Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fish Sticks?

I remember having so-called fish sticks maybe a couple of times in my childhood. I don't think any of the kids liked them much. But I know a lot of people like them and eat them frequently. When I got married I made a concerted effort to start liking fish. I have had some definite success, and I usually plan something with fish in our weekly dinner menu (real fish, of course, not fake fish--I liken fish sticks to chicken nuggets. Use the real stuff).

My favorite starter fish was tilapia because it's thin, white, and not too "fishy." We have tried it several ways, but our old favorite of olive oil and lemon pepper always won out. I think I may have found a new favorite. This recipe came from the "Real Food Has Curves" book. I must admit, I've found some good, and some that taste like only special foods critics and chefs that like lots of vinegar would like...but the winners have been great. Some of them take considerable effort, but these are easy!

Here are their Oven-Fried Fish Fillets:

2 large egg whites
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
1/2 c. whole wheat flour (I used spelt, I'm sure you can use a variety of whole grain flours)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. mild paprika
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
Four 4-0z. skinless, white-fleshed fish fillets, like snapper or tilapia

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400.
2. Mix the egg whites and lemon juice with a whisk or a fork in a shallow soup bowl (or pie pan) until foamy and well combined.
3. Mix the cornmeal, flour, salt, paprika, dill, and pepper in a second shallow soup bowl or on a dinner plate.
4. Drizzle the oil on a large baking sheet, then use a wadded-up paper towel to smear it around.
5. Take one of the fish fillets and dip it in the egg white mixture, coating both sides. Let some of the excess run off, then dip the piece in the cornmeal mixture on both sides. Then do it all again with the same piece of fish. Place the fillet on the prepared baking sheet and do it with the other fillets.
6. Bake 9 minutes, then flip and continue baking 9 minutes more. Serve.




Not the greatest picture, but oh well. The double breading is great. Just thick enough, and crispy, with the fish perfectly flaky on the inside. I served them with some home-made oven fries and some dipping sauces of tartar sauce and ketchup. Make sure to include a nice salad, of course. Yum!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Whole Foods Holiday Treat

My brother is into whole foods, so for his birthday I made him a new treat in place of a traditional cake. I'm glad it turned out so well. Everyone liked these...unlike the new whole foods cake I tried for my son's birthday. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. Never know until you try.

Chia Snowballs



1 c. peanut butter*
1/2 c. honey (raw is preferable)
1/2 c. brown rice syrup (available at health food stores)
4-5 cups brown rice cereal
3 Tbsp. chia seeds
optional: 1 c. finely shredded unsweetened coconut

Mix all ingredients except for coconut. Roll mixture into balls and then roll the balls in coconut. If you opt for no coconut, press the mixture into an 8x8 pan. Refrigerate 1 hour, and store any leftovers in the fridge.
(If the balls get too sticky to roll, try dipping your hands in water first, or put the mixture in the fridge for a few minutes, or both.)
* natural, no sugar added--and chunky gives nice texture if you like. Also, you can use almond butter if there are food allergies.


These taste like peanut butter and honey rice krispie treats, or I heard someone say they hinted at Butterfingers. Since they had no chocolate, I'd say more like chic-o-sticks. But it's up to you--little chocolate chips (or cacao nibs), or dipping in chocolate might give a more Butterfinger-like result. Either way, these are good.

Here's some chia facts to get you excited:
Chia seeds are high in:
  • Protein;
  • Fiber;
  • Magnesium,
  • Calcium, and, best of all,
  • ALA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. (In fact chia seeds contain more Omega-3's than any other plant source, including flaxseed).

An ounce of chia seeds contains 137 calories, and will get you four grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber.

Pretty cool.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Easiest. Breakfast. Ever.

This one goes out to my BFF, Shayla, for her innovation and inspiration to me about the best way ever to eat steel cut oats.

I personally grew up never having had these or noticed them until rather recently in my life. To my knowledge, you can get oats in three basic states (I know you can do flours and such, but for the sake of simplicity): groats, steel-cut, and rolled. If you grew up like I did, you likely had them only rolled--oatmeal. Perhaps for some of you it was processed even further to be "quick oats."

Groats (funny word, I know) are the least processed of these--the whole grain oat. Here's a picture for your viewing pleasure:



Steel-cut are a step of processing further down the line, just the groats cut in halves or thirds or so. Like this:



Rolled oats, with which we are most familiar, are processed differently than steel cut in that they are steamed and rolled flat--still a whole grain, but more processed, and therefore (in my opinion), at least a little less beneficial than the less processed counterparts. Cooking and exposure of the insides to air speeds the loss of vitamins and minerals.

Most people say that the nutritional value does not differ between steel-cut and rolled, but they also go on to tell these comparisons:
(Steel-cut oats have:)
  • Much longer cooking time (30 minutes)
  • More cholesterol lowering soluble fiber than other oatmeal
  • Takes longer to digest so you stay fuller longer
  • Chopped with steel blades resulting in a "chewier" oatmeal
  • Steel-cut oats contain more fiber
Seems different to me. The only down side I see is the long cooking time. Who wants to wake up earlier to make a hot breakfast? Not me. Here's where Shayla comes to the rescue!

Here comes a recipe for the EASIEST whole grain breakfast ever. Plus, it has endless flavor possibilities!

Shay's Steel-Cut Oats
*4 cups water
1 cup steel cut oats

Bring water to a boil. Add in oats. Cover. Turn off heat. Leave overnight. Done.

Servings: You can make as much as you like--as long as the water to oat ratio is 4:1. I did 1 1/2 times as much and had leftovers after three adults and one child had their fill.

I put a sprinkle or two of salt in the water before it boiled and added in, as Shayla often does, some cinnamon (to taste--maybe a couple teaspoons) to flavor it overnight. In the morning I heated it and added in some real maple syrup to taste.

Other add-in possibilities are really endless.
This morning we had raisins and slivered almonds (try the almonds soaked in salt water and dehydrated again. YUM.).

My hubby had his new favorite, just some fresh pomegranate seeds (good idea from my brother John).
Once at Shayla's house we had it peaches and cream style (add peaches, cream, and sweetener to taste).
You could do apple cinnamon, bananas--anything really.
Use your favorite flavors and imagination. Plus, you could flavor each bowl to the taste of the eater, if necessary.

