Prep Don’t Fret! Challenge Week 1

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 am so excited to share this meal prep challenge with you guys! Prepping meals ahead of time has made my hectic life so much easier. Dinner has been a breeze, and breakfast has been a no-brainer.


Here are the specifics of the challenge…

I’m providing you with the links to the recipes for this week, a menu planning template, and a shopping list based on these recipes. I have planned 4 dinners and one week’s worth of breakfast for you. You will print off the shopping list, mark off what you already have in your cabinets, and snag the rest at the store. Then you’ll print off the planning template and plan these meals throughout your week (remember dinner leftovers can become fabulous lunches too!) on whichever days you want, and fill in the holes with leftovers or any other plan you want to make. All that’s left to do is follow the recipes and pick your prep day! I found it really easy to prep 2-3 meals in one day (for me that day was Sunday, but it’s your choice) and reheat when we were ready.

Here are your recipes:

BreakfastPaleo Sausage and Veggie Omelette Bites (THM S) If you’re following THM, follow the recipe as-is for a perfect S breakfast every morning. You can remix them with sour cream, cheese, salsa, or any other S-friendly toppings you desire. Prep the complete recipe, and store them in gallon bags in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Reheat them in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds at a time until thoroughly heated.


  1. Sunday Bolognese (THM S) – Prep the recipe completely, and reheat it by gently heating it in a sauce pan with a lid on low heat until warm and bubbly. Serve with spiralized zucchini or Dreamfields noodles. You can add a side salad (add those ingredients to your shopping list!) or any one of my S-biscuit recipes (make sure they’re on your list also, if needed).
  2. Clean Eating Shepherds Pie (THM E) – Prep the recipe up until oven baking, cover the top with plastic wrap. When you’re ready to eat, take the plastic off and switch it for foil. Bake covered for about 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake about another 15-20 minutes or until browned and bubbly. You can add another E-friendly vegetable side, if you like, but this meal is very hearty and it isn’t necessary.
  3. Crockpot Fiesta Ranch Chicken Tacos (THM E) – Crockpot meal! Prep the chicken in its entirety and store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Heat it gently on the stove, microwave, or warm it in the crock. You can also remix this as a salad for lunch or dinner another day during the week.
  4. Low Carb Chicken and Spinach White Pizza (THM S) – This meal you can prep the night of, and it doesn’t take a ton of time. Follow the recipe for the low carb pizza dough, and you can either use my flavors here or choose your own (add those ingredients to your list!). You can also add a side salad with my Buttermilk Ranch Dressing.

That leaves three nights during the week where you can fill in your holes with leftovers or your own choices.

Print off your Weekly Menu Planner to plan out your meals this week, then print off your Week 1 Shopping List. I included ALL ingredients needed in the above recipes, so feel free to mark off what you already have in your pantry then pick up the rest on your shopping trip.

If you have any questions about the challenge, feel free to post them here or join us on Facebook.

Now get to prepping!


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.

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.


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:


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



Baked Goods:


Meats and Sides:




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






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

So You Wanna Be A Trim Healthy Mama…

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 not going to lie – it’s pretty great being a Trim Healthy Mama (and, no, I don’t get paid to say that). I don’t have to count calories or feel deprived. I can still eat bread, fruit, butter, and cheese. Best of all, my body feels good from the inside out.

As a former “newbie,” I know the plan and lifestyle can feel daunting, or even confusing, at first. So, I’m here to give you my best tips for starting (or restarting) the Trim Healthy Mama Plan.


