5 Low Carb Dinners Prepped in an Hour on a Budget #2

So this one is I was the most prepared but had technical difficulties. I guess that’s the way things go. I still bought the $4.99 organic grass-fed ground beef that I get at Aldi. You can reduce your amount by getting cheaper ground beef. I also bought a family size pack of chicken thighs that were .99 a lb. For the soup, you want to get the enchilada sauce simmering in the beginning so that is finished in time. I came in under $55 for this menu. I had some leftover lettuce for salad so I just bought some tomatoes and a cucumber. My dressing is often some olive oil and lemon juice with a little salt and pepper. I also didn’t include toppings for the Mexican Cauli Rice Casserole. I had some black olives in my pantry that I used. I think green onions, cilantro and sour cream would be wonderful toppings. If you have room in your budget, I would suggest adding those in.

Menu
Parmesan Baked Tilapia with scalloped cauliflower and roasted broccoli
Low Carb Crockpot Lemon Chicken with mashed cauliflower and salad
Baked Chicken Thighs with Sheet pan roasted vegetables
Mexican Cauli Rice with salad
Low Carb Creamy Enchilada Soup

Here are links to the recipes:
http://jenniferoverstreet.com/index.php/2020/01/23/low-carb-oven-roasted-parmesan-garlic-tilapia/
http://jenniferoverstreet.com/index.php/2020/01/24/low-carb-scalloped-cauliflower/
http://jenniferoverstreet.com/index.php/2020/01/23/low-carb-crockpot-lemon-chicken/
http://jenniferoverstreet.com/index.php/2020/01/23/low-carb-sheet-pan-veggies-and-chicken/
http://jenniferoverstreet.com/index.php/2020/01/23/easy-and-delicious-roasted-veggies/
http://jenniferoverstreet.com/index.php/2020/01/21/mexican-cauli-rice-casserole/
http://jenniferoverstreet.com/index.php/2020/01/11/low-carb-creamy-enchilada-soup/

Here is a link to the PDF grocery list.

Here is a link to the Youtube video with the technical difficulties. You do get most of the cooking part, you miss most of the rambling from the beginning.

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Low Carb Scalloped Cauliflower

Do you need a new way to eat cauliflower? I honestly get tired of trying to find ways to eat this low carb vegetable. I don’t believe that it is a true potato replacement. I love a baked potato with all of the toppings or some homemade mashed potatoes. Since a potato is a rare treat now, I have to find new ways to eat the veggies I have available. Right now I can get a head of cauliflower for 1.29. That price is so cheap so it is perfect for a budget side. This recipe is easy to make and a family favorite, even the kid who hates cauliflower. Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature to make it easier to mix.

Ingredients
1 Head of Cauliflower
4 oz Cream Cheese
4 T Sour Cream
1 C Shredded Cheese
1/2 -1 t Ground Mustard
1 t Garlic Powder
1 t Onion Powder
1 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
Parmesan Cheese to shake on top

Directions
1. Bring water to a boil in a medium pot. I salt the water, about 1 teaspoon or so. Add your cauliflower, cut into florets. Boil for 10 minutes or until cauliflower is soft. Strain.
2. Mix cream cheese with all of the seasonings, not the cheeses or sour cream. When you get the seasonings mixed into the cream cheese, add the sour cream. Then stir in the shredded cheddar.
3. Spray a baking pan, above I used a pie pan because my 8×8 pan was being used. Add your cauliflower to pan. Carefully dollop on top the cheese mixture. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until hot. You can make this ahead and store in the fridge. You will need to bake longer if you make this ahead, I would guess about 25 minutes.

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Low Carb Oven Roasted Parmesan Garlic Tilapia

Tilapia is cheap and my family loves it. It cooks fast so you can have dinner on the table fast. The last time I made this I served it with a cheesy side and roasted broccoli. I have food freedom but I do try to not go crazy with too much cheese and cream all of the time. A little balance is needed for sure. I think this is my favorite way to eat tilapia, that is until I keep experimenting and find a new favorite. If your family likes tilapia, this is a great addition to your weekly menu.

