Lots of Food Prep

Happy Friday!

I had a bit of a goofy tummy yesterday so my day of eats was very sporadic. I started the day off with a smoothie.

Strawberry Banana Cocoa Smoothie:

  • Strawberries
  • Banana
  • Kefir
  • Kale
  • Aloe Vera Juice
  • Cocoa powder

smoothie

I really had to force that bad boy down; I just wasn’t feeling hungry. I drank about half of it and put the rest in the fridge.

I also sipped on a warm cup of Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea. When I was in Colorado last weekend, I got to sample this stuff and really liked it so bought a box to bring home. I still need to tell you about my Colorado weekend!

celestial seasonings tea

Lunch was more of a snacky deal all day than an actual “lunch”. One of my snacks was ants on a log, aka celery with peanut butter and raisins…

ants on a log

This definitely brought me back to childhood. My mom would make us these for a snack or sometimes she would do banana with peanut butter and raisins. I really enjoy the crunch of the celery and the smooth peanut butter combined with the chewy raisins. So many textures and a nice sweet flavor!

Yesterday I received a book I ordered called “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. It is a book my chiropractor recommended to me and one that he and his family use all of the time. I am just getting into the book but what I know so far is that this book brings us back to our roots, or really, our ancestors roots in regards to food intake. It is about eating whole foods, eating fermented foods to help with intestinal health, eliminating sugars as much as possible, etc.

nourishing traditions

 

I am pretty pumped about it and will keep you posted when I learn more. Right now I have a pot of bone broth simmering on the stove with 2 Tablespoons of vinegar (this helps leach calcium and minerals out of the bone and into the broth; it will simmer for 24 hours). Bone broth is something mentioned in the book quite a bit.

I also made my first batch of homemade fermented sauerkraut. It’s been a while since I have tried sauerkraut, but last time I did I wasn’t a fan at all. We will see how I feel about my own batch.

The directions said to combine one shredded medium head of cabbage, one tablespoon of caraway seeds, and two tablespoons of sea salt (it called for whey but said if you don’t have whey you can use an extra tablespoon of salt so that’s what I did) in a bowl.

fermented cabbage

Next, it said to take a meat tenderizer mallet and pound down the cabbage for ten minutes, to release the natural juices from the cabbage.

fermented cabbage

Arm workout, done. Next, you spoon the cabbage mixture into canning jars, smash it down with a utensil that fits in there (I just used a spoon) until water gathers at the top of the cabbage. You want to leave one inch of space between the top of the cabbage/water and the lid.

fermented cabbage fermented cabbage

Cover the cabbage and let it sit in room temperature for three days, then place in the fridge and eat whenever! Like I said, we will see if I like it but it’s worth a shot at least!

I also made some homemade fauxtmeal raisin cookie bites made from dates, raisins, cinnamon, and almonds. These were also part of my snacky lunch.

mah balls

In the later afternoon I took Moose for a walk outside and it was unbelievably gorgeous! In Minnesota at this time of year that means it was 40 degrees, but it sure felt warm! Moose was having a hay day with all of the smells everywhere in the snow.

For dinner, we made my favorite grilled salmon recipe with grilled parmesan garlic broccoli.

salmon

And an evening snack of FAGE Greek yogurt with honey and strawberries.

greek yogurt and fruit

We spent the rest of the evening catching up on DVR’ed Whitney and Modern Family episodes that we missed while we were away.

It was a good day full of lots of food prep!

I hope you all had a great Thursday and have an even better Friday!

Peanut Butter’s Third Appearance

My appetite has been super goofy lately. The last couple of days I haven’t felt very hungry especially for breakfast. I preach the importance of eating breakfast to my clients and even though I haven’t had much of an appetite, I am still making sure to feed my body to kick-start my metabolism within 2 hours of waking up.

For breakfast yesterday, I made myself a bowl of diced banana, peanut butter, and cinnamon.

