Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vanilla Cake

Here is a quick and easy cake recipe just in time for the Holiday weekend!!!! 

The Ingredients:4 eggs
3/4 cup coconut milk (canned) or cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract ( you can use l tsp. if you want less vanilla flavor)
date mixture - see below1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
Scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Stevia 5 drops

date mixture:
3 dates, pitted
2 TBSP water
microwave for 30 seconds and mash down. 

The Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut milk, vanilla extract and palm sugar.
2. In a smaller bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, salt and baking soda.
3. Mix dry ingredients into wet with a handheld mixer. Add stevia to taste.
4. Grease an 8x8 inch baking dish and pour in batter.

Bake for 30 minutes
Cool for 1 hour

There are many things you can do with this cake. Add cut strawberries!!! Add fresh blueberries!!! Add sliced Apples!!! Possibilities are endless! :) 

I added chocolate chips, this time! 


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Salisbury Steaks

A few months ago hubby created the delicious ground beef veggie burger. The other day while walking through Whole Foods, I peaked at their delicious burgers. They have great creations and made me want to make my own version, Spinach burger. I mixed the spinach, ground beef and spice and formed into patties, but then, I decided not to make hamburger but to make Salisbury Steaks out of the mix. So flattened them out some more and grill on the griddle! 

Sorry for the terrible picture. Kids were DEMANDING my attention and I had to snap one quick photo! :)

Here is what I did!

The Ingredients:
1 - 2 lbs ground beef
1 cup finely chopped spinach
2 minced garlic cloves
1 TBSP herbs de provence
1 tsp rosemary
1 egg
1 TBSP raw butter

The gravy:
2 cups beef broth
1 cup coconut milk (canned)
4 TBSP Raw butter
2 TBSP Coconut Flour

The Directions:
In a large mixing bowl add together all the patty ingredients. On a large skillet or griddle heat butter over medium high heat. While butter is melting make thin hamburger patties. Place patties on the hot buttered pan. Cook each side for about 2 - 3 minutes. I pressed my patties down right after setting them down to thin them out just a little bit more!

In a saute pan add left over butter from skillet and additional 4 TBSP. Add Coconut flour and mix well. Once a thick paste mix in the beef broth. Mix well and bring to a boil. Add coconut milk and bring back to a boil then turn down to a simmer. Stir the broth frequently to bring down. It will begin to thicken up. It took me about 15 minutes to get the texture I liked!


Part of Real Food Wednesday

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Clementine Almond Asparagus

This was a total mistake but a delicious mistake!
 The mixture may not sound good to you but I have to tell you the flavor was awesome!!!!

The Ingredients:
Coconut Aminos
Almond, chopped
2 clementines, 1 juiced, 1 sliced and cut in 1/2
1 bunch asparagus (Local CSA)

The Directions:
squeeze the juice of one clementine in a bowl. Take out any seeds. Add Coconut Aminos. I think I used about 2 TBSP. In a bowl add asparagus and let soak in the clementine/coconut amino sauce. I let mine soak for about 30 minutes - 1 hour. Add 1 TBSP coconut oil to frying pan and melt. Add Asparagus, juice and all and begin to cook. Add chopped Almond (I did about 1/2 cup) and Clementine pieces.

Cook for about 10 minutes or so.
It was a surprisingly good mixture and worked in my benefit! We sided the asparagus with chicken and brussels sprouts!


Friday, June 24, 2011

A little dirt never hurt

Ask mothers why babies are constantly picking things up from the floor or ground and putting them in their mouths, and chances are they’ll say that it’s instinctive — that that’s how babies explore the world. But why the mouth, when sight, hearing, touch and even scent are far better at identifying things?

Since all instinctive behaviors have an evolutionary advantage or they would not have been retained for millions of years, chances are that this one too has helped us survive as a species. And, indeed, accumulating evidence strongly suggests that eating dirt is good for you.

In studies of what is called the hygiene hypothesis, researchers are concluding that organisms like the millions of bacteria, viruses and especially worms that enter the body along with “dirt” spur the development of a healthy immune system. Several continuing studies suggest that worms may help to redirect an immune system that has gone awry and resulted in autoimmune disorders, allergies and asthma.

