Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Long Simmered Spaghetti Sauce

I have been on a search for a good spaghetti sauce- good tasting and good for you.  I have found a winner, for now.  It couldn't have been easier and my house smelled delicious all day.

I made some adjustments to the original recipe according to what I had on hand and to satisfy taste buds. Follow the link to see the original recipe.

Long Simmered Spaghetti Sauce
1/2 an onion grated
2 garlic cloves
*For the chopped tomatoes and tomato sauce all I had was diced tomatoes so I took some of the diced tomatoes and blended very well till I got 8 oz. to substitute for the sauce.  We have some texture issues so I also put 28 oz. of the diced tomatoes in the blender and pulsed till I reached a good consistency.
1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
1 cup of chicken broth
2 tsp. of Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Combine in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  You may need to adjust the salt according to the salt content of your tomato products.

This was very satisfying and I had plenty of leftovers. We will be using it on a homemade pizza tonight- recipe for the soaked whole wheat crust to come.

I do not object to adding the original meat.  I just like to have control over my meat intake and having meatballs is more appealing to me then meat in the sauce.  However, I think that being in a slow cooker all day with some meat would be a great addition to this sauce.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This week:

I have recipes from this past week coming up and some great things going on in the kitchen this week:

Soaked Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Homemade Energy Bars- this time I really am going to make them
Soaked Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits
Homemade Salad Dressings
Slow Cooker Sprouted Lentil soup

Other things I hope to make soon:
Coconut Flour Pancakes- waiting on some things for this.
Tomato Tortillas- waiting for local tomatoes made the spinach ones again today to get by until then.
Sourdough bread- first starter didn't work trying out another batch, crossing my fingers.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

In the kitchen this week...

I am here- just busy learning, experimenting, and cooking.  I don't have posts, recipes, and pictures ready since I am still in the process with a lot of these recipes but here is a little taste of what's to come:

Soaking and sprouting short grain brown rice
Creating my own Sourdough Starter to make Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread
Making Long Simmering Spaghetti Sauce
Soaking and cooking pinto beans- supposedly the best recipe
Coconut Flour Pancakes
Making yummy (not healthy) cupcakes for my birthday- no I am not making them although I would.
A lot of fried and scrambled eggs
Hamburgers with lettuce as buns with our new order of grass fed beef
Making Tomato Tortillas
Finding local free range eggs

and that's all I can remember for now.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


The week is over.  This one got the best of me.  We really didn't have too much going on but between what we did- golf camp, haircuts, scheduling errands between naps, and such- I am just plain tuckered out.  I did manage to squeeze in a treat- not so healthy treat.

This is one reason why I try not to watch foodnetwork but I happened to stumble upon it last week right when this dessert was being made and the girls and I decided it was a must.  It uses a brownie mix which I was okay with because I am out of white flour and I didn't want to buy more just for this.  There are always ways to make things healthier and this is no exception but if you allow yourself to make it this way first and have a taste please do- it's oh so yummy!!

My changes:
I used mini chocolate chips in the brownie batter and semi-sweet for the ganache/top chocolate layer.  I wish I would have done a thinner chocolate layer on top- maybe I will have to make it again to try that out. :)

If you have never tried caramel ice cream you are in for a treat.  I thought gross so I bought both kinds (we made two batches to share as a thank you with some friends) but I liked the caramel batch better.

The strawberry topping wasn't a big hit.  Take your own spin on it and enjoy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Healthier- Reeses Peanut Butter Cups

Oh yes you read right and oh yes you need to try this!!  It is perfect and worth it and relatively good for you.  At least a great substitute for the real thing.  Believe me because I polished off a bag of miniature dark chocolate peanut butter cups just before finding this recipe and I won't be buying those again!  This will cure any hankering for a peanut butter chocolate combo.  Treat yourself and enjoy!  Oh and the kids love it, of course.

