Low Carb Pesto Chicken Salad (THM S)

This chicken salad is easy to make, and tastes so fresh and elegant.

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Southwestern Rice & Bean Salad (THM E)

I started making this salad when my husband and I went vegan a few years ago, and all but forgot about it until recently.  It’s a summer favorite because it can be enjoyed warm or cold, and it requires minimal cooking.

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This salad is mostly raw/no-cook – the only component that requires cooking is the rice. You can use leftover brown rice, or you can cook it fresh. I prefer to cook the rice fresh, because I think the lime flavor soaks best into warm rice as opposed to chilled.

I start by chopping the peppers and onion, and placing it into the bottom of a large mixing bowl.

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I use about 1/3 of a red onion, because I find the flavor to be strong after a while. If you dig raw red onion, you can definitely put more in there.

I enjoy colors, so I use half a red bell and half an orange bell with 1 small finely diced jalapeño (seeds and ribs removed). The jalapeño  does not add a lot of heat – it’s very mild and my kids enjoyed this salad a number of times without being bothered by it.

Once your veggies are chopped, add them into your big bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Drain and rinse the kidney beans and black beans while the rice cooks. If you enjoy other types of beans (like pinto beans or white beans) you can sub those instead. It’s all about ease!

When the rice is cooked and cooled slightly (not piping hot, but not completely cool) add it right on top of the chopped veggies and squeeze the lime juice over the rice. The rice being warm helps it to absorb the lime flavor easily, and it slightly cooks the veggies. Give it a stir, then add the beans, a big handful  of chopped fresh cilantro, and a little extra S&P.

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And there you have it! A fresh, colorful salad packed with fiber and protein to go with any lean meat or fish.

I love this salad with some grilled chicken – shrimp, cod, or halibut would be fantastic mains as well.

This salad is fit for a big crowd, or as a make-ahead side to go with your E meals all week long.

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!

Southwestern Rice & Bean Salad (THM E)

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1/3 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small jalapeño, minced (seeds and ribs removed for a mild heat)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 1/2 c cooked brown rice
  • 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15oz can kidney beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 big handful of fresh chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Begin cooking the brown rice.
  2. Add the peppers and onion to the bottom of a large mixing bowl, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. When the rice is cooked and warm, add it on top of the vegetables and squeeze the lime juice over top. Give it a big toss.
  4. Add the drained and rinsed beans, cilantro, and a little more S&P then toss again.
  5. Serve at room temperature or chilled alongside any lean protein. Store in the fridge for up to one week.

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.

5-Ingredient Tuscan Tuna Salad (THM FP)

Tuna is, in my opinion, one of the best proteins out there. It’s filling, low in carbs and fat, versatile, and (best of all) budget-friendly.

This Tuscan take on tuna salad is not only simple to make, it’s flavorful and easy on the budget.

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Lemon is one of my essential summer flavors, and it takes a starring role here. It’s a punch of freshness, and citrus can brighten up any meal.

The “Tuscan” flavor of this salad comes from, olive oil (EVOO), lemon, capers, and fresh parsley. If you’re unfamiliar with capers, they’re basically a mini version of olives minus the fat. They’re briny and a little salty, and they don’t carry any carb or fat value. All of these flavors come together for a salad that’s fresh, tangy, and packed with protein.

With so few ingredients, and next to zero prep, this salad comes together in minutes.

Drain off the tuna then place it into a small bowl that can be fitted with a lid. Squeeze the lemon juice over top of the tuna, drizzle on the EVOO, add the drained capers, chopped parsley, and a touch of salt and pepper. Toss it all together, and you’re done!

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With this being a THM FP, you can spin this a few different ways.

For an E, I had a serving of the salad alongside some sliced tomatoes, sourdough toast with lowfat herb cream cheese and sliced cucumbers, and melon.

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For an S, you can have it on top of a big green salad with veggies and just drizzle on some extra EVOO and lemon juice or a few shakes of vinegar. Simple and very filling!

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For less than 5 minutes of prep, you can have a delicious and filling tuna salad that’s fit for any meal!

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!

Tuscan Tuna Salad (THM FP)

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


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl that can be fitted with a lid. Toss together and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.

 

 

 

Roasted Shrimp & Feta Quinoa (THM E)

Summer is just around the corner, which means two things: 1) less cooking time (because your house it too hot already) and 2) lots of fresh, vibrant flavors. Enter, this beautiful quinoa salad.

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I did roast the shrimp in the oven, but you could also grill them for an even quicker meal.