These studies, along with epidemiological observations, seem to explain why immune system disorders like multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and allergies have risen significantly in the United States and other developed countries.

Training the Immune System
“What a child is doing when he puts things in his mouth is allowing his immune response to explore his environment,” Mary Ruebush, a microbiology and immunology instructor, wrote in her new book, “Why Dirt Is Good” (Kaplan). “Not only does this allow for ‘practice’ of immune responses, which will be necessary for protection, but it also plays a critical role in teaching the immature immune response what is best ignored.”

One leading researcher, Dr. Joel V. Weinstock, the director of gastroenterology and hepatology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, said in an interview that the immune system at birth “is like an unprogrammed computer. It needs instruction.”

He said that public health measures like cleaning up contaminated water and food have saved the lives of countless children, but they “also eliminated exposure to many organisms that are probably good for us.”

“Children raised in an ultraclean environment,” he added, “are not being exposed to organisms that help them develop appropriate immune regulatory circuits.”

Studies he has conducted with Dr. David Elliott, a gastroenterologist and immunologist at the University of Iowa, indicate that intestinal worms, which have been all but eliminated in developed countries, are “likely to be the biggest player” in regulating the immune system to respond appropriately, Dr. Elliott said in an interview. He added that bacterial and viral infections seem to influence the immune system in the same way, but not as forcefully.

Most worms are harmless, especially in well-nourished people, Dr. Weinstock said.

“There are very few diseases that people get from worms,” he said. “Humans have adapted to the presence of most of them.”

Worms for Health
In studies in mice, Dr. Weinstock and Dr. Elliott have used worms to both prevent and reverse autoimmune disease. Dr. Elliott said that in Argentina, researchers found that patients with multiple sclerosis who were infected with the human whipworm had milder cases and fewer flare-ups of their disease over a period of four and a half years. At the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Dr. John Fleming, a neurologist, is testing whether the pig whipworm can temper the effects of multiple sclerosis.

In Gambia, the eradication of worms in some villages led to children’s having increased skin reactions to allergens, Dr. Elliott said. And pig whipworms, which reside only briefly in the human intestinal tract, have had “good effects” in treating the inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, he said.

How may worms affect the immune system? Dr. Elliott explained that immune regulation is now known to be more complex than scientists thought when the hygiene hypothesis was first introduced by a British epidemiologist, David P. Strachan, in 1989. Dr. Strachan noted an association between large family size and reduced rates of asthma and allergies. Immunologists now recognize a four-point response system of helper T cells: Th 1, Th 2, Th 17 and regulatory T cells. Th 1 inhibits Th 2 and Th 17; Th 2 inhibits Th 1 and Th 17; and regulatory T cells inhibit all three, Dr. Elliott said.

“A lot of inflammatory diseases — multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and asthma — are due to the activity of Th 17,” he explained. “If you infect mice with worms, Th 17 drops dramatically, and the activity of regulatory T cells is augmented.”

In answer to the question, “Are we too clean?” Dr. Elliott said: “Dirtiness comes with a price. But cleanliness comes with a price, too. We’re not proposing a return to the germ-filled environment of the 1850s. But if we properly understand how organisms in the environment protect us, maybe we can give a vaccine or mimic their effects with some innocuous stimulus.”

Wash in Moderation
Dr. Ruebush, the “Why Dirt Is Good” author, does not suggest a return to filth, either. But she correctly points out that bacteria are everywhere: on us, in us and all around us. Most of these micro-organisms cause no problem, and many, like the ones that normally live in the digestive tract and produce life-sustaining nutrients, are essential to good health.

“The typical human probably harbors some 90 trillion microbes,” she wrote. “The very fact that you have so many microbes of so many different kinds is what keeps you healthy most of the time.”

Dr. Ruebush deplores the current fetish for the hundreds of antibacterial products that convey a false sense of security and may actually foster the development of antibiotic-resistant, disease-causing bacteria. Plain soap and water are all that are needed to become clean, she noted.

