NatureAmy

caring for creation while caring for family

Tag: dairy-free

Healthy Sweet & Sour Chicken ~ Sugar-free, Gluten-free, Dye-free

My family loves Chinese food – well pretty much any Asian food actually.  My husband especially loves it because of his many food allergies, especially to dairy and gluten.  It is pretty easy to get Asian food that he can eat.  However, finding Chinese food without a lot of sugar is hard!  So we have not spent a lot of time at his favorite local Chinese restaurant recently.  Sorry, Honey…

Everyone in the family loves the classic Sweet and Sour Pork or Chicken recipe – loaded with sugar, red food coloring, breaded and fried, and completely bad for you.  So I was on a mission to make a Sweet and Sour sauce that not only was healthy, but also was lick the pan – can I have more, please – good!  I finally perfected the recipe!  And, not only is it cheap, it also does not have any special ingredients that you cannot find at your local grocery store! Score! (All my recipes have no special ingredient options – check more out here.)

This recipe is an Energizing (E) meal, meaning it is low in fat and higher in healthy carbs, if you follow the Trim Healthy Mama plan (read why I love THM here) when made with chicken breast and eaten with brown rice (I love eating rice with sweet and sour sauce – yummy!)

There is also the option to make this dish a Satisfying (S) meal, meaning it is higher in healthy fat and low in carbs, when made with pork and no rice.  It is easy to make into a Crossover for those skinny kids or husbands in your life (this is my life) or if you are at or near goal-weight or pregnant or nursing.  However, when doing a pork S option, you will need to pull the amount of pineapple to just a small amount and increase the amount of vegetables.   Since pineapple is a high-glycemic fruit, it really can only be a garnish. Therefore, there needs to be no more than two tablespoons of pineapple per serving for an S meal.  So, if you choose to make this an S meal with pork, use 1/4 cup of drained pineapple tidbits instead of the full can of pineapple.   Of course, if you do the E option, no need to worry about the pineapple!

Quick and Easy ingredients to Sweet and Sour Pork or Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds chicken breast (for E), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Mineral salt
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut oil 
  • 1 cup chicken broth (I use my homemade bone broth)
  • ½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons THM Super Sweet Blend, or 4 Tablespoons Truvia (about 12 packets), or sweetener of choice
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½-1 teaspoon Glucomannan powder or ½-1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum, to thicken
  • 1 – 20 oz. can of pineapple chunks in juice, drained (see not above if making an S meal)
  • 1 bell pepper – whatever color you want

Makes 6 servings

  1. Cut up the meat into 1 inch cubes, or bite size pieces. Sprinkle with salt.
  2. Cut up the bell pepper (whatever color you want to use) and any other vegetables you may want to add.  We had asparagus on the side with this meal, but it would have been very good cut into bite size pieces and added to the dish!  Open the pineapple and drain it.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet and add the meat.  You may want to do this in batches to better brown the meat.  I like to cook the meat through and then let it turn golden on each side for more of a crunch.
  4. In a small/medium sauce pan, add the broth, vinegar, sweetener, and tomato paste.  Still and heat to simmering.  Add the glucomannan or xanthan gum by sprinkling it in slowly as you whisk the sauce.  This is important or the thickener will get clumpy and won’t thicken properly.  Let the sauce simmer for a minute or two and then turn off the heat and let cool.  It will thicken more as it cools.
  5. Add the vegetables to the meat and cook together for a minute or two.  Add the sauce and let simmer together so that the flavors can marry – this does not take more than a few minutes

    sweetsour_cook

    The cooked meat and veggies ready for the sauce (left). The sauce and other ingredients cook together for a few minutes before serving (right).

Serve over brown rice if you made the E option with chicken breast – the rice is so yummy with the sauce.  Now I just need a THM fortune cookie recipe and my life will be complete.

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Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  Clicking on these links and ordering products or services will result in a small commission for me.  It does not cost you anything extra, but helps keep this website going and is much appreciated. Click HERE to use my Trim Healthy Mama Affiliate Link.

