Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vegetable Fried Rice

I love Rice. I REALLY love Fried Rice!!!! I grew up eating Fried Rice. I have strived to try to make a Fried Rice like the one I have had so many times at Ron of Japan in Chicago.

I have never come close to their recipe. Every time we are in Chicago, we eat at Ron of Japan. Everyone in my family watched closely at how the cook their Fried Rice but still it is not the same.

This is close but not the same. Delicious but not the same... Most importantly MINE is HEALTHIER!!!!

The Ingredients:
7 spears of asparagus, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1/4 - 1/2 cup of frozen peas
1/2 cup broccoli (fresh or frozen), cut into pieces
1/2 onion, chopped
2 scramble eggs
Soy sauce
Sesame Seeds
Garlic Salt
Salt and Pepper

The Directions:

Combine your rice and all the water called for in the recipe with 1-2 Tbsp of acid medium and let soak for 7 hours. I combine these ingredients in the rice cooker. When ready, simply turn it on and cook as usual. My recipe is to soak 1 cup brown rice to 2 1/4 cup water, with 2 Tbsp of kefir. Then plug in the rice cooker and begin to cook. If you are using stovetop following the directions. Should take about 45 minutes on a low simmer.
(- Brown rice is not have as high of phytate content and thus need only be soaked for 7 hours (this is a great last minute grains if you forget to soak, won’t be a big problem – also recommend purchasing brown rice pasta for this reason as well)

Once the rice is done, unplug the rice cooker or take off the heat, begin to saute the vegetables in Coconut Oil. Start off with the carrots and broccoli. If you are using frozen vegetables, add those. After a couple of minutes and the rest of the vegetables. Mix in the seasonings.

If you haven't done so, in a separate pan, scramble the 2 eggs.

Add the cooled rice and scrambled egg to the vegetables. Cook for a minute or two.

This is great for leftovers! :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Quinoa and Black beans

I am extremely thankful for my meat guy! I feel I need to give him a shout out... His sole mission is to provide clean meat that EVERYONE can afford. He is so dedicated and affordable he has to work 2 jobs just to do so!


Do not worry I did not eat all that meat. My darling husband made my plate and ended up eating off it!

This meal is almost completely local. Quinoa and Blackbeans - NOT LOCAL but SOAKED!

Quinoa and Black beans.

The Ingredients:

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa (Mine was already prepared in my fridge!)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (I made a homemade batch in the crockpot)
Zucchini and yellow squash, chopped into small pieces
The Directions:
Soaking Step Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a strainer. Allow to sit in strainer over a large bowl and add warm filtered water to cover sufficiently. Add 1 Tbsp of an acid medium (whey, kefir, yogurt, or cultured buttermilk). Cover with plate or towel. Soak 12-24 hours. Rinse once again and add 1 cup broth, and proceed. I use less than the recipe calls for if soaking, because it absorbed water in the soaking stage, and will not need as much to cook. 1 cup was perfect.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
I cook my quinoa in my rice cooker! This time I cooked it in vegetable broth and added cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper right into the water.
(Thoroughly rinse quinoa. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.)
Saute zucchini and yellow squash in RAW butter and season with salt and pepper and Italian seasoning. Add into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans.

One Lovely Blog Award - Part 2

A couple of weeks ago I posted that Be Joyful Always for nominated my blog, Enjoying Healthy Foods for One Lovely Blog.

I originally posted my top 9 blogs and forgot until now to add the final 6 of my nominations.

Since I've received this award, I've been given the opportunity to nominate more blogs for this award. And there are guidelines for accepting this award:
  1. Accept the award, by posting it on your blog with the name of the person's blog (and his/her blog link) who granted you with the award.
  2. Nominate fifteen blogs that you have newly discovered, and contact those bloggers to let them know.
My favorite 15 newly (and not so newly) discovered are:

Pamela's Products

I have not yet mastered a homemade (gluten-free) pancake. I have tried a couple of recipes but ended in a FLOP so I have put my search on hold. For now.

But until then, I have found Pamela's Products. It is a gluten-free mix. You can make pancakes, cookies, biscuits, bread, waffles and so much more.

I found this baking & pancake mix at Whole Foods. I have only made the pancakes and I am excited to try the cookies! and much more!

Soaking Grains Part 2

Check out Sally Fallon’s article, Be Kind to Your Grains . It is very helpful in understanding why this is such an important process to do. But here is a quote that contains the most helpful part.
I am still learning about soaking grains. So far, I have learned why we soak grains, posted here.

What does soaking grains accomplish?
The soaking breaks down some of the hard-to-digest proteins, making assimilation much easier, and neutralizes phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient that prevents absorption of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper.
Because grains are seeds, they also contain enzyme inhibitors, which protect the seed from germinating until the conditions are proper for growth. If ingested, these inhibitors can prevent the body's enzymes from working properly, and digestion will be hindered. Soaking grains neutralizes these inhibitors and stimulates the production of beneficial enzymes and increases vitamin content, because the seed is being activated toward growth. This active, live seed is nutritionally superior to one that is "closed up".

