Trim Healthy Mama: Dinner {no special ingredients}

If you’ve ever started a new diet (and who hasn’t?!) then you know it can be expensive to get started.

There are usually all these special ingredients you need to buy and meals you need to learn how to cook.

That’s why Trim Healthy Mama is so different – it’s absolutely possible to eat this way and still shop at your regular grocery store.

Of course, you’ll have to change some bad habits (hey, we all have ’em!) but one step at a time, right?

The easiest way to start is by working on your everyday meals. And I have plenty of tips to help!

Trim Healthy Mama Dinner Ideas

We’ve covered all our Trim Healthy Mama meals – no special ingredients style! We’ve talked about breakfast, lunch, and snacks. With this series of posts, I’ve shown you that it is definitely possible to follow the plan without buying a cupboard full of specialty ingredients.

Will you want some of those special ingredients at some point? Of course! Especially if you want some sweet treats.

But, you can follow the plan without them. Start working on making healthier meals while you’re figuring out how to bake those sweets.

What does a Trim Healthy Mama dinner consist of?

Generally speaking:

  • You’ll have a protein source as a star of the show (it’ll keep you feeling satisfied)
  • Add some veggies (non-starchy if you’re having a “satisfying” meal)
  • Add some fats or carbs (but not both!)

I haven’t provided any Fuel Pull dinners because, if you’re like me, you’re feeding a family, and I don’t want to reduce their meal to so few carbs. So save Fuel Pull meals for breakfast and lunch – when you can add more carbs or fats to your kid’s plates.

Here are 20 meal ideas, divided by fuel source – Energizing and Satisfying. All these meal ideas are straight from the book so you’ll find all the recipes and instructions there.

10 Energizing Dinners

Lentil Soup

This delicious soup is not only wonderfully tasty but also super healthy and affordable! We know that it can sometimes be a challenge to make sure you’re eating cheaply and healthily, but this soup is a great place to start.

A simple lentil soup can be really smoky and tasty, plus it can help out any of us who might need a hand with our methylation systems. Nearly half the population of the US has problems with methylation (the process by which your body detoxes), so we could all do with a hand every now and then.

Find the full recipe at Trim Healthy Mama.

Crockpot Chicken

Cooking chicken and rice in a crockpot or slow cooker is a great way to go. It means you barely have to mess with it at all, and the overall result can be really delicious!

We love this recipe particularly because it focuses on a number of Spanish spices. We don’t really use that palate very often in our cooking, so it’s nice to throw a dash or two in!

Our favorite thing about this recipe is, naturally, how little effort is involved. You literally have to add all of your ingredients to the pot, and then cook it slowly for six hours. While you can give things a bit of a stir while they’re bubbling away, you don’t need to, strictly speaking.

Find the full recipe at Fit Mom Journey.


Chili has got to be one of the best stews out there. It’s warming, filling, and absolutely delicious! This chili in particular is really healthy – so you can feel free to throw on plenty of sour cream and cheese! We promise we won’t even judge you if you add a healthy dollop of refried beans.

If you wanted to make this recipe even healthier, there are things you can do to save on calories but still get a stunning taste. We’d suggest swapping out the beef in the recipe for lean ground chicken, to begin with.

Pulled chicken in chili is amazing, and we love it! To make up for the lost mass in the chili, you could also add in some more beans and serve it with baked corn chips. Hey presto, a wonderfully filling and easy meal!

Find the full recipe at The Northern Nester.

Hearty Green Soup

There is, of course, a great recipe for hearty green soup in the trim healthy mama book. That said, a hearty green soup can take many forms, from a rich pea and ham to a light cucumber.

We, personally, love a rich and hearty lentil soup. We’ve had one already on this list, but we’re going to have another one too! We’d recommend going a bit overboard with the lentils if this is one of your first times using them.

We always found lentil portions difficult to calculate when we were getting started, so adding in a couple too many could be wise. In the worst case, you can simply put the spare soup into some Tupperware.

Find the full recipe at Mrs Criddles Kitchen.

Bean Burgers

Okay, we know that bean burgers can be hit and miss. In a number of our experiments, we’ve discovered that the gulf between great and terrible is HUGE when making bean burgers. However, we keep coming back to this recipe. It’s simple and straightforward, as well as being sure to have people coming back for seconds.

