Friday, January 29, 2016

Home-made soaked crackers

Since my two big girls started attending school, I was determined that I would not resort to giving them processed foods for lunches and snacks.  This was one recipe I found that they enjoyed.  I usually double it or triple it.  The trick is getting it rolled thinly enough to crunch like a cracker.  It was difficult (time consuming) to cut and place all the tiny crackers on my baking pans.  4 girls can eat one recipe of this in no time!  I had to find a quicker way.  I finally resorted to rolling them out on a baking mat that could be placed in the oven and used for cooking.  I use a pizza cutter to slice them into crackers right on the same mat that I bake them!  Now it is easy to whip these up quickly!  I soak everything together the night before, then roll them out, cut them, add on the salt, and bake for 8 minutes and they are done.  If you want to see the intricate instructions and great pictures, please visit this website where I found the original recipe.

  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 ½ Tbs honey (or sugar)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 4 Tbs oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • salt for topping
Directions:  Blend dry ingredients (except topping salt).  Cut in butter and blend until evenly mixed.  Combine the water, honey and vanilla.  Add to flour mixture and blend until smooth.  Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll out and cut into crackers.  Bake at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Homemade taco seasoning

I ran out of my taco seasoning the other day and tried this recipe. This is how I usually quadruple it and I leave out the crushed red pepper and lessen the black pepper:

4 Tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. paprika
2 Tbs. ground cumin
4 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. black pepper

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Healthier Sweet and Sour Chicken

My town recently got an Aldi store and my favorite deal to get there is the pack of tri-color sweet peppers!  I've never been able to justify buying them before on a regular basis, but now I get them every time I go!  Oh how I love sweet bell peppers!  I have enjoyed making dishes using them and my husband really enjoyed this one.  I changed it a bit, as always.


  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts sliced into thin strips or into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • ½ white or yellow onion, chopped
  • rice or quinoa 
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar (may sub white vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion salt*
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 2 tablespoon cold water

Directions: First make the sauce. Add sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion salt, and ketchup to a medium sauce pan. Stir and bring to a boil. In a small bowl whisk together the 1 tablespoon corn starch and cold water until dissolved. Add to sauce pan and stir until thickened, then reduce to low heat.  Saute chicken over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add peppers and onions. Continue to saute over medium heat until chicken is browned and cooked through. Serve over rice or quinoa with sauce poured on top.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Soaked Breakfast "Cereal Bars"

With my big girls starting school this year, I had to find some new healthy breakfast recipes that I could make ahead of time!  This is one that they love.  I usually double the recipe and let each child pick a filling (strawberry jam, apple butter, chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, etc).

Soaked Breakfast Bar
2 cups whole wheat flour (I use my spelt flour)
1 cup kefir, yogurt or buttermilk (I use water or milk with ACV added)
1/2 cup coconut oil or butter, melted (I used coconut oil)
1/2 cup rapadura/cane sugar (I use coconut sugar)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 – 1/2 cup jelly, jam or fruit butter
Directions: Mix flour, cultured dairy and oil.  Cover and let soak 7 – 24 hours.  The next day, Mix in remaining dough ingredients until well combined.  Spread half of the dough into the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Spread an even layer of jam on top of dough.  Spread remaining dough on top.  Bake at 350 for another 25 minutes.
Cut into bars.  Place bars on a separate baking sheet, with space in between bars.  Bake another 5-10 minutes, until dough is baked through.  Allow to cool.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Chicken Parmesan

I was searching Pinterest as I made my meal plan for January and found this lovely recipe for Chicken Parmesan.  I didn't follow it exactly, but I will definitely be adding it to my meal rotation.  Instead of buying Italian breadcrumbs, I like to use Panko because it usually just contains a few real ingredients like wheat, oil, and salt.  Then I add my own Italian seasonings and garlic salt and Parmesan to give it flavor.

