Monday, February 23, 2009

Healthy Hint: Eat Eggs!

My family loves eggs! (Well, my toddler and I do...my husband will only eat them with bacon :) Anyways, we seriously eat eggs every single day. The three of us go through 2 dozen in a week. If we don't eat them with our breakfast, we will eat them for lunch or a snack. And guess what my new baby's first food is going to be? The yolk from a soft-boiled egg. Why? They are so incredibly good for you! Did you know that eggs have every nutrient your body needs except for vitamin C? That's pretty impressive. Especially when you consider how inexpensive they are to make a meal. Talk about getting the most bang for your buck! Eat a couple of eggs and an orange for breakfast and you've got it made! They are incredibly filling as well. But don't try to lose weight and just eat the whites -- the yolks are the most nutrient-dense part!! Eat them together or at least eat the yolk.

But here's the kicker: not all eggs are created equal: check out this link and you will see why. (She explains it so much better than I ever could!) Quick synopsis: to have healthy eggs you need a healthy chicken. A healthy chicken needs lots of sunlight and bugs to eat. You can't find healthy eggs at a grocery store -- you have to get them from the farm!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekly Meal Plan 2/22/09

Monday: CORN night
Tuesday: Lasagna casserole (double and freeze)
Wednesday: Roast Turkey, Cranberry salad, and Sweet Potato Fries
Thursday: Creamy Mexican Turkey Soup (new recipe)
Friday: Home-made Turkey and Swiss HotPockets (freeze half of them)
Saturday: Chili
Sunday: eating with the grandparents

Creamy Mexican Turkey Soup

Great for leftover turkey...

1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 large carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken or turkey stock or broth
1 can diced green chilies, drained
2 cups 1% milk
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp ground cumin
2 cups shredded turkey
¾ cup corn, fresh or frozen
3 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese



1 In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes. Add chiles.
2 In a bowl, whisk together milk, flour, salt, chili powder and cumin. Increase heat to high and whisk milk mixture into soup. Stir until thick and bubbly, about five minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add turkey, corn, cilantro and cheese; stir until cheese is melted and soup is hot, 5 to 10 minutes.

http://www.recipegirl.com/Soups,%20Stews%20and%20Chilis/soup%20stew%20chili%20recipes/Creamy%20Mexican%20Turkey%20soup.htm#top%20of%20page

Sweet Potato Fries

Recipe note: Be generous with the olive/coconut oil here. You want your fries well coated in order for them to get nice and crunchy on the outside. Using parchment paper to line the pan helps to avoid the sweet potatoes from sticking to the pan. It isn’t entirely necessary, though.

2 large sweet potatoes, washed and cut into thin french fry shapes
olive or coconut oil to coat
sea salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the sweet potato fries with the cooking oil of your choice. Place the fries in one layer on a sheet pan. You do not want them to be too close together otherwise they will steam, not “fry”. Bake for 20-40 minutes depending on the thickness of the fries. You want them to get a bit dark around the edges - that means they’re sweeter. Once out of the oven sprinkle with sea salt. http://simplenaturalnourishing.wordpress.com/2008/12/27/sweet-potato-fries-w-spicy-garlic-mayo/

Lasagna Casserole

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef
4 T. minced onion, or chopped fresh onion
4 cups tomato sauce
1 T. basil
1 T. oregano
1 t. garlic powder
½ t. salt
8 oz. cottage cheese
8 oz. pkg. pasta (any shape) (I use rice pasta)
8 oz. mozzarella cheese (or cheddar, or a mixture of both)

Brown ground beef and minced onion. Drain grease. Add tomato sauce, basil, oregano, garic powder and salt. Allow meat and sauce to simmer about 20 minutes. Boil pasta according to package. Drain and stir pasta into sauce. Add cottage cheese, stirring until everything is evenly mixed. Pour into a casserole dish (9×13). Top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly.

If you freeze this dish, be sure to allow at least a day to thaw on the countertop, or two days in the fridge before baking.

http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/blog/lasagna-casserole

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Healthy graham crackers

I got this recipe from my friend Hollie's blog. These are now one of my favorite snacks when I just feel like munching on something a little sweet :) I actually soaked my flour in a little buttermilk and water overnight to make it healthier, so I had to cook it longer, but they still turned out yummy!