How do you do it?
It’s quite simple. You can soak grains like rice, millet, quinoa, wheat, 12 to 24 hours at room temperature in some water with 1-2 tablespoons of whey, lemon juice, vinegar, buttermilk, yogurt, or kefir (this gives it an acidic medium which helps neutralize anti-nutrients). You can then rinse the grains to remove any acidic taste to them, and then cook in fresh water.
Or you can sprout your grains.
For baked goods, you can soak your flour in buttermilk, yogurt or kefir 12 to 24 hours and then add the rest of the ingredients right before baking. This makes the fluffiest whole wheat pancakes!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Thai-spiced Squash soup

In our food share, the past few weeks, we have received a butternut squash, an acorn squash and a winter squash. The first week we received the winter squash. The second week the butternut and this past week the Acorn.

I knew I was either going to make a soup or baby food with the squash. I was reminded that I just spent an entire night making baby food and that I should enjoy the squash myself! Although the baby could eat this - with out the Thai spice. Thank you, friend!!! This soup was delicious!!!!

Look how beautiful. I tried to grow Butternut squash in my garden this year but I had an attack of a little bunny foo foo! :)

I love Acorn Squash too!!! Nothing like an acorn squash Roasted with Raw butter... mmm! Delicious!

This is a first! I am not going to lie.... I didn't even know what it was! We learn something new everyday! :)
This soup was delicious! I love roasting vegetables! I love just putting them in the oven - enjoying the smell as the RAW butter roasts away, mixed with the scent of squash/pumpkin.

The Ingredients:
3 acorn squash, pumpkin, butternut or other winter squash
3 TBSP RAW butter
14 oz RAW milk (The recipe called for coconut milk - but I didn't have any on hand.)
3 tsp red Thai curry paste
sea salt

The Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place the oven racks in the middle.
Carefully cut each squash/pumpkin into halves (or quarters). Slather each piece of squash with butter, sprinkle generously with salt, place on a baking sheet skin sides down, and place in the oven. Roast for about an hour or until the squash is tender throughout.
When the pumpkin/squash are cool enough to handle scoop it into a large pot over medium high heat. Add the coconut milk and curry paste and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and puree with a hand blender, you should have a very thick base at this point. Now add water a cup at a time pureeing between additions until the soup is the consistency you prefer - a light vegetable stock would work here as well. Bring up to a simmer again and add the salt (and more curry paste if you like, I used just shy of 6 teaspoons but the curry paste I use is not over-the-top spicy).
(I added 1 vegetable bouillon cube. )


_________UPDATED 9-27-2010___________________

I fixed my problem!!!!! My bread RISED!!!!

Recipe to follow!

_______ORIGINAL POST 9-25-2010_________________
I am not afraid to be open and honest with you. I have nothing to hide!!!!

I have been on a quest to find a healthy sandwich type bread recipe. I do not know if it is the recipes or the cook but I can't seem to get them to rise. I follow the directions - EXACTLY.

HELP! :)

I think this is where the PROBLEM is - just need to know how to fix it. When I add the warm water, yeast and honey - WHAT does proof look like??? How do I know if it is going to work? If it doesn't proof, is it my fault? If so, what did I do wrong? Is it the yeast? How do I know what a "right" "good" yeast is???


I would really like to find a good bread recipe that I can make for my family weekly.

Please post comments if you know what my problem is and how I can fix it.

Arugula Pesto

Arugula was an "extra" item last week with our food share. I love arugula!

Arugula is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, folic acid, calcium, manganese, and
magnesium. It's also a very good source of potassium, iron, zinc, riboflavin, and copper.

Arugula Pesto Recipe

The Ingredients:

2 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed

1/2 cup of walnuts

1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves, unpeeled

1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced

Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.
Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown, or heat in a microwave on high heat for a minute or two until you get that roasted flavor. In our microwave it takes 2 minutes.

Food processor method (the fast way): Combine the arugula, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

Mortar and pestle method (photo pictures pesto produced this way): Combine the nuts and garlic in a mortar. With the pestle, grind until smooth. Add the cheese and olive oil, grind again until smooth. Finely chop the arugula and add it to the mortar. Grind up with the other ingredients until smooth.

Because the pesto is so dependent on the individual ingredients, and the strength of the ingredients depends on the season or variety, test it and add more of the ingredients to taste.
Mix with freshly prepared pasta of your choice*. You may need to add a little bit of water or more olive oil to mix the pesto more evenly with the pasta.

Makes enough pesto sauce for an ample serving of pasta for four people.
*Use gluten-free pasta if you are cooking gluten-free.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Apple Quinoa Cobbler

Yesterday, was my sweet hubby's birthday!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Each year I make him his birthday meal (which will not be posted on here) THANK YOU to my mother-in-law! He has had this same meal for atleast 6 years, thanks to me and who know how many years before that! He loves this meal!!!!! For dessert - I was stuck... I usually make a cake or we go and get ice cream but not this year! I wanted something new!!! He loves Apples. I wanted to make him something that was delicious but healthy at the same time!

