Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Barbecue chicken soup -- a winner!

I love soups in the winter! My husband is ok with them, but is not totally excited about them. When I told him that I had made barbecue chicken soup for dinner, he told me right away that it did not sound the least bit appealing to him. And yes, he is always completely honest about my cooking and I don't take it personally; I like to try new recipes and half the time they are just not as good as they sound. But this time, he thought it tasted a lot better than it sounded! Yay! I substituted chicken I got at my Farmer's Market for the canned stuff because chicken in a can just sounds gross to me! I also thought sharp cheddar cheese made it even better. And be sure to read the label when buying barbecue sauce or you will be drowning in HFCS. Many thanks to Pinterest and Picky Palate for such a great recipe!

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 Tablespoons fresh minced garlic

11 oz can corn with peppers, drained (I use frozen organic corn to stay away from BPA and GMO's)

2 12 oz cans Swanson’s Chicken, drained (I used cooked and shredded chicken from our local farmer's market)

1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth

1/2 Cup BBQ Sauce

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I used unrefined sea salt)

1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

1/4 teaspoon Lawry’s Garlic Salt (I used a natural msg-free garlic salt I got from WFN)

1/2 Cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

(I added cheddar cheese on top!)

1. Heat oil into a medium pot over medium heat. When hot, saute onions for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in garlic, corn and chicken breast; mix to combine. Pour in chicken broth, BBQ sauce, salt, pepper, garlic salt and cilantro leaves. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until ready to serve. Garnish each bowl with a fresh sprig of cilantro. (I added cheddar cheese as well!)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Better than Campbells Creamy Tomato Soup!

Tomato Soup (especially with a yummy grilled cheese) is the ultimate comfort food for me. I've tried many a recipe and love them all, but my girls don't like any basil or garlic or anything that looks funny in their soup... I've never found one to please them. I found this recipe on Pinterest and thought it might work because it was creamy and smooth -- no crazy textures to bother them. I was so excited to find that it is very similar (but even better!) to my favorite tomato soup of my youth! (Even though I don't touch canned soups now, very few meals make me as nostalgic as tomato soup and grilled cheese -- we used to eat it almost every Sunday!) I used fresh, whole milk from my farmer and a jar of strained tomatoes from Tropical Traditions. Super creamy and delicious!

1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups tomato or v-8 juice (I used strained tomatoes)
3 cups milk
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. sugar (I used sucanat)
Toppings if choice (croutons, basil, parmesan, feta, blue cheese, pasta, french bread, etc)

Directions: Melt butter, stir in flour. Blend well; make sure there are no lumps. Add tomato juice and stir until thickened. Add baking soda; blend well. Add milk, sugar, and salt. Serve while hot!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Favorite Recipe: Honey Lime Enchiladas

I've been meaning to try out this recipe for quite a while now and I'm ever so glad that I did! The flavors are just delicious! I have to admit that I made a few changes (of course!) It was actually the grocery store's fault -- they were out of green enchilada sauce so I just decided to go with mango salsa instead. And it was a great substitution! Mark thought it was delicious! Many thanks to The Girl Who Ate Everything for the recipe!

1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup lime juice
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded
8-10 flour tortillas, (I use the soft taco tortillas because they fit perfectly in the pan)
1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 cups green enchilada sauce or mango salsa
1/2 cup heavy cream
toppings of choice (sour cream, cilantro, avocado, rice and beans, quinoa, etc)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the honey, lime juice, chili powder and garlic powder together and toss with the shredded chicken. Let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour.

Butter pan. Pour enough enchilada sauce or salsa on the bottom of each baking pan to create a thin layer on the bottom. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and a generous amount of shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas.

Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover chicken marinade (you might not need to use all of the enchilada sauce depending on how saucy you like yours). Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and top with reserved cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crispy on top. Can be served with whatever toppings you like (sour cream, rice and beans, avocado, ect)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Twice Baked Butternut Squash

My baby and I are the only ones in my family who love butternut squash. I found THIS recipe on Pinterest and decided to try it out and see if the rest of the family would eat it. But I didn't have sour cream and I wanted my butternut squash to have pumpkin pie spice rather than chives and paprika. So I switched out the ingredients and we thought it was delicious! The measurements depend on how much squash you use -- the original recipe calls for 6 squash and I only made 1/2 a squash for us (the other half of it was just cooked with sea salt and butter for the baby :). So I didn't measure a thing and am just guessing... I just wanted to blog it so I wouldn't forget the idea.

Butternut Squash (1/2 small squash)
butter (2 Tbs)
sea salt (to taste)
cream cheese (3 Tbs)
pumpkin pie spice (to taste)
Panko bread crumbs (for topping)


  1. Heat oven (I used toaster oven since it was a small squash) to 450 degrees with the rack in center. Halve squash lengthwise, and remove seeds and fibers. Sprinkle squash halves with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Fill a pan with 1/4 inch water. Place squash in pan. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer squash to a cool surface, and let cool enough to handle. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees.
  2. Use a spoon to scoop baked flesh out of each half into a large bowl, leaving a 1/4-inch border around six of the halves so they will keep their shape. To the bowl, add cream cheese, butter, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well. Season with salt. Fill squash halves with mixture. Sprinkle tops with panko. Bake until golden brown and warm throughout, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

chicken grilling packets with lime and cilantro marinade

My friend Lauren sent me this awesome recipe containing my favorite lime and cilantro! Everyone at my house thought it was great!
rice or quinoa
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2.5 Tbsp fresh lime juice (I juiced a lime and then added a bunch of zest as well)
1.5 Tbsp olive oil
a tsp of chil powder
tsp of cumin in the marinade1/4 tsp salt
Toppings of choice: black beans, salsa, lettuce, sour cream, cheese, avocado, etc
Pound out chicken to tenderize. Slice or cube chicken. Make marinade in ziploc and add chicken. Marinate from 30 min to a few hours...I did like 4 hrs. Empty bag onto foil, wrap it up and throw it on the grill!!

We ate it over soaked brown rice with black beans, salsa, lettuce, s.cream and cheese! YUM! If you want extra limey taste squeeze another lime on top of the chicken before serving.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Our Favorite Breakfasts!

I've mentioned before that our family does not eat store-bought cereal at all. The simplified explanation is that store-bought cereals are processed at such a high heat that it destroys all the nutrients. Sure, they are "fortified" with "vitamins" but they are artificial ones and not easily utilized by our bodies. So we might as well be eating cardboard. (I must admit that I was a cereal-a-holic for the first 25 years of my life and would happily eat cereal for any given meal, so refusing to buy them is quite a step for me!) Anyways, I thought I'd give you a list of what we eat for breakfast instead.

But one quick note first: EGGS!!! I've written before about how much I love eggs and how I hate that they have gotten such a bad rap, so I won't go there today. I just wanted to say that my girls LOVE eggs and it is the one meal of the day that I can be sure they will get lots of protein and healthy fat (plus, I usually smother them with butter from grass-fed cows! :) They may be feeling too picky to eat the meat I fix for dinner, but that is ok because I know they have eaten eggs for breakfast :) Our family eats about 6 eggs a day (2 each for Mark an I, and one each for the girls) so we easily eat 3 dozen eggs a week!

And now, our favorite breakfasts:

1. Apple-Cinnamon Omelet -- this is our family's absolute favorite breakfast!! Every single person in my house loves it and never refuses it. It sounds like a funny combination, but you have to try it :)

2. Scrambled eggs with "chicken-apple-sausage or turkey bacon from Trader Joes -- if you have a Trader Joe's in your area then you have to try this chicken apple sausage! It is not the least bit spicy, ever so sweet, and so much better for you than normal sausage. My super-picky toddler begs for more of it and my baby eats it, too. And I can't describe to you how much my husband loves it!

3. Cinnamon Raison Quinoa Pancakes -- lots of protein and delicious! You have to play with the recipe to get the texture you desire.

