Sunday, December 30, 2012

Grain-Free Banana Nut Muffins

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These are my favorite breakfast to make when ever I stumble upon this bag of bananas at my local grocery store.  They pack all of the single bananas up and sell them for $1.49, sometimes it's even organic ones!  These are grain-free, sugar-free, filled with protein and good fats that will keep you satisfied until lunch.  On top of that, they are quick to whip up and even freeze well.  I ususally quadruple the recipe and then have one breakfast plus 3 more in the freezer.  Each batch makes 1 dozen regular size muffins, or 6 large, or 24 mini-muffins.  
Ingredients:

1 cup of almond flour
3/4 cup of natural peanut butter (you could use another nut butter)
3 medium ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda

Mix all ingredients in a mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer (in that case you might want to smash the bananas by hand first).  It is a rather runny batter.


Generously grease your muffin tin.  This is my favorite product to use.  It is made from Orgainc, Expeller Pressed Palm Oil, which by the way is a medium chain fatty acid that your body can quickly convert to energy.  If you want more info on that you should read Eat Fat Lose Fat by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon.



Fill all of your tin evenly with all of the batter.  If you are doing multiple batches here's what mine looked like, a little more than half full....I am obviously a super-sloppy muffin filler!



 Bake at 350 for 15-24 minutes.  The time will vary based on what type of tin you are using.  Mini-muffins are more like 12 minutes.  These large muffins took 20 in my oven.  Just keep an eye on them when they brown around the edges and look firm in the middle insert a toothpick or fork and see if it come out clean.  Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn onto a cooling rack.



Cool or enjoy warm.  They seem to taste less peanut-buttery when they cool and all of the flavors sort of meld together.  These make a great breakfast with fruit and milk, or for lunch with a hard-boiled egg and veggies or on the side of a salad.



They are good enough to consider a dessert and good enough for you to not!  Enjoy!!!

Love and Butter,

Mishelle

Shared on Real Food Wednesday, Monday Mania, Wheat Free Wednesday, Fight Back Friday

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Winter Detox Soup

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I am ready for some real food, good-bye fudge, and gingerbread men...it was fun!  I don't know about you, but I can tell when my system is out of whack and I am 100% positive the culprit is sugar!  I use the most unrefined sugar I can get my hands on, but the truth of the matter is, we were not made to eat this stuff!  Not on a regular basis anyway.
So we are bidding farewell to the sweets and eating a lot of cleansing foods this week.  Here's the soup I made.  It is anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, heart healthy, high fiber, grain-free, pro-immune system, and pro-detox!!  It's perfect to bridge from Christmas treats to New Year's Resolutions!!






Ingredients:

1/2 gallon of beef bone broth
1 small onion, diced
1 small head of cabbage
15-16 oz of canned or tetra-pak tomatoes
6-8 small turnips, diced (you could also use potatoes)
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 lb or so of carrots, sliced
1/2 lb or ground beef, stew meat, or leftover roast
1 cup of frozen peas
1 cup of frozen green beans
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. of turmeric
1.5 tsp. of all purpose steak rub (I get an organic one at the meat counter at my local health food store.  I use if with almost anything-meatballs, meat loaf, burgers, steak and soup)
Salt to taste
Chopped parsley (optional)

Brown meat.  Add in onion and saute for 2 minutes.  Add broth and other fresh veggies.  Cook for 20-30 minutes until all of the veggies are tender.  Add in more broth if necessary.   Add in frozen veggies and enough salt.  Cook until it returns to a rolling boil and then 5 minutes more.  Serve.

I know turnips and turmeric are not common additives to cabbage soup, but with the health benefits they offer they cannot be missed, especially not during cold and flu season.  I've been trying to increase anti-inflammatory foods because I hurt my knee a couple of months ago....getting old sucks!  So I've been putting turmeric in everything, as long as you don't use a ton, it doesn't taste like curry.  Now I know that turnips are anti-inflammatory too, I will start to use them in other foods as well.  They make a great, less starchy, substitute for potatoes.  

Love and Butter,

Mishelle

Shared on: Real Food Wednesday, Monday Mania


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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas to All!

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We have had the most beautiful Christmas season.  We took this week to just spend time together and make treats for our friends and family.  It was most blessed this year because for the first time my children bought presents for each other.  They worked odd jobs for family members in the fall, and spent their own money on each other.  Now I have been able to see the blessings on both sides, when they were picking out things for each other and then on Christmas morning when they exchange gifts.  To see my boys fiddle around Barbie outfits and Littlest Pet Shop animals to choose the perfect gift for their sisters was truly special.
Our favorite foods include sausage balls, bacon wrapped dates, spinach cups, and Chick-fil-a style chicken nuggets....not to mention gingerbread cookies and egg nog.  Here is our season in food.


