Sunday, October 31, 2010

Natural Pest Control - Fruit Flies

Fruit Fly Trap

1 quart jar
1 piece of paper, rolled up into a funnel
apple cider vinegar
small slice of banana
Fill a quart jar with a 1/2 inch of apple cider vinegar and a small piece of banana. Roll up your paper into a funnel shape (larger at the top) and tape it in place. Place the funnel into your jar and make sure all the edges are secured shut with tape. You may have to adjust the size of your funnel to make sure it fits nicely into your jar. Place the jar where the fruit flies are flying around and let it go to work. You will be amazed at how well this trap works. The fruit flies will smell the fruit and climb inside, but for some odd reason they don’t fly back up the funnel to get out. When you have caught a good supply, place the entire jar in the freezer. After a short time the flies will die and you can remove the jar from the freezer and use it again without even removing the old contents. Use repeatedly until your fruit flies are eliminated.

This really works! There are 10 + fruit flies in the jar !!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Crockpot Black Beans

Black beans are a staple item in our house. I make a batch, sometimes two a week. I love Black Beans and so does my family.

Micah, the baby is a fan of black beans too!

I have a jar full of beans and maybe even a bag or two on hand. Never can have too many black beans!!!

The Ingredients:
Black beans, soaked, see below
onion, diced (amount depending on amount of black beans)
chicken or turkey neck or turkey bacon (I do not eat anything pig) or even a broth (vegetable would do)

The Directions:
Soaking - 
Beans should be rinsed then soaked with 1 Tbsp whey or lemon juice per cup of beans. After soaking, drain, rinse and start with fresh water. 

Cooking -
Add soaked beans, onion, seasoning and water into crockpot. 

Cook you beans either high for 2 -3 hours or on low for 6 - 8 hours, even longer. 

I do not have measurements **BUT** you can never have too much water. You can always drain the water when you are done cooking. If you have too little water your beans WILL burn and your house will reek... 

Trust me - I have been there!!!! The house smelled for a week (exaggeration, a little!)

If I have to guess with measurements --- cooking on high - 1 cup beans 3 - 5 cups water. cooking on low 1 cup beans 3 cups water. You can always add more and you can always drain the liquid at the end!

Black Bean recipes :

and many more to come!!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Winter Squash and Chicken Sausage

I made this dinner more difficult than it needed to be. Although, for my first time, it was worth the extra time. As I have mentioned before, my family is a fan of Brussels Sprouts. We love them. I have always sliced them into twos or fours but never sliced, ribboned or even peeled. 

Actually, I take that back. I have a Brussels Sprout salad with blueberries (cranberries) and walnuts. Technically, I did not make the salad.

I used 1 1/2 bags of Brussels Sprouts. I cut them in half and then pulled the pieces apart. 
Yes - ALOT of work... Made it a lot harder than it needed to be. 

Next time, I will slice the Brussels Sprouts into slices or as they call it ribbons. 

I cut up, steamed and saute Butternut Squash in Coconut Oil.

I added Chicken Sausage.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Winter Squash and Chicken Sausage

3/4 lb butternut squash, diced
4 tsp olive oil, divided
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 links smoked chicken sausage, sliced (preferably a sweeter flavor - I used Apple-Gate)
3/4 lb Brussels Sprouts
1 TBSP Artisana Almond Butter, melted
A dash or two of Braggs Aminos (or soy sauce)
pinch each of smoked paprika and nutmeg
1/2 oz pine nuts, toasted

The Directions:
Place the squash in a steamer pot, add a splash of water, cover, and cook on high for about 5 minutes.

Wash the Brussels sprouts, remove any yellowing outer leaves, trim, and slice into ribbons (I pulled my apart.)

Heat 2 tsp coconut oil over medium-high heat and add the steamed squash with a pinch of salt. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Add remaining 2 tsp olive oil to the pan, turn the heat up just a bit, then add the Brussels sprouts. Season with more salt and a pinch of smoked paprika and nutmeg. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring a few times, until nicely browned in spots. Add the sliced chicken sausage, cook 1-2 minutes more, and then add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from the pan and set aside.