2 lbs chicken breasts, sliced as thinly as possible
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 large eggs, beaten until frothy
1 cup of my Italian Panko mix (or store bought Italian breadcrumbs)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
oil (I use coconut oil)
1 Jar of your favorite sauce
8 oz (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
noodles of choice (we prefer angel hair pasta)

Directions:  Get three bowls for dipping: In the first bowl, mix the flour, salt, and pepper.  In the second bowl, beat the eggs.  In the third bowl, mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan.  Then dip each piece of chicken in each bowl, creating an even coating of crumbs.  You can now either bake the chicken breasts for 20 min at 425 degrees or fry them in a pan first with a little bit of oil (about 2 min on each side til golden brown).  Then add a few tablespoons of your favorite marina sauce on top and cover with mozzarella cheese and bake for 10 more minutes.  Serve over your favorite pasta and enjoy!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snow candy from Little House in the Big Woods

My girls absolutely love The Little House books and they begged to make this candy for the longest time before we finally tried it.  Now they enjoy making it even more than snow ice cream!  A few notes we learned:  My girls are unfortunately no longer a fan of molasses.  We switched the recipe to maple syrup and they loved it!  I actually only make a half recipe because it is so sweet and they don't need much (although they would eat it until they made themselves sick if I let them!)  I'm not one for measuring much, (I know, it is so bad for a recipe blogger!) but I add in a few extra pinches of brown sugar since syrup isn't as thick as molasses.  It always works for us!
1 cup molasses or maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
Directions: Fill pans of snow.  Gather fresh clean snow into the pans and leave them outside in the cold.  In a small saucepan, stir the molasses and sugar together over medium heat. Heat the mixture to just boiling, stirring frequently (around 245 degrees Fahrenheit, firm ball stage).  Test the candy by dropping a bit in a glass of cold water.  If it makes the water cloudy, it is not ready yet. Once it stays together as candy in the water, it is ready. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour the molasses mixture into pans of snow.  You have about 10 or 15 minutes until the molasses starts getting difficult to pour.  Put any leftovers in the freezer (or outside) still on the snow. If you store it without the snow, it will turn into goo.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The best snow ice cream!

We had a lovely snowstorm this weekend and decided to try a different snow ice cream recipe.  My eldest daughter made the complaint that in the past her milk-based snow ice cream had gotten watery as it melted.  So we decided to try out this super rich recipe from Paula Deen.  Not the least bit healthy, but oh so good and easy!

- 8 cups of clean snow
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

Just mix and enjoy! Or you can make it even sweeter like my girls and add sprinkles and mini chocolate chips

Friday, January 22, 2016

New overnight baked oatmeal recipe

I recently decided to look at some new recipes for baked oatmeal.  I wanted something soaked over night and not too sugary.  This is the recipe I decided to use from Stacy Makes Cents and it is delicious.  Since I have a family of 6, I double her recipe and as always, I do slightly change a few things, such as adding an acidic medium and a bit of whole grain flour to help break down the phytates in the oats and make the nutrients more digestible.  I also soak the dough in the oven with the light on to keep it warm instead of the fridge.

4 cups rolled oats (old fashioned oats)
2 cups whole milk
Acidic medium to enhance digestion (I usually use apple cider vinegar)
1/2 cup whole grain flour
2/3 cups sweetener ( I use coconut sugar)
4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
4 eggs
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
add-ins of choice: my girls usually prefer chocolate chips, raisins, craisins, etc.

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, milk, acidic medium, and flour. Cover and stick in oven with light on overnight.
  2. In the morning, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

New favorite recipe: Simple Steak Fajitas

I found this recipe because I had some leftover roast that did not turn out very tender that I waned to make delicious.  The original recipe is found at Walking on Sunshine.  I liked it because it was simple and seemed easy to change to my family's tastes.  If you don't have beef already cooked, her instructions will be helpful. Here is my version of steak fajitas:

Cooked steak or roast in a bit of its own broth (if you have any left)
Sweet Bell Peppers
Sweet onions
taco seasoning
worcestershire sauce
Other yummy seasonings (I have a delicious mango chili grinder and a garlic salt grinder that I added to kick it up a notch!)
shredded cheddar cheese
tortillas or rice
favorite toppings such as sour cream or guacamole or salsa

Directions:  You can cook all this together in one pan, but I had meat that needed to be more tender so I threw the meat in the crockpot with all the seasonings and let it cook for the afternoon.  Perfection!  I sauteed the thinly-sliced onions and peppers in the seasonings and oil right before serving because I did not want them to get over-cooked and soggy in the crockpot.  But honestly, it probably would have been fine to throw it all in the crockpot together for the afternoon.  Serve with shredded cheese in warm tortillas or over rice.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Roasted Kielbasa and Potatoes

This is a simple but filling meal I threw together last night. It doesn't take long to slice everything and throw it into the oven.