4. Egg and bacon/sausage muffins -- I've found that these warm up nicely in the toaster oven, so it is my go-to grain free healthy breakfast to make ahead of time.

5. Homemade granola -- my girls would eat this for every meal of the day if I let them!

6. Farmer's Hash -- lots of filling and healthy potatoes, eggs, meat, and veggies!

7. Bacon Apple Cheese Frittata -- easy, sweet and savory

All of our other "mostly-healthy" breakfasts in no particular order:
Oatmeal bake
Fried Apples on toast or with eggs
Pumpkin Muffins
Blueberry Pancakes: Coconut Flour or Whole Grain
Crustlass Quiche
Chocolate Breakfast Cake
Dutch Pancake
Oatmeal Cranberry Muffins
Healthy Breakfast "cake"
Home-made Granola
Home-made Cereal (kinda like Grape nuts, only sweeter :)
French Toast Bites (made from pieces of my bread)
Breakfast Cookies
Strawberry or Peach Bread
Pumpkin Pancakes
Pumpkin waffles

Our more unhealthy Breakfasts that we have every now and then :)
Nina's yummy pumpkin muffins
Baked Oatmeal
Smoky Bacon Wraps
Toffee-Apple French Toast Bake
Awesome Zuchinni Bread
Harvest Loaf Cake
Sausage Hashbrown Casserole
The Most Delicious French Toast Casserole Ever!
Overnight Egg and Sausage Casserole
Hashbrown Casserole

Monday, August 15, 2011

Healthy Fudgesicles!

I just made these as a special snack for my girls' first day of pre-school (at home :) and oh, they are so good! My husband did mention that they taste more like dark chocolate than sweet chocolate but I didn't really notice it myself. My 4-year old thought they were the best treat ever and she normally wouldn't even touch an avocado! I actually used 1 1/2 avocados because I had some leftover in the fridge I wanted to use up. And I smashed it instead of quartering it to make certain it would blend well. I think I will actually use 2 next time to add in some more healthy fat to slow the sugar rush a bit. But I'm not too worried about it since it only uses honey for sweetener! Many thanks to Recipes to Nourish for posting such a great treat for my girls!

  • 1 ripe avocado, remove pit, quarter
  • 4 tablespoons raw organic cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup raw honey (I use local raw clover creamed honey)
  • 3 cups raw whole milk (See Resources)

1. Combine all ingredients in blender.
2. Blend on a lower setting until smooth and combined. No avocado pieces
should remain. Strain through fine mesh strainer if needed.
3. Pour mixture into popsicle molds.
4. Place in freezer for at least 6 hours.
5. When frozen, run under hot water to release the mold.

Yield: Makes about 4 cups mixture, finished popsicle yield varies.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Healthy and Frugal Dinner: Black Bean Salsa

We had a taco bar at my house last night and some friends brought this amazing black bean salsa to share. It was fabulous on our tacos, but would be great on its own as well. I absolutely love the fresh flavors of lime and cilantro that permeate this dish! The recipe comes from Passionate Homemaking (Lindsey has yet to post a recipe that I did not like! You should really subscribe to her blog!) Enjoy!

1 cup cooked black beans (or 1 can, drained)

1 fresh tomato, diced
1 cup fresh corn
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 cup or more chopped cilantro
2 Tbls. lime juice (or lemon!)
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes, salt & pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, to taste
4 tortillas (If using homemade, make sure they are thin enough to roll up!)
Salsa, sour cream and guacamole, if desired

Stir fry the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the beans and remaining ingredients. Heat through before laying on tortillas with other toppings, as desired.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Homemade "Cream of... Soup"

For so long I have rejected all my favorite casseroles because I didn't want to buy canned soups. I wish I had just tried making my own a long time ago! This recipe is extremely easy and flavorful. I usually cook two chickens and make tons of stock from them every month so I always have plenty of chicken broth on hand to make this. Creamed soup will undoubtedly become part of my monthly cooking to make throwing together casseroles a cinch! Many thanks to Katie@ Kitchen Stewardship for posting such a great recipe. You should really check out her post because she gives some tips and great recipes! I added a bunch of minced onions, garlic salt, and cheese to make a very flavorful cream of cheddar soup. It worked well in replacing the yummy sauce in our favorite Chicken Divane Casserole.