  1. Keep. It. Simple. The best way to implement big changes in your diet or lifestyle, is to keep things simple. Know the basics of the plan for S and E meals. Make yourself notes, charts, graphic sketches whatever helps you keep the information fresh in your mind. Stick to recipes in the original book or THM cookbook, to start. Once you know the ins and outs of the plan, then you can venture out to the many great THM blogs for more inspiration.
  2. Find your support system. I was lucky to have my mother-in-love helping me with my first THM steps. I was always asking her questions and trying the recipes. Having her support and knowledge was incredibly important, not to mention helpful, in those first months. Ask a friend to go in with you. Head over to the THM support pages on Facebook and ask for a mentor, pen pal, or heck, a new friend. It will be a life sanity saver.
  3. Set yourself up for success. Busy working mom? Homeschooling mom with a few kids in your flock? Working and/or going to school full-time? Use your time wisely. You may not have much time to spare, so what you get is precious and it has to be used to your advantage. Plan your free time. Pick a day during the week to plan your meals (not just dinner – breakfast, snacks, and lunches too!). Scour the weekly ads of the stores in your area, make your list, and shop. Pick a day for meal prep, and get most of the work for the week out of the way. If you can, plan a few crockpot meals during the week that you can set and forget. Yes, you’re busy, but you are NOT too busy for yourself.
  4. Don’t be afraid. Making changes can feel difficult. Hello, we’re humans. Creatures of habit. None of us like change. But you know what? We adapt to change. Changing can be real gut-wrenchingly scary at first, BUT…we get over that. Once you get over that fear, guess what happens? Success. Everyone messes up a little at first, and you shouldn’t be scared to do that either. Push past your comfort zone. Try new things. Because that’s where the magic happens!
  5. Ask questions. There are SO MANY THM Facebook groups out there. The main group, Purists, Drive-Thru Sues, NSI (No Special Ingredients), Allergen Free, Turtle Losers, and Pregnant/Nursing just to name a few. Use them to your advantage! Ask questions. Look at the posts. LEARN. Trust me, it’s incredibly helpful having those groups around. Even as a “seasoned” THMer, I still use those groups for questions. When you learn the plan, and can answer member questions, jump in with your knowledge and keep the ball rolling. The groups also have files where you can access sweetener conversion charts, special recipes, fuel charts, and more. Again, use these things to aid in your success. They’re there for YOU, and they’re free.
  6. One at a time. Take it one meal, snack, and day at a time. Focus on what’s in front of you, and make it the best you can.
  7. Out with the old, in with the new. If it’s not on plan, either put it out of sight, out of mind or donate it. Again, it’s about setting yourself up for success. Can you really be successful with that Duncan Hines brownie mix glaring at you from inside the pantry? -_- Maybe not. I know, I know. “But what about the waste?” Food pantries are always in need of donations! Call a few that are central to you, and find out if what you have is OK to donate.
  8. Organize. I love my THM ingredients – gluten free flours, Pyure, extracts, collagen, whey isolate, gelatin, xanthan gum, and chocolate! I gotta have my chocolate. I’m also spatially challenged when it comes to my kitchen. Small cabinets, no pantry, and next to zero counter space. I got creative, painted and re-purposed some Costco-sized plastic containers for most of my ingredients. It’s especially helpful since I buy a lot of ingredients in bulk. You can also use clear plastic bins for extracts, spices, or the like in your pantry. They also double as excellent refrigerator organizers. Check out Pinterest for more organizing ideas.
  9. Look beyond the menu. If it’s one thing I’ve found out as a THMer on the go, it’s that you have more options than you know about. Options, that might not even be on a menu! You can still stay on plan at places like Jimmy John’s, Chik Fil A, Starbuck’s, Chipotle, Olive Garden, and even your favorite neighborhood Mexican/Tex-Mex joint. Jimmy John’s has the unwich (lettuce wrap). You can order breakfast wraps at Chik Fil A minus the wrap. Breve lattes at Starbuck’s, and bring your own sweetener. Burrito bowls at Chipotle minus the rice, beans, and corn. You can even have any pasta dish at Olive Garden served over steamed broccoli – who knew! My family and I love to hit our neighborhood Mexican restaurants, and I’ll usually partake in fajitas, minus the tortillas, or chilaquiles with grilled meat and veggies, minus the chips. All of this to say, just ask for what you need! Most restaurants are happy to oblige.
  10. Step away from the scale. It’s easy to be motivated by the number on the scale moving downward. It’s even easier to become obsessed with it. THM isn’t just about getting the scale number moving. In fact, you may not even see that number move much at first. Which is why you need to turn your focus inward – energy levels, blood sugar levels, fatigue, bloating, headaches. You’ll feel differences in these areas first, possibly before the number on the scale moves too drastically.

And last, but certainly not least, remember who you’re doing this for – you. Be kind to yourself. Celebrate your victories (not with cheat meals). And remember this is not a short-term deal. You’re in it for you, and you’re in it for the long haul.

Dark Chocolate Espresso Truffles (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 like holiday treats that are easy to make and take very little effort, then these are for you!


