Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Soaked Oatmeal

This is one of my favorites! I've always LOVED oatmeal, but oatmeal hasn't always loved me! I never really understood why until I realized my body couldn't digest it easily. Yes, I am one of those sensitive people. Annoying!

I had read about oatmeal in The Maker's Diet and decided to give it a shot.  The very first time I soaked my oatmeal I didn't feel terrible at the end of the day! I'm such a skeptic so I was shocked. I won't even touch oats now without soaking them first.

It's actually really simple and quick to make. It just takes a little forethought. I always try to think ahead when I'm doing dinner, or cleaning up, what I will need for the next day and if any of it will require soaking.

Here is the recipe. (This makes a little more than one serving - but me and my son share it)

Soaked Oatmeal

1/2 cup dry rolled oats
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon of yogurt, kefir, or cultured buttermilk (I like buttermilk the best)
1 tablespoon of walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup water
brown sugar, honey, raisins, fruit - topping of your choice.

1. Combine oats, 1/2 cup water, buttermilk, and walnuts in a glass mason jar. Cover, shake, and leave at room temperature overnight (minimum of 7 hours).

2. The next morning, add another 1/2 cup of water to the jar, shake, and pour into a saucepan. Cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. I let mine boil for about a minute and then turn it off.

3. Transfer to a bowl and add your toppings. Soooo easy and delicious!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I hate bleach!

Today I was reminded how much I hate bleach. I rarely use the stuff but today I was washing some white curtains that my cat had rubbed her dirty self all over and really needed some whitening. I poured a bit in to the dispenser in my washer and somehow I managed to splatter on my Victoria's Secret yoga pants!!! Oh my gosh I was so mad I just wanted to scream!!! I hate everything about bleach. I hate the smell and how it makes me nauseous. I hate the way my fingers feel after touching it and I hate that one tiny splatter can ruin a perfectly good pair of clothes! Today is the day that I refuse to use bleach EVER again!

There are plenty of other alternatives out there for whitening and disinfecting. I usually use an oxygen bleach like oxyclean or hydrogen peroxide. Unfortunately I was out of both today. Bummer! Both of those work great at whitening and cleaning.

For my all purpose cleaner and glass cleaner I use a mixture of half vinegar, half water. Seriously, the stuff works better than windex. Tell me why I should ever buy that stuff again? It works great for disinfecting but when there is grease or grime involved I need a little something else. I use pure castile soap mixed with water. You have to make sure that the castille soap doesn't have essential oils in it otherwise it leaves streaks.

For bathtubs and areas where I need a bit more grit, I mix baking soda with castile soap until it forms a paste. You have to use a bit more elbow grease than if you used scrubbing bubbles or something like that but at least you know you aren't breathing in toxic fumes or putting your baby in a tub with bleach and other chemicals. Yuck!

I would love to know what homemade cleaners and things you use. I'm always looking for new ones to try. I still would love to make my own dishwasher soap - just haven't gotten around to it yet. One day....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Homemade Chili

I cook dinner almost every night, but I'm usually in a hurry and don't always remember the camera. That's what happened again, but I did manage to take a picture before it was devoured. I made up a batch of kidney beans and I wanted to use them in something so I made chili. This is my mom's recipe tweaked a bit. You'll have to bear with me because my mom doesn't measure her seasonings so I have no idea what the amounts are. I'll estimate what I put in, but you can always change it up to get what you like.

This isn't a spicy chili because we don't do spicy at my house and my son LOVES it. I put it through a food mill for him because he's a bit funny with textures. He eats it up which is a shock because if any of you know my little guy, he could care less about food. He'd rather be playing or running around.

This makes quite a bit. It feeds the three of us for 3 nights so it's a great one to freeze for later if you won't eat it all.