3/4 cup butter
3/4 c. whole wheat flour (can add more if you like a really thick base)
4 cups milk
2 cups homemade chicken stock (preferably condensed for added flavor)
Optional: Chopped onions


Melt butter over low heat. If using onions for extra flavor, saute in butter until limp. Add flour and whisk together until smooth. Cook 1 minute. Do not let it brown! Gradually add milk and chicken stock, stirring constantly. Remove from heat when sauce has thickened. This may take up to 15-20 minutes.


  • Cream of celery: Sautee a stalk or two of chopped celery with the butter before adding flour.
  • Cream of mushroom: Sautee chopped fresh mushrooms in butter.
  • Cream of broccoli: Add chopped steamed broccoli to the soup after it thickens.
  • Cheesy sauce: Add shredded cheese (sharp cheddar gives the most flavor) after removing from heat. Stir to melt.
  • If you want to make a big batch of soup and have different flavors, you can always saute mushrooms or celery separately and simply add to the finished soup, one can-equivalent at a time.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Whole grain choc chip cookies (that are actually yummy!)

I love chocolate chip cookies! I've tried several times to make a healthy chocolate chip cookie, but fail every time. I'm pretty sure these are as close as I'm going to get! They do contain a lot of sugar, but at least it is a natural one. And the grain is not soaked, but I am certain they would not be nearly as good soaked so I didn't even attempt it :) This cookie is the closest you will come to a healthy version of the recipe on the Nestle's Tollhouse bag! Many, many thanks to my friend Jessica for this recipe!

• 1 cup softened butter
• 1 ½ c. sucanat or rapadura
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 eggs
• 3 cups sifted whole grain flour (I used a blend of Kamut, Spelt, and Oat Groats)
• 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (190 degrees C). Generously grease cookie sheets.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and eggs. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, gradually blend into the creamed mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Best Chicken Parmesan Ever!

This is the 1st recipe I've seen that calls for dipping chicken in Italian dressing before breading, and it makes a huge flavor difference! My husband loved it! I don't use store- bought Italian dressing because of the soybean oil, so I just made my own by mixing my Italian dressing seasoning mix with olive oil and letting it sit for about an hour before making the recipe. Also, if you are like my husband and like your chicken very crunchy, just serve the sauce on the side instead of baking it on the chicken :)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup bottled Italian dressing (or make your own!)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/3 cup breadcrumbs (I used organic Panko because it didn't have msg)
1/2 tsp. Italian herbs
1 cup marinara sauce
4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

Coat chicken in Italian dressing. (It is even better if you let it marinade a bit :) Blend remaining ingredients and coat chicken in mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or more. When barely done, spoon marinara sauce n a strip across centers of breasts. sprinkle mozzarella over sauce and return to oven until cheese is melted and sauce is heated through.

Recipe from Ironwood Camp Cookbook

kefir lemonade update -- My husband kicked the sodas!

I just had to let you know that my husband has not had a soda in almost 4 weeks!! Once I started making the kefir lemonade, he started drinking that instead. We even went to his parents' house for a vacation and there were sodas galore, but he never took one! I am so proud of him! He said that the hardest thing was when they went to a pizza restaurant because he ALWAYS drinks Dr. Pepper with his pizza, but he didn't want to go back to being addicted to it. I am so incredibly proud of him! He doesn't really like water, so most of the time he drinks coconut water at work and kefir lemonade at home instead. Yay for Mark!!!! (Now, I just need to find a healthy replacement for his nightly chips... any suggestions? We made them ourselves with coconut oil for a while, but it was just too much trouble to keep up on a regular basis. I need something home-made that is salty, crunchy, and I can make ahead of time so he can grab it when he needs to munch.)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Recipe Review: Zucchini Chips

If you join a CSA for the summer, you will undoubtedly get boatloads of zucchini and run out of ways to use it up. I usually shred and freeze a bunch for yummy zucchini bread, but I often run out of other ideas. I saw this recipe on 100 Days of Real Food blog (you should definitely check out the blog because it has great recipes and free meal plans for using only affordable real food!) a while back and kew I'd want to try it when I was swimming in zucchini. And it is definitely one I will make again! Mark enjoyed it as well, so I am excited about another yummy way to eat zucchini! We used coconut oil instead of olive oil because of its better smoke point.

