Category Archives: yum-yum

Pasta Makes Me Tired {and other sad food truths}

Sad, but true.

Pasta makes me very very tired.

I discovered this sad food truth after an unintended break from pasta. One evening, short on ideas for dinner, I had a big plate of spaghetti. Within a half hour I was in a pasta coma on the couch. The revelation hit me hard: wow! pasta makes me very very tired. I began to wonder – what other foods are killing my game?

Why do I always feel like I need a nap at 1? Why am I sluggish all afternoon?

The culprit? Processed foods made with white flour. It’s foods that burn quickly, have close to zero nutritional value, and contain sugar – anything that comes in a package, tube, box, or shiny wrapper.

Darn.

In high school, pasta was the superfood. We ate it daily, carbo-loaded on it before cross-country meets, soccer games, and track meets. Turns out, maybe I could have run faster on vegetables.

Through much trial and error, I know what superfoods work for ME (and I think it varies much for every individual.) I still drink lots of milk, eat yogurt, cheese, beans and lentils, and I’m definitely a carnivore. My body has no problem processing gluten, although guess what else makes me tired? Lots of bread.

Out our the bagels, waffles, pancakes, most cereals, and doughnuts for breakfast. Why? Because I need at nap by 9am! I become so, so tired. Do you ever have that brain foggy feeling after eating these types of food? It’s the sugar and cheap white flour (yes! it’s in all of the above!)

So I have a few food guidelines I try to live by:

  1. Avoid sugar. (It’s in¬†everything packaged and processed.)
  2. Avoid processed food. (Because sugar.)
  3. Eat real food that comes from the ground.
  4. Loads of vegetables at every meal.
  5. That’s it.

Man, when I live by the above rules I feel like a superstar.

Really, I think it’s that simple.

It’s that simple and it’s that hard. I break this rule almost daily. Because…sugar! I love chocolate cake, and well, desserts in general. I love bread, pasta, pancakes, waffles, and doughnuts. But I know I don’t feel well when I eat them.

So, I try to limit treat consumption to one a day, sometime after dinner. Just a little. Not too much.

Moderation, I believe, is overrated. Many, many times, an all or nothing approach works much better for people.

Daughter Cope has proven this very well. She’s been a huge example to the rest of us: No Added Sugar. Period.

When she goes to Five Guys, she has a burger wrapped in lettuce because guess what that delicious bun has in it? SUGAR, of course. When eating at the school cafeteria I can hear her asking politely, “excuse me, does that Asian slaw have sugar in it?” I think she drove them quite mad ūüôā

When we have grilled burgers, this is what hers looks like:

¬†No bun! She doesn’t make exceptions. She doesn’t budge. No Added Sugar. Period.

She’s learned to scrutinize all food labels. She’ll eat bread or english muffins, but only if there are zero sugar grams. This usually means the bread is expensive or homemade. The above is her birthday breakfast: egg mcmuffin and loads and loads of fruit.

Doesn’t fruit have sugar? Yes, but it’s naturally occurring. And, because it’s in its whole form, the fiber makes for slower digestion instead of acting like juice, which hits your bloodstreams the same way a bag of skittles would. So, juice is out. Whole fruits are in.

Some exceptions: pure honey and pure maple syrup. Because those occur naturally!

Cope went hardcore no sugar when she got the part of Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

After a few days without the white stuff she said, “Mom, I feel SO SO GOOD!”

She made the connection for herself. I’M A BELIEVER!

Cope had energy to do her one million school activities, keep up with her school work, and sing her heart out every day at rehearsal. Her skin was clear, her hair shiny. Best of all, she was so ¬†pleasant ūüôā (she’s usually pleasant, but she was EVEN BETTER!) She practically bounced out of bed.

Her eyes sparkled. For real.

She didn’t have time this spring to get much exercise, but guess what happened just from avoiding sugar? She started to lose weight.

Her costume director was ticked as Cope was shedding inches off her waist after her measurements had already been taken. They kept having to take her yellow dress in! “Amy, make the girl drink whole milk! FEED HER FAT! SHE CANNOT LOSE MORE WEIGHT!”

