Monday, October 26, 2009

Home-made Enchilada Sauce

For my freezer stocking task this week, I planned to make a bunch of enchiladas. However, when I went to the store to buy the ingredients, I couldn't find a sauce without soybean oil or HFCS, two things I try to avoid as much as possible. So I decided to look for a recipe to just make it myself. I chose this one because it uses cocoa powder as a secret ingredient and, well, that just sounded like a yummy idea to me! I also used home-made chicken stock instead of the water to give it more nutrients and flavor. It turned out just fine and I will be using this from now on!


Directions: Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl. Stirring constantly, slowly add enough of the water to make a thin paste. Pour into pan and add rest of water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Stir in tomato sauce.Use in your favorite enchilada recipe. The amounts on the ingredients are very flexible. For instance, if I am feeding my kids who do not like"spicy", I will halve the chili powder and double the tomato sauce. Experiment to suit your taste, but don't leave out the cocoa!

*For a quick meal, we will soften a corn tortilla in a bit of hot oil, drag it through the sauce, and lay it flat on a plate. Cover it with grated cheddar cheese, sprinkle with chopped onions and sliced black olives. Then cover with another softened sauced tortilla and melt the cheese in the microwave for 1 minute on high.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Butternut Bisque

My sweet friend Mary made this for us when we went to visit her a couple of weeks ago. I LOVE soups, and this one was delicious. I think it would also be good with pumpkin, but I haven't tried it yet :) It was also something my 9-month old enjoyed as well :) Mary said that it was a lot of trouble to peel the squash, so next time she would try cooking it first, and then peeling it. And don't forget the sour cream as you serve it -- it really added a lot of flavor and creaminess :)

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 large butternut squash (about 4 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Sour cream, for serving


  1. In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add onion, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, and cayenne. Season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Add squash, broth, half-and-half, and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Working in batches, puree in a blender until smooth. Stir in lemon juice; season with salt. Serve bisque with sour cream, garnished with cayenne, if desired.
  4. To Freeze: Ladle cooled bisque (without sour cream) into airtight containers, leaving 1 inch of space; freeze up to 3 months.
  5. To Reheat: Run container under hot water to release bisque. Heat with a bit of water, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Best Grilled Cheese Ever!

It is undoubtedly soup weather! Yay! And nothing (in my humble opinion:) goes better with any soup than a grilled cheese sandwich. I know I've already raved about how tons of coconut oil make the best grilled cheese sandwich. And I know I've already shared one of our favorite ways to make an especially delicious grilled sandwich, the Monte Cristo. But yesterday I made a different grilled cheese that my husband just raved about, so I decided to share it with you:)

Spoonfuls of coconut oil
Cinnamon raisin bread
sharp cheddar cheese
swiss cheese
very finely sliced apples, without peels
crispy bacon

Directions: Dump several spoonfuls of coconut oil in frying pan, heat on medium heat til melted. Stack cheeses, apple slices and bacon on bread slices; make sandwich. Grill sandwich in coconut oil on both sides til golden and crispy.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Home-made sore throat /cough syrup

My 2 1/2 year old caught a bad case of laryngitis from her Daddy this week and my Christian holistic doctor recommended that I make her this soothing and healing syrup to help her feel better.

1/2 cup elder berries
2 cups water
can also add a Tbs. or 2 of other healing herbs like nettles, mullein, echinacea, etc.
about 3 Tbs raw Honey to taste

Directions: Using a pot that is not metal (metal ruins the medicinal quality of herbs), gently simmer elderberries, water, and other herbs for 30 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the syrup cool down. Strain through a cheesecloth. Stir in honey until dissolved. (Note: do not stir in honey while really hot or it will kill the healing properties of the honey. Wait until it is just warm enough to dissolve the honey). Administer several Tbs. every few hours til better.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Healthy Pizza Crust

I love the recipe I've been using for pizza crust, but I've been looking for a recipe that uses soaked flour to ensure better absorption of the nutrients. I was so excited to find this recipe on Passionate Homemaking (a fabulous blog!) This recipe is yummy and easy, too! I absolutely LOVE the fact that it makes four batches of dough and I rely on those frozen balls of dough whenever I need a dinner in a hurry. Making my own dough also makes pizza one of the cheapest meals for us! I also use the dough to make Garlic-cheese breadsticks and Cinnamon-Syrup Breadsticks

Homemade Pizza Crust

2 Tbls Yeast
3 1/2 cups water 110F, divided
3 Tablespoons acid medium, for soaking (whey, kefir, yogurt, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp honey
¼ cup honey
1 Tbls salt
8-10 cups whole wheat flour (or combination with kamut flour)


Soaking Step (optional, if you want to skip soaking, proceed with the instructions below the line)

To receive the full nutrients and break down the phytates, try soaking the whole wheat flour in advance, otherwise, skip this step.