 Add the squash mixture and pine nuts, toss together and heat through. Add a dash or two of Braggs Amino. Melt 1 TBSP Almond Butter and pour and mix evenly.  Serve immediately.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kale Chips with Cashew Cheese

Tuesday is Glee Day! Yes, I am a Gleek! Proud of it!!! This Tuesday was the Rocky Horror Halloween Special which required planning. I scheduled the boys baths and bedtime a little earlier to insure they were down for the night once Glee started. 

I even made a special snack for this weeks Glee! Cheesy Kale Chips!!!! When I posted my Kale Chip recipe, several people shared their love for Cheesy Kale Chips. Being new to Kale Chips, I had NEVER heard of Cheesy Kale Chips. I was missing out!!! 

It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that I really realized I was missing out!!! While shopping at Whole Foods, I saw a bag of Cheesy Kale Chips. I bought them. (Way over priced but worth a taste test!)

 I LOVED THEM. I ate the whole bag in one sitting. I knew that it was time for me to make my own Cheesy Kale Chips.

When looking back to my plain Kale Chips recipe, I remembered they took a long time. The texture was not exactly wheat was described in the recipes I read and the pictures I saw. The Kale Chips were left soggy and I had to re-cook them the next day.

I decided to go a little different route this time with a little help from Tasha. When discussing Kale Chips, she said she was going to go with Coconut Oil.  I still thought Coconut Oil could leave them a little soggy too so I used Coconut Oil Cooking Spray. I decided that the weight of the oil made them soggy and not crispy which then made me cook the Kale longer.

It worked!!!! These Cheesy Kale Chips tasted just like the store bought ones, if not better! I ate them all!!! I know terrible, but they were warm and delicious!!!!

The Ingredients:

Cashew Cheese
1/2c unsalted cashews
1/4c nutritional yeast
1T coconut oil

A bunch of Kale

The Directions:
Wash and Dry Kale. Preheat oven to 170 degrees - or the lowest oven temperature. 

I had extra Cashew Cheese from the Southwestern Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos and just used what I had left. 

I laid the Kale out on a cookie sheet and spray the Coconut Oil over the Kale. 

In a bowl, I mixed the Cashew Cheese and the sprayed Kale. Coating the Kale with the Cashew Cheese. 

I then poured the Kale back on the cookie sheet and sprinkled the remaining Cashew Cheese on the Kale. Then I sprayed the Kale one more time with the Coconut Oil. 

I did not have a full bunch of Kale. I baked mine at 170 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours. Just watch the Kale until crispy. 


Southwestern Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos with Cashew Cheese

Wow - the weather yesterday was crazy. We woke up to really warm weather (not a good thing in October) and by 10, the dark clouds arrived. 10:30 - 11 the wind began to blow hard and the rain soon followed. 

I heard that several sirens went off all over the state and many people spent some time in the basement or in hallways. Thankfully -- the weather did not get that bad here. I am a real weather scare-d-cat. Scare-d-cat Lindsey has gotten worse since having little ones to care for and protect. 

By 4 pm the weather was cooling off again and there was not a cloud in the sky. 

I like to make a more hearty meal on rainy (blah) days! I have been playing around with this idea in my head, mix sweet potato and black beans. It was a success!!! I came up with this hearty comfort-like dish! Which would be a fabulous Meatless Monday meal!
 The Ingredients:

Cashew Cheese
1/2c unsalted cashews
1/4c nutritional yeast
1T coconut oil
3 sweet potatoes 
1 1/2c cooked black beans (I used homemade - I will post my recipe soon!)
1/2 red onion, diced (I did not have this on hand and it was good without!)
1 large tomato, diced 
8 - 10 tortillas ( I used 6 Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortillas)
1 1/2c salsa (I used homemade)
1/2c corn, fresh or frozen
1/4c chopped scallion

The Directions:

Preheat oven to 400* and bake sweet potatoes until soft, about 45 min.  I cut the potatoes into 1/4’s to help with the cooking.  Remove and let cool.

While potatoes are cooking, grind cashews into a fine powder, in a food processor.  Then, process with the nutritional yeast until just combined.  Add oil and process until just moistened.  If processed too long it will become dough-like.

If using frozen corn, thaw by boiling 1c. of water and pouring over frozen corn in a strainer.
Peel potatoes and mash with lime juice.  I used a fork which worked perfectly. 
Fold in beans, onion, and tomato. I decided to add a little corn in mine. 

