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!