Of course, the main good thing about bean burgers is how healthy they are. A lot of people love a burger made from high-quality red meat, but there’s no escaping how unhealthy they are. Bean burgers get away from that by being entirely veggie. Give them a go soon!

Find the recipe at Grocery Shrink.

Grilled Salmon

We. Love. Salmon. It’s so good for you and so packed full of flavor that we can’t help but buy huge fillets whenever we go anywhere near the sea. We also love grilling! There’s something so wonderfully simple about firing up the barbecue and seeing the flames lick at what you’re cooking.

We love this simple recipe because it’s so tasty. That’s it, it just tastes amazing! Whenever we cook salmon we always throw in a little soy sauce, as well as a healthy amount of garlic. This recipe was the birth of that, for us, so it’s sure to be well received.

Find the full recipe at Around The Table Family Blog.

Southwestern Chicken

This is another crockpot recipe that we adore for its simplicity. Sometimes, the best recipes are the ones that you put together and just leave alone – this is one of those times.

We also love these slow cooker chicken recipes because it can help us to get rid of frozen chicken that’s been buried away in our freezer for the longest time.

Chicken is a great meat for cooking on a budget, and slow cooking it with this unique and delicate set of spices allows it to truly sing. We love how the cumin and paprika come together to buzz on your palate with a warm, delicious harmony.

Find the recipe at The Coers Family.

Mini Meat Loaves

Meatloaf is great, but it can sometimes seem a little daunting. It’s nice to be able to make a few mini meatloaves quite quickly and easily compared to a big one.

Their small size also ensures that they’re really juicy and packed with flavor! They’ll definitely have people around the table asking for seconds, and then thirds. Maybe even fourths!

We love how these meatloaves have a gentle Italian twist, being packed as they are with marinara and mozzarella. It’s a great twist on classic meatloaf, and we can’t get enough!

Find the recipe at Joy Filled Eats.

Balsamic Chicken

This is a great recipe to do on a weeknight. It’s easy, quick, and amazing! Plus, the whole meal actually only needs five ingredients – how wild!

This is a wonderful recipe that is a lot like how we love to cook fish. The recipe depends upon long, thin strips of chicken which can be added to the pan and cooked gently while being basted in a delicious sauce.

The sauce itself is made up of balsamic vinegar, sundried tomatoes, and basil. This is a great combination that we can’t even begin to describe – you simply must taste it!

Find the full recipe at Joy Filled Eats.

Succulent Citrus Fish Bake

This is a great recipe that we adore. Baking fish leaves you with such a succulent and wonderful meal that we utterly adore, especially along with some roasted veg.

One of the main reasons that we adore this recipe is that it is one of the only times we’ve seen feta paired with fish. This is something which, while rare, is absolutely amazing!

We love the flavors of those two ingredients, and so combining them is a wonderful choice – a match made in heaven! Plus, the two of them sing together beautifully when lemon is thrown into the mix – good lord this meal is wonderful.

Find the full recipe at Trim Healthy Mama

“E” side dish ideas: Carrots, baked sweet potato, steamed vegetables, brown rice, quinoa, Creamless Creamy Veggies, or White Bean Mashies.

9 Satisfying Dinners

Beef Stew

A rich, hearty, and filling beef stew s the perfect addition to any chilly day. It’s almost always enough to scare away the cold that might be nipping at your fingers, and it’s sure to have people asking for more.

We love this recipe particularly because it’s on the THM plan, plus it has some great chunks of hearty root veg. This might sound like an odd thing to love about a beef stew, but it really does add a lot.

By combining chunky veg and some good beef you make a wonderful liquid that feels like a delicious fusion between beef and veg stock – [erfect for your soul and your immune system too.

Find the full recipe at My Montana Kitchen.

Eggplant Lasagna

Okay, it’s time for a bold statement: lasagna might be the best baked pasta dish out there.I know that’s a controversial one, but it’s surely true, right? The decadent saltiness and richness of a well-made ragu alongside the creaminess of a great bechamel?

It’s beyond compare. On the THM plan, however, you might be looking to reduce the number of carbs in a lasagna. A great way to do this is by replacing the sheets of pasta with an alternative.

We’ve seen this done a number of different ways, from unrolled leeks to basil or spinach leaves. The best way, however, that we’ve seen has to be using eggplant. There’s something wonderful about how excellently thin slices of eggplant cook while baking for a long while that makes them hard to beat.

Find the full recipe at Early 2 Bed Early 2 Rise.

