Chicken Tacos… All “Thai’d” Up!!!

In my hiatus from this blog, I HAVE been cooking. I usually take 1-2 days per week where I do not do a lot of cooking… we eat leftovers, or eat at a Chipotle or Zoe’s or something… or MOES! 🙂 But… I definitely have been cooking. I have so many pictures of meals that I have made over the past couple of months, I’m trying to organize them and figure out which recipe that I wrote down, the pictures correspond to. Oops! It’s been a bit overwhelming around here lately, but in a definitely good way! I’m BACK though! I may take a hiatus here and there, but I will always return to share some new, fun, FRESH and whole ingredient recipes!!

So, I found a great Thai Chicken taco recipe, but they used a lot of peanut butter and peanuts in the recipe. I personally do not use either in my home… so this is my “re-vamped” peanut-free version. And… it’s DELICIOUS!!!! It has SO much flavor… seriously… BURSTING.

wpid-1440613569473.jpg

Chicken Tacos – Thai’d Up

Serving Size – 3-4

Ingredients:
For Marinade:
1/2 cup orange juice – I juice some clementines I had in my fridge that worked PERFECTLY
1/4 cup Liquid Aminos OR Soy Sauce (low sodium)
2 tablespoons local honey
1 tablespoons grated FRESH ginger
1/2 lime, juiced
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
s&p to taste or preference

For Dipping Sauce:
2 tablespoon Sunflower Seed Butter (Or any nut butter of your choice)
2 tablespoon liquid aminos (as referenced above… you can also use soy sauce)
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 tsp cayenne powder

For Thai’d Tacos:
4 large organic carrots, julienned
2 sweet mini red peppers, deseeded and sliced  thin
1 head of cabbage, pull 6-10 whole leaves, thinly slice or shred rest
5-6 chicken tenderloins
2 TB coconut oil
1 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper
Cilantro, limes wedges, sriracha sauce for topping

wpid-1440613493892.jpg

Directions:
For marinade, combine all marinade ingredients in a large bowl, whisk, and add chicken tenderloins.  Cover and marinate as long as you can. I marinated for 30 minutes because I was a bit more rushed. You can even marinate overnight for even better results!! If needed, just marinate while you chop and julienne all of the veggies.

When ready to cook, heat the coconut oil in medium to large size skillet. Combine all ingredients for dipping sauce in a bowl and mix well.  Refrigerate sauce until ready to serve.  Remove chicken from marinade and cut into 1 inch cubes. Put chicken into the heated oil, along with the remaining marinade. Cook chicken until no longer pink (8-10 minutes) and when the chicken is about done, toss in the julienne carrots and the peppers and slightly toss until they are heated, but not soft. Assemble your Thai tacos with chicken, red pepper slices, shredded cabbage, dipping sauce, cilantro,and any other condiments of your choosing.  Enjoy!
wpid-1440613650072.jpg
And now, for the quote of the day:
Advertisements

Latest Dishes… Some recipes I HAVEN’T changed… and they are awesome!

So, I have taken a bit of a hiatus from blogging… and I thank you for still checking back for when I continue to blog!!!

I am now going to share a few recipes that I made during my hiatus that are AMAZING!! I am not against sharing other people’s amazing recipes, and telling you to check out their blog! It’s all about sharing and caring, right?! 🙂

About 2 weeks ago, I gave my husband a bit more opinion in what meals I made… usually I pick what sounds good, I cook it, he happily eats the food that I prepare. 🙂 This time, I let him pick out the meals i was going to shop for and prepare!! He was SOOO excited! And, the fun thing is… he picked things I normally wouldn’t! And… they were good!! There were a couple that I did not get adventurous with and so therefore, I did not change the recipe at all.. so, Please venture to their website and check them out!