Zucchini Chips


  • 2 medium sized zucchinis
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups whole-wheat breadcrumbs (I found 100% whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs with a short list of ingredients at Earth Fare or you could make them yourself)
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Thinly slice zucchini into 1/8” round pieces.
  2. Beat eggs in a shallow bowl.
  3. Using a small food processor (or a mortar and pestle) process the breadcrumbs, grated cheese, and a couple dashes of salt & pepper together until fine. Put the breadcrumb mixture in a shallow bowl.
  4. Pour a thin layer of olive oil in the bottom of a medium to large sauté pan and turn the heat to medium. Let it heat up while you start preparing the zucchini.
  5. Make an assembly line in the following order: raw zucchini slices, beaten egg, breadcrumb mixture, and empty plate.
  6. With one hand (which will be your “wet” hand) coat a few of the zucchini slices with the egg and shake off the excess. Drop those pieces on top of the breadcrumb mixture and using your other “dry” hand coat them with breadcrumbs. Shake off the excess breadcrumbs and transfer the coated zucchini slices to the clean plate.
  7. As soon as you have enough zucchini slices breaded to make a single layer across the bottom of the pan, slide them in the oil to start cooking.
  8. Meanwhile, start coating the next batch of zucchini, but check the stove after 2 or 3 minutes to see if the bottom of the zucchini is turning golden brown. Once they are brown flip them over and add more olive oil if necessary to keep the bottom of the breaded zucchini “wet.” Once both sides are golden brown transfer them to a paper towel lined plate and keep warm.
  9. Repeat process until all the zucchini are cooked. Arrange them on a serving platter, garnish with Parmesan cheese, and enjoy!

Yield: 4 – 6 side servings

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Onion Soup Mix Recipe

Some of my favorite recipes (like my Mom's unbeatable lasagna) contain onion soup mix. This is a major problem for me because I try to avoid MSG as much s possible. So I was very excited to find that Laura at Heavenly Homemakers had created her oven version! She always has great recipes with natural ingredients, so I knew it would be good. You should really check out some of her other recipes as well! This is one mix that I plan to always keep on hand!

Onion Soup Mix

2/3 cup dried, minced onion
3 teaspoons parsley flakes
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sucanat (or sugar if you prefer)
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Mix all ingredients in a jar, then give the jar a good shake. I’d recommend shaking the jar to mix the ingredients well before each use.

Use 4 Tablespoons Onion Soup Mix in a recipe in place of 1 packet of onion soup mix. (I actually found that 2 Tablespoons was plenty in a beef stew recipe I tried.) Store this in a dry, cool place.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cinn-Raisin Quinoa Pancakes

Whenever we make quinoa for one of our favorite dishes, I usually make 2 cups of it so that we have leftovers for pancakes. The girls LOVE them and they are a good way to give them a protein-filled breakfast! I have to admit, though, that I never measure, so play with the recipe until you get it the way you like it. I just wanted to post it so you would have an idea of what I do. I use a bunch of eggs because they are so good for you, but if you want the pancakes to be more crispy and less eggy, don't use as many :)

1 cup cooked quinoa
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. sea salt
pinch of sucanat or whatever sweetener you like (I don't use much since we are putting syrup on them to eat them)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
handful of raisins
dash of coconut oil (or whatever oil you prefer) for frying

Directions: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Heat coconut oil in skillet until hot. Drop spoonfuls of batter into the oil, turning pancake over when one side is brown. Serve with maple syrup.

This post is part of KK's SUYL breakfast recipes

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A new favorite drink: Water Keifer Lemonade!

