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Red Juice, Green Juice … Good for Me Juice

Red juice, green juice ... good for me juice!

Red juice, green juice … good for me juice!

I started juicing last spring. I love it! This post isn’t going to be about the pros or cons of juicing. There are plenty of people out there having a juice war and I don’t need to be part of it. I figure if I want something to drink other than water, coffee or tea … the fresh juice I make at home is a great alternate to other sweet beverage choices. And my juice isn’t the only fruit and/or vegetables I eat. I think this is key. I’m still eating plenty of fresh whole fruits and vegetables.

Here are a few of my favorite juices to make. If living a healthier lifestyle is on your agenda for 2015, give one of these a try!

Helpful prep tip: wash all of your produce when you bring it home from the grocery store. Then you can just pull things out to start prepping for juice – without the step of washing it all right then too.

If available, I always prefer organic produce but know that’s not always possible in my area and that could be the case for you also.

Green Juice (pictured above)

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes

Makes 3-4 glasses

Juice together all of the below produce:

  • 1 pineapple, skin and core removed and cut in to chunks
  • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and torn in to chunks
  • 1 handful of cilantro
  • 5-6 celery stalks chopped in to medium pieces
  • 3-4 green (granny smith) apples chopped
  • 1 kiwi, peel removed
  • 1 lemon, cut in to chunks
  • 1 lime, peel removed
  • 1 inch chunk of ginger

 

Red Juice (pictured above)

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes

Makes 3-4 glasses

Juice together all of the below produce:

  • 6-7 carrots, ends removed and chopped in to large chunks
  • 3 medium to large red beets, ends removed and quartered
  • 4-5 red apples, chopped
  • 2 oranges, peel removed
  • 1 lemon, cut in to chunks
  • 1 inch chunk of ginger

 

Best Ever Juice

Seriously. It's the best ever.

Seriously. It’s the best ever.

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes

Makes 3 glasses

Juice together all of the below produce:

  • 4 cara cara oranges, peel removed
  • 1 large navel orange, peel removed
  • 2 red apples, chopped
  • 2 green (granny smith) apples, chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut in to chunks
  • 1 lime, peel removed
  • 1 container of fresh cranberries

 

Lemon Berry Muffins Recipe

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I’m always looking for a new muffin recipe. Muffins can be healthy and great grab ‘n go breakfasts or snacks for the whole family. This new recipe below combines two of my favorite things: muffins and Chobani yogurt!

These taste so indulgent that no one will be the wiser that there are some powerhouse ingredients hiding in them such as protein-packed Greek yogurt, berries rich in antioxidants, and chia seed that’s high in fiber and omega 3s. As always, if you can get organic versions of any of the ingredients, even better!

LEMON BERRY MUFFINS

Prep time: 15-20 minutes

Bake time: 23-28 minutes per muffin pan

Makes: 20 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups sugarphoto 2
  • 1/2 cup refined coconut oil (you can use unrefined if you want to add more coconut flavor to your muffins)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 containers of lemon Chobani (only one is pictured)
  • 4 drops doTerra Lemon essential oil (optional – note not all essential oils are safe for consumption)
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole fresh or frozen berries (I used raspberries)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil your muffin pan with non-stick spray or coconut oil. Make sure rack is in the middle placement so muffins will bake in the center of the oven.

2. Mix sugar and coconut oil in large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended.

3. photoAdd Chobani yogurt, doTerra lemon essential oil (if using) and lemon zest. Mix until well combined.

4. Add in the flour, salt and baking soda a little at a time, stirring just until moistened.

5. Stir in berries, coconut and chia seeds.

6. Pour batter in to muffin pan, filling each muffin cup about 2/3 full. (This should make 20 muffins.)

7. Bake 23-28 minutes one muffin pan at a time. Tops should be slightly golden and only have a little give when touched.

8. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. These should keep for 3-4 days on the counter … if they aren’t devoured before then.

And don’t forget, part of these reason these muffins are so yummy because they are #madewithchobani!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magic Soup Recipe

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Today we made magic soup. It wasn’t planned but it was totally perfect. We started the day playing tea party picnic on the living room floor. My son handed me a bowl with beans in it (pretend) and told me it was magic soup. I gladly ate my magic soup and thought, well we should make some real magic soup.

