Here’s the second version of my delicious, protein-packed snack bars – get excited, y’all! ^_^
Here’s the second version of my delicious, protein-packed snack bars – get excited, y’all! ^_^
If there’s one snack I’m constantly in need of, it’s protein on-the-go. It took a few weeks of tinkering, but I finally perfected these no-bake protein bars that come together in less than 10 minutes.
Is it just me, or does it seem like cold brew is EVERYWHERE this summer? Starbuck’s, Dunkin, and even the grocery stores are packing their shelves with different cold brew blends. Lucky for you, making cold brew coffee at home is as easy as picking up your regular grounds at the store!
Cold brew differs from your normal hot brewed coffee in a few ways. First, it’s the obvious hot steep vs cold steep. Second, cold brew is stronger than your everyday java so you only use a little at a time.
I suggest a strong, dark roast coffee for this because it adds more flavor and punch with less product.
Recently, I have fallen in love with Kicking Horse Coffee, and found that their “Kick Ass” blend is perfect for cold brew. It’s a bold, dark roast coffee that isn’t bitter. I like the whole beans, because once I get it I can grind it to the coarseness I like and it tastes fresher.
To make your cold brew, just add 1 cup of ground coffee (as coarse or as fine as you like) to a quart mason jar, cover to the top with water, and stir. Place the lid on, and just let it sit in your fridge for at least 24 hours. For a more concentrated blend, you can go to 36 or even 48 hours.
Store in the fridge for up to 1 week (or as long as you can keep it around! ^_~).
As I said before, the best part is that you only need 1/4 – 1/3 cups of cold brew to make 8oz of coffee. If you enjoy your coffee black, just add some water to your cold brew. You can flavor it up with almond or coconut milk, extracts, etc.
I tell you, making cold brew at home is even easier than the drive-thru at Starbuck’s. Plus, you have more flavor options using your own coffee at home – win!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In case you weren’t already aware, blueberry and lemon are best buds. They should always hang out together, because they are a dynamic duo. Sweet blueberries against the tart freshness of lemon – it just doesn’t get any better in my book.
I call this a breakfast cake, because I more often than not eat this at breakfast or lunch. Really, you can eat it anytime. No one’s going to stop you!
For the dry base of the cake, combine almond flour, oat fiber (not oat flour – there is a difference), whey protein isolate (for a protein kick), baking powder, salt, and Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet. I used both oat fiber and whey for two reasons: 1) I wanted to give the cake a sturdy texture and 2) I wanted to tone down the sometimes aggressive flavor of the whey.
For the wet base, combine the almond milk, vanilla, melted coconut oil, zest of 1 lemon, and juice of 1/2 the lemon.
Combine the two bowls of ingredients, whisking until there are no lumps.
Next, prepare the blueberries. I used frozen berries, because it’s what I had on hand but you could use fresh if you like. Combine the frozen berries with 1 Tbsp of coconut flour and toss them together.
This helps create a little flotation device for the berries that helps them to stick in the cake batter without sinking to the bottom once the cake bakes. [It is so annoying when that happens!]
Prepare an 8×8 baking dish with coconut oil spray and a square of parchment paper in the bottom.
Pour the batter in, and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
As you can see, the top of the cake doesn’t brown as much as the sides. Make sure you look there for doneness first, and check the middle with a toothpick start around 30 minutes of bake time. It’s OK if it puffs a little, it will reduce as it cools and you can (gently) press it back down if needed.
Let the cake cool completely, then prepare the glaze.
Beat together the cream cheese, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, lemon juice, and vanilla until the mixture is slightly fluffy. One tablespoon at a time, add the almond milk until the mixture is thick, yet pourable. Pour it right over the top of the cake, letting it go down the sides and wherever it pleases. Just gently spread it with a spatula so that all sides are evenly coated.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate for future use.
The cake is perfectly moist with tiny bursts of blueberry throughout. The glaze is smooth, velvety, and zesty with the fresh lemon. It’s the perfect breakfast or snack time pick-me-up.
This is your go-to guide for fueling your workouts on the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) plan.
The journey to where I am today began first with my passion for fitness. I joined my local YMCA when my daughter (now 4.5) was about 6 months old. I started going to swim as my workout, and soon got into group fitness classes. Strength training, Zumba, yoga, cycling, TRX – you name it, I was trying it. At first, I was losing weight consistently, but a few months later I plateaued even when I was working out more.
After being frustrated and stuck at the same place for months, I began my journey with THM. Around that same time, I became a fitness instructor (AKA working out a LOT more). It took a few months, but I finally hit my stride with being a fit, trim, AND healthy mama.
1. Timing is everything. We all know we’re supposed to be eating every 3 hours, and with fitness that rule is even more important. You should have a meal 1-2 hours prior to working out, and have a replenishing meal or snack within an hour of working out.
