Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad | THM: S, Keto, GF

Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad is my new favorite way to fill a lettuce wrap! Paired with thinly sliced fresh tomato and mustard, this deliciously high-flavor, high-protein chicken salad makes a wonderful, easy low-carb lunch! 

A THM S, this Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad is also gluten-free and Keto compatible. 

I promised my favorite way to use the Pickle Juice Ranch Dressing I shared earlier this week…welp, this Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad is it!

You need 1 cup of it in this recipe, but if you prefer Rohnda’s Ranch Dressing, that works just as well here! It all depends on whether you want to keep your grams of fat in check (Pickle Juice Ranch Dressing is lighter, as far as calories go). 

Counting the Pickle Juice Ranch Dressing as 1 ingredient, this Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad only contains 5 of them!

  • Cooked chicken (breasts or thighs, it doesn’t matter)
  • Pickle Juice Ranch Dressing
  • Cooked and crumbled bacon
  • Grated cheddar
  • Freshly snipped chives 

Mix it altogether in a bowl and you’re done! 

I love this chicken salad in a lettuce wrap for the “crunch” and freshness factor, and it’s a great way to get in your greens. Or, if you want a more portable lunch, you can also fill a low-carb wrap (Mission wraps are my favorite brand!) with this Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad and enjoy it that way. 

Yield: 5 cups

Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad | THM: S, Keto, GF

Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad | THM: S, Keto, GF

Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad is my new favorite way to fill a lettuce wrap! Paired with thinly sliced fresh tomato and mustard, this deliciously high-flavor, high-protein chicken salad makes a wonderful, easy low-carb lunch! A THM S, this Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad is also gluten-free and Keto compatible. 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked and cubed chicken
  • 1 cup Pickle Juice Ranch Dressing (or other on-plan ranch dressing)
  • 1 cup bacon crumbles
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar
  • 1 tbsp freshly snipped chives

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine. Stir in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve in lettuce wraps.

Pickle Juice Ranch Dressing | THM: FP

There’s Ranch Dressing, and then there’s pickle juice Ranch Dressing! This wonder ingredient does so much more than provide amazing flavor to North America’s favorite salad dressing:

  • it takes the yogurtiness out of the high-protein, low-fat dressing
  • it thins out an otherwise thick dressing and makes this recipe a Fuel Pull
  • it increases the amount of probiotics in the dressing if you use the juice from lacto fremented pickles like Bubbies
  • it makes use of the pickle juice left over in a jar that not everybody loves drinking straight up

Since there are only 1.7 grams of fat in two tablespoons of this Pickle Juice Ranch Dressing, you can have a 1/4 cup of dressing on a salad and still be under your 5 grams of fat limit for E and FP meals!

There’s no reason for your low-fat salads and sandwiches to be low in moisture and flavor…Pickle Juice Ranch Dressing easily fixes that problem.

Making this Pickle Juice Ranch Dressing could not be any easier. It’s just a matter of dumping a few everyday ingredients into the blender and blending until it’s smooth. Boom. Done. 

All you need to whip it up:

Pickle Juice Ranch Dressing keeps well in the fridge for a long time in a sealed jar or airtight container. Just give it a good shake or stir before using.

My favorite way to use it? In this Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad

Yield: 12 servings | 1.5 cups of dressing

Pickle Juice Ranch Dressing | THM: FP

Pickle Juice Ranch Dressing | THM: FP

Pickle juice makes this Ranch dressing extra special! It keeps the dressing low in fat, adds loads of flavor, and increases the number of probiotics! 1.7 grams of fat in 2 tablespoons of dressing allows you to amply coat your salad with flavor in both E and FP settings! Feel free to use 1/4 cup of dressing in both E and FP settings if you have no other source of fat in your meal.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup 0% Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/3 cup dill pickle juice (use Lacto fermented pickles for probiotic benefits!)
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp mineral salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape sides of the blender if necessary.
  2. Dressing keeps well in the fridge for several days in an airtight container. Shake before use.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

Serving Size: 2 tbsp

Amount Per Serving: Total Fat: 1.7g

Wilted Kale Salad With Bacon | THM: S

Growing up on a mainly Dutch-Canadian diet, “Boerenkool” was a regular dinner at our house. It’s the only way we ever ate kale. Boiled and mashed together with white potatoes, butter, cream, vinegar, salt, pepper, and and sausage, it was a favorite meal in our house and not a terrible Crossover on rare occasions for people at goal weight! It turns out there are actually other legititmate ways to enjoy the green; this wilted kale salad is proof of that.

