So it starts! By popular demand (ok really just my mom) I am starting this food blog. I have loved to cook since I can remember and have always tried to eat healthy. Many people think that eating healthy is boring and overwhelming. This is why you are reading my blog, because I want you to find that it can be yummy, satisfying, and simple... okay sometimes it requires some planning and work, but all good things do. FYI, the food Critic I refer to is my great Husband who will try everything I make.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Balsamic Eggplant Salad

For this salad I roasted bite size pieces of eggplant, sliced mushrooms, and baby carrots. I tossed those vegetables with 4 cups of salad greens and homemade balsamic dressing. To finish it off I sprinkled it with hemp seeds.   It was so easy and fast. 

1. Cut 1 eggplant into bite sized pieces, slice up 8 mushrooms, and put 2 c baby carrots into a large bowl.  Toss with 2 tsp olive oil then spread onto a baking sheet.

2. Sprinkle all vegetables with Garlic Powder

3. Roast @ 400 for 20-30 min.  I waited until my eggplant started to brown a bit.

4. When finished let cool for 10 min

Balsamic Dressing
3/4 c Balsamic Vinegar
1-2 garlic cloves
1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
1 T agave or 2 T sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 pepper
3/4 c olive oil

Mix all ingredients EXCEPT olive oil in a blender. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the blender while it is still mixing.

Recipes with Pictures = Stress for me

OK here is the deal!  If you have read my blog you know that I am no food photographer.  I love to take pictures, but getting them onto the computer and blog stresses me out. I know for some it is not complicated to take a picture with their phone then send it to their computer, but my mind is not made for computers! If i didn't have to do that process I would be posting more recipes. So, I've decided that you may not get pictures with every new recipe. I know that most people like to see what they are making before they take on a new recipe because I am one of those people.   I will eventually get to where it isn't as intimidating and time consuming (Am I really saying that out loud?) in the mean time I will just post what I eat without pictures.  I'm hoping that if you have already tried these recipes you know I only put really yummy recipes on the blog. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sorry for the Break

I was such a slacker in the month of March

Here are my excuses:

I just moved to California and went to visit Utah for a couple of weeks

When I came back to California my computer wasn't working

Then our Internet went missing because of a payment mishap

And did I mention I just moved? I wasn't really feeling up to cooking healthy.... There I said it! There are times in ones life when unhealthy food is comforting and you have to survive, right? So to my mom and sisters who read my blog forgive me for not posting. But I am back and ready to eat healthy once again!!

Sweet Potato Salad

Sweet Potato Salad

4 large sweet potatoes/yams, peeled and diced
2 T olive oil
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c crasins
1/4 c walnuts (or sugared walnuts - what I perfer)
1 cup quinoa
2 c water

1. Peel and dice sweet potatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Bake in oven @ 400 for 20-30 min, depending how small you diced your potatoes. I dice mine pretty small to make them bake faster. Broil for the last 5 min to brown them up a bit. Watch them so they don't burn.

2. While the sweet potatoes are roasting combine olive oil, vinegar, honey, and cinnamon in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside

3. Make your quinoa by following package directions, when done add to cinnamon sauce.

4. When sweet potatoes are done let them cool about 10 min. Add them to your quiona along with crasins and walnuts.

Serve with a side of Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Vegetables with quinoa and Creamy Avocado Sauce

One night I was staring blankly into my fridge wondering what to make for dinner... Does that sound familiar to you?

Nothing looked good and I didn't really have the right ingredients for any meal my family wanted. I stared at the food that I had and decided to experiment.

I just started throwing what I had into the blender and tasted along the way. I was a bit surprised at how yummy the sauce turned out and so was the food critic when I told him what was in the sauce. I'm always surprised at what foods taste good together, so when you are bored with what is in your fridge just throw it all in a blender and see what happens.

Sorry about the pictures! After I downloaded them I accidentally deleted them so this is what you get. FYI... I am not a photographer if you haven't noticed. I know I am terrible at food pictures, but I can reassure you the only meals that make it on this blog are approved by my food critics.

