Category Archives: Food

Late Night Jammin! 

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Sometimes it is hard to did. The time to get stuff done… Especially when there is a mid-season finale to watch too, The Walking Dead!  
So in between the episode and The Talking Dead, my husband and I decided to can some jelly. 
Over the summer, we picked about 20 pounds of fresh local organic strawberries. We love strawberries!  We had about 5 in the freezer. 

We defrosted them, got organic sugar, and pectin and grabbed our jars off the shelves.

 We measured out 6 cups of strawberry meat and slightly blended them in our vitamix. We left some chunks of fruit for the jam!   

As we heated up the strawberries in a pot, we sanitized the jars (boil for 10 minutes). Kids were added after roaring boil was done. 

The strawberry meat was mixed with 1/4 c of organic sugar, 6 tablespoons of pectin and 1/4 c of lemon juice. We brought that to a boil, which couldn’t be stirred away and then added 4 and 3/4 cups of sugar. Brought that to a boil and the began to fill the sanitized jars. 

  

Once jars are full, you put the lids on and make sure tighten the screw top lid. 

Then you place back in pot of boiling water for 3 minutes to sanitize. 

 

Once that’s completed you can take them out and allow to come to room temperature. You may here kids pop, that’s ok, that’s just the jars sealing! 

It takes about and hour and half to complete! 

We love making it and can’t wait to pick more fruit this summer to make more! 
Till next time! 😀

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Vegetable Broth

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Well this morning I woke up and was feeling motivated to do something different, besides cleaning…lol! I’ll have toget to that later though…

Over the past two months, my family has made a move to a more plant based diet! So,my husband and I have been collecting our vegetable scraps. When we first began this, we had. Bag in the fridge we would place our scraps. Quickly we realized it would be better to have a freezer continer. So we took a “Tupperware”(not rely Tupperware, but easy to associate) and put it in the freezer. Once we were done slicing. Choping, and peeling veggies, we would just place them in the freezer. 

Remember to NOT put bitter veggies in the scrap container like, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage or anything that is starting to rot (duh?!).  DO put in celery, garlic, shallots, onions, carrot peels, green onion prices, mushrooms, bell peppers, and herbs like rosemary, parsley, and thyme. 

When you have about 5 cups of scraps this is what you do: (thank you Thug Kitchen). 

1- in a large pot fill with about 9-10 cups of water, add scraps. 

 Here is a shot of the beginning. 

2-get this going to a simmer over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon (I had to add more after the hour. The broth was a little bland) of salt and pepper. Add 2 bay leaves if you have. Let simmer for an hour uncovered to get all the flavors out! 

  Simmering for about 30 minutes. 

3-turn off heat, let cool and then strain veggie scraps out.

  After an hour!

You can freeze broth for later or put in fridge(use in a week).

Put your container back in the fridge and start filling it up again! 

  

Hope you like! 

I choose to freeze mine for later use!

Till next time! 😄

*I am in no way associated with Thug Kitchen or Tupperware. I just love Thug Kitches recipes and I wish I owned Tupperware! 

I’m a Thug…Well in the Kitchen!

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Holy F*cking Cookbook!…Oops, pardon my language, I’ve just been enjoying the Thug Kitchen Cookbook! 😄

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If you haven’t heard about it, please watch this video….Mind you it contains explicit language.

Thug Kitchen Cookbook Trailer(explicit)

I laughed so hard, I almost peed myself…after all the laughs, it made me really think. They were absolutely correct.

Luckily for Christmas, my mother gave us the book.

This cookbook has helped my family make healthier food decisions and realize what good vegan/vegetarian food is.

I’m not going to lie, going from a meat family to making vegan/vegetarian choices is overwhelming. I really thought we would get bored with flavors and items. However, we are not! It has also made us explore flavors and items we have never before. For example, vegan ricotta for lasagna.

My favorite part of this cookbook is how it is written. No, I’m not just talking about the foul language…However, I do have a mouth of a truck driver (no offense) can relate to it , and enjoy reading it. What I mean is that the book is written in a way to make it sound like your best friend is telling you how to cook these amazing recipes. It doesn’t read as if it were condescending and making you feel overwhelmed.

It’s real and down to earth. It also gives a great description of how the food should look, feel and taste. I also like that if there is an item in the recipe that can be hard to find or substituted they name the alternative.

We made the White Bean Balls with Kale Wedding soup. Which was delish! From the recipe we were able to adapt it to a previous dish, zucchini noodle pasta. This time, we made the zucchini noodles, the bean balls and sauce.

Here is the bean ball recipe:
“BEAN BALLS
Cooking spray
3 cups cooked kidney beans*
¼ cup chopped onion**
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup nutritional yeast*** or flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoons no-salt, all-purpose seasoning blend
1 teaspoon each dried thyme, basil, and oregano
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest” -taken from Thug Kitchen online.

Like I said this book has helped my family make conscious healthier decisions. I highly recommend it to anyone!

