Here is week number 4 in my series on prepping 5 low carb dinners in an hour on a budget. The budget I have set for this series is $60 for all 5 dinners. Where you live your food might be more. Currently I have access to organic grassfed beef at $5.29 a lb. Previously is was $4.99. My local Mexican grocery store usually has ground beef for less than $4.00 Chicken breasts are often less than $1.69 a lb.
This week I have 2 ground beef recipes, 2 chicken recipes and 1 fish recipe. I try to make sure I use a variety of flavors and seasonings when I make the menu. I could eat Mexican food everyday and not get tired. It is my favorite!! I only have 2 Mexican themed meals this week. I wanted to make sure and utilize the cotija cheese I bought. I might even use it in another week. It was an interesting cheese. It was a little on the sharp side with a bit of a Parmesan flair. You can leave it out if you want to., it isn’t essential to the dishes that it is added to but it definitely adds to it.
This recipe has a few steps but it is still easy enough for a weeknight dinner. This was included in my 5 dinners in an hour series so it ins’t too complicated or time consuming. I know that we need to eat more fish but my hubby isn’t a fan. He had leftovers the night we had this. I hope I can find a fish recipe that he will eat.
There are a lot of flavor components in this recipe. I suggest going a little on the lighter side and adjusting at the end. My kids love it made following the seasonings below but they do eat theirs in tortillas. They really like this recipe, even the avocado cream (although they don’t know what is in it).
Ingredients Cabbage Mixture: 2 T Olive Oil 1 1/2 Bags of Coleslaw Mix 1 t Minced Garlic 1 Can of Black Beans, drained and rinsed 2 T Lime Juice 3/4 t Salt 1/2 t Chili Powder 1/2 t Ground Cumin
For the Fish 4 Tilapia Filets 2 T Lime Juice 2 t Chili Powder 1 t Garlic Powder 1 t Ground Cumin 1/2 t Salt 1/4 t Black Pepper
Avocado Cream Small to Medium Ripe Avocado 2 T Lime Juice, can add an additional T if after tasting the cream you think it needs more 1 T Mayo 1 T Greek Yogurt 1 T Water 1/2 t Chili Powder 1/2 t Ground Cumin 1/2 t Salt
Garnish Diced Green onions Minced Cilantro Crumbled Cotija cheese
Directions 1. In a large skillet add olive oil and diced onion. Start browning onion over medium heat. 2. Add coleslaw mix and garlic. If your skillet isn’t big enough to hold all of the coleslaw, add it in batches. It will cook down. 3. Add the seasonings for the cabbage mixture, but not the lime juice yet. 4. Add the black beans and stir to combine. Cook until the cabbage is cooked to your liking. Some people like this a little crunchy and other want this cooked until it is soft. 5. When this is cooked to your preference, add the lime juice. 6. Start on the fish. Sprinkle the fish with half the lime juice and then half of the seasonings. I mix my seasonings in a small container to make this easier. 7. In a medium to large skillet add 1 T olive oil over medium heat. Add the tilapia filets, seasoned side down, to the skillet. Sprinkle with the rest of the lime juice and seasoning. 8. Cook 2-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the filets.
9. Make the avocado cream. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. 10. Add your coleslaw mix to a bowl. Top with fish and then the avocado cream. 11. Top with cilantro, green onions and cotija cheese, optional.
This low carb Italian casserole is so easy and family friendly. It can be made ahead during meal prep if you want. It is cheesy and gooey but still low carb and tasty. It can be hard finding low carb Italian recipes that aren’t complicated and family friendly but this one fits both. Give it a try and let me know if your family liked it. You can make this in one ovenproof skillet, if you have one that is large enough. If not, use a 9×13 pan.
The last time I made this I was going to a ladies meeting. Sometimes when I attend these I bring a meal to share (that’s what almost everyone does) but I didn’t have time to make a meal for my family and one to share so I packaged this for me for my dinner. I didn’t miss out on eating what everyone else had. This was perfect and filling.