Roasted Vegetables

2 c baby carrots

2 zucchini, cut in half then sliced

1 yellow pepper, sliced

2 c green beans

Toss with olive oil then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic pwd. Place on baking sheet and bake @ 400 for 20 - 30 min turning frequently. I like to broil the vegetables for five more minutes to make them a bit crispy.

Avocado Sauce

1/2 c raw cashews

1 T fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 avocado

1 c spinach

1 clove of garlic

1/4 tsp celery salt

1/8 tsp white pepper (gives it a little kick)

1/4 tsp basil

Combine all in your blender and blend until smooth.


1 c quinoa, well rinsed

2 c vegetable broth

In a sauce pan bring broth to a boil, add quinoa to pot and bring to a low simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 - 25 min. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 additional min with lid on.

Combine 1 c (or more) of sauce with quinoa and serve with your roasted vegetables.

Coconut Curry over Lentils and Butternut Squash

Curry can be a scary meal for some who have never tried it because of the strong flavor. I added some coconut milk to make it taste more mild and the butternut squash and currants/golden raisins add the perfect amount of sweetness to the overall meal. Try it and I bet you will love it!

Coconut Curry
5 C cubed butternut squash
1 T olive oil
1/4 c diced onion
1 T curry
1 inch cube fresh ginger grated, or 1/4-1/2 tsp pwd ginger
2 c vegetable broth
1 c lentils (I like red)
1 1/2 c coconut milk (light or regular)
1/4 c golden raisins or currants
3 T chopped raw cashews
1 c fresh spinach

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle olive oil over cubed butternut squash and toss in a large bowl to evenly coat squash. Spread squash onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put into preheated oven and bake 20-35 min turning after 15 min to prevent burning. Your squash may take longer depending on how big your cubes are, just make sure they are tender enough to pierce with a fork.

While squash is baking make sauce

1. Heat olive oil in skillet then add onion and cook for 5- 7 min. Add ginger and curry and cook until curry is blended well.

2. Add 2 c vegetable broth and bring to a boil

3. Add your lentils then reduce heat to a simmer for 15 min.

4. Add coconut milk, cashews, dried fruit, and simmer for another 10 min.

5. Remove from heat and stir in spinach until the spinach softens up.

6. Place 1 cup of squash into separate bowls, pour lentil mixture over squash, add some shredded coconut, more cashews and microgreens(totally optional), and then enjoy!

Serves ~ 4 adults

Thanks to my friend Melanie for helping with this meal!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper lentils with Sun Dried tomatoes

I don't eat meat so a great source of protein that often pops up in my meals is wonderful lentils. I love lentils and I love that the food critic likes them enough to not notice that there is no meat in our meals. I also love roasted red peppers and sun dried tomatoes so I made up this little meal in hopes to satisfy my craving of both. It ended up being great and the green beans were a great compliment so I highly recommend you pair the two together.

Roasted Red Pepper lentils with Sun dried tomatoes
2 red peppers, roasted
1 cup grated carrots
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
3 T red wine
1 T pure maple syrup
1 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 t Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp dried basil
sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
1 c cooked lentils
1/2 c sun dried tomatoes, sliced (not the ones in oil)
steamed green beans


Roast your peppers and while they are roasting cook your lentils. Just follow the directions on the lentil package. When lentils are done, set aside.

How to Roast Peppers
1. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil.
2. Cut both peppers into 4 parts
3. lay them down on the tin foil cut side down
4. Broil on High for 10-20 min. You want them to be black because it is easier to peel the skins off.
5. After you broil them, take them out of the oven and cover them with another piece of tinfoil for about 5 min. This makes them sweat and easier to peel.

Sauce directions:
1. Grate carrots and mince garlic
2. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in pan, add carrots then cook for 3 min. Add minced garlic to carrots and cook for 1 min stirring throughout.
3. Add red wine and cook for 2-3 min. You want all the alcohol in the wine to evaporate.
4. Place your roasted red peppers into a blender along with maple syrup, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and basil.
5. Blend together until well mixed.
6. Add half of the carrot mixture to the blender and pulse a few times.
7. Return all of the contents in the blender back to your pan.
8. Add your lentils and sun dried tomatoes to the roasted red pepper mixture.

