DIY Recycled Chalkboard Canisters

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 finding new purposes for everyday items. I’ve also found that chalkboard paint is an easy, and versatile, way to transform these items.

picsart_02-27-11-06-30

I’ve been buying these Kirkland Signature Unsalted Mixed Nuts for at least a year now, and I buy one container about every month. As you can imagine, that adds up to a lot of plastic!

20170219064033_img_2653

At first, I was just recycling the containers as normal, not even thinking about giving them another purpose.

A few months ago, I was re-organizing my kitchen and realized that I had began saving a handful of these containers, maybe 3 or 4 of them. I had also recently re-done a room in our house to be the kids’ playroom, and had some leftover chalkboard paint. [*NOTE: There’s also a product called chalk paint that is completely different from chalkBOARD paint. It’s important to note that they are not interchangeable.) Then it hit me to paint these containers with chalkboard paint and use them as uniform organizers for my kitchen. I chose to use chalkboard paint, because it can go over any surface without priming or sanding (making it easier on me!).

I don’t have a ton of space in my kitchen, and I’m always looking for ways to maximize what space I do have while keeping it organized so I don’t get overwhelmed. These containers were perfect because they can hold quite a bit of product (coconut flour, almond flour, dark chocolate, whey isolate, etc.) and they fit easily in my cupboards or on my pantry shelves.

First, remove the outer labels from the containers. It was a pleasant surprise that the labels on my containers came off fairly easily. There was some leftover sticker residue, which I used a little Goo Gone to remove.

Then clean the whole inside and outside with regular dish soap and water, and let it dry completely.

picsart_02-27-11-08-14

Next comes the chalkboard paint!

You can choose to paint all of the sides, or just one – or really, any pattern you want! Whatever makes your life easier, go for it.

I used foam brushes to paint the containers. They gave a clean, smooth finish and were easy to use.

All that’s left is to let the paint dry! It really doesn’t take long, it took maybe an hour for mine to dry all the way (and that’s pretty generous).

Fill it up with whatever your heart desires, and label with colorful chalk.

20170219063740_img_2648

I used this same method on a few other items in my kitchen (a utensil canister and glass spice jars) which worked equally as well as the plastic containers.

These containers have been the easiest, most convenient kitchen canisters ever! They stack, store a lot of product, and they all match.

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.

picsart_02-27-10-44-21

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!

Sunday Bolognese (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!

Bolognese is basically an Italian meat sauce. It has a different flavor than traditional marinara, and usually has some vegetables in it as well. I call this my “Sunday Sauce” because you can make it on Sunday, and it tastes just as good (or better!) on Friday.

picsart_02-26-11-56-09

This sauce comes together in one, big pot on your stove top, and it’s low-maintenance (lots of simmering, not a ton of stirring).

When I make Bolonese, I always make extra for freezing. It’s perfect with Dreamfields Noodles, spiralized squash/zucchini, eggplant steaks, Lazy Lasagne (Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook page 140), or any other Italian fare you can dream up. My kids love this sauce, and will eat anything I put with it.

Start with 1 1/2 – 2lbs ground beef. I used 85% lean, but you can go for whichever variety your family likes best. Sauté it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and some dried basil. When the meat begins to brown, start breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. When the meat is mostly cooked, add the shallots, garlic, celery, grated carrot, and onions. I use a fine hand grater to get small strings of grated carrot. The best thing about using a hand grater, as opposed to a box grater, is that you can hover it over the pot and grate straight down into it. No extra step of transferring it from the cutting board to the pot. Plus, when it’s cut that small there’s no need for peeling.

When the vegetables begin to soften, de-glaze the pan with one heaping cup of red wine. Don’t fall for the “cooking wine” tricks here – you want to use something dry, bold in flavor, and that you would enjoy drinking. If you don’t enjoy the taste of it uncooked, then you really won’t like it once it’s reduced and concentrated. I used a Côtes du Rhône because I still had some left over from my Coq Au Vin, and it was just enough for this recipe. The Côtes du Rhône gave my sauce a bold, deep flavor, and I highly suggest it if you can find it in your grocery store. (I found mine at Costco for around $10).

