Refreshing Cucumber Lemonade (Sugar Free, THM FP)

This summer-tastic cucumber lemonade is one of my new favorites for many reasons – the main being, it’s easy to make and my whole family LOVES it. [No, really, I had to use the all-caps because my children devoured the first batch in almost a single day. O_O] I have no doubt that your family will love it too!

PicsArt_07-12-05.35.24.png

Continue reading

Southwestern Rice & Bean Salad (THM E)

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

PicsArt_06-15-10.31.54.png

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.

20170522023350_IMG_3306

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

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

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

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

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

PicsArt_06-15-10.35.44

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

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

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

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Southwestern Rice & Bean Salad (THM E)

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


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Red, Wine, & Bleu Burgers (THM S)

Burgers are a staple in my household. Husband loves them. Kids love them. I love them! Plus, they are ridiculously easy to make.

PicsArt_06-02-05.49.11.png

This whole recipe (burgers plus a sauce topper) is less than 10 ingredients. Unbelievable, I know, but this recipe packs in the flavor with just a few ingredients.

I seasoned up 2lbs of ground beef sirloin with sliced scallions, salt-free all purpose seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and dry sherry.

It probably sounds weird to “season” burgers with wine before cooking, but trust me the flavor is *amazing*. The sherry adds a beautiful depth of flavor while keeping the burgers nice and moist. I cooked my burgers to a strong medium (warm, pink center) and there was no trace of raw alcohol.

Mix the burgers with your hands until just combined, score with the side of your hand into sections (for even patties – I got about 7 big burgers out of this), and form into patties.

PicsArt_06-26-04.06.54

My best burger tip is to always make these slight dents in the center of your patties prior to cooking. The centers rise as they cook, so instead of them rising and you ending up with cylindrical burgers they rise to the height of the outsides, making it flat.

Before tossing your burgers onto the grill or sauté pan, season each one with a little extra salt and pepper on the outsides. This helps to ensure they’re seasoned well.

I cooked these burgers in a cast iron skillet for about 4-5 minutes on each side, turning only once.

While the burgers are cooking, make the bleu cheese sauce.

Place the sour cream into a small bowl with the bleu cheese crumbles, a few dashes of hot sauce, salt and pepper, and a touch of half and half or heavy cream to slightly thin the sour cream.

When the burgers are done, top each one with a generous helping of bleu cheese sauce. I served my burger alongside some fresh celery sticks and Trader Joe’s parsnip chips (which are seriously amazing, by the way. 1g of net carbs per serving and they’re a real chip!).

IMG_20170531_193244_464.jpg

You can serve the burgers atop lettuce (red or green leaf would be a great choice), or stuff it into half a Joseph’s pita. Either way, it’s delicious!

PicsArt_06-26-04.10.16

The burger itself really is incredible – the sherry keeps it moist while adding a slight red wine flavor and the dry seasoning adds a punch of different herbal notes (citrus, parsley, rosemary, etc.) with a little hint of onion from the scallions.

The bleu cheese sauce makes it rich and a little tangy from the cheese. [Really, I think beef and bleu cheese were put on this Earth to be best buds because they certainly rock together.]

These burgers would be perfect for a holiday party! With a burger this good, your guests will be knocking down your door for the recipe.

 

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!

Red, Wine, & Bleu Burgers (THM S)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

    For the burgers:
  • 2lbs ground sirloin
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp salt-free all purpose seasoning
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 c dry sherry, or other dry red wine
  • salt and pepper
  • For the bleu cheese sauce:
  • 1/4 c sour cream
  • 1/4 c bleu chesse crumbles
  • 4-6 dashes hot sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • half and half or heavy cream to thin slightly (about 1-2 Tbsp)

Directions

  1. Preheat a large skillet or grill over medium-high heat.
  2. Combine all ingredients for the burgers in a large bowl, and use your hands to incorporate everything together gently. Score the meat with the side of your hand into even secitons, then form patties. Make a slight dent in the center of your burgers for even cooking, then season the outsides with salt and pepper before cooking.
  3. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, turning only once.
  4. While the burgers cook, prepare the bleu cheese sauce.
  5. Combine all ingredients for the bleu cheese sauce in a small bowl and set in the fridge until serving time.
  6. When the burgers are finished, top each one with a couple generous tablespoons of bleu cheese sauce. Enjoy as a lettuce burger, or stuff it into a Joseph's pita.

