Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Addicting, watch out! My teenage son said pumpkin seeds are good for acne since they're high in zinc.

2 c. raw hulled pumpkin seeds
1 TBS sea salt
1/2 TBS garlic powder
1/2 tsp chipotle chile pepper (or other chili pepper/cayenne)
water

In a quart jar, mix salt, garlic powder & chili pepper in water and stir to dissolve. Add pumpkin seeds, then add more water so you've got a couple of inches of water above the pumpkin seeds. Put the lid on the jar and shake to distribute spices.

Spread in dehydrator on teflex tray and dehydrate at 105-110 degrees until crunchy (about 12 hours). Or spread on cookie sheet and place in warm oven (150 degrees), which will kill some of the enzymes but go faster (about 6 hours.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mexican Pizzas

Much better for you than Taco Bell's version. This makes 12 pizzas, or you can do less tortillas and more ingredients on each.

24 6" tortillas (use best kind you can - sprouted whole grain)
Oil for frying
1 can or 2 c. refried beans
1/2 lb ground beef
1 c. salsa (fresh is great)
2 c. cheddar cheese
1/4 c. chopped green onions
1/4 c. sliced black olives

Put about 1/8" oil in a pan and heat to fry the tortillas. Coconut oil is great, but my family isn't fond of food fried in coconut, so I fried in a combo of olive oil and butter. Fry so that each tortilla is browned on each side, poking any bubbles that form.

Meanwhile, fry beef and season with taco seasoning or garlic salt and pepper. Heat refried beans in a separate pot.

Cover two baking sheets with tinfoil or parchment paper for much easier cleanup. Put 6 tortillas on each baking sheet. Spread refried beans on each tortilla (about 3 TBS on each, may need a little more beans than stated above.) Sprinkle about 1 to 1-1/2 TBS ground beef on the beans for each tortilla. Put a freshly fried tortilla on top of each tortilla on the baking sheet. Next, spread about 1-2 TBS salsa on each tortilla (thin layer.) Sprinkle cheese on top and top with green onions and black olives if desired.

Serve with salsa (try green salsa!), guacamole, sour cream, etc.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Teriyaki Sauce

Quick and easy! Really good on stirfry veggies, rice, etc.

1/4 c. tamari soy sauce
1-1/4 c. water
1/4 c. pineapple juice
1/2 tsp ginger (or 1/2 tbs freshly grated ginger)
4-5 TBS sucanat
1 minced garlic clove
2-1/2 TBS arrowroot powder
1/4 c. cold water

In a medium pot, combine tamari, water, pineapple juice, ginger, 3 TBS of sucanat and minced garlic. Heat to boiling while stirring. Mix arrowroot in cold water, add to sauce while stirring. Stir until sauce is thickened. Add more sucanat as sweetener to taste. Add more water if too thick.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Taco Layer Dip

Always a hit at parties or on a hot summer day. Sometimes called 7 layer dip, but you can have as many as you like. Just pick and choose the ones your family likes and add them. Sometimes I make a "full" version on 1/2 the pan and the "lesser" version for the pickier eaters on the other side.

In a glass 9x13 pan, layer the following:

Layer 1: 4 cups or 2 cans seasoned refried beans. Spread on the bottom of the pan. (2 cans makes this heartier, 1 can is just fine for less people.)
Layer 2: Mix together 8 oz sour cream, 8 oz cream cheese (softened) and 1 c. salsa. Spread over beans.
Layer 3: 2 cups guacamole or 3 sliced avocados (optional if kids are eating this). Spread over pink spread.
Layer 4: 1/2 lb ground beef, seasoned with taco seasoning and cooled.
Layer 5: 1 large tomato, chopped.
Layer 6: 1 green pepper, chopped.
Layer 7: 1 bunch green onions, chopped.
Layer 8: Shredded lettuce
Layer 9: 6 oz can of black olives, drained
Layer 10: 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or crumbled queso fresco

Serve with tortilla chips and a veggie tray if desired.

Green Noodles aka Pesto Pasta

My friend Cheree shared this with me, and my kids loved it. Pesto is also delicious in panini.

2/3 cup packed coarsely chopped basil leaves or 2 T crushed dried basil leaves
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup olive
2 tablespoons walnuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic
10 oz cooked spaghetti or noodles (for GF, use Tinkyada brown rice noodles)
2 tablespoons butter

Place all ingredients except pasta and butter in blender container. Cover and blend on high speed until mixture is of uniform consistency. Cook spaghetti as directed on package; drain. Toss spaghetti with basil mixture and the margarine. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Whole Foods Jello

With lots of parties in the summertime, this is a refreshing kid-pleasing dish to bring. I jazzed up the recipe from the Knox box.

4 envelopes unflavored Knox Gelatine (or equivalent other gelatin, I don't know if there's something better)
4 c. cold fruit juice, divided
2 TBS agave nectar or honey, optional
2-3 cups frozen berries
1 c. whip cream
stevia
1/2 tsp vanilla

Pour 3 c. of the fruit juice in a pot and heat to boiling. Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1 c. cold juice in a 13x9 pan. Sprinkle the packets of gelatin over the juice and let it stand for a minute.
Add the boiling juice and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in agave nectar if desired. Add the frozen berries, or you can wait for an hour and add the berries when the jello has set a little, or you can add them at the end (but you'll want them to be thawed). Nice to have options for those of us who forget to add them.

