If you missed the Black Friday sale on this fabulous eBook from Northern Nester, here’s a chance to win your own copy! Jacinda is so kindly offering 5 copies for me to give away, so that means 5 lucky winners of the Slim and Satisfied Handbook! She’s also let me share a recipe, so be sure to give it a try. But first let’s take a look at what’s inside.
I’ll admit I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of kitchen manager. If you call what I do in the kitchen managing, anyway. It’s painfully evident in a lot of areas, such as:
- Time management (Oh nuts, it’s 5 pm and I haven’t even thought about supper!)
- Cluttered counters (I leave a trail wherever I go in the kitchen…)
- Overspending on groceries (Walking into the store with no plan is dangerous)
- Food waste (Forgetting what’s in the pantry/fridge/freezer…)
The problem is, I’m creative. Creative people don’t like to be constrained. Or told what to do.
That’s probably why I’ve never been much of a meal planner. But looking at the list above makes me realize I should try to tame the Creative Rebel within and start being a Smart Kitchen Manager.
The Slim And Satisfied Handbook To The Rescue!
Northern Nester has some absolutely fabulous recipes! And when she offered a copy of her Slim and Satisfied Handbook to review I was happy to do it. Sister and I looked over the recipes and she chose the Buckeye Brownies to try.
Jacinda said I could share one recipe with you too, so you’ll find this recipe at the bottom of the post!
What’s In The Slim And Satisfied Handbook?
Jacinda has made meal planning so easy! You’ll find 4 weeks of menus, each with a shopping list. There’s a Master Grocery List, for the once-a-month shopper, as well as a Weekly Grocery List for each week of meal plans. They are color-coded for each weekly menu, too.
The grocery lists are even organized into Refrigerator, Pantry, Freezer, Other, and Spices & Extracts! Brilliant!
You can easily make note of what you have or need for the week before you go shopping. I haven’t tried this but had the thought that if you rotated this 4 week menu on a regular basis, you could laminate the shopping lists. Then, using an marker that erases with alcohol or cleaner, circle what you need for the week., or write anything else in the blanks available on the Master Grocery List.
There’s 4 weeks of meals all planned out for you. You’ll also find a section of just Sipper Recipes, which is very handy.
She’s even included a Progress Report page to record the date you started the month of meal plans, your weight, measurements, and notes.
Using the Slim and Satisfied Handbook.
She does a great job of explaining how to use the Slim and Satisfied Handbook, too. There are no special ingredients needed, though if you’re new to THM you may find some ingredients to be unusual or consider them special. To anyone very familiar with the plan, those are just part of our everyday foods.
Utilizing leftovers is also a big part of this meal planning system. It makes sense to cook once, eat twice when you’re a busy family! This frees up time for other important things in your life.
I did have to chuckle at “Leftover Veggie Pizza” on Week 2 for lunch. We don’t normally have leftover pizza in our house!
You can start with Week 1 if you like. If another week works better for what you have on hand or what’s on sale, start with that one. To avoid confusion you can mark on your calendar or planner what week you’re using.
Each day in the weekly menu has Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, Dinner, and Sipper listed. Next to each is the name of a recipe and the fuel type. Some are no recipes needed, such as fried eggs and spinach, and are noted as such.
As is essential in the Trim Healthy Mama plan, the fuel types are mixed up well so you’re not getting into a fuel rut.
The sipper is just noted as Sipper, leaving you free to choose whatever you’d like.
Our family does not eat pork, so some minor substitutions will be made but that is easy enough. If you are familiar with how THM works you should have no problem substituting ingredients if needed.
Reading through the forward and how to use sections really makes me want to give actual meal planning a try. December will be the perfect month to do this actually. I’ll be doing a lot of catering and Sister will be responsible for meals when I’m gone.
The menu is already planned so she just has to follow it. All the recipes are there so no searching. Easy peasy!
I went through and made notes on what substitutions to make for our family preferences, so she’s good to go. Since she’s going to be out on her own in the near future, this is perfect practice for her.
Since she’s also new to THM, I’m excited to see how her progress continues following this month of meal plans. She’s doing very well so far and I’m quite proud of her!
A Suggestion Using The Slim and Satisfied Handbook.
One thing that tripped me up a little bit, and Sister too, was how the recipes are in a columnar format. You really need to pay attention if the recipe continues to a second page. When you flip the page, be sure you’re looking in the right column or you may end up reading a different recipe.
For instance, I thought it was odd to be putting cinnamon in Buckeye Brownies. At first I thought maybe it’s just a Canadian thing, but then realized I was looking at the wrong recipe! Now that I know how it’s laid out I’m sure to pay close attention when I flip the page.
Overall I think this is a wonderfully organized and well thought out menu plan. The attention to detail is just the kind of thing I need, for sure!
I hope you find my review of this 4-week, comprehensive meal plan from Northern Nester helpful! Now, here’s the recipe I promised.
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below the recipe and good luck! If you’ve arrived here after the giveaway has ended or want to purchase additional copies, I’d be honored if you use my affiliate link. Thank you!
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 (3.5 oz) bar 85% dark chocolate, chopped
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 cup xylitol (OR 1/2 cup Gentle Sweet)
- 1/4 up cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of mineral salt
Peanut Butter Layer
- 3/4 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
- 1/2 cup xylitol (OR 1/4 cup Gentle Sweet)
- 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar-free peanut butter
- 1/3 bar 85% dark chocolate
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Pinch of stevia
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Line 8x8" square baking pan with parchment paper.
- Place butter and chocolate in saucepan and melt on lowest heat until smooth, stirring often.
- Stir in remaining ingredients until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared baking dish.
- Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool completely.
Peanut Butter Layer
- Whip heavy cream with xylitol until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- Beat cream cheese and peanut butter together.
- Add in whipped cream and beat until smooth.
- Spread over brownie layer.
- Melt chocolate, cream, and stevia together until smooth.
- Spoon into a ZipLock bag and snip off the end. Pipe onto peanut butter layer.
- Refrigerate brownies for at least 3 hours or overnight.
We used 1/2 cup of a monkfruit/erythritol blend sweetener.
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