I love making Apple Pie. My Godmother showed me her recipe 15 years ago and I haven't changed a thing - YET! This year I will be making some subtle changes, you know, to make it a little healthier! :) Maybe, not so much sugar and brown sugar and maybe more apples and a different type of crust but the flavors, I will keep!

I thought about making a pie for my sweet husband but didn't have all of the ingredients on hand. Thinking fast I decided to try more of a cobbler dessert but with leftover quinoa I had on hand.

The Ingredients:

Filling: 4 medium or large apples
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons RAW honey (or agave syrup, for vegan option)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 cup dry quinoa
4 tablespoons RAW honey (or agave syrup, for vegan option)
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

The Directions:

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

I used leftover quinoa. If you don't have any on hand -
here is what I did. 1/2 cup quinoa rinsed and cooked with 1 cup water.

Meanwhile, peel and chop the apples. Toss with the cornstarch, two tablespoons honey, and cinnamon. Pour into a 9" or 10" pie dish or similar sized baking dish.

When the quinoa has cooled off a bit, mix in the remaining ingredients (honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon and pecans.) Pour over the apples.

Bake for 40-25 minutes, until the topping is lightly browned and crisped in parts, and the fruit is bubbling through. Serve warm.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Acorn Squash and Applesauce

The Ingredients:
1 acorn squash - roasted at 350 for 30 - 45 minutes
homemade applesauce

The directions:
Puree the squash and applesauce until desired consistency.

Rosemary and Lemon Crockpot Chicken

I love my crockpot! I love finding recipes that are healthy and forget about meals! Being a mom of 2 young boys, I love using my crockpot at least once if not twice a week.

I love chicken fryers (whole chickens). When being introduced to whole chickens a few years ago, I thought you had to either boil or bake. As I mentioned before, here, you can butterfly chicken and grill it. You can also crockpot it. No liquid needed!!!!

Rosemary and Lemon Crockpot Chicken

The Ingredients:

1 chicken fryer
2 sprigs fresh Rosemary
2 stalks celery with leaves, cut into pieces
2 small onions, whole
1 whole garlic head, cloves peeled
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 lemon, cut into wedges
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika

The Directions:
Remove and discard giblets and neck from the chicken. Rinse and pat dry. Trim excess fat. Place rosemary, celery, 1/4 of onion, lemon wedges and 6 garlic cloves in the cavity of the chicken. Place chicken, breast side up, in the crock pot . Add remaining onion and garlic. Drizzle lemon juice over chicken; sprinkle with the salt, pepper and paprika. Cover; cook on low for 8 hours

The chicken fell apart! This is what my crockpot looked like once I removed the chicken.

The Chicken fell off the bone. It was so tender and full of flavor!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Honey Oat Wheat Sandwich Bread

The smell of homemade bread is intoxicating for me! A fresh slice from the oven with a little butter on the top is like a taste of heaven! Especially when this bread comes from your very own oven and is made from quality ingredients, no additives, and soaked for the highest nutritional benefit! Who can ask for better? The question is not whether it will save you money to make your own bread (which I am sure it will all the same), but rather you will know exactly what is being put into your bread! It is all about quality and freshness!

As you can tell - my yeast was bad. This bread did not raise as much as I hope but the soup still tasted AMAZING!

Honey Oat Wheat Sandwich Bread

1 c. warm water (about 110*)
1/4 c. RAW honey
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. salt
1 envelope active dry yeast
1/2 c. steel cut oats
1 c. Sprouted Grain wheat flour
1 1/2 c. Spelt flour
1 cup chopped RAW Almonds
Quick oats for dusting, if desired

The Directions:
Boil 1 cup of water. Pour in Steel Cut Oats. Set aside and let soak.

Add water, honey, oil, salt and yeast to a mixing bowl, stir to combine, set aside for 10 minutes while yeast blooms.
Add flours and soaked steep cut oats to the yeast mixture, use the paddle attachment of a mixer, turn speed to low to combine.
When flour is absorbed, take the paddle off and attach the dough hook.
Turn speed back on low, knead for 5 minutes.
If dough is too sticky, add flour 1 tbsp. at a time until it all comes together.
Alternately, if dough is too dry, add 1 tbsp. of warm water until dough comes together.
(This will depend on the heat and humidity in your kitchen)
Form dough into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, cover lightly with a damp kitchen towel and place in a non drafty, warm place for an hour.
Line a bread loaf pan with parchment or oil well.
Once dough has doubled in size, punch down, form into a log, pinching the sides down to the bottom.
Place in the loaf pan, cover with the damp towel and allow it to rise again for an hour.
Preheat oven to 400*
Dust the top of the loaf with quick oats or oat bran.
Place loaf pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 325* and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack until bread is at room temperature.
Store in an air tight bag or container for up to 5 days.
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