Friday, May 30, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I have looked back over my blog topics and can't believe that I have not blogged about this topic yet. It is usually the first thing I tell people about when they ask me any health questions and the one little thing that is always on my menu in the morning. It is the all powerful, all encompassing Super B Complex. You see, the B vitamins are the things that make everything else work in the body as they should. Unfortunately, we just do not get enough of these vitamins in our diets today. Not only because none of us eat perfectly but because even the good foods that we do eat aren't as nutritious as they were years ago. All of us need extra and the best part is that it is cheap. Real cheap. I buy the big bottle as seen above from Costco. I give it to all of my kids in the morning and I usually take a few extra at night as well. It is hard to overdose on B vitamins as extra is excreted from the urine. Just make sure that the kids know that their pee will turn bright yellow. This is a little something I forgot to tell my little ninos when I first started handing them out and my 8 year old thought he had a disease. Oops. If you don't know the facts, here is a little bit about the B family and why you too should be swallowing your Super B's in the morning:
The B vitamins are a group of 8 vitamins that aid the body in cell metabolism. Of course we all know that cell's are what make up our body so it is probably a good thing to keep them in shape and metabolising properly. The B's also keep our skin and muscle tone healthy, our immune and nervous system in check and helps us combat the stress and anxiety in our lives. When you are really stressed out, your body actually depletes itself of B vitamins so you should make sure you take extra at this time. For children with disorders such as Autism and ADHD, many times a huge culprit is the way their body handles their B vitamins. Almost all of the time, they need major B supplements. For my son, I inject him with B12 vitamins to help his body work properly. Without these vitamins, the system can't work right and the brain will then suffer. Anxiety levels and depression levels are greatly affected when we don't get the vitamins we need. Another great benefit of B's are that they help the metabolism to speed up to aid in a healthy and lean body. Who doesn't want all this? It is like a little miracle pill. Yes, you still need to eat foods rich in B's like lentils, bananas, tuna and potatoes, but we all need a little help. Grab a bottle. Pass it a round. Take care of yourselves ladies! I had a long day so I am off to take 2 B's and I'll blog you in the morning.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I can't say that I am a true Greenpeace type, but I am becoming more aware that there needs to be a little change in the world or we will have a problem. I am more aware that I am one of the problems if I don't start to help out. Two things that I want to change: bringing my own canvas bags to produce type stores and composting . Well, I can now cross one thing off my list...I am now an official composter. I have wanted to do this for some time but was worried that my yard would stink. I was reading my neighbors blog, which I would recommend to you all (read it here) and she was talking about composting. She wrote that it does not stink and that the city of Gilbert would even drop off a compost bin for free. What excuse did I have now? I got on the phone immediately and requested my free bin. (503-6400 FYI) It came within the week with full instructions. My husband set it up and I am official. If you don't live in Gilbert, you can buy one for cheap or even use a big plastic garbage can with a lid and holes cut into it. Google for instructions. I keep a rubber made shoe box type container with the lid under my sink. I dump my produce scraps, bread, noodles and rice into it and when it is full, my 5 year old takes it out to "feed the pigs". We don't have pets so we have to pretend. The other day he finally had enough of our little pretend game and told me "seriously, mom, there is only flies in there, no pigs." I told him that he could name all 100,000 of them if he wanted. He decided that he would just keep pretending that we had pigs to feed our slop to. I can't wait until I have good compost soil to put into my garden. It doesn't smell. It is easy and I feel much better about doing my part. Now it is time for the canvas bags. It's just another thing I am doing to save the world. How bout you? Did you do anything to save the world today?
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Yesterday my Bountiful Basket came with a little brown lunch bag full of mushrooms. While I love the shrooms, it is the one food my children really protest. But, since I am determined to use all in my basket each week, I need to use these cute little fungi before they go bad. I must be cleaver, however and disguise them so that they give them a chance before they even notice what they are eating. I did a pretty good job of that tonight with some Beef Stroganoff. I haven't made this in a very long time but it was really pretty tasty. I will give you that recipe for those of you also looking at your little brown bag wondering too what to do with them. But first, here are some nutritional facts about what you should be eating, the all powerful mushroom.
First of all, the mushroom is a very low fat food. In 5 medium mushrooms there are only about 20 calories. Of course, I need mine sauteed in butter or oil so there goes those 20 calories! Mushrooms also contain 3 major B vitamins; Niacin , which helps the digestive and nervous system work properly; Pantothenic acid which aids in the production of hormones and Riboflavin which promotes healthy skin and good vision.