Graham Crackers

Preheat oven to 375

Ingredients:
• 1/2 stick softened butter
• 1/3 cup 100% pure maple syrup
• 2 1/2 cups flour
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon (preference)
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 4 Tbsp cream


1.Blend the first two ingredients (for a while)

2. Add the other ingredients, but just moisten (do not overbeat)

3. Press down into 13 x 9 pan and an 8 x8 pan if you want thinner crackers. If you want the crackers to be thicker, use just the 13 x 9 or one slightly bigger.

4. Cut before baking and prick each cracker.

5. Bake for 10 minutes (Next time I'll bake longer to make them crispier.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Easy, healthy chocolate ice cream

I'm taking a break from cow's milk because I think it might be bothering my baby's tummy. So I was excited to find this super healthy and rich chocolate ice cream recipe. The canned coconut milk can be found in the Asian section of just about any grocery store (I got mine at Walmart). Just make sure you don't get the "Light" or "low fat" kind. That coconut cream is super healthy for ya! I didn't have agave syrup, so I just used about 3/4 cup of maple syrup, but I'm sure honey would work well, too. I also don't have an ice cream maker, so I just froze it in a container. It was more of an icy dessert than creamy because I did that, but it was still yummy and satisfied my ice cream craving. You just have to take it out of the freezer ahead of time so its not too hard. I'm probably going to add in some peanut butter next time :)

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream

3 cups of unsweetened coconut milk (about two cans)
2/3 cup of cocoa powder

6 tablespoons agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk cocoa powder in a small amount of coconut milk, until smooth. Then add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until well combined. Or dump all ingredients together and blend with a stick blender. Make according to your machines instructions.

Found at: http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2008/05/chocolate-coconut-milk-ice-cream-2.html

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Home-made hot pockets

I guess you could do this with most any bread recipe, but I thought this one looked good. I plan to use them with a pizza filling, my barbeq beef filling, ham and cheese, or whatever else sounds good to me at the moment. I'm just excited that they freeze well :) I'm going to to try soaking the grain first for the health benefits, but I'll let you know later if it worked :)

Crust

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 t. sea salt
1 cup melted butter
1 cup plain yogurt

Stir ingredients together until thoroughly mixed.

To form a Pocket

Roll a small ball of dough into a circle. Put a spoonful of your choice of filling in the middle. Fold the dough in half. Use a fork to pinch the edges together.

Lay Pockets on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for about one hour. Pop them off the cookie sheet and put them into a freezer bag…and back into the freezer.

Bake your Pockets

For frozen Pizza Pockets, bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. If the Pizza Pockets are thawed, bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Recipe found at http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/blog/healthy-treat-for-today-homemade-pizza-pockets


weekly meal plan 2/15/09

I have really enjoyed all the meals from my church family, but now that my baby is a month old, it is time to start meal-planning again!

Mon: Hawaiin Chicken over quinoa
Tues: BarBQ Beef Pockets with THIS bread recipe
Wed: Chicken Cannelloni
Thurs: CORN night
Fri: Home-made pizza
Sat: V-day dinner at restaurant -- we missed it this weekend because my toddler was sick
Sun: chicken stir-fry over quinoa

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Health Hint: Join a CSA this spring/summer!

Last summer, we joined a CSA to get fresh, organic fruits and veggies all summer long. It was great (except for the fact that my morning sickness kicked in horribly so I let the veggies go to waste a couple of weeks since I couldn't cook at all :) I found several kinds of veggies that I now love that I had previously avoided and learned some new recipes in the process! Anyways, just in case you don't know anything about a CSA, Nourishing Days blog has explained it for you so I don't have to :) Check it out; its great info and helps you find one in your area!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Beth's Homemade BBQ Sauce/ Sloppy Joe

This has great flavor and can be used in whatever dish you use bbq sauce in. It also makes a delicious Sloppy Joe!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup butter
10 oz. tomato paste
1 cup vinegar
1 cup honey
1 cup mustard
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbs. chili powder
1 T cumin
1/2 Tbs. crushed red pepper flakes

Directions: Saute onions and garlic in butter. Add everything else -- simmer uncovered on low for 30 minutes. Stir frequently. Makes about 1 1/2 quart. You can add it to browning meat to make an easy sloppy joe! (Sauce can be canned using the inverted method.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Beth's Sweet Potato Dollars

