Eggplant Lasagna

Eggplant Lasagna

I’ve been wanting to make an eggplant parmesan or lasagna for awhile. But, even though eggplant parmesan is delicious, it takes a lot of work to fry and then press all the pieces of eggplant. And, that much grease sort of makes me sick to my stomach! So, I’m not frying the egg plant in this! I did pre-bake the slices, which is much easier!

This sort of came about on the spur of moment, by accident. I was simply out of the items I wanted, to make a meal for my company, and I had eggplant! So, I decided to go ahead and experiment on the company! 🙄

I was a little nervous… But I only had the ingredients I had… And I needed to make a meal!

Thankfully, it did turn out! My company liked it! So, I hope you will too!

This would be delicious with green peppers sautéed with the meat, and olives added to the cooked meat mixture, I think!

The spices in this were simple. Both of these came from Costco, I believe.

This would be an S if you are following THM.

This makes 2 large 9×13 casserole dishes, so cut it in half or thirds if you are not feeding a large family or company. You could also try putting one in the freezer for later.

Eggplant Parmesan
3 large eggplants, thinly sliced
3 pounds ground meat (I used turkey… beef would be fine, though)
Coconut oil, if needed, to cook meat and veggies
1 large onion
3-6 oz. cans tomato paste
3 Tablespoons Montreal Steak Seasoning
3 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
16 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 cups egg whites
4 cups grated mozzarella
4 cups grated cheddar

Instructions

Eggplant:
Place all the eggplant slices in a casserole dish and pre-bake at 300° for about an hour. You can leave the peelings on like I did, or you can take them off.

Meat mixture:
Brown the meat. I needed the coconut oil since I was using a lean ground turkey. But if you are using hamburger you may or may not need oil. When the meat is nearly done, add the chopped onions, and peppers if you’d like, and continue cooking until the meat is done and the veggies are soft. Then add the tomato paste and spices to the meat and veggies.

Cottage cheese mixture:
Combine the cottage cheese, cream cheese, and the egg whites in a blender. I used my Vita Mix. Blend well.

Layering:
You will need to divide the ingredients by four, for two layers in each dish, except for the egg plant which will have an extra layer on top. Also, reserve a little extra cheese to place on top of each of the last eggplant on top.

Layer the ingredients into the bottoms of two greased casserole dishes in this order. 1: Eggplant slices. 2: Meat mixture. 3: Cottage cheese mixture. 4: Grated cheeses. Repeat. Top with another layer of eggplant with a little more cheese on each eggplant round.

Bake at 350° for about an hour, or till soft. I uncovered them and briefly broiled to get the brown spots towards the end.

Serve!

Low Carb Granola

A pretty easy to make low carb granola. This is an S if following THM.

Low Carb Granola

Dry ingredients:
1/2 cup oat fiber
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup unsweetened whey isolate powder
1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup coconut shreds
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup golden flax meal
1/4 cup seseme seeds
1/4 cup collagen peptides

Wet ingredients 1:
1/2 cup water
2 Tbs. beef gelatin

Wet ingredients 2:
1/2 cup melted butter
2 Tbs. vanilla
1/2 tsp. THM stevia extract

Directions:
Mix the dry ingredients together. Boil the water and add the gelatin. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well. Combine the melted butter, vanilla and stevia extract. Add this to the other ingredients and mix well. Should be in clumps and crumbs.

Spread out on a large cookie sheet. Bake at 275 degrees for at least 30 minutes, turn and continue baking on the other side till dry and lightly golden.

Cool thoroughly.

After it has totally cooled you may add 1/2-1 cup freeze dried berries, and lightly mix. Store in ziplock bags in the freezer.

I added raspberries to the granola pictured!

I also have added 1 Tbs. of cinnamon before baking, and added freeze dried blueberries after baking for a blueberry cinnamon granola.

Steak and Pepper Burritos

I served this recipe in my wraps! I’ll link the wrap recipe first, in case you would like to use it. It will take six wraps for this recipe. I used the coconut flour version.

Wraps

The wraps are easy, and can be made while the steak and veggies are cooking.