My go-to post workout snack is a Vega Sport Protein smoothie. Vega is a vegan protein, and its flavors are stevia based. The stats for a half scoop are 1.5g fat, 1g net carbs, and 15g protein. I place a half scoop into a Blender Bottle with water after my workout and shake it right up. [*NOTE: I believe Vega is still considered a personal choice because the peas are not sprouted. In this instance, I take it because I believe it will do more good than not in my case.]
2. Match your fuel to your workout. This one is really important – in order to perform your best during your workout, you need to know what type of fuel will be best.
For cardio-heavy workouts such as cycling, running, tabata, etc. an E meal will give you the most energy during your workout. You don’t want to feel weighed down while doing cardio, the heavier carb ratio helps fuel your muscles and increase endurance during your workout.
Oatmeal is FANTASTIC for cardio workouts. I have multiple recipes for overnight oats, which are all E’s and easy to throw together with a little prep. If you’re OK with dairy before cardio, then cottage cheese, yogurt, or a kefir smoothie are also great E options with lots of protein. I like to mix a Tbsp of fat free cottage cheese into an Oikos 000 yogurt and have sprouted toast with jelly and fruit on the side with coffee or green tea.
For more strength-based or low impact workouts (such as weight lifting, yoga, barre, pilates, or similar), go for a Deep S meal prior to your sweat session. Dairy-heavy S’s can cause bloat during a workout, so try to avoid them.
My go-to meal prior to low impact exercise is eggs, bacon, avocados with nutritional yeast, and coffee with collagen. I do have half and half in my coffee, but it’s not enough to weigh me down during my workout (and I usually consume this over an hour before my workout).
For a combination of strength and cardio, I find it best to go with a FP protein shake. It’s light, but filling, and keeps my energy levels up while I get my sweat going. This meal type is also good if you’re someone who wakes up early and goes to workout first thing in the morning. My rule is not to workout on an empty stomach, but there are a few days during the week where I’m up early to sweat and my stomach hasn’t quite caught up with me. On those days, a shake is just enough to get me going.
My basic skeleton recipe is 1 scoop of whey protein isolate, 2 Tbsp fat free cottage cheese, fresh or frozen fruit of choice, vanilla, 1 scoop of collagen, water and/or unsweetened almond milk (I usually do about 1/2 c of each), and sweetener of choice to taste. It’s the perfect pre-workout energizer for early mornings!
3. Know how to recover. Just like fueling prior to your workout is important, recovering and re-fueling post-workout is equally important.
Carbs fuel your muscles for hard work, and they also help your muscles recover while boosting your energy. After a tough cardio and/or strength workout, I go for a big E meal with lots of protein. The protein helps you recover, while the carbs build your muscles and give you an overall boost of energy (after you come down from that post-workout endorphin and adrenaline rush).
Like I said – pack. in. that. protein. What many people miss with E meals is the protein, then they end up feeling hungry an hour later. My post-workout lunch is a sandwich on sourdough packed with turkey, Dijon mustard, lettuce or sprouts, tomato and onion with a pickle wedge, fruit, veggies or other on-plan sides (pictured is 1 c of salted Skinny Pop and 2 Tbsp of my FP Everything Bagel Dip with grape tomato dippers), and a big Good Girl Moonshine (pg. 397 of the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook). Hydrating is important for muscle recovery as well, so make sure you get those fluids in to prevent soreness tomorrow.
If the end of your workout is an hour or more until your next meal, go for an S meal to fill you up. There are many ideas you can go with for an S meal, and the same basic rules apply: pack in the protein, get a mix of fruit and veggies, and sip that water/GGMS.
There you have it! My guide for fueling your fitness with THM. These make seem like small tweaks, but trust me when I say they will make all the difference in your routine.
You will not believe how ridiculously easy (and tasty) this dip is!
During my latest trip to Trader Joe’s, they were displaying the Everything Bagel seasoning along with some other seasonal items, and it jumped out at me. The ingredients are very straightforward: onion, garlic, seasame seeds, salt, and poppyseeds. I had some reduced fat sour cream sitting in my fridge at home waiting for a purpose, and *click* purpose found.
Can a dip really be this easy? YEP.
Mix an entire 16oz container of reduced fat sour cream with about 3 Tablespoons of the Everything Bagel seasoning. If you want to add a little freshness to it, add a fresh herb of your choice: parsley, chives, dill, or scallions. Chop up a few tablespoons, toss it in with your dip and some salt and pepper. That’s it!
Leave it in the fridge for about an hour for the salt crystals to break down and all the flavors have a chance to combine.
This dip is a THM FP up to about 3 Tablespoons (which would be 4.5g of fat). If you’re enjoying this with an E meal, be sure to watch the other fats in your meal to keep within the limits. There were no carbs in my reduced fat sour cream, so if you’re in S mode you can pile on as much as you like (yay!).
Serve with your favorite crudités: zucchini sticks, celery, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, mini sweet peppers, Parmesan Whisps or other cheese crackers.
