Category Archives: Dairy-Free

Three Days of Thanksgiving: Turkey Take Two

Gonna’ have some dry turkey-bird staring back at you tomorrow night?  Yippee!  Yay!  Lunch for three days!  (Groan.)  How can I turn this into something that people really like?  Well, here’s a leftover turkey recipe for you!  It’s easy!  Fun!  Delicious (and nutritious)!  Go ahead–clip this one for the rest of the year, too!  Boiled chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken instead of turkey tastes absolutely fabulous in this simple dish.  My family loves it, and it is definitely a recipe I fall back on routinely.

I don’t mind either way, but if you liked the recipes from the last few days, they’re put together in a nice format in Holiday Cooking–A Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Celebration.  (But again, I don’t get anything from it.  And you know I’d share any of those recipes in that e-book if you asked.)turkeytake23

Turkey Take Two

3 cups of chopped, leftover turkey

1 small onion, diced

½ cup sliced almonds

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 ¼ cup mayonnaise

½ cup frozen peas

½ cup chopped fresh spinach (may omit)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 cup crushed potato chips or sweet potato chips

 

  1.  Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2.  Mix all of the ingredients together except the potato chips.
  3.  Spread  into a medium-sized casserole dish and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
  4.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle the potato chips evenly over the top.
  5.  Place back in the oven and bake 10 more minutes until the chips are lightly browned.

Family “gustar” report:  The score is 6 of 6.  Love this casserole.  I’ve made it and frozen it too.  It smells divine in the oven!

I wish you a very, very Happy Thanksgiving!  I am thankful you take time to read some of my posts.  Changing what we ate changed a lot in our family.  I can’t communicate that loudly and firmly enough.  I simply had no idea that food has real side effects which vary from person to person.  The holidays find me and the kids working hard to find that balance between food that we know keeps us feeling best and food that seems to call our names, even in our dreams.  It’s not until you drastically walk a different path in a healthy way with food that you realize how off course society as a whole has gotten with the required substance.

Eat well.  But think of your teensy, tiny little cells plugging away for you, all day, all night.  Give ’em the food they deserve.  You’ll feel better for it!

Terri

Other Thanksgiving recipes on the blog:

Cranberry Gelatin Salad

Sweet Potato Casserole

Pecan Pie (easy crust recipe included)

Green Bean Casserole

 

Three Days of Thanksgiving: Perfect Maple Pecan Pie and Pressed Pie Crust in a Pinch

Simply 100% pecan perfection!  Definite yum factor of “awesome!”  If you haven’t made pecan pie with maple syrup, you must try it!  Both pecans and maple syrup are native to the United States–pecans from the Southeast and maple syrup from the Northeast.  Maple syrup and pecans just go together.  I love this pie.

The only question left unanswered:  “Should I chop the pecans or leave them whole?” Try it both ways.  They’ll both be good.

As a bonus, I’ve also shared my pie crust recipe.  It’s kind of unique.  It is not a roll-out recipe, and it is really so much fun to make with kids.

pecanpie4_picmonkeyed

 

Perfect Maple Pecan Pie 

1 9” pie shell, unbaked 

2 cups of maple syrup

8 ounces (2 cups) of pecans (whole, chopped, or halved–your preference)

1 tablespoon of tapioca flour or arrowroot flour

3 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons of olive oil

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes. It will get very frothy, so adjust the heat to make sure that it does not boil over. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.  Set aside.
  3.  In a small bowl, mix the pecans and tapioca flour together well.  Set aside.
  4.  In a large bowl, combine and beat together the reduced maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, salt, and  oil until well mixed.
  5.  Add the pecans and stir well.
  6.  Pour into the unbaked pie shell and bake for 15 minutes at 375˚F.
  7.  Reduce heat to 350˚F and bake for 20 minutes.
  8.  Let cool before serving.

The above recipe is in the Bite-Sized Guide I wrote up for Molly Green Magazine.  But I have a bonus recipe to share in case you forgot the pie shell!