  1. Bacon, Spaghetti Squash, and Parmesan Fritters
    These are seriously SOOO good! They get all nice and crispy on the outside, and gooey and cheesey on the inside. They are really filling too!! Check out the link here: Bacon Spaghetti Squash Parmesan Frittersspaghetti squash cakes, parmesan fritters, bacon fritters

  2. Easy Coconut Shrimp:
    I LOVE coconut shrimp. Usually I just order it at a restaurant and I’ve never even thought to attempt to make it at home… This was WAAAAY easier than I thought it was! It’s a bit of clean up, because you have to take a few steps to bread the coconut.. but it’s WORTH it!!! Give this easy recipe a try!  Easy Coconut Shrimp

This is the best coconut shrimp recipe I've tried and you won't believe how easy it is! A 30 minute recipe. sallysbakingaddiction.com

3. Loaded Sweet Potato Skins. YUM! DO you have some sweet potatoes sitting in your pantry and you don’t know what to do with them??? Give THESE a try! : Loaded Sweet Potato Skins

Simply Loaded Sweet Potato Skins - what a great snack or side for game day!

As I catch up on my blog, and get back “into the groove” of posting recipes 3-5 x per week… with our HOUSE ON THE MARKET… and HOMESCHOOLING!! HA! I will do my best to post as often as possible… in the mean time, check out those recipes!

Honey Sesame Glazed Chicken Wings – Baked!

Earth Fare had a sale on wings the other day, and they were SUCH a good price… I got two packages of them!!! I took forever to actually make them though because I was trying to figure out how to make them crispy WITHOUT frying them like they do at restaurants. I also didn’t want to do crock pot wings, because then the skin just gets soft and… goopy. So… I was on a mission… how to make crispy wings in the oven?! And… I found it!

Crispy Oven Baked Wings

You’ll want to check out her blog! I used a completely different sauce, but her method on how to make oven baked wings CRISPY and CRUNCHY like you’ve gotten at a restaurant… worked PERFECTLY!!! I will credit her below again when I explain how to do so.

wpid-1434066158793.jpg

2 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken wings, cut into wingettes and drumettes (tips discarded)
  • 2 tbsp baking powder (NOT BAKING SODA / BI-CARB SODA!!)
  • Âľ tsp salt

For the Sauce/Glaze

  • 1 TB toasted Sesame Oil
  • 2 TB local organic honey
  • 2 TB brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • dash cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce of your choice
  • 1-2 TB apple cider vinegar (depending on how liquidy you want your sauce)
  • 1 TB lemon juice

wpid-1434066481696.jpg wpid-1434066254710.jpg

Directions:

Crispy Wings taken from blog: Recipe Tin Eats How to make Crispy Oven Baked Wings
  1. If you are organized enough, uncover the chicken wings and leave them in the fridge for a few hours to dry out. Otherwise, use a paper towel to pat the wings dry.
  2. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions.
  3. Preheat oven to 250F/120C.
  4. Line a baking tray with foil, then place a rack (like a cooling rack) on the foil. Spray the rack with olive oil cooking spray.
  5. Place wings in a large bowl or in a ziplock bag. Add the baking powder and salt, then toss to coat evenly.
  6. Place the wings on the baking tray in a single layer with the skin side up. They should just fit snugly. They will shrink when they cook because the fat renders out so don’t worry if they look too snug.
  7. Place wings on the lower middle oven rack and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Move wings up to the upper middle rack and increase the oven temperature to 425F/220C. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through. (If you use convection on your oven, this time can be cut to 30 minutes)
  9. Remove baking tray from the oven and put into the bowl with the sauce, immediately toss wings in the sauce and glaze.
  10. Serve and enjoy!.

Sauce:

  1. Add all ingredients into a large bowl and whisk each ingredients together until well incorporated
  2. When you toss the wings into the glaze, make sure the wings are HOT, right out of the oven, to help melt the brown sugar and become a perfect glaze on the wings.

ENJOY!

wpid-1434066362917.jpg

I served these wings with the below recipe:

  • 2 large yukon gold potatoes sliced
  • 1 large yellow summer squash sliced
  • 1 TB unsalted butter
  • 1-2 TB olive oil
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoke paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Directions:

In a small baking dish, place the potatoes and squash and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle all of the seasonings all over the veggies and then stir and toss until everything is coated evenly. Dot with the butter and bake with the wings above. OTHERWISE, bake at 425 for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.