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The Final Downton Night: Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Scones ~ THM FP

If you have been a loyal watcher of Downton Abbey for the last six years, you are likely in a mix of emotions today.  Not only are you dying to find out what is going to happen to the Crawley family and the staff downstairs, if you are like me, you are devastated that it is coming to an end. (Of course, if you are reading this from the UK, you already said your goodbyes…) In our house tonight we will be celebrating with a British inspired dinner (Bangers and Mash, anyone? Cauliflower mash for me), and of course, tea and scones for dessert while watching the show.

Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Scones - THM FP, Sugar-free, Low Carb, Dairy-free, Gluten Free - NatureAmy.com

In honor of this momentous occasion, I have been working on one last scone recipe (check out my blueberry and cranberry scone recipes).  I love scones with my tea, but since giving up sugar because of my sugar addiction and becoming a Trim Healthy Mama (THM), my old standby recipes are no longer an option.  One of my favorite scones is Lemon Poppyseed – I love that combination – and after some tweaking, I’ve come up with a winner.  This recipe is a Trim Healthy Mama Fuel Pull (meaning it is both low in fat and carbs) when made with THM’s Baking Blend.  I also wrote a no special ingredients option that is a bit higher in fat and would fall into the satisfying “S” meal category.  These scones are a little drier than my other scone recipes because they are not made with fruit.  Scones are usually quite dry and adding butter or clotted cream (yummy!) solves this issue. However, if you want to keep this scone as a Fuel Pull, you may want to add some sugar-free berry jam like I did.  (I used the Slim Belly Jelly recipe from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook.)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup THM Baking Blend  (or substitute 2 tablespoons coconut flour, 1 tablespoon flax meal, and 1 tablespoon almond flour, this would be an S, because it is higher in fat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash of mineral salt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon THM Gentle Sweet (or 4-5 packets Truvia, or use sweetener of choice)
  • zest from half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon poppyseeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil (or butter)
  • 1 egg white (or 2 tablespoons carton egg whites)
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of almond milk or juice from lemon if you like it very “lemony”

Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Scones - THM FP, Sugar-free, Low Carb, Dairy-free, Gluten Free - NatureAmy.com

  1.  Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Mix the baking blend (or flours), baking powder, salt, and sweetener together in a bowl. Zest the lemon and add the poppy seeds.
  3. Add the coconut oil and mix together so that it is crumbly and a biscuit-like consistency.
  4. Add the egg white and mix together.  If it seems too dry, add  almond milk or lemon juice until you get to a firm consistency that holds its shape well, but is not too dry.
  5. Place parchment paper on your baking sheet and dump the dough onto it.  Form the dough into a square and then cut it through the center to separate into two beautiful triangles.

    Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Scones - THM FP, Sugar-free, Low Carb, Dairy-free, Gluten Free - NatureAmy.com

    My baby girl ate half my dough before I could get it in the pan, so mine only made one scone. Your recipe should make 2.

  6. Bake in the oven about 15 minutes until just golden. Let cool a bit and enjoy!
The joys of creating recipes with kids - so much fun, but you have to share!

The joys of creating recipes with kids – so much fun, but you have to share!

You can choose to keep this a fuel-pull by eating this as is, or by adding some on-plan sugar-free berry jam.  To enjoy as a satisfying S-meal, go ahead and add some butter or Devonshire Clotted Cream.  And, of course, make sure to steep a cup of black tea (I will be having Tetley British Blend decaf – it is late at night!) with a splash of milk or cream and a bit of stevia.

Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Scones - THM FP, Sugar-free, Low Carb, Dairy-free, Gluten Free - NatureAmy.com

Spread with some sugar-free berry jam, it was oh so good! I managed to get a small piece away from my daughter!

Do you have your hanky ready? Now we are ready for the perfect evening (and last Downton Night – sob!)

Cheerstelephoneamy

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  Clicking on these links and ordering products or services will result in a small commission for me.  It does not cost you anything extra, but helps keep this website going and is much appreciated. Click HERE to use my Trim Healthy Mama Affiliate Link

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Hawaiian “Huli-Huli” Chicken – THM S, Sugar-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free

Anybody else want a vacation to Hawaii?  I know I would love it!  Mom and Dad, you wouldn’t mind the kids for a week or two, right?  