The mushroom also contains a very high amount of potassium. One 3 ounce portobello actually contains more than a banana. The shrooms are also the only produce with a significant amount of selenium. Selenium is an essential mineral important for immune and thyroid health. Researchers are just beginning to understand how wonderful these fungi are for the treatment and prevention of cancers.
I really had no idea how great these little buttons were. I thought since they weren't green that they must not really have much too them. Now I realize that these must be a bigger part of our diet. Once again, I am amazed that our solutions to our health problems are right here. Why does it take us so long to figure this out? So, all you hormonal women, guys with prostate problems and teens with bad skin, Go grab a handful of fungi today and enjoy a good omelet.
1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak or stew meat.
3 T. olive oil or grapeseed oil
1/3 cup diced onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 pound fresh chopped or sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 to 2 Cups milk
1 tsp paprika
1 cup sour cream
In large skillet, saute meat sliced into thin bite sized pieces in oil with garlic and onions. When no longer pink on the outside, lower heat and cover. Simmer for 25-35 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add water if needed. When tender, add mushrooms and cover again for about 10 minutes until tender. If you have ultra gel, just add the milk and paprika and thicken with ultra gel to desired consistency then add sour cream. Heat till warm but do not boil or you will curdle cream. Salt more if needed. If you don't have ultra gel, use dripping from pan and heat and stir in flour. Whisk in milk and thicken. Return to meat mixture then add sour cream. I added a little more garlic powder at the end. Serve over medium egg noodles.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Whole Grain Apple Fritters
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 T coconut sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup finely chopped and peeled apples
Stir dry ingredients then add in wet ingredients. Fold in apples. Batter will be very thick. Drop by spoonfuls in hot pan with a little oil. Flatten a bit with a spoon. cook on medium heat until golden and flip and cook on the other side until golden. Mix 1/2 cup coconut sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon. When fritters are done and hot, drop them in powdered sugar mixture and coat both sides, just a light dusting. You can dip in real maple syrup or eat them plain!
Have a good weekend!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I am really trying to incorporate more organic foods into my household, but it is tough to find and more expensive most of the time. I subscribe to a "daily tip" email from Dr. Weil listing produce that you don't need to worry about buying organically grown and a list of produce that you should buy organically grown. This was a great little tip as with all of his daily tips that I get. His site is DrWeil.com for any of you interested. He knows it all in the holistic field. I thought I would pass a long these lists to you:
11 Foods you Don't need to buy organically grown:
12 Foods that Do need to buy organically grown:
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Also, If you would be interested in a 7-8 year old class for this summer, let me know.
I am posting this recipe so Ms. Payne will stop bugging me. (Ha) I made this for our Cabin Retreat this past weekend and it is always a big hit. I wish I could claim it for being my recipe but I got it from my sister-in-law, Melissa. It is so healthy, low fat and delicious. Kids even love it. This is very similar to the recipe posted by Kristin on my blog but a little different sauce. Here you go, Ms. Payne:
2 cans shoepeg corn, drained or 1 can white corn or 2 cups frozen thawed white corn.1 can black eyed peas, drained
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 avocados, chopped
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive or grapeseed oil
Mix dressing ingredients and whisk till incorporated. Add all other ingredients. Chill. Serve with corn chips. Scoops are great!
I must also let you know about a great blog I ran into from someone who left a comment. It is called Sisters Cafe and it is a site full of the best recipes I have seen. I am not sure who these sisters are, but they are some great cooks! I have tried out several recipes and want to try them all out. I made the Peanut Sauce Chicken last night, YUM and will try out the Flank Steak just posted on their blog tonight. I will post their link to the right or you can click on their header above. Thanks Ladies for taking the time to share your cooking ventures with us all!
Monday, May 12, 2008
I have to say that my love for grains and pressure cookers began several years ago with some cooking classes I took from the local celebrity Chef, Chef Brad. Most of you who have lived here in the valley for any length of time probably have heard this name and many of you may have even taken a class or two. For those of you who have not, let me introduce you to one of my super grain hero's.
Chef Brad's mission statement is to "inspire people to get back into the kitchen and enjoy creating fond food memories." He does this in a way to inspire us that food can be healthy and taste great at the same time. He definitely was an inspiration to me and was the first person who introduced the word "Quinoa"to me. He makes you understand that there is so much more to cooking than the basic wheat flour you can buy at the store. He takes you back to the basic and natural grains of the earth and teaches you the history and nutritional facts behind them.
