Friday, March 27, 2009

Yummy Tomato Cream Sauce

After making Bow Ties With Sausage, Tomato, and Cream, I realized that the sauce would be great on lots of other things and is super duper easy! It tastes similar to something I had in a restaurant over grilled chicken and pasta. Basically, all you need is 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and 2 cans diced Italian tomatoes (make sure you get organic diced tomatoes, or you will be eating HFC!) And if you use raw milk, you can just scoop the cream off the top to make this sauce! If you want more flavor, you can ad in some sauteed onions and garlic. Basically, just simer until the sauce thickens a bit and then serve over whatever sounds good to you!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Owie Syrup

I was so excited to find this yummy, healthy, natural recipe for swelling and pain relief on Local Nourishment blog! I'm going to stock up on this once pineapples and cherries come in season :)

Twisted ankles, sprained wrists, fat lips. All these can take place over the course of a normal childhood. But next time, instead of reaching for a pill to take that inflammation down, try this delicious syrup on toast, porridge, ice cream or pancakes. Not hungry? A spoonful taken like a medicinal syrup will do just as well. First, the recipe, nutritional notes follow.

Owie Syrup
1 organic pineapple
2 cups organic tart cherries (fresh, in season if possible, otherwise frozen)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground organic cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 cup (or less) organic maple syrup or unheated, unfiltered honey

Peel, core and run the pineapple through a juicer. Pit cherries, add to pineapple juice in blender or food processor. Melt coconut oil in a bowl over a warm water bath, but do not allow oil to get warmer than skin temperature. Stream in coconut oil while blender is running. Add cinnamon and cloves. Taste before adding maple syrup, as it might be sweet enough without it. Store syrup in refrigerator.

Brave users can try just a little grated ginger in this as well, but my kids tell me that “ruins it.”

Nutritional notes:

Pineapple is particularly rich in bromelain, an enzyme that decreases inflammation. Cherries are rich in anthocyanins. In general, the darker the cherry color, the higher the anthocyanin content. Anthocyanins have been found to block two enzymes, COX-1 and COX-2, which play a role in the production of inflammatory compounds called prostaglandins. NSAIDS work the same way. Cinnamon’s ability to lower the release of arachidonic acid from cell membranes makes it an excellent anti-inflammatory food. Ginger’s volatile oils are helpful in reducing inflammation. Coconut oil appears to have a direct effect in suppressing inflammation and repairing tissue. Maple syrup and cloves are used for flavoring.

The important enzymes in these foods will be destroyed if the syrup or any of its ingredients are heated about 115°, so this syrup is not cooked. For the same reason, canned pineapple and cherries will not have the same potency. As the coconut oil cools, it will thicken the syrup a little. If the syrup becomes too thick, leaving it at room temperature for a time will soften it again.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bow Ties with sausage, tomato, and cream

A winner! Even my picky toddler wanted more :) The tomato cream sauce is so good! No red pepper flakes for us, though. And I used the fresh cream from my unpasturized milk instead of whipping cream and it was so yummy :) We might just eat it over quinoa some of the time since we try to avoid pasta as much as possible

1 (12 ounce) package bow tie pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage (removed from the casing)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (can omit/decrease if your family doesn't like spicy dishes)
1/2 cup diced onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) can Italian-style plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (or half & half to save on calories)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage. Stir in onion and garlic, and cook until onion is tender. Stir in tomatoes, cream, and salt. Simmer until mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir cooked pasta into sauce, and heat through. Sprinkle with parsley.

Healthy Breakfast "cake"

I'm always looking for a healthy breakfast for my family, and we really like this one. We love muffins, so I make these and freeze them for a quick breakfast. It can be a little crumbly, but I usually douse it with coconut oil or serve it with milk like a warm cereal for Karis and its so yummy! I most recently made it with chopped dates and we all really liked it. I often make these into muffins and freeze them for a quick breakfast :)

1 cup butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups whole rolled oats
¾ cup honey
2 eggs
1 t. sea salt
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla
1 cup raisins, chocolate chips or other dried fruit

Stir together butter, buttermilk, flour and oats in a glass bowl. Cover with a cloth and allow the grains to soak on your counter overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Stir in honey, eggs, salt, baking soda and vanilla. Fold in raisins, chocolate chips or dried fruit. Pour into a buttered 9×9 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Baked Cheesy Chicken

This is a super yummy home-made version of chicken nuggets. My family loves chicken nuggets but I always wonder what all actually goes into the store-bought kind... it just doesn't seem like real meat to me :) So this recipe is great and has become one of my husband's favorites! I double the recipe and make them into chicken strips and they freeze great!