Spoon about 1/3cup filling into each burrito, depending on size, roll and place seem side down in a baking dish. 

Cover with salsa and Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes then broil for about 3 min.

Add corn + cashew cheese and broil for about 2 more minutes.  Watch closely so the “cheese” does not burn.

Top with scallions + serve.

I had a little extra filling so I saved it for the baby. That way he could enjoy without eating any nuts. He enjoyed it! 

Sweet Potato

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cocoa Quinoa with Almond Butter and Cocoa Bliss

I am still striving on my limited Gluten intake. 

I struggle in the mornings. Gluten or no Gluten I struggle. I do not like eating eggs every single morning and that is my "go-to" breakfast. I do love eating oatmeal but I have yet to purchased Gluten-Free Oatmeal. 

This was a mistake. A good mistake, no a great one!!!!

I was planning on pre-making Quinoa for dinner but added a little too much Chili Powder or maybe it was Cayenne but there was a kick to this. I decided to add the Cocoa Bliss and Almond Butter in hopes that they would take care of heat and it did!!!! I topped my Cocoa Bliss Quinoa with Raisins. 

The Ingredients:
1/2 cup Quinoa
1 cup
2 tsp Artisana Cocoa Bliss
1/8-1/4 tsp Chili Powder
1/8-1/4 tsp Cayenne
2 TBSP Almond Butter
1/2 cup Raisins
1 Cinnamon Stick

The Directions:
In the rice cooker add Quinoa, Cocoa Bliss, Chili Powder, Cayenne, and Cinnamon Stick. Stir all ingredients and begin the cooking process.

When cooking is complete add Almond Butter right into the rice cooker and mix.

Top with Raisins!!! Walnuts would be really good too!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Potato or Tomato? Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Many of you this summer watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.

It doesn't shock me that kids do know what the different types of vegetables there are.  I wanted to try this out with Joshua, my 3 year old. He was doing really good until the end -- when I side tracked him with another topic. He did great! After He is ONLY 3... 

Not bad... Couldn't remember Bell Peppers and Radish. I am impressed. It saddens me to know that there are some kids out there who do not know the different type of vegetables, like in the video above. 

When we re-watched the video with Joshua in it, he added some more pointers... I love Brussels Sprouts. Do you? I love Zucchini. Do you? Mommy I LOVE Broccoli. Do you? 

The point of my post is Food Revolution can use your help! 

Dress up as the grossest processed food you know of, go in after 6 p.m. on Halloween, and get a $2 burrito or order of tacos. Check out this great video of Steve and Jamie explaining the event!

Oven Omelet with Sweet Potato Crust

Weekends are not always good food days. We are extra busy - running around - doing fun activities - running errands. Meals are always put off till the very end. I plan all week and have a plan and weekends - NOT SO MUCH! I am getting better. 

Yesterday, was no different. I was out most of the afternoon and lost track of time. I had forgot to take out meat to thaw and I was not in the mood for fish. 

Sometime in the past few weeks I came across an oven omelet recipe and it looked great! When it came time to find it - I couldn't! so it was time to improvise and go off memory! 

Here is what I could remember: It had sweet potato crust. There was eggs. There were vegetables.

Here is what I came up with!

The Ingredients:
1 sweet potato, sliced (I left the peel on mine)

6 whisked eggs, farm fresh
1/2 finely chopped sauteed onion
1 finely chopped sauteed red pepper
2 cloves minced sauteed garlic
2 cups lightly steamed, thinly sliced broccoli
1/2 cup sliced Applegate Farms, Chicken & Red pepper, Breakfast Sausage (1 link)
1/2 cup Raw Cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped sun dried tomatoes

The Directions:
Slice the sweet potato and arrange in the pie pan. Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl and pour over sweet potatoes. Top with raw cheese. 

Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

** Baby enjoyed the eggs and sweet potato! ** This was quick and easy and was a hit! We ate the whole thing. 


Sweet Potato

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Canning Tomato Juice and Tomato Sauce

I stocked up on sauces, stewed tomatoes and salsa this summer and have already been enjoying them! The flavor is great and it is just nice knowing where and what conditions my tomatoes (and sauces) were grown in. 
After getting extra food share the past two weeks, I have 3 big bags of tomatoes. Not to mention my window seal full of tomatoes from my garden. 