Well, since a trip to Hawaii is definitely not on the calendar – or in the budget – how about a yummy chicken recipe that definitely is in the budget!

One of my family’s favorite recipes is a Hawaiian “huli-huli” chicken that is traditionally grilled outdoors and often sold in street carts in Hawaii.  My husband and kids LOVE this recipe, so it was one of the first I had to change to be sugar-free so that we could enjoy it as a family after I gave up sugar.  I also love this recipe because it is cheap!  Bone-in chicken is some of the cheapest meat you can find – I usually pick it up for under $1/pound, so this makes this meal come in at under $1/person – which is very good for our budget.  I love Trim Healthy Mama, and it really is easy to make affordable on-plan recipes!

This chicken can be grilled on the barbecue or done in the oven with the broiler.  In the winter, I usually do it inside with the broiler – I love how it warms up the house! In the summer, I like to keep the heat outdoors and do this on the grill.  The process is the same both places and it tastes great both ways.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 lbs chicken quarters (thighs and drumsticks) or 1 chicken cut up or butterflied
  • mineral salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 inches ginger, peeled
  • 1/2 cup drained pineapple chunks
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or Braggs liquid aminos (make sure to select a gluten-free sauce if you need to)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon THM Super Sweet Blend (or 2 packets Truvia or sweetener of choice)
  • 2-4 tablespoons water

Serves 6

Sauce ingredients

  1. Start coals/barbecue or start heating the broiler to med/high.  I can set the temperature on my broiler, so I always turn it down to about 400 degrees.  I also drop the rack down two places because this chicken gets hot!
  2. Take your chicken and generously sprinkle with mineral salt.  Let rest while you make the sauce.huli_sauce
  3. Place the remaining ingredients in your blender or food processor and puree together.  Add the water as needed. The 1/2 cup pineapple adds 13 grams net carbs, so spread out over 6 servings, it does not add significant carbs to this S-meal.
  4. Put the chicken on the grill or under the broiler with the skin side away from the heat source.  Cook for 5 minutes and turn over.  Do this 4 times for a total of 20 minutes.  Then baste the sauce generously on the chicken and cook 5 more minutes.  Do this 4 times for a total of 20 more minutes.  Your chicken should be cooked  through at this point and the skin should be crispy, sweet, and charred.  Perfect!

    Chicken broiled for 20 minutes without the sauce on left. Chicken broiled with the sauce for the remaining 20 minutes on right.

    Chicken broiled for 20 minutes without the sauce on left. Chicken broiled with the sauce for the remaining 20 minutes on right.

  5. Serve over rice if you want a crossover (my kids and husband need crossovers and they love this with sticky rice).  I like it with a side salad or veggies drizzled in some of the excess sauce collected from the broiler pan. Yummy!
hulikids

The boys could not eat this meal fast enough!

I hope you enjoy your little taste of the islands as much as we do!

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Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  Clicking on these links and ordering products or services will result in a small commission for me.  It does not cost you anything extra, but helps keep this website going and is much appreciated. [eafl id=253 name=”THM” text=”Click HERE to use my Trim Healthy Mama Affiliate Link”]

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Amy’s “Famous” Taco Chili (THM E)

It may seem pretty arrogant to call this my “famous” chili recipe – but that is what my kids named it so the name has stuck!  They LOVE this recipe and so do children everywhere, and adults, too!  This makes a huge meal that is allergen-friendly so it is my family’s go-to meal for large family events, camping field trips, freezer meals, bringing to other families when they need a meal, etc.  This is a great and healthy meal to have in your recipe arsenal, especially if you have picky eaters to feed.