Oil of choice (I used coconut oil)
Red potatoes
Sweet Onion
Seasonings of choice (I used a delicious garlic salt grinder I bought from Trader Joes that contains roasted garlic, onion, parsley, and sea salt.)

Preheat oven to 450.  Melt a few heaping spoonfuls of oil in 9x13 inch pan.  Slice onions, potatoes, and kielbasa and cot with oil in pan.  Generously cover with seasonings and mix well.  Bake for at least 30 minutes, stirring often.  The longer it is baked, the better the flavor with be.  I prefer baking for an hour and stirring every 15 minutes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Starting to blog again!

Yes, it has been almost two years since I have shared any yummy recipes.  And probably 2 years before that since I have blogged regularly. What is going on?

Children.  Four beautiful little ones, begging for my attention and desperately needing me every minute of the day.  Oh how I love my girls!  There was just no way I could keep up with trying a new meal every week, let alone blogging about it!  To be honest, many days I was lucky to even get a decent dinner made!  I've been just too exhausted to stare at a computer.  I wanted to treasure the crazy moments of life with four little ones and focus on them and not be distracted by blogging.

So why blog again?  My youngest is now two and a half and I'm finally catching my breath again.  I want to type out my new favorite recipes so that I won't lose them and hopefully someday print out a cookbook for my girls to enjoy.  I hope maybe some others will enjoy them as well.

Just a disclaimer:  I'm not trying to make any money.  I'm not trying to get a huge following.  Just trying to save some recipes for my family.  I'll post when I have time but when my family needs me I'll be silent again for a time. And I'll try to give credit to other blogs when I use their recipes but I might copy and paste sometimes.  Just because I want to print out the recipe when I make a cookbook.  But I usually change them a bit anyways :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Creamy Salmon Pasta

I recently had some leftover salmon and decided to stretch it into a meal for my family.  I basically just made a yummy cream sauce to go over it with some pasta.  My husband loved it so I thought I'd share.  Unfortunately, I didn't measure anything, so I'll put my estimations in parentheses :)

butter (about a half a stick)
sweet onion (about half of a medium size)
sweet red pepper (about half of a medium size)
garlic (about 2 or 3 cloves)
salt (about 7 shakes)
flour (about 1/4 cup)
leftover cooked salmon (about 1 cup worth)
milk (1 1/2 cups or more if sauce is thick)
parmesan (about 1/2 cup)
pasta of choice

Directions:  Sautee onions and red pepper in butter til cooked.  Add flour and mix well.  Add milk and stir well til sauce begins to thicken.  Add parmesan and stir til mixed well.  Add salmon.  After heated, serve over hot pasta.  Can also add peas or asparagus.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Some New Favorite Recipes!

I've been getting excited about trying out new recipes again and thought I'd share a few that I've been making lately:

1.  Pioneer Woman's Corn and Cheese Chowder: Super yummy and faster than my normal way of making a creamy soup with a roux sauce. I also added potatoes to make it go farther and be chunkier.

2.  Pollo FundidoVery delicious chicken but needs a carb with it like rice or quinoa or tortilla. I think my husband liked it wrapped in a tortilla best.

3.  Chicken, Bacon, and Wild Rice SoupI made this soup one Sunday afternoon and my husband (who is not a soup guy) loved it!  I'm pretty sure it was the bacon :)

4.  Loaded Baked Potato Chicken Casserole:  Again with the bacon making it yummy!  My husband was a fan.  I didn't layer it quite so much in order to help it cook faster.

5.   Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken ChiliDelicious! I used my own home-made ranch seasoning mix to avoid the msg in the packets and frozen corn, fresh chopped tomatoes, and dried (but soaked and cooked) beans to avoid BPA. Turned out great! Super easy meal!

6.  Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup:  I never make my poor husband his favorite casseroles anymore because I despise canned soups.  I've been meaning to try this recipe for a while now and it worked well and thickened up nicely.  Now it will be so easy to throw a casserole together!