Check out their website:Thug Kitchen

*I am in no way affiliated with Thug Kitchen. I am just a huge fan of their cookbook and had to share! If you want tasty dinners, go buy the f*cking book! Hahaha!

Epic Flop-organic baby puffs

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Here I was thinking I was going to have an amazing post….

I tried to make baby puffs today… Didn’t go as planned! 😔

Fill Ya in tomorrow! Just wanted you to know I was still posting!

Till next time!

Update! (January 20, 2015)

Homemade baby puffs (like plum)

Recipe followed: (from the snap mom blog and adjusted to my needs and wants)

1 Tablespoons organic Coconut Oil
2 organic Egg Yolks
1 1/2 cups fresh organic kale
1/2 cup organic oatmeal (I chose banana flavored)
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
Water
Food Processor

It’s recommended to use a play dog confetti maker to create the puffs. This was my first attempt so I wanted to see how it worked before I purchased…so I improvised and used a breast milk bag.

Directions:
-Blend all ingredients in food processor
-Add enough water for the ingredients to come together
-Load the breast milk bag and squirt on lightly greased cookie sheet-Repeat with the rest.
-Bake at 350 for 10 min, or until crispy

So here are the pics of my epic flop! Everything went well until the baking… The bottoms would brown and tops and insides wouldn’t cook!

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*no way am I affiliated with the snap mom. Just found her recipe and tweaked it for my wants and needs

General Tso Chicken Over Quinoa

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INGREDIENTS:
-Chicken breasts(I tried to get organic, but they were out-free range and cruelty free it is)
-Organic Broccoli
-Organic White Onion
-Whole Foods Non-GMO General Tso’s Sauce
-Organic Garlic (2 cloves)
-Toasted Sesame Seed Oil (Trader Joes)
-Salt
-Pepper
-Organic Quinoa

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Trim fat off chicken breasts. Then cube meat. Place in a Ziploc bag or container to marinate in. Pour some of the sauce into bag/container and let sit while preparing rest of meal.
2. Put a pot of water, 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa. Bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Then cover and take off heat(to allow water to be absorbed into quinoa)
3. Cut up broccoli and onion to your liking.
4. Steam broccoli.
5. While broccoli is steaming, grab a large frying pan and pour a little sesame seed oil. Then, add chicken. Cook chicken until done and sauce on the chicken begins to “crisp”. Once that happens remove from pan and place on a dish.
6. Wipe out large frying pan, add some sesame seed oil. Once oil is hot sauté a clove of garlic. Add steamed broccoli and General Tso sauce. Add onions and Continue to sauté until onions are a golden brown. Add chicken back to warm up.
7. Scoop out quinoa onto/into desired bowl or dish. Place chicken and veggie mix on top. Can add extra sauce if you desire.
8. Enjoy!

Asparagus and Mushroom Tarts-Organic Where I Could!

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These make an excellent appetizer or can stand as a side.

They are so delish!

INGREDIENTS

1 17.3-ounce package organic frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted organic butter
12 ounces fresh organic shiitake and organic baby portobello mushrooms stemmed, caps cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 pound slender organic asparagus spears, trimmed, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/2 cup (packed) coarsely grated Gruyère cheese

PREPARATION

-Take pastry sheet out a few hours -before you want to work(especially if frozen), you want it to defrost.
Roll out each pastry sheet into a square.
-Cut each into 4 squares.
Set aside.
-Now it’s time to make the filling!
-Melt butter in pan over medium-high heat.
-Add mushrooms; sprinkle salt and pepper.
-Sauté until tender and lightly browned.
-Take mushrooms off heat and out of pan to cool down. Best to put in another bowl.
-Now add asparagus, thyme, lemon peel, salt, and pepper to mushrooms. –Mix in crème fraîche and cheese.
-Mound filling atop pastry squares, leaving 1/2-inch plain border. I fold them sometimes.
-Bake tarts 20 minutes, until crusts are puffed and golden.
-Take out of the oven and serve as you wish.

Recipe was first discovered in Bon Appetite the magazine! This is their recipient tweaked by me.

The first time my hubby and I made it for Easter dinner a few years ago…They were/are so tasty we wanted to make more and share with our friends!

Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Pecan Ginger Glaze (organic in parts)

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So, for Thanksgiving we decided to bring two sides…this was a shot in the dark…I didn’t want to make sweet potato anything…don’t get me wrong, I love me some sweet potatoes, but I feel like that’s a go to side. I wanted to be different, so, I decided to go with a butternut squash something. After some research using the awesome inter-web, I found this recipe.

Ingredients
1 cup organic Pecan Halves, divided
¼ cup organic granulated sugar cane
3 tsp. kosher salt, divided
2 tsp. dry ginger
6 pounds (3 medium) organic butternut squash, fully peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
cup honey
cup organic maple syrup
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp. orange zest from organic orange
¼ cup orange juice from same organic orange
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. grated fresh ginger

Directions

First, roast pecans.
-Preheat oven to 400°F.
-Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil. Spread pecans onto one of the baking sheets. Bake in oven for 5 minutes or until they are lightly toasted and aromatic.
-Remove nuts from baking sheet and set aside.