I have a new obsession. I hate soft drinks; I always have. Nothing to do with their immense health problems, but I just don't like the taste. I kind of like sweet tea, but I usually avoid it because it isn't my favorite thing in the world and I'd rather save my sugar for desserts :) But I LOVE lemonade! I still don't drink it that often, though, because the high sugar content often makes me feel icky afterwards. Enter: Water Kefir Lemonade!

I've been meaning to try this for quite a while to help my husband kick the soft drink habit. He just doesn't like water that much, and although I give him coconut water as often as possible, it gets expensive. He was very skeptical, but actually really liked it! And I thought it was awesome; lemonade without the sugary aftertastes and headache!

The best part: it is really good for you, chock full of probiotics! The kefir grains eat the sugar and produce probiotics. And very easy. You can make it any flavor you like (depending on what juice you put in it), with as much carbonation as you like (depending on how long you let it set).

So simple. I just fill a 2 quart jar with warm filtered water and 1/2 cup of sugar. I wait until the sugar has dissolved and the water is back to room temperature and then I add my kefir grains and cover the jar. I let it sit for about 3 days, then strain out the juice and add an ice cube of lime or lemon juice. Yummy! If you want more fizz, cover it and let it set on your counter a couple more days.

The grains are a little pricey to start off with, but you can use them indefinitely for a very inexpensive drink!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Healthy Chocolate Candy

Ok, I thought I had posted this a long time ago, but I was searching for the link to give to a friend and couldn't find it. And I figured that if I couldn't find it on my own blog, then you surely wouldn't be able to so I simply must post it again. Because it is that good! (And good for you!)

I have been making this candy about every few weeks in large batches and freezing the extras. (Because I never know when I am going to get a chocolate craving!) It is also a favorite treat for the girls to choose after they take their cod liver oil. (They usually choose from this candy, a carob raisin, or a bit of raw honey). Please note that it should be kept in the fridge or freezer because it will get soft and mushy if it stays at room temperature!

You will probably think I am crazy, but I have found this candy to be the perfect way to give my girls superfoods like kelp and liver. I buy it in powder form and sprinkle some in the mixture. I promise you, you don't taste it at all!

I add in all sorts of things to my candy, depending on my mood. If I have good quality butter from grass-fed cows, I will add some of that to the mixture. I also LOVE sunflower butter mixed with it and usually add in raisins, silvered almonds, and/or dehydrated coconut as well.

Here is the original recipe (found at Kelly the Kitchen Kop, a fabulous blog that you really ought to check out!):

Melt together gently in a saucepan over low heat (so you don't lose the great antibacterial properties of the coconut oil!) until it’s all mixed together. You then have several options: You can drop it by dollops onto wax paper, you can drop it into candy molds or ice cube trays, or you can spread it out on wax paper covering a cookie sheet and break it into "candy bark" after it as solidified. I have tried all the options and found the latter to be the easiest by far! Stick it in the fridge or freezer for a while till hardened and then enjoy!

Egg and bacon muffins -- a new favorite breakfast!

I found this recipe in my most recent Weston A Price journal. I knew my girls would like it because they love anything you can call a "muffin," but I was very surprised at how much my husband liked them! I used a very flavorful smoked turkey bacon from Trader Joes and a bunch of garlic powder and he loved the strong flavor. I love the fact that these muffins warm up wonderfully in our toaster oven so I can make a bunch ahead of time for a super healthy quick breakfast or protein-filled snack. And don't worry if you despise cottage cheese (like my husband) because once the muffin is cooked you cannot even tell that it is there!