9. Simmer 5 min

10. Pour over some steamed grean beans

Lentils are magicians in the nutritional world – they pack in staggering amounts of nutrition into relatively few calories, including 198%DV molybdenum, 89% folates, 62% dietary fiber, 50% manganese, 35% Iron, 35% protein, cooper, B vitamins, and potassium, to boot. Whoa! All this is in a one-cup serving of lentils, or 230 calories. This stuff is the meat in the vegetarian diet.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sweet and Sour Sauce

Tonight I made my family Sweet and Sour Chicken, but I managed to make the sauce without any Ketchup or White Sugar! My daughter LOVES this meal, and tonight she had seconds and was licking the sauce off her plate. The food critic said it was Excellent knowing I pulled it off without any white sugar or ketcup, but comparing it to the traditional sauce he said it was Very Good. I don't have a sorry. Everyone ate it all up before I got a chance to take a picture. Next time I'll make the meal I'll get it photo ready, but for now here is just the sauce recipe.

Sweet and Sour Sauce
1/2 c chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1/4 c vinegar
2 T tamari sauce or Soy Sauce
1/4 c pure maple syrup
3 T tomato sauce
1/8 t ginger, pwd
1/4 t garlic pwd, or 1 clove minced garlic
1 T corn starch
3 dates pitted
ground pepper & sea salt

1. Combine broth, vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup, tomato sauce, ginger, and garlic in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil.
2. Wisk in 1 T of corn starch and stir until blended.
3. Transfer to a blender and add 3 pitted dates then blend
4. return to sauce pan and simmer until thickened.
5. Salt & pepper to taste

Tonight I mixed the sauce with noodles, grilled chicken, broccoli, and cauliflower for the kids and food critic. I had it mixed with brown rice, broccoli, and cauliflower.

It would also be great with peppers, pineapple, snow peas, and celery. You can get pretty creative with this one.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Thanks to Katie for giving me a recipe similar to this one. I love this salad and so does everyone else who tries it!

What is Quinoa? Here is some info on this super grain..

Quinoa is an excellent source of PROTEIN and unlike other grains, is not missing the amino acid lysine, so the protein is more complete.

Quinoa offers more iron than other grains and contains high levels of potassium and riboflavin, as well as other B vitamins: B6, niacin, and thiamin. It is also a good source of magnesium, zinc, copper, and manganese, and has some folate (folic acid).

RINSE before you COOK or it will taste BITTER!
Here is why: Quinoa's survival in the great outdoors is due to a resinous, bitter coating that protects its seeds from birds and insects--and also shields them from the intense high-altitude sunlight. This coating, called saponin, is soapy and must be removed in a strong alkaline solution to make the grain palatable. Most quinoa sold in this country has already been cleansed of its saponin. But quinoa should be rinsed thoroughly before cooking to remove any powdery residue of saponin. Place the grain in a fine strainer and hold it under cold running water until the water runs clear; drain well.

Quinoa &Black Bean Salad
1 T Olive oil
1/2 onion
¾ c Quinoa (make sure you rinse first!)
1 ½ c Vegetable Broth
2 tsp Cumin
¼ tsp Cayenne
1 c Brown Rice (opt)
3 Limes
Lime Zest
¼ c olive oil
1 T Maple syrup or Agave
1-2 cloves garlic
1 ½ c Black beans
½ T red wine vinegar
Vegetables: Corn, red pepper, kale, jicama, green onions, avocado, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, micro-green sprouts
Tortilla chips

1. Heat Olive oil in a sauce pan, add onion and cook until onion is light brown (10 min). Add Quinoa, vegetable broth, cumin, and cayenne to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 min. When done transfer to a bowl and cool.
2. Cook Brown rice as directed on package, when done add to Quinoa.
3. Rinse Black Beans then toss with vinegar, add to Quinoa

4. Combine Juice of 3 limes, lime zest, ¼ c olive oil, garlic, and maple syrup or agave in a bowl.

5. Chop vegetables and combine with Quinoa. Drizzle Lime sauce over salad and mix.

6. Top with micro-Greens and salsa

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Green Pea Hummus

This is ONE of my favorite snacks! It is so easy to make and the taste is amazing. Everyone that tastes it becomes a huge fan. It is good with rice chips, (especially the Boulder brand @ Coscto), carrots, cucumbers, peppers, etc.

