Weight loss & Trim Healthy Mama

Earlier on the blog I said I had lost some weight.  I wish had I taken measurements before I started, but I forgot.  I can tell you that I have gone down one to two pant sizes and even had to remodel some of my shirts smaller.  A few grocery bags worth of clothes were donated since I couldn’t easily make them smaller.

I have had a few people ask me how I have done it and the big answer (which won’t be popular) is I have greatly cut down on the number of carbs I eat (sugar including from fruit, flour, etc).  I haven’t lost as many pounds on the scale as I would like, but I have definitely tightened up my body.

One thing I am trying to follow is Trim Healthy Mama – have you heard of it?  Recently I made the Tuscan Cream Chicken from the Trim Healthy Table cookbook (page 72) without the sun-dried tomatoes, but with extra spinach and it was a hit with my family.  My family ate rice with the dish and all of us ate steamed Zucchini as a side (our Zucchini plants have abruptly decided it is time to provide a zucchini a day).

One of Trim Healthy Mama’s main points is to eat non-starchy vegetables so we have been eating a lot of lettuce, spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans and even cauliflower, which I have mostly eaten as ‘cauli rice’ or as a pizza crust.

What I have greatly cut back on are the baby carrots  and fruit.  I used to eat at least baby carrots and  fruit every day at lunch – not anymore!

Another thing I realize is I feel a lot better if I eat at least a little protein at every meal so that is something I do every day.

I have also realized that one diet plan doesn’t work for everyone and Trim Healthy Mama doesn’t remove any food group, but you try to eat the healthier version of a food group and to mix up the meals.

Summer eating has been a little harder, but I have only gained a couple of pounds back at this time and my current clothes still fit me.  My goal is to go back to meal planning and get back to the low carb meals, at least for me, and rice, etc that can be added to the rest of the families meals.

What meal plan have you been eating lately?  Later – Heather

 

Tip Tuesday

So, I made some gluten-free sourdough starter with sorghum flour that I had in the house from the following recipe and we thought it was too sour.

https://successfullyglutenfree.blogspot.com/2013/12/easy-gluten-free-sourdough-starter.html

And, then I realized I didn’t have any brown rice flour in the house, but I realized that I had brown rice in the pantry so I ground some of the brown rice with a older coffee grinder (which hadn’t been used for coffee) similar to this one and made my own brown rice flour!

https://www.target.com/p/mr-coffee-174-blade-grinder-black-ids57-np/-/A-16391441?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&fndsrc=tgtao&CPNG=PLA_Appliances%2BShopping&adgroup=SC_Appliances_Food+Dehydrators&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=9030852&gclsrc=aw.ds&ds_rl=1246978&ds_rl=1247068&ds_rl=1246978&ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Appliances+Shopping&adgroup=SC_Appliances_Food%20Dehydrators&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=9030852&gclid=CjwKCAjw6-_eBRBXEiwA-5zHadkXcFHD7V0BYp0KC6q7QsO17p_9CJ-gNlpOm-ZmRcdib-k4wi3E9xoCxD4QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

At the moment the brown rice flour and water are sitting on the counter.  Later this week / next week I will report back how the sourdough bread turned out.

What creative cooking tips have you done lately?

Later – Heather

 

Homemade Ranch Dressing (Gluten-free even)

Another favorite recipe that I even have problems finding on the blog.  I updated the blog post even.  Enjoy!

While on vacation we decided we liked the flavor of the Restaurant Ranch Dressing (for dipping fries,etc) better than the ‘name brand’ gluten-free Ranch Dressing we have been buying for years.  I asked around and found out we probably could buy ‘Restaurant style’ Ranch Dressing, but it comes in large containers – about a gallon.

So, I did a Google search and found ‘Chili’s Ranch Dressing Recipe’ on http://www.food.com

http://www.food.com/recipe/chilis-ranch-dressing-392314

When I just went to check that the link was still valid it took me to:

http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/amazing-pickle-juice-ranch-dressing-392314

I will definitely need to keep the link to this recipe handy.

Enjoy – Heather

Crockpot fall off the bone ribs!

I figured it was time to rerun this post since it is still one of my favorites and hard to find on the blog.  Enjoy!

Hope everyone had a Happy 4th of July!  Since the local grocer had ribs on sale I decided we would have them last week, but we decided it was too hot to even cook them outside on the grill.

So, I wanted an easy (and hopefully cooler) way to cook the ribs so I went Google searching with the words Crockpot and Ribs.