1 pound breakfast meat (I actually only used 4 large slices of bacon, 1/3 slice for each muffin)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup chopped veggies (they recommend onion, garlic, peppers, carrots, green onions, etc, but I skipped all those for the first try to make sure my family did not reject them simply because of the add-ins :)
12 pastured eggs, beaten
1 cup cheese, shredded or crumbled (I used a little of parmesan and cheddar)
herbs and spices of choice (sage, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, etc)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Grease 12 muffin cups. Cook meat. Use leftover grease or favorite healthy fat (coconut oil, tallow, butter, ghee, or lard) to saute chopped veggies. In a large bowl, beat eggs then add everything else. Spoon 1/4 cup mixture into each muffin cup, sprinkle with cheese, and cook between 15 to 20 minutes, until egg has set.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Quick Farmer's Market sausage skillet

We went to the Farmer's Market today so tonight I threw together this dish using only what we bought :)

1 pound Sweet-Italian style sausage, casings removed
about 6 little potatoes, sliced thinly (I used 3 purple ones and 3 red ones)
3 zucchini, chopped (I used 1 green and 2 yellow)
1 small sweet onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, chopped (we love our garlic but you might want to do less if you don't :)

Directions: Saute everything in the oil of your choice (I used coconut oil) on medium-low heat. I chopped the potatoes first because they take the longest to cook and threw the zucchini in the pan at the last minute because I didn't want it soggy. Sprinkle on whatever seasonings you like (I used a little sea salt and oregano). Top with a little of the cheese of your choice (I used Parmesan). I think diced tomatoes would also be delicious in this dish.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New Favorite Recipe: Sausage Pasta Presto

I've had this recipe in my "recipes to try" file for a while now, and I am so glad I finally tried it! It is now one of my favorite "go-to" recipes! It is simple to put together, can feed a lot of people because of the noodles, and very tasty. I'm going to have to start keeping my freezer stocked with cooked sausage so I can throw it together even faster whenever I am pinched on time. I added some sweet onions and cooked them with the red peppers because we love them. I also was out of feta cheese, so I just sprinkled on some parmesan cheese instead. And we don't like black olives, so we just skipped them. And Mark loved it! But I'm sure the feta is absolutely delicious as well. Thanks to Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking for another great recipe!

1 package (16 ounces) brown rice penne pasta (preferred due to the low amount of phytates over other whole grain pastas, unless sprouted)
2 teaspoon olive or coconut oil (coconut is best over high heat)
4-5 cups (1/4 inch thick) sliced red bell pepper (approx. 4 large bell peppers), each cut in half crosswise (I have also used various colored bell peppers in combination together with great results!)
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
16 ounces Italian sausage (I love this with chicken Italian sausage from our local Trader Joe’s – delicious! I usually get by just fine with 1/2 pound)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup (about 1, 5-6 oz small container) crumbled feta cheese
1 (15 oz can) black olives, sliced (or kalamata, if desired)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Undercooking is best, as it will continue cooking when you add to the other ingredients.

Saute the bell peppers and 1/2 teaspoon salt for 2 minutes in olive or coconut oil. Remove casings, if necessary, from the sausage. Add sausage, oregano, and garlic to pan; cook for 4 minutes until sausage is done; stirring to crumble. Add pasta, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cheese, olives, and black pepper; cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Recipe Review: Coconut Rice and Beans and More

I was excited to try out this recipe because of my (well-known) love for cilantro, lime, and coconut milk. I wasn't disappointed! We loved the flavors! I did change a few things, of course. I used quinoa instead of rice. And I soaked the quinoa the night before for added nutrition. That meant that I skipped the water when I made the quinoa the next day so my quinoa was extra potent. Mark isn't a big bean lover, but he raved about the quinoa. And don't skip the mango topping; it really makes the dish! We LOVE mango but both agreed that it is a pain to cut up.If you have any tips, let me know. I think next time I might add some cooked chicken to the dish, because Mark always likes a dinner more with a little meat :) Thanks to Under the High Chair for a fun recipe!

Coconut Rice & Beans
adapted from this recipe, originally found in Southern Living.

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/4 cups uncooked basmati rice
1 small onion, chopped
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black eyed beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 red pepper, chopped (optional)
1 lime
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Toppings: lime wedges, diced mango, sour cream, cilantro, green onion.