Gingerbread recipe (without the black pepper and with 1/2 sprouted flour, 1/2 unbleached flour).  This was the perfect amount sweet.  I love the Smitten Kitchen.  It isn't a traditional foods website, but I edit her recipes to be traditional, I love them because they are never too sweet.  
Always just right, and her photography is inspiring!  
We used this icing recipe, which I have to say is my new favorite by far!


Too simple to call a recipe.  Shove a raw almond in a date, wrap with bacon.  Bake at 400.  YUM!


My husband made these, and I don't think he followed a recipe.  But it is probably similar to this.  
Soak Chicken for 1-2 hours in kefir.
Mix 2 cups of flour, 1 tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder. 
Coat chicken well, remove excess.  Fry in about 1/4 inch of fat.
Of course, we fried them in Palm oil, lard would have been my first choice, but I used the rest of my lard in the "Bisquick" mix for my sausage balls.


My favorite!  Sausage balls!!  I followed this recipe, but used 1.5 lbs of sausage, because just 1 seemed too dry.  I also used my own "Bisquick" Mix so there was no trans fats!!

And to wash it all down?  EGG NOG...yes in all caps, because homemade nog is AAH-mazing!!  You CAN NOT improve on this recipe!!
We make it every year with fresh milk and eggs from our farmer.  I've never been a fan of egg nog because I hated the way it felt in my throat, but raw is totally different!  

Christmas Blessings to you and yours.

Love and Butter,

Mishelle



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Monday, December 17, 2012

Three Chicken Slow Cooker Freezer Meals

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Our halls are decked here and we are taking a break from school, so I've been busy cramming my freezer with ready-to-go meals.  Today I stumbled upon some marked down organic boneless skinless chicken thighs.  I love thigh meat, it holds up to long cooking without drying out.  It will shred nice, but also will stay in nice chunks if you cut it up.  I am a big proponent of eating the whole chicken, but there is much to be said for the convenience of boneless skinless meat.  I only buy it when it is organic and on markdown.  
While my hubs grilled up one pack, I put together some freezer meals for the other packs I bought. I must mention again that I have a large family, so these could easily be cut in half for two meals for a family of 3-4.


Cranberry Ginger Chicken 
(this would also work with a pork tenderloin or pork roast)

2-2.5 lbs of boneless chicken thighs
2 bags of fresh cranberries
2/3 cup of organic sugar, sucanat or evaporated honey
(you could sub. a can of canned whole cranberries)
1 tsp. of ground ginger
2 tbsp. of arrowroot powder or corn starch
4 oranges, quartered then sliced
2 small onions (or one large) sliced
1 tbsp. of sea salt or real salt *
3 tbsp. of whole-grain mustard
1 cup of chicken stock (*if you are using store bought, leave the salt out until the end of cooking and then adjust accordingly, I use homemade stock and it doesn't have any salt)

Combine all ingredients (except stock) in a freezer bag.  Freeze flat.  This fits tightly into a 1 gallon bag, but could easily be split between two.
On day of cooking add ingredients to slow cooker.  Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low 6-8.  Shred chicken if desired and serve with mashed potatoes or rice.
I love to serve this tart/savory sauce with goat cheese smashed potatoes.  The combination of flavors is amazing.


Tropical Curry Chicken

2-2.5 lbs of boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch peices
3 bell peppers sliced
2 small onions (or 1 large), sliced
2 mangoes diced
1 whole pineapple, cored and diced
1 can of additive-free coconut milk
1 1/2 tbsp. of curry powder
1 tbsp. of sea salt or real salt
1 cup of homemade stock

Combine all ingredients (except stock) in a freezer bag.  Freeze flat.  This will fill a 1 gallon bag pretty tight. On day of cooking add ingredients to a slow cooker add stock.  Cook on high for 4-5 hours or 6-8 hours on low.  Serve with Jasmine Rice and fermented veggies like kimchi.


Fajitas (Oven or Slow-Cooker)

2-2.5 lbs of boneless chicken thighs, cut into strips
3 bell peppers sliced
2 medium red onions sliced
2 generous tablespoons of taco seasoning
4 tbsp of lard or butter

Combine all ingredients in a freezer bag.  Freeze flat.  I like to defrost these and cook them in the oven, but you can also dump it all in the slow cooker.  If using the slow cooker, add 1 cup of chicken stock.  Serve with tortillas, or over rice.  Add cheese, salsa, sour cream, avocado, hot sauce, lettuce, tomatoes and cilantro to taste.

When you layer the food in the bag start with the fruit or veggies.  Intermingle the spices into the center parts of the bag, that way they won't be stuck to the sides.  And put the meat on the top.


Make sure you cut all of the pieces into bite-size, especially if you have little mouths!


Grocery List
7-8 lbs of Chicken Thighs
6 bell peppers
2 red onions
4 yellow onions
1 pineapple
2 mangoes
2 bags of cranberries
4 oranges
1 can of coconut milk

Check you Pantry/Fridge for:
taco seasoning (make some!)
ginger
whole grain mustard
arrow root powder or corn starch
sugar/sucanat/evaporated honey
curry powder
sea salt
Chicken Broth (make some!)