Finally, add the whole can of crushed tomatoes with their juice and a touch more salt and pepper. Place the lid on your pan, and let it simmer on medium heat for about 10-12 minutes. Then remove the lid and continue simmering until sauce is reduced and thickened.

Turn off the heat, taste and adjust for seasoning, then add one large handful of fresh chopped parsley.

picsart_02-26-11-58-38

What you end up with is a bold, hearty, sauce that’s slightly fruity from the red wine. It’s perfect to use right away, or you can cool and package it up for Italian night later in the week (all it will need is some heat). Like I said earlier, this sauce only gets better with time, so there are no disappointing leftovers here.

Sunday Bolognese (THM S)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 – 2lbs ground beef (I used grassfed 85% lean)
  • 1 heaping cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, finely diced (leafy greens included)
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 1 large handful chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Start by browning the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. Season with garlic powder, dried basil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add the onions, shallots, garlic, celery, grated carrot, and a touch more salt and pepper. Continue sautéing until onions begin to get soft, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. De-glaze the pan with the red wine, then add the crushed tomatoes and a little more salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes. Remove the lid and continue simmering another 10 minutes, until sauce is thickened and slightly reduced.
  4. Turn off the heat, add the parsley, taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve immediately, or cool and store until future use.

Easy Paleo Teriyaki Sauce (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!

Teriyaki Sauce is incredibly easy to make and so versatile. Use it for lettuce wraps, stir fry, burgers, salads, and more! This recipe uses just 5 easy ingredients, and it comes together in about 5 minutes. How easy is that?

picsart_02-21-10-18-20

The base of this sauce is Raw Coconut Aminos. If you’re unfamiliar with coconut aminos, it’s simply coconut sap (which is sugar free, gluten free, low glycemic, and soy free) which is an abundant source of different amino acids. You use it just like you would soy sauce, and it has 65% less sodium than soy sauce. It’s also non-GMO! If soy doesn’t bother you, you can also sub Bragg Liquid Aminos, which is also gluten free, low glycemic, and non-GMO.

Into the aminos, you grate one clove of garlic and about 1/2 an inch of fresh ginger. I always use a fine hand grater for grating things like ginger and garlic. It always cuts it small, and you can grate it straight into your bowl/pan/whathaveyou. Just makes life a touch easier.^_~ I also have a great trick for grating ginger – ginger is a root and tends to be tough to grate when it’s at room temperature. So, when I bring home a root of ginger from the store, I cut it down into 1-inch pieces (no need to peel, the grater will take care of that), place it in a sandwich bag, and throw it in the freezer. Frozen ginger is MUCH easier to grate – it almost looks like snow when you grate it into your dishes. Plus, keeping it in the freezer prevents it from going bad before you have a chance to use it. Bonus!

Finally, throw in one packet of Truvia, because Teriyaki sauce is always a little sweet, then whisk in a little xanthan gum.

Place the mixture into a small sauce pan, and heat on low until it’s thickened. Really, it’s that easy!

picsart_02-21-10-20-15

You can use it right away, or place it into an airtight container for later use.

Paleo Teriyaki Sauce (THM FP)

  • Servings: Multiple, Make 1/2 c sauce
  • Time: 7 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan set over low heat.
  2. Heat through gently, whisking occasionally, until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and use immediately or cool before storage.

Save

One Pot New Orleans-Style Gumbo (THM S/E)

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 a spicy gal and although I wasn’t born in Louisiana, creole cuisine of New Orleans speaks to me on a spiritual level.

PicsArt_02-21-10.08.29.jpg

Gumbo is one of my favorite, warming meals because it’s spicy, hearty, and still packs a veggie punch. Also, this is one of those meals that you can cook (a bunch of) one night, and when you’re eating its leftovers a few nights later the flavor is even deeper – it only gets better with time! However, my favorite part of this meal is definitely that it only takes one (big) pot. Because I still hate doing dishes ^_^.