“I certainly recommend washing your hands after using the bathroom, before eating, after changing a diaper, before and after handling food,” and whenever they’re visibly soiled, she wrote. When no running water is available and cleaning hands is essential, she suggests an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Dr. Weinstock goes even further. “Children should be allowed to go barefoot in the dirt, play in the dirt, and not have to wash their hands when they come in to eat,” he said. He and Dr. Elliott pointed out that children who grow up on farms and are frequently exposed to worms and other organisms from farm animals are much less likely to develop allergies and autoimmune diseases.

Also helpful, he said, is to “let kids have two dogs and a cat,” which will expose them to intestinal worms that can promote a healthy immune system. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thai Noodles

I haven't had a WOW dinner moments lately. I have been struggling to make much of anything with flavor... I have these moments every so often because, well, I try to come up with something new each meal. Maybe a new spice on the meat or a new side dish. That is a lot of pressure I put on myself. 
This week I came up with AN AMAZING side dish. I took zucchini and made noodles. Added some seasonings and hubby said that this tasted like Thai Noodles. 

I must admit, these were delicious!!! :) 

The Ingredients:
3 zucchini (from our CSA)
2 carrots
1/2 cup peas (from our CSA)
2 TBSP Sunflower seed butter (almond butter would do too)
1 - 2 TBSP Coconut Aminos (Braggs Amino Acid would do)
1 TBSP Coconut Oil

The Directions:
Using a mandolin make thin zucchini noodles. You can use a knife to cut the noodles, but it may just take a little longer. Add zucchini and coconut oil to frying pan and being to cook noodles. After 5 minutes take carrots and use potato peeler and peel the carrot into the pan. In a small bowl mix sunflower seed butter, coconut aminos and just enough water to thin the sunflower butter. I used about a tsp. Mix until thinned and smooth. Add mixture to the zucchini and carrots. Melt and mix evenly. Add peas and cook on a low heat, covered for a few minutes.

Serve right away or set aside for later!

THIS WAS AWESOME!!! I am exited to see what I can add to this basic Thai Noodle recipe. ENJOY!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Beef Baby Back Ribs and Cinnamon Butternut Squash

I hope that all you dads had a wonderful Father's Day!!!! I left my hubby sleep in Saturday and Sunday, while I got up with our boys. We enjoyed a wonderful weekend together!!! Baby and I even took a 4 hour nap! :) Oops!!! 

Father's Day dinner we had BBQ Baby Back Short ribs and cinnamon butternut squash. 
I do not think I am a fan of the short ribs because there are a lot of fatty pieces and it is hard to get the meat. I am still working on mastering a short rib recipe since we got a few packages with our cow share. 
Do you have any short rib tips????

Cinnamon Butternut Squash

The Ingredients:
Butternut squash
Coconut Oil

The Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel and cut the butternut squash in half. Take out all the seeds and then slice the squash into thin pieces.

Top the butternut squash with coconut oil and sprinkle cinnamon on top of every piece.

Bake the Butternut Squash at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the squash is caramelized to your liking!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Mango Pinacolada

The Ingredients:
handful of Frozen mango
2 handfuls of fresh pineapple
2 or 3 handfuls of baby spinach
coconut milk (until it's the right consistancy)
couple of drops of stevia
splash of vanilla

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Am I green yet???

I have a serious love for Brussels Sprouts! 
Therefore, my boys are enjoying a lot of Brussels Sprouts!!! 

 Last night I mixed up another batch of Brussels Sprouts. I seasoned these bad boys with Coconut Aminos, Balsamic Vinegar, Turkey Bacon, Lemon Pepper, Coconut Oil and a splash of Maple Syrup.

I tried another baking method -- BROIL roasting these bad boys. Although they were delicious... they were not my favorite Brussels Sprouts. Broil on HIGH for 20 minutes or until the Brussels Sprouts are crispy.
 We sided the delicious Brussels Sprouts with a ground beef and vegetable mixture.

Hoping to make something new real soon! :)


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's Hot...

Does weather affect your cooking???

It does for me!

Cooking in the kitchen creates a hot kitchen. Or I am enjoying some outside time with my boys and have to interrupt our time to get dinner together or I forget about dinner time all together...

I am there --- NOW!