Ingredients
4-5 Tilapia filets
2 t Olive Oil
2 t Minced Garlic
1/2 t Salt
1/4 t Black Pepper
1/2 t Onion Powder
1/3 C Parmesan Cheese, green can is what I used
Optional, dried minced parsley


Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all of the ingredients, except the fish and opt parsley, in a small bowl. Prepare your baking sheet. Either spray with non-stick spray or use parchment paper.
2. Spread mixture on both sides of the fish. You can use s spoon or a brush. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily. If you fish is a little thicker, it will take longer. Keep checking every 2 minutes.
3. Serve warm. Sprinkle with the optional parsley.

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Low Carb Crockpot Lemon Chicken

I need easy in my life. Some of my days are a bit more laid back but more often than not, I am running in so many different directions. I know one day my life will slow down and I will miss these days, so until then, easy meals are a necessity for me. I like to provide home cooked meals for my family most nights of the week. That’s where the prepping 5 low carb dinners in an hour came into play. I started making youtube videos showing me making them up in the hour and saving my waistline and budget in the process. This is one of those recipes. I bought a family pack of chicken thighs and used half for the recipe and the other half for baked chicken thighs and sheet pan veggie. You can prep this ahead or make it the day you want to it. Either way this is a delicious meal. I served this with mashed cauliflower (my kids had mashed potatoes) and a salad.

Ingredients:
2lb Chicken Thighs
2 T Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, diced
2 t Minced Garlic
1 t Italian Seasoning
1/2 t Onion powder
1/2 t Salt
1/4 t Black Pepper
1 t Mustard (yellow from your fridge, I used Dijon)
3/4 C Chicken Broth
1/2 C Heavy Cream
1 T Lemon Juice, you can add more for a more intense flavor

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion. Cook for a few minutes and add the minced garlic (garlic tends to burn fast so you put it in after the onion has cooked a little. Cook for another 3 or so minutes and place in your crockpot.
2. Turn up the heat to about a medium-high. Mix up the seasoning: the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Sprinkle half of the mixture on to the thighs. Place the thighs into the skillet, seasoned side down. Brown for 3 minutes. Sprinkle the rest of the seasoning mixture on the side facing up. Turn the thighs over and brown for 3 minutes on that side. Place in crockpot. Pour in the chicken broth.
3. Bake for 5-6 hours on low. When ready to eat, add cream, mustard and lemon juice to the crockpot. Stir together.
4. Optional: to make a thick sauce, add 1/2 t of xanthan gum or gluccie and whisk until thick. Or you can place on the stove in a small pot and allow to reduce over medium to medium-low heat. I am often in a hurry and don’t do the extra step.
5. Serve your thighs over mashed cauliflower, or potatoes and spoon extra sauce on top.

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Easy and Delicious Roasted Veggies

This is my go to recipe for roasting vegetables. I also like to separate them when I bake them so picky people or people who need to watch their carbs can make sure they aren’t getting too many carrots. I make this usually once a week at least, especially when it is cold outside. You can use lots of different veggies, I generally get whatever is on sale. I also use parchment paper when I have it to help with clean up.
Here is a link to meat in the picture above, roasted chicken thighs, one of my family’s favorites. You can get the thighs in the oven and then prep your vegetables and then put them in the oven. Nothing else to dirty up. Perfect for busy days and busy lives.

Ingredients
Veggies of choice. I used:
1 Bunch of asparagus, ends snapped off
1 Large Broccoli Crown, cut into large pieces
More than 1/2 Bag of baby carrots, large ones cut in half
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Garlic and Onion Powder
Cayenne Pepper, if desired
Parmesan Cheese

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place your vegetables on your large baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with all of the seasonings.
2. Bake for about 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and toss.
3. Place back in the oven and bake for approximately 10 more minutes. It depends on the size of your vegetables on when they are soft enough for you. I like mine fairly soft but not too done. Check after that last 10 minutes and if they need more cooking, bake at 4 minute intervals until they are done enough for you. Don’t forget to toss them so the cheese doesn’t burn (like around the carrots above). Serve warm.