Pressed Pie Crust in a Pinch

This is a fast, easy way to make a delicious pie crust.  My mom is known for her pies and especially her flaky crust recipe.  Humorously, the woman who gave her the pie crust recipe long ago was quite embarrassed about the recipe, because it’s not a roll-out crust.  She made my mom promise to never tell anyone where the recipe came from!  Crazy!  This adaption to gluten-free loses none of the simplicity but does lose some of the flakiness.  However, I still like it better than a store-bought crust.  It’s a GREAT recipe to do with kids because it’s so easy!

1 cup of gluten-free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

Pinch of salt

Milk alternative, 3 tablespoons

Olive oil (see below for amount, it’s kind of unusual)

  1.  Place the gluten-free flour in a medium-sized bowl with the pinch of salt.
  2.  The next step is kind of strange.  Read closely:  In a 1/2 cup sized measuring cup, place three tablespoons of milk alternative.  Then, in the exact same measuring cup with the milk alternative STILL in there, add olive oil to fill the cup up to the 1/2 cup mark.
  3. Add the milk/oil mixture to the gluten-free flour.  Mix well with a fork and then use your hands to mix it even better and form a nice dough.
  4. Break off little bits of the dough and scatter all around the edges of the pie plate and in the middle of the plate.
  5. Use your fingers and hands to smash together all those little balls you put in there.  And also to push the dough up high up and over the edge so you can flute it.  Press and press until the dough has no holes or gaps.
  6. Then, pinch the edges to make a nice little flute as seen in my photo.
  7. Fill with filling and bake!

SUPER EASY!  And fun!

Family “gustar report”:  The whole family approves!

Wishing you a joyous and content holiday.

Terri

Three Days of Thanksgiving: Green Bean Casserole with Crunchy Onions

A bit of mushroom soup (homemade, of course).  Some green beans (home canned, if you have ’em).  And some hand-cut French fried onions.  (My kids call them onions from heaven.)  And Thanksgiving can proceed.  Right?  No cans needed!

If someone in your family needs to eliminate gluten, dairy, or preservatives, and they are very sad about giving up traditional Thanksgiving foods, then this recipe is for them.  It’s a little extra work, but love always is.  That’s what makes it special.

Take a look…

greenbeancasserole1

Does it look like you remember?

Traditional-Style Green Bean Casserole

Topping:

  • 3 smallish onions, sliced very thinly
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoon salt, divided use
  • 1 ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
  • Pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying

Casserole:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 cup of fresh, finely chopped Portabella mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca or arrowroot powder
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups cooked and drained green beans

French fried onion topping:

  1. For the topping, mix together in a medium-sized bowl the coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and ½ teaspoon salt.  Soak the onions in the mixture for an hour.  Stir occasionally.
  2.  Mix together Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a large baggie.
  3.  Drain the onions well in a strainer and place in the baggie and shake to coat well.  Try very hard to break up clumps so all the rings are mostly coated.
  4.  Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium-sized saucepan until an onion dropped in sizzles and spatters.  If your oil isn’t hot enough, you’ll have goopy mess.  If it’s too hot, you’ll burn the delectable rings.  Use enough olive oil to come up to 1-2 inches high in the pan.  You may need to periodically add more, always waiting for the oil to return to the proper temperature.
  5. When the oil is hot enough, fry the onions in single-layer batches until they are light golden- brown.  
  6. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions to a paper-towel lined plate.  Set aside.

For the casserole:

  1. Saute the onion and mushrooms in olive oil over low heat for 15 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle with tapioca starch (or arrowroot) and stir.
  3. Add the chicken stock and stir until it just reaches a boil.  Remove from heat.
  4. Add in the coconut milk, salt, and pepper.  The mixture should be thick like soup.
  5. Place green beans in a large bowl, pour mushroom mixture over, and mix well.
  6. Transfer to a casserole dish and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.
  7. Cover with French fried onions and bake an additional 10 more minutes.  If using stored French fried onions (see below), you may need to bake longer, until the rings are just crisped up again.

Variations and information:

  • Canned green beans work well here.  No worries!
  • To save time: make the French fried onions ahead of time, storing them in a single-layer in the refrigerator on a paper-towel lined plate until needed for the casserole.
  • Use more green beans if you like your green bean casserole less soupy and less moist.  Eyeball it.  Maybe 5 cups.
  • I haven’t tried, but I’ll bet this will work with other gluten-free flours.  Mix up your own for 100% homemade!
  • Add a little garlic and/or onion powder into the soup mixture if you’d like.
  • Add a little cashew cream to the green bean mixture to make it richer.  (A recipe is in the Molly Green e-cookbook I worked on.)
  • I haven’t tried it, but you could try using the GF flour to thicken the soup rather than arrowroot or tapioca–but no guarantees since I haven’t tried it!

