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.

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.