To roast the shrimp, and stay in E mode, start by preheating your oven to 400. Place the shrimp onto a large baking sheet lined with foil, spray lightly with coconut oil spray, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Roast the shrimp at 400 for about 6 minutes – it may be more or less depending on the size and thickness of your shrimp. When they’re done, they will be firm to the touch, pink and opaque on the outside.

All that’s left is to assemble the salad!

Place the cooked quinoa into a large bowl, and add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, red onion, lemon juice, and feta.

For the cucumber, make sure that you take the time (2 seconds, really) to cut out the seeds of the cucumber – yes, even if it’s “seedless”. The seeds have more moisture and will cut the shelf life of your salad significantly. You don’t want the whole batch going bad over some cucumbers! That would just be silly.

To cut the seeds out of your cucumber, slice the cuke lengthwise into quarters and cut into it on an angle so the whole “log” of seeds comes out in one cut.

Give the salad a big toss, taste for seasoning, then add your shrimp and serve.

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The great thing about this salad is that it’s wonderful at room temp or cold from the fridge. In fact, as it sits in the fridge the flavor gets even better.

The lemon juice adds a fantastic  acidity to the salad, while the herbs add tons of fresh, green flavor. This salad just screams summer to me, and it couldn’t be easier to make!

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!

Roasted Shrimp & Feta Quinoa (THM E)

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • about 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 c finely diced red onion
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 4 scallions, whites and green parts, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Spread shrimp onto a large baking sheet, spritz with coconut oil spray, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, then roast at 400 for about 6 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with all other ingredients. Give it a big toss, taste for seasoning, and serve.

Crockpot Mexican Shredded Beef (THM S)

If you can believe it, this was my first time EVER making a beef roast. Trust me when I say this shredded beef is easy, flavorful, and versatile!

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I love using my Crock Pot for various reasons, but overall it makes dinner insanely easy and it cooks without heating up the kitchen. Between preschool drop off, working, and getting my daughter to and from karate (right before dinner, no less) dropping something in the crock pot is definitely the easiest part of my day. The best part is coming home to a fully cooked dinner!

Let’s get to the nitty gritty of the recipe – start with a 2.5 – 3lb boneless beef roast.

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Next, throw the dry spices together in a small bowl: chili powder, cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, cayenne, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir them up, activating the spices by rubbing them gently between your fingers.

Season the whole roast on both sides, massaging the spices into the meat.

Into the bottom of your crock pot, stir together the broth (any variety is fine), lime juice, tomato paste, onion, garlic, jalapeño, and Fresno chili. Fresno chilis look like red jalapeños and are similarly flavored. You could also use another jalapeño, Serrano pepper, Anaheim pepper, or a different pepper of similar heat level.

For the peppers, you can remove the ribs and seeds or leave them. I seeded half of my peppers, and the beef remained moderately spicy. I sliced everything straight across, because the crock will cook everything down to falling apart texture and tiny cuts aren’t needed.

Lay the seasoned beef roast on top of the veggies, place the lid, and set it on low.

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Let it go low and slow for 8-10 hours until it’s falling apart.

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After it’s done cooking, shred the roast between two forks. I say shred, but really that roast cooks up so tender that you could touch it with a fork and it just falls apart. Serve it right up, any way you like it. I put it over a big bowl of greens with some salsa, avocado, and fresh cilantro with a low carb tortilla on the side. My family enjoyed the beef as tacos with sliced avocados.

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The beef is incredibly soft and tender. You get a hint of lime juice and a little smoky, spicy kick from the spices and peppers. All in all, it’s the perfect, casual way to enjoy a roast.

The leftovers could be used for salads or burritos later in the week. You could even throw them into a breakfast hash, because WHY NOT.

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!

Crock Pot Mexican Shredded Beef (THM S)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: Prep, 5 minutes; Cook, 8-10 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 2-3lb boneless beef roast
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, (seeded or not) sliced
  • 1 Fresno pepper, (seeded or not) sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 c broth (any variety, I used chicken)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp ground cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • Toppings of choice: avocado, salsa, sour cream, fresh cilantro, cheese, etc.

Directions

  1. Combine the dry spice mixture in a small bowl, grinding it lightly between your fingers to activate the spices.
  2. Season the beef with the entire spice mixture, massaging it all over the meat.
  3. In the bottom of your crock pot, combine the tomato paste, broth, lime juice, onions, peppers, and garlic.
  4. Lay the beef roast on top of the veggie mixture, cover, and set on low for 8-10 hours.
  5. After 8-10 hours, shred the meat between two forks and serve immediately.

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
  • Print


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
  • Print


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
  • Print


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
  • Print


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!