Did you know? I’d take healthy fat over sugar any day of the week. Fat good! Sugar bad.

She looked fabulous:

Graduation. Off sugar: she totally glowed.

So. What to eat or drink for breakfast? Eggs and smoothies (mostly greens!). We feel totally wicked and have loads of morning energy!

What we’re eating for dinner all summer? Tons and tons of grilled vegetables (and usually a protein on the side like chicken, fish, or beef.)

Did you know vegetables are carbohydrates? They are our first energy source.

Don’t think you like brussel sprouts? Try THIS RECIPE NOW!

But Amy, don’t you need summer treats like ice-cream? Need? No. Want? Oh yes, believe me, we sure do. I still partake. But after being off sugar for three months, Cope had this cone and felt “so sick. I wish I hadn’t done that.” After a few weeks of withdrawal, she didn’t crave it or want it.

She eats all-natural peanut butter, tons of lettuce wraps, hummus, rice, and beans. When she needs a treat she makes this fabulous banana cocoa concoction – I’ll post!

What to pack for lunches? I still get caught in the trap of Goldfish and crackers because of convenience, but with a little planning, we can send the darlings off into the world armed with nutrition that will actually help their brains and muscles instead of putting them at a disadvantage.

One of my students used to drink a caffeinated Monster drink every morning for breakfast. He said he felt pretty good until 10 o’clock a.m. Then what? Then he went and bought another Monster or 5-Hour Energy Drink to get him to lunch time. He was just sugaring it out until collapsing from fatigue, which happened on a¬†daily basis. Believe me, conversations were had!

The whole family has taken note from sister Cope. Every few weeks Paige goes sugar-free. And she gets fiesty about it. When repeatedly pressured to eat cookies and cupcakes on a field trip one day, she finally yelled, “You’re all going to get diabetes and DIE!”

Oh my.

But you know…cancer, obesity, diabetes, ADD, autoimmune diseases are all on the rise. Scientists are convinced that our food is largely to blame. For the first time in history, the life expectancy has dropped. In America, the land of PLENTY.

Food can be our medicine or our poison.

Let’s also get to the WHY. We don’t have scales in our home. It’s not all about weight. The reason to eat better is because of the WAY WE FEEL. Good, wholesome food makes us FEEL better. We get sick less. We have more energy to go to school, play, work, run fast, think, kick soccer balls, BE A REVOLUTION!

And yeah, it also makes us look better (which means more to teens than “you’re going to die a slow death in fifty years….”)

Skin literally glows, acne clears up (the biggest motivator for my teens). We are less moody, grumpy, and snappish. Our brains and hearts and muscles and bones are shouting THANK YOU DEAR PERSON FOR TAKING SUCH GOOD CARE OF ME!

I’m not always the best ¬†or perfect example. I still eat too many treats, but I’m more conscious about what I buy and what I put in my mouth because I’ve recognized the connection between food and feeling. When our kids start making that connection, too, it’s pretty cool. You can inspire them, and they can motivate you.

As Habits guru, Gretchen Rubin tells us: we need accountability buddies and we need the strategy of convenience.

Simple Food Rules:

  1. Avoid sugar
  2. Avoid processed food
  3. Eat real food that comes from the ground.
  4. Loads of vegetables at every meal.
  5. That’s all.

We’ve got ONE body in this lifetime. It’s a miraculous gift. What are we going to put in it?

Chime in! Thoughts? What food truths have you discovered? What are you eating?

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestShare

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler {delish!}

Only recently have I discovered the¬†heavenly¬†combination of¬†strawberries and rhubarb. Oh my! Now I’m making up for lost time, using this family favorite¬†peach cobbler recipe.Rhubarb’s tart and texture married with¬†the sweet juicy strawberry…you’ve got to try this!