And now, for the quote of the day:

You cannot be both either you are or your not. Im not wishy washy unlike some. My family and friends see me online and in person. Theres no difference when your heart is right. Get right with God youll see

Sauteed Summer Veggies and Bacon over Cheese Grits

Leftovers… seems to be the theme this week! I guess that’s not a bad thing, right?! Who wants to throw out the leftover bits of food in their fridge? Not me! I like to try to use it here and there before it goes bad! I freeze a lot of leftovers so I have time to use it. Sometimes on the weekend I copy what my mom used to do. I remember, when growing up, we used to have 1 day a week where all of the leftovers would come out of the fridge or freezer, be heated up, and that was our lunch or dinner. We didn’t want to waste good food! So these past few recipes have been me using up food from previous recipes this month. Works well!

This one I actually made for lunch! And I was able to whip it up really quick since I used leftovers!!

wpid-1433187233156.jpg

 

 

Ingredients:

3/4 to 1 cup of leftover (or fresh!) cheesy corn grits (or leftover polenta!)
1 small zucchini
1 large carrot
1 piece of bacon
handful of chopped baby spinach
1-2 TB unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
optional topping of parmesan cheese
1 TB chopped onion (I used some leftover onion I had storing in my freezer)

 

wpid-1433187162886.jpg

 

Directions:

Start out by chopping your carrots, and zucchini. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add your zucchini and carrots first. After they start to cook, add the onions and bacon and let the onions caramelize. While this is cooking, heat up your grits, either by cooking from scratch, or if you have leftovers  you add 2-3 TB of water (because the grits absorbs all of the liquid when it’s stored in the fridge) and microwave for 1-2 minutes until it is smooth and creamy again. Place the grits into a small bowl or onto a small plate and set aside. At the last minute, when the veggies are slightly browned, but still have a bit of a crunch, toss the chopped spinach into the pan and let just slightly wilt. Pour the veggies over the grits and add parmesan cheese if so desired and serve (or eat!) immediately! Enjoy!

wpid-1433187294467.jpg

This dish is bright, colorful, crunchy, creamy and filling! Give this quick dish a try today!

And now, for the quote of the day:

#inspirational #quotes

Healthy Banana Nut Bedtime (Or Anytime!) Snack

In trying to watch the foods that I eat, reduce my “processed” food and carbs, and eat more real food… I needed to find a healthy bedtime snack. I have also had this as a mid-afternoon snack to eat while I am making dinner if I know that I’m going to have a very late dinner with the hubs. That happens a lot… and I get HUNGRY when I’m making my kids dinner! This is a great thing to pull out and snack on, has healthy fats, carbs, and protein to keep you full while you wait for your meal! It can also keep you full all night so you don’t go to sleep with a growling tummy!

wpid-1433020358808.jpg

Ingredients:

1 banana
Trail mix (mine is hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews and raisins)
1-2 TB nut butter (I used sunflower seed butter… you can use almond butter as well!)
1 Tb dark chocolate chips

wpid-1433020405951.jpg

Directions:

Just melt the nut butter and dark chocolate together in a small glass dish in the microwave. Then spread over the sliced in half banana, and top with nuts. DELICIOUS right?!?!?!?!

You know you want to try this… 🙂

and now, for the quote of the day:

A nice little reminder!

Homemade Wheat Sandwich Bread (with a #vegan option!)