Green Pea Hummus
2 cups peas, I use organic frozen peas
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
3 T tahini (the base for most hummus, it is ground up sesame seeds that looks like peanut butter)
1/4 c olive oil

1. Pour 2 cups of peas into a colander and rise with warm water
2. add peas to blender
3. add all other ingredients and blend well

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cinnamon Spelt Pancakes

As much as I love oatmeal with all the fancy things I put on it, I really do get sick of eating it. Pancakes usually leave me feeling blah after I eat them, but not anymore! I felt great after I had some of these wheat free pancakes. They were really easy to make and get this..... my KIDS even loved them. I was shocked! I also made some simple coconut syrup to go along with the pancakes that I thought added the perfect touch to the meal.

Cinnamon Spelt Pancakes

2 c spelt flour

2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1 t cinnamon

dash of cloves

dash of nutmeg

1/4 t salt

1 T chia seeds soaked in 3 T H2O

2 T organic sugar of 1 T agave

1 C almond milk

1 t vanilla

1 T olive oil

1. Measure out 1 T of chia seeds and mix with 3 T of H2O. Set aside while you continue to measure out the rest of your ingredients. Chia seeds act as a binder in foods when you are not using eggs.

2. Measure and mix all of your dry ingredients together

3. add almond milk, oil, vanilla, chia seeds to your dry ingredients. mix well.

Coconut Maple Syrup

2 T coconut milk

4 T pure maple syrup

When I served these to my kids and food critic I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top. It reminded me of eating hot churros because they were a little crisp on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. Yummy! I also think adding some sliced bananas would be divine on top, I just didn't have any.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Thai Lettuce Wraps

This is RAINBOW eating at it's best! These have got to be one of my most delicious things I make. One of my favorite foods to order at the Cheesecake factory is their Thai Lettuce Wraps. They are delicious! After ordering them a handful of times I decided it was time for me to figure out how to make the yummy dipping sauces that go along with the wraps. So I blended and blended until I got it right. The end result was fantastic! I was so happy with the homemade version and so was the food Critic, he gives this meal a 10 which does not happen very often. Enjoy!

Thai Lettuce Wraps
Butter lettuce for your wraps

-for the inside of the wrap - Red, orange, yellow peppers; marinated Cucumber; gratted Carrots; Purple Cabbage; Bean sprouts; cratted Zucchini; green onions; Avocado; coconut rice noodles

Marinated Cucumbers
2 1-2 cucumbers, sliced
1/3 c rice vinegar
3 T Agave or organic sugar cane
Water and salt

· Marinate at least 4 hours, overnight is best

Peanut Sauce
1 c peanut butter

1/4 c coconut milk
2 T lime Juice
1-2 T Tamari (soy sauce or Nama Shoyu)
½ T fish sauce (opt)
1 tsp minced ginger (1/2 tsp pwd ginger)
1-2 T Agave or Honey (depending on how sweet you like it)

Combine all the ingredents and mix well. I recomend starting with less lime and ginger that way you can alter it to your taste.

Ginger Dressing
1 clove garlic
2 square inch ginger
½ c Olive Oil
¼ c sesame oil
1/3 c rice vinegar
4 T Nama Shoyu or ¼ c Soy Sauce or 4 T Tamari
¼ c water
3 T agave

combine and mix well, blender is best.

Cashew Dipping Sauce
¼ c cashews
1/2 - 2/3 c cilantro
1 clove garlic
2 green onions
½ T agave or 1 T organic can sugar
1 tsp cumin
· Combine in blender or food processer and pulse then add:
½ c honey
4 t vinegar
1 t balsamic vinegar
2- 3 dates; without pits
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ c water
¼ c olive oil
· Blend

Coconut Rice noodles

Half a package of rice noodles

1 T coconut oil

3 T unsweetend coconut

Follow cooking directions on the package of the noodles. When noodles are soft, drain all of the liquid and then toss in coconut oil. When mixed add the unsweetend coconut and mix again.

Assemble to your liking!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

MAC 'n CHEESE done right

I was taking a huge chance on this one. I mean who messes with Annies Mac and Cheese. Well I came across this butternut squash Mac and Cheese recipe on and decided to give it a try. My 2 year old thought it was great. This was her 3rd spoonful of the sauce.