Family “gustar” report:  It scores a 6 out of 6.  Even the baby gets in on the action!  My husband says the fresh mushrooms make it the best.  My kids love the onion rings.  But there’s NEVER green bean casserole left.

There’s more recipes like this in the Molly Green Bite-Sized guide (e-cookbook) I helped put together for Molly Green Magazine.  I’ll be bringing you two more recipes in this little Three Days of Thanksgiving!  Then, I won’t bother your in-box for a while.  I hope you have a great day!

Terri

Helpful Holiday Recipes

The five-week holiday Diet Death March is coming up, but I want you to come out of the holidays feeling shiny and bright that first week of January!  I worked with my sister, daughters, and Molly Green Magazine to put together a holiday e-cookbook to showcase both traditional, beloved holiday recipes tweaked for food intolerances and to introduce some new ones too.

Wordpress Recipe Collage

Some of these are “purist” recipes, meaning any Paleo or vegan food snob (no offense intended whatsoever) will find them acceptable, and others are simply compromises to get a cleaner, less allergenic replica that tastes great on the table.  All of them taste delightful, and I tried to make sure that any substitutions that I knew worked were mentioned (for example, maple syrup in place of honey or the use of different flours).  Also, I tried not to leave any instructions left to chance so that each person would get the same result I did.  (Fingers crossed.)

The Recipes

I’m attached to food and I know I’m not alone.  It’s easy to say, “Turn over a new leaf.  Leave those old ‘bad’ foods behind.”  But for some of us, that’s like saying, “Leave all your happy memories behind.”  So the goal was to create a group of recipes that would help keep restricted dieters feeling physically good while also giving them the tether cord to holidays past.  We tried to put a spectrum of recipes together with various food intolerance considerations.  All recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free, and we tried to make sure there were egg-free and nut-free options as well.  I will try to feature a few of the recipes here on the blog this holiday season so you may get a taste too for free.  The one I am most excited to share is green bean casserole with French fried onions.  But if you want the whole kit and caboodle, the e-cookbook recipes include:

  • Cozy Hot Cocoa and Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte or Steamer
  • Bread Machine Coffee Cake, Chocolate Bark, Decadent Chocolate Mousse, Peanut Butter Buckeyes, Perfect Maple Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Ready-to-Roll Sugar Cookies, Sweet Cashew Cream, Sweet Potato Casserole, and Sweet Cashew Cream
  • Baked Apples, Butternut Squash Soup, Corn Casserole, Cranberry Gelatin Salad, Favorite Roasted Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Mexican Layer Dip, Savory Cashew Cream, Strawberry Spinach Salad with Glazed Pecans, Green Goddess Dip Veggie Tray, and Zuppa Toscana
  • Crock Pot Wings, Granny’s BBQ Meatballs, One Pan Breakfast Skillet, Roast Boston Butt, and Turkey Take Two

(Please note that all the recipes are not pictured in the photo above.)

Food Shouldn’t Hurt:  An Excerpt from Our Introduction

Wordpress MG Cookbook 2“…As much as the holidays are full of family and food–for many, they are also full of struggle with their diet. Food shouldn’t hurt, but for those with allergies and intolerances, finding things to eat at a gathering can be a nightmare. Many favorite holiday dishes are loaded with dairy, gluten, eggs, and unnatural sweeteners that can wreak havoc on the body. However, that doesn’t mean that these dishes need to be completely abandoned.  In this eBook you’ll find both new takes on old classics and original recipes to work into your holiday lineup. From hot cocoa to corn casserole, we’ve got you covered with honestly good food presented in a real, honest way.  Our hope is that novice and experienced cooks alike may be able to use this cookbook to create wholesome holiday meals that can be enjoyed by individuals with food intolerances and allergies. We hope that the recipes found in these pages will invoke holiday cheer in those who may have thought they would never see a pie or casserole on their holiday table again…”

In Closing

If you’ve been here long, you know I want you to succeed.  You also know that I try to answer every question as thoroughly as I can.  If you see any recipes mentioned above that you’d like to know more about, please let me know.  Food is the foundation of all health–heart health, brain health, mental health, immune health–all health.  I encourage people to eat whole, real foods as fresh as they can get them (including fats and oils).  Then, observe for side effects from foods and tweak accordingly.

