Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mango Honey Salmon and Broccoli

I have enjoyed cooking more fish this year. If you remember, part of my New Years Resolution was to cook something fish weekly. I have stuck to it and have had some great success and some not so great mixtures! 

This is one of those great successes!!! The flavor was amazing.

The Ingredients:

Salmon Filets Marinade:
1/2 mango, diced up
2 TBSP Raw Honey
2 TBSP Olive Oil
splash Coconut Aminos
splash Balsamic Vinegar

The Directions:
Thaw out the Salmon filets. (We got ours from Trader Joe's.) Place thawed Salmon onto foil and pour marinade mixture over salmon. Fold up the foil and make a pouch. Bake at 350 degrees until the salmon flakes apart, about 15 - 20 minutes. 

We sided our Salmon with steamed broccoli topped with unsweetened shredded coconut. 


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spaghetti Squash with ground beef

Kid's Lunch (Avocado, carrots, clementine, Applegate Roast beef, leftover Spaghetti Squash with ground beef)

Spaghetti Squash take 2! :) 

I told you - it has become a staple in our house! and what a beneficial staple. It is an extra vegetable my boys are eating, and enjoying! Spaghetti Squashlike other richly colored vegetables, provide excellent sources of carotenes.  Generally, the richer the color, the richer the concentration.  They also offer a very good source of vitamins B1 and C, folic acid, pantothenic acid, fiber, and potassium.  Winter squash are also a good source of vitamin B6 and niacin.

Look at this meal I created... It was fun and full of flavor with a small special addition by my 3 year. 

Ingredients:
2 smaller zucchini, cut into pieces
1 bunch of asparagus
1 lb grass fed ground beef
1/2 spaghetti squash (pre-cooked!)
garlic powder
1/4 cup Almond/Coconut butter (recipe to come!)
basil
Trader Joes 21 seasoning bend
(3 year old added some spices -- while I was taking care of baby -- luckily I took out most of it -- some was left)

The Directions:
Brown the ground beef. When beef is almost done add spices, so it soaks into the ground beef. Give a quick drain. Add the vegetables and start cooking. Cook for about 3 - 5 minutes. Add ground beef back into the vegetables. Add melted Almond/Coconut Butter to the mixture. Add any other seasonings you feel it needs!

Enjoy!!!

Note - Baby had 3 helpings and 3 year old had 2 and hubby had 2... This was a hit!
We had Brussels Sprouts for a side and I also had sauteed mushrooms.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Almond Biscuit

WHOOPS --- I missed my Monday Morning Mix-up. SPACED it TOTALLY!!!! :) 


I have been cooking one or two new meals a week. I have gone back through some older recipes that contain dairy, legumes or grains and I am trying to re-create them. I am hoping that I will soon master the meal makeover and hope to post pre and post pictures. For those of you who have not been following long will notice that I do have recipes that contain dairy, legumes and grains. We have consumed all 3 and you can look back at the beginning of this blog and find such recipes. 


OLD NEWS -
Last August was had some testing down with said that I was Gluten Intolerant and Dairy Sensitive. I could not get on board. Like many - GLUTEN free seemed impossible. I looked at some recipes and was OVERWHELMED. 


I was not in the right mind frame. 


In October, I started to experience pain. My body was sore and very sensitive. After our trip over Thanksgiving, Hubby and I started to re-evaluate our diet and decided that we need to get strict and see if I saw improvement. We still do eat grains, very little. It would be safe to say that we are 75% - 90% of the time we eat dairy, grain and legume free. 


When you have the right mind set, the right tools and the right sources - ANYTHING is possible! I have several great blogs that I follow and am HUGE fans of. I read articles and am continuing to educate myself in living such a lifestyle. 


You would be surprised to know that without trying hubby and I have thinned out. For me, I would not say I have lost weight but inches. I was not trying to lose anything. I would like to tone up. I do get in a 30 minute DVD workout in twice a week. I sometimes make it to the gym once and if I am lucky twice a week. I am not working out as much as I would like. I am a busy mom who forgets to exercise but I do chase after my kids and I am moving ALL day. I do not like working out at night because it is hard for me to fall asleep on a normal night and when I work out at night it is IMPOSSIBLE to fall asleep. 


I am really looking forward to the nicer weather. I love strapping the kids in the stroller and walking and running. I plan on taking them out every night for a walk and hope to soon be running! :) So hurry up warm, consistent weather! I am waiting!!! 


