Archive for the ‘gluten free’ Category

It’s Been A While

July 3, 2016

Yes, this project fell by the wayside.  There are so many activities to keep up with: weaving, spinning, hiking, kayaking, and even work.  This is what got me thinking again.  People are busy. I am busy. You are busy.  Because of this, many young people never learn to cook with whole food ingredients.  Many older people just stopped cooking at all and rely on heat-and-eat meals from the grocery or eating out.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good restaurant meal, especially if it’s at a locally owned and operated, non-chain establishment.  But as busy as we are, real food at home is a necessity. And learning how to cook real food is a crucial life skill.

As busy as we are, it can be done, it just takes a little planning, both at the grocery store and in the kitchen.

When I first started writing and really getting in to cooking, I was working at home and raising my children.  My time was more flexible and without a commute to work, I had a bit more of it. This made for an easier transition to a whole food cooking life.  Now that I’m back in an office with lots of extracurricular interests, my time is limited, but there is still time for cooking and eating well, and that’s what I plan on sharing with you!

For you who have gotten away from home cooked meals due to lack of time and you who are young and just learning how to fend for yourselves in the real world, I have tips and recipes to share to get you (back) in then kitchen and enjoying preparing your own healthy meals.

No more chatter for today, let’s get to a recipe.  One of my favorite stand-bys, Chicken Enchilada Bake.  This is not a traditional enchilada recipe.  In fact, technically it’s not enchiladas at all as there are no tortillas.  It’s just a quick and easy 3 ingredient meal that can be made for one person or six with no extra effort.

Grocery Store Tip:  Purchase large bags of frozen chicken breast tenders (boneless, skinless, not breaded, just chicken). Trader Joe’s sells them in a zip lock bag.  If you only need one or two or six, just throw the rest back in the freezer. They thaw quickly and can be cooked from frozen.

Ingredients

  • chicken tenders (however many you need for the people you are feeding)
  • salsa verde (enough to cover the chicken in a baking dish)
  • Monterey jack (or pepper jack) cheese, shredded

Directions

In a baking dish large enough to fit the chicken in a single layer, place the chicken and cover with salsa.  You want to be able to see the chicken through the salsa, so not entirely covered or you’ll end up with soup.  Cover and bake until chicken is cooked. These don’t take long, maybe 20 minutes for 6-8 tenders if thawed.  A bit longer if frozen.  Remove cover and generously top with cheese.  Bake until cheese is melted.  Voila!  Dinner is served.

Add a side veggie or salad if you like.  Spark it up by seasoning chicken with cumin before baking.  Add extra chilies or chopped sweet peppers.  You can customize this as you wish.

But It’s GREEN!

June 27, 2012

Green drinks can take a little getting used to.  They look and taste, well… green.  Freshly mowed lawn and algae sometimes come to mind… but, put all that out of your mind.  Green smoothies are chock full of nutrients, more in one glass that most people get in an entire day!

But it’s GREEEEEN!

OK, get over the green thing.  Let’s consider what’s in the green drink.  Here’s a smoothie I drink almost every day:

Green Smoothie

Ingredients: strawberries, pineapple, baby spinach, avocado, wheatgrass powder, fresh parsley, peeled cucumber, chia seeds, coconut water, raw milk kefir or carrot juice.

Optional Ingredients: flax seeds, flax oil, bee pollen

Method: Add 1 Tblsp chia seeds to 1/4 cup coconut water and set aside to gel.  I use frozen fruits and let them thaw in the blender cup overnight in the fridge so they are soft but still cold in the morning (about 3-4 strawberries and 3-4 chunks of pineapple).  To the fruit, add a small handful of spinach leaves, 1/2 an avocado, 1 scoop of wheatgrass powder, a few sprigs of fresh parsley, and about 1/4-1/2 cup cubed cucumber.  I then add about a teaspoon of either flax seeds or flax oil and 1/4 tsp of bee pollen.  Add raw milk kefir or carrot juice (1/2 – 1 cup depending on consistency you want).  Blend thoroughly.  Just before drinking, stir in gelled chia seeds in coconut water.

Of course, you can alter the fruits, veges, and optional ingredients.  To make this vegan, use carrot juice instead of raw milk kefir and do not use bee pollen.

You might be wondering about some of these ingredients.  Parsley is a wonderful detox herb, aiding the kidneys in flushing toxins out.  It is also very high in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and calcium.  Chia seeds provide protein, magnesium, dietary fiber and Omega-3’s.  The gel also helps move toxins through (and out) of the intestines.  Wheat grass powder is an easy way to help you reach your 5+ servings of vegetables each day.  It is chock full of antioxidants and dietary fiber and also supports your immune system.

So what are you waiting for, GO GREEN!

Food For Life

June 18, 2012

So, another blog about food.  There are many with healthy recipes (yup, this is one).  There are many with quick and easy recipes (yup, this is one).  There are many with fun, new ideas about eating (yup again, this is one).  Seems like there are so many out there these days, what makes this one any different?  Well, for starters, my definition of healthy eating is somewhat different than most others.

I do not promote low-fat, low-cholesterol, diet, low-calorie, light, low-carb or any other food-like substances.  I believe in whole food in its whole form (as much as possible).  My theory on healthy eating is that if my grandparents recognized it as food, then it’s food.  If it comes from a plant or ate plants, then it’s food.  If it was made in a plant, I’ll pass thank you.  I promote food that keeps you alive and healthy.  Food for life.

More about my theories and feelings about food and nutrition in future posts.  For today, let’s take a look at comfort food.  I’m home for a couple of days with a back injury and really not up to doing much of anything except trying to be as comfortable as possible.  Is it possible for comfort food to be healthy?  Absolutely!  Comfort food is food that invites you to hunker down with a big bowl of something simple and delicious.  No frills.  No mess.  While there are plenty of other healthy, comforting recipes, this one is a favorite of mine and I hope will become one of yours too.

One key to keeping this recipe (and many others to come) quick and easy, is to always have a few key items on hand.  One of my kitchen staples is a pot of cooked rice.  A rice cooker is a beautiful thing and I almost always have a pot of rice in the fridge ready for stir-fry, fried rice, soups, or whatever.  A few other staples: butter (REAL butter from a cow, not hydrogenated or soy based butter-like product that is nothing like butter), avocados (a true superfood that goes in everything from chocolate pudding to breakfast smoothies to nachos), lemons and limes (both versatile flavor enhancers as well as alkalizing and cleansing).

OK, enough already, the recipe…

Avocado Rice

Ingredients:  rice (I mix 1/2 brown basmati and 1/2 white basmati), avocado, butter, salt (Himalayan or Celtic preferred), pepper, lime

Method: Scoop hot rice into a bowl.  For the purpose of this recipe, let’s say 1 – 2 cups.  Add about a tablespoon of butter (yes, a whole Tablespoon, maybe two if you’re using 2 cups of rice) and stir so butter melts into rice.  Cube the avocado and add to the rice.  Add a squeeze of lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently with a fork and enjoy.

So simple and so satisfying.  Serve warm on a cold day or let cool to room temperature on a warm day.  Either way, it’s nourishing and comforting.