I hope your November and December months are truly a blessing to your heart.  Be well.  Seek wellness.  When it comes to your diet, you may have a bad day, but you can choose that tomorrow will start a new day.

Terri

Addendum:  I do not get any proceeds.  I do get a membership to Molly Green for writing a quarterly article for Molly Green Magazine.

We eliminated dairy from our house for many, many months.  Slowly, with experimentation, we have found some sources that agree with most of us in the house.  I appreciate the vitamin K2 and butyrate found in select dairy products that are grass-fed and/or aged, and so I would like some dairy in my kids’ diets.  Dairy is not mandatory for health, and if it causes you symptoms, you have some more work to do before adding it back in.  But if it honestly causes no symptoms on close scrutiny, it adds wonderful flavor to foods and some important nutrients.

I write articles on whole foods living for a fun, quarterly magazine called Molly Green. We get the magazine in print and read it over breakfast. I love the kids to see me reading something tangible and not just reading on The Black Machine (insert Imperial Death March song). This quarter’s article is about different ways that dairy intolerant people may tolerate some dairy: A1 beta-casein versus A2 beta-casein, fat-rich sources versus protein-rich sources, milks from different animals, and fermentation. Click over if you’re interested…

look inside >
5051
Milk

EAT REAL. BUT EAT RIGHT FOR YOU!

Terri

Hemp Bars

Hemp barsHemp seed.  I picked it up for a recipe I wanted to try and discovered it’s a useful little seed.  It is typically imported from Canada because the USA wouldn’t allow farmers to grow it.  It has exceptionally miniscule levels of a marijuana-like substance.  About like poppy seeds and opium probably.  Once I found out how much we liked it, I tried to talk my farmer dad into growing hemp instead of soybeans and corn, since the USA has recently legalized its growth.  No go for the farm boy who was drafted in the flowery era to head off to Vietnam.

These bars are a twist-off from some bars that a beautiful neighbor brought us.  The original was called “Dr. Oz Energy Bars” and used oats.  Here is my family’s version.

Hemp Bars

2 cups of hemp seed
1 cup of peanut butter
6 T honey or maple syrup
2/3 cup chopped dried fruit (we like dates, raisins, cranberries, and cherries)
2 t vanilla
1/4 cup of chocolate chips (or sunflower seeds instead)

Mix all ingredients together well.  Press into an 8″X8″ pan.  Refrigerate for two or more hours.  Cut into bars.  Best served chilled to hold their shape best.

Closing:

I also have found that hemp makes a great “cereal” when mixed with fresh fruit, cinnamon and nutmeg, and a “milk.”  My kids like to do this.  It also works well for me to make cobbler topping, kind of like you would do for an oatmeal topping.  I was really excited to discover that use!  Hemp seed has a chewy, nutty type of flavor.  Unlike other nuts and seeds, you’re not supposed to soak it.  The bad news about hemp is that it’s awful darn expensive.

Have you tried hemp seed in your home?  Do you think my dad should grow hemp or corn and soybeans?  Is your diet going the way you want?  Can you tell a difference when it does?

Lastly, I am working on this site, to make it more aesthetically pleasing.  But, functionality is most important to me.  So, if you notice the site loads more slowly, will you kindly tell me in the comments?

Food imaging done by my girls.

Have a super weekend!

Terri

Granny’s Barbecue Sauce

Granny's BBQ sauce

One of the easiest main courses I make is to put a Boston butt (a specific cut of pork) in the crock pot on low for about 8 hours with some of Granny’s barbecue sauce.  Then I drain it, shred it, and drizzle more barbecue sauce over the top.  Dinner!  Let’s eat!  Use this sauce for grilling hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, and pork chops.  Use a beef brisket to make barbecued beef rather than pulled pork.  Add it to baked beans for tremendous flavor.  The opportunities are endless.