Last summer my friend, Tamar, gave me a tiny, and very special rhubarb plant. I stuck it in the ground and watched it grow into an enormous plant. And even better – I keep cutting stalks and they keep growing back! (Just for fun, have your kids take a bite out of the stalk…hehehe…but not the leaves!)Not to worry if you missed June’s strawberry season; this cobbluh’ was made with frozen picks from last month. It’s just as¬†good as freshly picked!¬†With only six simple¬†ingredients, you can whip this up in a snap.¬†¬†Bake for about an hour ¬†¬†¬†¬†Mmmm…¬†Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream. Or eat it right out of the baking dish. YUM.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) of Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Self-Rising Flour
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Raw Rhubarb (chopped)
  • 1 Cup Strawberries

Directions:

Melt butter in microwave. 

In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar, flour, and milk together. Whisk in cooled butter. Pour batter in greased pie dish. Drop cut rhubarb and strawberries into batter.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until golden brown.

Happy summer!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestShare

Chocolate Fudge “Blackout” Cake (a new favorite!)

Did you know? The most popular summer recipe is CAKE. I find this surprising…over ice-cream? Unless we’re talking this cake recipe. Then I totally get it.

I rarely¬†create an¬†original recipe, I taste-test. King Arthur Flour made this one, the Chocolate Fudge “Blackout” Cake. As a devoted cake mix girl, it takes a lot for me to consider making a cake from scratch – especially one with three layers of different chocolate.

This one? Oh my heavens. It made me look real good.

Summer epiphany: when you’re actually home and demanding a SLOW summer, you have time to make a cake! And while time is still a precious commodity, some cakes demand to be made. THIS ONE.

Upon taking a bite, my husband, the critic of all food critics, pretty much melted into a puddle onto the floor. I’ll be making it again.

And with strawberries just coming into season, they are the perfect addition to this lusciousness.

King Arthur didn’t have¬†strawberries in the original recipe – that’s my contribution. We like it!¬†Also, I eliminated the optional espresso powder b/c I didn’t have it – still good!¬†Would you like a bite?¬†I suggest making¬†the three different chocolates (not hard) the day before and assembling the day of – then you can relax and enjoy the cake of your¬†labor…

Hurry up now! Before you lose your nerve…make this cake!

Chocolate Fudge “Blackout” Cake

FILLING

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

CAKE

ICING

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. To make the filling: Place the chocolate chips, salt, and sugar in a blender or food processor and pulse until finely ground.
  2. Add the egg and pulse just until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Heat the cream to just below a boil, with small bubbles forming around the edge of the saucepan (or microwave-safe bowl).
  4. Turn on the blender or processor, and slowly add the cream. Scrape down the sides of the container if necessary. Add the vanilla and pulse to blend.
  5. Pour the pudding into a shallow bowl, and refrigerate it until chilled and thickened, 2 hours to overnight. I found that overnight works best. Still not setting? Stir in gelatin.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350¬įF. Lightly grease two 8″ x 2″ round cake pans. Line them with 8″ parchment circles, if desired, and grease the parchment; this step will ensure your cake’s crumble-free turnout from the pan.
  7. To make the cake: Whisk together the dry ingredients.
  8. Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  9. Stir in the water; the batter will be thin.
  10. Pour the batter into the two prepared pans.
  11. Bake the cakes for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  12. Remove the cakes from the oven. Cool them for 15 minutes, then turn them out of the pans to cool completely on a rack.
  13. To make the icing: Combine the cream and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl or in a saucepan. Heat until the cream is steaming and showing small bubbles around the edge.
  14. Remove the chocolate/cream from the microwave or burner, and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture becomes completely smooth, with no lighter areas remaining visible.
  15. Refrigerate the icing for 30 minutes (I went longer). Beat the chilled icing briefly, until it thickens a bit and becomes spreadable.
  16. To assemble the cake: Cut the domed tops off both cake layers; these will become your crumb coating.
  17. Place one layer on a serving plate. For best presentation, lay strips of parchment around the edge of the plate before laying the cake on top; these will catch the inevitable icing drips, and can be removed once you’re done icing the cake.
  18. Top the cake with the filling, spreading it evenly to the edges.
  19. Center the second layer of cake atop the filling.
  20. Spread the icing over the top and onto the sides of the cake.
  21. Crumble the reserved cake, and gently press it onto the top and sides of the assembled cake.
  22. Serve immediately, or within a couple of hours. For longer storage, refrigerate. This cake is best served the same day it’s made, or within 24 hours. Freeze, well-wrapped, for longer storage. You may also choose to freeze individual slices ‚ÄĒ for those times when you HAVE to have a piece of chocolate cake!