I wish I came up with this idea since the ribs turned out SO good!  Here is the link to the site I used:  http://www.mylifeasamrs.com/2011/05/crockpot-bbq-ribs.html

The ribs I bought came pre-rubbed so all I did was cut the rack in two and put them in the crockpot.  I cooked mine on Low for 6 hours and then kept them warm for a few hours.

Husband put them on the grill (with the BBQ sauce), but he only flipped them a couple of time before the meat was falling off the bones!

So, I forgot to take a photo of the ribs prior to eating them, but here is a photo of a few ‘clean’ bones that the meat fell off the bones by itself.

crockpot, ribs, delicious

 

Depending upon what is in your rub or BBQ sauce this could definitely be a gluten-free meal.

 

Enjoy! – Heather

Beef Vegetable Instant Pot Soup

So, my goal this year is to convert some of my Slow Cooker recipes for use in the Instant Pot.  This one is loosely based off some of the Beef and Vegetable Soups listed in the Fix-it and Forget-It Cookbook Feasting with your Slow Cooker by Dawn J. Ranck and Phyllis Pellman Good.

I used those recipies as a starting point and then used what we had in the house.

Ingredients:

  • Approximately 1 pound of beef cut into small pieces
  • 2 pounds of fresh vegetables which included
    • 2 potatoes roughly chopped
    • 3 large carrots roughly chopped
    • cut up celery ribs
    • cut up fresh green beans
  • flour  (any, but in my case gluten-free)
  • garlic powder to taste
  • onion powder to taste
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/4 medium onion chopped
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 32 oz beef stock (I use the kind in a box)
  • olive oil
  1. Mix the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a plastic bag or in the bottom of a pie tin.  Dredge the beef pieces through the flour mixture.
  2.  Plug in your Instant Pot and turn on to Saute
  3. Pour a small amount of olive oil into the Instant Pot.
  4. Put the beef pieces in the Instant Pot and brown.  Remove the beef pieces after they are all partly browned.
  5. Add the beef broth, diced tomatoes, vegetables, chopped onion and beef pieces to the Instant Pot while it is still on the Saute setting.
  6. Stir all the ingredients together.
  7. Add stock until it is below the Max Line.
  8. Keep using the Saute feature until the liquid starts to get hot.
  9. Turn off the Instant Pot and then set it to High Pressure for about 10 minutes.
  10. After it is done, turn off the Instant Pot and do a Quick Release of the pressure.
  11. Check that the liquid level still covers all of the ingredients.  Add more liquid, if needed.
  12. Use the Slow Cook feature and set to ‘More’ (high temperature setting) and for over 4 hours.

After about 5 hours we were hungry.  The potatoes and carrots were soft and it smelled amazing.

My family really liked how the soup turned out.

! instant pot beef veg soup

 

What have you made in the Instant Pot lately?

Later – Heather

 

 

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Our garden has exploded with Zucchinis this season so I went looking for some new recipes.

I received a blog post from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for  ‘The Best Chocolate Zucchini Cake’

https://www.melskitchencafe.com/best-chocolate-zucchini-cake/

and boy is this cake and chocolate whipped cream good!

To make this cake Gluten-free I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free 1 to 1 Baking flour and the only other change I made was I used dark, unsweetened cocoa powder since that is what I had in the pantry.

I sent the leftovers with the husband to his work and his coworkers loved it and I received multiple requests for the recipe.

So, thanks to Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for posting the recipe and whipped cream.  I will definitely be making this recipe again.

Do you have a garden?  If so, do you grow Zucchini?

Later – Heather

Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas

I made a slightly modified version of this recipe tonight and it was a hit.  So, I figured I would share and post it here so I don’t forget where I found it.

Do you watch/ listen to YouTube bloggers?  Well, I have found some I really like, but that list will be for a post in the future.

But, this recipe was published on YouTube on June 28, 2017 by ‘She’s in Her Apron’.  A friend of hers found it from ‘Gimme Some Oven’ and the direct link is below:

https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/crispy-slow-cooker-carnitas/

I actually had two cooked, plain, shredded chicken breasts in the fridge that I didn’t have a plan for.  So, I put the shredded meat in a saucepan and made the sauce with the addition of the juice from one Halo mandarins.  I then simmered it on medium-low for about 30 minutes.

After than I followed the actual recipe.  The husband commented on how good the house smelled when he came in the door and was more than happy to eat three tacos with this meat in them for dinner.

So, let me know if you try it and if you liked it.  This is definitely going in my list of Go To meals.