1lb of ground turkey or beef
2 14oz cans of kidney beans (I used some I made at home - about 2-1/2 cups of cooked beans)
1 14oz can of corn (or 1 cup of frozen)
2 - 28oz cans of organic diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion diced
1-2 tbl olive oil
1 tbl chili powder + more for seasoning later
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbl sugar
salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheese

1. Sauté garlic and onions in olive oil until fragrant and onions are soft. Set aside.
2. Using the same pan, brown meat along with 1tbl chili powder and 1tsp cumin.
3. Place meat, garlic & onions, and remaining ingredients into a large pot. Add additional seasonings. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. (You may add some water if it seems to thick)
4. Place in a bowl and top with a bit of shredded cheese and enjoy!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fresh, delicious, and local produce!

So the first of the month has finally come and I was able to go out and do my grocery shopping again.  My husband and I stick to a cash budget for certain things like groceries so when the money is gone, it's gone. And I usually have to get pretty creative at the end of the month using up what's left. Needless to say that when the first rolls around I am out doing my grocery shopping.

I love knowing where my food comes from and that it was picked the day I bought it and perfectly ripened the way nature intended it to be. I don't buy my produce any other way! The only exception is bananas and occasionally apples because my husband likes to take them in his lunch.

On saturday I stopped by San Diego Organic Farms here in Ramona. Saturday is the best day to go because he has the most stuff out, but he's also open on wednesdays and fridays. If you go on the other two days you can always ask him to pick stuff if he doesn't have it.

The prices are amazing!!! If you buy organic in the store you will pay 2 or 3 times more!! His vegetables and fruit taste sweeter and better than anything I've ever bought before. Imagine eating a strawberry that actually tastes like a STRAWBERRY! A shocking concept I know!!

I picked up everything you see in the picture for about $15 which I think is absolutely unbeatable for local, organic food. (I bought oregano, basil, curly leaf lettuce, red lettuce, iceberg lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, spinach, broccoli, onions, swiss chard, a cucumber, a yellow crookneck squash, and a zucchini.) He also has beets, cabbage, herbs, and will have a lot more fruit as the summer months come.

Click here to view their info and hours.

I wash everything really good and then bag it up with a few paper towels in each and it stays fresh for a week or two. My husband enjoyed the lunch I made him too! A sandwich with veggies and fruit for sides. Yum!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Breakfast Protein Shake

I hope everyone had a wonderful memorial day. We spent the weekend remodeling the exterior of our house. The change is so refreshing and looks wonderful! The only bummer part is that we are selling it after we finally removed our title of "the ugliest house on the street". I will post better pictures later - there was a big ugly dump trailer in our driveway.
This is what it looked like when we bought it

Roof partially done, trim and fascia painted

After color coat! Still have some planting to do

I thought I would share what I eat for breakfast almost every morning. I'm not the kind of girl that just eats a banana and goes on my way... I like to eat and hate feeling hungry. So with that said, this shake is actually filling and tastes good! I can't tell you how many I have tried and ended up gagging my way through it!

By now you know that I'm a fan of Jordan Rubin and "The Maker's Diet". Well, he has a line of products out called Garden of Life and I've tried the probiotics and LOVE them. I'd wanted to try his protein powder but it was always expensive and I didn't want to fork out the money if I didn't like it. It's kind of funny how this happened but I was grocery shopping one day and my mom asked me to grab a couple of things for her. Of course it wasn't at the store that I was going to so I went out of my way to the other store. It turned out that they were offering 20% off all vitamins and health products AND they were sampling both the RAW protein powder and RAW meal! AND they had coupons for another $5 off!! Ok... so how crazy is that?

I never really understood what the RAW meal was so it was really great that I was able to talk to someone and try it first. RAW meal is protein powder but it also has vitamins, enzymes, and probiotics in it. It's a meal replacement powder. It's made from sprouted grains too so it's easy to digest and doesn't have soy or dairy products in it.

Well I decided to get the RAW meal since it would mean that I didn't need to buy some of the vitamins or probiotics that I usually get. I whipped up a quick shake the next morning and it was awesome! I am officially addicted to the stuff and I can seriously tell a difference in how I feel already. Here is my simple recipe - feel free to tweak it however you like! I would love to hear what you use!

Breakfast Protein Shake
1 scoop of Garden of Life RAW Meal
1 fresh or frozen banana
12oz organic low sugar almond milk

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend! Yum!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Soaked Whole Wheat Bread for a Breadmaker

I figured that I should probably tell you what soaking is and why I do it before I go any further.....