And I baked them in a muffin tin because I thought my kids would be more excited to eat it that way.

Mac 'n Cheese

2-3 c butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes

*3/4 c cashew sauce* - (same stuff in the Crue's creamy Rice Cereal)

1 garlic clove

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 T Tamari Sauce (like soy sauce but has a smoother taste and wheat free)

1/4 heaping tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder, makes it orange

1/4 tsp paprika + more to season

fresh ground pepper

sea salt

1/2 c Grated cheese

bread crumbs

Pasta of your choice (I used 1 c Brown Rice noodles for me and just 1 1/2c regular small shell macaroni for the kids)


1. Preheat oven to 400. In a bowl combine cut up squash with some olive oil then spread evenly over a baking sheet. Bake 20 min then flip and bake 10 more. They may take longer to bake, it just depends on how big you cut them. (I'll do this step right when the kids get home from school or do it earlier in the day then just put the squash in the fridge and get it back out when your ready to make the sauce)

2. In a blender add cashew cream, garlic, lemon juice, salt, tamari sauce, dijon mustard, italian seasoning, tumeric, paprika, and squash. Blend until smooth. Adjust to taste. It may need a little soy milk, or milk if it is too thick.

3. Cook your pasta

4. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water. Add the pasta sauce to the noodles. Stir well then spoon into a greased muffin tin. For the kids and food critic I put about 2 T grated cheese on top and mixed it in a bit then topped it with bread crumbs.

5. Put into a 350F oven and bake for 15 min. Let cool about 2-3 min so the mac n' cheese holds its shape in the tins. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika.

*Cashew sauce - soak 1/2 c cashews in water for at least an hour then drain and put in your blender with 1/2 c fresh new water and blend until smooth.

Salad in a Cup or Green Smoothie

The GREEN SMOOTHIE is my go to when I don't have time to chop, cook, or plan. It is like drinking a salad and sometimes that is nice because at times I just don't have time to sit down and chew, chew, and chew some more. The other bonus is that my kids LOVE them! I always feel like a super mom when I can get my kids to drink spinach, kale, and Swiss chard. It really just makes me feel better when the rest of the day they eat cereal, dino-nuggets, and quesadillas.

The other great thing about these magic drinks is the energy you have after you drink them. They make your insides want to dance because they are getting so many nutrients they need to function properly. You're body is actually satisfied because you are giving it what it needs! Try one and you will be hooked for life. Here are 2 of my favorite drinks...

California Citrus
8 oz Orange Juice - more if needed
2 handfuls of spinach
2 kale leaves (without the stems, just tear the leaves off the stems)
1 Swiss Chard Leaf (without the stems)
1 c frozen peaches
1/4 c frozen pineapple
1/4 c frozen mango
Juice of 1/2 lime (you can just use 1/4 if you don't prefer a strong lime taste)

Blend in Vitamix or Blendtec
I have never made these drinks in a regular blender, but my guess is that you'll have some big pieces left over. But give it a try and you might just have to chew a bit.

Purple Paradise
8 oz of Apple Juice
2-3 handfuls of spinach
1 collard green leaf, stems removed
1 large cucumber
1/2 c frozen blueberries
1/2 c frozen peaches, or pears, or nectarines, or banana


BTW, I didn't mention that at one time in my teens I had the coveted job at Zuka (Jamba) Juice, so I have some serious credentials to back me up...

You really can play around with these, there are SO many different ways to make them.

Crue's Creamy Rice Cereal

In my perfect world my kids would eat what I did, but that is wishful thinking. Especially with Crue. He is a 5 year old that loves to eat white bland food! One of his favorite things to eat is Rice Cereal that the food critic ate as a child. It is made with 1 c white rice & 4 c milk. Then sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Cure loves it because it's all white, but this is what happens to him when he eats it. He gets crazy amounts of energy then crashes and gets grumpy and is again hungry, and that is only 30 min after he eats 3 bowls. I knew I could come up with something a little more satisfying for his little body so I added some good fat, protein, and micro nutrients. The end product was delicious! He freaked out that it wasn't white and protested, but I did get him to try it and the picture above was taken after his 2ND BOWL!!! And whats even better is that my picky 2 year old had 2 bowls too. It was a major success in the Tadje house!