One thing that I have really enjoyed about cutting out dairy, grains and legumes from our diet is that I have have found replacements - COLORFUL replacements! :) I have said it before but I love how colorful our dinner plate is. Yes - there are still nights where we have cauliflower rice or cauliflower mash but we also have spaghetti with spaghetti squash or with zucchini! :) 
Roast beef, acorn squash mash and brussels (new recipe)

I have even made my boys a biscuit with Almond Flour/ Coconut Flour.
and they were a hit... 

Almond Biscuit

The Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups Almond Flour ( I used 2 cups Almond 1/2 coconut)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
2 eggs
1 TBSP Raw Honey

The Directions: 
In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda.
In a large bowl, blend together buttery spread, eggs and agave
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until a nice dough forms
Roll out dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to 1 1/2 inches thick
Dust dough with extra almond flour if it is sticky and/or misbehaving
Cut the dough into biscuits using a mason jar with a 3-inch wide mouth
Using a spatula, transfer biscuits to a parchment lined baking sheet
Bake at 350° for 15 minutes, until biscuits are browned on the bottom edges

Friday, March 25, 2011

Why do we consume so much corn???





Lately, I have been noticing that Americans are like cattle. I have asked hubby a number of times to watch a fast food line. We are pushed into a line just like cattle is moved into stalls. 
The biggest similarity to cows is the large amount of corn the average America is taking in. Did you know, corn, soy or wheat products is in 45,000 items at the grocery store??? That is about 1/3 of the grocery store. 
Americans consume too much corn, soy and wheat. 
Do you see the problems? 
The sad thing is that many Americans may not even know exactly how much corn they are actually consuming. And did you know that corn is the WORST grain to consume??? Corn is everywhere. From high fructose corn syrup, to cornstarch, corn flour, corn bran, to the meat that was raised on corn—and much less obvious, leavenings and lecithin, mono-, di-, and triglycerides, the golden coloring, and even citric acid can all be derived from corn.
Because of this, the American diet is MESSED up. We are now trapped in our own backyard feedlots, and have become obese, sick with chronic disease, and apathetic about the source and nutritional quality of our food—simply because, “It tastes good.”  This dysfunctional eating habits has found super sized appetites and food additions despite the affects on ones health. 
Did you know Gatorade, Twinkies, Bleech and Hamburger all start with the same ingredient? CORN. Corn is the main ingredient in both edible and non edible products. Disposable diapers, trash bags, toothpaste, charcoal briquettes, matches, batteries, and even the shine on the covers of magazines all contain corn. 
Thank goodness my family does not consume a lot of corn, anymore.  Our diet consumes of grass-fed beef, pastured chickens, pastured eggs, vegetables (organic and local when possible), fruits (organic if dirty dozen), seeds and nuts (raw). Our health is important to us and should be to you, as well! 
I wish the healthy choice picture included meats and good fats (nuts and oil). You get the point! :)
Here are some changes we as a family have decided to make.
1. STOP buying the junk. Shop the outer aisles of the store. There are a few exceptions. Nuts, Coconut milk, shredded coconut, etc are inside aisles. Dairy is outside aisle - WALK AWAY! 
2. If you are going to consume dairy, make better choices. Mark at Mark's Daily Apple suggests
Raw, fermented, full-fat dairy is probably best.
Tons of traditional, fairly disease-free groups lived with dairy (just as tons of traditional, fairly disease-free groups lived without it), and they all included some form of fermented or cultured product. Cultured butter, yogurt, kefir, clotted milk, cheese – these are traditional ways of increasing shelf life, improving digestibility, and incorporating beneficial probiotics into the gut. Fermentation takes care of most of the lactose, and some posit that it may even positively alter the structure, function, and safety of casein.
Raw, high-fat dairy is next.
Raw butter and cream are minimally processed sources of good saturated fat. They’re free of most lactose and casein, and let’s face it: butter and cream just make everything taste better. If it’s essentially just pure, raw animal fat from grass-fed animals, without offensive levels of milk proteins and sugars, what’s not to enjoy? Ghee is another good choice, and though it technically isn’t raw, it is pure animal fat without a trace of lactose or casein.
Then raw milk.
I don’t advise regular consumption of raw milk, mind you, but if you can tolerate it (no stomach upset, no bloating, no gas, no intestinal issues) an occasional glass is probably OK as a sensible vice. Some farms will even supplement their raw milk with colostrum (the extra rich, “first run” milk that provides even more vitamins and nutrients), resulting in a lower-carb, higher-fat, higher-protein product. Look for that stuff if you’re thinking of buying raw milk.
Organic, hormone and antibiotic-free dairy (full fat, of course).
Bottom line: don’t consume non-organic dairy if you can help it. Avoid homogenized milk if you can, and try not to purchase pasteurized milk (organic or not) on a regular basis. If you’re out getting coffee or something, the regular half and half or heavy cream are fine, and Kerrygold makes a great pastured, pasteurized butter that’s available nationwide.
3. Be picky with your meat. Ask questions. 