This recipe fills six wraps. I found two of them to be a nice serving size, so I will consider that this serves three, although you can eat more or less, of course.

Steak and Pepper Burritos

Ingredients:
1/4 cup oil
2-3 cups of steak, cut into pieces (I used venison, but beef would also be fine.)
12 mini peppers, topped, seeded, and quartered lengthwise
1 onion, sliced into rings
4-6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Tablespoons Montreal Steak seasoning

I got the seasoning from Costco, it’s basically salt and cracked pepper plus a few other spices. Here is what the container looks like.

Instructions:
Heat the oil till it is hot, then add the meat. Brown on the bottom, then stir occasionally till they are browned on most sides. Add the peppers, onions, garlic and Montreal Steak Seasoning and continue sautéing till the onions and peppers are soft.

I decided to freeze four of these. First, I wrapped them in Saran. I placed a piece of Saran across a plate, put the burrito in the middle of it, then folded the bottom end of the Saran up over the burrito, and wrapped the Saran around the sides.

Here is what they looked like at this stage.

I figured this will be the easiest way to hold them to eat them after they are thawed. I don’t have a microwave, but if you were going to thaw them in a microwave, I think you would want to remove the Saran first. You could probably then thaw them in the bag, if you made sure the ziplock seal was partially open.

Here are the four ready to freeze!

And the other two were my lunch!

Low carb rice

Low Carb Rice. Have any of you tried the different konjac noodles and rice? They are definitely different than wheat noodles or than either brown or white rice! It’s great that they are 0 carb! And they are fairly simple to prepare.

The first time I tried konjac noodles, though, I was NOT impressed! I ate them, but I don’t know that I wanted to eat them again! Now, I love them! Whether that’s because they grow on you, or because I’m learning how to better prepare them, and what dishes I like them in, I’m not sure.

I’ve frequently used the noodles, but I’ve still been having a hard time with the rice. This recipe features the rice, cooked with a very small amount of brown rice! And, I think it does the trick! I feel like I’m eating a plate full of rice, although I’ve only used 2 Tablespoons! And perhaps it’s all in my mind… but it tastes so much more like rice! 😊

Here is a link to my store, to the konjac rice I sell.

Miracle Rice

If you are following Trim Healthy Mama, this could be used as an S Helper. Or you can use it in an E. You would need to have another carb source in your E meal, as there is not much from the rice. You will want to be aware that this has a full E allowance of oil, so if you are going to have any other fat in your meal, take that into consideration.

Low Carb Rice:
1-8 ounce package Miracle Rice
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons dry brown rice
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:
Drain and rinse konjac rice well. Transfer to a small saucepan, and add the other ingredients. Bring to a boil. Turn down to low and let simmer till the brown rice is cooked and the liquid is gone.

That’s it! Top it how you like! Hope you enjoy this!

Low Carb Baking Mix

I didn’t set out to make a copycat version of the Trim Healthy Mama Baking Blend. I love their mix… in most things I have tried it in. If you prefer something ready made, I have their great blend for purchase! Be sure to take advantage of my flat rate shipping and stock up on other goodies, too!

Baking Blend

But, it is just more pricey than oat fiber or coconut flour. So, I always tried to use those more, saving the THM baking blend for special recipes. So, when developing my Cinnamon Bun Cake:

Cinnamon Bun Cake

And my Cinnamon Buns:

Cinnamon Buns

I measured and mixed several different flours when creating them. The only difference in the buns over the cake was the addition of almond flour. It didn’t change the batter texture, but it gave a sweet flavor and a nicer crumb to them. For those that are nut free, I believe you could leave out the almond flour and this should still work well!