So, we spend a lot of money on bread around our house. Like, it’s ridiculous. Because of my son with food allergies, I am very picky about what brand and what ingredients are in the bread. We have been buying bread from Trader Joes for about $4.00 per loaf (or more… can’t quite remember) because I like the ingredients, and it doesn’t have any allergens in it. But… that much money per loaf and I buy 6 loaves of bread every 2 weeks… that’s a LOT of money for bread! So, I’ve decided I need to make more of my own bread. My mom has a bread machine that I can use… but I don’t like my bread BAKED in the bread machine. So, I make the dough in the bread machine, and then bake the bread in the oven. This recipe came out PERFECT! It’s got a nice crispy crust with a soft and slightly doughy inside… DELICIOUS! I don’t want to buy bread again! My mom also had some FRESHLY GROUND wheat flour. Like, not store bought… she had Wheat Berries, ground them in her Grain Mill, and gave it to me! WHAT?! Yes!!!!! Freshest you can get! I used half of this fresh flour, and half of the all purpose flour (I use Lily Flour…. I also have used King Arthur).

wpid-1432126065429.jpg

Doesn’t that look delicious!!??

For 1 loaf, so double for a batch of 2.

Whole Wheat Bread

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup warm water (NOT hot! You don’t want to “kill” the yeast)
2 tsp pure cane sugar (organic is preferred)
2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 TB local honey
2 tablespoons butter , melted (you can use Earth Balance for the VEGAN option!)
3/4 tsp kosher sea salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus possible extra White Lily All Purpose Flour

3/4 TB bread machine yeast

wpid-1432125904391.jpg

IF you have a bread maker this will be quite easy! If not… BORROW ONE!! HA! It just makes it soo much easier! If you WANT one, check out this awesome and ON SALE breadmaker: Cuisinart Breadmaker

Load your bread maker in the order the ingredients are listed. Wet ingredients first, and ending with the bread machine yeast. Then, set to the DOUGH cycle. Do NOT select a bread cycle. You want dough only. Mine was a 1 hour and 20 minute cycle. When the bread machine is kneading the dough, I watch it to make sure it’s only slightly sticky, but still is being kneaded around by the machine and not sticking to one side of the pan. If needed add 1 TB of all purpose flour at a time until it’s just SLIGHTLY sticky… but not too dry! If it’s too dry, add 1 tsp of water at a time. Get a bread pan (glass or aluminum, didn’t matter… I tried both) and grease it either with a bit of butter, or cooking spray and set the bread pan aside.

Once the timer goes off and your dough is done, butter up your hands… or flour them… 🙂 … so that the dough doesn’t stick to your hands when you take it out. Remove the dough (it will deflate, that’s fine!) and make sure the paddle of the bread machine does not stay in the dough! Kind of knead it down a bit, and shape into a rounded rectangle. Place into greased bread pan and then set a damp kitchen towel over top and allow to rise for 30 minutes. At this time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

wpid-1432125953735.jpg

wpid-1432125990298.jpg

After 30 minutes, the bread dough should have doubled in size. Remove the towel, and place into the preheated oven and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. It should be golden brown with a nice crispy crust and chewy moist bread inside!

I cut it right away and me and my 2 kids ate a nice thick slice just dripping in melted butter… OH MAN!! It was DELICIOUS!!!

If you would like some homemade bread… give this one a try! It’s the best recipe I have ever made for homemade sandwich bread! And believe me, I’ve tried MANY!

wpid-1432126120745.jpg

And now, for the quote of the day:

If the world were to come to an end today and all of the people who believed in the Lord our God as their Savior were taken to Heaven to be with Him for eternity… do you know for sure if you would be with them?!

Revelation 21:4- the incredible hope and promise that can only Jesus Christ can provide!!!

What’s in Your Pantry?

(FYI, this is NOT my pantry, it’s found on GOOGLE search under the term: pantry. BUT, if anyone wants to come to my house and come and help my pantry LOOK like the above picture, let me know!)

So I was chatting with one of my friends and she was saying she sees a recipe on here and looks in her pantry and she doesn’t have any of the ingredients! And, of course, I realize that not everyone shops WITH me! People don’t see what I always keep stocked. People don’t see my meal plans! 🙂

I COULD just go to people’s house and cook for them… because, actually, I’d really like that. How fun would teaching people how to cook and cooking for them be? Maybe I’m crazy, but I’d LOVE it! It’s such a passion of mine, to cook, and passing it on to anyone would be a blast!