Start by heating a large Dutch oven over medium low heat, and add the sliced smoked sausage. I used andouille, which is a creole spicy sausage. If you’re not into the spice, any smoked sausage will do. Since it’s already cooked, you just want to sauté it enough to get some color and crispness on the outside.

20170219024710_img_2599

Take the sausage out, add some coconut oil if needed, and begin sautéing the cubed chicken. It doesn’t have to cook all the way through since it will simmer in the gumbo later. Just make sure it has some good color on it, and season with salt and pepper or a touch of Cajun seasoning.

20170219030718_img_2603

Take the chicken out, then start on the shrimp. I bought easy-peel shrimp from my fish counter at Sprouts, which are already deveined. You can keep the tails, or whole shell, on if you wish. I find it easier to remove the whole shell, tail included, prior to cooking. Add more coconut oil to the pan, if needed before adding the shrimp. Again, season with salt and pepper and sauté away. Cook them about 1 minute on each side, just to get good color. They won’t be fully cooked yet, but once you add them back to the gumbo they’ll finish cooking without becoming overcooked.

20170219032032_img_2604

Remove the shrimp. Next comes the vegetables! Don’t worry about the brown bits on the bottom of your Dutch oven – that’s flavor, and the stock we add later will pick it all up.

Chop some mirepoix – celery (leafy green parts included!), onion, green bell pepper, and garlic.

Add a touch more coconut oil, turn the heat down just a touch and add the vegetables. Sauté until onions just start to caramelize, about 5-7 minutes.

And, I’ll go ahead and tell you, I’m a bad Southerner – I greatly dislike okra. Unless it’s pureed, in a cookie, or otherwise hidden beyond recognition I cannot stomach it. HOWEVER. You are welcome to add okra to this lovely gumbo if it is your thing. If you do add it, go ahead and do so at this step.

20170219032917_img_2605

De-glaze the pan with one 15-oz can of fire roasted tomatoes. I like the smoky flavor of fire roasted tomatoes, but you’re welcome to use any kind you prefer. Mine also were seasoned with garlic and onion. Add in the chicken (or vegetable/seafood) stock, a bay leaf, sausage, chicken, Worcestershire sauce, and a few dashes of hot sauce. Place the lid on your pot and let it simmer for about 10-12 minutes.

20170219033258_img_2607

Once it’s finished simmering, turn off the heat, add the shrimp back to the pot, cover again and let stand for about 5-7 minutes. This will allow the shrimp to continue cooking through slowly.

Serve the gumbo as is or over a big pile of cauliflower rice. For my cauliflower rice, I pulsed half a large head of cauliflower in a food processor until it was in small pearls. Then I served it raw underneath the hot gumbo – easy peasy! I liked it raw because it didn’t become mushy from cooking and retained a nice textural contrast like rice.

picsart_02-21-10-26-34

As is, the gumbo is a great S. However, if you want to have the rice and make it an E – that’s completely achievable. You can either choose a smoked turkey/chicken sausage with less fat, or leave it out completely and make this a chicken and shrimp gumbo – your call. Just make sure any time you’re adding coconut oil that you do so with a spray to keep the fat in check.

Either way you make it, this gumbo is a spicy, hearty, and delicious shake-up to your weekly routine. The leftovers just get better with time – this is a meal you can make on Monday and still enjoy on Friday.