I love it when trying something new is easy.



*In case you still have water left in the morning, you can just cook it down and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup less water the next time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Farmageddon

Have you seen what is going on with small farms and even regular home-farmers? The government is raiding these farms, saying they are unsafe, and even jailing the farmers and homeowners.
All I can say is that people ought to be able to farm and purchase as they please.

Check the video out.

And here's the FB page for it as well.

See what you can do to support local, organic, natural farming. It is really important. It is not only a matter of health. It is a matter of freedom. If you'd like, check out the other blogs on the sidebar and see what they have to say for more info!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Just in case...

...you needed some help resisting that trip to McDonalds for your lunch:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20101012/bs_yblog_upshot/mcdonalds-happy-meal-resists-decomposition-for-six-months

Not to focus on the bad alone. There are ways to have healthier burger and fries--or at least ones that are actual food. You can make it yourself, or you can scour your area to find some real food burgers. Ask to look at ingredient lists, and remember, hamburgers only need a few--like hamburger and some seasonings.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Step Up

I haven't tried these, but it looks good for those who might want to upgrade.

Dinner Diva
Chicken Nuggets

By Leanne Ely, C.N.C.

Admittedly, it doesn’t take much to get my nutritional feathers ruffled. I’ve seen a lot of things that have made me crazy over the years and you’ve heard me harp on them—from “healthy” whole wheat donuts to artificial sweeteners, Olestra and acrylimide. I’ve sang the siren’s song about good nutrition and what I believe too, to be common sense nutrition. Why would we drink something, in the name of quenching our thirst, that looks like toilet bowl cleaner or antifreeze?

Anyway, today I stop singing and start sounding the alarm. We absolutely must stop the madness that is fast food. We absolutely must stop the madness and the obesity and the rise in degenerative diseases. We are raising an unhealthy generation because we feed this junk to our kids! PLEASE STOP!

I know there are attempts at some fast food places to do better. As Oprah says, “When you know better, you do better.” Well, today you are going to know better about chicken nuggets, because today, I am going to tell you all I know about them.

First, McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets contain 38 ingredients. Yes, THIRTY EIGHT ingredients! Some of those ingredients are things you wouldn’t give to your DOG. Some of those things, you could use to start a fire—well, almost. Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is a derivative of petroleum that is sprayed on the nugget or in the box that holds the nugget to keep it fresh. TBHQ is also a derivative of butane, also known as lighter fluid. It is furthermore a suspected carcinogen—cancer-causing agent.

The batter is set in shortening (hydrogenated oils) and in turn, it is cooked in partially hydrogenated oils at the restaurant. Some of the additives in there are antifoaming agents, emulsifiers, leavening agents, preservatives, fillers and binders. Sounds yummy, doesn’t it? Something you’d want to feed your kids?

The nuggets themselves contain 53% chicken. You wanna know what that 53% chicken is? I promise you it isn’t nice white chicken breasts! If you find those nuggets spongy and watery it’s because the chicken meat and skin is ground into a slurry, binders and fillers are added, plus lots of water, then formed into neat little nuggets.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ILL. Why do we manufacture stuff like this and then call it food? Where’s the value in it?

Please, for the children’s sake and for your own health’s sake, let’s stop this craziness with the food. It’s time to get back to basics and only eat food that is 100% identifiable. If you don’t know exactly what went into what you’re eating, you’re making a mistake. Our bodies do not need to contend with more pollution than what is already in our environment.

Here’s a quick and easy alternative to chicken nuggets:

Crunchy Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers
Serves 4

1 pound chicken tenders
1/4 cup honey, warmed
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup corn flakes, crushed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, mix mustard and honey together. In another bowl, place the crushed corn flakes.

In assembly line fashion, dip the chicken tender in the mustard mixture, then roll in the corn flakes and place on the cooked sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, or when cooked through.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Carrot Rice


This is a recipe we've been enjoying lately. It's a great way to enliven your rice side-dish. We've had it with fish, it would be good with Indian food, and I've even used it as a pseudo main dish with a huge salad and a bunch of other cooked veggies from the garden.


The ginger is not a strong flavor, and the onions can be chopped however finely you'd like. I slice them and like the texture they add. My little boy likes onions, but for those who have to hide them a bit more, just chop them smaller. The original recipe called for cilantro as a garnish, so garnish away if you like that.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 2 1/4 cups water (for cooking rice)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds* ( or roasted peanuts, cashews, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or olive oil)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 3/4 cup grated carrots (thin or thick side of grater, your choice)
  • salt to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste (optional, of course)

Directions

  1. Cook your brown rice however you so choose.
  2. While rice is cooking, pulse nuts in a blender (or chop by hand) and set aside. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in ginger, carrots, and salt to taste. Reduce heat to low and cover to steam 5 minutes. Stir in cayenne pepper and nuts. When rice is done, add it to skillet and stir gently to combine with other ingredients.

*You can click the link to try soaking and dehydrating your nuts beforehand (to improve digestibility), but you can use any kind of nut, soaked or unsoaked.


Original Recipe Yield 6 servings

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A note.

My friend wrote me a note. Said friend was worried about feeding her family perfectly. She wondered how far she would have to go to make real, God-made food standard in her house. She said:

"I made homemade chicken soup for my family, but I didn't make my own noodles. Do you do that? I also make my own spaghetti sauce, but I don't make my own spaghetti. Maybe this is the wrong question, but at what point down the processing chain does something stop being God-made? Just the thought of having to make everything my family eats from scratch makes me feel even more tied to the house than I already feel."

I understand this sentiment very well. Here's some of my reply to her, just in case any of you feel the same way:

"It is never my hope to cause people to worry. All we can do is our best.

All that you put into preparing meals for your family is wonderful, and to be commended. The good that you do is not negated by the "un-perfect." People can become really crazy about this and get really overwhelmed and worried. I think that's counter-productive.

My priority list goes like this:

1. Do my best to make dinner, and have us eat as a family. (I think this is the most important)
2. Start adding in good things as my knowledge (and desire to do so) expands.
3. Expand my repertoire of healthful dishes that use whole food ingredients.
4. And by so doing, I reduce things that are clearly bad, like hydrogenated oils and processed sugar, etc. until they are no longer things I buy and use, just as a natural consequence.