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Low Carb Sheet Pan Veggies and Chicken

This one of my meal prep dinners. You don’t have to prep this ahead though, just mix up the ingredients for the chicken and bake right away. If you want to make this ahead, drizzle the chicken with the oil and store in a container in the fridge. Mix up the seasonings and store until you are ready to bake.
This is a perfect dinner for a busy day. You can adjust the seasonings for your family’s tastes. If your family loves spice, add some cayenne. Maybe you don’t like garlic, leave it out.
Here is link to how I made the vegetables for this dinner. I don’t like to bake the thighs with the vegetables since they take longer to bake and the vegetables would be burned by the time the chicken is done.

Ingredients:
2-2 1/2lb Chicken Thighs, with bones and skin
Smoked Paprika 1 t
Onion Powder 1 t
Garlic Powder 1 t
Salt 1 t
Ground Black Pepper 1/2 t
Cayenne Pepper A couple dashes

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle chicken things with olive oil and lay on a medium sized cookie sheet. I line mine with parchment paper for a fast clean up. That part is not necessary at all. Mix together your seasonings. Sprinkle on top of chicken.
2. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. You want your chicken thighs to be 165 degrees inside for safe eating. Serve warm.

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Baked Tostadas Trim Healthy Mama E Meal

This is such a quick recipe (broken record I know) and absolutely delicious. You bake your corn tortillas in the oven. While they are baking you make your toppings. To keep this an E (E is the low fat but proper carbs) we can’t add really any cheese, sour cream, fatty meat or avocados. What I did for the one above is I used laughing cow cheese spread on top of my refried beans. Top with lettuce, cilantro, salsa, tomatoes. green onions, etc. You could definitely add some low fat ground meat or some cooked chicken breast.
I made this again this week. My hubby broke down (we just got his truck out of the shop the day before) and I hadn’t had a chance to do my meal prep. I got home well after 6 and needed to get something together quick. This was a crossover but still on plan. I took a little ground beef, a can of refried beans, salsa and taco type seasonings and mixed all of that together. This was such a great meal and fast. Not one complaint from anyone.

Ingredients
Corn tortillas, the number is determined by your family size
Non stick Spray
Laughing Cow Cheese
Fat free Refried Beans
Taco Seasonings
Salsa
Toppings

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a large cookie sheet or two of them. Place as many corn tortillas as your family will need. Lightly spray the tortillas with the spray. Sprinkle salt on the tortillas and any other seasonings you want. I always use chili powder and sometimes add other seasonings.
2. Bake for 6 minutes or until the tortilla is starting to lightly brown. Take out of the oven and flip. Bake for another 6 minutes or until that side starts to lightly brown. Take out of the oven and let cool. They won’t be crisp straight out of the oven but will crisp up as they cool.
3. Mix your refried beans in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup of salsa and whatever taco style seasonings you like.
4. Cut up your toppings.

5. Assemble your tostadas. Spread your bean mixture on top and then your laughing cow cheese on top. Add whatever other toppings you want.

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Mexican Cauli Rice Casserole

This is such a great healthy and quick family favorite. This can be made ahead as part of your food prep if you like. This is great taken to potlucks as well. I eat this with a small salad and some avocado, when they are on sale.

Ingredients
1 lb Ground Beef
1 Bell Pepper, diced
1 Small Onion, diced
1 t Minced Garlic
1 Package of Frozen Cauli Rice
1 Can of Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
1 T Chili Powder
1 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
1 t Ground Mustard
1/2 8 oz Block of Cheddar Cheese, you can sub Monterrey Jack instead
Black Olives chopped, opt
Green Onions chopped, opt
Sour Cream for topping, opt
Avocado opt


Directions
1. Brown ground beef with onion and bell pepper over medium heat in a large skillet. Add minced garlic and all of the seasonings.
2. Once the meat has cooked add the thawed cauli rice and the diced tomatoes. Stir until everything is mixed together.
3. Place in a 9X13 pan. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Take out of the oven and top with cheese and sprinkle on the green onions and black olives. Bake for another 5 minutes.
4. Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream.