Ok - you do not have to be this extreme!!!

Grass-fed beef is better for human health than grain-fed beef in ten different ways, according to the most comprehensive analysis to date. The 2009 study was a joint effort between the USDA and researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina. Compared with grain-fed beef, grass-fed beef was:
  1. Higher in beta-carotene
  2. Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
  3. Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
  4. Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium
  5. Higher in total omega-3s
  6. A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)
  7. Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter
  8. Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed into CLA)
  9. Lower in the saturated fats linked with heart disease
Just some food for thought! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Almond Coconut Butter

Kid lunches
Sweet Potato chips (homemade), carrots, strawberries and turkey

I am really excited about telling you my creation/mistake-turned WONDERFUL!!!
I was playing around with my vitamix. I started with some coconut. I was going to attempt coconut butter, again! When I started mixing, I quickly realized that it was not going to work again. (didn't have enough coconut) Thinking quickly, I added Almonds and coconut oil. Blended for awhile and came up with this delicious creation! The Almond Coconut Butter was fabulous. It hardened in the fridge because of the coconut but has a very creamy feel because of the Almonds!

This is a must try!!!

Part of Pennywise Thursday, Monday Mania

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kale and Spinach smoothie

Happy Monday!!! Another delicious recipe for green smoothies! 

The Ingredients:
A handful of Kale
A handful of Spinach
2 strawberries
1/2 avocado
1/2 banana

Coconut Pizza

Lisa at The Nourishing Homemaker has a great recipe for Coconut Pizza crust. I was very excited to give her recipe a try, although I changed it some. It would have been easy to keep this pizza Paleo but we decided to add a little cheese.  
 Dough pre oven

Kids Pizza (green peppers and turkey bacon)

Adult Pizza (green peppers, turkey bacon and broccoli) I added rosemary to the dough and a little garlic powder.

This crust was great and did not feel as soggy as the Almond Meal Pizza Crust. I think I may have found out go to crust.

The Ingredients:
3 eggs
1/2 cup Coconut Flour
1 cup Coconut Milk
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp baking powder ( might have been too much)


The Directions:
Preheat 375 degrees.

Line a cookie sheet with Parchment paper. Brush with Coconut Oil. Lightly beat eggs, milk and garlic powder. Mix until the mixture is smooth. Mix the wet and dry ingredients, mix until the dough thickens up a little bit, should be like a batter.

Pour the dough evenly on the lined cookie sheet. I made mine but starting in the middle and working my way out.

Bake the dough for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip. (be careful)

Top with desired toppings and broil for another 10 minutes.

My boys and our friends kids enjoyed the pizza! :) Hubby and I enjoyed the pizza, too!

Part of Pennywise Thursday, Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Beef and Greens

Apparently, I have been craving greens.  Ground beef with zucchini, green pepper and mixed greens with a side of brussels sprouts. 

The Ingredients:
1 lb grass fed ground beef
2 smaller zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup mixed greens
1/2 green bell pepper
21 seasoning blend from Trader Joes
garlic powder
Worcestershire Sauce

The Directions:
Brown the ground beef. Add seasoning before meat is cooked fully. (I feel it soaks into the meat!) Drain the meat. Add vegetables to the ground beef and cook on low until the vegetables are tender. 

Sided with Brussels... surprise surprise! :) I am going to venture and try some new was to season them! 

This was a quick meal. Took maybe 20 minutes total!  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie

Good Morning! First off, I would like to thank Jayme again for guest posting on the blog Friday. If you missed it, go check it out!!!! It was a great post on food combining

Second, I would love to hear your feedback about the post. What did you think??? Do you have any further questions??? 

Today's Monday Morning Mix-up
Blueberry Coconut Smoothie
Thank you PrimalToad for an amazing smoothie recipe. I did not follow the recipe exactly but the idea for coconut was all PrimalToad. Might be my new favorite thing to add into smoothies. It added a great texture.

frozen blueberries
unsweetened coconut
stevia
Almonds (like 5)
Almond Milk

Primal Toad added Whey Protein. We didn't have any in the house so I left it out!

I think next time I will try to hide some greens in it! All together delicious! Go check out one of my favorite new bloggers!!! PRIMAL TOAD.