These are a yummy, healthy, and easy way to make sweet potatoes that everyone will love!
Ingredients:
Sweet potatoes
3 Tbs. melted butter
3 Tbs. olive oil
pinch of sea salt
1 Tbs maple syrup

Directions: Peel sweet potatoes; slice into 1/4 inch dollars. Mix butter, olive oil, sea salt, and maple syrup together. Brush pan with mixture. Put dollars on pan; brush dollars with mixture. Bake at 350 for close to an hour


This post is a part of Kelly's SUYL side dishes!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Beth's Asian BBQ Meatballs

I recently went to a healthy foods taste party and recipe swap. Everyone made something healthy that their family really enjoys, and brought copies of the recipe for everyone to take home with them. What a great idea! I'm going to be posting some of the recipes that I enjoyed eating there. Here is the first:

This has great flavor, is very healthy, and would make a great appetizer or main dish when served over rice or quinoa

Ingredients:
1 Tbs. freshly grated ginger
3 garlic cloves, mashed
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 Tbs. raw honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup ketchup
1 lb. ground beef

Directions: To make meatballs, add 1 egg and a little of the sauce. Slightly brown meatballs in skillet then place in crockpot; cover with sauce. Cook on low for a few hours.

This recipe is part of the Real Food Progressive Dinner and Kelly's Korner SUYL appetizers!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

"No Need To Knead Rolls"

My friend Laurel makes these rolls and they are so yummy and healthier than most!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cups potato water (water a potato was boiled in :)
1/2 cup sugar
2 pkg. dry yeast
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg, beaten a little
2 tsp. salt
61/2 to 7 cups flour -- best with white spelt flour

Directions: Dissolve yeast in water. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the flour. Mix in the flour with a spoon or harnd until the dough is easy to handle. Work with hands. To use, let rise to double in bulk, punch down and form into rolls. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes. Makes 2 dozen rolls.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Coconut Granola


I LOVE granola, but the stuff at the store really isn't good for you at all. (Click HERE and HERE to read why) So I was excited to find this recipe in THIS book. We eat this healthy granola often as cereal or with yogurt. It is also good plain as a snack, especially with carob chips :)


Ingredients:

8 cups rolled oats

1 tsp. sea salt

½ cup melted butter

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ cup melted coconut oil

1 cup freeze dried fine-cut coconut

1 ½ cups whole yogurt

2 cups chopped soaked and dehydrated nuts

2 cups water

1 cup raisins

½ cup raw honey (I’ve used 1 cup maple syrup with success as well)


Directions: Mix oats, butter, coconut oil, yogurt, and water together in a large bowl. Pat down, cover with a plate, and leave on the counter for 1-2 days (depending on your climate). Preheat oven to 200degrees. Place honey, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl and set in a small pot of simmering water until honey warms and becomes thin. Mix honey with oat mixture. Place on 2 parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake for several hours, until completely dry and crisp. Mix with coconut, chopped nuts, and raisins. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Serve with whole raw milk or cream diluted with a little water.


This recipe is part of KK's SUYL Breakfasts!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Jessica's yummy crispy pizza crust

My friend Jessica blessed us with the best home-made pizza ever last week! Not only was it yummy, but the crust was healthy, too! So I begged her for the recipe and here it is: I also have to mention that she put big chunks of fresh green peppers on the pizza, which sounded a little weird to me since I had never tried it before, but it was AMAZING! Mark and I were (only half-way jokingly) fighting over the pieces that had the most green peppers on it. So if you're like me and never wanted any veggies on your pizza, give it a try :)

Ingredients:

2 1/4 c. whole grain flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. honey
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. yeast
(I don't measure these next ingredients, but use a pretty decent amount of each)
garlic powder
oregano
onion powder
3/4 c. warm water (apprx.)
Directions: Mix together; knead like bread dough (5 minutes after reaching desired texture), it should feel about the same texture. Let it rise for 30 minutes then roll it out to pizza crust desired thickness. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, pull it out, add toppings and sauce then bake for final 10 minutes!

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm back!

After a two week break and some yummy meals from our church family, I'm ready to start posting recipes again! I'm sill not doing a meal plan, though, because our church family is continuing to bless us with meals :)