Everybody needs a secret recipe.  Make this your own secret recipe by using honey instead of maple syrup.  Try increasing the amount of maple syrup or decreasing it.  Choose to skip the allspice or up the vinegar.  However you tweak it, I think it’ll be great!  Do use caution on the Worcestershire sauce if you have food sensitivities because it can contain some pesky, allergenic substances.

This is the sauce my mom has always made for grilling and baked beans.  She uses ketchup instead of tomato sauce.  It is a happy recipe in our family.

 

Granny’s Barbecue Sauce

(Makes about 3 cups)

  • 1  can plain tomato sauce, 15 ounces (equal to 1 and 3/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Ground, black pepper to taste, maybe 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stir, and then reduce heat.  Simmer for no more than 5 minutes.  Stir frequently to avoid scorching.

Store in refrigerator after cooled for up to a week.

Family “gustar” report:  Everybody likes this sauce in our house, and it’s a great trick to get the kids to eat meats they wouldn’t normally like.  So the score is 6/6!

I mentioned this is a happy recipe for me.  It reminds me of raucous summer days around the dinner table with my family.  Do you have any happy recipes?  Are they secret?  Do you believe in secret recipes?  I don’t really.  If it’s good, it should be shared!

Eat real.  Be real.

~~Terri

Tiger Nut “Cereal”

Tiger nut flourTiger nuts.  Heard of them?  I hadn’t.  But they were recommended to me to try as a base for a homemade milk.  I ordered some from the river (that would be Amazon) and gave them a try.  You can buy tiger nuts themselves or tiger nut flour.  I ordered both.

Not a nut

Tiger nuts are actually tubers–roots that grow underground.  They’ve been around a long time, just not eaten much by us “modern” food snobs who prefer cake and ice cream. They’re about the size of a very big pea, cream-colored, and wrinkly.  They are very tough to chew, but have a nice, sweet, nut-like flavor.  Your jaws will be tired snacking on plain tiger nuts, though.  I liked them, and my kids did too.  But the chewing was rough.  So I used some of the flour in a muffin recipe the kids like.  (It didn’t replace all of the flour I used, just some.)  It went fine.  Sometimes, the tiger nut flour has tough gritty little flecks in it that you can feel when you bite.  I knew what it was in the muffin, but if I was having a ladies’ coffee, I’d probably opt not to use the tiger nut flour.  But for home use, it’s great.

Tiger nuts are great sources of resistant starch.  Resistant starch is a kind of special fiber which is very important to feed your gut bacteria so that YOU can be healthy.  Resistant starch is usually missing in our modern diets.  It is touted to help in diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, and managing weight.  I like resistant starch because it helps my slow GI tract a bit.

How we like to eat them

My kids and I both miss the convenience of cereal.  We try not to rely on grains in our house, although we do eat some.  But cereal every day for breakfast is clearly relying on grains.  We don’t do that.  If there’s one thing I could get moms to believe, it’s that breakfast cereal just isn’t healthy.  No matter what the marketing ploy.  But we do miss cereal.  We have used tiger nut flour to replace our grain-based cereal cravings.

We put some fruit in a bowl (our favorites are strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, and ripe peaches), add about 1-2 tablespoons of tiger nut flour on top, a touch of maple syrup, and a little of our favorite milk (or the one best tolerated anyhow).  My kids like it a lot and says it tastes like cereal.  It may be wise to start with just a little tiger nut flour (or tiger nuts) and work your way up.  Your gut bacteria may need a little time to adjust to this new tasty food source.  If you go too fast with it, you may be uncomfortable.  None of us had this problem, but I have read about it in others.

That’s our tiger nut story.  A good little find for us.

Conclusion

Enough about tiger nuts.  They’re nice, and maybe you’d want to try them.  But what I really want to know–health and eating whole, real foods to get it–are you still working at it?  We’re about half-way through the year now.  Nearly six months ago maybe you made some New Year’s resolutions.  Who cares if it’s not New Years anymore?  Pull back out those resolutions and get back on track.  The fruit is ripe and the vegetables of summer are calling.  NOW is the time!  NOW, I say!  Wash ’em up and put some tiger nut flour on them.