Enjoy!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestShare

The Famous NY Times No-Knead Bread

This is one of the most popular recipes ever published by the New York Times, courtesy of Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery, who designed this bread as a minimalist technique for anyone who wants to bake a fantastic loaf of bread.

Let me tell you – it’s fantastic. And works every single time.

It is SO good and SO easy to make that I’ve made enough¬†loaves to¬†open a small¬†bakery. Except we gobble it up too quickly to sell.

Three ingredients + water and stirred with a spoon. After that? TIME to let the magic (science, really) happen: The secret to great bread? Let time do the work.

I like to do this in the morning or at night and than leave it alone for a day or two. Takes 5-10 minutes.

 This recipe guarantees: soft and airy on the inside and chewy delicious on the outside.

 Three ingredients: flour, yeast, salt, and water. Stir.

That’s it. The dough will be wet and shaggy. Cover with plastic wrap for12-18 hours.¬†Here is where the science comes in. Your dough needs to rest for a long time to allow the gluten to become long elastic molecules – the reason¬†for no kneading.

You’re going to bake using¬†a covered dutch oven (or cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic.)

A covered dutch oven? Yes,¬†this crust needs a lid to bake. The Professor gifted me with¬†this beauty¬†and I absolutely adore it. You can cook soups and stew¬†on the stove and bake puffed pancakes and bread in the oven; it’s my most favorite kitchen item!

 Unlike the New York Times recipe, I use parchment paper. The advantage is you simply lift up the paper (with the bread on it) and place in pre-heated dutch oven.

Baby loaves.¬†Which cook more like a four-leaf clover. ¬†¬†Package it up all pretty if you like. Deliver warm. And you’ll have friends for life.

The New York Times No-Knead Bread*

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
  • 1/4¬†teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/4¬†¬†teaspoons salt
  • 1 5/8 cups water (5/8 is just barely shy of¬†2/3 cup!)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water (warm or cold,) and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
  2. Dough is ready when doubled and bubbly. Heat oven to 450. Place dutch oven in the oven.
  3. Lightly flour a work surface or parchment paper. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to your fingers, work dough into a ball and onto the floured surface. Sprinkle with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Let rest about 30 minutes (OR longer РNYT lets it rest for 2 hours!) When dough is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
  4. Remove hot pot from oven. Carefully pick up parchment paper and place in heated dutch oven. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake another 10ish minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
  5. Eat and realize that life is beautiful because of warm bread.

*tweaks from astackofdishes

Enjoy!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestShare

Auntie Jill’s Sweet Potato Pie {yum!}

It was voted Thanksgiving’s #1 dish, and that’s saying something in this house where we are surrounded by¬†viable Chopped contestants.

It’s also saying something as I have struggled to like sweet potato since I was a wee lass growing up on the plains of Nebraska. The sweet potato has so many virtues and has long been touted as one of the world’s healthiest foods. Why couldn’t I adore it? But this. Love at first bite. The butter, sugar, and pecans might have something to do with it, but you have to start somewhere, right?

This Sweet Potato Pie¬†comes from Auntie Jill, passed down from her mama Nancy in¬†Iowa. The first two Makechnie boys married girls from the midwest. Aren’t we quaint?