Way to go with avoiding processed foods as much as you can, and taking more and more steps toward better things. I know it has made big differences for us, and it makes me glad now that when we slip-up, we notice the change. Today I ate a salad with a store-bought dressing on it and got a tummy-ache. That's progress! Wahoo!

Now I have more motivation to take and extra five or ten minutes one day to make a batch of home-made salad dressing and we enjoy it and feel better. But I haven't grown, picked and pressed my own olives to make oil, and I don't see that happening in the near (or distant) future.

Do your best. Read the ingredients list on the packaged goods you buy and get the best stuff you can. Keep making meals and improving on that as you are ready and desirous. It is a labor of love, but it's not supposed to consume you--you are supposed to consume it!

Enjoy what you eat! You are doing great things.

April"

Making changes gradually isn't overwhelming, and as you continue along the path you'll realize how far you've come. It's very encouraging.

Friday, September 10, 2010

And Yes, More Zucchini

Here are some good recipes from other sites:

Zucchini boats for those zucchinis that are way huge.

Baked Zucchini. Looks good. This post also includes other ides of how to incorporate (hide, if you must) it into other recipes.

Roasted veggies. This is so great. You can use in season veggies now, and as the title will show, your winter root veggies too. It's the best way I've ever had turnips and celery root. :)

Italian Summer Squash Side.

And of course, bread. Use this banana bread recipe, but sub grated zucchini in for the bananas.

Yes, the above are all Kara's. I trust her stuff. And there's more. Go to her blog and type zucchini in the search bar.

Use this quesadilla recipe for all the veggies you have on hand, and if you don't want to fry them, try this easy baking method for them.

This is one we like, and you can use zucchini and/or yellow squash. Disregard the "margerine or butter" and just do butter. Real butter. You can make it as a side dish or double (or more) it for a main dish.

Go to allrecipes.com and type in zucchini. LOTS of recipes there. Modify them to be real food and to your tastes if need be.

Have you tried it sliced up on pizza? (we had it on our pizza last night and it was great)
Raw, cut up in salads (go for chunks or something to break up the monotony of the same slices every time)?
In smoothies?
How about juiced in your green or fruit juices? It has a lot of liquid in it. Paul Bragg called those kinds of liquids "living waters." I like that. Plus, it doesn't taste like much, so why not?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Calorie is not a Calorie.

Dietitians today say that we the people are eating too much and exercising too little. While that's true, it is not the reason alone, or even primarily, for our sad state.

Simplified the wrong theory is this: If a person eats only a specified number of calories and burns an equal amount of calories during the day, that person should be fit and lean. They are being responsible for their health.
So, this person could eat only 13.3 Twinkies and fit the FDA's guidelines for calorie intake. They could run for half of the day and break even.

It seems strange to write it out, but by and large, we believe it. We are wrong.

All calories are not created equal. This is one problem I have with diets of today. A popular diet plan says you can eat only cake in a day, as long as you only eat the "right" amount of "points" (I'm sure it suggests better balance, but the point stands). It makes eating a mathematical experience. Ugh. Maybe this works for a short-term fix, but I don't know anyone who went long-term on such silliness. Counting calories is the pits. It's not the way eating was meant to be.

Were our ancestors suffering on a large scale from obesity, diabetes, heart disease? No, they ate food. That is the main difference. They ate food. We eat food-like substance. Chemical and dye-laden foods that have been changed so much from their natural state that our bodies no longer know what to do with them. I liken it to a garage where we put all the stuff that we don't know what to do with. That's what our bodies do with the stuff they don't know what to do with. Why do they hold on to it? Because it's all they've got! They will try and make it of some use.

Here's the next thing: our bodies are STARVING. They are starving for real nutrition. Not a multi-vitamin. Not a low-fat, low-carb food item. They want real foods. Real, whole, and natural. When our bodies get food, they rejoice! They clean out the junk and do some re-modeling. As for supplementation, I think it can be necessary for rebuilding certain things your body lacks. Check out this book, The Diet Cure. It is such a fascinating read, and it may give you tools to overcome food addictions, depression, etc. and help you restore a natural, healthy you. *

God is the one who made our bodies, and He made the foods that should go in them for the best health and vibrancy. Read the Word of Wisdom again in this light. If we want the blessings contained therein we have to abide by the laws. Put in the right fuel. Eat FOOD, un-tampered with and from home, or as close to home as you can get it.

Here is quite a lengthy, but informative video on sugar. Here's a shorter video summary of the original. It explains how we are ingesting toxins on a large scale and not knowing it. It explains obesity, diabetes and heart disease differently than you may have heard before. I don't suggest these things to scare anyone. I have found greater freedom from knowing the truth and changing to live in better accordance with it, one step at a time.

I like eating. I like good food. I don't count calories. Try it. I think you'll like it too.

*Any book I suggest is likely filled with great information, or I wouldn't do it. But very few are perfect sources. Measure it up with the Word of Wisdom. Take the good and/or experiment until you find the right balance.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

More Zucchini

Zucchini Tomato Soup

I found this a couple years ago, and we have really liked it. I made some modifications from the original recipe to our liking. Feel free to do the same.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound zucchini, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or stock)
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (more, to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Noodles of your choice (We like medium-sized curly noodles. Wheat, rice, or quinoa noodles are options as well)

Directions

  1. In a large colander, sprinkle salt over zucchini slices. Let stand 30 minutes to drain then pat dry.
  2. In a stockpot, heat vegetable oil over medium high heat. Sautee zucchini onion and garlic in the hot oil for about 10 minutes or until onions are translucent. Stir in the chicken broth and tomato; simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the broth using a slotted spoon and puree them in a blender or food processor.
  3. While you're doing that, boil up your noodles (if you want them), drain and set aside.
  4. Return the pureed vegetables to the stockpot and stir in the lemon juice, sugar, oregano, basil, parsley and nutmeg. Season with Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Add in noodles, and enjoy!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Soaking vs. Sprouting

Thanks, Nicole, for your question. This is such a fabulous topic. You asked it just at the right time, because Kimi from The Nourishing Gourmet is doing an in-depth look into soaking grains all this week. I highly recommend her website. It's so great.

