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Friday, March 28, 2014

A good little soup with great possibilities


I'm busy, you're busy, we are all busy. I have been making this or some version of this forever because I usually have the stuff in the house, it's comfort food. AND since I made bread yesterday, AND it reverted back to winter for a bit, I made it last night.

What you need and what to do:

Make as much or as little as you want, you pick.* I always use around 3 lbs. potatoes, 32 oz of veggie broth and enough of the other veggies to make it look right. This way I have at least one leftover meal  for Tom and I.

Potatoes peeled and cut up (I like red potatoes because they don't get too mushy)
Carrots cut up
Celery peeled and cut up
Yellow onion cut up
Vegetable broth
Basic spices: pepper, onion salt, garlic granules, celery salt
2 TLBS flour (if you are gluten free, use a bit of cornstarch to thicken)

Cut em all up and boil til they start to get soft. Drain, put back into your pot and add vegetable broth. Mash with potato masher JUST A BIT, then add your spices and stir in about 2 TBLS flour to thicken. 

*Variations on a theme include leave out the celery and add chopped green chilis, mash more than a little bit and add milk instead of broth, top it off with shredded colby cheese (this version you HAVE to serve with cornbread). Or replace the vegetable broth with milk as above, or add cooked chicken. Adapted from my moms potato soup recipe.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

An ancient grain, an easy bread & some gluten info


Einkorn Flour Slow Rise Bread

The natural genetics of wheat are more complicated than that of most other plants. Wheat was transformed over a period of 10,000 years by hybridization in the wild and in the field and by the constant natural selection of preferred seeds by farmers. Achieving high levels of gluten in modern hybrids became a goal for plant breeders over the last century. Wheat is a unique grain because it contains gluten, which gives dough the ability to rise better when leavened. Einkorn and other more ancient varieties of wheat are hulled, meaning their grain has a protective layer that remains intact after harvesting. This requires an extra step of removal before milling. Many individuals are unable to digest gluten and so modern wheat varieties with higher levels of gluten have naturally increased the incidence of wheat intolerance.
Einkorn has always remained the purest form of wheat. Like einkorn, most plants are diploids, which mean they have one set of chromosomes from a male parent and one from the female parent. When other species of wheat were created, additional sets of chromosomes were added. Emmer wheat was created roughly 2,000 years after einkorn by the hybridization of two wild grasses adding two sets of chromosomes. Kamut®and Durum Wheat are descendants of Emmer. Spelt was the first wheat hybridization that occurred with the help of man between cultivated emmer and a wild grass, creating a species with six sets of chromosomes. Common bread wheat descended from spelt.
Celiac patients should not consume einkorn products until further clinical studies are completed and their findings are evaluated by the FDA. Got this info and the recipe from Jovialfoods.com
You can get this flour at Nature's Pantry in Buena Vista Colorado as well as many other health conscious markets around the world.
What you need and what to do:

5 cups of Jovial Einkorn flour
1-3/4 cups warm water (pure, not chlorinated tap water)
¼ tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sea salt

Mix flour, salt and yeast in a large ceramic mixing bowl. Add water and combine with hands until mixed well. You will be a sticky mess, but it’s ok. Push down the dough around the sides with a spatula until you have flattened the top.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a plate or cookie sheet* and let rise in a dark place for 12-14 hours. Depending on the weather, proofing time may vary.

*Einkorn flour contains carotenoids that can oxidize when exposed to air and light for a long period of time.

When ready to bake, place a cast iron pot with lid in a 500-degree oven for 30 minutes to heat the pan, then lower temp to 450.

Turn your dough out onto a floured surface, pat the dough flat, then folding in the four corners toward the center to make a rounded shape. It won’t act like regular bread dough, as it is quite soft. Don’t worry about making it perfect just be happy you’ll have rustic bread very soon.

Turn in into the hot pot and bake covered for 30 minutes, uncover for 5 to 10 minutes if not brown enough. Mine was perfect at 30 minutes. Remove from pan onto a cooling rack and let it sit for an hour or so before you slice it….that'll be the hard part.
Recipe came from jovial foods.com


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Raw sprouted hummus



This is by far one of my favorite recipes and one I make in warm weather ALOT! See those little sprouted babies above? That's what they need to look like before you jump right in...the other thing about raw hummus is, the enzymes are still there so it's less gassy...ta da! The downside? Takes about 3 days, but it's worth it!

What you need and what to do:

3 cups dry garbanzos
4 TBLS tahini
2 tsp sea salt
2 large or three small lemons, juiced
5 cloves garlic or more if you want
1 cup or more spring water (no chlorine!)

Take your garbanzos, rinse and put in a jar with air available (I use a 32 oz Ball jar with a sprouting lid on it). FILL the jar with water, those little things will swell and the jar will be full at 24-hours. Then drain the water, rinse well and drain letting them just sit there on the counter in the jar. Rinse them twice a day until they sprout out about 1/2".