Moving on…

I decided to list my “staples”. Things that, if I run out, I always try to replace them when I go again. That’s also where the “Out of Milk” app comes in handy, because I quickly add it on there so that I don’t forget next time I shop!

So, here goes:

MUST HAVES in my pantry, fridge and freezer:

1. Zucchini – when in season

2. Frozen veggies – my favorite is corn, broccoli, peas and green beans.

3. Carrots and onions – my favorite is a sweet yellow onion

4. Bread – it’s actually for my kids, but I always have some. It’s a tragedy if I run out before the 2 weeks is over!

5. 1/2 and 1/2 and Heavy Cream – for coffee AND cooking

6. BUTTER!!! A MUST have!

7. Flour, sugar, honey, baking soda, baking powder and flax meal – all of these last a WHILE and I don’t have to replace them very often.

8. At least 1 jar of Organic Pasta Sauce – whether it’s for my little boy’s meatballs, or something else. I make sure I have 1

9. At least 1 type of “pasta”. So, Quinoa, Couscous or a high fiber, Whole Grain Pasta

10. Lettuce (dark and leafy) or baby spinach – for all SORTS of dishes!

11. Greek Yogurt FULL FAT and PLAIN – a must have for a snack (add a little honey to some plain greek yogurt, stir and EAT for a high protein snack!), for cooking, baking and also in place of sour cream it works amazingly!

12. Garlic – I either buy it in a jar with olive oil already minced, or a fresh clove… just depending on how I feel

13. Spices I always have in my cupboard: Oregano, Cumin, Paprika, Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper, Turmeric, Curry Powder, Onion Powder, Chili Powder, Italian Seasoning, Cayenne Powder, Dried Basil, Dried Thyme, Dried Parsley, Dill

14. My favorite FRESH herbs: Basil, parsley, cilantro. I don’t always keep these because they go bad quite quickly. I have fresh herbs growing in my garden in my yard during the spring and summer, and then in the fall and winter, I purchase certain herbs (if I feel fresh is worth the cost) for specific recipes.

15. Lemons and Limes- I try to have at least 3 of each

16. Avocado – when they are in season, I usually by 5 or 6 when I shop for the 2 week time period. I buy them when they are still hard and let them sit out on the counter. When they start to get ripe I transfer them to the fridge and they stay good until my 2 week period of time (between shopping trips) is up!

17. Chicken Tenderloins from Trader Joes – these are just… the best. I’ve bought fresh, frozen etc from many other places and nothing quite compares! The frozen Chicken Tenderloins from TJ wins out every time!

18. Fish/Shrimp/Seafood – I’m picky about this. I do NOT always have these. Even if I’ve planned a recipe for any one of these and I go to the store and they don’t have any wild caught at a good price… I do NOT purchase it. I will change my recipe to something more cost effective. I have certain rules. And I don’t like to pay more than $8.99/lb for wild caught shrimp.

19. 1 lb. of ground beef. I like no-hormones, all natural ground beef. If I’m lucky World Market or Earth Fare will have some fancy shmancy grass fed ground beef that I stock up on when it’s on sale! But… if not, I get the highest quality for the best price possible. Sometimes I only buy 1 lb for the 2 week period and make it last. Just depending on the price.

20. “Fancy Beef” – steak, ribs, short ribs, beef tips, sirloin, roast. I don’t make these often. I try to plan it ahead of time if my budget allows, or when it’s on sale. I will sometimes put a meal plan on the list for a roast, etc just in case there’s a good price on it when I’m shopping. If there isn’t, I don’t make it for that time period, but I save it on my pinterest board for when it does! Or… if my husband and I have an at home date night.

21. Carrots! I like to buy the large 2 lb. bag of full size organic carrots. My kids even like it because they act like bunnies! 🙂

22. Potatoes – I buy either Yukon Gold or Sweet potatoes. Whichever is on sale or what I’ve planned for that time period.

23. Cheese – Parmesan Cheese, cheddar, shredded, block, cottage cheese, etc. I try to have at least 1 on hand. Also… depending on price. Sometimes cheese is BOGO!