Here is a bonus - smoothie or baby food!!!!
Baby was out of food, so I decided to just start throwing things into the vitamix, in hopes of a good creation!

1/2 avocado
1/2 eaten apple (thank you 3 year old!)
1 cup spinach
water

It had pulp from the 1/2 apple but didn't seem to bother the baby. 
I even had some!!! It was good!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Help me decide...

We moved into our house almost one year ago. We have not done many improvements, except for painting 1/2 the house and some outside gardening.

I am starting to play around with updating the kitchen. Not an entire kitchen upgrade just a small upgrade that will make a WORLD of difference. The previous owners installed a bar faucet in our kitchen. It is a smaller faucet that just looks out of place. I always have a sink of dirty dishes that need tackling and let's be honest the bar style sink just does not work well with this cooking girl!

I have been searching websites and look in stores and I think I have found two favorites...

I would love to hear from you.
Do you like A??
Moen Annabelle

Do you like B??


Kohler Simplice

Which do you like better??? or do you have another kitchen faucet favorite??? Comment me with your pick! :)

Until then I will continue to make a mess in my kitchen and fill my sink with dirty dishes!!! Like this delicious empty the fridge breakfast casserole!


I love emptying out the fridge and making up a breakfast casserole. 

This week I have made 2 batches.
 2 pieces of leftover turkey bacon, 1/2 red bell pepper, 1/2 tomato, 5 eggs. I baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Any vegetable mixture would be wonderful!

Or from the picture - 5 eggs, 1/2 green bell pepper, 1 cup spinach, 3 pieces of turkey bacon. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Very Hungry Caterpillar --- GIVEAWAY WINNERS!!!

The Winners of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Giveaway are Melanie W (from facebook comment) who won the puppet book and Sara (from blog comment) and Cristin (from facebook and blog comment) will enjoy a copy of the book.

CONGRATULATIONS and I hope that you enjoy the books

Please email me your full name and address at enjoyinghealthyfoods (at) yahoo (dot) com. I will pass along the information to my contact and they will ship you your prize!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! 

p.s. if you do not claim your prize by Saturday at 12 (noon) Indiana time, I will draw another name. 

Food Combining

Today's Friday Fun Fact comes from Jayme W. Jayme not only is a friend of mine, she is a wonderful wife and mom. She has a real passion for educating not only her boys but anyone who asks about nutrition or health. There have been many times I have called, emailed or text with questions and she is more than willing to help me. One of the first big topics we talked about was food combining. I am thankful that she took the time to write this post about food combining.  ENJOY!!! 


Peanut butter and jelly.   Spaghetti and meat balls.  Cheeseburgers and french fries.  Pancakes and bacon.

Sounds like delicious comfort food, right?  Maybe not.  You may be like countless others this winter who have, in an effort to lose a few pounds, been dieting or watching your food choices more carefully.  But if you have ever suffered from digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation, heartburn or you just can't seem to lose weight...consider for a moment not only your food choices, but your food combinations 

Food Combining is a principle that suggests that eating compatible foods at each meal aids digestion and enhances overall health.  Proponents of this theory claim that when you eat foods that don't combine correctly, the digestive system gets mixed signals about which digestive juices and enzymes to release.  Food remains in the digestive tract longer than it should, and it starts fermenting (ew!)  This produces sugars that can feed yeast (an overgrowth of yeast is calledcandidiasis and can cause a whole host of problems).  The sugars cause rotting in the stomach, and the stagnant foods build up in the walls of our digestive tract, releasing toxins that weaken the immune system.  People following the food combining principles often state that they feel better, with less gas and bloating; find it easier to lose weight, and have more energy.

By now you may be wondering what the "catch"is here.  Sure, the benefits sounds great but what can I eat?  So let me give it to you straight: there are 3 basic rules within food combining (these are taken from the Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates, www.bodyecology.com).

Rule # 1.  Always Eat Fruit Alone and On an Empty Stomach
The idea behind this rule is that fruits pass through the digestive system very quickly, usually within 30 minutes or so, after which they enter the small intestines to continue to be broken down and digested.  However, when you eat fruit with other foods (like protein or starch) that take 4-5 hours or more to digest, the fruit gets held up and starts to ferment.  Not only does this lead to poor assimilation of nutrients, it sets the stomach up for fermentation and feeding those yeasties!  So instead of eating fruit with your morning oatmeal, it would be best to eat that banana first, letting it digest for at least 30 minutes before moving on to a protein or starch food.