Well that's one less thing to worry about during the holidays.  Now as I start my cleanse from sweets in January I will have some yummy meals ready to go in my freezer.  And this only took the better part of an hour!

Love and Butter,

Mishelle

Shared on: Simple Lives Thursday, Real Food Wednesday








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Friday, December 14, 2012

2 Minute Pizza Sauce

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Friday night is pizza night in our house!  I don't have a signature combination of toppings, with 6 different opinions I can't land on any one thing.  The hubs and I love goat cheese.  I have a Hawaiian lover and an olive-obsessed little princess, so that is always changing.  What doesn't change is the need for a simple sauce.
I know, you can just use pasta sauce.  My problem is with the jar half full of sauce that gets lost in the fridge.  I came up with this solution one Friday when I didn't have a jar of pasta, and since then I haven't cracked open a jar for pizza ever again.  The texture is better and it takes two minutes and  five ingredients I bet you already have on hand.

Two Minute Pizza Sauce
Ingredients:
1-6 oz. can or tetra-pak of tomato paste
1 tsp. of Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
1/2 tsp. of sea salt
a pinch of sugar (you can leave this out, but it really does balance the acidity of the tomato paste)
3/4 cup of warm water

Combine all ingredients.  Stir with a fork until all is combined.  Spread on pizza.  Should be enough to cover 2 large pizzas.  You could use 1/2 and then freeze the other half.  So if it is this easy, why would you ever buy pizza sauce?

Love and Butter,

Mishelle

Shared on: Simple Meals Friday, Simple Lives Thursday, The Home Acre Hop, Thrifty Thursday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Hearts 4 Home Thursday, Simple Living Wednesday, Wild Crafting Wednesday, Homemade Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Tasty Thursdays, Wise Woman Link-Up, Wellness Wednesday, Tasty Traditions, Thursday Favorite Things, Works for Me Wednesday, Healthy 2-Day Wednesday
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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Taco Seasoning

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Who doesn't love tacos?  I would literally fall over dead if I met some one!  I've been trying all sorts of homemade taco seasonings I found on Pinterest and think I finally came up with one my family loves.  It's not too spicy, but some we tried along the way were.  But here's the final recipe:

Ingredients

1 cup of Chili powder
1/2 cup of Onion powder
1/3 cup of Ground Cumin
1 tablespoon of Garlic Powder
2 tablespoons of Paprika
1 tablespoon of Sea Salt or Real Salt
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne (this adds a minimal amount of heat, but you can leave it out)

Makes 1 pint, so get out one of those lovely ball jars.  Add all of the ingredients and shake-it-Oh-Baby-Now!  That's it.  It couldn't be simpler--it is literally simplier than going to the store to buy it, and then searching for that skinny little packet in your pantry...seriously.  And if you consider all of the MSG you will be avoiding or $$ you will be spending on the facny organic packs--How can you go wrong?   
We go through a lot of taco seasoning here.  I use this on fajitas, in chili, shredded chicken, burrito filling, refried beans, and of course taco meat.  There are also a lot of quick recipes floating around that use taco seasoning packets.  I think somewhere near 2 tablespoons would equal a packet, but the beauty in not using a packet is you can adjust to your taste!  You can store it in the pantry in a glass jar for up to six months.

Love and Butter,

Mishelle

Shared on: Mama Moments MondayMonday's Homestead Barn HopMix It Up MondayBetter Moms MondayInspire Me MondayModesty MondayMake Your Own MondayHomemade Mondays
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Saturday, December 1, 2012

My First Race!

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Yay!  Today I got to run in a race for an organization I love and I was sponsored by my favorite local health-food store.  I love the way the social network connects us.  I finished with a better pace than I thought I would, and most importantly I met my personal goal of not walking any!

First Thing First is an award winning non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening families through education, collaboration and mobilization by serving as a community resource.
They offer marriage and parenting classes and support.  They are a constant encouragement to anyone trying to keep their marriage together or raise their children into responsible adults.  
After passing 10 year of marriage last year, I know how hard it can be sometimes to try and make life work with another person, to be one mind, one heart.  I admire an organization that seeks to strengthen those bonds within the community.  Strong families do not happen overnight or on accident.  It is lovely to know there are people working to offer affordable help to couples and families who need an extra hand in making life work.


I have to thank Earth Fare for sponsoring me.  I love our local store, they are dedicated to our community on so many levels.  They are always sponsoring events that celebrate a healthy lifestyle.    Plus I know anything I pick up in their store will follow their rules:

No artificial fats or artificial trans fats
No High-Fructose Corn Syrup
No Artificial colors
No Artificial flavors
No Artificial Preservatives
No Artificial Sweeteners
No Antibiotics or Synthetic Growth Hormones in Meat or Dairy
No Unbleached or Bromated Flour

All in all, it was a great morning!  Now it's time to finish decorating the Christmas tree and warm up with a bowl of chili!

Love and Butter,

Mishelle

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