picsart_02-21-10-23-58

New Orleans Style Gumbo (THM S/E)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1-lb andouille sausage, sliced (or any smoked sausage – For E choose a chicken or turkey sawusage, or omit)
  • 1/2 lb chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 stalks celery, leafy greens included, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 c cut okra (optional)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 15-oz can fire roasted tomatoes seasoned with garlic and onion
  • 1 1/2 c chicken/vegetable/seafood stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Cajun seasoning to taste
  • 1 tsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce
  • 6-10 dashes hot sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • cauliflower rice (for S) or cooked brown rice (for E), for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat and sauté the sliced sausage until browned and crispy. Remove to a plate.
  2. Add coconut oil, if needed, toss the chicken with a touch of Cajun seasoning and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate (with the sausage is fine).
  3. Toss the shrimp with salt and pepper, then brown for about 1 minute on each side. Remove to a plate with the chicken and sausage.
  4. Add more coconut oil, if needed, then begin sautéing the onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and okra (if using). Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until the onions begin to caramelize.
  5. Add the tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire, bay leaf, hot sauce, chicken, and sausage back to the pot. Cover and simmer on medium-low for about 10-12 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat, add the shrimp back to the pot, cover, and let stand for about 5-7 minutes.
  7. Serve over cauliflower rice, brown rice (for an E), or as is.

Save

Low Carb Chicken and Spinach White Pizza (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!

Pizza night is always my kids’ favorite night. To be honest, it’s my favorite night too! When you can get a quality pizza thrown together and baked in about half an hour, how could you not love it?

picsart_02-20-10-16-53

White pizza is a fun change-up from regular pizza, and helps keep the carbs down since there’s no sauce involved.

The crust of the pizza is fathead pizza dough, which is mozzarella cheese (the bagged kind is usually best), cream cheese, egg, and fine almond flour. In my pre-THM days, I used to make my own pizza crust, and I am SO GLAD there’s an easier method that’s actually better for you. No waiting around for the dough to rise, and it comes together in about 5 minutes.

Start the dough by combining the mozzarella and cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl, and heat for about 1 minute at a time until the cheese is fully melted.

picsart_02-20-10-23-40

Stir it together, it should be hot and stringy. Add the fine almond flour, and stir again. Adding the flour before the egg allows the mixture to cool slightly so that the egg won’t cook as you add it to the dough.

20170215061458_img_2557

Add the egg, and stir until it’s fully incorporated. It takes some muscle work, just so you know. When it’s fully mixed, the dough should like like the photo on the right, below.

Next, place your dough onto a 10-12-in round pizza pan lined with parchment, and with slightly damp hands begin to press it out.

Dab the surface with a fork to keep it from puffing up too much while baking.

20170215062138_img_2563

Next, combine the butter, dried parsley, granulated garlic, a pinch of salt (if using unsalted butter), and some pepper. Use a silicone brush and brush the crust (not the edges yet) with the seasoned butter.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. This helps ensure that you have a cooked, crispy crust at the end.

picsart_02-21-07-21-53

Next, pile on the toppings: diced chicken, shallots, garlic, cheese, spinach, and crumbled bacon.

picsart_02-21-07-24-08

Now brush that buttery garlic mixture onto the outer crust, and dust the whole thing with some grated parmesan cheese.

Now bake that baby for another 10-12 minutes, until hot and bubbly Flavortown (Any Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives fans out there?!) deliciousness.

picsart_02-21-07-28-25

THAT is a thing of beauty.

Crispy and slightly salty on the edges from that parmesan. Cheesy, flavorful, fresh, and meaty toppings – delivery ain’t got nothin’ on this, baby!

picsart_02-21-07-32-41

My favorite pizza finisher is a pinch of red pepper flakes for an extra kick. Serve this bad boy with a big, green salad (with homemade ranch, perhaps?) and call it a wonderful night.

Chicken & Spinach White Pizza (THM S)

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

    For the dough:
  • 1 1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Tbsp cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c fine almond flour
  • pinch of salt
  • Toppings:
  • 1 heaping cup cooked diced chicken
  • 2 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • about 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and ringed of its water
  • additional 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. For the dough, combine the mozzarella and cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute at a time until cheeses are fully melted, hot, and stringy.
  3. Add the almond flour and salt.
  4. Add the egg.
  5. Press the dough into a 10-inch round pizza pan, lined with parchment, and perforate with a fork.
  6. Melt the butter and stir in the parsley, granulated garlic, salt, and pepper. Brush the crust (not the outer edge yet) with the butter, and bake for 10 minutes at 375.
  7. Remove the crust, and spread the rest (reserving the parmesan for the end) of the toppings all over the top of the pizza.
  8. Brush the outer crust with the butter mixture, then dust the whole pie with grated parmesan cheese.
  9. Bake at 375 for another 10-12 minutes, or until browned, hot, and bubbly.
  10. Cut and serve!