~~Terri

P.S.  1.  You can also add tiger nut flour to smoothies.  2.  I don’t get anything at all for what I do here; nobody paid for me to post this.  Just my opinions here.  No sponsor or kickback.  3.  They fit well on an autoimmune diet.  4.  Have a good day and forge a good life.

Money Talks: Part Two

The garden

You can use money as an excuse to choose cheap, processed foods, but when you’re really ready to dive in I want you to know, it is simply an excuse.  Clear heads, energy, regular bowels, and pain-free joints–they do not come from a box.  I know I have lurkers who wonder if they can do this.  They wonder if they can commit.  Their spouse wants to know, “Can we do it on the same budget?”

You can.  You won’t break the bank.  Read on for more ways to make eating fresh, real food more economical.  Read yesterday’s post for more.  And tomorrow’s post for even more.  NO excuses.  Effort?  Yes.  Excuses?  That’s what they are:  excuses that enable bad eating.

Learn to cook

Let’s face it.  Four years ago, I was just a crummy cook who knew how to boil pasta and mix white flour, butter, and sugar.  Since then, I’ve learned how to use most all vegetables and spices.  My fear of fish and lamb are gone.  My fear of the grill is gone.  I’ve learned how to combine what’s left in my kitchen to something my family loves.  By learning to cook, you can buy sale items with confidence.  You can use cheaper cuts of meat and spices and transform a table to gourmet, although it costs less than steak and chicken breasts.  You’ll be able to eye a recipe quickly to decide if it’s a good fit for your family or not.  Find a friend and don’t be embarrassed to ask them to help you learn how to cook.  It will save you from ill-health and save you money.

Make homemade broth

Never spend money on packaged broth again!  Homemade broth just requires leftover scraps of meat, bones, and water (or leftover scraps of vegetables for you vegetarians).  Recycling at its finest!  You’re making something awesome out of food you’d normally just throw in the trash.  How’s that for saving money AND being quite the cook?  Make broth to add nutrition, flavor, and save money.

Count the cost of what you don’t buy:  soda pop, junk food, breakfast cereal, and meals out

Spend the next two months adding up the price of all the drinks, processed/packaged food, cereals, and meals you eat out.  Count it all up.  Every stinking penny of it.  Every quick run through the drive-through for a latte or Diet Coke.  What you tally up may surprise you!  Marketers want your money.  They’re probably getting it.  Especially if you use coupons.  Don’t see many coupons for kale.  Poor kale farmer.  Save money by not buying processed foods and meals out.

Start using the fat skimmed off of meat in place of oil:  bacon, lard, tallow

I used to drain all the fat and set it aside to trash when it cooled.  Now, I’m much more likely to save it in the pan to sauté some onions and broccoli in or store it in the fridge to use to sauté chicken in later.  The fats that we can save from cooking our meats, those are the fats that allow us to better absorb vitamin D and other “fat-soluble” vitamins that we need and are known to be deficient in.  I avoid vegetable oil, corn oil, Crisco, and margarine because they incorporate into our cells in “broken” forms which need fixed.  Using left-over drippings saves money, saves waste, and avoids use of rancid (spoiled) vegetable-derived oils.

Learn to can.  Do it with friends. 

It’s fun and creates good memories.  I have tons of memories of my mom, Aunt, and Grandma canning together.  Happy memories.  I have good memories of canning with good friends too.  Canning vegetables and fruits picked at peak nutrition saves money and creates lasting bonds with friends and families.

Buy lots of fruit in season. 

Then can it.  Cook it.  Freeze it.  Just get it when it’s cheap.  99 cents per pound.

Use co-ops and CSA baskets

Sometimes it takes a knowing a person to get you the information, but most communities now have co-ops and produce baskets where you get fresh-from-the-farm produce at a good price.  Amazingly, instead of complaining, most people I know love it when they get something they haven’t had before because they like to “figure it out.”  So if you’re willing to learn and experiment, these are great!  Ask around, getting fresh produce from a co-op or CSA basket saves significantly.

Drive to the farm

Straight from the source saves money.  And many like to chat.  I’ve learned so much from our 83 year-old farm woman about chickens, eggs, cows, and canning.  She is amazing.  Many farmers are talkers and love to share.  Buying food from the farm saves money.