Of course, the base of these truffles is really good chocolate. I started with a base of 85% dark chocolate, because that’s what I keep on hand most times. A few other options you have would be unsweetened baking chocolate, a Lily’s Baking Bar, or sugar free chocolate chips. If you choose to use unsweetened baking chocolate, you can use a few teaspoons of  THM Super Sweet to get the sweetness where you want it. You can also use a few drops of liquid stevia if you want to sweeten any of the already-sweetened options just a tad.


*NOTE: If you’re planning to use unsweetened chocolate with a granular sweetener, add the sweetener to the cream mixture so that it has a chance to dissolve before going into the chocolate. You can always adjust further with liquid stevia.

I flavored up the chocolate using instant espresso, a pinch of pink salt, and Kahlua coffee liqueur.

*NOTE: The Kahlua in this recipe is very little, and adds less than 1g of sugar to each truffle. If you’re concerned about using it, or don’t want to use any alcohol, you can substitute with a touch of rum extract.

The only “work” (I use that term very loosely here) involved is whisking the heated cream into the chocolate.


Whisk, whisk, whisk.

Then you get to this stage.


Notice, the chocolate is melted but the texture looks “gritty.” This means the butter has yet to be fully incorporated, and the mixture is still “broken.” Keep whisking, maybe even a bit more vigorously…


Then you get this!

Velvety smooth, rich chocolate.

At this point, you have two options: cover and refrigerate to  accelerate the hardening process or let the mixture stand (covered) until it stiffens at room temperature. If you don’t want to portion them out right away, I would suggest refrigeration until about 20-30 minutes before you’re ready to roll.

*NOTE: When you’re ready to roll, make sure the chocolate has had a chance to thaw a bit on the counter – it will make portioning much easier (like barely even having to touch it, easy).

As far as coating goes, you can really use any nuts that you like. Pecans or pistachios would be great here! I chose to use finely chopped hazelnuts, because chocolate LOVES hazelnuts.

Using a small scoop will be your best, and easiest, bet for portioning these out. Plus, it’ll keep your hands pretty clean. Scoop the chocolate, turn it directly into the chopped nuts, toss lightly to coat, then roll the truffle gently between your hands and set aside. Lather, rinse, repeat…

Once they’re all rolled, store them in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator until use. They keep fine at room temperature (for gift boxes and such), but for long-term store in the fridge.


Don’t they look divine? Rich chocolate spiked with espresso and Kahlua, rolled in crunchy hazelnuts. Beautiful as a holiday gift, dessert, or as an everyday treat in your fridge.

If you liked this recipe, try my Orange Spiced Truffles next! You won’t be sorry. ^_~

Dark Chocolate Espresso Truffles (THM S)

  • Servings: Makes approx. 15-18
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food


  • 8oz chocolate (85% or Lily’s, see Note above), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 2 Tbsp Kahlua, or 1/2 – 1 tsp rum exract
  • pinch of salt
  • THM Super Sweet or liquid stevia to taste (see Note above if using a granular sweetener)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 c finely chopped hazelnuts (raw or roasted, unsalted)


  1. Bring the cream, butter, espresso granules, salt, and sweetener (if using) almost to boiling in a small sauce pan. The mixture should not boil, but should be steaming hot.
  2. Pour the hot cream into a small bowl, over the chopped chocolate and whisk until the chocolate and cream are fully incorporated.
  3. Whisk in the Kahlua (or rum extract). Cover and chill until firm.
  4. When ready to portion, take the chocolate out of the fridge for at least 20-30 minutes prior to scooping.
  5. Scoop the mixture into 1 Tbsp balls, turn directly into chopped nuts and roll gently to coat. Roll lightly between your hands to get a more rounded shape, if needed.
  6. Store at room temperature for up to 2-3 hours, or in a zip-top bag in the fridge for future use.

Microwave Peppermint Meltaways (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 keep this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

I bring you yet another easy, yet impressive holiday treat – meltaway candy.


If you haven’t had a meltaway before, it’s quite simply chocolate with a more buttery, soft texture. It’s still firmly set at room temperature, but a little “snap” is taken away and you’re left with buttery, chocolatey goodness.

This recipe uses just 3 (THREE!) simple ingredients to create festive and impressive holiday candy.

I used 85% dark chocolate for this recipe, and sweetened it a touch using some liquid stevia. You could also use Lily’s chocolate chips, and they wouldn’t need any additional sweetener.