Place the 13x9 pan in the refrigerator to cool. Let set for at least 3 hours. Right before serving, whip the cream. If desired, add vanilla and 1 or 2 tiny scoops of white stevia powder to the cream (I use stevia so the cream doesn't get runny.) This makes it taste more like cool whip for those uninitiated to eating unsweetened whip cream. Spread on top of jello. If you didn't add the fruit to the jello, spoon thawed berries on top of the whip cream. My daughter made a cute flag jello with blueberries & strawberries for the 4th of July that I should've taken a picture of!

Old Fashioned Popcorn

About a year ago, we lost a main part to our air popper. We tried out old-fashioned popcorn in a pot instead and boy is it good. We still don't have an air popper!

Large pot
Hot pads
Coconut oil
Popcorn kernels
Sea salt
Butter

In the bottom of a large pot, pour in about 1/4" to 1/2" coconut oil (of course you may not know how much you've got in there until it's melted.) Melt the oil on med-high. Once the oil is melted, add enough popcorn kernels to the oil is filled up with kernels (so most of the kernels are covered with oil.) Put the lid on, and let it warm up. Meanwhile, heat up some butter in a small pot on med-low. Amount of butter depends on your desire. When the first few kernels start popping, put your hot pads on and start shaking that pot over the heat. Keep shaking until popping has slowed way down.

Pour into a popcorn bowl, leaving unpopped kernels at the bottom (and there may be a few burned ones.) Drizzle melted butter and sprinkle sea salt in batches on top of the popcorn and stir as you go.

VARIATION: Make kettle corn by adding some agave syrup to taste to the butter mixture.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bircher Muesli

I often had muesli as a child, except we just ate commercial muesli with milk like a cold cereal. While that was good, it was hard to digest. A few months ago while on a cruise, I found that they had "real" soaked muesli in the breakfast buffet. How delicious it was! I've been meaning to give it a try since then, so here it is...

3 c. rolled oats
3/4 c. orange juice
1-1/2 c. raw milk
4 TBS sweetener (honey, agave or mixture)
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. raisins (golden raisins are typical for muesli, but you can use any kind, or you can substitute any other dried fruit such as dried apricots)
1/2 c. whip cream or milk
1 grated apple
chopped almonds or hazelnuts (soaked/dehydrated)
cinnamon and/or nutmeg
fresh fruit (berries, pineapple, grapes, bananas, etc)

In a bowl, mix oats, orange juice, milk, sweetener, yogurt, vanilla and raisins. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, whip the cream & grate the apple and fold into oat mixture. (If using milk instead of cream skip the whipping.) Scoop into individual bowls. Top with chopped almonds, dash of cinnamon and/or nutmeg and lots of fresh fruits. Serves 6-8.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pesto Panini

It's 100 degrees today, and the AC broke. We just had salad bar for dinner, so I had to find something else to make for dinner that didn't require much heat. These made everyone happy (except I did have to make some without onions...)

Sourdough bread
Pesto sauce (homemade or from Costco)
Lunch meat, nitrate free, chopped in small squares (or any other kind of meat, or omit)
Mozzarella cheese
Red onions, sliced
Olive oil

Preheat a sandwich grill or George Foreman grill. If you don't have one, you can google how to make panini with two skillets or a skillet and a brick.

Take two slices of sourdough bread. Using a pastry brush, brush one side of each slice of bread with olive oil. That will be the outside of the sandwich. On the non-olive oil side, spread about 1 TBS pesto sauce. Sprinkle on some chopped lunch meat (I only used about 1/2 slice per sandwich), a bit of mozzarella and slices of red onions. Top the sandwich with the other slice of bread (olive oil on outside) and place in sandwich grill. Let cook until browned and crispy.

Serve with a big platter of veggies.

Fudgsicles

I had fudgsicles on my mind, so I googled for a healthy chocolate pudding recipe and I tried this out.

First make the pudding following these directions:
Chocolate Pudding

I used milk, but I'm sure coconut milk would be delicious too. I used 1/3 cup sweetener - 1/2 of it was agave syrup and 1/2 was sucanat. I also added in 1 TBS butter with the vanilla at the end to make it extra flavorful and rich. The pudding was delicious as is, but I still wanted fudgsicles! After cooling slightly, I poured it into popsicle molds and put it in the freezer. The next day the fudgsicles were done and delicious!

Breakfast Ideas

For years, we were stuck in the cold-cereal-n-milk rut. Now we seem to be stuck in the homemade yogurt with granola and fruit rut, but at least that's a little healthier and cheaper (if homemade). Here's a list of healthy breakfast ideas, to hopefully get us all out of a rut. For quick breakfasts, make your own in bulk before, freeze and toast or reheat at breakfast time.

Baked Goods
*Pancakes
*French toast
*Coconut french toast
*Muffins
*Waffles
*Biscuits
*Raisin bread/toast
*Homemade bread
*Baked french toast

Eggs
*Scrambled
*Fried
*Omelet
*Egg & Cheddar sandwich
*Egg in a hole
*Breakfast burrito
*Hard boiled eggs
*Hashbrown casserole

Hot & Cold Cereals
*Granola
*Granola bars
*Oatmeal
*Toasted steel cut oatmeal
*Hot brown rice cereal
*Wheat farina
*Millet or quinoa
*Muesli
*Baked oatmeal
*Rice pudding

Fruits & yogurt
*Fresh fruit
*Smoothies
*Yogurt parfait
*Yogurt & granola
*Fruit Salad
*Fruit muesli