Once I started Trim Healthy Mama, I tried experimenting by using kale in less high-carb ways (look for a low-carb Boerenkool recipe coming soon!), and really didn’t care for too many of my concoctions. Kale is pretty crunchy and has a strong flavor that can be hard to mask.

Eventually, I hypothesized that bacon would make it taste great, because, well, bacon is fixes everything. This theory proved to be correct, and the wilted kale salad recipe below has got to be the easiest way to make the nutritionally-packed green delicious! All you need is:

Quick kale tip: if you grow it yourself, wait until after a heavy frost to pick your kale. It will be sweeter and easier to clean (less bugs!). 

Wilted Kale and Bacon Salad | THM: S

Wilted Kale and Bacon Salad | THM: S

The wilted kale salad is further proof that bacon fixes everything. Think you don't like kale? Try it like this. A THM S.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8-10 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp mineral salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked pepper
  • 7 cups fresh kale leaves, thinly sliced, stems removed
  • Optional: 1/2 cup crumbled feta

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Discard most of the excess grease. Fry onions together with bacon in remaining grease until translucent.
  2. In a large bowl, pour red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add thinly sliced kale leaves. Pour bacon mixture on top. Stir well to coat (kale should wilt slightly and shrink in size). Sprinkle with crumbled feta if desired.

Dutch Salad | THM: S

This simple Dutch Salad is the perfect side to a flavorful meal. It’s delicious and refreshing, but not complicated at all, so it pairs well with things like a marinated, grilled steak, spicy chicken wings, or other dishes where you really want the flavor to shine.

A Trim Healthy Mama-friendly S, you can enjoy this salad as is, or use it as a base for a pile of non-starchy vegetables, bacon, and seeds. The sweet and tangy dressing is so delicious, you might find yourself tempted to drink it! It’s made from a bit of mayo, Dijon mustard, white vinegar, sweetener (I used xylitol, but you could use Gentle Sweet in half the amount), sea salt and ground pepper.

My favorite method for hard-boiling eggs is to place the eggs is a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, put on the lid, remove from heat, and let the eggs sit for 8-10 minutes in the hot water to finish cooking. As soon as the time is up, drain out the hot water and rinse the eggs in freezing cold water to finish the cooking process. Store the eggs in the fridge until they are cold enough to handle. Peel and chop!

(Old eggs are much easier to peel than fresh).

Traditionally, Dutch salad is made with either iceberg or butter lettuce because they are mildly flavored, but darker leaves like Romaine or chard are more nutritious, so you can use those or a mix instead, if you prefer. You can also use the dressing to pour over a peeled and sliced cucumber for a wonderful cucumber salad.

Yield: 4 servings

Dutch Salad | THM: S

Dutch Salad | THM: S

This incredibly simple Dutch Salad is a frugal side for savory THM S dishes where you don't want a lot of competing for flavor. Or, load it up with non-starchy vegetables and turn it into your main meal!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 small head iceberg or butter lettuce, washed
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • 3 Tbsp mayo
  • 1 tsp xylitol (OR 1/2 tsp Gentle Sweet)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • pinch of ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Rip or cut of the head of lettuce and put it in a large bowl. Peel and chop up the hard-boiled eggs. Sprinkle over lettuce. Whisk mayo, sweetener, mustard, vinegar, and pepper together in a small bowl. Pour over lettuce and eggs. Stir to coat. Serve immediately.

Looking for more Trim Healthy Mama-friendly Dutch recipes? This low-carb Boterkoek is a favorite in our house!