24. Canned tomatoes or salsa. I like the off-brand of Ro-Tel (fire roasted tomatoes with green chilis). You can do A LOT with salsa or canned tomatoes! No joke!

25. Beans – canned. Like, black beans, Pinto Beans, cannelini beans. You can put them in soup, chili, salad, make refried beans on your own… the options are HIGH! And… they are cheap! There are times I can get them for under $0.50/can!

26. Tomato Paste – You saw my tube of tomato paste in a previous post. You can do so much with so little of it! Tortilla soup, enchiladas, chili, pizza or spaghetti sauce, etc. A little can go a long way!

27. Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth… SOMETIMES Beef Broth – because I make a lot of my own sauces instead of buying them, these are essential. I can use this in a soup, chili, baked dish, sauteed dish, quick or baked, oven or crock pot… I try to keep 2 in my pantry. I don’t always use them, but I’m always glad I have them in my pantry! They keep for a long time too!

28. Things for my kids to snack on: hummus, cucumber, apples, grapes, strawberries (depending on when in season/on sale) raspberries, crackers, chips, pita chips, etc. I don’t always get ALL of these, but usually 2 or 3 of them.

29. Sunflower Seed Butter and Jelly and Preserves (I use this in place of any “nut” butter) – for sandwiches and cooking and snacking

30. Organic Old Fashioned Oats – for breakfast or baking!

31. Last, but not least OLIVE OIL Organic Olive Oil. I use it daily!

If I have all of these “essentials” as I call them, I can make a meal pretty easily! I can mix up the ingredients, or buy a few “odds and ends” and make something new and fancy! Seems like a long list when I put it all down, but I don’t have to buy these every time I go shopping, so that helps with cost. Healthy and whole ingredients and an endless amount of meals you can make with these ingredients! I do buy a few different things for my kids like chicken nuggets, etc… (if I don’t make them that week)… but overall these are my must-haves.

What are your go-tos? Anything that you MUST have in your fridge or pantry?

Let me know!

And now, for the quote of the day:

You need to release the load that God never meant for you to carry and focus on what He has called you to do.

What Kind of Food is Healthy and Why??

My  husband and I had a chat the other day about how different we eat now than when we first got married. When we first got married I didn’t do much thinking about what kind of food we were putting into our bodies. I bought pre-packaged easy to make quick meals. I worked full time and so did my husband. When a recipe had more than 3 ingredients it felt really overwhelming.

Fast forward to having my son… he is allergic to … well.. A LOT. I had to learn to make everything from scratch. I had to learn to read EVERY label. I had to figure out thing like…

Autolyzed Yeast = MSG
Whey Protein = Dairy
Red #40 and Blue Lake dye is NO GOOD
Hydroxytoluene (BHT) = a product also used in jet fuel and embalming fluid
Yellow #5 = derived from coal tar and may contain up tp 10ppm of lead and arsenic
Propylene glycol alginate (E405) = derived from alginic acid esterified and combined with propylene glycol.
Polysorbate 60 = Made of made of corn, palm oil and petroleum, this gooey mix can’t spoil, so it often replaces dairy products in baked goods and other liquid products.
Textured soy protein concentrate, carrageenan, maltodextrin, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, modified cornstarch = All of these are basically different names to hide ingredients that either contain Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) or form MSG during processing

A little scary huh? All of these things are hidden in ALL KINDS of food! Cereal, salad dressing, protein bars… things we THINK are healthy… and these are IN them! And how easy is it to make our own dressing?? EASY! SOO EASY!

The list could go on and on and on. I read labels of everything I purchase. The less I recognize the ingredients, the more I will put it back on the shelf and figure out how to make it on my own. The cool thing is that I have learned that cooking isn’t overwhelming… it’s FUN! I can make my own BBQ sauce, Teriyaki sauce, bread, chicken nuggets, cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream, smoothies… I can do copycat recipes too! Basically what I see in the store and I don’t like the ingredients used to “preserve” or “keep freshness” (like BHT!!) I go home and try to make it on my own. There have been quite a few FAILS… hahaha, but a lot of WINS!