Funny thing is that I had homemade beef stock in the fridge from the day before, had beans in the pantry and some other veggies I needed to use up. Perfect magic soup ingredients!

The boy was excited that his play idea turned in to our real lunch.

MAGIC SOUP

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 cups Beef /Chicken/Veggie stock (homemade if you’ve got it)
  • Oil – preferably grape seed or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, medium chopped
  • 1 clove garlic through press
  • 1 can or 2 cups white beans – “magic beans”
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Veggies rough chopped – we used celery and kale – “super power kale”
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups dried organic pasta noodles – we used some curly ones that we called “snake noodles”
  • To taste: Dried Herbs: thyme, oregano, rosemary (I just used a pinch of each.) + Salt/Pepper

 

Directions:

1. Heat enough oil to cover bottom of soup pot. Add onion and any hearty veggies (like the celery). Cook until soft.

2. Add garlic, dried herbs and salt/pepper. Cook for a few minutes.

3. Add can of beans with liquid, can of diced tomatoes with liquid and broth. Stir to combine. Then heat until boiling.

4. Reduce to simmer. Add water, noodles and soft veggies (like the kale). Cook at a simmer until noodles are al dente.

5. Serve hot with grated Parmesan and crusty bread for dipping.

6. Have fun talking about your magic soup and what it will give you the power to do after lunch!

 

This should make enough for 4-6 people, plus some leftovers.

Or serve half that many and freeze the rest for another day like I did!

 

And besides the fun of calling it magic soup, check out why this really is magic soup …

Benefits of homemade stock from bones

What beans can do for you

Superfood Kale

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Menu!

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It’s Thursday. A little late, but don’t worry we’ve been eating dinner as planned. ;-) Here is our menu!

We are plugging away at our freezer meals stash. So dinner these days in still fairly easy, breezy.

(F) = from the freezer!

Dinners:

Sunday: Pork Cutlets (F), Pasta w/marina (F), Spaghetti Squash, Green Salad

Monday: Chef Salads

Tuesday: BLTs, Green Salad, Fruit

Wednesday:Pork Loin (F), Spinach Lasagne Roll-Ups (F), Broccoli or Corn, Green Salad

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Italian Meatloaf (F), Mashed Potatoes (F), Yellow Squash, Green Salad

Saturday: Beef Lentil Chili (F), Green Salad, Fruit

 

Lunch Choices:

  • Leftovers
  • Salads
  • Sandwiches

 

Breakfast Choices:

  • Homemade Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
  • Fresh Juice: Sunshine juice = oranges, lemons, green grapes (pictured)
  • Peaches and Cream Baked Oatmeal
  • Cereal
  • Toast

 

Snack Choices:

  • Yogurt
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Veggies &  Hummus
  • Cheese Sticks
  • Granola bars

 

 

 

 

Weekly Menu!

IMG_5876While I’ve not posted one in a LONG time, we have still been eating (duh) and had a weekly menu almost every week. Thought I would get back to sharing our menus so you can see how exciting (not really) our meals are!

We are plugging away at our freezer meals stash. So dinner these days in still fairly easy, breezy.

(F) = from the freezer!

Dinners:

Sunday: Hot Dogs (boy’s request), salad, chips (um … this certainly isn’t the healthiest meal of the week. oops.)

Monday: Onion Meatloaf (F), mashed potatoes (f), green salad

Tuesday: Chicken & Rice (F), green salad or veggie

Wednesday: Ribs (F), rice, green salad or veggie

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Chicken Fajitas or Burritos (using shredded chicken from the freezer!)

 

Lunch Choices:

  • Leftovers
  • Salads
  • Sandwiches
  • Quesadillas

 

Breakfast Choices:

  • Homemade Banana Strawberry Muffins (pictured)
  • Fresh Juice (pictured)
  • Peaches and Cream Baked Oatmeal
  • Cereal
  • Toast

 

Snack Choices:

  • Yogurt
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Veggies &  Hummus
  • Cheese sticks
  • Granola bars
  • Pretzels and peanut butter

 

 

 

 

Freezer Cooking Update

10 more weeks until baby’s due date! I’ve been diligently freezer cooking a little each week. And I just realized that after this next week … I should be done! I wish my freezer wasn’t in a messy, kind of dark garage so I could show you how much food I’ve done so far. It’s amazing!