Click here to visit her site or just go there from the sidebar.

The very quick answer to Nicole's question about the difference between soaking and sprouting grains is this (as I understand it, and I'm not an expert): soaking can also be called fermenting. Sprouting means you actually get little sprouts going. They can be very little, and often people use the terms interchangeably. It can be rather confusing. But the point is that the foods are being made to be more nutritious and easier to digest.

Pre-industrialized peoples treated their grains this way before eating them, and when white flour came into play we lost a bunch of good knowledge as well as the bulk of the nutrition (and no, enriching and fortifying flours does not make them nutritionally equal to whole grains, to say the least).

Soaked grains are soaked in some sort of acidic solution, like kefir, buttermilk, lemon juice, or vinegar. This releases the phytic acid present in the grains and changes the composition of the sugar molecules so that your body can implement the nutrition better and without digestive woes.

Nuts can also be soaked and the enzyme inhibitors present in them can be released to create a more digestively-kind end product. Here is a post on that. In it, I again reference Kimi (who is referencing Sally Fallon).

In sprouting grains, one must first soak the grain, sprout it, re-dry it, and grind it into flour.

You can also soak/sprout beans for a better end result. Sally Fallon is really the guru on all of this, so if you want to check out her book Nourishing Traditions, do so. If not, go to Kimi's website and do a search. She has probably covered it.

Kara has a lot of great soaked and sprouted recipes and instructions on how to do so. Check her out.
Here are some great recipes to try that implement soaking and/or sprouting: Here. Here. Here.

As I go along, I'll try to do more on this and include some more recipes. But for now, I've got a very busy one-year-old who requires my attention.
Enjoy experimenting and see what changes you notice.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Zucchini

Is anyone else loaded down with zucchini? We have been having zucchini everything lately. I thought I'd share some ideas for those of you who may be feeling as blessed as we are. :) The recipes for today both had their beginnings at allrecipes.com. I often get recipe ideas from there. You can type in the ingredients you have on hand and it will bring up recipes you can make. Very nice.

I have tried two recipes so far for zucchini cakes or patties, which we had previously not tried, but really liked. These were the ones that turned out the best. The recipe could be modified more than I have here to make it healthier, but it's pretty good, especially if you use whole, natural ingredients.

Zucchini Patties



Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the zucchini, eggs, onion, flour, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and salt. Stir well enough to distribute ingredients evenly.
  2. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drop zucchini mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls, and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden.
Serve with some of your favorite tomato-based sauce or with a bit of sour cream. My husband thought they'd be great to put on some biscuits for a breakfast sandwich with a slice of tomato. Be creative.


This next one is more than easy. It's SO easy. It's simple, but my guy thought they tasted like fajitas. That's not bad for an all-veggie meal.

Zucchini and Squash Burritos



Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 small summer squash, sliced (or a mixture of squash and zucchini or just zucchini)
  • salt to taste
  • 4 (7 inch) whole wheat tortillas (or whatever you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; cook and stir the onion in the hot oil until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the squash in three batches, making sure the first has softened slightly before adding the next. Season with salt.
  2. Heat the tortillas in the microwave until warm, about 10 seconds. Spoon the squash mixture into the center of the tortillas; top with the Cheddar cheese and tomato. Roll into a burrito to serve.
More to come.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Food for Thought


Eat Clean
By Leanne Ely, C.N.C.

Dear Friends,

Now more than ever, nutritional nightmares abound on grocery store shelves. Products that are manipulated to hook us into food addictions take us hostage daily. You cannot be passive when it comes to buying your food and throw just any old thing in your cart. If you will implement a few simple rules, you will no longer be victimized by the food industry again: read the food labels of each and every product you buy.

If you see anything with an additive you can't pronounce or
don't know what it is, don't buy it. Watch too, for food dyes.
Did you know that Red No.3 (a dye allowed in foods) is also used as a pesticide for spraying on manure piles to kill maggots? (Source: EPA) Yellow No. 5 I know you've seen before in different foods and drinks. Allergists have reported all kinds of serious physical effects in some of their patients, including hives, asthma and behavioral problems. (Source: Lancet, Journal of Pediatrics). Think about it: why would you want your child drinking an electrolyte replacement drink that looks like toilet cleaner? Do you REALLY want that kind of dangerous junk in your food? These additives, fake colorings and flavorings are the food industry's weapons of mass destruction-true chemical warfare. We need to take a stand for Real Food and say NO to this kind of "food" because it is not food at all!

Keep it simple: eat easily identifiable real food. Skip the icky mixes that you constitute with water, partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated oils, and all that garbage. You know what food looks like. You'll find it in the produce section, the meat counter, and some fairly inexpensive dried beans, whole grains and breads on your grocer's shelves. Read the labels, strap on a whole new mindset of awareness and get rid of the junk. The results will astound you. You will see your children's behavior improve, your own moods even out and your grocery bill decrease- junk food is expensive.

We need to be reminded that we are feeding souls here-not filling holes. Your children's tummies can't be filled like a hole in the plaster. They need honest nutrition that will help them grow, learn and become all that God intends them to be. They can't do that on junk. Think about your car. You'd NEVER intentionally put less than decent fuel in it or you might damage the engine. Why would you do that to yourself or your family? You can always replace your car, but those faces across the dinner table are irreplaceable.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Real Food Rookie?

If you're a rookie at all of this "real food" stuff and you're interested in some classes, here's an option. There are also other classes from other real food bloggers, and there is a link to one set of classes on the side bar. Kitchen Stewardship also has good classes on things like sourdoughs and such.



Eat real food=feel real good.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lunch for Kim

My friend asked me the other day to do a post on healthy lunches ( i.e. what healthful foods I feed my little guy), so here I go.

#1 lunch option: Leftovers. I know, I use my leftovers to feed my hubby lunch the next day too, but if you make a bunch for dinner while you're already cooking, it can feed the whole fam twice with one meal prep. Nice.