Start by melting the chocolate of your choice with 2 Tablespoons of all vegetable shortening (I used Nutiva, but any red palm/coconut oil blend will do. The softer the better!). I chose to do this in the microwave, as it takes less time. If you don’t have a microwave, or don’t like to use one, you can follow these same steps by melting the chocolate in a double boiler.

When the chocolate is completely melted, add liquid stevia (if using), 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, and a pinch of pink salt.

Start spooning the chocolate into your festive candy molds. I used some “heirloom” (I use that term loosely, as they are just old, cheap, and cute) plastic molds. Silicone candy molds are 100% fine to use also!

*NOTE: If you’re using plastic (maybe silicone also, I don’t have much experience with them. Use your best judgment!) molds, be sure to spray or lightly butter your molds before pouring the chocolate. They will pop out with ease after chilling.

After all the chocolate is poured, pop the candy molds into the fridge for about 30 minutes to set. Pop them out and enjoy at room temperature, or store them in a zip-top bag for later use.


How cute are these?! And with barely 5 minutes of effort.

Peppermint Meltaways (THM S)

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

Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food



  1. Melt the chocolate and shortening together in the microwave or double boiler.
  2. Add the peppermint, salt, and stevia (if using).
  3. Prepare your candy molds with a spritz of coconut oil or some soft butter. Pour the chocolate mixture by the tablespoon into each of the molds.
  4. Chill for 30 minutes, or until firm.
  5. Enjoy at room temperature or store in the fridge for later use.

Sweet & Salty Spiced Nuts (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 keep this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Spiced nuts are one of my most favorite things to make during the holidays. You can make a bunch of them at once, and it doesn’t take a lot of time. Added bonus, they make your house smell like Santa’s armpit (which is amazing, by the way ^_~).


I started a tradition a few years ago of  baking “thank you” treats for the people around us who work hard every day, teachers, neighbors, our YMCA community, etc., and spiced nuts are a must in their treat bags. Everyone loves them, and they’re easy to snack on.

This was my first year doing spiced nuts as a Trim Healthy Mama, and I gotta say…I’m pleasantly surprised. I honestly wouldn’t know these weren’t “traditional” nuts if I hadn’t made them myself.

The ingredients are so simple, I bet you already have them in your pantry/fridge. The prep only takes 5 minutes, and they bake for about an hour.

Start by whisking the water and egg whites until slightly frothy. Then add the nuts, and stir to coat them in the egg white mixture. Sprinkle with salt, cinnamon, and Pyure (or THM Gentle Sweet). Ready for the oven!

Spread them out into one layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment.


Bake in a 225 degree oven for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Stirring helps ensure that you have even coating on every nut, even baking on all sides, and no scorching.

*NOTE: If you have a darker baking sheet, it may take less than one hour. They’re done when the coating is completely dry and candied. They harden further as they cool.


Finito! And with very little effort, I’d say. That’s a holiday classic done right! ^_~

Sweet & Salty Spiced Nuts (THM S)

  • Servings: Multiple
  • Time: 1 hour, 5 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food



  1. Preheat oven to 225.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites and water until slightly frothy.
  3. Add the nuts, and stir to coat.
  4. Sprinkle with sweetener, cinnamon, and salt and stir to coat.
  5. Spread the nuts into one, even layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 225 for about one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Easy S Thanksgiving for Four

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, it’s sneaking up on us faster than we know. It’s my first Thanksgiving being 100% on the Trim Healthy Mama plan. I know the THM plan gives us food freedom, in that we can always restart in three hours, but let me be completely  honest and say…I don’t like going off plan. After eating clean for so long, I find that when I do take tiny steps off plan I’m gravely disappointed. Then I’m dealing with the inevitable sugar spikes, and I don’t enjoy doing that to myself.

That’s why I wanted to be ahead of the game, and get my holiday preparations in order well before the craze of the holidays begins.

Most of this meal came together in under an hour and, as many of us know, that’s a fraction of what is normally spent in the kitchen or even just prepping for turkey day. This meal is equal parts flavorful and low-key.

I made the cornbread 2 days prior to making the meal so that it could dry out some. If you like your dressing as more of a casserole, or even want to stuff your turkey breasts with it, you could certainly make it the morning of so that it’s more pliable.