After a couple cups of coffee, and checking off a few items on the to-do list, I headed out the door with Moose with the intention of going for a quick mile walk around the neighborhood. Well, the beautiful fall weather got the best of me and my walk turned into a 3 mile run. I can’t believe how much I am loving this fall weather lately. It motivates me to run and run and run outside!

Moose wasn’t too phased by the run. He was ready to go for more.

After the run I baked up two loaves of my Nutty Gluten-Free Bread. The house smelled muy deliciouso after those were done baking. The smell of baking bread… yet another comfort.

Lunch time rolled around, and again I wasn’t hungry, but I made myself a great salad anyway. Romaine lettuce with grapes, walnuts, chicken, feta cheese, and Ken’s Lite Poppyseed Dressing.

I made a trip over to mom and dad’s in the afternoon to go for a walk with my mom and Abbie, and give mom a mini tutorial of her new food processor as well as her new iPad.

We walked around their neighborhood for a good half hour and the weather was still perfect. Walks are so much more fun when you walk with good company versus by yourself. They go so fast too!

Dinner…

Again, not hungry, but I knew better than to not eat. I sautéed some mushrooms, onions, broccoli, lima beans, and chicken, seasoned with garlic powder and ginger powder. I embedded the sautéed mix into two butter lettuce cups, and topped them with a squeeze of lime juice, cilantro, and a drizzle of Pb2.

I always make room for dessert so I finished the night off with a handful of dates with peanut butter. That was peanut butter’s third appearance yesterday. I guess that’s what I feel like eating when I don’t feel like eating? 🙂

I’m hoping my appetite gets back on track. Eating isn’t as enjoyable when you don’t feel hungry. Alrighty, I’m off to change the world…Catch up with you all soon!

 

Broccoli White Bean Soup

Hi there! How is everyone’s weekend panning out so far?

Friday was a great day. It began with a perfectly ripe banana with peanut butter that I tossed in the microwave for 20 seconds to make drizzly, and a little bit of honey.

I did a couple of odds and ends around the house while anxiously awaiting Kate’s arrival. Oh yes, my friend who is in town that I mentioned yesterday is the wonderful Kate. She was one of my bridesmaids, we were roommates in college, and our friendship goes back to 8th grade.

She recently moved out of state and I miss her dearly. She’s home for the weekend so we made plans to go for a nice long walk around the neighborhood and enjoy the gorgeous fall weather.

Before we headed out, I snacked on a LARABAR Über Roasted Nut Roll bar. The kind folks of LARABAR sent me these four to sample.

The verdict on the Über? MMMmmm, so good! It tasted like a healthy version of a salted nut roll. Yes, please. I’m excited to try the rest of the flavors! It did a nice job of holding me over for a couple of hours too.

Kate and I were out for over an hour, walking and talking, catching up, and taking in the beautiful sights and smells of fall. It made me so incredibly happy to see her. It was bittersweet saying good bye as always, BUT I will be seeing her again in about one month because I will be journeying out to Georgia to visit her! I can’t wait! I love love love her, my Katie boo boo boo. 🙂

Throughout the afternoon I tackled random projects around the house. I organized the front closet, did some laundry, reorganized our kitchen, and brought up wedding gifts that we still had in the basement that we now have room for upstairs.

Then it was time to get dinner brewing. On the menu: Broccoli White Bean Soup. While I got to concocting the soup, Dana got to work making a fire in the fireplace. Our first one of the season.

So pretty! A short while later, dinner was served and it was enjoyed in front of the fire.

Warm soup in front of the fire in my sweatpants with my hubby and dog. Does it get more comforting than that? The soup turned out fantastic. I am very proud of it and excited to share the recipe with you all.