#2: When leftovers aren't an option, I like to have some cooked grains all ready in my fridge most of the time. When you have a whole grain or two already done, all you need to do is add some fresh or frozen veggies, a little butter, salt and pepper (or go all out and add some cheese!), heat, and serve. That's one of my favorite options. Yes, I got the idea to have cooked grains on hand from Kara. Love that lady. Check out this post.

Today, actually, I didn't have anything else ready, so I pulled out some broccoli, boiled it a bit, added some already-cooked quinoa, butter, s&p, and it was great. Plus, you can eat a bunch of broccoli and not feel bad about it one bit. Yum.

#3: Fresh seasonal fruit is, of course, a fabulous snack and starter for lunch. Fresh, raw veggies and fruits can make up most of a lunch. Try the muffin tin method, which is this:

1.Get muffin tin.
2.Put some dips in some of the holes, such as a yogurt dip, hummus, guacamole, real peanut butter, ranch, etc.
3.Put fruits and veggies in the remaining holes, and dip away.

This picture is thanks to my bff, Shayla. I hope she doesn't mind. :)


Here's a video on teaching kids to eat right, and she does the muffin tin thing at the end. She also gives ideas for great, healthful dips.


They say it's for kids, but who doesn't like some finger foods now and then?

#4: I have no problem with real food pb&j's now and again. If you don't want to or can't currently make your own bread, get some actual whole wheat bread (read the ingredients list. If there are names you don't recognize, try another loaf.), some whole fruit jam and some real nut butter of your choice--or peanut butter and honey, yum! Pair that with some carrots, celery, whatever your kids like, and take it to the park for a picnic!

#5: How about keeping some other sandwich makings in the fridge? Egg salad, tuna, or, for a treat, grilled cheese sandwiches are great, and you can add some veggies and even grains in to some of those.
For ideas with tuna, see this post.
For grilled cheese, you can add in pureed yams or squash in there with some shredded cheese, and it's fabulous.

#6: Some kids will eat salads, you know. Give it a try. Make sure to have some cool textures (like some nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and veggies chopped in different ways) and a good dressing. If they don't eat it, have a treat for yourself, Mom.

With all meals, try to incorporate a lot of variety and color. Color is a good indicator of nutrients (if it's God-made food, that is) and antioxidants. Stuck in an apple rut? Try some blueberries or something.

Here are some fun finger foods and dips that kids love:
Sweet Potato Fries
Incredible Edible Veggie Bowls
Hummus (I hope to have my friend post her recipe for hummus as well, because it is fabulous.)
Ranch Dressing


Anybody have some other ideas? Please share, as always.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A New Book Recommendation

This book is an easy read with some good ideas and a bunch of recipes. I think it's a great starter book, and it's easy to carry around in your purse and pull out when you have a minute to read some. You can read a quick bit and put it down easily, and then pick right back up again.

Clever title, eh?



Real Food Has Curves, a new book written by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, offers a 7-step plan for weaning yourself off processed foods:

  1. Seek true satisfaction. Enjoy genuine flavors, rather than fat, sugar, and salt added to mask the metallic taste of chemical additives.
  2. Read labels wisely. You can find food with "real" ingredients in the supermarket if you read labels carefully.
  3. Relish what's on your plate. Devote time solely to enjoying the pleasures of eating.
  4. Wean yourself off excess salt, fat, and sugar. You can also cook with smaller amounts of these ingredients by using natural substitutes like strong spices.
  5. Give your palate time to change. You'll gradually lose your taste for excessively sweet and salty foods.
  6. Go for high-quality foods. Look for products that contain the least amount of processed ingredients.
  7. Treat yourself well by not skipping meals. Try eating three meals a day at fairly regular times, plus a mid-afternoon snack.
Again, not a perfect source, but a great step up for the average eater, and great recipe ideas for beginners and established real-fooders.
Go grab a copy at your local library, and eat up.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kid-Friendly Recipe of the Day

Who doesn't like banana bread? It's delicious.

Sadly, most recipes for it are no better than a birthday cake. Kara saves the day again on this one. Her multi-grain banana bread is fabulous. It is one of the things that the kids (and adults, of course) gobble up the fastest at my cooking classes.

If you don't have the flours she uses, you can make them easily with a wheat grinder or very good blender. Otherwise you can buy them at a store. If you only have one or two of them, you can just use those as well. I recommend reading Kara's blog for more information on how to substitute whole grains.
Multi-Grain Banana Bread


1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup of white sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons
kefir or buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

3 medium bananas

2/3 cup barley flour
2/3 cup oat flour

2/3 cup soft white wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 5x9 inch loaf pan. Cut a 5x9 inch piece of parchment and place in the bottom of the pan.In blender place syrup, sugar and egg. Blend on low for 45 seconds. Add oil, kefir, vanilla and bananas. Blend again for 30 seconds. Place the remaining ingredients on top of mixture. Pulse until mostly combined, finish mixing with a spatula and pour into loaf pan. Bake for about 45 minutes.


Be sure to check the bread a couple times in the last 10 minutes for doneness. Press gently on the middle of the loaf, firm is done. When you remove loaf from the oven, let cool 5-10 minutes in the pan, then turn out on a wire rack and peel the parchment from the bottom.


*For a treat, I put chocolate chips or nuts or fruit in as add-ins.

**Another great way to do these, especially if different members of your family have different add-in likes, is to make the into muffins and add in whatever you want to each muffin. Simply grease or line with baking cups your muffin tin and bake them for about 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Keep an eye on them the first time and see what time works best for you.

Getting Kids to Eat It...

...or ourselves, for that matter. My niece has been known to say, "This tastes like green. I don't like green!" We (the people) have tried giving our kids peas and spinach, but they won't eat it. Why should they, anyhow? They have many other choices, and we think it's not a huge deal. After all, kids just don't like vegetables, right? A daily vitamin will do the trick, especially if it looks and tastes like a gummy bear.

Uhh...no.

Not if we really want to have health, anyway. You can eat to survive or you can eat to thrive! As I said in an earlier post, we have to learn about why it's important to eat well. The same goes for our kids. TEACH them the why's and involve them in the preparation. When they learn and then experience the benefits firsthand, the food battles will likely diminish and then fade away completely. Green Smoothie Girl has some good thoughts about this in her 12 Steps Program, which I highly recommend. Also, she has a YouTube video on this topic. Check it out.