Time to roast the squash!
-Mix sugar, salt and dry ginger in a large bowl.
-Add squash pieces and toss to coat evenly.
-Drizzle with olive oil and stir to combine.
-Transfer ½ of mixture to each of the prepared pans, spreading the squash so that the pieces are not touching.
-Bake for 30 minutes or until the squash has begun to brown and is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.

While squash is baking, time to make the Glaze!
-Mix honey, maple syrup, cinnamon stick, orange zest and juice, salt, vinegar and fresh ginger in a small saucepan.
-Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and maintain a low boil until the mixture has reduced and become syrupy.
-Add them and the remaining pecan halves to the honey mixture.

Time to eat.
-Place roasted squash into a large bowl and toss with the honey pecan mixture.
-Serve immediately.

This was delicious. The shuttle hint of ginger was amazingly good.

I found the recipe on foodnetwork.com and tweaked it the way I liked it.

Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Recipe~Organic Vegetable Pot Pie

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The other night I was watching the news and saw the weather…it was supposed to get cold…Well, cold for us.

I thought yum, a pot pie would be great…then I thought let’s try and make a veggie pot pie rather than adding meat. Just another way to make some lifestyle changes and be a bit healthier!

Ingredients:
-serves six crock bowls
-Organic (vegan) pie crust (whole foods)
-A lot of organic veggies…
I used- 1/2 a bag of corn(frozen)
1 stalk of broccoli (cut up)
5 large carrots
8 organic cremini mushrooms
4 stalks celery
1onion
and whatever veggies you want. Among my added varies on the amount of pot pie you are making.
-1box vegetable broth(I think 4 cups)
-seasoning-pepper,salt, poultry seasoning
-cornstarch or flour(to thicken broth)

What to do:
1- Sauté veggies in a little olive oil beginning with the harder veggies(meaning carrots before onions).

2-Once veggies are a little softer and all are on pan, add veggie broth. Leaving one cup aside to add later.

3- Cook covered for 20 minutes a nice simmer.

4-Mix 1 tablespoon and remaining cool broth(best to put in container to shake up) then pour into pan.
5-Raising heat slightly get that boil going for sauce to thicken. About 10-15 minutes.

6-Pour a ladle of vegetable mixture into crock bowls.

7-Add a covering of pie crust (cut to fit bowls-round or square- however you like).

8-Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

9-Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

10-Enjoy with a fork or spoon!

Sorry, I forgot to take pictures 😦

Organic Vegetable Lasagna

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Here is my recipe!

Ingredients: (I try my hardest to get organic everything, but sometimes the budget that week changes things)

1-box of Lasagna Noodles (I usually by organic whole wheat)

1-qt size container of sauce (I make my own, using organic tomatoes, and store in quart size Tupperware)

1- Organic White Onion

¼ lb of Organic Portobello Mushrooms

3-Organic Yellow Squash (depending on size-they were a little tiny this time around)

1-Bag of Organic baby Spinach

1-Bag of Organic Mozzarella Cheese

1-Container of Organic Ricotta Cheese

Directions:

Begin by boiling 4-6qts of water. I salt and oil mine (flavor and helps with the noodles not sticking). While water is heating up to a boil begin cutting your veggies. I julienne the onions, cut the squash in little disks, and use a mandolin for the mushrooms. I don’t do anything to the baby spinach.

Once all veggies are cut I sauté the veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper(I sometimes add garlic and basil). I sauté the harder of the veggies first, that way by the end all are soft.  Mushrooms, to get water out, then squash, then add onions. At the very end I add the spinach to the pan.

Squash, mushrooms, onion, spinach. also my sauce newly defrosted and warmed up

Squash, mushrooms, onion, spinach. also my sauce newly defrosted and warmed up

The water should be boiling now. I add the lasagna noodles and follow the instructions on the noodles package. Usually about 9-10 minutes. Once the noodles are done, I strain and rinse with cold water (so I can manipulate noodles to pan-otherwise they are too hot (I think that it also helps then not stick together). Pre-heat oven to 350.

Roaring Boil of Noodles

Roaring Boil of Noodles

Lightly Sauced Pan

Lightly Sauced Pan

Then I grab my pan and begin the process of layering. First I place a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then lay out the noodles, a little more sauce, veggies, ricotta, mozzarella, sauce, noodles. I repeat this until I run out of ingredients or room in my pan. Making sure to always put mozzarella on the top, that way it melts nicely and then browns a bit.

Once that’s all done, I place in the oven with foil so the mozzarella on top doesn’t burn. I bake it for 30 minutes. I usually do this a few hours before my husband gets home from work. Then when he gets home and it’s time for dinner, we just have to heat it up. During the last 10 minutes of heating up I remove foil to brown the cheese.

Mozarella Topped Lasagna

Mozarella Topped Lasagna

Nice Layerage

Nice Layers!

Yet again! It came out fantastic! I hope if you decide to make, it turns out just perfect for you too!