Michele Joan

Wife, Mother, Blogger & Author

Aldi Chef – More THM on a Shoestring

on September 21, 2013

Since my last post “Trim Healthy Mama on a Shoestring” got hundreds of hits, I thought I’d share some more budget saving recipes for you all!  After 4 months of THM, I am excited to say that I am under my goal weight and wearing a size 2!  I was never this thin, even during high school.  I have found that having some “favorite but delicious recipes” really makes sticking to the plan very easy, so I want to share what we’ve been eating with you!  I purchase everything at Aldi and Walmart with the exception of protein powder and I prefer KAL Stevia Extract.

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I titled this piece “Aldi Chef” because I want you to know that you can shop at a low cost store like Aldi and still make gourmet food.  In fact, last week, Fr. Leo Patalinghug, author, chef and winner of Bobby Flay’s “Throwdown” came to my birthday dinner.  Fr. Leo was invited as a guest, but couldn’t help himself, he had to cook in my awesome pizza oven!  Although he had never even heard of Aldi, he made 26 gourmet pizzas with all the ingredients from aldi except for some sopressata that I got at Marc’s Closeout Store!!

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Since we decided to take a total cheat day on my birthday, my recipe was not THM friendly, but you can check it out here. (By switching out the regular flour with sprouted whole wheat and dividing the crust into 8 mini pizzas, you can make a crossover pizza though!)

But I digress, you want money saving THM recipes!!  I am in no way a chef and these are not gourmet, but today I am going to share with you “a few of my favorite things” including links and pages to THM recipes you can get a majority of the ingredients at aldi or walmart.  Save money, eat delicious meals and be a “skinny-mini” like my daughter calls me!

Breakfast

My all time favorite breakfast is Sprint2thetable’s Tiramisu Protein Parfait  (E) In keeping with my “no weird ingredients rule”, I omit the rum extract and just use regular stevia instead of the orange flavored Stevia.  (You do need protein powder for this recipe, buy you can omit)

My second favorite breakfast is egg beaters mixed with sauteed spinach and mushrooms.  Since I do a bulk order of Joseph’s Pita’s (see previous post) I serve it up in a pita or lavash wrap.   If I use a scant amount of butter, its a FP, but if I use more than a teaspoon and want to butter up my mushrooms, it becomes an S.

Kashi Berry Surprise is another family favorite.  There is no real “surprise” to this recipe, except my husband calls it that and the kids think its cool.   Mix up some 0% Fat free Greek Yogurt with some stevia, toss in fresh sliced strawberries, blackberries & rasberries and sprinkle on about 1/2 cup Kashi “GoLean Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble” cereal.  Its a great (E) meal.

On the weekends we enjoy Trim Healthy Mama Pancakes (E) topped with stevia sweetened 0% Fat Free Yogurt, sliced strawberries and a swirl of fat free whip cream or sugar free syrup.

Another family favorite is the Trim Healthy Mama Cottage Toast (p. 319 in Trim Healthy Mama).  With fresh tomatoes and cucumbers in abundance this time of year, I eat this for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner!

Protein Packed French Toast is another great way to start off breakfast.  I do buy Swanson’s Grass-Fed, Certified rBGH-free chocolate whey protein powder presweetened with Xylitol and Lo Han (a natural herbal sweetener).

Lunch

Seriously, my favorite lunch is LEFTOVERS!!!  I have learned to make just enough extra to have lunch for the next day.  However if we don’t have leftovers I make on of the following:

Turkey, happy farms light spreadable cheese (or laughing cow from Walmart), lettuce & tomato on sprouted bread (E) is a staple.  Easy to pack in my kids and husbands lunch as well!

We love the Apple Cinnamon Greek Yogurt Swirl (p. 250 THM)  Its more like a dessert than lunch!

Lavash pizza (S) is a great way to use up all my weekend pizza fixings.  I make my own home made pizza sauce and top with mushrooms, peppers, pepperoni, olives and italian blend shredded cheese.  Pop it in the oven or microwave to melt the cheese and enjoy the deliciousness (I have to credit my friend Maria for this idea).

I also eat a lot of salads.  Today I had lettuce with tuna, garbanzo beans, tomatoes & peppers with Wishbone Salad spritzers for an (E) salad.  The possibilities for salad are endless!

Snacks

Kashi chewy granola bars (E)  It may be a “frankenfood” but great for on the go!

Peanut butter cup shake (S)  Can you just say YUM!!!  Awesomeness in a cup, especially if you need a little sweet treat in the afternoon.

The Shrinker – the weight loss drink designed by Serene and Pearl.  With little kick from the Cayenne Pepper it makes a delicious and trimming treat!