Heather

 

Giveaway: Build a Budget that Works by Jessi Fearon

So, you all know that I try to be thrifty by doing DIY projects, making food from scratch, using coupons, find deals at the Thrift Stores and finding the best deals on the new items or services we need to buy.  Well, another way is by keeping your family on a budget (and one that works is even better).

Jessi Fearon sent me a copy of the Build a Budget that Works  book to review as part of her book launch.

I am glad I got it since it reminded me of categories that I sometimes forget to budget for (like recently needing tires for our truck [which I found a sale on] and now it sounds like we will need them for the car also this year – ouch,  definitely not something I planned for, but I will be looking for a deal on those also).

I will continue to tweak our budget using the tips in Jessi’s book.

So,  would you like to win a FREE copy of the Build a Budget that Works book?  I was given one copy to give away to a reader.

Between now and Thursday 20 November 2014 make a comment (which will be delayed in posting since I have to approve them) with your name and email address.  After that I will pick a winner using a Random Number Generator (hey, I have to use something nerdy).

Good luck!   – H

Grocery Outlet – bargains and Gluten free

Note:  I got nothing from Grocery Outlet (or any of the brands listed) for this review.  I am just really happy that the Grocery Outlet opened in our town.

Since my favorite grocery store closed last year I have been bouncing around the local stores and Costco for my shopping.  I was happy when a Grocery Outlet opened locally.  I knew from extended family (and other blogs) that they didn’t always have everything, but when they had something they usually had a good price on it.

Did you know that each Grocery Outlet is locally owned?  The statistic is that for every $100 spent in a local store $45 stays in the community.  I am definitely willing to try the local stores to keep the money and jobs here.

So, here are some of the items we have been buying there lately.

Morasch Meats  – Beef New York Striploin Steak (2 pack, 14 oz,  $5.99) – Wow, we put some Dry Rub on these yesterday and cooked them on the BBQ.  They were great!   The husband and I were able to share one of them so we have the second one for another meal.   (Note – I went back today and bought two more packages of them since it was so good.)

Organic chicken legs – I got a great price on these (I cooked them up the same day and took them on our camping trip a month ago).

Smart Balance spread for $1.99 – this is a great price and the expiration date is way out there

Individual Garlic Bulbs (3 for $1.00)

Flaked Coconut

Cans of soup – today I picked up a can of Muir Glen Organic Homestyle split pea (14.9 oz) for $1.49

Frozen Ore-Ida potatoes (I just picked up a bag of Zesties for $1.49 for the first time today so I will let you know what we think).

Hummus – Since I am the only one in the family that really likes hummus I bought a container for a great price (don’t remember the cost now since it was a month ago), and then froze it in smaller containers.

Gluten free mixes – Arrowhead Pizza crust mix , 1-2-3 gluten free Rolls Mix and Poundcake Mix (haven’t tried them yet, but I know their prices were definitely cheaper than other places)

They also have bags of Gluten-free All Purpose Flour and other gluten free mixes which I am thinking of trying in the future.

So, now I stop at the local Grocery Outlet before I head to any other grocery store.

Have you checked out your local Grocery Outlet store lately?  Here is the link to their website if you want to find your local store:  https://groceryoutlet.com/

Let me know if you try them out and what bargains you found.

Later – H

Udi versus Rudi Gluten free bread and Walmart

So, for a few years now we have eaten Udi Gluten free bread.  The family likes it toasted and plain (when we rarely eat a sandwich).  Up until now we have been buying it at Trader Joe’s.  Well, this spring Costco (yeah!) started carrying a larger loaf in the frozen food section (in ours it is near the frozen berries – who would have guessed).

Anyways, I had seen coupons for Rudi Gluten free bread, but had never seen it in a store.  Well, the last time I was in Walmart (yes, I go there now, but not often) I went looking around and I found Rudi Gluten free bread in the frozen food section so I picked up a loaf.

The first time I tried the Rudi Gluten free bread I made it into toast.  It was tasty and didn’t fall apart.

On Father’s Day we took a picnic so I took some Rudi Gluten free bread (frozen when we left the house, but defrosted by the time we got there).  I hate to say it, but the bread fell apart as we were eating it.

(Note:  I did email the company that makes Rudi Gluten free bread and got a response that their bread does crumble.)

So, even though I don’t go to Walmart often I will be using the coupons I find to get some reduced gluten free bread for making toast in the mornings.

Oh, and both Udi and Rudi Gluten free bread are made in Colorado.

What new gluten free products have you tried lately?

Later – H