First, let’s talk coconut flour! I have always used the coconut flour from Bob’s Red Mill. And I was very happy with it. I order it in a 25 pound bag, but I ran out eventually. And… I bought some from Wal-Mart! I hated it! Course, heavy… and about twice the amount of fat as Bob’s Red Mill. Using the right coconut flour makes a big difference in this mix and the baked goods you make from it. 😊

Next, what fuel is it? I am not sure. I am going to use it as a light S. I think it could squeeze by as a FP, because oat fiber and collagen have no fats or carbs, coconut flour and flax are low, but then there’s the almond meal. (You could definitely decrease or leave out the almond flour) Not much, and I think you could squeeze by in a FP, especially if you only used a 1/4 cup of the mix, but because I hate to crunch numbers… I’ll keep it to S or not tell you if I use it for FP! 😉😉

Low Carb Baking Mix
1 cup oat fiber
1 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup golden flax meal
1/2 cup collagen
1/2 cup almond meal
2 Tablespoons glucomannan

Instructions:
Mix all together well, and store in a jar or container.

I was surprised how well it subs for the THM Baking Blend. It seems to sub out equally. I have made the Nuke Queen’s Bread with success in the oven.

Here are the chocolate chip muffins from the Trim Healthy Cookbook. Can you tell which is made with the THM blend and which is mine? I can’t either.

Corn Tortillas

Low carb option for a corn tortilla! This is a variation of my first wrap recipe:

Wraps

It uses a little masa harina flour, but just a little for flavor. The recipe makes 4 corn tortillas. Which I figured is one serving. If you are following Trim healthy mama, I would use these in an S.

I’m hoping my friend Susanna and I can get together and make her yummy authentic enchiladas, so we can share that recipe with you next! Susanna was born and raised in Mexico! And her food is yummy!

Here is the plate she served me at her house a week or so ago.

She used regular corn tortillas, but I’m hoping we can sub mine! 😉

Corn Tortillas

Ingredients:
Dry:
3 Tablespoons oat fiber
3 Tablespoons coconut flour
1 Tablespoon Masa Harina (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 teaspoon glucomannan
1/2 teaspoon psyllium husks
1/4 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon rice vinegar

Instructions:
Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients together and then add them to the dry ingredients. With your hands make a ball of dough and slightly flatten it into a round. Divide it into 4 pieces. Pat each into a round and then press each piece on a tortilla press between a plastic liner. Carefully pull back the top layer. Lay it on your hand and pull off the other layer. Transfer to a skillet heated on about the lowest temperature on the stove. Cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side. I used a cast iron griddle, but a non stick skillet would probably work, too.

What can you make with these and how would you use them?

Chicken Avocado Salad

I love how these ingredients meld for a light and lovely taste. My favorite way to serve this is wrapped in sushi nori sheets(seaweed). But, they would also be good served in my wrap recipe, or Wonder Wraps.

Here are my wraps:

Wraps

This is best served immediately, but I often have eaten the other half the next day. It does become watery/ juicy, though, the next day.

Serves 2

This would be a THM S.

Chicken Avocado Salad
1 avocado, diced
Lemon juice, up to 1/2 squeezed onto avocado
2 mini orange peppers, sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1-12.5 can chicken breast, drained
1 handful of pine nuts
2 Tablespoons minced onion
Keifer, just a drizzle
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Handful of fresh basil, minced
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Instructions:
Dice the avocado and toss in the lemon juice. Prepare the other ingredients as specified. Combine all ingredients and stir gently. Serve in your favorite low carb wrap. (I love the sushi nori seaweed sheets for this).

I made this recipe times 5 for my family of 13 at lunch. It was the perfect amount. We served it in the seaweed wraps. I believe my kids weren’t too sure what to think of those. I guess some things are an aquired taste. 😊

Broccoli Noodle Soup

A good, warm soup for lunch, or even supper. Originally, I tried to make this just a small individual ‘diet’ soup for a quick supper for myself, while my kids had more ‘regular’ food. They were unhappy about this arrangement, thinking my soup, and my ‘diet’ noodles better than theirs. Konjac noodles can be very different at first. Rather chewy. I was not impressed the first time I tried them. But now, I love them. And so do my kids, I guess. What’s to complain about them liking my food, and liking healthy food. ❤️ Although they don’t need 0 calorie noodles, and eat whole grain rice noodles more often, this soup is a perfect one to be able to share a few of them with the kids.

If you are following THM this would be an S.