Mama Nancy’s recipe sure was delish, but Jill saw the need to healthify it by cutting the sugars in half, using dates instead of white sugar, and fresh sweet potato instead of canned in syrup. Still, we agree it’s more of a dessert to be eaten after a 5k Turkey Trot (or sleeping in, whatevs,) and goes ever so wonderfully with any meat and potatoes meal, like Thanksgiving. Which is why I’m posting this in January. Makes perfect sense, right?¬†unnamed-1You’ll peel, cut, and boil 4-6 sweet potatoes. Mash them with butter.¬†Add sugar, salt, eggs, milk, vanilla.unnamed-2¬†Now for the topping! Chop 1 cup pecans.unnamed-3¬†Add¬†brown sugar, butter, flour and cinnamon to the pecans.unnamed-4¬†Spread sweet potato in a pretty pie baking dish. Add the nut and sugar topping.unnamed¬†Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Serve and swoon.unnamed-6

Sweet Potato Pie Casserole

Ingredients
4 and 6 sweet potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar (*or puree 1/2 cup pitted dates with 1/2 ‚Äď 1 cup hot water until thick paste forms)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk (2% or more is best)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Topping Ingredients
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup pecans, chopped (or pecan/walnut combo)
Directions
  • Boil¬†sweet¬†potatoes¬†until soft and mashable. Mash with butter. Add sugar or pureed dates, salt, eggs, milk, vanilla. Mix well.
  • Pour into ungreased 9″ glass baking dish or a deep dish pie plate.
  • For topping: in a separate bowl mix brown sugar, butter, flour and cinnamon with fingers or pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Stir in nuts.
  • Sprinkle the topping on the¬†sweet¬†potato¬†mixture and bake @ 350 for 40 minutes.
  • Can be made ahead.
Enjoy!
Thanks Auntie Jill and Mama Nancy – we sure do ENJOY!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestShare

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting (best fall cookie)

Posting again because it’s Halloween and this is my favorite treat: pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting. Woo-Hoo, BOO!

This recipe¬†is adapted from a Pillsbury cookbook (I omitted 1/2 cup white sugar and it’s still a beautiful thing.)

A warning: This cookie¬†is only allowed in October and November. Otherwise, I’d eat so many I’d turn into a pumpkin and roll away.

They are really that good.

DSC_0104

I have resisted posting this recipe here because I like to blog only healthy treats.

However.

The story goes like this – I made this decadent treat for my son’s eighth-grade field trip bake sale. He¬†brought them to school and came home saying, “Mom, the teachers didn’t even put them out – they ATE them! They ate ALL of them!”

Of course this delighted me.

And I couldn’t blame them. I don’t like to share them either.

The next day, several teachers pounced on me, begging me for the recipe. Okay, I might be exaggerating the pouncing part. But they really really wanted it, so I relented.

I’m just giving you what you want ūüôā

DSC_0089

First, you’ll cream the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and pumpkin. Then you’ll add the dry mix of flour, baking powder and soda, a dash of cinnamon and salt.

 DSC_0091

I could tell you that I grew the pumpkin myself, cut, cooked, and pureed them, too. But that would be a lie. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Canned Libby’s pumpkin does quite nicely!

DSC_0084

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes and you’ve got this glorious yum-yum. Sometimes we¬†just eat them plain and they’re still a treat.

While the cookie cools, you can make some  frosting!

DSC_0106

The original frosting does not call for cream cheese, but unless you add a boatload more powdered sugar, the frosting is too runny. Cream cheese is a nice binder and the taste? Mmm.

DSC_0143
DSC_0115Halloween party, anyone?
So hear you go, my favorite fall cookie (aka, the cookie the teachers won’t share):

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting: 

Ingredients: 
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (plain, not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups + 1 heaping tablespoon flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4-8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (or to desired thickness)
Directions:

Heat over to 350. Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, pumpkin, and egg. Mix. Add flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix just until incorporated. Spoon onto baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool.

Frosting Directions:

Melt 3 tablespoons butter over low heat. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar. Stir constantly until small boil, slightly thickened. Cool 10 minutes. Add 1/4 cup milk, 4 ounces cream cheese, and 1 cup powdered sugar or until desired thickness. Frosting should be thick enough to frost cookie without running off.