7.  Homemade Condensed Cream of Cheese Soup -- ditto on the previous description.  Plus, I'm thinking this stuff is going to be delicious as a dip when mixed with some good salsa!  And fabulous when mixed in with mashed potatoes :)

Friday, May 31, 2013

Creamy Baked Spaghetti

One of the many joys of having a new baby is being able to enjoy meals  from friends and find new favorites!  My friend Lyle brought this dish to us and it was one of the best baked spaghetti recipes I had ever tasted.  I had to ask her for the recipe, and here it is:

8-12 oz. spaghetti, broken into 2 inch pieces 
3 TBSP butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1/3 c. grated parmesan
salt & pepper
8 oz sour cream
8 oz ricotta
8 oz cottage cheese
jar of spaghetti sauce (l5 ½ oz or larger) (I used Newman’s Organic tomato basil)
1 ½ lbs hamburger
1 med. onion
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp garlic salt (or fresh garlic)
1-2 c. shredded mozzarella

Cook spaghetti and drain. Place in 9 x 13 baking dish. Stir in butter, parmesan, salt, pepper and egg until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, mix sour cream, ricotta and cottage cheese. Saute hamburger & onion/garlic in skillet until meat is brown. Drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce, oregano, garlic salt. Spread cottage cheese/ricotta/sour cream mixture over noodles. Top with spaghetti sauce mixture. Bake at 350 from 30 min. Sprinkle mozzarella over top and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Ground Beef Pie Topped With Bacon-Twice Baked Potatoes

I got the idea for this meal from THIS recipe, but I didn't want to use all the processed ingredients.  So I came up with my own very simple recipe and my husband actually liked it!

Ground Beef
cream cheese or heavy cream
cheddar cheese
Cooked bacon

Directions:  Brown ground beef, place in a casserole dish.  I actually added a bit of coconut oil to make sure it stayed plenty moist.  Make mashed potatoes however you like them.  I usually boil them because it is quick and add lots of salt, butter, garlic powder, and cream.  Place mashed potatoes on top of ground beef.  Cover with cheddar cheese and bacon.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes til bubbly.

April Meal Plan

My husband's favorite meal right now is a taco salad (with lots of cilantro and colorful peppers and fresh salsa) and my girls love home-made pizza night and we all love chicken lazone, so I have decided to serve them every other week in order to simplify meal planning.

Week 1:
Taco Salad
Roast Chicken
Sloppy Joes
Chicken Lazone over quinoa
Roasted Ham

Week 2:
Homemade Pizza
Crockpot Pineapple chicken
Sour Cream Noodle Bake
Feta Salmon
Italian Chicken with Cream Sauce

Week 3:
Taco Salad
Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken
Easy Dinner Hash
Chicken Lazone
Ground Beef Pie topped with Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes

Week 4:
Garlic-Lemon Double Stuffed Chicken
Sausage Tomato Cream Pasta
Chicken Cordon Blue
Homemade Pizza

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Extra good taco salad!

We love taco salad!  It is one of my stand-by meals for nights when I don't have much time because I usually make taco meat in bulk and then freeze it in portions perfect for one dinner.  So all I have to do it warm it up, toss the salad together, and serve!  I will admit that my girls do not like salad so I just fix them a quick fried taco instead.  THIS recipe caught my eye because it included cilantro and sweet peppers which I LOVE but have never included in my taco salad.  We liked this recipe so much that I have decided to replace my normal recipe with this one.  A couple of changes I made this time: I always buy green-leaf lettuce for salads; we just like it better than the other types.  My husband does not like cold beans, chicken, and corn, so I mixed them together, topped them with a bit of salsa and warmed them in my toaster oven before adding to the rest of the veggies.  And he does not like avocados so I reserved those for myself.  And we don't like raw onions.  I also made up my own version of the dressing because we don't like mayonnaise and I make my own taco and ranch seasonings.  I'd tell you what I did, but I never measure :)