Take a big pot and fill with water, bring to a boil, turn off heat, let sit for about a minute then put your sprouted beans in for one minute. Drain and put in to the food processor with all the other ingredients and blend until smooth. You may need more water to get the consistency you want.

Taste and flavor adjust. Add stuff if you want like cumin, pepper, paprika or whatever, but I kinda like it just as it is. Refrigerate. I eat it with veggies or sometimes a tortilla with sprouts. Adapted from allrecipes.com in a previous life.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Raw sprouted hummus coming to a kitchen near you


Shhhh...they're fixin to sprout. And as soon as they do, I'll pass an amazing recipe on for raw sprouted hummus. You'll never buy it pre-made again.....I promise.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Peanut dipping sauce with spring rolls


THE Peanut Dipping Sauce

So here's the deal. I love spring rolls, they're beautiful, good for you and tasty. There is a plethora of ways to make them and you can put anything in them...so Google it, do your own thing. THIS post is all about the peanut dipping sauce which I finally think I have figured out and frankly I think it's perfect. Nuf said.

What you need and what to do:
Whisk together in one bowl
5.5 ox can of coconut milk
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 TBLS soy sauce
1 TBLS rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
2+ tsp sriracha (to taste, I like the hot to be subtle)
juice from one half lime

Taste, adjust flavorings, make spring rolls, eat. That is all. 
Adapted from making a bunch of spring rolls over the years.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cucumber noodles with coconut lime dressing


I served this cold with chicken, it would also be awesome with fish or just on it's own. You will need to soak your cashews for awhile, preferably overnight for a creamier dressing.

What you need and what to do:
Take 4 medium cucumbers, and remove some of the skin if they are tough, if the skin is not tough just leave it all on. Tough skin sometimes tastes bitter, hence removing some. Run through a mandolin with the coarse blade to make your "noodles". Set aside, saving 2 cores for the dressing, eat the other cores cause their good.

Dressing:
1/2 cup soaked cashews, rinsed and drained*
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 tsp chili garlic sauce
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 TBLS lime zest
Juice from 4 limes
Salt to taste (I used Himalayan pink salt)
4 thinly sliced green onions
*Extra UNSOAKED cashews for sprinkling on top

Place your coconut in a bowl and cover with water to soften (about 20 minutes), then rinse and squeeze most of the liquid out. Add all ingredients EXCEPT for the lime zest including your 2 cucumber cores into a high speed blender or a food processor until smooth. Stir in the zest, pour over noodles and stir til combined, sprinkle with some cashew pieces. Adapted from Rawmazing.com

Thursday, March 20, 2014

One sweet little muffin


Banana Crumb Muffins

Full fat, full of flavor, a decadent treat. Makes 10 muffins.

What you need and what to do:

Mix together in one bowl:
1-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Mix together in another bowl:
3 mashed bananas
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup melted butter

Combine wet and dry until just combined.

Crumble topping:

1 TBLS melted butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 TBLS flour
1/3 cup brown sugar

Divide "dough" into 10 muffin tins, top each with crumble topping, bake at 375 for about 15 minutes til an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Adapted from who knows where.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Top o' the mornin' to ya!


The Green Smoothie
I LOVE green smoothies, they're popular so you will see lots of variations, which is great. BUT. The problem with green smoothies is that usually they have way too much sugar because people WANT them to taste good, like a milkshake. Most recipes you see will have too much fruit, not such a good idea cause that just translates to sugar crash. We keep ours pretty simple.

2 cups or so of GOOD water (no city tap water) or coconut juice (unsweetened)
1/2 cup or so frozen pineapple OR 1/2 cup frozen banana
a hefty handful of fresh organic spinach
and last but not least
1 scoop of RAW Organic Green Super Food (we use Garden of Life, see pic)
Ice (just enough to thicken it a bit)
Blend and drink. Right now.



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Good morning sunshine...



Whatever Chia Pudding

The great thing about this recipe is I see substitutions written all over it. Use what ever sweetener is your favorite, whatever alternative milk, even make it non-dairy with coconut yogurt, whatever fruit and whatever nut toasted or not. Use whatever, I bet you'll like it. Let me know of your favorite combos! Please use Organic stuff, it's important.

