Working towards Getting Healthy

Hey Everyone!

Through most of the season I had felt under the weather and had been sick a couple times. I have also been dealing with Bell’s Palsy since the end of September.

I was hoping once the season ended, I would really start feeling better, but I have still been more tired than I should be, and overall feeling unwell, as well as still dealing with Bell’s palsy, and a couple other issues, that I am trying to get resolved.

While, on a subconscious level, I knew that I wasn’t eating as well as I should be.

I have finally gotten to the point where I have had enough, and I am willing to do what it takes to get myself healthy again.

I am still dairy free, limiting my gluten (and breads in general), watching my sugar consumption, especially trying to limit anything with added sugar, and trying to get back to clean eating. I actually enjoyed clean eating, and I didn’t realize how much i enjoyed it, and how good it was for me until more recently when I have been feeling so unwell.

While i still am going to keep this mainly about Homemaking, trying to find and come up with healthy meal ideas that fit with the dietary guidelines I am trying to work within, and make it taste good, all falls under the homemaking umbrella. Don’t worry, this is not going to be turning into a weight-loss or fitness blog.

I still want to eventually live on some acreage, have a good size garden, and raise some of my own meat (at least most of what can’t be hunted or caught, that isn’t beef).

Along with needing to eat better, I am also needing to exercise more, and spending more tome outdoors to exercise. As much as I hate to admit it, this winter has been rough.

Trying a new Chicken Recipe

Hey Everyone!

Last night, I cooked some chicken to have for dinner this week. I was at a loss for how to season it, since I have used all my old standbys a lot in recent weeks.

So, I googled “Chicken Seasoning”, and found a recipe from Allrecipes that I used as a guideline and made my own.

I mixed together:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried shallots
  • 1 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise

I had mixed the dry spices together before I added in the mayo.

This was enough to lightly coat 9 chicken thighs.

I baked them in a sprayed / oiled 9×13 Pyrex at 350 degrees (Fahrenheit) for about 45 minutes. Depending on how much meat you have and how thick it is, the cooking time will likely vary. It is done when the internal temperature is 170 – 175 or is white on the inside.

I do have to say that it turned out delicious!

Easy Artisan Bread

Hey Everyone!

Here is the recipe I used to make artisan bread today. It can be cut in half if you only want to make one loaf. The recipe in and of itself makes two loaves. It is super easy and no kneading involved!

Ingredients:
Bread:

  • 3 cups lukewarm water (110 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp (2 packets) active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Topping:

  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Rosemary (Dried or Fresh)
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • Other bread toppings you enjoy

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl mix together the warm water, the yeast, the sugar and the salt.
  2. In a separate bowl (if you are using a stand mixer then use your mixer bowl for this) measure out the all-purpose flour.
  3. Mix the water mixture into the flour and mix well until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm area and allow the dough to rise for about two hours.
  5. Spray two 9x5x3 bread pans with non-stick spray
  6. Once the dough has risen for about two hours, rub your hands with flour and split the dough into two pieces, and place in the bread pans and loosely cover with plastic wrap
  7. allow the bread to rise in the bread pans for about 30 minutes
  8. Preheat oven to  450 degrees Fahrenheit
  9. Mix Topping in two small bowls
  10. Rub the top of the loaves of bread with olive oil (or olive oil topping mixture)
  11. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until done.

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Family Style Homemade Chili

Hey Everyone!

For the past week or so, Chili has been sounding good. By Chili, I don’t mean the already made in a can that you just heat up, I am talking homemade chili that has a few more steps, yet still super easy. It is also variable depending on the type of meat you use and the spicy-ness of the seasonings you use. I prefer mild chili.

This is a pretty easy dinner idea that doesn’t take more than 30 – 45 minutes to make, and will feed a whole family.

To make this chili you will need:

•2lbs ground beef or ground chicken (I prefer ground chicken)

•2 packages of McCormick Chili Seasoning (I use mild)

•2 cans Cannellini (white) beans

•2 cans Kidney Beans

•2 cans Black Beans

•2 cans Petite Diced Tomatoes

•grated cheddar cheese and sour cream if desired for topping

Directions:

1. In a large pot (20qt or larger) cook the meat until it is almost completely cooked. Drain off excess grease.

2. While the meat is cooking, open the cans of beans and drain them, reserving the liquid in a bowl for later.

3. Once the meat is cooked most of the way through, add the cans of diced tomatoes, the seasoning packets and the beans to the pot that the meat is cooking in, mix well.

4. Let Chili heat through until it’s hot and the meat is finished cooking.

5. Serve hot and add cheese and sour cream on top of individual servings if so desired for those who can eat dairy.

Latest Addition to my Cookbook Collection

Hey Everyone!

Recently I had gotten a gift card for Barnes and Noble, so I decided to use it to add to my cookbook collection.

I had ordered Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines.

Having spent my life living in the Pacific Northwest, I am wanting to branch out and try different recipes. I am definitely wanting to find more hearty recipes that fill people up.