Other ideas:

Make the food look fun and attractive. Use lots of color (color=antioxidants)!

Anitra Kerr of SimplyLivingSmart.com makes what she calls an Incredible Edible Veggie Bowl that is fun. You can watch that video (and others) when you sign up for a free membership on that site.

Don't label things so much before your kids can develop their own opinions. I have met people who assume that because something is green that their kids won't like it. I brought some green smoothie to my morning workout and my little boy was drinking some. I was loaded with greens, and it was really good too. Some of the other kids wanted a taste, so I let them try it. They liked it. When I told their mom, the moment I said green smoothie, her face crinkled. Gross! was her response. Her kids liked it though.

Keep trying. Sometimes it takes a lot of tries (more than 20, for sure) for kids to gain a taste for something.

Know this: What you serve is what they will eat. I went to an Armenian cooking class once and a lady came with her kids. When her daughter tried the new things, she spat them out (she was about 10 years old) right in front of the teacher. Then she went through the teacher's cupboards looking for candy and eating it. Her mother was embarrassed, of course. But as time went on, that same mother asked the teacher if she intended to feed her kids Armenian food. The teacher (being Armenian) responded that of course she would. The mom couldn't believe that any kid would eat non-sugared, vegetable filled foods. Kids eat the foods we have in our homes. They eat what we give them. They develop tastes for what they eat at home.

Try it a new way. My mantra for trying things has become: If I didn't like it last time I tried it, I haven't had it prepared the right way.

Know that changes take time and practice. Keep it up.

Any other ideas? Please share!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Granola Bars Recipe

As requested, here is one version of the Kitchen Stewardship Granola Bars. The recipe can also be found on that site.

© 2010 Katie Kimball | Kitchen Stewardship
The most popular recipe at Kitchen Stewardship, this granola bar method is as easy as mixing up a batch of homemade cookies. The amount of honey makes them both slightly indulgent and slightly expensive, but it’s worth it!

Ingredients:
4 1/2 c. rolled oats 1 c. whole wheat or spelt flour
1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. vanilla 1 c. butter, softened 1 c. honey
2 cups of add-ins: mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, coconut, other nuts…

Directions:
Lightly butter a 9”×13” glass pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and honey first and mix well. Tip: If your butter isn’t softened, use a rolling pin and roll it between two sheets of wax paper. Then add all ingredients except add-ins. Beat well until combined. Stir in add-ins by hand. Press mixture hard into pan. (You can use your hands!) Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. They do not have to look or feel “done” but will be quite moist – remember that there aren’t any eggs in the recipe. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing and serving. Store at room temperature or freeze for longer freshness.

NEW: Stickier, Chewier Granola Bars: The one drawback of this original recipe is that it tends to be a bit crumbly, especially if you overbake the bars even slightly. You can avoid that by melting the butter, honey and vanilla in a saucepan and cooking on low for 5 minutes after the butter melts, then mixing the liquid ingredients into the dry. You can choose to bake them or skip the baking powder and not bake them (see Soaked Granola Bars, next recipe in booklet). Of course, this takes longer and dirties an extra pot. Works both ways!

Other Flavors:
Add ¼ c. cocoa powder to the dry ingredients; no chocolate chips needed
Use ½ c. natural peanut butter in place of ½ c. of the butter

Makes at least 20 bars, equivalent to about 3 boxes processed bars
Cost: $3.50, varies widely based on honey and butter prices

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

In Defense of Food: Part 1

Howdy Everybody! Word of Wisdom Man here, I stumbled across this 4-part Youtube series by Michael Pollan, author of the previously recommended In Defense of Food, as well as the Omnivore's Dilemma. I found much of what he has to say insightful into understanding modern nutrition-ism and how marketing has managed to convince many people that man made food is in some way superior to that which God has created... Enjoy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

In the Season Thereof

How do we know if something is in season? One hint is to notice what is in abundance and on sale in the grocery market. Another way is to check out farmers' markets. The internet, of course, is helpful. :)



I found a lot of berries on sale recently. Blue, black, strawberries and raspberries. I bought some of each and have been making some raw fruit salads, which are simply delicious. I got this idea after having done a raw food detox. The recipes for these salads are wonderful. If you don't have the fruits suggested, however, use what you've got. The salad above is a variation from these. They are just to get your ideas flowing. Whatever fruits are ripe and abundant (in season) are the ones to use.

Red-White-and-Blue Fruit Salad

1 cup blueberries
5 cups strawberries
2 bananas (not too ripe)
1 very ripe red banana, or 1/2 a small plantain, very ripe

Cut strawberries into halves or thirds; cut yellow bananas in 1/2" pieces, toss together.
Blend red bananas or plantain in a blender, adding a shot of water if necessary, to make a cream. Blend into fruit pieces.

Creamy Sunshine Salad

3 red bananas, or 1 plantain, or 1 banana, very ripe
2 Tbs. coconut water (the juice --sometimes called milk--of a young coconut)
3 peaches, diced
3 nectarines, diced
1 mango, diced

Whip ripe bananas and coconut water in a blender until smooth; it should be on the thick side. Combine cubed fruit with sauce in a bowl. Serve.

If I were a betting woman, I would bet that this would even go over well at any Relief Society event, they may ask you how you got the "cream" to taste so fruity (no, it wasn't green jell-o added in)!

By the way, growing your own is still best. Tree-ripened fruit is amazingly good for you, and more scrumptious than any other. Get local if you can't grow it. If you can't get local, look for organic. If you can't get organic, some fruit is better than no fruit, in my opinion.

Granola Bars

I just ordered this eBook called "Healthy Snacks To Go" by Katie Kimball of Kitchen Stewardship (link on the side bar), and it's a big hit so far! It's only $6.95, so you don't have to worry about your pocket book.

Katie's granola bars are so great. My husband has decided that he thinks we need them on hand at all times and he wants to show them off to everyone. There are lots of tips and recipes to keep you and your family more healthy with more healthful snacks that you can have in your diaper bag or wherever. Like Larabars? Try making your own!

Here are my guys after enjoying some soaked granola bars.



"Soaked" granola bars. There is only one because these went so quickly! I didn't wait until they were fully cooled to add the chocolate chips, thus the melting.



