Sisters Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison became a self-publishing success story when their book, Trim Healthy Mama took off and became a bestseller. In 2015 they published their first cookbook, Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook --another huge hit--and now we have Trim Healthy Mama's Trim Healthy Table: More Than 300 All-New Healthy and Delicious Recipes from Our Homes to Yours, which has already garnered rave reviews.
The Mama's are all about a new way of eating--healthful and satisfying meals, separating fats and carbs for weight loss, and balancing blood sugar. In their new cookbook Barrett and Allison created recipes that can be easily adjusted for all the ways individuals within a family may be eating.
The recipe below is from Trim Healthy Mama's Trim Healthy Table and addresses a universal need--how to keep from losing it when the tide turns from hungry to hangry. In the book the different meal types are addressed in the beginning, but I've added some info to the recipe below for anyone who isn't already familiar with their recipe types. I'm going to stock my own freezer with some of these quick-at-the-ready pockets, since a little advance planning goes a long way to familial harmony...
Think of Hangry Pockets as your Trim Healthy Mama frozen dinners. Extreme hangry moments are not the time to be fixin’ and fiddling with food prep. Sumpin’s gonna blow if you have to prepare a “start from scratchy” meal. Now thanks to Hangry Pockets, it won’t be your temper or waistline blowing up, only these delicious pockets as they steam in the oven. They literally blow up with steam and lock in all the goodness of your food while quickly cooking a moist and succulent gourmetfest of flavors in a pouch.
It is a great idea to take a Saturday once a month and fill some large gallon zippies with these pouches to put in your freezer. Just throw a couple pockets in the fridge to thaw the night before and you will have a hangry meal or two ready to go the next day. All Hangry Pockets are a onedish meal with protein, lots of veggies, and include a grain or sweet potato for E versions. Try our example recipes, but then branch out into your own “besties.” Thin fish fillets work the fastest and are soooo scrumptious. We think even people who turn up their noses at fish will be astounded at the yum factor. Chicken tenderloins and even ground meat work fab, too, so the sky is the limit with these Hangry Packets of flavor-bomb goodness.
In France they call this method of cooking en papillote, which actually means “in a butterfly.” Isn’t that fitting for a THM meal? The parchment pocket is cut in the shape of a butterfly (or a heart) so the modern meaning of en papillote means “baked in parchment.” While baking with aluminum foil seems to be all the rage these days, we try to avoid heating food with foil due to the health hazards of metal toxicity. Parchment paper does not pose the same potential health issues and this pocket idea allows for beautiful, moist, flavorful oven-steamed meals.
Below is our tutorial for how to make these pockets in four easy steps, followed by our example Hangry Pocket recipes. If you are more of a visual person, please see our video on how to make Hangry Pockets free on our website or also on our member site.
[Here is a quick breakdown of the different types of meals you'll see referenced below that is addressed in the first part of the book]
S = Lean or fatty Protein + FATS + nonstarchy veggies (lower-carb meal)
E = Lean Protein only + CARBS + nonstarchy veggies (lower-fat meal, although not fat-free)
FP = Lean Protein only + nonstartchy veggies or berries (both a lower-carb and lower-fat meal) ]
STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR PROTEIN
OPTIONS: frozen or fresh white fish or salmon; frozen or fresh chicken tenderloins; frozen or fresh ground beef for S or at minimum 96% ground lean turkey; venison or grass-fed beef for E or FP; frozen or fresh diced stew meat for S.
STEP 2: CHOOSE YOUR VEGGIES
AND OPTIONAL GRAIN OR SWEET POTATO
NOTE: Choose quick-cooking veggies. If you’d like to include some veggies that are a bit tougher, you can do a quick steam to get a head start.
VEGGIE OPTIONS: thinly sliced or diced zucchini or summer squash; handfuls of fresh or frozen spinach, kale, or other dark leafy greens; julienned bell peppers; sliced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes; diced green onions; thinly sliced cabbage (or bagged shredded cabbage or coleslaw); sliced mushrooms; sliced onion; green beans; or cauli rice (or broccoli or cauli florets cut into much smaller pieces)
GRAIN/SWEET POTATO OPTIONS (FOR E): ½ to ¾ cup cooked brown rice, wild rice, or quinoa; or a small to medium sweet potato, thinly sliced or diced
STEP 3: CHOOSE YOUR FLAVORINGS AND HEALTHY FATS
FAT OPTIONS: 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil or MCT oil for S (use only 1 teaspoon for FP and E)
FLAVORING OPTIONS: ¼ teaspoon Mineral Salt (go down from here if using other salty spices); soy sauce, tamari, Bragg liquid aminos or coconut aminos; dried parsley flakes or minced fresh parsley; minced fresh cilantro; minced garlic or a sprinkling of dried garlic; feta or other favorite cheeses for S (you can use a sprinkling of Parmesan for FP and E); diced chili peppers, cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes; hot sauce; chipotle powder; Cajun seasoning; Nutritional Yeast;
liquid smoke; cumin; lemon slices; apple cider vinegar; mustard; Italian seasoning or oregano
STEP 4: FOLD AND BAKE
1. Fold a 15-inch square of parchment paper in half and place it in front of you like a book, spine side facing left. Using scissors, cut a half heart shape around the open right side (like the wing of a butterfly), rounding the corner at the top and cutting down to a point to the spine at the bottom of your book shape. Open up your heart (or butterfly wings) and lightly coat it with coconut oil cooking spray.
2. Place the fish or meat protein choice at the right side of the crease in the middle. Now add all the other ingredients into one huddle on the right side of the crease. Fold the left parchment page over the right, then working from the top open end, begin tightly folding the edges of the paper. Continue folding the edge, working downward to form a seal until you get to the bottom point, which you will tuck underneath the pouch. This is super quick and easy; just make sure it is tight so no air can escape. Use the examples to make a whole bunch of pouches and then put them in the freezer for future use, keeping a few in the refrigerator that you’ll want to use during the next few days.
3. Bake the pocket in a preheated 400°F oven for 15 minutes for thin fish fillets or 20 minutes for thicker salmon fillets, chicken tenderloins, or ground or stew meats. (You can bake from frozen, but give it 40 to 45 minutes.) Remove from the oven, place the pouch on a dinner plate, and let it steam for another 5 minutes in the pocket before opening.
HANGRY POCKET FP EXAMPLE: Easy, just build your E pocket but leave out the carb option.
NOTE: To fill up further, add a side salad or Speedy Chocolate Milk (page 457) or a baby-size shake or smoothie from the Shakes and Smoothies chapter (page 468).
Coconut oil cooking spray
HANGRY POCKET S EXAMPLE:
1 salmon fillet or 2 to 3 chicken tenderloins
4 slices tomato
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 to 3 tablespoons feta cheese
5 Kalamata or black olives, diced
1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
Small sprinkling sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
2 lemon rounds
¼ teaspoon Mineral Salt
Handful of sliced bell peppers and/or 2 extra-large handfuls of spinach (frozen or fresh)
HANGRY POCKET E EXAMPLE
1 large or 2 small tilapia or other white fish fillets, or 2 to 3 chicken tenderloins
3 tablespoons favorite salsa
2 tablespoons diced green onions
1 teaspoon butter or coconut oil
4 slices tomato
¼ teaspoon Mineral Salt
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon diced chili peppers (optional, for hotties)
2 lemon rounds
1 or 2 very large handfuls of fresh spinach or kale (optional)
½ to ¾ cup cooked rice or quinoa