Quick Fix “Chicken and Dumplings” (Low Carb, THM-S,FP option)

So, as I was teaching our morning lessons the the other day I felt the need for some chicken and dumplings hit me like a ten pound bag of flour! As we continued our lesson on fractions I simply could not get my mind to focus on the task at hand. I seriously had a vision of steaming hot chicken and dumplings blinding my teacher vision and making me want to cancel lessons and call declare it a snow day! Never mind that we had no snow at all and it was almost 60 degrees outside. Yes I will admit, my judgement is sometimes impaired by lack of food. Surely, I am not alone in this world.

But alas, I withstood my temptation and we eventually finished our lessons.  I then turned my attention to finding a way to have those dumplings without breaking the carb bank and without taking all day! After all I was hungry NOW and no way did I or my 7 year old (whom I had now wanting dumplings) see ourselves waiting for hours until I could whip some up. Seriously, not sure who’s “hangry” tantrum would’ve been bigger, mine or his. But, I can hold my own if need be, lol. No, I am not proud of that, but it is me when I need food.

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So as I started the hunt for something to make the low carb dumplings I had in mind I knew I had a few of the basics in the fridge. However, as I pulled out some chicken stock and shredded chicken and dumped them in a pot to start the process I was still stumped at what to do for the dumplings. After all what is this dish without dumplings right?

Just as I was about to give up my hopes of dumplings and surrender to the idea of a egg drop soup with chicken (an soup we eat sometimes) I saw a them! Behold…a package of low carb tortillas laying over on my kitchen counter. I had totally forgotten purchased them just the day before to make the Taco Bake from over at A Home with a Purpose. Since there were 8 and I would only need 6 of them for that recipe there were two large tortillas that I could play with! BTW, if you have not tried Jennifer’s Taco Bake (THM-S) recipe that I mentioned above, then you are missing out. It is a favorite here in our house and it also makes a great freezer meal too! Totally, jump over there and check her blog and the Taco Bake out! Five Cheers for Jennifer and her yummy recipes!!

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Now,  back to my vision of chicken and dumplings that were dancing in my head. I had actually heard of someone using regular tortillas to make their traditional version of this dish years ago so I figured why not give it a try. After removing the two large size tortillas from the package I then took my pizza cutter and sliced them both up into many small pieces. No, I did not keep them the same size and no I didn’t count out a certain number, sorry but keep in mind I was hungry and my rational thinking was gone by this point! Besides this recipe, if I can even call it that, is so simple that no exact science is needed. The only thing I suggest is that you keep in mind that eating only 1 tortilla (up to 6 net carbs) is suggested in a meal if you follow the THM plan. So, with that in mind this batch I made fed myself and my son well with two bowls each. Yum!

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Once you have cut the strips you can take them over to your check and broth that is boild on the stove.  I just slowly dropped the tortilla strips into the boiling pot and season it up with a pinch or two of spices. Again, there is no exact spices here so use any you typically like or the ones I suggest below. Once all the strip are in the broth just stir it well and let it simmer for abut 8 minutes. Lastly remove it from the heat and a tablespoon of butter and a splash or two of cream. This adds a rich and dreamy quality to the dumplings.  Now just serve it up! So simple but satisfying. This would be an THM “S” because the fat in the butter, cream and the tortilla.

If you were to eliminate the butter and dairy  then stick to chicken breast in a fat free broth you should be able to have it as an FP. Just double check all the ingredients that you use and make sure you stay under the 5 fat grams and 10 net carbs required of our friend the FP. The tortilla’s I use are 5 grams. So without the added fats I could still enjoy two bowls because it is so lite. Yay, I love a duel recipe!

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I told you that I am not even sure this counts as a recipes, remember? Recipe or not this quick fix lunch sure helped with my craving for chicken and dumplings so I hope it will do the same to you. I served ours with a side salad if you need something more.

Now, let me say this before you make these. No, these will not be the type of thick and fluffy dumplings Grandma or Mom made while you were growing up but they are a great “fast fix” to a craving. They are a simple way to have a low carb and on plan bowl of chicken and dumplings without the guilt. That makes this food dreaming mama happy!


 

Quick Fix Chicken and Dumplings (Low Carb, Low Fat, THM S, FP Option)

Serves: 2

**For single serving cut recipe in half.

Ingredients:

  • 6 to 7 cups of chicken stock
  • 7 oz. of shredded chicken breast
  • 2 lg. burrito size Mission Low Carb Tortillas
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder or flakes
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/4 cup half and half or cream (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp butter (optional)

Note: To make this dish a THM “FP”  you will need to leave out the butter and cream. Also be sure to use fat free chicken broth. Remember FP servings need to stay at or under 5 fat/10 net carbs.