Healthier- Reeses Peanut Butter Cups

3/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 T. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
4 ounces of semisweet chocolate
1 T of agave

In a small bowl combine the peanut butter, honey, vanilla and coconut oil.  Mix until well combined.  Drop into mini muffin tin. (I used my small pampered chef scoop but would maybe even make the peanut butter layer a little thinner.)  Place in freezer.

I did the chocolate part different then the original recipe.

I melted the chocolate and some agave- since I was using semisweet I didn't add much sweetener- in a saucepan over the stove until melted.

Remove the muffin tin from the freezer and top the peanut butter with the chocolate.  Return to the freezer and eat as you want.  We have to keep ours in the freezer or else it just starts melting pretty fast but it has been around100 degrees here so that may have something to do with it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

And the winner is....

Whitney, Commenter #5
"I think these plates would go a long way with my vegetable hater. I recently got one of those apple corer and slicer things to encourage them to eat more apples. Now they love to eat their "slinky apples."

Congratulations!  Please e-mail me at with your mailing information and Amy at Super Healthy Kids will send you your two plates.

For those of you that didn't win head over to Amy's store and get your own plate for just $4.99. 

Thank you for all the comments and ideas for keeping those little ones bellies full and healthy this summer.  

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Coconut Flour, Lemon Poppyseed, Mini Muffins

There is something about this coconut flour.  When I first taste the things I have made with it I think- weird!- but I keep tasting and it grows on me.  A gluten free, high protein, food that my kids will eat.  Heck- why not?  And really there is something about it that is so filling.  Hence the need for me to make the following recipe.  I did have everything already so why not?

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

1 1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp. salt
1tsp baking soda
2 T. poppyseeds
1/3 cup of coconut oil
1/3 cup of honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
6 eggs, whisked

Preheat oven to 375.  Line or butter a mini muffin tin.

Combine flour, salt baking soda and whisk out lumps.  Stir in poppyseeds.

Slowly melt coconut oil and honey in a saucepan until liquefied  Add this to the dry ingredients along with the rest of the ingredients.

The original recipe says this would be a thin batter but mine wasn't.  I added more lemon juice because I wanted to make sure that flavor was there.

Spoon into muffin tin.  Remember it does not rise much so fill the tin according.  Cook about 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.

I made these one night- we had them for breakfast the next day- and we have been having them as a snack since. 

 Today is the last day for the Giveaway so get your comments in on the Giveaway post.  The Giveaway will close tonight, 11 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.  I will randomly pick a winner and post the winner tomorrow morning. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Breakfast Burrito but not for Breakfast

We have had these quite a few times this past week and oddly enough it was never for Breakfast.

Spinach Tortilla and Scrambled eggs

Toppings: cheese, ketchup, salsa- take your pick

We are egg eaters around here.  I try to have one meal a day be an egg meal.  All my kids love eggs- in different varieties.  My oldest will say no eggs but she eats them because I know the tricks to her taste buds.  I am on a journey to find different ways to make our eggs for some variety.

Another update for the tortillas.  I made another batch- this time soaking the wheat flour with the water and a little bit of apple cider vinegar to neutralize anti nutrients.

 Don't forget to enter the Giveaway.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

On my new findings in the blog world I have come across some amazing blogs that talk about eating nourishing foods.  When I come across a new find it is hard to break me away from it.  I love to learn about new things and find some new recipes to try.  Whether it be reminding me of something I already knew or giving me a whole new look on foods I get excited and am ready to be in the kitchen.

One of my new finds was the recipe for Roasted Chicken and Vegetables from Nourishing Days.

I, of course, changed things around for what we had on hand and our preferences.  I like to refer to my version as, Roasted Vegetables and Chicken -we only had two chicken breasts therefore the Vegetable to Chicken ratio was much higher.  The main thing I got from this was the spice rub for the chicken.

Chicken Spice Rub:

1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme (I had a poultry seasoning that had thyme in it so that is what I used)
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. paprika

I had leftovers and have just stored it in a container with my other spices.  This would be worth mixing a few batches and having on hand.