After I am done, I am solely focusing on decluttering the house, stocking the pantry and other household staples and whatever other crazy things I come up with that must be done before the baby gets here (recaulking the toilets and the shower anyone?!). (I did give in and hire a cleaning company to come in and clean the house from top to bottom a week before baby is due … there’s just no way I am physically going to be able to clean the house like I want!)

Here are the meals I am preparing:

  • Lasagna  (ready to bake)
  • Chicken, Broccoli, Cheese and Brown Rice Casserole x 2 (thaw and bake)
  • Chicken Enchiladas x 2 (ready to bake) 
  • Sloppy Cubanos (just thaw and heat)
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole (just thaw and bake)
  • Meatloafs: Italian, BBQ, Onion/Mushroom (thaw and bake)
  • Rosemary Lemon Pork Chops (marinated, thaw and grill)
  • Fajita Chicken with onions and peppers (thaw and heat)
  • Rancher Steak Rub Pot Roast (seasoned, browned – throw in Crockpot to cook)
  • Sloppy Joes (thaw and heat)
  • Hamburger Soup (thaw and heat)
  • Pizza Casserole (ready to bake)
  • Chicken Pot Pies (ready to bake)
  • Green Rice Casserole (thaw and bake)
  • Lemon Garlic Chicken (thaw and heat)
  • Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joe (thaw and heat)
  • Spinach Lasagna Rolls (ready to bake)
  • Healthy Chicken Nuggets (thaw and heat)
  • Bean and Cheese Burritos (heat)
  • Italian Chicken (marinated, thaw and grill)
  • BBQ Chicken – Shredded (thaw and heat)
  • Ham and Cheese Roll Ups (ready to bake)
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches (thaw and eat)
  • Baked Oatmeal (thaw and heat)
  • Muffins (thaw, eat cold or warm up)
  • Breakfast casserole (thaw and heat)
  • Breakfast Burritos (heat)
  • Pancake mix (dry – ready to prepare)

There’s a good mix of entrees, lunch foods, snacks and breakfast items. I tried to also make some already cooked, some that need baked and others that will still need to be grilled. This will add some variety to our meals, rather just casserole after casserole. (Don’t get me wrong. I love casseroles.)

You’ll see there’s only one soup. Normally soup is extremely budget-friendly and freezer-friendly … but my husband isn’t much of soup-lover so that really almost eliminates that category for us. I can get away with an occasional soup and chili always works – but I can’t add much soup in to our freezer planning as I would be the only one eating it!

And with my food sensitivities, I am trying to keep the inclusion of corn, egg and yeast products to a minimum either by checking ingredients carefully or making things from scratch if I have to. Post-baby I will relax on these sensitivities some but still need to be careful not to overdue my intake of these foods or I will find myself not only dealing with a newborn – but also a long list of ailments that will leave me not feeling very good.

What are you favorite freezer-friendly meals?

Freezer Cooking and Baby Update!

playpen

So things are starting to feel more “real” and a lot closer. I ordered our swing and one of the playpens over the last week. I’m hoping to order things here and there over the next few months as we can fit things in the budget. (Playpen pictured above and swing below)

I’ve also been plugging away at my freezer cooking and meal prep for when baby arrives in a few months. Here’s an update on how far I’ve gotten!

Here are the meals I am preparing:

  • Lasagna  (ready to bake)
  • Chicken, Broccoli, Cheese and Brown Rice Casserole x 2 (thaw and bake)
  • Chicken Enchiladas x 2 (ready to bake) 
  • Sloppy Cubanos (just thaw and heat)
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole (just thaw and bake)
  • Meatloafs: Italian, BBQ, Onion/Mushroom (thaw and bake)
  • Rosemary Lemon Pork Chops (marinated, thaw and grill)
  • Fajita Chicken with onions and peppers (thaw and heat)
  • Rancher Steak Rub Pot Roast (seasoned, browned – throw in Crockpot to cook)
  • Sloppy Joes (thaw and heat)
  • Hamburger Soup (thaw and heat)
  • Pizza Casserole (ready to bake)
  • Chicken Pot Pies (ready to bake)
  • Green Rice Casserole (thaw and bake)
  • Lemon Garlic Chicken (marinated, thaw and grill)
  • Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joe (thaw and heat)
  • Spinach Lasagna Rolls (ready to bake)
  • Healthy Chicken Nuggets (thaw and heat)
  • Bean and Cheese Burritos (heat)
  • Italian Chicken (marinated, thaw and grill)
  • BBQ Chicken – Shredded (thaw and heat)
  • Ham and Cheese Roll Ups (ready to bake)
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches (thaw and eat)
  • Baked Oatmeal (thaw and heat)
  • Muffins (thaw, eat cold or warm up)
  • Breakfast casserole (thaw and heat)
  • Breakfast Burritos (heat)
  • Pancake mix (dry – ready to prepare)

There’s a good mix of entrees, lunch foods, snacks and breakfast items. I tried to also make some already cooked, some that need baked and others that will still need to be grilled. This will add some variety to our meals, rather just casserole after casserole. (Don’t get me wrong. I love casseroles.)

You’ll see there’s only one soup. Normally soup is extremely budget-friendly and freezer-friendly … but my husband isn’t much of soup-lover so that really almost eliminates that category for us. I can get away with an occasional soup and chili always works – but I can’t add much soup in to our freezer planning as I would be the only one eating it!

And with my food sensitivities, I am trying to keep the inclusion of corn, egg and yeast products to a minimum either by checking ingredients carefully or making things from scratch if I have to. Post-baby I will relax on these sensitivities some but still need to be careful not to overdue my intake of these foods or I will find myself not only dealing with a newborn – but also a long list of ailments that will leave me not feeling very good.

What are you favorite freezer-friendly meals?

Let the Preparations Begin

Peggy-Porshen-stalk

We’re halfway there to meeting our little girl. This addition to our family just keeps surprising me from day one. I had really thought this baby was going to be another boy.  I almost feel like I won’t know what to do with a baby girl!

Regardless, our only true wish was that the baby is healthy and all appears to be, so we couldn’t be happier. Now that we’ve passed the halfway mark and are heading towards the finish line, I’ve begun some preparations that I didn’t our first time around.

In addition to stock piling pantry staples, getting the house organized, deep cleaned and perhaps even another bedroom finished … this time around I am doing as much freezer cooking as I can. I know that we’ll have friends and family that will bring some meals like last time, but I also want to be prepared and too. (You know, people like helping people that also help themselves.)

If you’re having a baby, surgery or other situation where grocery shopping, planning and cooking meals will just be additional stress that you don’t need – I urge you to give this a try! I am preparing 2-3 three meals each week for the freezer. These may be duplicates of something I am already making during the week so I just double the recipe, which is the most efficient way to do this … or you can just make a meal for the freezer if you have the time. I am doing a little of both.

Here are the meals I am preparing:

  • Lasagna  (ready to bake)
  • Chicken, Broccoli, Cheese and Brown Rice Casserole x 2 (thaw and bake)
  • Chicken Enchiladas (ready to bake)
  • Sloppy Cubanos (just thaw and heat)
  • Rodeo Meatballs (just thaw and heat)
  • Meatloafs: Italian, BBQ, Onion/Mushroom (thaw and bake)
  • Rosemary Lemon Pork Chops (marinated, thaw and grill)
  • Fajita Chicken with onions and peppers (thaw and heat)
  • Rancher Steak Rub Pot Roast (seasoned, browned – throw in Crockpot to cook)
  • Sloppy Joes (thaw and heat)
  • Hamburger Soup (thaw and heat)
  • Pizza Casserole (ready to bake)
  • Chicken Pot Pies (ready to bake)
  • Green Rice Casserole (thaw and bake)
  • Lemon Garlic Chicken (marinated, thaw and grill)
  • Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joe (thaw and heat)
  • Spinach Lasagna Rolls (ready to bake)
  • Healthy Chicken Nuggets (thaw and heat)
  • Bean and Cheese Burritos (heat)
  • Italian Chicken (marinated, thaw and grill)
  • BBQ Chicken – Shredded (thaw and heat)
  • Ham and Cheese Roll Ups (ready to bake)
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches (thaw and eat)
  • Baked Oatmeal (thaw and heat)
  • Muffins (thaw, eat cold or warm up)
  • Breakfast casserole (thaw and heat)
  • Breakfast Burritos (heat)
  • Pancake mix (dry – ready to prepare)

There’s a good mix of entrees, lunch foods, snacks and breakfast items. I tried to also make some already cooked, some that need baked and others that will still need to be grilled. This will add some variety to our meals, rather just casserole after casserole. (Don’t get me wrong. I love casseroles.)