Creamy & Crunchy Broccoli Salad | THM: S

As a kid, I was horrified at the thought of eating a salad that contained raisins, but one bite of my Mom’s broccoli salad convinced me they weren’t too bad after all, even though I preferred it without. Thanks to Trim Healthy Mama though, I can omit them to make an wonderful, creamy & crunchy broccoli salad that qualifies as a THM S meal, and pretend the lack of raisins are due to eating on plan and watching my sugar intake instead blaming my picky palette.

Aside from omitting the raisins from my Mom’s recipe, I also replaced the sugar in the dressing with a tiny bit of stevia powder. (I find SweetLeaf stevia packets are very convenient for recipes like this.)

Perfect for Summer barbecues, you can also enjoy this broccoli salad as a stand alone meal, since it contains a great deal of protein. Made with no special ingredients, this THM S recipe is an inexpensive way to fill your family with nutrition when broccoli is in season. Even our young children love it! My favorite thing about this salad is that it tastes even better the next day…and the day after that! Aside from the sunflower seeds softening just a little, the salad stays crunchy and increases in flavor as it sits in the fridge.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Creamy & Crunchy Broccoli Salad | THM: S

Creamy & Crunchy Broccoli Salad | THM: S

This cool, creamy, crunchy salad is perfect for Summer BBQs. Broccoli is naturally high in protein; paired with sunflower seeds, bacon, cheese, and sour cream-based dressing, this recipe can also serve as a high protein meal on its own.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 3 large broccoli crowns, chopped
  • 12 strips of bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 3/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups cheddar, grated
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp stevia extract powder

Instructions

  1. Dump broccoli, bacon, onion, sunflower seeds, and cheddar into a large bowl.
  2. Stir mayo, sour cream, vinegar, and stevia together in a measuring cup to make the dressing. Pour over salad and stir to coat. Refrigerate for an hour before serving.

Notes

This salad keeps very well and can be enjoyed for several days if stored, covered, in the refrigerator.

THM Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving was celebrated over a month ago in Canada, but since the majority of Northern Nester readers (and many of our friends) are American, I thought I’d put together a Trim Healthy Thanksgiving Menu for American Thanksgiving. It can be used anytime of year, of course (Christmas is only a month away!), but I usually reserve serving multiple courses for special occasions. 🙂

Each of the following recipes are a THM S or an FP, which means you can eat them all in the same meal without tandem fueling. No special ingredients are required to make any of them, which means this menu is great for the pocketbook, too!

low-carb-eggnog-thm-1

Low-Carb Eggnog

A small glass of eggnog is a perfect way to start off a holiday meal! This recipe makes 7 servings.

strawberry spinach salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This pretty salad is light enough to serve before a big meal without skimping on flavor. A sprinkling of feta compliments the sweet strawberries and crunchy walnuts.

Trim Healthy Mama Tomato Soup

Mom’s Tomato Spice Soup

Mom’s Tomato Spice Soup is a Fuel Pull, but since you’re eating an S meal, feel free to garnish it with some shredded cheddar or Gouda, or grated Parmesan.

chicken-cordon-bleu-thm-1

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Roasted turkey is a wonderful S-friendly, traditional Thanksgiving dish, but if you’d like a change from the ordinary, this Chicken Cordon Bleu provides impressive presentation and flavor. Pair it with steamed green beans or oven roasted broccoli and drizzle on the Dijon Cream Sauce for a fabulous main course.

roasted-broccoli-cauliflower-with-parmesan-bacon

Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower with Parmesan & Bacon

This is a very simple, but pretty and flavorful side that features two vegetables, broccoli and cauliflower. Parmesan, bacon, almonds, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice kick it up a notch.

pumpkin-cheesecake-thm-2

Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Maple Whipped Cream and Toasted Pecans

What’s a Thanksgiving Dinner without pumpkin?! These individual Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Maple Whipped Cream and Toasted Pecans are guaranteed to please (you may need to double or triple the recipe)!  (Coconut Cream PiePeanut Butter Cheesecake and Low-Carb Brownie Pie are also great options!)

Happy Thanksgiving and happy, healthy eating!

thm-thanksgiving-menu


Curried Cucumber Salad | THM: S

cucumber-salad-thm-s-2

All of our children love cucumbers. Love them. We go through 3-4 each week in our house.

I often make cucumber salad “the Dutch way” – peeled and sliced cucumbers with a simple dressing made from mayo and vinegar – as an accompaniment to chicken wings or some other spicy dish. Cucumbers are naturally refreshing and cooling, so they pair nicely with foods that have a little more kick to them.

curried-cucumber-salad-thm-s-1

This cucumber salad is a bit more special than the version I normally prepare. I’m not usually a big fan of curry, but it takes a supporting role instead of center stage, and the hint of Indian flavor inside the creamy dressing is just perfect.

cucumber-salad-thm-s-3

Gluten-free, sugar-free, nut-free, and low carb, this no-special-ingredient cucumber salad is a THM S that can be made in a jiffy and enjoyed the next day, too. A large family recipe, since our family loves cucumbers so much, this salad makes 8 servings.

Yield: 8 servings

Curried Cucumber Salad

Curried Cucumber Salad

Gluten-free, sugar-free, nut-free, and low carb, this no-special-ingredient cucumber salad is a THM S that can be made in a jiffy and enjoyed the next day, too. A large family recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp mineral salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  • 3 splashes of Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • 3 English cucumbers

Instructions

  1. Peel and thinly slice cucumbers and set aside in a large bowl. Whisk all the other ingredients together to make the salad dressing. Pour over cucumbers and stir together.

Notes

You can make this salad several hours ahead of time or enjoy immediately.

curried-cucumber-salad-thm-s


Dill Pickle Pasta-less Salad | THM: S

dill-pickle-pasta-less-salad-1

This Dill Pickle Pasta-less Salad is one of the easiest, tastiest salads I’ve ever had. It’s got all the tang and crunch of our former favorite pasta and potato salads, but without the carbs.

dill-pickle-pasta-less-salad-3

Even better, it’s inexpensive, full of protein, uses just a few on-hand ingredients, and is a cinch to prepare. Plus, leftovers can be refrigerated and enjoyed another day!

dill-pickle-pasta-less-salad-2

The idea of using chicken instead of pasta came to me after a fellow pickle-loving friend (I’m looking at you, Julie) shared a link to a mouth-watering, pickle-y pasta salad recipe on Facebook. It begged to be THM-ified. Taking out the pasta and replacing it with cubed chicken breast was good, but the chicken didn’t absorb all the pickle juice like pasta would, so the salad was too watery. I reworked the dressing measurements, left out a few ingredients, and this lunch-time favorite of mine is the result!

Yield: 2 large servings, or 4 small side servings

Dill Pickle Pasta-less Salad

Dill Pickle Pasta-less Salad

This Dill Pickle Pasta-less Salad has all the tang and crunch of your favorite pasta and potato salads, but without the carbs. A quick and easy THM S with no special ingredients!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • mineral salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup dill pickles, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese, diced
  • 1/3 cup sugar-free mayo (Duke's)
  • 3 Tbsp sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp pickle juice
  • scant 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450. Lay chicken breasts in baking dish. Season lightly with mineral salt and ground pepper. Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes. Cool. Cube chicken into bite-sized chunks (You should have approx. 1 1/2 cups.)
  2. Add cubed chicken, chopped pickles, and diced cheddar to a bowl. In a smaller bowl, stir mayo, sour cream, pickle juice, and cayenne pepper together to make the dressing. Pour over chicken, pickles, and cheddar. Enjoy!

Notes

Don't be alarmed at the high heat in which you cook the chicken. Cooking chicken breasts at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time ensures the juices get seared in, so your chicken will be succulent instead of dried out.

Fresh dill makes a wonderful addition to this salad if you have it on hand.

dill-pickle-pasta-less-salad