Weather has finally been enjoyable this week. My dinners are showing it! I watch kids until 5 and then it is time for just my boys and I. We tend to go outside and ride bikes or go on a long walk. We get busy and enjoy each other's company.

Thankfully - yesterday I put a chicken roaster in the crockpot yesterday and added some coconut ol, basil and a jar of sun dried tomatoes. I had made this recipe once before and we really enjoyed the flavor of the chicken. Check it out here!

What are your go to summer dishes??? I could use some inspiration!!! :) I am planning on making a healthy broccoli salad next week!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Morning Mix-up

Good Morning and Happy Monday!!!!

My boys and I are enjoying this smoothie right now as I type! :) It is good!
4 whole strawberries
1 banana
1/2 avocado
1/4 - 1/2 cup Almond Milk
10 ice cubes

Friday, June 10, 2011

Avocado - Yes Please!

3 Reasons To Eat Avocado

* Contain healthy fat. 
The fat is called monounsaturated fat which is found  in olive oil and  many nuts. Many studies have proven  this fat to reduce cholesterol. Forty-five volunteers in  Mexico  who at avocados every day for a week experienced an average 17 percent drop in total  blood cholesterol.

* Maintain health of eyes and skin.
Avocados contain lutein which is a natural antioxidant that helps your eyes  stay healthy while maintaining the health of your skin. David Herber, MD says  "California avocados rank highest in lutein, which act as an antioxidant, and  beta-sitosterol, which blocks cholesterol absorption compared ounce-per- ounce to other fruits. These attributes make the avocado an important fruit  to choose, along with other fruits and vegetables, to protect your heart."

*Great source of fiber.
Each avocado contains between 11-17 grams. 

Rather than having some chips, pretzels, or candy for a snack, peel open a California avocado. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Meatloaf Muffins with Sweet Potato icing

I have redeemed myself! ha! 
After my terrible FLOP the other night I was nervous to attempt anything new or creative. 
 A few weeks ago, in one of the magazines I flipped through while waiting for an appointment, had a picture of Meatloaf Muffins with Sweet Potato as the Icing... Looked wonderful!

I did not rip out the page or write down the recipe so I came up with my own!

I did not blend the sweet potatoes like the recipe said I simply mashed them with my fork. Leaving a little texture. :)

They were delicious!!!!

The Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb of ground beef
1 apple, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 eggs
1/2 cup of Almond meal
garlic powder
21 seasoning salute

6 small sweet potatoes

The Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Poke holes in the sweet potatoes and bake for 30 minutes or until tender.
Set aside and let cool.

In a large bowl add apple and red bell pepper. Mix in 2 eggs and mix well. Add ground beef and Almond meal and mix well with your hands! Add seasonings. I forgot to add tomato sauce or tomato paste but the flavor was great without.

In muffin tins add meatloaf mixture. My meat filled 12 tins exactly. Bake for 20 minutes or until meatloaf is done. While they are in the oven scoop out the center of the sweet potatoes and mash with a fork. Add cinnamon and nutmeg and mix a little more. Add the sweet potato mixture into a baggie and cut off one corner (just like if you were going to add icing to something) and top the meatloaf muffins with the sweet potato.
We served our muffins with brussels sprouts.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Stir-Fry and Zucchini Noodles

If you are a follower of my facebook page, you know I tried something new last night. It was something that I thought about for awhile and was hoping it tasted as good as I imagined.... I was wrong. It was terrible... well, the boys ate it. Hubby and I just could not... Hubby said it looked amazing but tasted just ok. I have not had a complete fail in awhile so I guess it was bound to happen! Ha! 

Thankfully - I have this delicious meal that we had before we left on vacation and have not blogged about! Lucky you --- you still get a recipe today even when such a FLOP yesterday! :) 

I love throw together meals with meat and vegetables! I love stir-fry! I love chili! I love anything you can make with loads of vegetables and meat! 
 This time I browned ground beef with onion. Added Broccoli, carrots, red bell pepper, 1/2 can diced tomatoes, hand full of cherry tomatoes and seasonings.

 I love using zucchini as noodles! Just an extra way to include another vegetable!!!! :)

Topped the noodles with meat mixture!