My oldest would eat any kind of veggie up until he turned three.  But something switched at three and he started turning his nose up at any and every vegetable out there.  He still claims to “hate vegetables” except for lettuce drenched in ranch dressing even though he is now seven.  He still must eat at least a few bites each night, but I love meals where I can trick him into eating much more.  This is one of those meals.  This chili is loaded with veggies – the trick is to chop them very, very small – I use the “wet-chop” method with my blender for this and it is super quick.  A food processor would also do the job well.  You can even do it by hand and get some good exercise in while making dinner. Just make sure the veggies are so small they are not recognizable – that is the trick with picky eaters.

chiliveggies

This is a Trim Healthy Mama E (for Energizing) meal, so it is naturally low in fat and high in healthy carbohydrates centered around a protein source, of course.  I am a “Whole Grain Jane” so I naturally gravitate to E meals.  Healthy carbohydrates are a very important part of a balanced diet and one of the reasons I love THM is because they do not shy away from them.  This meal can easily be made a cross-over (to include more fat) for your growing kids, slim husband, or if you are at or near goal weight or pregnant/nursing.  I love this as a crossover, but usually have it as an E.

canz

INGREDIENTS:

Building the Chili Base:

  • 1 lb ground turkey (if you want this to be a THM E-meal, it must be 97% lean or more)
  • 4-6 celery stalks
  • 1 large onion
  • An assortment of veggies of your choice which may include:
    • zucchini
    • yellow squash
    • small eggplant, or half of a large one
    • radishes
    • carrots
    • bell pepper
    • anything else you want to put in it
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Chili Powder (to taste)
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Cumin (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

All of the following ingredients are in cans, so this base can be frozen or brought along on a camping trip.  It makes a very quick meal to add the cans for a quick “from scratch” dinner.

Add to the base:

  • 1 – 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 – 10 or 15 oz can of diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 5-6 cans of beans of choice,  drained and rinsed (black, pinto, kidney, navy, and garbanzo are all good options)
  • 1 – 15 oz can of corn (or 1.5 cups frozen corn will work)
  1.  First finely chop the vegetables you are going to use.  If you only use celery, onions, and bell peppers, you will have a decent base, but I like to add as many veggies as possible.choppedveg
  2. Brown your turkey in a large pot.  If you are using turkey with more than 3% fat, you can drain and rinse the browned meat with very hot (boiling) water to strip the excess fat for a good E meal.  This is not necessary if you want a crossover meal.
  3. Add the chopped veggies to the browned turkey and mix well, stirring often.  The veggies get soft and start to cook and steam, shrinking in the pot and blending in with the turkey meat.
  4. Add the spices to your desired spiciness. I use the spices separately for a taco-like flavor so that the meal is allergen friendly – I do not make this with pre-made taco seasoning.  However, if you always use pre-made taco seasoning, you can use that in place of the spices.
  5. Add the tomato paste and canned tomatoes with chilies and stir well.  Drain and rinse the beans and corn and add to the pot.  Stir carefully at this point because your pot is likely very full and thick.  Add water to your desired consistency.  We like this thick, so we only add about 2 cans full of water for a very hearty chili.  Let it heat through and the flavors marry for at least 15 minutes.chilistove
  6. Serve this up.  Your main dish and veggies all fit in one bowl!  You may garnish with plain non-fat Greek yogurt for an E, or add sour cream and cheese for a yummy crossover.  We generally get two good sized meals for our family of 5 with this one pot of chili!  Enjoy!
Kids love this meal and don't know they are eating their veggies!

My veggie- hating seven year old LOVES this meal! Don’t tell him he’s eating squash and eggplant.

Don’t worry too much about going back for seconds with this meal – it is so loaded with veggies that you can have up to 3 cups of this chili and still be within the healthy carb limit for THM E-meals.  If you want to have the meal with some on plan baked organic blue corn chips, you will have to have less chili, but even one (or two) cups of this hearty chili is very filling!

I hope your family enjoys this as much as we do!

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I would love it if you could head on over to my Facebook page and give it a like!  I am just building my website and will be posting recipes every week or two, all family friendly, Trim Healthy Mama friendly, sugar-free, and budget friendly.  Thanks so much for your support!