Don't get overwhelmed when you see the ingredients....

Creamy Rice Cereal
1/2 c white rice or brown
1/4 c wild rice (blended into a pwd)
2 C almond milk
1/4 c raw cashew cream (I promise its easy to make)
1/2 T chia seeds
1/4 t cinnamon
1 T Pure Maple Syrup

1. Measure out 1/4 c wild rice (it's all black don't use the mixed stuff) then put the 1/4 c of rice in a vitamix, blendtec, magic bullet, food processor, etc. And blend it into a powder. Its OK if it's still a bit bulky.
2. Measure milk and add to a pot then add white rice and wild rice and bring mixture to a light boil, stirring trough out.
3. While your waiting for the rice and milk to come to a boil soak 1/4 c raw cashews in some water, set aside.
4. Once the Milk comes to a slight boil, turn to low and let it simmer for about 40 min, stir every once and awhile to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom.
5. After 40 min add Cinnamon and maple syrup and cook for about 10 more min.
6. Drain your cashews and then put them in the blender with 1/4 c of fresh water. Blend to a cream. Then add to your rice.

I still sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on the top because then my kids still think it's the other stuff.

What are Chia Seeds you ask?

I love Chia seeds and here is why..

Amazing source of Omega-3 fatty acids (good fat that does many positive things for your body), Balances blood sugar, it's a complete protein, a great antioxidant, and full of fiber. It's great to slip into what your kids are eating, because they usually don't even know its there and doesn't effect the taste.

Wild Rice (all black rice, not the mixed like you see at Costo)
Provides all the essential amino acids that make up a protein, high in essential minerals and vitamins, and has lots of fiber.

Raw Cashews
Provide you with healthy fats (they're considered the "low-fat" in the nut world), an excellent source of minerals to help the heart, and you feel full when you eat them. I Love them!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rainbow Chili w/ Barley

Love this chili! I make a huge batch of it and I will eat it all week. It has so many vegetables and is full of fiber so I feel nice and satisfied after I eat it.

1 T olive oil

1/2 onion

1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper

2-3 stalks of celery

2 large carrotts, grated

2 zucchini, grated

1 24 oz + 1 14.5 oz can organic diced tomatoes

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

2 heaping T chili pwd

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp sea salt
2 bay leaves

2 cans of kidney beans or 1 can kidney 1 can white beans

1 avocado for garnishing

green onions, garnish

1 c pearl Barley

opt: Shredded cheese and sour cream


1. Heat oil in large pot, add onions, peppers and celery and cook 3 min

2. Grate carrots and zucchini and add to pot, cook until onion and celery are translucent ~ 10 min

3. Add tomatoes, sauce, chili pwd, cumin, salt, bay leaves, and beans and bring to a boil

4. turn to medium low and let simmer 40-50 min.

5. Cook Pearl Barley while your chili simmers this is how:

3 cups of water to 1 cup of barley, bring water and grain to a boil then let it simmer for 40-50 min.

Barley defined: It is a grain that when cooked has a chewy pasta like consistency. Barley has lots of good fiber to lower cholesterol and keep your intestines happy. It provides food for the friendly bacteria in your colon so they can do their job and keep you regular and absorbing nutrients. It also has lots of selenium which is an anti-oxidant (think good guys fighting bad guys in your body) and selenium plays a HUGE part in thyroid function!

Once your chili has simmered and your barley is nice and soft put it all together. Once in serving bowls add avocado and green onions. My food critic and kids add sour cream and shredded cheese. I'm sure that tastes yummy too, but I think it is great without it.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Banana Spelt Muffins

Spelt defined: Fewer calories than wheat, not genetically altered like wheat, more protein than wheat, more B complex vitamins than wheat, High water solubility - so nutrients are easily absorbed by the body, and easier to digest than wheat. It is a sweet flour and has a slight nutty taste to it. It is a great replacement for wheat four.

FYI: I really don't hate wheat I just think we eat TOO much of it. And it doesn't agree with me so I try not to bake with it.