Combine 10 cups of flour, 3 cups of water requested in the recipe, substituting some of the water with about 3 Tablespoons of whey, kefir, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice (no need to be exact), and 1/4 cup honey. Allow to soak for 12-24 hours. After soaking, activate the yeast in a small container with the remaining 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 tsp of honey. Allow to foam up for about 5 minutes. Add the proofed yeast mixture to the soaked flour, along with the salt. Knead for 5-10 minutes. If recipe is still sticky, add a little more flour as needed until it is able to be kneaded. Continue with recipe below.


Preheat over to 500 degrees (if you are baking right away). Combine yeast, 2 cups of warm water, and a teaspoon of sugar or honey in a bowl, cover and let sit for 7-10 minutes. Add water, honey, and salt. Mix thoroughly. After dissolved, add flour bit by bit, beating thoroughly. After all flour is beated in; knead 5-10 minutes. Let rise for thicker pizza dough. Divide into four sections for four crusts. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

This works wonderful with all whole wheat flour (hard white or red wheat) or with a combination with kamut flour (provides a lighter texture). Whole wheat pastry flour makes it very crumbly. Great easy recipe and tastes fabulous!

Here are some topping recommendations (these are my hubby’s favorites!): Pepperoni, cheese, Italian sausage, green peppers, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese


For the Freezer

Mix dough completely as instructed and then divide into 4 portions. Freeze the dough in individual Ziploc bags. You do not have to pre-bake the dough – simply put the dough immediately into the freezer. When you are ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator for several hours, bring to a room temperature and then roll out and assemble as desired.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lime Chicken Tacos

This awesome recipe came highly recommended by my sis-in-law, Terra, who got it from THIS blog. It has become a favorite for my family and for taking to potlucks as well! We love all kinds of tacos, and this one is super easy and delicious! The lime flavor adds a kick that my husband loves. I add a bit of extra juice just because we love it so much :) I also like to add diced pineapple and beans to the mix to make it tastier and feed more people. It is a great gluten-free dish if you eat it as soup or with quinoa instead of a tortilla!

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbs lime juice
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup chunky salsa
1 can diced pineapples, drained
1 can black beans
12 flour tortillas, warmed
sour cream, lettuce, shredded cheese, avocado, cilantro and any other toppings you like

Place the chicken in a 3-qt. slow cooker. Combine lime juice and chili powder; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until chicken is tender.

Remove chicken; cool slightly. Shred and return to the slow cooker. Stir in corn and salsa. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes or until heated through.

Serve in tortillas with sour cream, cheese and lettuce if desired.

I’m very excited to be part of the Whole Foods for the Holidays Progressive Dinner, hosted by Stephanie at Keeper of the Home today.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Healthy Breakfast Cookies

We made these cookies because Karis had been reading a book about making cookies and kept asking to make cookies. I don't make cookies often because my self control is seriously lacking in the cookie area and my toddler's is even worse :) Whenever we make a snack, she wants it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So I decided to search for a healthy cookie that I wouldn't mind her eating all the time to avoid the battle. I found this recipe at THIS blog. These are completely healthy, but definitely not as sweet as you would expect a cookie to be. My husband wasn't a huge fan, but they worked for Karis and I. And yes, she has been asking for them all day long!

I was out of milk, so I used a combination of yogurt and coconut milk instead. And I used coconut oil instead of butter. So the recipe is pretty flexible :)

2 cups cracked oat groats (rolled oats work also)
1.5 cups freshly ground flour
1 cup butter
3/4 cup buttermilk/milk
3/4 cup honey

Directions: Melt the butter and honey, cool off some and then add the buttermilk, oats and flour. Cover and let sit for 12-24 hours. 24 hours being best, esp for the oats.

2 eggs
1 tsp salt
2 tsps cinnamon
1/2 tsp b soda
2 tsps vanilla
1/3 cup chocolate chips*

Mix well. Bake at 325 for 12-15 minutes.

This post is part of KK SUYL Breakfast Recipes!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My absolute favorite fall side dish!

I posted this recipe last fall, but I made it again last night and fell in love with it all over again. So I thought I'd mention it in case you'd forgotten about it : Sweet Potato Spinach Bake! Yes. I know. It sounds like a really weird combination but its amazing. Spinach in a creamy sauce with cheesy sweet potatoes and bacon. I never would have put them together but I love it! And so does my husband, which is also amazing because he usually only like spinach as a dip for chips and only likes his sweet potatoes super sweet with lots of brown sugar and butter and cinnamon :) But he loves it. So I'm probably going to be making this almost every week :) Just thought I'd let you know!