Ask a friend to pledge to eat 90% whole, real foods with you

Having a comrade shares the joy, the pain, and the cost.  You can split bulk orders.  You can get together once a month and cook casseroles to freeze.  You can can together.  You can share good recipes.  Going in with a partner can save money.

Make soup so nothing goes to waste

Learning to use up everything in the kitchen saves money.  Soup is a great, economical way to stretch a budget.  Of course, you’ll need to learn to cook so you can figure out how to meld all those ingredients together.   But with the homemade broth, vegetables you froze from in season, and what’s going south in the fridge, you can make some very taste concoctions.  Soups are economical.

Skip those froo-froo drinks

Strangely, this one gets people!  Water just doesn’t do it for them.  Crazy how far we’ve come when water doesn’t sound good.  All purchased drinks seem to cost so much money, even bottled water (which is teeming with plastic run-off).  Save money and your health by sticking with water in a glass cup.

There are more

Oh, yes!  There are more tips tomorrow.  Have you been reading?  If so, which tip, in your mind may be the most important?  I’m almost bordering on the “Learn to cook” one.  Probably second is “Buy it in season.”  And probably the most important concept is gathering the drive and effort.  With drive and effort, nearly all barriers can be navigated.

 

~~Terri

 

Simple, Yet Delicious, Baked Cod

Are you afraid when fish swim into the kitchen?  I was.  But I knew it was time to swim with the guppies when I learned just how deficient we are in omega 3s, selenium, iodine, vitamin B12, zinc, choline, and more.  Seafood is a complete swimming package of all these.  My kids didn’t like fish much, aside from sweet-glazed salmon, but I knew it was high-time to start puttin’ the moves on.   Here’s a seafood recipe that got me what I asked for:  Seafood success.  What do I like about it?

  • Easy to prepare
  • Easy to bake
  • Can make the side dishes while it bakes
  • It is rich in omega 3s, iodine, selenium, and B vitamins
  • The fish flavor is mild so it is tolerated by picky eaters better
  • Ours is wild-caught and brought to my door by the Schwan’s man
  • Cod keeps well in the freezer so you can keep it on hand
  • The sauce that comes together while baking is pan-licking awesome

I have always served this with rice which I make while it’s baking.  If I didn’t serve this with rice, I’d choose “cauliflower rice.”  Drizzling the sauce over the rice and fish before serving is a must.  I don’t understand how the sauce bakes up so fabulously, but it does.

Cod_2

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 cod filets, about 5 ounces each, thawed
  • A very generous 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • Juice squeezed from one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, fresh pressed/minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
  2. Lay cod filets in a 9X13 glass baking dish.
  3. Mix together remaining ingredients in a medium-sized bowl:  Olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, minced garlic clove, dried oregano, and fresh chopped parsley.  Whisk well.
  4. Pour entire mixture over cod filets.
  5. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the cod falls apart in flakes and is opaque white when you pierce the middle of a filet with a fork.

We always serve this with rice.  I plate it by putting a scoop of rice on the kids’ plates.  Then drizzling some of the sauce over the rice for flavor and moistness.  Finally, a fish filet is placed just on the edge of the rice and also drizzled with a little sauce.  Something green goes along side, usually steamed broccoli.

Family “gustar” report:  8/8 eaters (my whole family and grandparents) have approved.  I like this recipe and we eat it about every 10-14 days.

Closing 

Please know on this recipe, you can adjust amounts and types of ingredients.  For example, if you have only dried parsley, use that but decrease the amount by about half.  If you only have garlic powder, that’ll be okay for flavor.  Just use about a 1/2 teaspoonful or so.  There’s room for play.  The only time I was unhappy was when I used too much lemon zest.

When I know that my kids need to be eating something that they don’t like because their bodies flat-out need it, I put the moves on them.  I go after them.  Have you ever been wooed?  Chased?  Flirted with? Charmed?  Did he win you over?  Did she steal your heart?  How did it happen?  Overnight?  With flowers?  With words?  With kisses?  Did you play hard to get?  My kids play coy a lot, and I just keep making advances.  I won’t take “No” for an answer.  They need vegetables and seafood.  I just know it.  I can see the biochemistry on paper.  So I’ll be the persistent courtier.  I’ll always win them over, one kiss, one hug, one new recipe at a time.

 

Happy Weekend!

~~Terri