  • Ingredients for salad:
  • 2 cups shredded chicken or taco meat
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced (I prefer a bit of each of the stoplight peppers because they are sweeter and add color!)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed (I used my own soaked and cooked beans)
  • 1 can sweet yellow corn (or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed)
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced (I skipped this because I added a bit of salsa)
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 head ice berg lettuce, washed and chopped (I prefer green-leaf lettuce)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 ripe avocados, diced
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • for the dressing:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ranch seasoning
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  1. In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients together, excluding the tortilla chips.
  2. In a small bowl stir all dressing ingredients together.
  3. Pour dressing over salad, starting with about half of the dressing.
  4. Toss to combine, then gradually add more dressing until it is dressed to your liking.
  5. Top with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Simple Caramelized Chicken

When I found THIS recipe, it looked like such an easy recipe that I prayed it would work for a quick dinner for my family :)  And it did!  I don't like refined sugars or store-bought mixes that contain msg, so I switched the brown sugar with sucanat and used my own Italian seasoning mix instead.  And I added a few pats of butter on the top just to make it really good and in case the sucanat did not caramelize as well.  I was pleased with the results.  So here is the deal with this recipe: it is super easy to prepare but you do really have to let it cook for the full hour if you want the caramelization to occur.  So plan ahead.  I also found that my home-made fresh Italian seasoning was stronger than the store-bought kind with bigger pieces of parsley, etc, and I did not need quite as much as the recipe called for.  I am going to type the original ratio, but just keep that in mind if your Italian seasoning is as strong as mine :)  Also, my girls don't like to see all that "green" seasoning on their chicken, so I just sprinkled a bit of garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and sucanat on theirs instead of the mix.  They really liked it.

3 1/2 pounds boneless chicken
1 (7 oz.) pkg. Italian seasoning mix
1/2 cup brown  sugar, packed  (or sucanat)

Preheat oven to 350; grease a pan or put down aluminum foil as it tends to stick.  (I used stoneware and it worked well.)  Rinse chicken; pat dry.  Mix sugar and seasonings.  Coat chicken with mixture and sprinkle any leftovers on top.  Bake for about an hour, turning the chicken several times to coat and you can also dribble the sauce on top to make sure it is covered well.

Pasta with Chicken, Bacon, and Ranch

My husband loves bacon and ranch so when I saw THIS recipe on Pinterest, I knew I should try it.  It was very simple and good and I will be adding it to my list of favorite dinners.  I changed it slightly... I don't use store-bought Ranch because I try to avoid anything containing soy, so I used my own homemade version.  I always use brown rice pasta for my gluten-free daughter.  I also reserved the bacon to cover the top of the casserole to ensure that it got really crispy and because my husband likes any recipe that is covered with bacon on top :)  I actually did not have any cheddar cheese, and I'm sure it would have been delicious, but we just sprinkled some Parmesan on top and it was also delicious.

10 oz cooked pasta
2 cups cooked chicken
cooked bacon (I used about 3/4 a package and saved the rest for some mashed potatoes the next day)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups cream or milk
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/3 cup Ranch dressing ( I mixed together some Ranch seasoning, softened cream cheese, yogurt, and olive oil)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (we sprinkled parmesan on top since we were out of cheddar and it was quite good!)

Directions: Melt butter in saucepan, add flour and stir to combine. Once roux is ready, add cream and stir constantly until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in garlic salt, onion powder and ranch dressing until well combined.  Mix together in a casserole dish with cooked pasta, chicken, bacon, and cheddar cheese and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

Friday, February 22, 2013

March Meal Plan

Whew!  It has been forever since I have posted!  Morning sickness, holidays, and a big move have totally taken all my time.  But I have just three months before baby #4 arrives and I want to get back into meal planning and cooking ahead so that I will be ready.  I'd really like to find some new favorite easy dinners for my family to enjoy as well!  So here is my March meal plan.  I've found that I only need to plan 5 meals a week because 2 nights a week we either eat leftovers or I do something super easy like tortellini or grass-fed hotdogs or scrambled eggs and bacon or chili I have frozen :)

Breakfast recipe to try: Crispy Hashbrowns (I've tried making them before, but they were soggy so I'm eager to try this recipe :)

Treat to try: Chocolate Avocado Pudding 

Week 1:
Chicken Taquitos
Feta Salmon
Home-made Pizza
Mom's lasagna (but using my own onion soup mix)
Simply Great Chicken (using THIS idea but switching for my own homemade Italian mix and Sucanat)

