A Frugal TrimHealthyMama Menu

When I wrote my “What I Ate Last Week, Trim Healthy Mama style” post, I promised to share recipes. Here goes: a frugal TrimHealthyMama© meal plan.

Last Friday when I made my meal plan for the week, I decided to challenge myself to use up everything in my fridge, pantry and freezer. Instead of making a menu from scratch, I took a closer look at what I have hanging around in my kitchen already that I could use to build meals, buying only the bare minimum of ingredients from the store. (I’ve gone a wee bit over our grocery budget in recent weeks and wanted to rectify the situation!)

I am also motivated to demonstrate that eating on Trim Healthy Mama™ plan doesn’t have to explode the grocery budget. It isn’t necessary to eat meat with every meal, and you don’t have to purchase special ingredients from the THM store (although I will say that, after buying similar ingredients elsewhere for years, THM does have great prices!).

Here’s what I came up with. Recipes follow.

Chicken “No-Tilla” Soup – (E meal with S variation) I had homemade chicken broth in my freezer and a ton of red, yellow and green bell pepper. What to do? I love chicken tortilla soup, but since corn tortillas aren’t on plan unless they’re sprouted (and sprouted corn tortillas are pricey!), I decided to skip that ingredient. Serve with your favorite toppings (pico de gallo, cilantro, Greek yogurt to keep it an E fuel, or sour cream, cheese and avocado for Crossover).

Red Lentil Stew with Socca – (E meal) I happened to have a bag of chickpea flour in my freezer leftover from an Indian dish, but if you don’t, just skip that and use any on-plan bread. Pictured below.  It was delicious and so filling. Socca is a flatbread made from chickpea flour that hails from Nice, France (bien sur!) and is commonly sold as casual street fare. It’s naturally gluten-free and stays in “E” mode if you only use a couple of tablespoons of olive oil for the entire recipe and eat just one slice (about 1/8 of the recipe).

Red Lentil Stew with Socca - a frugal TrimHealthyMama meal

Cheesy Green Chile Egg Bake – (S meal) I bought several cans of green chiles at ALDI recently. They’ll be put to good use in this easy, yummy egg dish. I’ll serve it with a salad.

Black Beans over Sweet Potatoes – (E meal) If you have homemade or sugar-free BBQ sauce, it’s delicious on top of this dish. If not, it’s good without too. Serve with veggies (broccoli or other greens).

Homemade Pizza – (S meal) Homemade pizza is actually a very frugal meal, especially if you use just enough meat to add flavor. The protein comes mostly from the cheese. The pizza crust recipes from the THM cookbook are excellent. If you don’t have the THM cookbook (or Baking Blend), make a cauliflower pizza crust instead.  Serve with a green salad.

White Bean and Cabbage Stew – (E meal)  Cabbage is incredibly cheap and filling, not to mention healthy, and with the addition of white beans you’ll have a hearty meal in a bowl. Serve with on-plan bread or crackers.

Now for recipes!

Chicken Tortilla Soup (E meal)

1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 each red and green bell peppers, chopped
1 zucchini, sliced
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. cumin
6 cups chicken broth
1/4 c brown rice
1 can black beans
1- 2 cans diced tomatoes (use regular or Rotel style with green chiles)
1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
half bunch cilantro

toppings: pico de gallo, 0% Greek yogurt, baked tortilla chips to stay in E mode

Or avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese (this will take the meal into Crossover mode)

2 T olive oil
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

In a heavy bottomed pan, warm 2 T. olive oil over low-medium and saute vegetables. Add seasonings and cook for another minute, then add broth, rice, beans and tomatoes. Cook until vegetables are soft and rice is done, about 40 minutes. Add chicken, stir and heat until warmed through. You can also put everything (including raw chicken) into the slow cooker and cook on high for 5-6 hours. Remove chicken, chop or shred it, and stir back into the soup.

Red Lentil Stew  (E meal)

(This recipe is similar to Indian Dahl, only I have left out the coconut milk to keep it in E mode.)

2 cups red lentils
4 cups water or broth
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 lb fresh spinach, rinsed and chopped
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
Sea salt to taste

Place lentils into a bowl, cover with water and soak for about 30 minutes.

Bring the water or broth to a boil, add salt, lentils, turmeric and chili powder and stir. Cover and bring to a boil again. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the spinach and continue to simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the lentils are tender. If necessary, add some more water.

In a small frying pan, melt the butter and stir-fry the onion and cumin. When the onions are soft, add to the lentil mixture. Stir in the garam masala and cook until heated through.

Here is an easy recipe for socca.

Cheesy Green Chile Egg Bake (S meal)

3 tablespoons butter, melted
5 large eggs, beaten
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 4 ounce can diced green chilies
1/4 cup THM Baking Blend (if you don’t have this, substitute 1 T coconut flour or a slice of on-plan bread, processed into crumbs)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, chiles, baking blend, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Pour into the prepared dish and bake until set, about 35 minutes.

Black Beans over Sweet Potatoes (E meal)

A mom gave me this easy recipe years ago, and whenever I make it, it gets rave reviews. For each person eating, you need one sweet potato. So simple!

Sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
2 cans black beans
Garlic powder, chili powder, sea salt
Sugar-free BBQ sauce, optional

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray one or two large baking sheets with coconut oil spray and place a layer of sweet potatoes on them, spraying more coconut oil on top, then sprinkling with garlic powder, salt and chili powder. Bake sweet potatoes until soft, then pour baked beans on top, and then BBQ sauce if you have it. Return to the oven to warm beans.

Homemade Pizza  (S meals)

We love the Perfect Pizza Crust recipe from the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook. If you don’t have the cookbook or Baking Blend, try this cauliflower crust. We love our pizza topped with Italian cheeses, sliced black olives, a little bit of pepperoni, lots of onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach and tomatoes.

White Bean and Cabbage Stew (E meal)

Here is a very filling but budget-friendly classic Irish recipe (but without potatoes!): White Bean and Cabbage Stew


What are some of your favorite, frugal, on-plan Trim Healthy Mama meals?

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