Stuff you need:

1 cup alternative milk (almond, coconut, rice, you get the idea, I used coconut)
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (use unsweetened if you can, full fat or 2% OR non-dairy yogurt)
2 TBLS pure maple syrup Grade B (you can use honey if you prefer, different taste) 
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp Kosher salt or sea salt
1/4 cup chia seeds
      For the top:
1 pint strawberries or another fresh ORGANIC fruit
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds OR another nut
2 tsp maple syrup or honey (keep it consistent with what you started with) OR NOTHING

What to do:

Whisk together the alternative milk, yogurt, 2 TBLS maple syrup, salt and vanilla until just blended. Then add the chia seeds, whisk to combine and let sit for 30 minutes. Re-stir in case the chia's have settled a bit. At this point you can either split it up in 4 little dishes or just one and divide it in the morning before you top it off. Cover all and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, toss your cut up your strawberries and almonds in the 2 tsp syrup OR NOT and top your chia pudding, then head for that little sun spot....good morning sunshine. Adapted from Food Network.

See you next week...


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Snack Attack...




Crispy Chickpeas

These are crunchy, different and best eaten with a day or so....try them sprinkled on a salad or taken high to the top of a fourteener...or maybe at the end of the day with a glass of merlot.

Stuff you need:

2 cans of chickpeas (garbanzos) or a pile of soaked (any way rinse them and blot dry on a tea towel)
1 tsp sea salt (I use Himalayan Pink Salt) OR regular sea salt*
1 tsp smoked pepper (I use a smoked pepper blend by Frontier) OR regular fresh ground pepper*
2 TBLS virgin olive oil

*You decide how much salt and pepper OR try another seasoning altogether...experiment.

What to do:

Preheat your oven to 350 with a rack in the middle
Lightly oil your cookie sheet
Take your chickpeas and lovingly toss them in a bowl with the olive oil
Spread in one layer on the cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper

Cook for 30 minutes, shake them around, turn them over (sort of, that part is hard cause they're round) and cook for another 30 minutes til they are brown. Pull them out and let them cool. Adapted from Chef Giada.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Sausage with white beans and spinach


Had to throw this one out there...ok, gotta go. See ya next week.

Stuff you need:

One good sized onion chopped
2 TBLS olive oil
12 oz package of Applegate Organic Chicken & Turkey Spinach & Feta Sausage*
*You can use another type of sausage like a kielbasa, the above sausage is mild
2 cans of Great Northern white beans (one rinsed & one not)
2 medium tomatoes chopped smallish
2 cups of veggie OR chicken broth
2 big handfuls of organic fresh spinach
onion salt*
garlic powder*
dried basil or a few cut fresh leaves if you have it*
oregano*
pepper and a bit of salt to taste*
*Most of the time I won't tell you how much of a spice, but generally, I put some in my palm and rub between palms to release the flavor and then toss it into the mix. Spices are really between you and the pot, everybody is different.

What to do:

Saute your onion in the olive oil adding the cut sausage to brown a bit. I really love this sausage because it's organic, precooked and PERFECT for this recipe.

Then add your beans, tomatoes, broth, spices and your spinach.  Cook til your tomatoes are soft and your spinach is wilted. Serve with hot biscuits, or something you can slop around with. That's all. A one pot kind of love. Adapted from itsmysideoflife.com

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The cook is in the kitchen


My husband is turning 60 this weekend and I, personally, am thrilled. He is a silly kind of guy (looks ALOT like the guy in the pic), works incredibly hard to provide for us, loves his kids, and grandkids and of course me (I'm lucky). So...I won't be posting til next week cause, well, I'm in the kitchen cooking up birthday stuff. Have a nice weekend and know that every morning we are one day closer to SPRING!!!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dang GMO's


We are not gluten intolerant, however....
...more and more we come across industry information regarding all kinds of stuff, good stuff and bad stuff. If you are gluten intolerant or haven't even explored the whole celiac thing, it's worth a read, if for no other reason than to form your own opinion about the food you feed yourself or your family.

There is a link below to the Institute for Responsible Technology and an article about genetically modified crops, Roundup and a connection between those nasty things and gluten intolerance. Then after reading it, think about how many foods you eat that contain one of these GMO foods...it's disgusting, plain and simple.

Gadget love


Here's my gadget love of the week. The spiralizer used in Shrimp Scampi recipe. Handy, small, worth the money. You should have one, really. Summer is coming, gardens will be planted, and there WILL be veggies to spiralize.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles and BACON!


Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles and BACON!

I'm in my late 50's, and pasta makes me feel fat, bacon however, does not make me feel fat. And, in the pic, my shrimp have tails, I don't recommend this, but I couldn't get them tail-less that day, didn't bother to cut them off AND there is no bacon in the picture...but it's a nice addition.
  • The Stuff you need:

  • 2 pieces bacon, ok maybe 3 or 4* : )
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes (I used some Thai chile garlic paste because I didn't have red pepper flakes but ya gotta have a bit of spice)
  • 1/4 cup minced green onions
  • 8-10 shrimps, defrosted, deveined and shells removed
  • salt (use real salt or sea salt) and pepper, to taste
  • 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2-3 medium zucchinis, peeled and spiralized (I love my spiralizer, you should get one)
  • 2 tsp lemon zest

  • *if you don't want to use the bacon (???) then use a couple of TBLS of GOOD butter like pasture fed.