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.

picsart_02-04-08-08-27

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.

20170131005512_img_2523

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
  • Print


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.

10 Reasons Why You Need Cast Iron in Your Life

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!

What’s all the fuss about cast iron? Are they really that useful? Are they high maintenance? What exactly do you *do* with cast iron?

I’ll answer all these questions with tips on how to make it last 100 years.

picsart_10-03-09-01-54

First off, cast iron is not a new thing. Grandmas in the South will tell you all about their cast iron that they received as wedding gifts 50 (or more) years ago. That’s the beauty of cast iron – when you take care of it (which is not hard, AT ALL) it will last forever.

These are my 10 Reasons Why You Need Cast Iron in Your Life:

  1. Cast Iron is non-stick. Season your cast iron with coconut oil, bacon fat, or store-bought lard and nothing will stick to those babies. Which also means you can use less oil when cooking.
  2. It’s easy to maintain. Most of the time, I can clean my cast iron by simply wiping it with a damp paper towel. Really, it’s that easy. However, for the occasions when there are some stuck-on bits from cooking, place some warm water over the affected area and wait a few minutes. Most of the time, water is enough to lift the tough bits, but if it isn’t just use a gentle plastic scrubber. Do not use soap with cast iron. I’ll say it again – DO NOT CLEAN CAST IRON WITH SOAP. Soap removes the seasoning, which removes the non-stick property. And, for the love, never EVER put it in the dishwasher. Just don’t.
  3. It holds temperature. Cast iron retains and distributes heat very evenly. That’s why it’s great for baking, frying, and searing.
  4. Iron is good for you. While cast iron doesn’t leach chemicals, like some other coated nonstick cookware, it does fortify your food with iron. Iron deficiency is fairly common worldwide, especially among women. Cooking food in cast iron will fortify your food with a small percentage of iron. Cooking something acidic, like tomato sauce, in cast iron will raise iron levels by nearly 20 times.
  5. You can grill year-round. I adore my combo cast iron grill/griddle. You can have the smoky, char-grilled  flavors of summer all year without having to step foot outside. Just like the skillets, the grill retains heat and you get the beautiful grill marks and flavor with less of the hassle.
  6. No more pancake accidents. I had non-stick electric griddles for YEARS. Then, one day I couldn’t get through a batch of pancakes because every. single. one. would stick to my griddle. I used oil, I tried different temperatures, and still would have at least half my batter in crumbles and pancake remnants. Then, I got my cast iron grill/griddle, and everything changed. No more burnt or sticking pancakes! I wish I had saved myself the headache years ago.
  7. Pass it on to your kids and grandkids. No joke, my cast iron pans will probably outlive me. Those suckers can take a beating! You can drop, bang, and even scorch them all you want and they’ll still come out looking perfect. It’s really hard to actually hurt or mess these things up.
  8. Cheap in price, but not in practice. You know those kitchen gizmos you get for cheap (as in very little money) knowing they won’t last? This isn’t one of those. Cast iron cookware is very affordable, and it will last forever (See also #7). If you’re the garage-saling type (which I am ^_~), I’m willing to bet you could find some cast iron pans for a couple bucks. People will toss perfectly good pans simply because they don’t know how to properly season them. Madness! (If you’re ever in need of re-seasoning your pans, check out this guide on how to do it.)
  9. It’s versatile. You can cook anything from bacon and eggs, to cornbread, steak, chili, stews, and skillet desserts. You can also use cast iron on any cooktop: ceramic, gas, electric, you name it. Also, how many pans do you know of that can go from the stovetop, to the oven, straight to the table? I mean, really I’m saving you from doing too many dishes, if nothing else.
  10. Iron builds muscle. OK, these cast iron tools are HEAVY. At the very least, you’ll build your biceps working with cast iron.