Throw this together before a party or brunch get together, and all your guests will rave! Or, you know, just throw it together for yourself and you’ll have your own little rave. ^_^
These recipes from our family strawberry-picking outing are probably some of my favorites to date. If you love strawberries, I know you’ll love this too!
Cobblers are huge in the South. They can be an elegant dessert for a crowd, or a laid back treat on a cool Spring evening.
My brain is hard-wired for peach cobbler, and I didn’t even think of other fruits until my wonderful friend, Amanda, suggested a strawberry version in light of my berry-abundance. All I have to say is, she is a friggin’ genius!
This strawberry cobbler is so fresh, sweet, and delightfully low maintenance in preparation.
Start by preheating your oven to 350, and while it’s preheating add the butter to a deep casserole dish and set it in the oven to melt gently.
When the oven is done preheating, take the dish out and add the strawberry mixture to it, then prepare the topping.
First, stir together the dry ingredients – almond and coconut flours, baking powder, salt, and Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet. Beat in the eggs, then the softened cream cheese and vanilla bean paste (or sub for 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract).
Now, this part is really technical – drop it in large globs onto the top of the strawberry mixture. Smooth it just slightly, pushing it down into the strawberries gently.
Bake the cobbler at 350 for about 25-30 minutes, until the top is nicely browned and the strawberries are bubbling.
I know – your mouth is watering already, but wait for it.
Let the cobbler stand for about 5-7 minutes before cutting.
Use a big spoon, and cut down into that bad boy. Serve with ice cream (homemade or So Delicious sugar free is fabulous!) or whipped cream, and spoon some extra saucy strawberry goodness over the top.
It’s so gorgeous, I can’t stand it!
The cold ice cream melts down gently over the warm cobbler. Juicy, tangy and sweet strawberries on the bottom topped with a soft, biscuit-like topping – I mean COME ON. It just doesn’t get better than this!
If you’re looking for an easy dessert to satisfy and impress a crowd, this is the one!
This strawberry tart requires no baking, and is incredibly easy to make. This tart has a delicious, fresh strawberry flavor and tastes unbelievably light. You definitely don’t have to be a dessert master to enjoy this one!
I used the Fresh Strawberry Sauce posted earlier this week for the filling, which is simple to make. The sauce takes time to cook down, so make sure you tackle it first.
Next, prepare and chill the Mock Graham Cracker Crust.
Then start the filling!
You have a few different filling options – I opted for a mousse with a little Greek yogurt for a more dense texture. You could do all mousse (which is straight whipped cream with strawberry sauce), or you could go for a cheesecake mousse with a little softened cream cheese added. Decisions, decisions! [See Variations below for more specific directions on the different filling options.]
For the mousse, start by whipping the heavy cream with Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet and some vanilla bean paste. I like using the paste versus extract for this because I can use more paste without getting the raw alcohol flavor of extract. I find it at Walmart (back in the cake decorating section), but you can buy the same product on Amazon if you’re unable to find it in a store.
Once the cream starts to get slightly frothy, add the strawberry sauce and continue whipping to stiff peaks. If you plan on making this a cheesecake mousse, add the softened cream cheese and sauce at the same time. [No need for any dyes! You’ll get that beautiful blush pink color from the sauce alone.]
When the cream is whipped to stiff peaks, gently fold in the Greek yogurt. You could even take a shortcut and use an already flavored 000 yogurt (strawberry or vanilla!) – if you do, go shy on the sweetener and work up from there.
Fill up the tart shell, pushing the mousse into every nook and cranny, then smoothing it with your spatula. [I don’t get too crazy about making it “perfect,” because I think homemade looks better. So, don’t stress it!]
Chill for about another half hour while you whip some more cream for the topping.
I prefer lightly sweet whipped cream, since the filling is sweet.
Also, I’m a Food Network junkie who watches all the baking championships and it really stuck with me when one of the pro-baker judges said, “The cream shouldn’t compete with the filling. It’s an accessory, not the main focus.” So, I try to make my whipped creams on the lighter side of sweet, so that my filling has a chance to really shine.
You can pipe the cream onto your tart, like so. Or you can just fill the tart edge-to-edge with cream, whichever you desire. Add some fresh berry decorations, if you’re feeling super fancy.
Chill until you’re ready to serve.
This tart was just gorgeous. So much so, I almost couldn’t believe how simple it was to put together.
The crust firms up perfectly, and glides right out of the pan. Don’t get me wrong, I was super anxious about lifting that tart shell off the crust (as it took some finesse), and once I got it loose it popped right off. I found it easy to set the tart on the edge of my counter (so half was on the counter, and half was in my hand), then work to pop the bottom (gently!) out of the shell. [Truth be told, I about had a heart attack trying to get it out of the shell, because I did NOT want to mess it up.]
The strawberry filling is light and airy with a tinge of tartness. The crust is firm and buttery with a whisper of cinnamon and molasses.
If you need an easy dessert for your Easter lunch or brunch, this is just the one for you!