The next time I made these I didn't have time to soak and dehydrate my oats, but we loved them anyway! I had some more patience to wait until they were cool to add the chips, as you can see.



We loved these both ways. The soaked had a bit more crunch to them along with being chewy (I did unbaked both times), and the un-soaked are chewy deliciousness. Yum! Thank you, Katie!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Green Smoothies


"And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome aherbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—
Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with aprudence and bthanksgiving." ( Word of wisdom, verses 10-11)

Spinach. Kale. Collard Greens. What do they have in common? They are REALLY good for us. How much of them do we actually eat?
Well, spinach gets quite a bit of publicity. It is eaten cooked and raw in salads by a lot of people, I'd say. That's great. But when was the last time you had kale and parsley raw, or ever?

If you've been drinking green smoothies, you can answer with confidence: "This morning!" Wahoo! I can.

When I first got into living the Word of Wisdom more fully, the Raw community gave me lots of good ideas and information on how to feed myself and my family. Green smoothies were my real start, and if people only added one good thing into their diet, these would be my suggestion.



If you know nothing about green smoothies, here is the website of the woman who first thought them up. Here is a very good basic video done by her son.



People do a lot of different things with green smoothies. On the sidebar is a site called Green Smoothie Girl, and she has lots of info and products. Some people say to do lots of supplements and such, some people say otherwise. There will always be conflicting information, so the best thing to do is experiment for yourself. I happen to favor the method of the woman who started the whole thing.

Here are some great starter recipes. Once you get going you won't need recipes, but it's nice to have them in the beginning. These recipes come from the Raw Divas.

Banana Slug Green Smoothie
Ingredients:
1 cup water
3 bananas
2 pears
2 cups romaine lettuce
Directions:
Blend everything. If you think lettuce and bananas can’t combine, think again!

Green Revolution Smoothie
Ingredients:
1 cup water (or more if needed)
4 medium bananas
1 handful chard leaves
Black (dinosaur) kale, 5-6 small to medium leaves or 2-3 big leaves
Directions:
Blend water with bananas first, and add greens progressively and blend until smooth.

Groovy Green Smoothie
Ingredients:
1 banana, cut in chunks
1 cup grapes
½ apple, cored and chopped
1 ½ cups fresh spinach leaves
Directions:
Place the banana, grapes, apple and spinach into a blender. Cover, and blend until smooth.
Pour into glasses and serve.


I’m Green, I’m Green
Makes 2 servings
Ingredients:
2 cups papaya, diced
2 bananas
1 or 2 cups kale
Directions:
Blend the papaya first, and then add bananas and kale progressively. Use more or less
kale to taste. Add water for blending, if necessary.

Kale Lover Green Smoothie
Makes 2 servings
Ingredients:
3 bananas
2 apples (golden or other sweet variety)
1 cup water
1 ½ cups kale or mixed baby greens**

** “Mixed baby greens” is a mix of various young greens. It can be found in most
produce stores and health food stores. The best types are the organic brands.
Directions:
Blend in the bananas, apples and water. Add in the kale or mixed baby greens and
continue blending until smooth.

I personally mix greens, and recommend using lots of spinach to begin. It tastes the least "green." Also, adding a small slice of lemon (skin and all if it's organic) hides "green" flavor. If you need to in the beginning, add a tablespoon of honey or agave. There are recipes and videos all over the place online. Have fun with it and if you have questions, leave me a comment and I'll do my best to answer.
Drink up!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Another Reason to Choose Local Organic Food

This article explains the link recently found between pesticide-laden foods and ADHD in kids.

To save your wallet, here's a list of the "dirty dozen" and the "clean fifteen" fruits and veggies. The Dirty dozen are the ones that you should spend a little more and get organic. The clean fifteen have the least amount of pesticides, so buy the cheapest. :)

Dirty Dozen

1 (Worst) Celery
2 Peaches
3 Strawberries
4 Apples
5 Blueberries (Domestic)
6 Nectarines
7 Sweet Bell Peppers
8 Spinach
9 Kale/Collard Greens
10 Cherries
11 Potatoes
12 Grapes (Imported)

Clean Fifteen
1 (Best) Onions
2 Avocado
3 Sweet Corn (Frozen)
4 Pineapples
5 Mango (Subtropical and Tropical)
6 Sweet Peas (Frozen)
7 Asparagus
8 Kiwi Fruit (Subtropical and Tropical)
9 Cabbage
10 Eggplant
11 Cantaloupe (Domestic)
12 Watermelon
13 Grapefruit
14 Sweet Potatoes
15 Honeydew Melon


Here is where you can get a PDF wallet-sized printout or the iPhone app for free.
And for those of us who want the full list, here it is:

Also, when you get your produce, washing it is a great idea. Don't use soap though. That adds more chemicals. Try a vinegar soak (equal parts water and vinegar), and/or a vegetable scrub brush and cold running water.

Kara has good pointers, as always.

FYI-


The grapes on the dirty list are imported grapes--this means that they are not close to local, and they are not local because they are out of season. It's always best to eat in things "in the season thereof." Go fig. You know what's even better than local organic? Home grown. Those prophets sure have some good ideas. :)

P.S. If you can't find these things in your local markets, you have lot more control over that than you think. Start talking to your local farmers and grocers! Make comments. Make a fuss. They bring in and grow what you buy. It's your vote that counts.



P.P.S. I don't know why this formatting is so ridiculous. Sorry.

















Monday, May 10, 2010

Soak Your Nuts



Here is my favorite source so far for nut-soaking. Kimi describes the why's and how's marvelously. Sally Fallon's book, Nourishing Traditions, which I have mentioned before, is fantastic. Get it from your library and see if you want to buy it.

Favorite nut-soaking recipes:

Kara's Feel-Good Granola

Caramel Banana Pecan Topping (for waffles, pancakes, etc.)

And here are the actual recipes from the first link. I use these regularly, and they make GREAT snacks as well as additions to recipes:

Pumpkin seeds-Pepitas (these are great on salads and for kids' snacks!)