5-Minute Hot Fudge Sauce (THM S)

You will not believe that you’re only 5 minutes and 6 ingredients away from rich, decadent hot fudge.

PicsArt_04-29-02.38.53

I haven’t had hot fudge in years, and I either forgot how good it was or homemade just blows everything else out of the water.

I decided to try an easy method using ingredients I already had on hand: cocoa powder, butter, cream, and sweetener. I simply combined the cocoa powder and sweetener with heavy cream in a small skillet, whisking until the cream became hot (but not bubbling). I then whisked in a stick of cubed salted butter (normally I do unsalted for baking, but this was all I had and it worked perfectly), vanilla extract, and caramel extract. Keep whisking until the sweetener dissolves, and the mixture is nice and smooth.

You may be thinking that the caramel extract is weird, but trust me when I say it makes the sauce. I had the sauce made without it, and thought, “It’s missing something. More cocoa powder? Vanilla?” Kept thinking, and eventually came to caramel extract. It’s a small amount, so it doesn’t taste of caramel, it just adds a nice background flavor and depth.

PicsArt_04-29-07.10.03

Don’t skimp on the cocoa powder here, make sure you use something good [because, hello, this is a chocolate recipe]. The brands I’ve tried and really enjoyed are Guittard, Ghiradelli, and Pernigotti.

To store the hot fudge, just cool it and store in a pint mason jar, or any container with a lid. It will harden in the fridge, but that’s to be expected. I played around with reheating it, and the best method I found was to reheat a few tablespoons in a small sauce pan on the stove. You can try it in the microwave, however in my testing it didn’t reheat well in the microwave (my best guess is that it scorches the chocolate, causing the mixture to separate).

PicsArt_04-29-02.42.07

This sauce is glorious – it’s thick, rich, gooey, chocolaty. Frankly, it tastes like a liquid brownie and it’s the most fantastic thing in the world. Put it on ice cream, a spoon…cardboard, and it will taste amazing.

PicsArt_04-29-07.14.33

Try it over my Fat Bomb Vanilla Bean Ice Cream for an easy, extra special treat!

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!

5-Minute Hot Fudge Sauce (THM S)

  • Servings: Multiple; Makes about 1 pint
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Whisk the cocoa, sweetener, and cream in a small sauce pot over medium-low heat until the cream is hot, but not bubbling.
  2. Whisk in the cubed butter and extracts.
  3. Continue whisking over low heat until the sweetener is fully dissolved.
  4. Cool slightly and store in the fridge. Reheat single servings on the stove as needed.

Gluten Free Strawberry Cupcakes (THM S)

These strawberry cupcakes are not only fresh and tasty, but so easy to make!

PicsArt_04-25-10.02.00

These cupcakes are a celebration of the beautiful, fresh strawberries of Spring. They’re popping up by the gallon at our local farmer’s markets in Georgia already, and I just can’t resist them.

For the batter and frosting, you’ll need to make a batch of my Strawberry Sauce. It helps preserve your fresh berries while readying them for different recipes: baked goods, pies, syrups, or pour it over ice cream.

For the cupcakes, combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl: almond flour, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients: coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, strawberry sauce, lemon zest and juice.

Whisk the wet into the dry mixture until just combined. For a deeper pink color, you can add food coloring if you like. I liked the natural look, so mine are pictured with no additional coloring.

Scoop the mixture into a lined cupcake pan [I love using an ice cream scoop for this! Makes the portions even, and one scoop is the perfect amount of batter.]

20170405061707_IMG_3035

Bake the cupcakes in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned and fully set in the middle.

20170405064512_IMG_3037

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely while you make the frosting.

For the strawberry frosting, combine the softened cream cheese, butter, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Once the mixture is slightly fluffy, add the strawberry sauce and whip until fully incorporated.

Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a tip, and pipe some onto each cupcake.