I put two chicken breasts in my crock-pot with a little bit of chicken broth.  I rubbed 2 T. of melted butter (I don't think there really was a need for this since I did it in the crock-pot I just tried to follow the original recipe) on the chicken then rubbed in the spice mixture.  Due to lack of time I started the chicken on my high for 6 hours setting.  I started to prepare the vegetables- cut carrots, red potatoes, onion, and a few cloves of minced garlic.  I eventually added the vegetables with some more chicken broth and water to get a good covering over everything. 

Our house smelled amazing and oddly enough the 2 chicken breasts and lots of veggies filled all 5 of our bellies- little fella doesn't eat chicken and didn't take to the veggies till after a plate of cottage cheese.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Chicken Roll-ups

This is a childhood favorite of mine and my kids think pretty highly of it too.

Chicken Roll-ups

Lunch Meat
Cream Cheese

Take a slice of lunch meat and spread cream cheese on one end. Roll it up.  You can also add another small spread of cream cheese on the other end to use as a "glue".  Add some fruits and vegs and you have a meal or have on hand for a quick protein belly filling snack.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Reporting Back

I am reporting back on another recipe that I tried something different with.  I turned my Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas into Whole Wheat Spinach Tortillas.  They turned out great!

All I did was add fresh spinach to the water in the blender.  You couldn't even taste the spinach and you can adjust how much spinach you actually want to put into it.

My oldest daughter is not a big fan of quesadillas but she said she ate all of them because the new tortillas I made were so good.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway.

Friday, June 4, 2010


I have been given the chance to have a giveaway from Amy at, Healthy Meals and food for Healthy Kids.

The giveaway is the Healthy Habits Plate.  Not only am I going to be able to give one away but I have two to give away to one person- to prevent fights between siblings.

 (coconut flour bread, hard boiled egg, pears, carrots, cucumber)

We have had these plates for a couple of years and my girls love them.  Looking at the plate makes it easy for them to understand why their fruit and vegetable serving should be larger then say a slice of cheese.  Not only does it help with portion control but my kids often say they need each fruit and vegetable that is pictured on the plate.  This is a great motivation for any kid to make healthy choices and for me that is one of the most important things I want to do as a mother.  Teach my children to make healthy and good choices throughout their life.

All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment- maybe with a healthy food idea on how you are going to keep your kids bellies full this summer.  I will close the giveaway Wednesday, June 9th at 11 p.m. (Mountain Standard Time).

Thanks and Good Luck!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hot Sandwiches

This is a recipe that I found in a family recipe book given to me by my sister-in-law.  It is just one of those things that we just have to have every once in awhile.  As we were eating it my husband asked, "Is this even remotely healthy?"  Well, no not really.  You can use organic butter- and mustard isn't bad for you- and we do choose Boar's Head chicken- but really those are just stretched out excuses.  I think I will try to come up with something along the same idea that is healthy.  I will work on that. For now enjoy this recipe- it really is good.  .

Please excuse the vague amounts for the ingredients as it is truly up to you and your families size and preference.

Hot Sandwiches

Sliced Swiss cheese   -Even if you don't like Swiss give it a try it may surprise you. Maybe try a mild Swiss.
Any type of lunch meat sliced thin  -we prefer chicken the original recipe calls for ham
1/2 c. softened butter
2 T mustard
Buns or rolls  -we have tried kaiser rolls, fancy buns, dinner rolls, any good roll works.  Pictured is a Ciabatta type hoagie roll

Mix together butter and mustard.  Spread on both sides of the bun.  Put a slice (or two) of cheese and meat on the bun.  Wrap in foil and bake at 350 for 15 minutes- if it is a bigger bun you will want to go longer.