I modified this recipe for the actual cornbread part of the dressing. I left out the bacon and cheddar, then added ground sage, a little poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper.

I went fairly simple with the turkey, pan roasting it in butter. I did this for two reasons: 1) turkey airs on the dry side, and there’s nothing I despise more than dry protein. 2) BUTTER. I got the herbes de Provence on a recent trip to Trader Joe’s, and love the blend! I highly suggest using it, but if you don’t have it you can of course use your favorite herb blend.

I topped off the meal with some creamy mashed cauliflower, and it was a real winner! My husband was excited to take the leftovers to work, and he’s not a big “leftovers” guy.


Southern Style Cornbread Dressing (THM S)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1 1/2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food


    For the cornbread:
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1/4 c Nutiva shortening, or coconut oil/butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c unsweetened, plain almond milk
  • 1/4 c masa cornmeal
  • 3/4 c almond flour
  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1/2 tsp ground poultry seasoning
  • sprinkle of black pepper
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1 loaf low carb cornbread, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 c heavy cream (half and half or unsweetened plain almond milk will also work)
  • 1 1/2 c turkey stock
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c diced cremini mushrooms
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350, with your cast iron skillet in the oven while it heats.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the cornbread together in a medium-sized bowl. Spray cast iron skillet with coconut oil, and pour the batter in. Bake for 30-35 minutes. When it’s finished, let the cornbread cool, then remove it from the skillet to dry out for 6-48 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 375. Bake the halved cornbread for roughly 10-12 minutes. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside in casserole dish.
  4. Preheat a large, deep skillet over medium heat with 2 Tsp butter. Saute the onions, celery, and mushrooms for about 5-7 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and cook an additional minute. Remove from the heat and add to the casserole dish with the bread cubes.
  5. Whisk together the eggs, milk or cream, and turkey stock, then pour over the bread mixture and stir.
  6. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy on top.

Butter Basted Pan Roasted Turkey (THM S)

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 10-12 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food


  • 2 large (roughly 1 lb each) turkey breasts, butterflied in half
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • about 1 Tsp herbes de Provence
  • salt and pepper


  1. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat.
  2. Season the turkey liberally with herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper. When the butter begins to bubble (not brown), gently add the turkey to the pan.
  3. Saute the turkey 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip, then turn the pan down to low heat to finish.
  4. Baste the cutlets along the way by gently tilting the pan towards you, spooning up the butter, and pouring it over the turkey.
  5. Saute about another 4-5 minutes, or until cooked through, then remove from the pan and cover with foil.

Turkey Gravy (THM FP)

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food


  • Pan drippings from cooking the turkey
  • 2 c turkey stock
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • salt and pepper


  1. In the same pan where you cooked the turkey (any residual butter removed), heated to medium, de-glaze the pan with the turkey stock working any bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon.
  2. Whisk in the mustard and Worcestershire, then heat until the mixture starts to lightly bubble.
  3. Whisk in the xanthan gum and a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue whisking occasionally until the mixture thickens to your liking. NOTE* Do not add any more xanthan gum, or the mixture may start to get gloppy (technical term). Be patient and keep whisking. It will thicken!

Fat Burning Ginger Mocktail + Ginger Juice Concentrate

Ever since my husband and I discovered Moscow Mule cocktails (ginger juice and vodka), I have gotten a slight obsession with ginger. I love the spicy “bite” it has, plus it has several wonderful health benefits (anti-inflammatory, heart health, and reduces nausea to name a few).


I actually found a local company that makes ginger concentrate that’s fabulous and spicy (shout out – Mo Mint & Thyme!), however it’s not on plan for THMers because their concentrate uses sugar. So, I decided to doctor up my own concentrate using stevia as well as a fat-burning mocktail.


Ginger Concentrate (THM FP)

Multiple servings

  • 3 large pieces fresh ginger, peeled and roughly diced
  • 2 Tsp ground ginger
  • 3 pinches salt
  • scant 1/4 c Pyure or Gentle Sweet
  • few dashes of vanilla
  • water

Place the all ingredients into a single serve, or full-sized, blender with about 2 cups of water and blend on high until everything looks cohesive.

Strain the ginger liquid into a large mason jar through a fine mesh strainer, pressing the ginger pieces with the back of a spatula to release the liquid. Add about another 1 – 1 1/2 cups water to the concentrate.

Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days. Shake well before every use.


Ginger Mocktail (THM FP)

Single serve

  • 2-3 ounces ginger concentrate (I used a shot glass to measure, or and ounce is about 2 Tsp. I use 3oz, because I like the spicy ginger kick.)
  • 1/2 tsp MCT oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp whey isolate
  • 1 c water
  • sparkling water (unflavored works. Lemon is great, and I love unsweetened peach ginger sparkling water at Target. Choose any flavor you like!)
  • liquid stevia to taste, if needed
  • ice

Place the concentrate, oil, whey, and flat water into a blender and blend on high for 1 minute. Put some ice into a 32oz mason jar, and pour the concentrate mixture over it. Gently add the sparkling water (the whey already makes it puffy, so go slow and steady.) Taste and adjust for sweetness, if needed.

I have come to love the taste of ginger, and the concentrate is incredibly versatile. Use it in your mocktail, GGMS (pg. 397 of the THM cookbook), smoothies (peach + ginger were made for each other! Apple + ginger would be good too.), or anything else you like.


How To: Scrap Broth

I’m going to be real honest, and say I initially stumbled upon scrap broth when we literally could not afford to buy broth.

2012 seems like a lifetime ago, and not that long ago at the same time. Times were tough all over the country. My husband and I were expecting our first child, and were barely living paycheck-to-paycheck. We had to penny pinch where we could, and food can be expensive.

Enter: scrap broth.


I guarantee this is the easiest and least expensive broth you’ll ever make. What makes me so  confident in that statement is that 1) it doesn’t cost a single penny and 2) there’s no tricky marrow or bones needed.

The method here is simple: collect scraps from your everyday vegetables (bell peppers, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, zucchini, mushrooms, leek tops, tomatoes and/or their skins, potato skins, and herbs), freeze them until you fill one or two gallon bags, and make them into broth.

You don’t have to limit yourself on the vegetable part, because the more variety you have the richer your broth flavor will be. Plus, it’s all the parts you normally wouldn’t use such as the peels, skins, stumps, or whathaveyou. The only vegetables you should leave out are the gassy veggies  like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and greens. Everything else is fair game! I’ve also been known to use leftover skins from roasted garlic or the toasted, smoky skin from a roasted bell pepper.

You could even get fancy and add different flavors to your broth. For an Asian flare, add some ginger, garlic, and scallions. For a Mexican twist (excellent for tortilla soup!) add jalapeno ribs, cilantro leftovers, and tomatoes.

With all the fresh produce Summer provides, I love to collect all summer long  and make my broth at the end of the season (right before soup season). Usually, I’ll have more than enough broth to get me through Winter.

TIP* Really, really…do NOT worry yourself too much with cleaning the scraps. There is so much flavor in the skins, and honestly the “grit” of the vegetables. Plus, you’re going to strain out the seeds, grit, and whatever else at the end anyway. Don’t trouble yourself with it. When you get scraps, just toss them into your bag without a second thought.

Vegetable Scrap Broth (THM FP)

  • 1-2 gallon bags filled with vegetable scraps (cleared of any tags or stickers, of course. Each gallon bag will yield about 3-4 quarts of stock, depending on how large your pot is.)
  • water
  • gluten free soy sauce or Braggs liquid aminos
  • black peppercorns, optional

Place your still frozen scraps into a large stock pot. Fill to the top with water, 1-2 Tsp of black peppercorns if using, cover, and bring to a boil.

When it comes to a boil, reduce down to a simmer with the lid on for at least an hour and up to 3 hours. The longer you’re able to let it go, the more flavor will develop. When you’re done simmering, leave it to stand for at least an hour.

Strain out the larger pieces of vegetables using a spider or large slotted spoon. Stir in 1/4 c GF soy sauce or liquid aminos. You can skip this, and keep it salt free, if you like. I like being able to control the level of salt in my recipes, so sometimes I leave it salt free and that’s completely up to you.

Take your quart containers, place a fine strainer over top, and begin spooning (I use a 1 cup measure or coffee cup) the broth through the strainer, into the container.

Place lids on, finish cooling to room temperature, and freeze.

Repeat the process for however many bags of scraps you have. My 4 bags yielded me about 10 quarts of stock, with one being spilled by my toddler. ^_^

It’s great to use in soups, stews, chili, sauces, ANYTHING.