Now for the best part: Eat (after your run, of course!)

Skinny accommodations: 

  • In the cookie recipe: substitute 1/2 of the butter for 1/2 avocado (it works well!)
  • Use whole wheat white flour
  • Cut the brown sugar in half

Happy Halloween!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestShare

How to Make Homemade Gatorade

Why make Gatorade when you can buy it?

Because, my friends, this is a “clean” drink that is far better for your brain, heart, muscles, GI tract, and bloodstream. And I bet you have the ingredients in your pantry right now…and if not, they are easy to procure!

No more this…gatorade7Instead, let’s start measuring some apple cider vinegar. Say what? Yes, it’s true. This original recipe comes from No Meat Athlete, with two tablespoons apple cider vinegar. But after a children’s taste testing, I trimmed it down to one.gatorade6¬†Next, some maple syrup. Ah…now I’ve got you, right?gatorade5¬†And some salt. When you lick your arm after a run, do you taste the sweat? (you do lick your arm, right? ūüôā ) Your body needs to replace that salt (electrolytes!)gatorade4¬†Next: water and juice and that’s it!gatorade3¬†A little posing for the camera…gatorade1¬†Now put in fridge and watch the kids fill up their water bottles and play like champs!¬†gatorade2

Homemade Grape Gatorade

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups 100% grape juice

Directions: stir it all together and gulp!

Do we really need Gatorade? No, not unless we’ve been exercising about two hours and sweating like fiends. Water is best before and during a sporting event, but after a hard workout, it’s nice to refuel quickly with something a little more flavorful. I’m not actually a huge grape juice fan, but with this recipe, I like it. I liked it better than the first time I made it with cranberry-pomegranate. Use whatever juice you like, but make sure it’s 100%; we don’t need to be adding any more sugary drinks to our diet.

Other tips…

  • Refrigerate overnight and the flavors will meld and mellow a bit.
  • Put in ice cube tray and pop them into water bottles the next day for some next-day fuel.
  • Switch up the flavors to see what you like best.

Enjoy!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestShare

Tasty Cauliflower Rice {and so healthy!}

Looking for a¬†rice substitute? As an ardent rice lover, I don’t look for substitutes. Until I tried this. It’s fantastic!

Cauliflower, you say? Yes, it’s true.

It’s so tasty I predict you’ll be seeing a lot more of it. Why not be a trendsetter and start serving it now? My sister-in-law, Kim, introduced us to this recipe this summer and we are now converts – THANK YOU! All of the darlings¬†loved it – it even looks like white rice.

It’s fine to chop or food process a head of cauliflower yourself, but finding it bagged is even more convenient; you’ll have a side in 15 minutes. I’ve seen chopped cauliflower in the freezer section and at Trader Joe’s. Snatch it and hold on tight! Otherwise, start here:dsc_0023¬†Cut it up into florets:¬†dsc_0033¬†Pause and admire the pure whiteness:dsc_0032¬†Now start choppin’! I was a little lazy and just wanted to eat; chop as fine as you can – like rice!¬†dsc_0042¬†Now chop some onion and put it in a pan with olive oil until onion is soft.dsc_0053¬†Add the cauliflower, some garlic powder, salt, and pepper (and anything else you fancy!) When cooked, added some chopped cilantro.dsc_0002¬†I would have gotten a better photo but we ate it so fast it was almost gone!

I especially love this “faux” rice paired with this¬†Mexican dish: dsc_0008I’ll post that recipe next if you like!

Ready to eat? YES.