Ingredients: (organic when you can)
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. sea salt
1 t. pepper
1 t. garlic powder
1 egg
1 T. milk
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese
1 1/4 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
6 thin boneless-skinless pieces of chicken, cut into smaller pieces if you'd like to make them kid-friendly and more "nugget" shaped. (Try to use chicken that is locally raised, free-range, no hormones, etc.)
2 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a 9x13 baking dish with 1/4 c. melted butter. In one bowl, mix the flour, salt, pepper & garlic powder. In another bowl beat together the egg and milk. In a third bowl, mix the cheese & bread crumbs. Dip each chicken piece first in flour, then egg mixture, then cheese mixture and place the pan. (Once you get everything in the bowls, it goes fast.) Drizzle 2 T. butter evenly over chicken. Bake 35 minutes in preheated oven, or until coating is golden brown and chicken juices run clear.
Found at:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mark's Favorite Marinade!

Almost every time we go home to visit my folks, they fix us beef tenderloin with this marinade because they know Mark loves it so much! Keep in mind that my Mom never measures; I had to pull her leg to get her to write down approximate proportions :) She pretty much just does it to taste.

1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Dr. Pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup teriaki sauce
2 Tbs. lemon or lime juice or both
1 Tbs. minced onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce or A-1 sauce
1/4 tsp. Thyme or oregano or Allspice (depending on your preference)

Directions: Marinade meat at least 1/2 hour before cooking

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Healthy Hint: Soaking Nuts

Nuts are one of the healthiest snacks available. My family loves them; even my toddler will beg for almonds :) But the truth is, for them to be completely healthy, you need to soak and dehydrate them. Why? Well, THIS link explains it better than I ever could! And the best part is, they taste so much better as well. Before I started soaking my almonds for us, my husband tried some at a friend's house and came home begging me to do it! After reading about the benefits, I decided to go ahead and try it and now we never eat nuts that aren't soaked and dehydrated. They just taste so much better! And its really easy, too.

This is how I do my almonds and for directions on other nuts, please check out THIS link.


4 cups almonds, preferably skinless- SF notes “Skinless almonds will still sprout, indicating that the process of removing their skins has not destroyed the enzymes….[they] are easier to digest and more satisfactory in many recipes. However, you may also use almonds with the skins on. “
1 tablespoon sea salt
filtered water

Soaking time: At least 7 hours, or overnight
Dehydrating Time:12 -24 hours, until completely dry and crisp

* You can also use almond slivers

Chocolate Honey Nut Bars

4 cups ground crispy nuts, seeds and/or nut butter (See THIS post for directions for crispy nuts)
1 cup dried unsweetened coconut
2/3 cup unsweetened carob or cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups Really Raw Honey
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Note: you can reduce the amount of honey or combine with another less sweet sweetener like brown rice syrup, if desired. Mix all ingredients together by hand or in a food processor. Roll into balls. For variety, roll in ground almonds, sesame seeds, or desiccated coconut. For a crunchy feel, add 1/4 cup of nut pieces at end. Refrigerate or freeze for extended life. Can also spread in oiled 9 x 13 baking dish and topped with desiccated coconut for a honey square instead of ball. Found at

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pesto Chicken

This was sooo easy and the pesto made it seem like such a fancy dish. My husband loved it!

The recipe originally came from, but I’ve changed some things:

• 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I like them fairly thin for this recipe and I buy them locally, where I know the chickens are given no hormones, and they’re out on pasture.)
• 1 cup basil pesto - you can make your own, or I buy Cosco/Kirkland brand (”Cibo Naturals”) - it’s very tasty and it has a great label: I can pronounce and recognize everything, it’s fairly short, and the ingredients are all natural - how refreshing!
• Thick slices of mozzarella cheese - one for each piece of chicken(I’ll use shredded sometimes, too)

1. Preheat oven to 350* F/175* C
2. Butter a baking pan, lay out chicken pieces
3. Put 2-3 T. of pesto onto each chicken breast
4. Bake uncovered 35-40 minutes, place a piece of cheese onto each piece of chicken, then back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese (I just made it again and put the cheese on before it went into the oven and in 35 minutes the chicken was done and the cheese was golden brown. The timing will depend on how thick your chicken is.)
Adjust the times as needed for your oven to make sure your chicken is done, but not over-done and dried out.

EVEN EASIER VERSION: I tried making this without the pesto, since my kids don’t like it, and it was still really tasty, maybe even better! I put the chicken onto a buttered cookie sheet (I also do parchment paper first), add sea salt and pepper, then sprinkle various kinds of shredded cheese on it, with some parmesan on top, bake the same amount of time, and it melted in your mouth!