Week 2:
Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili
Ground Beef and Twice Baked Potato Pie  (I'll use Panko instead of breadcrumbs and real mashed potatoes instead of store-bought)
Sausage Tomato Cream Pasta
Fried Tacos
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

Week 3:
Chicken Castellina (I'll have to try this one on Mark's day off so he can entertain the kids and let me focus :)
Crockpot roast
Sausage Presto Pasta
Chicken Cordon Blue
BarBQ Beef cups (with my own bread dough)

Week 4:
Coconut Chicken
Tomato Soup (home-made) and grilled cheese with bacon
Taco Salad (sub cream cheese and olive oil for mayonnaise and home-made spice mixes for store-bought; ground beef instead of chicken)
Smothered Club Sandwich
Leftover's fried rice

Week 5:
Hungarian Chicken Paprikash
Best Sloppy Joes 
Cheesy Potato Chowder
Chicken Lazone
Home-made Pizza

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A new favorite healthy GF granola!

I recently stumbled upon a great granola recipe!  It is gluten free and soaked to help with digestion and is delicious!  Many thanks to The Nourishing Home for such a great recipe!  You should read her post for some great tips and pictures to help get the perfect texture and crunch :)  She has many other great super-healtthy and delicious recipes on her blog, so please check it out!  I followed this recipe almost completely except that I baked the granola at 350 for 20 minutes before crumbling and starting the dehydrating process.  I've read that oats are very hard to digest unless they are baked or boiled rather than just dehydrated.  I made it with the buckwheat and I have to say that my 5 year old and I absolutely LOVED the extra crunch a texture of the extra grain!  However, my picky 3 year old did not  like it so for my next batch I ground up the buckwheat and my 3 year old never even knew it was there.  The buckwheat or rye is very necessary to help break down the oats to help with nutrition and digestion.  I also just used maple syrup instead of part honey because I could skip the warming step and just mix it in quickly.

  • 6 cups organic rolled oats (use regular or thick-cut rolled oats, not quick-cook or steel-cut oats)
  • 2 cups organic rolled rye flakes (if gluten-free, see note below)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup organic unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 1 can (14oz) *Native Forest unsweetened organic coconut milk
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 4 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  1. Place butter and coconut oil in a small sauce pan and heat until melted. Pour into a very large ceramic (or glass) mixing bowl and add coconut milk, water and vinegar; whisk to combine.
  2. Add oats and rye flakes (or buckwheat groats); thoroughly combine using a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
  3. Cover the bowl and place it in a warm area of your kitchen for 24-48 hours. (*I use Native Forest brand because they use BPA-free cans. Please note: This recipe will not work with coconut milk beverages, i.e. Silk or So Delicious brands.)
  4. Once oat mixture is finished soaking, you're ready for STEP TWO: BAKING.
GF Option: If you're gluten-free you can use buckwheat groats for the soak. You can decrease the amount to 1 cup of buckwheat groats and then use 7 cups of GF rolled oats. The reason you need rolled rye or buckwheat groats is because they contain the phytase necessary to help break down the high levels of phytic acid in oats. Oats do not contain much phytase so soaking them without a phytase booster (like rolled rye, or buckwheat for those who are GF) doesn't do much to reduce the phytic acid.
  • Step 2:  Baking:
  • 3/4 cup honey 
  • 3/4 cup organic pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  1. After soaking time is completed, preheat oven to 200° F. Place honey, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla in a glass measuring cup. Place measuring cup in a small pot of warm water on the stove. Bring water to a gentle simmer, stirring honey mixture until melted and all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Turn off heat and remove cup from pan carefully, using an ovenmit. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture.
  2. Using large rubber spatula, combine the honey and oat mixtures, until well combined. 
  3. Spread the mixture out over two parchment paper-lined, 12x17-inch rimmed-baking sheets. Place baking sheets side-by-side in oven for best results. If you have to stack them, be sure to rotate them during bake time. Bake for 8 hours, turning the granola every two-hours. Then turn off oven and allow to sit in warm oven overnight until completely cooled.
  4. Remove cooled granola from the oven and mix in any “add-ins” you’d like (see suggestions above). Makes 10-cups of granola (without add-ins).