Right now, Chef Brad specializes in teaching specialty classes to get you back into the kitchen and to learn what in the world to do with all of those grains. I personally took bread classes from him and learned the art of getting a good loaf. His classes are like no other out there. Visit his web page and you can see the classes he is currently offering. He offers a cooking school which is at his site or you can host classes at your home with a group of friends in a series or as a single class. As a host, you will leave with a great new toy! All attendees will also have learned about 25 grains! The classes are on Sneak nutrition and Fantastic Breakfasts, Bread and Pizza and Salads and Pressure cooking.
His website also has his cookbooks which are where I really started with my grain experimentation. For those of you wondering what to do with your pressure cookers, he has a book for that too. The site contains recipes, explanations of grains and tips and informational articles too.
Check out his web site here, or click on his link to the right!
Thanks Chef Brad for teaching me so much and how much fun it is to say "Quinoa"!
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
One of my new Enlightened Homemaker Friends is opening a new shop that I must share with all of you local friends. Tracey Adair and her husband had a great idea to open and emergency preparedness shop in downtown Mesa with items such as grains, tents, year supply items, containers and other preparedness items. I am especially excited because they will be carrying White Wheat that many of us are hooked on. They will have the Prairie Gold White Wheat which is the best and chemical free. Best of all, they will be having a sale on this for their grand opening, Memorial Weekend. It is $34.00 for a 50 pound bag. I have added her to my links to the right , so check it out and stop in her store. She will also have #10 cans of vital wheat gluten available. I would love to have this stocked up on in my pantry.
Thanks Tracey for helping us get our homes in order!
Sunday, May 4, 2008
I love any reason to have some good Mexican food! We are going to celebrate a day early because I just feel like fajitas today! We will have an Italian Cinco de Mayo tomorrow. (Anyone help me out with the Italian term for cinco de mayo?) Since I had some great ingredients in my harvest basket yesterday, I made some salsa and my chicken is marinating. I thought I would share those recipes with you, the breakfast recipe will just have to wait. They are so easy and very healthy and low cal.
Salsa (courtesy of Ashlee Leseuer)
3 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
2 bunches green onions ( I use whites and half the green)
1 bunch cilantro
8 jalapeno slices , from can. (more if you want spicier salsa)
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp salt
Put all in blender, chopping onion and cilantro a little first. Blend until still chunky but well mixed. Refrigerate. Don't add extra ingredients until it sits for a while. It gets spicier.
Fajita Marinade (courtesy of Milena Cooper)
2 T fresh lime juice
1/2 t chili powder
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 T soy sauce
1/4t ground cumin
I doubled this and marinaded about 1 - 1 /2 pounds chicken into strips. Marinade at least 2 hours or overnight. You can marinade the whole breast and grill also or in strips and saute. Serve with peppers and onions and salsa and any other great toppings.
Happy Cinco de Mayo to you all!
I am looking for a great fresh tomato salsa recipe as my garden is about ready to be picked. If you have one, or any other great recipes for fresh tomatoes, pass them my way please!
Saturday, May 3, 2008
I will give you some of the recipes I used with these items this week.
Here are my basket contents:
14 red potatoes
2 red bell peppers
2 bunches cilantro
Friday, May 2, 2008
At Costco I found a raw milk chipotle cheddar cheese. It is delicious and pretty good price for a raw cheese. I am sad that not all Costco's carry the same things. I get emailed great finds from you and then I don't see them at my Costco. Same goes for Walmart. I found the Nature's Path at the Walmart on Greenfield and Baseline but they do not carry them at the Walmart on Power and Ray. I asked them if they would order them and they very impolitely in true Walmart fashion told me "No", that people don't want it if they don't have it. Whatever!
As for Fresh N Easy, They do carry a whipping cream that is cream only. Hurray. You have to whip it yourselves but it only takes a couple minutes. They also have lots of different dressings and sauces that are good. Great prices too. They have organic juice boxes for a pretty good price. I love to pop in that store in the afternoon to find what good deals I can get. I love their Naan bread for panninii's. It is white flour but is a great indulgence with a little pesto, spinach , chicken and cheese. Yum!
As for other cooking info, A fellow E.H., Cindy Thomas has been experimenting with my booklet of recipes by cutting the sugar in half or at least a third and says that it tastes great. I have tried a few recipes this way and honestly can't really taste a big difference. I will keep trying different ones out.Thanks Cindy for the inspiration! We can always do better!
Tomorrow I will blog another good breakfast recipe to try out. Always whole grain, always delicious! Have a good Friday. Hope you all get a well deserved date! Happy Birthday Laurie Lee!