I like that this cookbook has practical recipes that aren’t super fancy, and you’d expect to fix for breakfast on a Saturday morning, or for dinner on a summer evening. While there are plenty of recipes I can’t eat or would have to alter for myself, I could definitely see myself using this cookbook regularly for meals to feed a family or if I had company coming over.

Beings that the Gaines’ live on a farm, in Texas the recipes call for real food that one could grow on a farm or find easily in a grocery store. I like that with recipes, simple and that you could get your kids to eat.

Pie Crust Recipe

Hey Everyone!

I went back through my blog posts to see that I haven’t posted (that I could see) the recipe I use to make pie crust. This is the recipe I have been using since I first learned how to make pie crusts, and it turns out amazing.

While it is dairy free, it is not gluten free or vegan, so bear that in mind.

This recipe makes two nine inch pies with a top and bottom crust.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 cup Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 5 Tablespoons Cold Water

Directions:

in large bowl combine the flour, shortening, and salt with a pastry blender, until the shortening is about the size of peas.

in another bowl, beat egg and combine in the apple cider vinegar and the cold water, mixing well.

add egg, vinegar and water mixture slowly to the flour and shortening, being careful not to over mix and over handle the dough. Mix until flour is all mixed in.

On a floured rolling mat, place about 1/4 of the dough (or more if you are making a larger pie), and roll until about an 1/8 of an inch or  about 3mm thick. Fold and have and transfer to pie plate, and fill with your filling of choice.

With filling inside, bake according to filling recipe directions. Be careful to check the pie occasionally, and cover with foil while baking if crust starts getting to brown.

GF/DF Muddy Buddies

Hey Everyone!

Today has been a busy cooking day! This morning I had made Baked Oatmeal, which I posted the recipe for. I had also gone to Bob’s Red Mill before coming back home and making Gluten Free and Dairy Free Muddy Buddies, as well as Chicken and Potato Soup and Bruschetta topping for my sandwiches this coming week.

The last time I had gone hiking with one of my best friends the subject of snacks had come up and some how Muddy Buddies had come up, and I hadn’t had any since before I had to go Dairy Free and Gluten Free, and she was like “duh, take the recipe and substitute what you need to substitute to make it without dairy and gluten”, so today I did that. I must say that they turned out amazingly well.

  I took the Original Recipe and tweeked it. So here is the modified recipe, and what I did today.

Recipe:

9 cups Corn, Rice, Chocolate or Honey Nut Chex cereal
1 cup Ghirardelli Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1/4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Spread
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups powered sugar

Directions:

  1. In large bowl measure cereal and set aside
  2. in 1 quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and vegan spread uncovered on high for 1 minute; stir. microwave about 30 seconds to 1 minute longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. stir in vanilla. pour mixture over cereal stirring until evenly coated. pour into 2-gallon resealable (ziploc) bag
  3. add powdered sugar. seal bag; shake until well coated. spread on waxed paper to cool.
  4. store in airtight (rubbermaid/tupperware) container in the refrigerator.

Notes:

I used 2 – 12.5 oz boxes of honey nut chex, one bag of Ghirardelli chocolate chips and most of a 16 oz container of Peanut Butter (with 1/2 cup of spread) and got about 18 cups of Muddy Buddies.

Baked Oatmeal

Hey Everyone! 

Today I am going to share with you the baked oatmeal recipe I use.

  
Ingredients:

3 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten free old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup blue diamond almond coconut milk

1/2 cup earth balance vegan spread – melted

1 cup dried fruit (I used dried cherries and dried cranberries from Trader Joes)

3/4 cup unsalted pecan pieces from trader joes

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 

2. Grease 9 inch rectangular Pyrex baking dish with vegan spread

3. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl

4. Add eggs and vanilla 

5. Add melted spread

6. Add milk 

7. Mix well and spoon into baking dish

8. Bake in preheated oven for 40 – 45 minutes or until set

Serve warm with milk and brown sugar 

Yield: 9 servings

21 day clean eating challenge smoothie

Hey Everyone!

I am currently doing a 21 day clean eating challenge, and I have been trying to find healthy, yet fairly easy and inexpensive ways to stay full longer during the day. With that I have done a bit of tweaking to my smoothies. I will post my current fave recipe below.

1 cup frozen berry & cherry mix (I buy a bag of a berry blend and the dole cherry and berry mix, and them mix the two packages)

6 – 10 chunks frozen pineapple

1 serving (about 1/4 cup) of coconut milk yogurt

1/2 serving of cooked gluten free oat meal

1 organic banana

~ 1/4 – 1/2 cup 100% juice Cranberry Cherry Juice

Blend together in a blender and enjoy.

Dairy Free Berry Smoothie

Hey Everyone!

For this smoothie, I used 

•1 cup frozen berry blend. I used a cherry berry blend and a blackberry, black raspberry, and blueberry blend,

•1 organic banana 

•1/2 pineapple spear

•1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk yogurt

•1/2 cup 100% juice Apple or Apple/cranberry 

•3 ice cubes

Directions:

•put the frozen fruit and part of the juice in a blender and get the frozen fruit chopped up

•add the banana, pineapple and yogurt and blend that up.

•add the last of the juice and the ice cubes and bring the smoothie to an even smooth consistency

•ENJOY!