Thursday, May 31, 2012

GF Whole Grain Soaked Tortilla

Whew!  I've had quite the time finding GF recipes that my picky 3 year will eat!  Thanks for all of your suggestions and recipes; I am slowly trying them all out!  I've kind of given up on bread and come to the realization that a tortilla must be the way to go for easy lunches for my Karlie.    I tried many recipes online but couldn't find a good one that uses freshly ground soaked whole grain, which is what I prefer for better digestion and absorption of nutrients.  So I adapted my original recipe and finally made one that she likes! Next time I am going to try to use less tapioca flour and more brown rice or buckwheat, but this is what worked well so I thought I should post it before I forget it!

1 cup freshly ground brown rice flour
1 cup freshly ground buckwheat flour
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 cup water
1/4 cup oil (olive, coconut, or butter)
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

Cover and soak at room temperature for 12-24 hours.  Then:

  1. After soaking, add 1/4 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. sucanat, and 1 tsp. salt to soaked flour mixture, kneading in the flour until the dough is workable but not too stiff.
  2. Shape into 8 – 10 balls and let stand 10 more minutes. 
  3. Roll to form a circle or use a tortilla press.  I found that this dough is a little more sticky than my old recipe so I rolled the tortillas between two sheets of wax paper.
  4. Bake on a lightly greased griddle till done (not browned). Toast for about 20-30 sec. per side.
Yield: 8-10 tortillas.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Meal Plan

Ever since deciding to remove gluten from Karlie's diet, meal planning has been a bit more stressful. I'll be trying out a lot of new recipes this month (relying heavily on Pinterest) and I sure hope that my picky eater will like them!

Snacks to try:
Doritos-style chips made from cauliflower or zucchini

Week 1 Breakfasts:

Hashbrowns, bacon, and scrambled eggs

Week 1 Dinners:
crab cakes
tomato soup and grilled cheese

Week 2 Breakfasts:

Week 2 Dinners:
Jamie Oliver's macaroni and cauliflower cheese with bacon. I'll use brown rice pasta
Potato leek soup (recipe coming from a friend)

Week 3 Breakfasts:
bacon, scrambled eggs, and home-made hashbrowns
home-made cereal (I'm going to experiment to make it gluten-free)

Week 3 Dinners:
lasagna soup (but use rice noodles)
Baked hummus and spinach dip with almond flour crackers
Sweet and sour chicken with zucchini tots (using blanched almond flour)
Taco salad

Week 4 Breakfasts:
Scrambled eggs and chicken apple sausage

Week 4 Dinners:
Pizza (hopefully I'll have a good GF recipe by then)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Soaked Buckwheat Pancakes

We recently confirmed that my 3-year old has a sensitivity to gluten, so I've been trying out some new recipes. Apparently, the best gluten-free recipes either use almond flour or a cocktail of different flours. We can't afford to use almond flour for all our baking purposes and I don't have all the ingredients in most "multi-flour and bean" gluten-free recipes. So I decided that buckwheat would probably be my most affordable flour that can sometimes stand alone. It grinds up well in my grain mill but has a definite different texture and taste that I am still getting used to. This pancake recipe turned out to be the best buckwheat recipe I've tried yet. (And let me assure you that simply substituting buckwheat for spelt in my normal tortilla recipe is NOT a good idea... I definitely need a new recipe for that!) I think I added a little bit of molasses for some extra minerals and sweetness. Many thanks to Just Making Noise for a great recipe! I can't wait to try out more of her recipes!

  • 2 cups 100% buckwheat flour (or 1 cup buckwheat & 1 cup whole wheat or spelt)
  • 2 cups buttermilk, kefir, yogurt or water w/ 2 Tbsp lemon juice or raw vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey (I liked the deep flavor of molasses, so I added a bit of that, too)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
Soak flour with liquid in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours.

Lightly beat the eggs and pour into the soaked flour. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and thin the batter to desired consistency with water if needed.

Cook on a hot, oiled griddle or cast-iron skillet. These pancakes cook slower then unsoaked whole grain flour or white flour pancakes. When bubbly on top and golden brown at the bottom… flip over and cook for a few minutes till golden brown.