Broccoli White Bean Soup
Print
Recipe type: Dairy-Free; SCD-Friendly
Serves 3-4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups cooked cannellini beans or other white bean
  • ½ Tbsp. dried thyme
  • dash of nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 32 ounces lower sodium chicken broth*
  • 3 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Diced turkey bacon (optional)
  • *substitute vegetable broth if vegetarian
Instructions
  1. Use olive oil to lightly coat medium soup pot.
  2. Add onion and garlic; saute for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add beans, thyme,nutmeg, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and broth; mix well.
  4. Use immersion blender to puree onions and beans in the pot.
  5. Add broccoli, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Use immersion blender and pulse 1-2x to puree some of the broccoli, but leaving most of the pieces whole.
  7. Spoon soup into bowls, and top with parmesan cheese and bacon (optional).

The rest of the night was spent relaxing with the men of the house, eating some cocoa banana soft-serve, and hitting the hay early.

Now, I am ready to take on another productive day. I hope you all have a snazzy Saturday!

xoxo, M

 

Taco Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Happy Friday!

So, last night I was all ready to make a couple of loaves of nutty gluten-free bread. I brought my laptop into the kitchen and pulled up the recipe from my site. Much to my dismay I learned that the link was no longer active from my recipe page. I investigated further and realized that NONE of my recipe links had transferred over from my old site.

So last night, I had to go through them all and relink them to their appropriate posts. There is probably a much faster way to do this, but since I haven’t quite figured out this whole CSS new self-hosting business, I went the slow route. It was easy, just super tedious.

Needless to say I didn’t end up making the bread, but all of the links on the recipe pages should be fixed! Links from old posts though may still be missing, but I will have to figure that one out another day.

Anyway! How about a quick lil’ recap from yesterday?

I’ll spare you the breakfast photo because you’ve seen it a million and one times: nutty bread with peanut butter and honey. LOOVE.

Lunch

Driscoll’s raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and frozen blueberries (thawed of course) topped with Fage Total 0% Fat plain yogurt, and a healthy drizzle of honey.

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I finished lunch off with a handful of almonds and two hershey’s kisses, one milk chocolate and one dark chocolate. I am usually a huge dark chocolate fan, but when it comes to Hershey’s, the milk chocolate still takes the cake. Any other chocolate though, give me dark. Meh, who am I kidding? I’ll take chocolate in any way, shape, or form.

Dinner

An amazingly delicious taco salad creation with creamy avocado dressing.

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So let’s talk about this because it was seriously awesome.

I had some browned lean beef in the freezer, so I pulled that out and began defrosting. I then heated it up on the stove top with a small amount of taco seasoning, a dash of water, and let it heat through. I added extra cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder as well.

I got to work chopping up a tomato, mini bell peppers, shredding some cheddar cheese, defrosting some corn, and concocting my dressing which can hardly be considered a recipe it was so easy…

Creamy Avocado Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. tomatillo salsa*
  • salt and pepper

*I wanted to add lime juice to this dressing instead of salsa but didn’t have any on hand so substituted with green tomatillo salsa. It turned out great! Lime juice would definitely work too, though.

Directions

  1. In food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth.

Last step, plating. I started with a nice big bed of mixed greens, next layered on tomatoes, bell peppers, corn, black beans, shredded cheese, ground beef, and lastly topped it with a large dollop of avocado dressing.

The only words spoken by me while devouring this meal were “omg, this is so good.” I encourage you to make it this weekend!

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Taco Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing (for 2)

Ingredients

  • 2 large handfuls of mixed greens
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 4 baby bell peppers, diced
  • 1/3 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 lb ground beef, browned
  • 1/4 packet taco seasoning or homemade taco seasoning
  • Avocado dressing (recipe above)

Directions

  1. Plate all ingredients, top with dressing. Seriously enjoy.
After dinner I headed out for a 3.5 mile walk on the most perfect fall evening.

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I am so cold this morning. When I woke up it was only 50° outside, now a couple of hours later it has crept up to 54 whoppin’ degrees. This weather makes me want to bake and drink coffee! I just might, but first I want to make sure and get a workout in, I’m meeting mom for a picnic lunch, and Dana and I have a very fun date planned for tonight!