Ingredients 1 lb Hamburger Meat 1 Medium Onion, Diced Marinara Sauce, I get mine at Aldi and it is low carb and free of additional sugars 1 1/2 t Minced Garlic 1 1/2 t Italian Seasoning 1 t Garlic Powder 1 Package of Frozen Cauli Rice, microwaved until almost cooked through 1 1/2 C Cottage Cheese 1 C Shredded Mozzarella
Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 2. Brown ground beef in a large skillet. When the meat is about half way browned, add the diced onion. Cook until pretty much cooked through. If the meat has too much extra fat, drain it. Add the minced garlic and cook for a few more minutes. 3. Add the seasonings and the cauli rice. Mix and cook for about 3 minutes. 4.n Stir in the marinara sauce. If you are running out of room pour contents into a heat-proof bowl. 5. Add the cottage cheese and stir. If you are mixing in a bowl, pour bowl contents into a baking pan. Top with cheese and bake for 15 minutes. 6. Serve hot.
One of my hubby’s favorite recipes before changing how we eat was dirty rice. This recipe comes really close to the original. It is another recipe that is quick to throw together and a family pleaser. My kids eat this with cauli rice without complaining. They can add more seasonings to it and even cheese for one of mine. After it is cooked, taste it and adjust the seasonings as needed. I hope your family likes this as much as mine.
Ingrdients 1 lb Ground Beef 4 Ribs Celery, sliced 1 Medium Onion, diced 1 Medium Bell Pepper, diced 1 T Minced Garlic 1 t Garlic Powder 1 t Smoked Paprika 1 Bag of Frozen Cauli Rice 1 1/2 T Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce Green Onions, diced for garnish
Directions 1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet. 2. When mostly brown, add the onion, bell pepper and celery to skillet. Keep cooking until the veggies are soft and add the minced garlic. 3. Add the seasonings and stir to combine. 4. Microwave the cauli rice and when it is done, add it to the skillet. Stir and cook until the mixture is heated through. 5. Add the Bragg’s or soy sauce and stir. Taste and adjust seasoning. We add Creole seasoning to individual bowls to our own preferred heat level. Most of the time there is no need for added salt since Bragg’s and the Creole seasoning are salty. 6. Serve in bowls topped with diced green onions.
I have been wanting to find a side that we can serve with Mexican dishes that are THM S (low carb) that aren’t salad or guacamole. Zucchini are available year round and are cheap. They took on the flavor of the spices I added and were a perfect compliment to my Mexican Chicken. This recipe is so easy. Add more spices or less, according to your family’s tastes.
Ingredients 3 Medium Zucchini, diced 1/4 t Smoked Paprika 1/4 t Ground Cumin 1/2 t Chili Powder 3 Dashes Cayenne Pepper 1/2 t Garlic Powder 1/4 t Onion Powder 1/2 t Salt 1/4 t Black Pepper 2 T Olive Oil 1 T Lime Juice 1/4-1/2 C Crumbled Cotija Cheese Cilantro and green onions for garnish
Instructions 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Optional, line baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. 3. Mix seasonings and oil in a medium bowl. Mix together. Add diced zucchini and coat thoroughly. 4. Pour contents of bowl onto prepared baking sheet. 5 Bake for 30 minutes. 6. Take out of the oven and stir. 7, Increase the oven to 400 and bake until lightly browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. 8. Toss with lime juice. 9. Plate and top with cilantro and green onions.
This recipe is a little bit on the spicy side. One of the teens in my house could eat it but it was almost too much for her. Just wanted to put that out there if you have people who are sensitive to heat. The chicken breasts do give off a little liquid so make sure you drain the diced tomatoes with green chilies. This was so good. The leftovers made a perfect burrito on a low carb tortilla the next day. This comes together so fast, this is another easy family recipe that is perfect for meal prep or a busy weeknight dinner.
Perfect side that isn’t a salad, make Mexican Roasted Zucchini. This recipe was easy to throw together while the chicken is baking in the oven. I know that eating low carb or eating THM S meals, sometimes salads can get a bit redundant. This gives us another option with a Mexican flair.
I think this would make an excellent filling for low carb enchiladas. Make the low carb egg wraps, wonderwraps, low carb tortillas or buy egg wraps. Add some guacamole and a small salad with a little salsa ranch dressing, perfect!! Do you have leftovers? Perfect lunch. Heat up the chicken and add to romaine lettuce leaves or low carb tortillas.