The foil method makes this sandwich what it is.  I am thinking of doing a butter and herb mixture with some mozzarella, tomato, and spinach on a homemade sourdough roll.  Now that sounds good and even healthy!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Our Oatmeal Journey

We started off with the packs of Quaker Instant Oatmeal.  I thought nothing of it- at the time I had only one child eating it and only half a packet a day.  Then she started to eat more and my second child starting eating it.  Some days they would even eat to packets each.  I was tired of going to Costco and buying the big box of oatmeal only to go through it way too fast.  Not to mention I wasn't in control over the ingredients nor the sugar. I apparently like to be in control of those things- as my husband pointed out to me this past week. :)

I stumbled across a recipe for making your own bulk instant oatmeal.  Genius!  I whipped some up thinking no big deal but the kids wanted nothing to do with it.  They were set with their packets.  I gave up- for a little while- but eventually decided to bring it back in and make adjustments so that they would like it.  That worked.  It has been a year or more and I think I have only bought one more box of the instant oatmeal and that was for my husband.

Instant Oatmeal- in bulk

1 1/2 cups of quick oats
1/3 cup unpacked brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

To make it bulk times the recipe by 4 and store in a #10 can or similar container.

Mix all ingredients together. Scoop 1/3-1/2 cup in a bowl and add milk or water.  Microwave on high for 1 min. 30 sec.

I loved this it was easy and my kids liked it too.

Well, I started to not be so fond of using brown sugar (even though I already only used half of what the recipe calls for) so I substituted it with sucanant.  Then, you guessed it- I decided there was probably even a better option for a sweetener and I ran out of my quick oats so that brought on a whole new method.

I had read that quick oats were considered a processed food and all you needed to do to get a "quick oats cook time" was break up the rolled oats yourself.  I found this to be true and easy.  I would either take handfuls of the oats and break it up in my hand or put a bunch in a bowl and use my pastry blender to mash them up.  I haven't ever seen a problem with them not being able to cook.

So we went from packaged oatmeal- to homemade bulk oatmeal- then onto just individual oatmeal bowls.  Each of my kids like something different so I started to custom make their bowls- one likes peanut butter and I would sometimes add honey or agave- one likes cinnamon and she would be content with that but sometimes I add a sweetener too- and the other likes frozen blueberries and she could care less about what else is in it.

Once again this proved to be simple and easy and I knew everyone was going to be happy.

Well, now I am on a new path.  I am very interested in the method of soaking and sprouting grains.  I am curious to see if there is a change and benefit in the way our stomachs digest these grains once this process has taken place.  On this little research and journey of mine I have found a recipe for Soaked Oatmeal Porridge.  We had it this morning- and although the texture was different then what we are used to I think it is something that we will adjust to just fine .

Soaked Oatmeal Porridge

2 cups of rolled oats -I did break mine up a little bit but won't do it again the soaking takes care of that for you-
2 T. whole wheat flour -I would like to avoid this but understand the reasoning- follow the link to read why-
2-3 cups of hot water to cover
2 T of vinegar- you can also use anything acidic like whey, lemon juice, buttermilk, yogurt, or kefir
pinch of sea salt

You want to prepare this 24 hours in advanced- I only did mine about 12 hours in advanced- it still works but you don't get the maximum soaking and advantages.

Warm the water up on the stove.  As you wait for it to warm up combine the oats and flour and mix.  Once the water is just to warm pour it over the oat mixture to about 2 inches from the top.  Add your vinegar or acidic ingredient stir and cover tightly.  I would recommend using some type of glass container I love my batter bowl from Pampered Chef for this very thing.

Place in a warm place and let soak for 20-24 hours.

In the morning add 1-2 cups of water to a pan.  Add the contents of your soaking oatmeal. Turn to medium heat till you reach a simmer and then lower the heat.  Add a pinch of salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally and then more frequently at the end until you reach your desired consistency.  Season individually or in the one pot.  

So that's our little oatmeal journey.  I like the soaking method and think we will stick with it.  It just makes too much sense to me of why you should soak grains.  And who doesn't like to be a little prepared? 

Sorry for lack of pictures- I just don't think oatmeal is very photogenic nor did I have time to stop and take a picture with four famished children waiting to eat breakfast. :) 

My kids didn't say they were hungry till it was actually lunch time- this oatmeal is a keeper.