Wasa Sourdough Crisps with Happy Farms Spreadable Cheese (FP for one, E for 2) – So easy, great when you want something really crunchy!

Gwen’s Nest Luscious Lemon Greek Yogurt this is a delicious, sweet treat and a FP!!!

Rasberry Sorbet – 1/4 cup almond milk, stevia to taste, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 1 cup frozen raspberries (or make it a mixed berry blend)  Blend in blender (or vitamix if you have one!)  You can also use Greek Yogurt instead of almond milk.

Dinner

Low Carb Stuffed Green Peppers –  I made this in red peppers last night and served with Baked Parmesan Tomatoes.  It was so delicious my husband thought it looked like came from a restaurant

Basic Quiche (S) THM page 319.  This crustless quiche is basically a dozen eggs mixed in with your favorite toppings.  We like cheese, turkey bacon, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, olives and tomatoes.  This week I served it up with this awesome Tomato & Avacado Salad and a mixed berry salad.

quiche pic

Gwen’s Nest Cheeseburger Quesadillas (S) – can you just say AWESOME!  I always make a huge batch of these so we can have them for lunch the next day.  Yum, yum, yum.

Dreamfields Pasta and Marinara Sauce.  I buy an organic sauce with only one gram of sugar.  They carry one seasonally at Aldi, so you have to stock up when they have it.  Otherwise you can take fresh tomatoes, puree in the blender with one can of low sugar tomato paste, season with spices and reduce on the stove or in the crock pot for 3-4 hours.  Serve it up with your favorite low starchy veggies!  I make low carb meatballs to go with the pasta as well to make this an S meal.

Dessert

I know this should be an only “occasional” treat since it uses Splenda, but Breyer’s Low Carb Ice Cream is our favorite!!  Top it off with Chocolate Covered Katie’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Shell for an amazing after dinner snack (S).

Like a little fruity dessert?  Joy on our Journey’s delicious No-Sugar Gluten-Free Apple Crisp (E) is another favorite.  Since it uses oatmeal for the “crisp” part, we eat this for breakfast too!

If you are a chocoholic like me, you’ll enjoy Cake in a mug (S – THM pg 380).  Topped off with a little fat free whip cream, it will satisfy your sweet tooth!

My husband loves cheesecake, so we make the THM crustless Basic cheesecake (S, THM pg. 373) or for a slightly different version, try Atkins Crustless Cheesecake and switch out the splenda with stevia.

If you are new to THM, I hope this helps you get started with some tasty meals that my family enjoys.  If you are a pro, I hope it gives you some new ideas for your meal planning!


9 responses to “Aldi Chef – More THM on a Shoestring

  1. Thank you so much for the Tiramisu shout out! I’m so glad you like it. It’s one of my favorites too. 🙂

    You have some great meal ideas here – I’m inspired!

  2. I’m looking into purchasing this book. Are you still following the principles and if so how is it working for you and the whole family? You may email me privately at jenny(at)plaingrace(dot)com if you would prefer.

    • Michele says:

      The book is definitely worth it! I bought the electronic version because it was less expensive and I could do searches on my computer for recipes and when I quickly needed to research something. I am actually 18 weeks pregnant and had difficulty sticking with the full plan when I was so sick and tired my first trimester, but feeling back to normal now and its great to be back on plan! Its my goal to keep my weight towards the lower end of the scale this pregnancy so I feel better! My husband is continuing to stay on plan as well and we adjust it slightly for the kids….

  3. Sheri Conant says:

    I’ve been researching THM and I am intrigued. I love that you showed that you can make it work without fancy stores. Our only choices here are Aldi’s, Walmart and a couple local chain stores (with grossly overpriced health food). I am pregnant also and I have been on the fence about buying the book. It sounds great, but I wasn’t sure if it was safe during pregnancy (the sweeteners scare me a bit). What are your thoughts on the sweeteners and pregnancy/nursing?

    • Michele says:

      I have only used Stevia during my pregnancy. Here is some information I have found on Stevia use in pregnancy:

      Rebaudioside A: (Stevia) This is a new and common sweetner that is frequently used in soft drinks and juices. The FDA deems Stevia as safe during pregnancy; it has been give the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) rating by the FDA.

  4. Grace Cooper says:

    Thanks for sharing! Super ideas.

  5. Hi there! This article couldn’t be written any better!

    Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept preaching about this. I will
    send this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.

    I appreciate you for sharing!

  6. Julieanne says:

    Thanks so much for your mention of my THM-style No-Sugar, Gluten-Free Apple Crisp. I appreciate it! 🙂

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