4 cups of raw, hulled pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
filtered water

Soaking Time: At least 7 hours, or overnight
Dehydrating time: 12-24 hours, until dry and crisp

Pecans or Walnuts

4 cups of nuts
2 teaspoons sea salt
filtered water

Soaking time: 7 or more hours (can do overnight)
Dehydrating time: 12-24 hours, until completely dry and crisp.

Pecans can be stored in an airtight container, but walnuts are more susceptible to become rancid so should always be stores in the refrigerator.

Peanuts (skinless), Pine nuts, or Hazelnuts (skinless)

4 cups of raw nuts
1 tablespoon sea salt
filtered water

Soaking time: at least 7 hours or overnight
Dehydrating time:12-24 hours, until completely dry and crisp

Store in an airtight container

Almonds

4 cups almonds, preferably skinless- SF notes “Skinless almonds will still sprout, indicating that the process of removing their skins has not destroyed the enzymes….[they] are easier to digest and more satisfactory in many recipes. However, you may also use almonds with the skins on. ”
1 tablespoon sea salt
filtered water

Soaking time: At least 7 hours, or overnight
Dehydrating Time:12 -24 hours, until completely dry and crisp

* You can also use almond slivers

Cashews

4 cups of “raw” cashews
1 tablespoon sea salt
filtered water

“Some care must be taken in preparing cashews. They will become slimy and develop a disagreeable taste if allowed to soak too long or dry out too slowly, perhaps because they come to us not truly raw but having already undergone two separate heatings. You may dry them in a 200 to 250 degree oven-the enzymes have already been destroyed during processing. ”

Soaking time: 6 hours, no longer
Dehydrate at 200 degrees F: 12-24 hours
Store in an airtight container

Macadamia nuts

4 cups of raw macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon sea salt
filtered water

Soaking time: At least 7 hours or overnight
Dehydrating time: 12-24 hours, until dry and crisp.

1 Nourishing Traditions, 2nd edition, pg 452-453, 512, 513-517

Friday, April 30, 2010

Success

I did it. It may not seem like a big deal to most people, but I had one of those mental blocks about it. I made beans. Real beans, not from a can.

I think I heard one too many horror stories (or at least complaints) about cooking dry beans. They won't soften, they get too mushy, they take too long, etc. Really, they weren't a big deal to make. They just take some forethought initially, like most whole foods.

Some things I learned along the way:

1. Once you soak the beans, they almost triple in size (at least mine did). Thus, number two.
2. It's helpful to soak in batches of a pound or so, so that you know how much water to use when you cook them (a pound of dry black beans is about two cups).
3. Soak the beans in a bigger bowl than you think. When I saw mine this morning they had soaked in all of the water and I thought I had generously covered them.

I made some of my beans in my pressure cooker and some on the stove in a pot. I actually liked the outcome of the stove beans best. They were firmer and held together better than the other (but I'm pretty sure I was off with the water measurement with the pressure cooker).

A good idea:
Make a bunch at a time and then freeze them in little baggies for use in future recipes. I did about a cup per bag.

Now I feel more self reliant and better about the fact that there won't be BHT in my next casserole. Wahoo!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Eek.

In my mind, there are some very good reasons to avoid high fructose corn syrup. I have added to my list of why's.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/26/AR2009012601831_pf.html

Mercury? That should NOT be in our food.

It seems hard to avoid the stuff, but in eating a whole foods diet of real food you are pretty well buffered from such toxins.

Hungry mouths do not complian.

I get regular emails (too many, in fact) from the Raw Mom blog author, and here's a little tidbit I got that I thought had some value.

"When it comes to feeding your children well, the truth is that if you just put out a big ol' platter of fresh fruits and vegetables instead of muffins, cupcakes and chocolate covered almonds at snack time, you'll be doing a great thing, Mom.

If they complaining about it, take them for a run around the block for some exercise. (Hungry mouths do not complain!)

I was so inspired when I saw what's happening at this Australian primary school, April:

http://www.rawmom.com/raw-mom-blog/archives/2536

It reminded me of how easy it is to make a difference and improve the health and lives of others. We don't need to complicate things.

Simply eat more fruits and vegetables and help others to the same. That's a great place to start."

Take simple, easy steps toward better food choices. I especially like the line I put in the subject bar. If they (or we) are truly hungry, we won't complain about eating some fruit and veg.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Health is a Blessing

I have never seen better information compiled about the Word of Wisdom anywhere than in this e-book:

Steven Horne took the Word of Wisdom line by line and expanded upon it with what the modern prophets (like Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, and others) said, and added other very valuable information. This is a comprehensive answer to the "why's," in my opinion.

You may or may not agree with all he says, but it's an easy read and I think he supports his research very well. We read a chapter weekly for FHE until we read completely through and we've tried to implement things as soon as we were ready. It's an easy read. It's free. Go for it!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Getting Started

My friend asked me the other day what a good place to start was. She attended my first ever class on whole foods.
Number one, I told her to cook some grains and keep them ready to use in the fridge. If you don't think ahead that way, it's hard to use whole grains because they take longer to cook. Then, once you have some brown rice and quinoa on hand, you can pull them out, add in some frozen veggies with some butter, salt and pepper, and voila! Lunch in a couple minutes (even faster than Ramen noodles, and infinitely better for you!).
Another of the dishes I make to incorporate grains into foods that boost the nutrition and stretch the grocery bill is this:

Secretly Stretched Tuna

1 can tuna (I prefer solid white albacore in water)
mayo (I linked to a recipe here, but if it stresses you out, just use store mayo until you're ready)
1 rib celery, diced
onion powder, to taste
about 1/2 cup cooked brown rice or white quinoa
salt and pepper to taste

Drain water off of tuna and place in bowl. Mix in mayo to your desired consistency. Mix in celery and then the onion powder (I sprinkle it on until it looks right. Sorry, I get the "cooking by ear" from my mom. It's likely about a teaspoon). Then mix in some cooked grains. Salt and pepper to taste.
A great variation on this is to make tuna melts, and Kara's recipe adds in more veggies and is delicious, or you can just keep it really simple and slap on a slice of cheese and stick your open-faced sandwiches under a high broiler until the cheese is bubbly. My husband likes the sandwiches fried too, like making grilled cheese, but adding in tuna. Experiment and see what works for you.

Congratulations! You just had some fabulous whole grains, and the whole fam downed them without complaint.