Did you know that whole grains are actually difficult for your body to digest? Some people don't seem to notice it as much as others do. If you ever feel bloated or crampy after eating whole grains like wheat, oats, etc. you may be more sensitive than others. Whole grains are packed with important minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper. But whole grains contain phytic acid which actually binds to these minerals and prevents your intestines from absorbing them. These minerals are vital for healthy teeth and bones. Soaking also helps partially break down gluten so those who are trying to be gluten free should try soaking and see if it helps. Our bodies don't have the necessary enzymes to break down whole grains, so soaking provides beneficial bacteria, and enzymes to help break it down, making it easier to digest and absorb the vitamins and minerals.

A great resource is Healing Naturally by Bee

On to my bread recipe! I've tried a few different kinds before and none of them have come out as soft and perfect as this one. I adapted this from a recipe that I found at passionate homemaking. Her recipe is for handmade bread and I wanted to make it in my breadmaker.

Soaked Whole Wheat Bread

Yields 1 loaf

2-3/4 cups whole wheat bread flour
1/4 cup acid medium (kefir, cultured buttermilk, whey)
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup honey
3 tbl coconut oil or butter melted
1 tbl ground flaxseed (optional)

2 tbl water
1/4 tsp honey
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 - 1/4 tsp sea salt

1. Combine the flour, acid medium, oats, honey, melted oil, flax seeds, and 3/4 cup warm water in a large bowl. Mix, cover, and let soak at room temperature for 12-24 hours. DO NOT SOAK IN BREADMAKER! You will destroy the finish.

2. After soaking, in a separate bowl, combine yeast, 1/4 tsp honey, and 2 tbl warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes or so, until fully proofed. (proofing means to let it foam and approx double in size)

3. Place your soaked mixture in your breadmaker pan, add your proofed yeast, and salt. Select the wheat setting on your machine and choose your desired crust and push start!

Should you choose to do this by hand, follow the instructions found here: Passionate Homemaking Whole Wheat Bread. Keep in mind, hers is a bit different than mine.

4. When the breadmaker is done, take out the bread and let it cool on a rack. (this keeps the crust from getting soggy.)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quinoa Burritos

These burritos are fabulous! It's a recipe from a friend and I have tailored it to what my family likes. We don't like spicy at all, so I use seasonings that aren't too spicy, but it could definitely be adjusted to what you like. It's a vegetarian burrito, but full of flavor and super filling! And if you have to have your meat, you can shred up some chicken and add it in.

Quinoa is a grain that should be soaked, but doesn't have to be if you don't have time. It doesn't contain as much phytic acid as other grains do. However, if you choose to soak it here are the instructions:

1. rinse quinoa thoroughly
2. Place in a bowl or pot with enough water to cover.
3. Add 1tbl of acid medium (whey, cultured buttermilk, yogurt, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar) per cup of quinoa.
4. Soak at room temp for 7 hrs or longer.
5. Rinse thoroughly
6. Cook as directed.

Here is the recipe for the burritos. Let me know what you think and how yours turned out!

Quinoa Burritos

1 cup quinoa (pre-soaked)
1 cup salsa + 1/2 cup divided
2 tsp taco seasoning
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed.
2 cups frozen corn
About 2 cups shredded cheese
8 large tortillas

1. Cook quinoa, along with 2 tsp taco seasoning and frozen corn, according to package directions.

2. After quinoa is cooked, add the black beans (slightly mashed) and 1 cup of salsa. Mix thoroughly.

3. Warm tortillas and place about 1/2 cup of mixture in the middle. Sprinkle with a little shredded cheese and wrap up.

4. Place burritos seam side down in a large baking dish.

5. Top each burrito with a little more salsa (I omit this) and cheese.

6. Bake at 350 for about 12-15 minutes, or until warmed through.

Top with your favorite sides. I like to use plain yogurt (instead of sour cream), lettuce, and avocado.

I hope you like them! They've become one of our favorites around here and even my SUPER picky toddler eats them! He almost ate a whole burrito by himself tonight!