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Another Downton Night – Another Scone Recipe ~ Orange Cranberry Walnut Scones THM S

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  Clicking on these links and ordering products or services will result in a small commission for me.  It does not cost you anything extra, but helps keep this website going and is much appreciated. [eafl id=253 name=”THM” text=”Click HERE to use my Trim Healthy Mama Affiliate Link”]

I am an Anglophile, through and through.  I spent a semester in England my sophomore year of college and went there on my honeymoon, but really my love affair with the British Isle started long before that.  In fact, my earliest memories of loving England came from pouring over the pictures of Princess Diana’s wedding in a magazine my mom had – it was several years old when my sister and I found it, but it soon became our favorite! The British are not famous for their cooking, and my time living there made me realize that they get their reputation for a reason, but there are some things they do very well and tea time is certainly one of them!  BBC historical dramas are something else they do especially well and my current favorite – along with half the world – is Downton Abbey.

My last Downton Abbey inspired recipe was a hit (check out the THM FP Blueberry Scones) and this one is even tastier, in my opinion.  I’ve got to get these recipes posted before the last season ends and we are stuck with watching the old seasons forever (which really isn’t the worst thing in the world!)  So, if you like a proper cup of tea (with a splash milk and a dash of stevia) with your favorite British dramas, you must try this scone recipe as well.  I’m sure if Mrs. Patmore (the Crawley’s cook) made Trim Healthy Mama recipes, she would love these!

Orange Cranberry Walnut Scones ~ Sugar-free, Gluten-free, dairy-free, THM S

ORANGE CRANBERRY WALNUT SCONES ~ THM S

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup THM Baking Blend (can substitute 2 tablespoons coconut flour, 1 tablespoon flax meal, and 1 tablespoon almond flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash of mineral salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons THM Gentle Sweet (or 2-4 packets Truvia) to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1-2 teaspoon coconut oil (or butter)
  • 1 egg white (or 2 tablespoons carton egg whites)
  • dash of almond milk
  • 1/4 cup cranberries (sliced in half, fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tablespoon chopped walnuts (optional, but oh so yummy)

Orange Cranberry Walnut Scones ~ Sugar-free, Gluten-free, dairy-free, THM S

This recipe is the perfect scone consistency with Trim Healthy Mama’s Baking Blend. I have made it a couple times using the easy substitutes of coconut flour, almond flour, and flax meal and it tastes wonderful.   These flours/meals and Truvia can be found at most grocery stores, so it will be easy to make without purchasing THM products. I do love THM Baking Blend – it is full of healthy ingredients, low calorie, low carb, and certified gluten free.  I also LOVE their Gentle Sweet all natural non-GMO sweetener – it is the most sugar-like of any sweetener I have tried. (You could substitute honey, coconut sugar, or maple syrup if you do not follow THM.) I will write more about this wonderful book and eating plan and the food freedom I have found – especially my freedom from sugar addiction – in a later post.  But if you are curious about their plan, check out their website and books.

  1.  Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Mix the baking blend, baking powder, salt, and sweetener together in a bowl. Add the orange zest ( I love using my microplane for this). Add the coconut oil and mix together so that it is crumbly and a biscuit-like consistency.
  3. Add the egg white and mix together.  If it seems too dry, add a dash of almond milk.
  4. Cut the cranberries in halves and mix them into the batter. Fresh cranberries are amazing, but frozen will work just fine.  Orange Cranberry Walnut Scones ~ Sugar-free, Gluten-free, dairy-free, THM S
  5. Place parchment paper on your baking sheet and dump the dough onto it.  Form the dough into a square and then cut it through the center to separate into two beautiful triangles.
  6. Bake in the oven about 15 minutes until just golden. Let cool a bit and enjoy!

Orange Cranberry Walnut Scones - THM S, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Dairy-free

 

Go ahead and cuddle up on the couch this cold winter night and enjoy your scone with your favorite BBC show.  It should be another perfect evening…

Cheerstelephoneamy

I would love it if you could head on over to my Facebook page and give it a like!  I am just building my website and will be posting recipes every week or two, all family friendly, Trim Healthy Mama friendly, sugar-free, and budget friendly.  Thanks so much for your support!

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