Full of flavor and super quick! The most time consuming part was using the madeline for my zucchini noodles. It was a real quick meal!

The Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion
1 cup broccoli
1/2 can of diced tomatoes
10 + baby carrots diced
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
Trader Joe's 21 seasoning salute
garlic powder

The Directions:
Brown ground beef and onion. Seasoning meat after draining the fat with nutmeg and garlic powder. Add broccoli and 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Cook on Medium heat. After 5 - 10 minutes add carrots, tomatoes, peppers, diced tomatoes and the rest of the seasoning.

In a boiling pot of water add the zucchini for 2 - 5 minutes. Strain water.

Top the zucchini noodles with the meat and vegetable mixture.


Check out my friends blog who is hosting a giveaway!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower

I have heard about roasted cauliflower but I have not made it yet, until yesterday!!!!!
The cauliflower texture and flavor tasted just like fresh air popped popcorn! 

The Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp - 2 tsp lemon pepper

The Directions:
Preheat oven to Broil high.

Cut cauliflower into florets. Rise the cauliflower and pat dry. In a small microwave safe bowl melt coconut oil. Pour Coconut oil on the Cauliflower. Mix well. Sprinkle Lemon Pepper on the cauliflower. 

Add Cauliflower to oven and Broil until the cauliflower is crispy and brown. Mine took 5 - 10 minutes. The Cauliflower is still tender inside with a crunchy outer shell! 


Monday, June 6, 2011

Strawberry and Pineapple Smoothie

Good Morning and Happy Monday Mix-up!!!!

We made it home safely and now trying to get organized and back in the swing of things! We had a wonderful vacation and I really enjoyed (cherished) my time with my boys! :) We stayed very active the entire trip. We went hiking twice, swimming everyday, went to a water park twice, played golf, played on the beach (of a lake), walked around, ran on large fields and much much more! I even enjoyed a relaxing hot stone massage!!!! :)

Since our quality of food was not perfect I made smoothies!!!! :)
I did not take any pictures but thought this was a cute drawing!!!! 

Strawberry Pineapple Smoothie
5 strawberries (stem and all!)
2 large pieces of pineapple
1 Amande Strawberry Almond Milk Yogurt
6 piece ice
1/2 cup Almond Milk


I am glad to be home!!!! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I like my meat!

Good Morning everyone!!!!

We are on vacation and loving our time together! This is the first "BIG" trip we have taken since Baby. Traveling with young children is different and can be challenging. You rise early and plan the day around naps and then hang around the room once the kids go to sleep. We are having a great time! I will write more on our vacation when we get back. 

We went to Bushkill Falls!!! We enjoyed a gorgeous hike!

I want to talk about food real quick.

We are not eating like we normally do and let me tell you... we are all feeling it. Baby and 3 year old have been fussy and 3 year old has told us that his belly hurts. Let me tell you that I am feeling the same pain. 

We wanted to bring our own meat and vegetables but we decided to make a 2 day pit stop and knew that the meat would not last. So we planned on buying everything here. 

BIG MISTAKE the local store is scary... the produce had bugs flying around and most of the vegetables were already wilted or bruised. YUCK! So... we had to make a few changes. We have had grains and dairy this week.

Our poor bellies....
Hubby and I both have had heartburn the entire time. My body is starting to really feel terrible. I can't handle grains and dairy anymore but I did not think it wise to eat the vegetables that were at the local store...
We have also had non organic meat this week... Another OUCH...

I also struggle with hormone filled meat. I always have. When I eat corn (grain) fed meat I usually end up in the bathroom later that night with upset stomachs. As soon as I switched to our local meat the stomach pains STOPPED!!!! :)

Maybe I can say this week of eating was a challenge or an experiment.... food can affect children. Not only have my boys had upset stomachs, their behaviors have been different. My 3 year old has been on a sugar high from all the grains and dairy. They are not sleeping as well as they normally do and that too, is causing some major breakdowns.

FOOD can change the way children act and sleep. Quality of food is best!!!! :)

I can not tell you how excited I am to get home and to eat my meat and my vegetables... Food boot camp starts SUNDAY!!!!!!! :) 
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