cooking. I boil (really, that’s a loose term. It’s more like “rapidly simmer,” because if the eggs are bouncing all over, they’ll crack.) the eggs for 12 minutes, drain the hot water, place a few handfuls of ice cubes (in the same pot, because one dish) around the eggs, then cover with water. Let that sit until the eggs are cool enough to handle.

To peel, I crack the egg on all sides until I can easily get to the membrane. Set the egg down in the ice water and move along the membrane to remove the shell. Easy peasy!

I chop just the whites to begin, leaving the yolks whole, off to the side. Once they’re all chopped, I dab the pieces gently with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture (nobody likes wet egg salad). Then I add mayonnaise, Dijon mustard (or yellow mustard works too), chopped fresh chives, a little Cajun seasoning or a few dashes of hot sauce. The Cajun seasoning and hot sauce are just for deeper flavor. You can choose one or the other, or both (that’s what I did), whatever you like. Mash up the yolks with the back of a fork, and add them to the mix. Finish by seasoning with a little salt and pepper, and you’re done.

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5-Ingredient Classic Egg Salad (THM S)

  • Servings: Multiple
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Chop the egg whites, leaving the yolks whole, off to the side.
  2. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, chives, Cajun seasoning and/or hot sauce (if using), salt and pepper.
  3. Mash the yolks with the back of a fork and add them to the mix.
  4. Adjust for seasoning as needed. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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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
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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
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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!