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted. Cool.
2. Bring broth, coconut milk, salt & pepper, 2 Tbsp. butter, and 1 cup water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan. Stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender and water is absorbed.
3. Meanwhile, melt remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; add onion and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in beans, chili powder, cumin, and 3/4 cup water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.
4. Grate zest from lime, avoiding pale bitter pith, into a bowl; squeeze juice from lime into bowl.
5. Fluff rice with a fork. Fold lime zest and juice, coconut, green onions, and cilantro into hot cooked rice. Serve bean mixture over rice with desired toppings.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Delicious taquita soup

I usually buy 2 chickens at the Farmer's market at the beginning of each month, cook them both, make a big pot of chicken stock, and make a bunch of recipes from the meat. This month I mixed up a lot of our favorite Chicken Taquitos filling and froze it in smaller portions so I could make Mark a yummy fried taco with it when I needed a meal in a hurry. I defrosted some the other day and the weather grew cold and I started wanting soup. So I just tossed it in a pot, covered it with chicken broth, and added some noodles. It was seriously one of the best-tasting soups ever! The cream cheese made it so creamy and the lime and cilantro just made my tastebuds so happy :) And the best part was, it only took a minute to throw together!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A good use for old muffins...

With the birth of our baby, we were blessed to have a lot of food given to us. And since our parents came to help us out for a while, they made breakfast for us. So we didn't get around to eating all the muffins bestowed upon us before they started getting stale. But I am here to tell you that stale muffins make a DELICIOUS bread pudding!! I didn't really use a recipe or measure, but just mixed together the muffins (crumbled), a bunch of milk, eggs, butter, vanilla, and a little maple syrup till it was soupy and threw it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Delicious! I liked it so much that I have since made it with pumpkin muffins and blueberry muffins. It is great served with extra milk, cream, or butter and is a fabulous way to get those healthy fats into my girls :)

For this of you who would actually like a recipe, HERE is one that I recently saw on a blog I enjoy reading :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A New Favorite Taco Soup!

Well, my sweet baby is here (just 2 weeks old now) and I'm not doing any cooking right now. (If you want to see pics of her, just click over to our family blog.) My wonderful church family has been providing us with meals and it has been so fun to try out different meals! This taco soup was absolutely delicious! My friend put a lot of cilantro right in the soup and let it simmer, instead of just using it as a topping. And I loved it! The cilantro just made it taste so fresh and delicious. So here is her recipe:

Soak beans the night before - I use 1 cup of pinto and 1 cup black. Cook them the next day for a few hours. (If you don't have time, you can use canned beans.) Drain. Brown 2 lb. beef with a chopped onion and several minced garlic cloves. In a big soup pot, but beans, beef and the following:
2 c frozen corn
1 small can chopped green chillies
2 c salsa
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes - I often use grape tomatoes.
Chicken broth enough to cover food + some

Simmer for 30 min. Top with green onions, cheese, sour cream, cilantro and fritos.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Delicious Blueberry or Banana bread/muffins

Because my baby is due very soon (any day now!!!!), I have not been trying out new recipes. I've just been trying to stock my freezer with recipes that I know we will enjoy. However, I recently decided to splurge and buy some sprouted flour so that I wouldn't have to worry about the soaking step in my recipes (anything to make my life easier at this point!). Sprouted flour opened up a whole new collection of recipes to me and this recipe is the first one that I tried. So easy and delicious! I made a loaf of banana bread and one of blueberry bread and they both turned out great! I didn't even fool with the crumb topping since I wasn't sure if it would freeze well, but I'm sure that they would be even better if you included it! Thanks to Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking for such a great recipe!!

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (whole wheat pastry/soft spring wheat is the best!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup rapadura or sucanat (natural sweeteners)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter or coconut oil, melted – or replace with half applesauce, as desired
  • Blueberry Variation: Replace bananas with 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries and 3/4 cup applesauce. Yum!

Topping, optional:

  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup rapadura, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 12 muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full (Definitely fill all 12, otherwise they will overflow).
  3. Optional: In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup rapadura, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins. I normally just sprinkle with cinnamon and a little rapadura.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean