Saturday, October 15, 2011

3 Bean Chili: grain-free vegetarian

This is by far the best chili I have ever made. And that's saying something because I have always loved making chili, even back when I was making it with chemical laced ground beef from the supermarket aisle. Use well soaked and cooked beans instead of canned whenever possible.

1 cup lentils, soaked several hours
1 white or yellow onion
2 carrots
2 ribs celery
1 bell pepper
1 jalepeno pepper
2 1/2 cups vegetable or free range chicken stock
16 oz cooked black beans
16 oz cooked pinto beans
2 cups diced tomatoes
Sea salt and cayenne pepper or chili powder to taste

Bring chicken stock to a boil in a soup stock pot.  Chop onion, carrots, celery and peppers, then add chopped veggies and lentils to the stock and simmer about 15 minutes until lentils are tender.  Add cooked beans, diced tomatoes and season to taste.  Garnish with fresh cilantro, cheese or plain yogurt if desired.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Nourishing Oatmeal

You are not doing your family any favors by feeding them instant oatmeal. Flavored varieties are loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients, and even plain quick oats have been over-processed and have lost their whole grain nutrients.

I want to show you how simple it is to make real oatmeal that your family will love!

Makes 2-3 servings (for a larger family, simply double the amounts)

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter, ghee or coconut oil
1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Optional additions to try:
1 diced apple or pear
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tbsp natural peanut or almond butter
Replace maple syrup with raw honey

For optimal digestion, soak oats in water overnight or for at least one hour before cooking.  Note:  When using soaked grains, drain the soak water before cooking and use half the amount of water for cooking.

Bring water to boil in saucepan. Add oats and reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until oats are tender and water is absorbed.  Remove from heat and stir in butter and maple syrup.  Add the additional optional ingredients of your choice, and enjoy!

A hearty and healthy breakfast keeps him going all day!

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Easy Egg Drop Soup

Check out this link for a simple and delicious egg drop soup!  Makes a perfect side dish or quick lunch.  GAPS legal and grain free!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Three Cheese Frittata

I love this recipe because there is so much room to experiment with different cheeses, and even different vegetables. Try a broccoli, cheddar and bacon version, for example, or red pepper, mushroom and onion with pepper jack.

6 pastured eggs
1 pkg. frozen spinach, thawed (10oz aprox.)
4oz organic cottage cheese
2oz feta cheese
2oz shredded asiago cheese
Cooked uncured bacon, optional
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a square baking dish or pie pan with butter. Beat eggs in a medium bowl until fluffy, then add cottage and feta cheeses. Squeeze excess water from the spinach and mix it into the egg mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste, and crumbled bacon if desired. Pour into baking dish and top with shredded asiago. Bake for about 20 minutes or until eggs are cooked through and cheese is starting to brown on top.

This post is linked to Real Food Wednesday.

Spicy Chicken with Dates and Butternut Squash

I received this email from my dear friend, Sarah.  I love her style, and this recipe!
So I've made this recipe a 100 times and as I was making it tonight I thought, shit, Mel could make this for uprocessed october if she makes her own chicken stock. So I hop on where I got the recipe off 3 years ago, but its no longer there. So that bitch is making me type it out to you.

Spicy Chicken with Dates and Butternut Squash

1 butternut squash seeded, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces.
4 TB Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper
2 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs, chopped
1 large onion sliced
12 dried pitted dates, coursely chopped (1 cup)
1 TB ground cumin
1 TB ground coriander
1 TB ground turmeric
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
3 TB flour
3 cups chicken stock
Oven at 400, put butternut squash on baking sheet, drizzle 2 TB oil, salt, and pepper, roast for 1/2 hour.
While squash is cooking, place a large deep skillet over med high heat. 2 TB of oil. Add chicken, salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown and almost cooked through 6-7 minutes.
Add onion, dates, spices, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick. Cook until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the pan and cook for another minute. Then add chicken stock, bring to a bubble.
Reduce to medium and simmer until thickened.
Discard bayleaf and cinnamon stick. Add squash.
It says to serve with coucus, but I know you can't really eat that with the cleanse you are doing. Its good by itself. Or you could roast veggies and put it over that.

Pumpkin Muffins - guilt and gluten free!

Thanks to Jeni Clark for posting this link on her Real Food Nutrition blog! I can't wait to make these this fall! Yum!

real food nutrition pumpkin muffins

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Beet Greens with Garlic and Butter

One of my favorite foods in the fall is farm fresh beets with a big healthy bunch of greens on top. Beet greens contain an abundance of vitamins and antioxidants, and have a milder flavor and more tender texture than kale or chard. Definitely my favorite dark leafy green!

1 large bunch of beet greens, including the stalks, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet or wok melt butter over medium high heat. Add garlic and sauté for one minute until fragrant. Add chopped greens and stalks and sauté until dark green and tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately with whole grain rice, quinoa, roasted vegetables or as a side dish with any meal.

This post is linked to Real Food Wednesday

Friday, June 17, 2011

Quick Chicken Strips

These tasty little strips are simple to make and taste so much better than the frozen bag of nuggets.  Not to mention they contain zero preservatives or artificial ingredients! 

1 lb chicken breast strips
1 cage free egg
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/8 cup organic corn meal
1/2 tsp sea salt or an MSG FREE seasoning salt, like Lowry's
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp italian seasoning or fresh chopped herbs of your choice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a baking sheet lightly with butter or oil.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, corn meal, salt, pepper and seasoning (you can also mix these ingredients in a large ziplock bag).  In a separate bowl, beat egg until yolk is combined with egg whites.  Dip each strip in egg first, then drag (or shake) in dry ingredients to coat the strips.  Place coated strips on baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until juices are clear and meat is white and tender.  Serve with a ceasar salad, pasta of your choice, or with homemade ranch dressing for dipping.  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Grilled Green Beans

Fresh green beans, rinsed with stems removed
1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
1 minced garlic clove
Fresh minced rosemary or thyme
Sea salt to taste

Place beans in the middle of two 24 inch stips of aluminum foil crossing in an x shape.  Top with butter, garlic, herbs and salt.  Fold aluminum foil around beans to completely seal them in a packet of foil.  Grill 20-25 minutes until beans are tender.  Remove from grill and open carefully to release steam safely.

Mmm Kabobs

I served these with grilled green beans tonight.  Amazing! 

1 red pepper
1 yellow or orange pepper
1 vidalia onion
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, washed
Fresh pinapple chunks
Meat or seafood of your choice

1/8 cup braggs amino liquids or fermented soy sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all marinade ingredients together well in a bowl or glass measuring cup.  Cut veggies and meat into large chunks, leaving mushrooms and shrimp whole.  Skewer alternating chunks of onion, meat, mushrooms, peppers, and pineapple onto wooden sticks.  Place in a large flat pan and drizzle with marinade.  Cover and refridgerate 1-6 hours, turning kabobs to coat with marinade at least every half hour.  Grill 8-10 minutes, then turn and grill until meat is cooked and veggies are beginning to soften. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

Made this for dinner tonight with some green beans smothered in garlic butter.  Yummy and fast!  It doesn't get better than that!

aprox. 1 lb. sirloin or round steak, cubed
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb. sliced mushrooms
1 cup plain whole yogurt
sea salt and pepper to taste
whole grain brown rice

Cook rice according to package directions (1 cup rice plus 2 cups water, boil then cover and simmer for 40 minutes.)  In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat.  Add meat and brown until slightly pink inside, then add onion.  Cook about 5 minutes until onions become translucent.  Then add mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  When onions and mushrooms are tender, remove from heat and stir in yogurt.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, then serve over rice.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Early Spring Salad

Fresh and tender sprouts begin to spring from the ground, leaving the boring browns and whites of winter behind.  I love springtime, and this salad catches the essence of the season perfectly.

2 cups spring greens (try arugula, mustard greens, mesclun, etc.)
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 large handful (about 1 cup) dandelion leaves
2 green onions, chopped
6 small radishes, thinly sliced
1 cup sprouts, any variety (bean, alfalfa, broccoli, sunflower seed or sprouted peas)

Toss all ingredients in a large serving bowl.  Serve with your favorite dressing or try my Dressing, For One.

This post is linked to Real Food Wednesday, enjoy!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Veggie Dip

1 cup whole plain yogurt
8 oz. cream cheese, softened or goat cheese
1 tbsp dill weed
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp minced onion
1 tsp sea salt

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly until well blended.  Allow to chill at least one hour before serving for best flavor.  Enjoy this dip with fresh carrot sticks, celery, bell peppers, cucumbers or spread on sandwiches in place of mayo.

Presto Pizzas

Need a tasty snack that will satisfy both kids and adults?  How about these little pizzas that you can make anytime with whatever you have on hand.  I've even served them for dinner with a fresh salad.  Or try spreading the tortillas with mashed black beans and salsa instead of the marinara.

Makes 2-4 Servings

2 sprouted or whole grain tortillas
1/2 cup marinara sauce (I like Newman's Own)
1 or 2 cloves minced garlic, to taste
1 cup shredded cheese
2 cups diced fresh veggies; tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, olives, onion, etc.
1 cup cooked sausage, chicken or ground beef (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place tortillas on a cookie sheet and bake 5-8 minutes until slightly crisp.  Top each tortilla with half the sauce, garlic, shredded cheese, diced veggies and meat.  Bake another 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted and starting to brown.  Sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs if desired.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Valentine Pancakes

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 very ripe banana, mashed
1 egg
¾ cup milk
2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil***
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Grease with butter if necessary. Beat egg with whisk until fluffy, then add flour, mashed banana, milk, oil, baking powder and salt. Beat in just until smooth. If necessary, add 1 or 2 tablespoons milk to thin the batter. Using a funnel, pour batter into a large squeeze bottle (like a clean ketchup bottle). Squeeze out the batter onto the hot griddle to form shapes or letters, like hearts and XOXO. Flip pancakes carefully with spatula when surface shows many small bubbles.

For a special breakfast in bed, place pancakes that spell I (heart) U on a large serving plate and be sure to bring 2 forks and lots of strawberries and fresh whipped cream to share.

***Coconut oil is solid at room temperature and requires a warm climate to remain in liquid form. If you are not fortunate enough to live in a tropical region, simply warm the oil slightly on the stove or in the oven before you make the pancakes. Be sure to warm up extra coconut oil if you plan to have an intimate moment that morning. Unrefined coconut oil is a perfect natural lubricant and body oil with a pleasantly sweet coconut taste and smell. Enjoy!

Fresh Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
8-10 drops liquid stevia extract (to taste)

Chill a deep medium bowl and mixing utensils for best results. Beat cream and stevia extract in chilled bowl on medium speed until steep peaks begin to form. Or in other words, until it fluffs up like whipped cream. Serve immediately.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hippy Breakfast

I'm not much of a breakfast eater, to be honest.  Usually I just have some fresh fruit before work, then find myself in need of a snack around 10:30am.  But having a hippy breakfast keeps me energized all morning. 
My son loves it too.
You can make the granola ahead and store in an airtight container, or any natural granola can be used.  Remember to watch portion sizes carefully whenever eating granola.  Adult serving size is 1/4 cup.

To Make a Hippy Breakfast :

Scoop 1/4 cup granola into a bowl.  Pour 1/2 cup fruit smoothie over granola.  Top with a sliced banana or additional berries if desired.  Smile!


5 cups uncooked whole rolled oats
1 cup almonds
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1 cup unrefined coconut oil
1/3 cup raw honey
1 cup flax seed
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine oats, nuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds and coconut in a large bowl and mix well.  In a small pan, heat oil and honey until melted.  Pour over dry ingredients and mix well.  Spread granola onto cookie sheets and bake for about 20 minutes.  When cool, mix in flax seeds and cranberries.  Store in air tight containers.

Fruit Smoothie

1 cup fresh or frozen berries
1 banana, cut into chunks
3/4 cup whole plain yogurt
1/4 cup almond milk or whole milk
2 tablespoons flax oil or ground flax seed

Place fruit in a blender, then add yogurt, milk, and flax.  Blend until smooth.  Serve immediately with a straw or over granola.

Layered Dip

2 cups all natural plain yogurt
1 cup red leaf lettuce, shredded
1 cup shredded cheese
1 16oz can black beans
1/3 cup salsa
1 large fresh tomato, diced
1 avocado, mashed (optional)
1 cup sliced olives

Combine beans and salsa in a bowl.  Spread half of the mixture into a flat serving dish.  Spread 1 cup yogurt over the bean mixture, then top with half the mashed avocado, 1/2 cup tomatoes, 1/2 cup cheese, 1/2 cup lettuce and 1/2 cup olives.  Repeat layering.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.  Serve with tortilla chips, veggie chips or pita wedges.

Herb Basted Salmon

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. melted butter
1 tbsp. fresh chopped basil
1 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
Salt and pepper to taste
4 wild salmon steaks or 1 wild salmon fillet (about 1 lb.)

Combine all ingredients except salmon in a small bowl to create baste.  Brush salmon with baste and bake in preheated 450 degree oven, about 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Brush with baste as needed.  Makes 4 servings.
Why It's Better:
Wild salmon is a great source of Omega 3s and protein.  It also contains vital nutrients like Vitamins A, B and D and a variety of minerals including Calcium, Selenium and Iron.  Eating salmon improves the look and texture of your skin and hair and can reduce the risk of colon cancer.  Salmon also improves cardio-vascular health and lowers blood sugar levels. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lasagna for Real Life

So you think that lasagna is just too difficult and time consuming to make at home? Think again! I've adapted this recipe from one that was on the back of the box of whole grain lasagna noodles that I bought. My family loves it, and they don't even notice all the veggie goodness packed inside. For a vegetarian option, simply omit the meat. To make it gluten-free, use brown rice lasagna noodles OR thin sliced strips of eggplant (omit water if using eggplant.)

Lasagna for Real Life
1 lb ground beef
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups (26oz jar) spaghetti sauce
1 ½ cups water
1 ¾ cups (15oz) ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
½ cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 cup chopped spinach, fresh or frozen
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, basil or oregano
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
9-12 whole grain lasagna noodles (uncooked)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brown meat in a large skillet over medium heat until still slightly pink, drain. Add pepper and garlic and cook about 3 minutes until meat is completely browned. Add spaghetti sauce and water. Simmer about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan, eggs, spinach, herbs and salt and pepper. Pour 1 cup of sauce mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 3 or 4 UNCOOKED lasagna noodles lengthwise to cover the bottom of the dish. Cover with 1 cup sauce, then spread ½ of the cheese mixture on top. Repeat layers of lasagna, sauce and cheese. Top with remaining lasagna and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle on remaining mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 10 minutes until cheese is browned and sauce is bubbling. Let stand at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

This post is linked to Real Food Wednesdays, enjoy!

Cruisin' Enchiladas

This recipe is one of my family's favorites. I love how versatile it is. I have included a vegetarian option, and it would be simple to adapt it to vegan as well. For those of you who have trouble digesting grains or are doing a low carb diet, you can omit the rice and it's just as delicious. Feel free to add hot peppers, fresh diced tomatoes, avacados or a variety of beans as you see fit. This is a dish you can really make a little differently each time, or find your favorite and stick with it.

These enchiladas are super easy to make with leftover meat and rice from a meal of Beef and Peppers or stir fry. Or you can start the rice cooking, then brown the meat before adding the peppers to make it all from scratch without adding much more prep time. No matter how you slice it, this meal goes from opening the fridge to serving the plates in less than an hour.

Cruisin' Enchiladas

1 lb cooked beef or chicken, shredded or cut into thin strips
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ cup cooked black beans
1 jar salsa
1 pkg sprouted or whole grain tortillas
cooked brown rice
shredded cheese
whole plain yogurt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium skillet, saute pepper in oil 2-3 minutes, just until the color brightens. Add chopped garlic and saute one minute more. Add meat and beans and stir.
Spread 1/3 cup salsa on the bottom of a rectangular baking dish. Place one or two spoonfuls of meat mixture in the middle of each tortilla and roll them up, placing them in the baking dish with the seam down. When all the tortillas have been filled, pour the remaining salsa over the enchiladas. Top with shredded cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and beginning to brown. Serve over cooked brown rice and top with whole plain yogurt, if desired.

Veggie Version

Omit meat, and increase beans to one cup. Add 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped with the red pepper.

This post is linked to Real Food Wednesday.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Beef and Peppers

1 lb. beef, venison or bison, cut into small chunks
1 med. onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 can all natural bamboo shoots (optional)
2 tbsp. olive oil or butter
Braggs amino liquids, OR tamari, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste
whole grain brown rice or quinoa (optional)

Brown meat in butter or oil over med-high heat until centers are still pink. Add onions and cook for a few minutes until they become translucent. Add peppers and cook 2-3 minutes more, until peppers brighten and soften slightly, then add bamboo shoots and amino liquids or tamari. Season with fresh ground pepper and your favorite herbs and serve over hot whole grains, if desired.Real Food Wednesday

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tummy Tea (remedy for nausea)

This is a great home remedy that I make any time my toddler has a tummy ache.  Works for adults too of course.  It takes care of nausea and vomiting almost instantly, and tastes good.

1 cup hot water
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger or ginger juice
1 teaspoon raw honey

Pour hot water over ginger and let stand for 3 minutes, then stir in honey.  Drink while still warm for maximum benefit.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Vegetable Barley Soup

In this cold weather, I am always looking for a good soup recipe.  I came across this one from Real Simple, and could amost taste it with a loaf of crusty bread!  Mmmm...  No need for meat, this one uses the wholesome goodness of fresh veggies, whole grains and canned beans to bring a simple and delightful soup to your table.  I will substitute potatoes for the parsnips.

Saturday, January 8, 2011