Ingredients 3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts 10 oz Can of Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, drained 4 oz Can Diced Green Chilies 1/2 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese 1 Block of Softened Cream Cheese Contija Cheese, 1/2 C Crumbled, optional* Green Onions diced for Garnish Cilantro chopped for garnish Salt Pepper Chili Powder Ground Cumin
Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. If your chicken breasts are fat, flatten them a little bit with a kitchen mallet. If they are fat, they will take longer to bake. If they are really fat, you can cut them in half. 3. Place your chicken breasts in a baking dish or casserole. If your breasts are thin, you will need a large dish. 4. Sprinkle the seasoning on top of the breasts. 5. Mix the drained diced tomatoes and the can of green chilies with the softened cream cheese. Mix in the cheddar cheese. Spread this mixture on top of the chicken breasts. 6. Bake for 30 minutes and check to see if they are dine. You don’t want any light pink uncooked meat in the middle of the breasts. Like I said, if you have thin breasts that are thicker, it might take longer. Check every 7 or so minutes until they are cooked to 165 degrees. 7. Sprinkle with contija cheese, cilantro and green onions on individual plates before eating. *Note- This cheese isn’t necessary. I use it on the zucchini that I serve with this. I wanted to utilize as much of this cheese as possible so it wouldn’t go to waste.
If you are new to the THM lifestyle, you might not be aware of the plethora of sippers that are available to us. A sipper is basically a drink that is a fuel pull that has health benefits. They are also helpful to kick the soda habit. There are so many versions out there of good girl moonshine, GGMS.
One of my favorite sippers is the shrinker. I love that the drink isn’t just good for me, but I burn calories just drinking it. Oolong tea is the main ingredient. Oolong does have caffeine in it, so if you are sensitive to caffeine, that might be one of the sippers to stay away from.
Wonder Woman Whiskey? This drink is so zingy and exhilarating. It is like GGMS but on steroids. It can be a little too much for some but you can reduce the amounts of the really strong ingredients. However if you like things spicy and zingy, you can increase those ingredients. Boabab powder is an amazing food. This powder is the highest antioxidant on the planet. It is so high in vitamin C and great during the flu season (rally all year long).
This is my take on Serene’s recipe.
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Ingredients 10 oz Flavored Tea, I mostly use peach Approximately an inch of Fresh Ginger Root 1/2 Of 1 Medium Jalapeno, seeds and white parts removed 1/4-1/2 C Cilantro 1 t Matcha Powder 1 t Boabab Powder 1/2 t Ginger Powder 2 Doonks of Pure Stevia (One doonk is 1/32 of a teaspoon)
Directions 1. Brew your tea and let it cool. 2. Add tea, ginger root, jalapeno and cilantro to a blender. Blend for about 30-60 seconds. You want everything broken up but not completely broken down. 3. Strain contents of blender through a fine strainer. Discard contents of strainer into trash. 4. Pour the liquid back into the blender. Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender with the liquid and blend on high for about 30 seconds. 5. Pour liquid from the blender into a quart size jar filled with ice. 6. Drink and feel amazing!!
This is one of those recipes that is sure to become a family favorite. It is fast to put together (it is part of my prepping 5 dinners in an hour series) and easy. The chicken is seasoned just right and browned on each side. You add sliced onions and mushrooms to the skillet to cook and soften. Add a little broth or water to the skillet to scrape up any bits in the pan to add to the chicken. It comes together so fast that you can make this on a busy night and relax while the dish bakes in the oven, or prep for the next day. I often take that time to prep meals for the next day while dinner is cooking. Whatever you do, dinner will be delicious. I served this with the most delicious brussels sprouts recipe I have ever made. Recipe is coming soon.