Rule #2.  Always Eat Protein with Non-Strachy Vegetables
When you eat protein flesh foods (think eggs, meat, poultry, fish) your stomach produces hydrochloric acid and an enzyme called pepsin.  When you eat starch (potato, rice, pasta), an enzyme called ptyalin is secreted and a more alkaline condition develops.  But if you eat the protein and starch together, both acid and alkaline enzymes are secreted, creating a neutralizing effect that basically stops digestion all together.  Have I lost you?  (Listen , I got a D in Organic Chemistry as a college freshman, but even I am able to grasp the concept that acid + alkaline = cancel each other out!)  Essentially, eating protein and starch together stops the enzymes from doing their job; resulting in poor digestion, fermentation, etc.  (This may be why you feel like you want to take a nap after a plate of spaghetti and meat balls....it's sitting in your belly like a brick and all of your body's energy is working hard at trying to digest these two "incompatible" foods.)

Rule #3.  Always Eat Grains and Starchy Vegetables with Non-Starchy Vegetables
Starchy Vegetables include lima beans, acorn and butternut squash, corn, peas, artichokes, potatoes and water chestnuts.  These foods and any grain product should be eaten with non starchy veggies only (like greens, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, cucumber, etc).  

I have provided a food combining chart to simplify the rules of proper food combining.  Body Ecology is a great resource for anyone dealing with digestive issues like IBS, Chron's, Candidiasis, and also auto immune disorders.  There are some other important guidelines in this diet, so if you want further information I suggest her website or book.  

On a personal note, I was introduced to Body Ecology about a year ago after having some digestive problems.  I followed the Body Ecology Diet strictly for about 3 months and felt a tremendous improvement.  After 3 months I let up a little, allowing some of the restrictions in her book back into my diet.  But I still follow those 3 basic food combining rules about 90% of the time, and I would say that my digestion is greatly improved.  It does take some of the conventional "fun" out of eating your old favorites...but eventually for me it became second nature and just like anything else, when you get good results, it's much easier to keep doing.  It's not so much a "diet" as a different lifestyle!  So give it a try...you might be pleasantly surprised at how much better you feel!  :)


Jayme W, CNHP

*****
This is Lindsey again!
Let me know what you think? Do you think that food combining is something that you see possible? Do you already food combine? I'd love to hear from you. 


Also - if you have any questions for about food combing, post them here and Jayme and I will make sure you get answers! 


One last thing --- I am adding today's comments to the GIVEAWAY drawing and will draw names tonight! 


Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ultimate Loyalty

I do not need to post pictures or stories from the Tsunami that hit Japan. It is heartbreaking. Hubby and I do not watch the news because it is depressing, sad and full of negatives.

I was getting on yahoo to check my email when a picture of a dog popped up. He was a survivor of the Tsunami but most importantly he was standing by his injured friend.

Watch this video. I apologize that it is in Japanese. If you want to read what the reporter is saying go to YAHOO. It is one of their main stories.


Who would have thought that the story of this dog would touch so many and teach so many a lesson. LOYALTY! and compassion!

I read in a story posted later that both dogs have been rescued and taken for observation. More importantly the white dog is in critical condition but recovering well!

Cabbage Rolls (Paleo version)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!! 
Toddler lunch (grapes, carrots, green beans and roast beef) Don't worry he did not eat all that beef!

This summer I was introduced to cabbage. I made cabbage rolls for the first time this summer too! They were filled with rice and topped with rice. Now that I am really watching the grain intake and my dairy I knew I would have to come up with something new. 
YUM - boy did I have a fun idea...
 CAULIFLOWER!!!! 

I know, I am having a love, maybe a start of an obsession for cauliflower! 
The Ingredients:
2 lbs of ground beef
1 head of green cabbage
3/4 of a head of cauliflower (chopped in Vitamix or food processor 1/2 rice 1/2 mash)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 medium onion (chopped)
1 farm fresh egg
1 TBSP dry basil
1 TBSP dry oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cups of tomato sauce

The Directions:
Saute chopped onion, garlic in olive oil or coconut oil.
Mix meat, eggs and seasonings, mix thoroughly. Mix in onion and cauliflower.
Separate 10 - 12 of the cabbage leaves.  Add 1/2 cup of the meat filling in the center of the cabbage leaf. Starting at the stem begin to roll. Tuck the ends under and lay in the 9x13 dish, seam side down. 
Repeat with the remaining leaves. Top the rolled cabbage with the tomato sauce. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. 

ENJOY!!!
 Don't forget to comment for your chances to WIN a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar!!!!!! 

 Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


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