Directions: Begin by cutting two large low carb tortillas into small pieces or strips. On the stove bring your chicken stock, spices and chicken to a medium boil and slowly drop in your tortilla pieces or strips.  Once all your “dumplings” are in the broth turn down the heat and let the dish simmer for abut 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and add in the butter and half and half  and stir well for a rich and creamy broth.  Remember to leave out the butter and dairy for your liter version (FP). Serve hot. This should be enough for both people to enjoy a nice size serving. You can double or triple the recipe to feed a larger crowd if need be. Enjoy!

 

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Double Peanut Fudge Swirl Brownies Recipe Review (THM-S)

Brownies! I think brownies are treats that can put a smile on anyone’s face! I have never met a brownie that I didn’t like.  That is why I was excited when I saw that the new Trim Healthy Mama cookbook had a couple of recipes for these chocolate treats I knew. I knew I would be trying them soon. So thus enters the “Double Peanut Fudge Swirl Brownies” on page 315 in the “Brownies and Cookies” section of the cookbook.

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Now, first things first, these are not the prettiest brownies I have ever made, but hey there was not a picture in the book so I can’t judge them against the book. Yeah, Yeah the recipe says that you should drop the “swirl mixture” onto the brownies and run your knife through them and you should get a “beautiful swirl pattern”. Well it sounds easy enough right? Lol, you can plainly see that I have no such beautiful swirl, lol.  Key words in my case I guess would be “should get”. So I can either beat myself up about these ugly swirled not so swirled brownies or I can just think maybe the reason they don’t have a picture for this recipe is that their batch looked as “not so pretty” as mine did on the day of their recipe shoot. Hey everyone has bad days, right?  Lol, okay most likely that is not why there isn’t a picture but it makes me feel better thinking that.

Okay, truthfully I have no idea why mine didn’t not turn out so beautiful but I followed the recipe to the letter and dropped it in by scoops. However, when I tried to swirl it around the mixture was a bit to dry to swirl so I just did then best I could to get it mixed around into all areas of the top. Maybe it was from my brand of nature peanut butter being a dryer brand than same but who knows what happened?  I wish I did.

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Now that I have confessed (and you can plainly see, lol) that I ended up with ugly brownies lets move on to the taste of these brownies. Right out of the oven the brownie is just “okay”. This wasn’t shocking or a let down to me because honestly most low carb and THM treats taste better after then have sat in the fridge a bit. If you have tried very many recipes in your journey you most likely have discovered this to be true as well.  I think the chilling or resting period gives the sweeteners time to meld with the other ingredients and chill out a bit. I believe the book might even mention something about these being better the next day which I found to be the case for sure. The problem for many, I know, is not having the patience or the “want to” to wait for them to sit and mellow out. Believe me, give them a chance to sit and you will like them much better. My husband always hates the waiting period, lol. I can recall several times he has suffered at the hands of hot desserts!

These brownies have a nice chocolate and peanut butter flavor just as the recipe promises and they would satisfy a craving for a chocolate treat if you suffer from them as I do. However, I would have to say that they are not one I would consider a favorite nor are they a recipe I would rave and rave about like I have with some of the other THM dishes I have reviewed. Now, don’t get me wrong they were pretty good and I believe you should totally give these a try.  The one thing that held me back from upgrading my “pretty good” rating to a “these are fantastic” would be the texture. They were sadly a tad bit too dry to fit my normal preference on brownies. I think maybe adding a little sour cream or yogurt in the batter might help so I may give that a go the next time I will like taking a chance with these.

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I tend to lean toward a more moister or even gooey brownie so at first I thought may be it was just me but my dear husband and son both said they they were dry even for them. I made this pan of brownies a few weeks back and had it scheduled for this week on the blog. Since then I have seen some ladies posting in the THM groups that agree with my thoughts of these being to dry. But then again someone else said they were not too dry for her at all. So, I will just leave it at that and say it may be a preference thing, but to me they needed a bit more moisture. Not a deal breaker but also not a trait that will have me running back for more real soon. I would eat these again any day rather than going off plan for an unhealthy one for sure though! If you have made these I would love to hear your opinion or how your batch turned out in the comments below! Be sure to follow the blog for more recipe reviews like this one and original recipes from around my table of three!

Cashew Chicken Recipe Review (THM-S)

Chinese food is one of my favorite types of food and if you haven’t been around the blog enough to know that tidbit, you can hop over to my Chinese Pork and Broccoli and my Low Carb Chinese Fried Rice posts to get a glimpse into my love affair. In those posts you will find out that Chinese take out doesn’t love me as much as I love it. Those darn MSGs and processed carbs do a number on me and that has speared me forward on my search for easy and healthier DIY recipes for my favorite Chinese inspired dishes.

 

My Table of Three, Trim Healthy Mama Cashew Chicken, Recipe Review

Thankfully, for those times when I don’t feel like creating my own recipes there are dishes like this “Cashew Chicken” from the new Trim Healthy Mama cookbook out there that can easily satisfy my cravings. This tasty recipe can be found in the book’s “Family Skillet Meal” section on page 65. We love this recipe and I have made it several times now. With this recipe severing 6-8 people it is great for our small family of three with leftovers for our lunches the following day. There are a couple of ingredients that my family doesn’t like so I just leave them out. You might spot which ones are missing if you compare my pictures to the lovely photo in the book but I don’t always cook and tell.  The recipe page in my book has a permanent “dog ear” marking it for easy access.  Although, I have made it enough now to almost remember the recipe without the book, lol.

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This easy recipe is a great way to change up chicken when you are “stuck in a chicken rut”. Yep, there are those mad rhyming skills of mine again, lol! With the recipe falling into the “S” category you can use white or dark meat, making this an easy recipe to adjust to what you have on hand or what is on sale. I love recipes like that, don’t you?  I use boneless and skinless breast meat most often but strictly because I prefer it over the dark. I  have heard some rumbling from my husband about the lack of dark meat in my dishes lately so I plan on using some boneless and skinless thighs or combining the two varieties next time I cook this. I am really glad the ladies included this “S” meal in the cook book but with a few adjustments to the recipe I am thinking you could make it into an “E” dish if you wanted to have it with brown rice. I would suggest looking over the ingredient list carefully and adjusting the items with fat if you choose to convert it. Check the THM Plan Book for guidelines in the “E” fuels. One thing to remember is that in an “E” meal you need to keep your fat grams per meal at 5 or less.  I have not attempted to adapt this recipe myself because I really enjoy the flavor of the Sesame Oil in this dish.  I also save my energizing meals for my breakfast so I don’t see any such changes coming for us.

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There are a few steps to this recipe but they all are pretty simple, not to mention the recipe cooks up fairly quickly once you get all the components prepped. If I had to pick my least favorite part of making this recipe it would be the chopping of the meat and veggies but that isn’t hard for lazy mama to forgive when I taste the finished product. Yum!

I have learned to do some prep the night before while I am cooking dinner so when I go to cook it the next night it goes even faster, yay for faster meals! I have also made this as a freezer meal and it works nicely. I just cook my veggies until they slightly tender (you don’t want them to be mush when you reheat them).  Next, I cook my chicken thoroughly. Then I combine it all, except the sauce, and put it into a 9×13 disposable pan, cover with foil and freeze. When I am ready for the meal I put it in the fridge the night before and let it thaw until I am ready to reheat it for dinner time the next day. As you heat it through just throw the sauce together in the blender. Add the sauce to the “Cashew Chicken” and cook for 5 minutes or so. It tastes just as good pulling it out of the freezer. Win!!

Speaking of taste,this recipe is wonderful just as written but like I mentioned you can adjust the it if there are some ingredients that you or your family don’t like. I was even reluctant myself at first to try it due to the use of Gluccie as the sauce thickener. If you happen to have read my review on the Zapple Crumble then you might already know of my general feelings for Gluccie. The “slimy” feel that this thickening agent lends to my pallet is not one I wanted to taste again.  Yuck to Gluccie has been my motto for a while now.  Yes, I may be weird. I know this (I embrace it!) and I also know there are some of that say it isn’t slimy at all. So I was willing to try again. I am certainly glad I did because it is not overly detectable to me here which surprised and delighted me at the same time!

So if you are like me and you can admit that you are weird are not a fan of Gluccie take a chance on this one like I did. I don’t think you will be disappointed. However, if you don’t want to try Gluccie or if you don’t have any on hand I am confident that the dish would be just as tasty even without any thickeners. Your sauce may not coat your meat and veggies as much since it would be a looser consistency but not a deal breaker in my book.

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So if I wanted to express my feelings on this dish in Chinese I would say to you “它很美味” (Tā hěn měiwèi) and then I would thank Google for helping me look so smart, ha! But since I am just a little southern girl rambling in English I will just say “It is delicious”.

I am sure no matter if you eat it just as it is written in the book or if you make some adjustments to suit your family, you will agree that this is another great recipe from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook. Thanks for stopping by my table today for this recipe review. I hope it inspires you to get in your kitchen and get cooking!

If you have a recipe you would like me to try and review please leave me a comment below and I will see what I can do!