I have learned alot having a son who has food allergies. What’s in your food? What do you have for breakfast? How are you feeding your body? Did you know that if you work out 2 hours a day EVERY DAY and still eat junk all day long… you are NOT healthy?

Once again, I’m going to mention Dietitian Cassie: http://www.dietitiancassie.com/

I have learned a lot just reading her blog! She talks a lot about REAL food!

From http://www.realfoodchallenge.org/about/realfood

Real Food is food which truly nourishes producers, consumers, communities and the earth.  It is a food system–from seed to plate–that fundamentally respects human dignity and health, animal welfare, social justice and environmental sustainability.

Some people call it “local,” “green,” “slow,” or “fair.”  We use “Real Food” as a holistic term to bring together many of these diverse ideas people have about a values-based food economy (see our Real Food Wheel).

This is about more than supermarket labels. The Real Food Challenge has developed an innovative Real Food Calculator, which provides in-depth definitions of “real food” and a tracking system for institutional purchasing.  With this tool, “real food” is broken down into four core categories: local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound, and humane. Click here to learn more about the Real Food Calculator

Also this blog: http://www.foodrenegade.com/the-basics/real-food/

Back in the 1920s, a dentist named Weston A. Price grew dismayed by the rapidly declining health of his patients. Suspecting that the introduction and acceptance of newfangled industrial dietary changes were at the root of this turn for the worse, he traveled the world in search of healthy populations.

He found them.

These people didn’t eat refined sugar or white flour, didn’t cook with vegetable oils, and didn’t eat food canned with modern methods. They also didn’t have heart disease, diabetes, or cancer.

They did eat foods high in vitamins and minerals, animal fats (including butter), and organ meats. And, roughly 60-80% of their diet was enzyme-rich — either fermented or raw. Plus, they prepared their foods according to centuries old traditions.

They ate real food.

We need to be re-educated. We need to think about what’s in our food and what we are putting into our body. They came out with Splenda to get all of us to stop using aspartame… did you know that Splenda is made with chlorine?! I am becoming more and more of the firm believe that the closer my food is to it’s natural form the better. I personally do not want to do the RAW food diet… I like cooked foods… fancier, etc. But I’m not afraid of butter and oil. I’ve stopped counting calories and focused more on REAL and healthy foods.

What happens when I eat too many veggies? If I fill up on a large bowl of fresh vegetables? I am full. I am full of real food and I don’t have guilt.

Now, I am not opposed to grains… and I am going to try and see how I can replace my pastas… cuz those are my favorites! But I am working on using more real foods. I’m going to try to also use the non-refined and white/bleached flours and THINK about what I put into my body. My body is God’s temple, I am going to take care of it the best I can!

Healthy Replacements for White Flour Snacks

It has fortunately become quite easy to replace enriched flour with healthy alternatives, especially with whole wheat flour. But don’t forget that there are other options that can add variety to your meals such as rye, quinoa, millet, and brown rice flour and sprouted grain products.

I like to snack on alkalizing fruits, whether dried or fresh, and sometimes add a few nuts such as almonds or walnuts and some sesame seeds that are naturally high in calcium. Dried fruits mixed with nuts are easy to carry around so you can have a bone-healthy snack anytime of the day.

Check out those blogs! Let me know what you think!

Meal Planning

Do you meal plan?

I do every 2 weeks. I like to plan ahead. I don’t plan what meals are going to be for what nights or anything… but I plan and shop for 10 dinners (sometimes 1 or 2 extra recipes that have similar ingredients to others that I’ve shopped for in case I change my mind) and then I shop for lunches and breakfasts etc for those 2 weeks at a time.

That is why a lot of the things I talk about I say “thaw”. I don’t usually buy and then cook meat the next day. I don’t usually buy fresh and cook THAT day. It’s very rare that that happens. I don’t like to run to the grocery store every day. I’ve got kids… kids that are impatient and don’t love the grocery store. I personally don’t like the germs that come with the touching of the shopping carts!  Ew.