My baking/cooking bucket list for the upcoming fall months:

  • More nutty gluten-free bread
  • Pumpkin chocolate chip gluten-free bread
  • Some sort of apple dessert (crisp, baked apples…)
  • Chili
  • Some sort of legume recipe

Okay, we’ll start with that. I am off to tackle the day. Have a happy day!

What recipe is on your fall bucket list?!

Give Her Healthy Nachos, Make Her Happy

It’s my favorite day of the week! Have I mentioned that before? Winking smile

Yesterday after work, I took Moose on a 4 mile walk around the neighborhood. The weather was cool and it was sprinkling which  made me want to keep walking on and on forever. Moose hung in there pretty well, too. We are working on building up his stamina after he had a couple of set backs this summer (a bacterial infection of some sort as well as tearing off a dew claw).

When we got home I started getting creative with dinner. For the longest time I have wanted to try to make black bean chips. I honestly couldn’t find any recipes out there that I liked, so I decided to go ahead and give it a whirl myself.

Black Bean Chips

I began by lightly pulsing a can of black beans until they reached a somewhat smooth, yet slightly chunky consistency. I added them to a medium bowl.

To the bowl I then added corn meal, garlic powder, cumin, nutritional yeast, egg, and salt and pepper, and mixed well.

I placed the bean mixture onto a non-slip baking mat (below) and placed a piece of parchment paper on top. I used a rolling-pin to flatten the bean dough into a thin layer. Then, I removed the parchment paper, used a pizza cutter to cut square chips, and baked in a 350° oven for about 25-28 minutes. I ended the baking process by switching the oven to broil to crisp up the top of the chips for a couple of minutes.

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The thinner you roll the chips, the more “chip-like” they will be. Since some of mine were kind of thick, mine were like a crunchy cracker. Pretty tasty, though and gluten-free too!

While the chips were baking, I prepared some salsa. I chopped 4 Roma tomatoes from our garden(!), 3 mini bell peppers, 1 small onion. I added in about a cup of prepared salsa, added a touch of garlic powder, salt and pepper, and it was ready to go. I was really wishing we had fresh cilantro on hand, but no such luck.

Next, I melted cheddar cheese on the chips in the microwave, topped them with some fresh avocado and semi-homemade salsa, and called it a meal!

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Black Bean Corn Chips

Ingredients

  • 1-15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In food processor, or with fork, mash beans leaving them slightly chunky.
  3. Add remaining ingredients; mix well.
  4. On a non-slip baking mat or parchment paper, place bean mixture. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the mixture. Use rolling-pin to roll mixture into a thin layer. Remove top parchment paper.
  5. Use pizza cutter to cut chips into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake for 25-28 minutes then broil on high for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Anytime I can eat nachos I am a happy girl, and healthy nachos make me even happier.

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Full of Tomatoes

I am so happy to say that our garden is flourishing with red tomatoes. We are eating them as fast as possible, giving them away to family and friends, but we still have an abundance. I am by no means complaining about this, I LOVE IT! I’ve simply been freezing the tomatoes so that I can use them at a later time. Here is how I do it…

1. Place tomatoes in a pot of water and bring to a low boil (this takes about 8 minutes). You will see the skins start to crack on the tomatoes.

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2. Remove tomatoes from water.

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3. The skin peels right off.

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4. Place into a freezer bag, seal closed, and pop them in your freezer for later. I like to smash mine in the bag but you don’t need to. It’s kind of a stress reliever to me.

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This is my second bag of tomatoes I have frozen. I can’t wait for the cooler weather to roll around so I can make up a batch of chili or tomato basil soup. Yup, I’d say I’m ready for fall.

I’m off to take on the day. Have a Fabulous Friday!

Question: What are your favorite tomato recipes?