Fall Meal Plan (THM friendly, too!)

I realized the other day that I haven’t done a meal plan or recipe for a while. Sorry about that. I spend several hours creating the plans and photographing the meals for those posts. I wasn’t sure if they were helpful for readers, so I kind of lost my motivation for creating new meal plans.

So, I’m going to post them sporadically, ideally to help inspire you to add new meals to your usual rotation. You can always refer to a previous meal plan if you’re in need of ideas.

For Trim Healthy Mama (THM) followers, I have italicized those foods off-plan or not conducive to weight loss (like white potatoes).

Short Ribs with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Short ribs make such a delicious and rich meal. Because they are so good, you might be surprised to know how easy they are to make! I’ve tried a few different recipes, but this one by The Pioneer Woman is terrific. I made this again last night for my sister and brother-in-law, and it was delicious.

For the sides, I either make mashed potatoes from scratch or use the pre-made pouches from Costco. They’re surprisingly good, and highly approved of by my mashed potato lover husband. For the green  beans, I use no-salt canned green beans, drained, with a little butter.

Creamy Mushroom Chicken and Brown Rice

You can whip this mean up in 35 minutes, so it’s an ideal weeknight dinner.

  • 4 chicken breasts, sliced or pounded into thinner fillets
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup of plain, Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • pinch of mineral salt
  • pinch of ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray a shallow 9″x9″ baking pan with cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a large skillet, then add mushrooms. Cook about 5 minutes on low-medium heat, until reduced in size and browning. Add yogurt, mayonnaise, and seasonings/spices. Cook until bubbly and thickened, about 5 minutes or less.

Place the chicken breasts in the prepared baking pan, pour the mushroom mixture over them, and evenly coat it with the parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden on top.

To round out the meal, use a quick cooking brown rice, like

Minute Instant Whole Grain Brown Rice


or the pouch kind:

Uncle Ben's Ready Rice

Homemade Pizza

I will include two recipes here, my favorite pizza dough recipe (not-THM friendly) and one that is THM-friendly.

Yeast-based doughs and I didn’t get along before I found my favorite pizza dough recipe. But, this is an almost fool-proof dough and it’s never let me down!

pizza on top of parchment paper.

The THM-friendly pizza crust recipe I’m sharing is from Briana Thomas. It is similar to the THM Perfect Pizza crust recipe in the THM cookbooks. Although I have yet to find a pizza crust recipe that tastes “just like” the type of pizza that the recipe above provides, this one is a good replacement.

Butternut Squash Manicotti Casserole with Caesar Salad

Butternut Squash Manicotti Casserole.
Photo from Kristi Murphy,

This recipe got awesome reviews recently on the KitchenAid blog. It’s not my own recipe and I confess that I have yet to make it. I have added the KitchenAid vegetable sheet cutter attachment they use to make the butternut squash sheets to my Christmas wish list.

If you have this attachment and make it, please comment and let us know how it turned out! Of course, you can do like I’m going to do for now and sub with low-carb or regular pasta. I’ll be using Dreamfields Pasta, a THM-approved substitute. For the Caesar salad, I just use bagged salad from my grocery store. Recipe Link

My friends, I hope you are able to take the time to enjoy this holiday season. This time of year can be   equally joyful and stressful. There are the added social obligations and holiday shopping, our own increased expectations, and family dynamics.

I like to add new routines during the holidays to help me unwind and relax. They include indulging in my favorite calming tea at night, taking a warm bath with essential oils and epsom salt, or cuddling on the sofa to appreciate our glowing Christmas tree. Be good to and gentle with yourself this month. 


Look for my upcoming post on “Top Holiday Gifts for Women.” Until then, seize the day and enjoy!!

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