Ingredients 3 T Olive Oil, divided 8 oz Sliced Mushrooms 1 Large Onion, sliced 3-4 Chicken Breasts, if large cut in half. 1 t Salt 1/2 t Black Pepper ! T Garlic Powder 3/4 t Smoked Paprika 1/2 t Italian Seasoning 1 C Shredded Mozzarella Dried Parsley to sprinkle on top
Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. If your chicken breasts are really fat, you might want to butterfly them or at least, flatten with a mallet. The larger, fatter the chicken breast, the longer they will take to cook. 3. Take a large skillet and put it over medium high heat. Mix all of your seasonings in a small bowl. Sprinkle one side of your chicken with half of the seasoning. 4. Add 1 1/2 T of olive oil to your warm skillet and add the seasoned side chicken to the pan. Sprinkle the top of the chicken breasts with the other half of the chicken. 5. Brown chicken for 4 minutes on each side. Place seared chicken in a baking dish. 6. Add the other 1 1/2 T of olive oil to the skillet and add the sliced mushrooms and sliced onion. Cook for about 4 minutes, until soft but not necessarily cooked through. 7. Pour on top of the chicken breasts. Add 2 T broth to skillet to scrape any browned bits left behind from the chicken or the onion and mushrooms. Pour this over the chicken. 8. Sprinkle mozzarella and parsley on top. 9. Bake for 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
This cake is so close to the Texas sheet cakes I used to make. If you have basic low carb ingredients in your cabinets, you should have all of the ingredients to make this yummy cake. The cake perfectly fits in the pan that I used but I put the cake in the fridge so that the warm frosting didn’t slide off the cake. Chocolate also seems to taste better after refrigerated for a bit. I would suggest making it in the morning and eating it for dessert at lunch or dinner.
This is the sweetener I used in my frosting. These sweeteners were a little costly but I don’t eat desserts daily so they last me a while. This is one of my favorite sweeteners I have used. It doesn’t really have that cooling affect like so many erythritol based sweeteners do. My hubby is my hardest critic when it comes to desserts and he has eaten more of this cake than I have. If you don’t have a sugar free powdered “sugar”, blend your sweetener in a coffee grinder.
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Cake Ingredients 2 C Almond flour 2 T Coconut Flour 1 t Baking Soda 1/2 t Baking Powder 1/2 t Xanathan Gum, optional, it helps with the cake texture 2/3 C Cocoa Powder 1 C Sweetener, I used Swerve, this measures 1:1 to sugar 1/2 C Butter, softened 6 Eggs, room temperature 1 1/2 t Vanilla Extract 4 T Sour Cream 1/2 C Almond Milk, unsweetened
Directions 1. Mix dry ingredients together, except sweetener. Remove any lumps 2. In a mixing bowl put butter and sweetener. Cream together.
3. Add eggs, one at a time. I like to crack eggs individually in a small container before adding to the bowl. I have fished out more egg shells than I like. One time the mixer was going and I ended up dropping the whole egg in the mix and had to throw the whole thing out and start over. So now I take the time to crack separately to not fish out shells or ruin the recipe. 4. Add the vanilla, sour cream and almond milk to the bowl. Mix thoroughly. 5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl, slowly. Once the dry ingredients are mixed thoroughly into the wet ingredients spread into your pan. Either use a 1/4 sheet pan or a 9X13 pan, greased. 6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through. One tip when baking, always set your timer earlier than the recipe states, just in case your oven cooks faster. 7. Cool before frosting.
Directions 1. Place butter, cocoa powder, sweetener, and heavy cream in a small saucepan. 2. Over medium heat, stirring most of the time, bring to a boil. Make sure you have no lumps. One way to do that is to shake your dry ingredients through a sifter. Remove from heat. 3. Add vanilla and chopped pecans to mix. Allow to cool slightly before topping the cake. 4. Carefully top your cake with your icing. 5. Eat it.
This plan has helped me so much. I feel amazing and lost over 40lb. My hubby has lost some but he doesn’t really stick to the plan, but I will take what I can get. For all of the newbies, I want to offer the tiniest bit of encouragement. There is a cleaning plan I used to follow and she would say, your house didn’t get like this overnight and it won’t get clean overnight. (Something like that). It’s the same way with our health and bodies, we didn’t get in this shape overnight, and we can’t get healthy and lose the weight overnight. This plan is worth it. This plan is worth detoxing from sugar and breaking that addiction as well. I feel better at the age of 44 than I think I have ever felt. I have plenty of energy, no aches and pains, and I am often outworking my own kids. With this plan no food groups are eliminated. I eat fats and carbs. I eat steak and salad with blue cheese dressing. I eat chicken breasts and sweet potatoes. I eat brownies and ice cream. This plan is not only doable but also can be adopted for life. I really think there isn’t a better way of eating out there. This plan gave me my healthy back. In the pictures there are about 7 to 8 years difference. The second one is this last December. I should add that my hubby rarely smiles in pictures so this is a great picture!!