So, every 2 weeks I’ve got my pinterest board that I go thru, delete the ones I’ve already made my own, and re-pin ideas for the next couple of weeks.

Here is my weekly planning board: https://www.pinterest.com/rebeccacain23/weekly-meal-plans/

If you don’t like the online route for meal planning, you can go the route of a paper pad: Knock Knock What to Eat Pad

OR a magnetic white board for your fridge! I’ve done this in the past! Magnetic Meal Planner

My husband and I also just started using the app: “Out of Milk”. You can scan the UPC code on some items so that it can be REALLY specific if you husband needs to pick something up for you! You can specify store, items, how many, average price, and whether or not you have a coupon for it. It also gives you an alert for whats on sale in the area! It’s a very helpful app, and I have it open as I shop so that I only buy what I planned to purchase. It helps keep me from purchasing anything impulsively!

Also, have you ever heard of Mvelopes? There are 2 versions. There is the cash version, and the debit card all online version. The online version, at www.mvelopes.com has a free version and it tracks all of your swipes on your debit cards and credit cards! It helps you budget and track your spending. It will even give you a graph that shows you percentages of where you spend your money! Crazy huh? We took a Dave Ramsey course at our church and it was recommended. I’d say check it out if you’re looking for something to help figure out where all that $$ is going! 🙂

Tonight my husband is still not home and it’s 8p. Sometimes he gets home early, and sometimes he gets home late! I did not feel like cooking a big whole dinner just for myself.. and also did not feel like making dinner at 8p. So, tomorrow is the day a recipe will come!

So, how do you meal plan? What are your tools?? Or, do you just wing it at the grocery store?? Let me know!

And now, for the quote of the day:

C.S. Lewis

Mixed Greens Chicken Avocado Salad with Lemon Poppy-seed Dressing

Mondays…. I made this salad last night. You know the movie “Office Space”?

[​IMG]

I seriously LOVE that movie. I really do. I’ve seen it quite a few times, and it’s still funny every time!

I was thinking about that quote yesterday. The day seemed endless. In South Carolina, there is a yellow haze of pollen floating through the air, and coating my throat and lungs causing swelling and coughing and overall miserable feelings in our house. What is the need for this much pollen? I mean, you look outside and you can SEE THE BREEZE. I’m not joking. We have enough pine trees. The pollen needs to dial it back a bit.

I know this rant will do nothing. But I felt the need to whine. And then I had a glass of wine. HA!

Anyways… back to my salad. My husband said that he was craving his chinese food leftovers last night and wanted to eat that, and was going to be coming home late. I, however, was NOT craving that. So… I looked at my meal plan and decided on a yummy and filling salad!

This one is seriously soo good! I did have popcorn later that evening as a nighttime snack, but this one was filling, sweet yet tangy, and really fresh. You have your crunch, chewy, sweet, tart… everything!

Try this one out for sure!

wpid-1428421276620.jpg

Ingredients

Dressing
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup canola oil (or any light oil)
    • 2 tsp lemon zest
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 2 Tbsp honey
    • 2 tsp spicy brown mustard, OR dijon mustard
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • dash of fresh ground pepper
    • 2 tsp poppy seeds (or more if you desire)
  • Mix it in a 2 cup measuring cup with a whisk, or you can mix it in a Salad Dressing Mixer.

wpid-1428421345004.jpg

Salad
  • 4-6 chicken tenderloins cooked (or leftover grilled chicken on a Cast Iron Pan) thru and sliced. (I cooked mine in the skillet with a bit of olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper. The more basic the chicken, the better. You’re gonna have the flavor in the salad and the dressing)
  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • 5 oz. Artisan salad mix (or spring greens)
  • 1 avocado, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup shaved or grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 sliced and halved cucumber (I prefer English or “hothouse” cucumbers)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • Optional: You can add some almonds or pecans as well if you’d like!!!

wpid-1428421404763.jpg

ENJOY!!!!!!

And now, for the quote of the day:

one of my all time favorite quotes