  • What to do:
  1. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the bacon. Cook bacon for 3 minutes on each side or until cooked to your crunchy preference. Remove and drain on paper towel.
  2. Leave only 1 tbsp of bacon fat in the skillet and add in the garlic. Cook the garlic for 30 seconds and then add in the red pepper flakes, green onions and shrimp. Season with salt and pepper and let shrimp cook for about 2 minutes, flip over, add in the lemon juice and cook an additional two minutes. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add in the zucchini noodles and toss to combine, for about 2 minutes and then add in the shrimp and crumble in the bacon. Toss to combine. Divide onto two plates and garnish with parmesan cheese. Adapted from inspiralized.com




Sunday, March 2, 2014

Raw Bliss with Cranberries and Some Orange Drizzle



RAW Bliss with Cranberries and Some Orange Drizzle
The Base
1 cup oats
1 cup buckwheat groats
1-1/2 cup dates
1 teaspoon vanilla*
1 teaspoon orange zest
*purists argue that vanilla is not truly raw

The Middle

1 cup cashews
2 TBLS fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup

The Drizzle & Top
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
3 tablespoons orange juice 
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup dried cranberries

The Base: Pulse the oats and groats in your food processor until they become a rough flour. Add the dates and vanilla and process until it forms a ball. Press into the bottom of a lined baking pan (I used a 9" springform pan). Set aside.

The Middle: Blend all ingredients until smooth. Spread this over your cake. 

The Drizzle & Top: Blend the melted coconut oil and orange juice together. Sprinkle the dried cranberries and orange zest onto your cake then drizzle on the drizzle. Let it set for few hours in the fridge. Adapted from thisrawsomeveganlife.com 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Cauliflower Pizza Crust


The Crust
1 large head of cauliflower (shredded to about 4 cups)*
2 large eggs
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1-2 tsp dried oregano
1-2 tsp dried garlic powder
2 tsp garlic powder or granules

Shred your cauliflower either in a food processor or with a cheese grater. Cook however you want whether oven or microwave and let cool to warm. Add your eggs, cheese, and spices. At this point you can make mini 4" crusts or one crust but oil your cookie sheet or pizza stone first (they tend to stick a bit). Make them fairly thin (1/4" or so) and bake 450F for 15-20 minutes til golden brown (important so it won't be too soggy. It's also ok for the edges to be charred, it's yummy that way.

Remove from oven and heat broiler while to dress your za. Pizza sauce and whatever veggies you want then top with 1 cup mozzarella and fresh parmesan. Broil for about 5 minutes til the cheese is all melted and bubbly. Wait 5 minutes til you cut and serve.

*When you buy cauliflower there is no way to tell how much you'll get shredded, you can always save some and mash like potatoes for tomorrows dinner. This tastes like pizza actually and doesn't have the wheat so it's lower in carbs. Original recipe is from tablespoon.com 


Love this fresh veggie torta...


This is not only beautiful but extraordinarily tasty and great the next day. Nuf said.

FRESH Veggie Torta
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
8 oz baby bellas or shitake mushrooms, sliced
3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 red peppers, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
8 oz cream cheese or you can use neufchatel, softened
6 large eggs
1/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups shredded swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 350F and brush bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with oil. Line bottom with parchment and brush parchment with oil. Wrap outside of pan with aluminum foil.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, zucchini, and fresh peppers. Saute until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in eggs until combined (it’s okay if it’s a little lumpy). Beat in cream or half and half. Stir in garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon to drain off liquid, add sauteed vegetables to egg mixture. Add shredded cheese. Stir to combine.

Spread mixture in prepared pan and set pan on baking sheet. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until top is puffy and golden brown and the center no longer jiggles when shaken. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes in pan, then run a sharp knife around edges of torta to loosen. Gently remove pan sides. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold. This is an awesome leftover, is low carb and gluten free. Food should be beautiful. 
Recipe came from alldaylongidreamoffood.com

Blogging...blogging...


I am not a professional blogger, nor do I claim to be a food photographer either. I am a girl who likes to cook, and wants to pass on some recipes I have found along the way.

Some will be gluten-free, some vegetarian, some raw, some vegan but all have been tested by me and some will have notes of adjustment from the places I got them.

I cook with fresh and organic ingredients whenever I can and most, if not all, can be found in our store, Nature's Pantry, up in the Arkansas Valley in Colorado. I cook at 8,000 ft. And I am known for birthday pie....I love to make pie and I love to give pie.

This blog isn't going to have all the extra bells and whistles some blogs have because frankly I don't have the time or inclination to learn all the blogging tricks. I hope you'll enjoy what I have to say. Just the facts ma'am.