Now that we’ve established why you should have cast iron, you may be wondering, “What can I make with it?” I’m glad you asked. ^_^

Here are a few of my favorite cast iron grill/griddle recipes:

20161001211458_img_1691

And here are some for cast iron skillets/Dutch ovens:

Burgers:

picsart_01-11-10-32-56

Baked Goods:

20160914065415_img_1278

Meats and Sides:

20161025075732_img_1941

Soups/Stews/Chili:

picsart_12-13-12-35-21

Here are some bonus recipes from a few of my blogger friends:

Sweets:

Chocolate-Chip-Skillet-Cake-Main.png

Lunch/Dinner:

Chipotle-Chicken-with-Sweet-Potatoes-blog.jpg

Chicken-Enchilada-Skillet-Main.png

Do you have cast iron in your kitchen? What are some of your favorite  recipes using cast iron?

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.

picsart_02-01-09-55-44

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.

picsart_02-01-10-01-51

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.

Low Carb Gruyère Chive Biscuits (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 have been working on my biscuits recipes, trying new things, and tweaking a few recipes. I listened to some of your critiques of my parmesan garlic biscuits, and tweaked the recipe a bit to add some moisture. Then I started building on that recipe, and created deliciously cheesy Gruyère Chive Biscuits.

picsart_02-01-04-21-24

Believe me, these sound so fancy but they’re easy with just a touch of elegance.

Gruyère is a hard yellow cheese that you typically find atop French onion soup. It’s nutty, buttery, slightly salty, but very mild in flavor (hence, being an excellent pairing in your biscuits!). For this recipe, I actually used smoked Gruyère for a little hint of smoky flavor, but feel free to use regular as well.

When I’m baking, I always throw together my dry ingredients first – it’s just how I work. In a small bowl, combine the coconut flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, cheese, and fresh chives.

Then cut in the softened butter with a fork, and add the beaten eggs.

20170130084624_img_2485

As you can see, this dough is fairly wet (which means more moisture!). I used a small measuring cup to get even portions of the dough, about 1/4 c or 1/3 c measure should do.

Scoop it out, add it to a lightly sprayed cast iron skillet (or parchment-lined baking sheet), spacing them about 1/4 – 1/2 inch apart.

20170130084919_img_2486

I like my biscuits to have nice buttery, brown tops, so I brushed them with about 2 Tablespoons of melted butter.

Pop them into a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes (watch the sides and bottoms for doneness).

picsart_02-01-05-03-56

Look at those beauties!

The tops get a little cracked (a la traditional biscuits) and the bottoms have a light crunch. The cheese melts into the biscuits and the chives add a very delicate onion flavor. The texture is fluffy, light, and moist.

Enjoy these alongside any S meal. We had these with our Loaded No-Tato Soup last week, and I tell ya – my kids get SO excited for biscuits. They are biscuit maniacs, and I’m just happy we can ALL have biscuits that are good for us.

Low Carb Gruyère Chive Biscuits (THM S)

  • Servings: Makes 6
  • Time: 35 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine the coconut flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, cheese, and fresh chives in a small bowl.
  3. Cut in the softened unsalted butter with a fork, then add the beaten eggs.
  4. Using an ice cream scoop, or small measuring cup, scoop the biscuit batter into even portions and place into a lightly sprayed cast iron skillet (or a parchment-lined baking sheet is perfectly fine too) about 1/4 – 1/2 inch apart.
  5. Brush the tops lightly with a few Tablespoons of melted butter.
  6. Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned. *NOTE: Check the sides and bottom for browning, as they will get darker before the tops get very browned. Serve warm with a little extra melted butter, if you like.

Save