Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Swedish Meatballs (THM - E) by Papi

I (Mami) have been following the Trim Healthy Mama plan for just over a year now. It takes a bit of study to fully comprehend, but it is also VERY forgiving, so you can get started right away while you learn the finer details. The best part? - the only essential item is the plan book, and you can get that at the library! Everything else is just extra, and not required at all. No supplements, special ingredients, or anything else. Those things are available, of course, but they are not required to be completely successful.

This is where most blogs would insert a disclosure that any links are their affiliate links & they make money if you click them. Well, not here. I'm sharing because I love this way of eating, and I get absolutely nothing out of it, other than knowing more people are eating yummy foods while becoming healthier. :) Besides, I don't post regularly enough, nor consider myself enough of an expert, to make it worth having an affiliate link. There are some bloggers who do an amazing job explaining the plan and creating new recipes, so their time and effort are truly worthy of having an affiliate link.

I could give a quick intro to Trim Healthy Mama (THM) here, but there are so many blogs that have done an excellent job already. So, check out Gwen's Nest for her Quick Start Guide,  and then play around on Pinterest to see sample recipes and find links for other bloggers' "cliff notes." To get all of the details & the reasoning behind the plan, you really need to read the plan book, but this will give you a good start. If you'd like, you can check out my THM board on Pinterest, too. :) (Two other THM bloggers I really like are Briana Thomas & Mrs. Criddle's Kitchen.)

Papi is an amazing cook, and he also happens to like a challenge. When I was following an elimination diet to try and figure out JL's allergies a few years ago, he made me the most amazing meals, even when I was down to only 6 ingredients for the first 2-3 weeks. Now, with THM, he's still able to invent the most amazing meals, all while staying on plan. (Most of the time. Like I said earlier, THM offers a lot of grace as opposed to strictness, so we do eat off plan sometimes.)

OK, back to the recipe. Papi created this last night, and everyone just absolutely loved it. We're talking seconds and thirds for everyone except the 3 year old. It was that good. Please note, Papi doesn't measure, so most measurements are approximate, and if no measurement is listed, go by taste or appearance. :)

This is a "E" meal for Trim Healthy Mama, which means it has protein and healthy carbs, and very little fat. I try to eat an E meal about 5 times each week, but there is not hard and fast rule about it, just try to find the right balance for you. (Read more about the different meal types in the Plan Book.)

Swedish Meatballs
serves 6-8

3 lb ground turkey (very lean)
Italian Seasoning
Minced Onion
Garlic Powder
Black Pepper
2 T cold coffee
3 T THM Baking Blend (I make my own from the various recipes on Pinterest, or you can buy some from the THM online store. Just be sure to use a FP version (very low carbs and very low fat)

Combine well, form into Tablespoon-sized meatballs, and brown a few at a time in a skillet sprayed lightly with coconut oil spray. Then bake at 350* for 15-20 minutes to cook through.

2 cups chicken or turkey stock
2 stalks celery, chopped fine
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 tsp. xanthan gum (or gluccomannan)
1/2-1 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk

Boil stock to reduce by half (approximately 1 cup). Add celery and onion to the skillet the meatballs were browned in. Deglaze for a minute, then add the reduced broth. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Blend (using a stick blender) with the xanthan gum. Return to low heat and stir in milk to desired consistency.

1.5-2 lb dry noodles (brown rice, corn flour, or "Dreamfields" pasta)

Boil pasta as normal. If using brown rice or corn flour pasta, be sure to rinse slightly with cool water to prevent stickiness.

Serve all together, spaghetti and meatballs style. :)

Sorry I don't have any pictures, we ate it all too fast, but I'll be sure to update with pictures the next time Papi makes it. Hopefully soon!

JMC had a June birthday, too

Well, the summer got the best of me (moving across town to a fixer upper didn't help, but more about that later!) and I'm just now posting about our 3rd June birthday. :)

JMC turned 6 this year, and he began planning out his day well in advance. Of course there are 2 important things to consider when planning your special day: the food, and the fun. So, birthday pancakes for breakfast, pizza at Monical's for lunch (the kids all had reading program coupons, and JMC thinks it's just the best that they earn them in time for his birthday each year), and oatmeal for dinner. Pizza and oatmeal are his favorite meals.

For fun, he wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese, and to play miniature golf. The weather cooperated, and we were able to do it all. Yay!

Here are some of the highlights (or better known as, Mami remembered to take some pictures.)

I forgot to get birthday pancake pictures on JL & my birthdays, so I got a combo pic.

We had 2 teams, guys & girls. JL was asleep in the stroller, so I bowed out after the first 6 holes, and got to watch everyone else from the shade. It was great! I snagged a few pictures, too.

A quick pose after finishing miniature golf

So big!

A selfie after his birthday photo shoot

He asked for a frog cake again. :)