I have made several different types of canned tomatoes this summer but this recipe is my new favorite. It is simple and you can make three different types of canned tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Tomato Sauce or Tomato Paste! You don't even have to waste time peeling and seeding! :) Which is perfect for me!!!! 

Who really has time to boil then peel a tomato? NOT ME! 

The Directions:
First, you start with bunches and bunches of pretty tomatoes, like these.  You can take the skins off and the seeds out if you want to…I pretty much just WASH them.  I leave the skin on and and the seeds in…mostly because I’m just too lazy to do otherwise.  My family doesn’t know the difference, and you can’t really even tell that the seeds and skin are still there.  At all. 
Next, I cut the tomatoes into fourths and put them into my food processor. The tomatoes are then blended up until they are liquid.  After I blend up my tomatoes, they go into a big pot. Boil the tomatoes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.  After a while it begins to look like this. 
Once that bubbly froth is just about all gone from the top (about an hour and a half or so after beginning the boiling process), you have made tomato juice, and you’re able to go ahead with the hot water bath process of canning tomato juice. 

But, if you want tomato sauce, continue to let it boil for another hour or so.  You’ll know your tomato sauce is done “saucing” when most of the watery liquid has evaporated.  If you continue to cook it at this point, you will have tomato paste…which is fine…if you want tomato paste.

Can your tomato sauce for 25-30 minutes

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Food, Inc.

Today, I stumbled across the movie trailer for Food, Inc. I just HAD to share it with you.

Watch it... Then go and rent the movie!!!!

Let me know what you think! Our "eating" life has changed after watching it.

Whole Grain Soaked Tortillas

Even though I have decided to be more serious with my Gluten Free diet (again!) I could not waste the this dough I soaked. After all, why can't my boys enjoy them! I have good self control!

Plus, I was curios on how this Whole Grain Soaked Tortillas would taste.

They were good. I only had about a quarter size piece.

Next time, I will not add the salt or the Baking Powder.

The Ingredients:
3 cups whole wheat or kamut flour
1 cup warm filtered water
1 Tbsp acid medium (kefir, whey, buttermilk, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice)
1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
The Directions:
Combine flour, water, melted coconut oil or butter and 1 Tbsp of acid medium. Cover and soak at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
After soaking, add baking powder and salt to soaked flour mixture, kneading in the flour until the dough is workable but not too stiff.
Shape into 8 – 10 balls and let stand 10 more minutes. Roll to form a 10 inch circle or use a tortilla press. Bake on a lightly greased griddle till done (not browned). Toast for about 20-30 sec. per side.
Yield: 8-10 tortillas.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I am have a gluten intolerance. A lot of people do, just don't know it.
I try to be Gluten Free, well limit the households Gluten but this is a challenge to me. I am not going to lie and say I have been Gluten Free - I HAVE NOT. I know, I need to be and I am working on it. I love bread. I really do... Fresh warm delicious bread or how about cookies!!!!!
I am really going to do this! I am going to research and get cookbooks and read books and I am going to do this.
Dinner is easy to be Gluten Free. I just need to work on breakfast and lunch. I will do this!!!! I am open to Gluten Free recipes!!! Maybe, even a Gluten Free bread recipe! :)
To get me going on this quest, I made these delicious cookies... These are great! Full of FLAVOR!!! These are rough measurements... I am terrible about EXACT measurements! I get too excited! :)

Almost Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
The Ingredients:
1/2 cup pitted dates that you chop into chunks
3/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup macadamia nuts
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon coconut oil (you can use butter but coconut oil is better!)
1 Egg
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

The Directions:
Put nuts, dates, coconut, oil, and cinnamon in the food processor with the S blade on it. Pulse until nuts and dates are broken down and it resembles loose crumbs.
Pour into mixing bowl and add in egg and raisins. Use your hands to mix together.
Use an ice cream scoop to get uniformly sized cookies. Form into patties like you would burger meat. You should be able to make about 6-8 cookies.
Put on ungreased baking sheet into an oven that you have heated to 350. Space evenly on the cookie sheet.
Bake for about 25 minutes. You will know they are done when they look golden brown and delicious.
Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
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