PicsArt_04-25-10.07.45

These cupcakes are moist with the lightly sweet and tart flavor of fresh strawberries. The frosting is the perfect creamy complement to these delicate cupcakes.

PicsArt_04-25-10.05.20

My kiddos enjoyed these very much [probably because I let them have cupcakes for breakfast a few times ^_~]. Adults will love them too!

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!

Gluten Free Strawberry Cupcakes (THM S)

  • Servings: Makes 12-15
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

    For the Cupcakes:
  • 2 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1/3 c Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 coconut oil, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 c Strawberry Sauce
  • For the Strawberry Frosting:
  • 2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 Tbsp Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet
  • 1/3 c Strawberry Sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. For the cupcakes, combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
  3. Whisk the wet into the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.
  4. Scoop the batter into a lined cupcake pan.
  5. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, until lightly browned and fully set in the middle. Cool completely while you make the frosting.
  6. Combine all ingredients for the frosting except the strawberry sauce and whip with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  7. Add in the strawberry sauce, and beat again until fluffy.
  8. Pipe or spread the frosting even onto each cupcake. Serve immediately or refrigerate if making more than 24 hours ahead of serving.

 

2-Ingredient Everything Bagel Dip (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!

You will not believe how ridiculously easy (and tasty) this dip is!

PicsArt_04-25-11.49.27

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.

20170422011538_IMG_3153

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.

PicsArt_04-25-11.59.05

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. ^_^

Everything Bagel Dip (THM FP)

  • Servings: Makes 16oz of dip
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 16oz container of reduced fat sour cream (mine had 3g of fat per 2 Tbsp, good for S or E)
  • 3 Tbsp Everything Bagel seasoning
  • optional, fresh herb of choice: chives, scallions, parsley, dill, etc.
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate for one hour before serving.

Southern Style Pulled Pork (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!

Barbecue is my family’s all-occasion food. Holiday? Barbecue. Birthday? Barbecue. The weekend? Well, you get the picture.

This recipe is so easy, you’ll be making barbecue every chance you get too!

PicsArt_04-17-02.51.11.jpg

Many times, you see barbecue done with a dry rub. While dry rubs are wonderful, I decided to go with a wet seasoning.

I started with a big, boneless pork shoulder, then the rest of it happens in a food processor or blender.

Place all of the seasoning mixture, except for the water, into your food processor. For the jalapeños, I seeded one half of it so that it would have some heat but not too much. If you like it spicy, feel free to leave the seeds and ribs on both sides, or remove them for a more mild flavor.

20170405204046_IMG_3046

Pulse until it forms a slightly thick paste.

20170405204507_IMG_3050

There will still be pieces of onion and jalapeño – that’s OK!

Place the pork shoulder directly into your Dutch oven, pour the wet rub over the pork and massage it all over.

Carefully pour (around the pork, not ON) in the water. Place the lid on your Dutch oven and place it into a pre-heated 300 degree oven.

This bad boy is going to cook low and slow for 4.5-5 hours with the lid on, then the lid comes off and it will continue cooking another 45 minutes to an hour.  The pork should have a dark outer bark when it’s done.

20170406072108_IMG_3089

Cooking the pork in the oven as opposed to the slow cooker gives you tender meat, while also having a crispy outer bark. The bark, to me, is one of the BEST parts. It’s crispy, flavorful, and a little smoky. The fat cooks down, making all of the meat perfectly tender. It’s the best of both worlds between a slow cooker and smoker.

Let the meat rest for about 10 minutes before shredding it between two forks.

PicsArt_04-17-02.55.32

Serve immediately, or refrigerate for a make-ahead meal on a weeknight. Try it with my quick and easy Sweet & Spicy Paleo Barbecue Sauce!

Southern Style Pulled Pork (THM S)

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: Prep, 10 minutes; Cook time, 6 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 2.5 – 3lb boneless pork shoulder
  • 1/4 c EVOO or liquid coconut oil
  • 1 small red onion, quartered
  • 1 jalapeño, halved (option to seed halfway, all the way, or not at all)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet
  • 1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 3/4 Tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300.
  2. Place all seasoning ingredients, except for the water, into a food processor and pulse until a slightly thick paste forms.
  3. Place the pork into a large Dutch oven, pour the seasoning mixture over it and massage into the pork. Pour the water (around, not ON) into the pot with the pork.
  4. Cover and place into the oven for 4.5-5 hours.
  5. Remove the lid, place back into the oven for another 45 minutes to an hour.
  6. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before shredding between two forks.