Pizza Casserole

Pizza casserole is something that we hadn’t heard of until we came to the THM plan. It’s a wonderful concept, truly! Take a pizza, and then remove the part that most contributes to weight-gain: the base.

By taking out the base, you easily create a low-carb pizza which is ideal for serving any night of the week. The thing that we really love about this recipe is how it can be made and stored ahead of time for cooking as a freezer meal.

We adore a good freezer meal in our house, mostly because we’re always too tired on weekdays to cook something from scratch.

Find the full recipe at My Montana Kitchen.

Meat Loaf

Meatloaf is perhaps the ideal meal for the THM plan or, in fact, any diet plan – it can be almost completely carb-free! This huge lack of carbs in a meal can help it to be much healthier for you, as well as being less stodgy on your plate.

Of course, this recipe doesn’t account for any carbs that you might add in toppings, but it’s a great starting place.

We really love the use of liquid smoke in this recipe. We don’t see it around food blog sites anywhere near as much as we’d like to, and it’s a shame! Liquid smoke is a wonderful ingredient that will give anything you cook a powerful, earthy punch. It’s great for use in meat-heavy dishes!

Find the full recipe at Briana Thomas.

Baked Chicken

Baked chicken is yet another low-carb dish that’s perfect for the THM meal plan. The great thing about any baked chicken recipe is that it’s simple. You can feel free to adjust or change any part of it that you might wish, and it will still be just as juicy, tender, and delicious.

We’ve been really into using dill in a lot of our recipes recently. This will sound silly, but we only just connected the dots that dill pickles are so named because dill ends up in the pickling liquid with the cucumbers.

Since that realization, we’ve been trying dill in loads of our recipes, and it makes an appearance here!

Find the full recipe at Brianna Thomas.

Kai Si Ming

Kai Si Ming is a wonderfully comforting dish that’s p[erfect for making after a long day at the office. We love to get home, throw all the ingredients in a pan, and then just collapse on the sofa for forty-five minutes when it’ll be ready to eat.

Kai Si Ming, essentially, is a beef and cabbage stew. It’s really low on carbs as there are no noodles, rice, or potatoes involved, plus it’s delicious to boot.

The flavor of well-browned beef is a great addition to any number of meals, but it’s perfect here. We can’t recommend this meal enough for when you want something easy and truly satisfying.

Find the full recipe at Trenches Of Mommy Hood.

Hearty Red Soup

I know we tend to go on about it from time to time, but goodness me we love a good hearty soup.

This soup in particular is perfect for the late spring and early summer when everything you’ve got in the garden seems to be fruiting all at once. You can take a healthy handful of everything that you’ve got, and make this wonderful soup.

We really love the fact that this soup uses curry powder as one of the main seasonings to make up the body of the flavor – there’s a wonderful earthiness in good curry powder that can sometimes go unappreciated.

Find the full recipe at The Northern Nester.

Creamy Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Okay, this is an opinion that I refuse to back down on: cheesy soups are the best soups.

This is a wonderfully comforting soup that’s sure to bring some warmth to your soul and your core on chilly nights. Plus, it’s gluten-free and wonderfully low-carb.

We love this recipe for the simple reason that it’s a great example of the wonderful pairing between broccoli and a good cheddar. This is a known pairing, but it’s seen so very rarely out there that it’s always lovely to stumble across a great iteration.

This recipe uses chicken broth to give the soup a good flavor, though you can try homemade vegetable stock to make the meal your own.

Find the full recipe at My Montana Kitchen.

Crabby Patties

These are great burgers that kids absolutely adore. They might not be exactly the same as beef burgers, but they’re something great in their own right.

We love the fact that these burgers are using fish in the place of red meat. In recent years, we’ve often been told to cut down on our intake of red meat, and switch to light meats or fish for our health.

That’s all well and good, but it’s great to see a recipe like this that can offer a straight switch from beef to fish. Give these burgers a go soon!

Find the full recipe at Build A Menu.

“S” side dish ideas: Green salad, roasted vegetables, Creamless Creamy Veggies, Baked Eggplant, Steamed Broccoli, Roasted Vegetable Medley, Zucchini Fries, Green Fries, Cauli Rice, or Macaroni and Cheese.

As you can see, it’s not too difficult to follow the Trim Healthy Mama plan. It’s easy to apply the principles to meals you already eat. It’s just a matter of remembering your fuel sources and separating a few ingredients.