If you are really in a hurry you can substitute canned chicken for the chicken breasts.

You can also leave out the noodles. Thicken the soup with glucomannan, and serve it over the noodles.

Konjac noodles, or shiritake noodles can be found in the produce department at some Wal-Marts, from health food stores, or on line. I try to get the ones without soy or other ingredients. If you’d like to order them from me, I’ll show you which ones I sell and used in this soup. Make sure to take advantage of my flat rate shipping and stock up on some other items at the same time! 😉

Miracle Noodle Angel Hair

Broccoli Noodle Soup
2 bags angel hair konjac noodles
2 small or 1 large onions
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 14.5 ounce cans chicken broth
2 quarts water
2 large chicken breasts
1/2-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (how hot do you like things?)
2 Tablespoons mineral salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 13.5 ounce cans coconut milk
2 pounds frozen broccoli

Instructions:
Drain and rinse the konjac noodles. They will smell funny. Fishy, maybe. Cover them with water in a small pot and boil them for awhile. Maybe 10 minutes to 1/2 hour.

While they are boiling, cut the onion and sauté it in the coconut oil.

Add the chicken broth, water, chicken and spices. Drain the noodles and add them, too.

At least bring it to a boil if you are in a hurry, and make sure the chicken is done. But it is better to cook it longer. Up to an hour on low is good. This allows the konjac noodles to absorb the flavors and to be more tender. When the chicken is done, remove it and let it cool for a few minutes before dicing it and adding it back to the soup.

Just before serving add the coconut milk and broccoli. Continue simmering just till the broccoli is done and while it is still bright green.

Creamy Spinach Soup

With Indian Spices, this quick, fragrant, warm and creamy soup makes a great lunch with a side of bread and butter. (Low carb bread for those of us following Trim Healthy Mama). It is a thin, almost drinkable soup, but it is delicious!

Of course, this is a large recipe. You may cut it in half or further.

If you are following THM this would be an S.

Creamy Spinach Soup

1/2 cup coconut oil
2 onions, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Seeds from 8 green cardamom pods, optional
4-14.5 ounce cans chicken broth
12 cups fresh spinach
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne or red pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon glucomannan

Instructions:
Sauté the onions, garlic and cardamom seeds in the coconut oil. Add the chicken broth, spinach and spices. Bring to a boil and let simmer a bit till the spinach is cooked and wilted. Transfer to a blender (I used a vitamix) by batches and blend till smooth and creamy. Add the can of coconut milk and glucomannan to a partial batch and blend. Return all to the pot and bring back to a boil.

If you are not dairy free, you could always add some cream in place of the coconut milk. Maybe a cup?

Strawberry Arugula Salad

This is a light and quick salad, with very little preparation time. It delivers the sweet strawberries accompanied with a punch and a tang!

I first made this salad soon after starting THM. I don’t remember specifically eating arugula before. And if I had, I don’t know that I would have liked it. I won’t forget the spicy flavor of it, now!

We were doing Farmer’s Market in our local town. And I often like buy some from the other vendors, or to trade my leftover (my kids’ that year) goods for some of their leftover goods.

Well, we ended up with arugula. It is very likely we ended up with strawberries, too.

And so, this salad was created when we got home. I was starving, and needed something NOW! 🙂

I bought a lot more arugula from that vendor that year!

Yesterday, I tried to find arugula in the produce department at Wal-Mart. All I could find was a 1/2 arugula/baby spinach mix. It seemed just as good in the salad, though.

1-5 ounce container made two salads. I had one and gave my oldest son one with his lunch. He proceeded to pick all the strawberries off (to eat seperately) and dump salsa on his salad! I guess he didn’t think strawberries belonged on a salad! Lol

Strawberry Arugula Salad

A couple cups of arugula, or arugula baby spinach mix
6 strawberries (or more…just stay under 1 cup)
A handful or so of sliced almonds
Balsamic vinegar

Cover the bottom of the plate with the greens. Slice the strawberries over top of the greens. Scatter the sliced almonds over the strawberries. Sprinkle balsamic vinegar on the salad.