 

 

Low Carb Strawberry Cobbler (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!

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!

PicsArt_04-19-10.27.27.png

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.

While that’s happening, stir together the strawberries, lemon juice, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, and Xanthan Gum in a medium bowl.

When the oven is done preheating, take the dish out and add the strawberry mixture to it, then prepare the topping.

20170405070533_IMG_3039

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).

20170405073209_IMG_3040

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.

20170405073507_IMG_3041

Bake the cobbler at 350 for about 25-30 minutes, until the top is nicely browned and the strawberries are bubbling.

PicsArt_04-19-10.34.03

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.

PicsArt_04-19-10.36.40

It’s so gorgeous, I can’t stand it!

PicsArt_04-19-10.40.29

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!

PicsArt_04-19-10.46.42

Low Carb Strawberry Cobbler (THM S)

  • Servings: About 6
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. While the oven is preheating, place butter into a deep casserole dish and place into the oven to melt gently.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the strawberries, lemon juice, sweetener, and xanthan gum.
  3. When the oven is finished preheating, take the dish out and place the strawberries into it.
  4. Prepare the topping by first combining the dry ingredients, then adding the eggs and beating in the cream cheese and vanilla paste or extract.
  5. Dollop the topping over top of the strawberries, and gently press the topping down onto the strawberries.
  6. Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes, or until the top is browned and the berries are bubbly.
  7. Cool for 5-7 minutes prior to serving.
  8. Serve with on-plan vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, and enjoy.

Low Carb Ranch Pasta Salad (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

This pasta salad is a quick and easy side dish to make ahead for lunch or dinner – perfect for those busy weeknights!

PicsArt_04-17-11.40.46

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

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

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

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

PicsArt_04-18-02.44.23

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

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

PicsArt_04-18-02.53.15

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

Ranch Pasta Salad (THM S)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Gluten/Sugar Free Graham Cracker Crust (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

This crust is mind-blowing! If you are gluten/sugar/grain free, and have been missing that graham cracker flavor in your pies, cheesecakes, whathaveyou – it is BACK.

PicsArt_04-08-11.53.00.png

Nothing pleases me more than when I get a recipe right on the first try, and this was one of those times. This crust is sweet with a slight taste of cinnamon, and a hint of brown sugary goodness from blackstrap molasses.

I made this crust as a no-bake, but you definitely could bake it for a cheesecake or other pie, if desired.

First, simply combine all ingredients except for the melted butter in a small bowl. (The molasses won’t really go anywhere, but that’s OK. The butter will take care of it.)

20170405033834_IMG_3008

Next, start drizzling in the melted butter a few tablespoons at a time until the crust starts sticking to itself in large chunks.

The crust will be somewhat wet, but still have a degree of crumbly texture to it.

Spoon it straight into your pie, or tart, pan and begin pressing it firmly into the bottom and sides of the pan. I find it helpful to use damp hands so the crust sticks more to the pan than it does to you.

After pressing the crust into the pan, chill for about an hour  before filling. If you’re choosing to bake, blind bake your crust for 10-12 minutes at 350 prior to filling.

PicsArt_04-08-11.57.51

That’s it! Use this crust as a base for any yummy baked (or unbaked!) flavor you want to create.

Stay tuned to my blog as you see me turn this crust into a delicious fresh strawberry no-bake pie. (Yes, it’s as divine as it sounds. ^_~)

No Bake Graham Cracker Pie Crust (THM S)

  • Servings: Make 1 9-in tart crust
  • Time: Hands on time, 7 minutes; Set time, 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients except for the melted butter in a small bowl.
  2. Drizzle in the melted butter until the crust begins to stick together in large chunks.
  3. Press into the bottom and sides of a 9-in tart pan, and chill for about 1 hour before filling.