3 large over ripe bananas
1 c spelt flour
1 c rolled oats
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/3 c raw sugar (not processed)
1/3 c coconut oil
1 T chia seeds soaked in 3 T water
1/4 c light sour cream or 2 T potato starch (it adds moisture)
2 T almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven 375F

-Mash bananas with fork then mix with oil, sugar, vanilla, soaked chia seeds, almond milk and light sour cream.

-Add flour, oats, baking soda, and salt

-mix until all ingredients are wet

-pour into muffin cups that are in the muffin tin and bake for 18-20 min. let cool before serving

Hawaiian Haystacks

Growing up I loved Hawaiian Haystacks and when I got married I loved them even more because it was so easy to make them. What was it?, a can of C of C soup, chicken, and cheese over white rice... So easy, but then I learned about MSG and sadly we stopped making Hawaiian Haystacks. Well, recently my food critic asked for the forbidden meal so I went out to make a healthy NON-C of C soup version.

The Sauce:
1 1/2 T butter
1/2 c chopped onion,
2 chicken breasts pounded flat then cut into bite-sized cubes (totally optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
2 T flour
3/4 c milk
1 c vegtable or chicken broth ( I think the vegetable broth gives it more flavor)
fresh ground pepper

-in a skillet melt butter over medium heat and add onions then cook for about 4 min.

-Add raw chicken and cook until onions are translucent and chicken is cooked through, about 5- 6 min. Try not to stir the chicken too much while it's cooking or it creates a tougher meat. I like to just flip mine one time.

- add garlic and cook for 1 min. Make sure you dont burn your garlic or it will taste bitter. so stir frequently

-sprinkle flour and cook over med heat for one min

-slowly pour in milk and broth and stir with a whisk until it starts to simmer. Simmer for about 5-6 min

Serve sauce over brown or white rice and add your toppings of choice: Shredded cheese, celery, green onions, chow mein noodles, olives, water chestnuts, shredded carrots, pineapple, tomatoes, etc.

For a vegetarian meal : I omitted the Chicken and just put the sauce over some lentils I had made.

Coconut chocolate Oatties

These are my FAVORITE treats! I really can't make them because I will eat the whole batch in a day or two. But because they don't have refined products my insides love them!

2 T coconut oil (I melt it a little to make it easier to stir)

1/2 c almond butter

4 T cocoa powder ( I use either Raw Cacao or Dutch Cocoa)

1/4 c maple syrup

2-3 T coconut milk

1/4 c unsweetend coconut flakes

3 cups rolled Oats

a little salt

(every now and then I put a handful of dark chocolate chips in there to make it interesting)

Mix all the wet ingredients together then add the oats one cup at a time until you get your desired consistancy. Line a cupcake baking pan with liners, fill the cups with your yummy mixture then trow it in the freezer. They stay together better if you freeze them.

Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto on Vegetable noodles

I am not really a pasta fan, but I came across this reciep from and it looked pretty good. My best food critic (husband) loves pasta so I thought I would give it a try. It was a really simple meal and I loved the pesto sauce! It would also be great on sandwiches or wraps.

Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto
Yield: 1 cup pesto
9 large roma tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 cup almonds, toasted
2 garlic cloves
1 cup tightly packed basil + more for garnish
1/8 c olive oil

1/4 c diced sundried tomatos for garnish

Shredded Parmeasan Cheese (opt)
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Your desired amount of cooked Pasta, I like the vegetable noodles and my kids think they are great because they come in crazy shapes.

1. Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Place sliced tomatoes on the sheet cut side up and drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 1 hour and 10 mins at 375F. Watch closely during the last 15 minutes of roasting. It is normal for the bottoms to become little black. Remember the longer you roast the more flavor.

2. Reduce oven heat to 325F and toast almonds for 8-10 minutes. My browned really fast, but I think that is because I have a cheap oven.

3. Once your tomatoes are cooked and almonds toasted put everything, but the sundried tomatoes into a blender and pulse until your desired thickness. You can save some of the roasted tomatoes and cut them up at the end if you like your sauce chunky.

4. Pour your desired amount of pesto over the cooked pasta and mix well. Sprinkle with sundried tomatoes, chopped up almonds, and small pieces of basil.