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Comforting Warm Low Carb Chocolate Custard

When it is cold outside I love to have a warm breakfast. This recipe is warm and comforting on a cold day. This recipe can be made with ingredients available at your local store. The glucomannan is optional and you can sub with xanthan gum or just leave out. I used swerve sweetener but my favorite natural sugar free sweetener is THM’s gentle sweet. I feel that is is so close to tasting like sugar and doesn’t have the cooling affect like other sweeteners like swerve does. However, gentle sweet can’t be purchased in a local store, at least not here, so I wanted to give you measurements for swerve, in case that’s all that you have access to. You temper eggs in the recipe but it is super easy to do. I feel like this is necessary but you can add everything except the gluccie (or xanthan gum) and whisk until hot and thickened and then add the small amount of gluccie. Also, adjust the sweetness to your preference. I no longer need things to be as sweet as I used to, however I still like things sweet.

Ingredients
1 C Almond Milk
2 Eggs, beaten
1 1/2 T Cocoa Powder
2 1/2 T Swerve or sweetener of choice- swerve has
2 t Unrefined Coconut Oil, you can use refined but you won’t have as many health benefits
2 Pinches of salt
2 Doonks of Glucomannan (1/16th of a teaspoon) or Xanthan Gum
1/2 t Vanilla Extract

Directions
1. Put almond milk, sweetener, cocoa powder, salt, and coconut oil in a medium pot. Place over medium heat and whisk together until combined.
2. When mixture is hot and steaming pour a little of the hot liquid into the whisked eggs. I use my 2 cup measuring cup. Whisk the eggs as your pour in the hot liquid. Add a little more of the hot liquid. Once mixed, slowly pour the now hot egg mixture into the saucepan on the stove. Whisk the chocolate mixture for a few minutes. After this has thickened some, sprinkle in your choice of gluccie or xanthan gum. Whisk for another minute or two.

3. Once the mixture is hot and thickened, add your vanilla. Stir and serve hot. This whole thing is done and ready to eat within 10 minutes.

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Low Carb Creamy Enchilada Soup

I love a good soup on a cold day. Today in Texas, we are actually cold! We didn’t have any snow accumulation but a few flakes did fall. I had the meat, veggie and enchilada sauce made up. After a day of shopping at a few stores in town, throwing this together was so quick. You will need to make up the sauce first so start with that. While that is simmering brown your meat and veggies so they are going at the same time. Also, if you haven’t simmered tomato based sauces, soups, etc, they pop so be careful. My stove was a mess after making this. I like to serve my kids bowls with crushed organic blue tortilla chips. I like cilantro, green onion and avocado on mine. Top with your favorite toppings.

Ingredients:
Olive Oil
2 t Minced Garlic
2 8 oz Cans of Tomato Sauce
2 T Chili Powder
2 t Ground Cumin
1//2 t Onion Powder
1/2 t Garlic Powder
1 t Paprika
1/2 t Salt
1/4 t Ground Black Pepper
1 lb Ground Beef
1 Small to Medium Onion, diced
2 Bell Peppers, diced
Can of Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
4 oz Cream Cheese
3 C Broth
1 Can of Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 Package of Frozen Cauli Rice, optional
Toppings:
Green Onions
Cilantro
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream
Avocado
Tortilla Chips

Directions:
1. In a small pot over medium heat put about 1 teaspoon of olive oil and the minced garlic.
2. Saute for about 2 minutes and then add the seasonings and tomato sauce. Simmer on low to medium low for about 8 minutes or so.
3. Brown ground beef in a pot or a large skillet. Add bell peppers, onions, cauliflower rice and a teaspoon of minced garlic. Cook until everything is cooked through.
4. Season meat mixture with a little salt and pepper, about 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper.
5. Add enchilada sauce and cream cheese. Stir until cream cheese is melted and mixed in.
6. Add 3 cups of chicken broth and black beans. Heat through and serve hot.


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