You’ll see there’s only one soup. Normally soup is extremely budget-friendly and freezer-friendly … but my husband isn’t much of soup-lover so that really almost eliminates that category for us. I can get away with an occasional soup and chili always works – but I can’t add much soup in to our freezer planning as I would be the only one eating it!

And with my food sensitivities, I am trying to keep the inclusion of corn, egg and yeast products to a minimum either by checking ingredients carefully or making things from scratch if I have to. Post-baby I will relax on these sensitivities some but still need to be careful not to overdue my intake of these foods or I will find myself not only dealing with a newborn – but also a long list of ailments that will leave me not feeling very good.

I will keep you posted as we cruise through the freezer cooking list. What other tips do you have for freezer cooking or preparing for a newborn? I would love to hear them!

Weekly Menu 8/18-8/24

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Pictured above: My organic bountiful basket, wraps add-on, organic apple cider vinegar add-on.

The dogs days of summer are slowly ticking away and the back-to-school haze is filling the air. We just can’t beat the heat here. That’s why I’m doing another week of simple, low-key dinners that won’t take much time in the kitchen. (And only one of them uses the oven!)

We eat simple, (mostly) healthy recipes that are quick and easy for weeknights. Occasionally I will try out or make more complicated recipes on the weekends because I do love cooking!

What are you eating/cooking this week? I hope it’s delicious!

Key:

(F) from the freezer.

(WT) uses Wildtree products.

Dinners

Sunday: Casual Dinner Out for our 9th Anniversary!

Monday: BLT Wraps (made with spinach herb wraps from our Bountiful Baskets order, lettuce from the garden!) and Fruit Salad.

Tuesday: Tuna Wraps (made with garlic and herb wraps from our Bountiful Baskets order, lettuce from the garden!) and Watermelon.

Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner (pancakes, eggs, bacon and fruit).

Thursday: Ham and Cheese Wraps (made with chipotle wraps from our Bountiful Baskets order, lettuce from the garden!) and Corn, Tomato, Avocado Salad (salad recipe from current issue of Fitness magazine).

Friday: Potato Gratin w/Ham and Broccoli, Green Salad (gratin recipe from current issue of Fitness magazine).

Saturday: Grilled Scallop Kabobs, Green Salad (kabob recipe from current issue of Fitness magazine).

 

Breakfasts

Shake (LS Vibe)

Cereal w/fruit

Toast w/fruit

 

Lunches

Salad w/Protein

Leftovers

Water with Life Shotz!

 

Snacks

Fruit

Veggies

Nuts

Cheese Sticks

Beef Jerky (homemade)

Chobani

Granola Bars

Crackers

Organic Garden Update

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It’s been a while since I shared an update on the garden. There’s a reason… it has been  s     l     o     w. Don’t get me wrong, there’s lot of green. (Which is way better than a yard full of weeds.) Just not a lot to harvest.

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We went through a period where one section of the garden started yellowing and dying. Tested the soil, nutrient levels were actually high not low. So I’ve been reluctant to use any fertilizer on the entire garden. Maybe that was a mistake. What’s really funny is that the one rogue self-seeded corn-stalk from last year’s corn is doing better than the corn I planted this year. Same goes for the tomatoes, the plants that self-seeded from last year’s are twice the size of the ones I planted. Go figure!

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We adjusted our watering and the dying section started coming back, but as you can imagine very slowly. I’ve only gotten spring radishes, spring lettuce, a couple meal’s worth of green beans, one cucumber and another round of lettuce. Let’s hope for a warm September so our melons, pumpkins and tomatoes have a chance.

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How’s your garden doing this year? Have you run in to any challenges or are you having a banner harvest?