Tasty Cauliflower Rice:

INGREDIENTS:

  • Cauliflower florets, chopped fine (pre chopped if possible for time saver!)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped fine
  • 1¬†tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon¬†salt and pepper (to your preferred taste)

Directions:

  • Heat olive oil on medium heat, add chopped onions, and cook until soft. Add chopped cauliflower, onion, garlic salt, salt, and pepper. Cook about 15-20 minutes until soft. Finish for one minute with chopped cilantro.
  • Variations include cauliflower fried rice – add an egg, soy sauce, and green onion. Add to soups instead of rice or potato. Add a little bacon and you’re golden ūüôā

Enjoy and Happy Weekend!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestShare

Almond-Chocolate Power Bites

What to whip up for a ravenous¬†group of 11-year-old soccer players? Can’t bring cupcakes, cheez-its, or goldfish crackers. No, they wanted me to speak about healthy snacks and feeling good. So…DSC_0136 (1) ¬†With ten minutes to spare, Brynne and I whipped up these almond-butter chocolate delights. Really, they were so easy.DSC_0142 (1)¬†And they were gobbled up in seconds.

Followed by:

“Can I have the recipe?”

“Are there any more?”

“Can you bring more next week?”

I’ll try, my little soccer friends!

Loaded with tons of protein, energy¬†carbs, and good fat, they’re also much cheaper and easier to make than my previous Protein Bites (which are still good but a little more time-consuming and pricier!)

Your next go-to snack?

Almond Butter and Chocolate-Chip Protein Bites

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2¬†cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon chia sees
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Makes about 12-14 protein balls.

Optional add-in: dried cherries or cranberries. Substitutions:¬†I originally added cashews but some of us¬†have a small and “down-there” annoying reaction to cashews…so I used¬†walnuts. Almonds or any other nut also work! Don’t have almond butter? Peanut butter works, too.

  • DIRECTIONS:

    1. It couldn’t be easier.¬†Dump all ingredients into a bowl and stir until combined. For uniform balls, use a cookie scooper with your right hand and put the ball in your left hand to make it nice and smooth.
    2. Or you can put the little ball into your child’s hand and have them form a nice little ball, which is what I ended up doing, followed by,¬†hurry hurry roll that ball we have to go¬†right this minute…!
    3. Put in container and refrigerate for a 1/2 hour-1 hour (unless you’re running out the door.)¬†If they feel a little wet? Add a little more substance like the coconut, oatmeal, or nuts. Too dry? Add a little more almond or peanut butter.¬†Another option is to freeze and eat¬†when you’d like to gnaw on something cold and hearty.

Good? Good. Happy weekend – Eat up!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestShare

Green Shamrock Smoothie (the gut healer)

A repost. For St. Patty’s Day.
Drink this (not the¬†beguiling¬†Shamrock Shake from the McD drive-thru that will wreck your gut…)

greensmoothie2This one’s for you: The Green Shamrock Smoothie. Just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day. It’s a gut¬†healer, not a gut destroyer. It will make you feel¬†good instead of…not. It provides¬†energy instead of migraines.

Click here: Gut health is important

Do you suffer from bloating, constipation, gut aches and pains? The following ingredients are well-known for their gut healing magic.greensmoothie1

 Green Shamrock Smoothie (the gut healer)

1-2 Cups Water

1/2 Squeezed Lemon

1/2 inch Ginger (skin on, scrubbed)

1 Cup Spinach (fresh or frozen)

1 Cup Kale (fresh or frozen)

1/2 Avocado (peeled)

1 Green Apple (cut, skin on)

1 Frozen Banana

Directions: Put ingredients in the Vitamix (or other powerful blender and give it a whirl.)

If you’ve never had a really green smoothie before, this may take some acclimating. You may feel the need to grimace. But after awhile¬†an interesting thing happens: taste buds change.¬†¬†After a day or two without my precious¬†green smoothie, I start to crave greens. I need it. I want it. I must have it.¬†my precious.

McDonald’s Shamrock Shake nutrition information:¬†Calories (535) and fat (15 grams) aside, the¬†Shamrock Shake has 73 grams of sugar.

4 grams = 1 teaspoon.

That’s 18.25 TEASPOONS of Sugar in a 12 oz. drink.¬†Woah, Bessy! Drink real greens and this shamrock shake will taste disgustingly fake. For reals.

Click on this link and be further appalled: Is sugar bad for your gut?

Are you convinced? Drink good greens not dyed chemicals.

 

May the luck of the Irish be in your gut today!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestShare