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Well, this recipe was actually an accident. It’s Sunday afternoon, and I need to cook my meals for the week – but knew I had a lot of different odds and ends in my fridge and pantry that I wanted to use up.

What I really had a taste for this week was some chicken and fish salad – but sometimes you just have to put cravings aside and make do with what you have. What I have found, is when I do that, I end up forgetting what my craving was for in the first place!

By my original ingredients picture below, you can see that I was really going toward a “vegetable stew” route. However, after further investigation of the kale and broth, it morphed itself into a mac & cheese dish!

 

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Here’s the formal Ingredient list and recipe – I started out with some kale and broth, too – but after further investigation decided they had gone kind of bad and they were removed!:

Ingredients:

  • Broccoli
  • Corn
  • Chopped Onion
  • Tomato Paste
  • Macaroni
  • Milk
  • Water
  • Cheddar & Mozzarella Cheese

*Note that you can make this with any vegetable, any noodle, and any cheese!

  1. Fill a pot with water and fill with broccoli, corn, onion, and macaroni (Water should cover all ingredients by about 1/2 inch)
  2. Bring to a boil, and then let boil with the lid off until almost all the water is absorbed
  3. Put in 1/2 can of tomato paste
  4. In a separate skillet, melt a couple handfuls of cheddar cheese into about 1/2 – 3/4 cups of milk
  5. Top the macaroni dish with the cheese sauce and season to taste
  6. Serve with shredded mozzarella cheese on top

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Let me begin by saying, I have nothing against milk. In fact, I usually do have a small thing of milk in my fridge. I like to use milk for cooking purposes, and rarely drink it or eat it otherwise. For this reason, I was out of milk this morning.

I had the time (and a craving) for the chocolate chip pancakes my mom used to make me in elementary school. So I looked around, and improvised!

Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been out of something and had to get creative! So here is the successful recipe for the no milk chocolate chip pancake from www.cooks.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2-3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp vanilla

 

Step 1) Beat Your Eggs and Mix your Dry ingredients and Wet Ingredients in Separate Bowls

Step 2) Combine all of your ingredients to make the batter, stir until smooth

Step 3) Grease a small round pan with oil, butter, or PAM and turn on medium low

Step 4) Pour the batter into the pan so it just covers the surface

Step 5) Keep the heat on low to medium low and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t start “boiling” it should be kept on low heat, and when you start to see the edges turning brown, the batter firming up, and little small bubbles forming/popping, the pancake is ready to flip

Step 6) Flip and let it cook on the other side for about 2-3 minutes (not as long as the first side)

Step 7) Slide pancake onto a plate and top with chocolate chips. After the chips melt, spread them over the pancake for delicious chocolate in every bite!

 

Agh, I am hungry again now!

 

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There’s a new craze out there – and no I’m not referring to “juicing” – I mean, that is so yesterday.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE juicing. Nothing is better on a Saturday morning than juicing some fresh orange juice from naval oranges and gala apples. BUT, when you juice, (as we all know), we lose a LOT of fiber. All that crab in the back of the juicer? Yup. That’s GOOD FOR YOU and you just throw it in the TRASH.

I’m not saying stop juicing, because it is a much better option than store bought juice which has TONS of sugar, but what I am saying is you might want to think of jumping on the “souping” bandwagon.

10 Undeniable Benefits of Souping

  1. It takes 1-2 ingredients and water
  2. Is cheap to make
  3. You can freeze any extra in mason jars to use for later
  4. You don’t lose the fiber like you do in juicing
  5. You can soup just about anything
  6. It cooks itself and is easy clean up (1 pot)
  7. It is made with bone broth which, if homemade, has extreme health benefits
  8. Contains garlic, an all natural anti inflammatory and disease fighting ingredient
  9. You can also use it as a pasta sauce or add in some rice/little pasta to make it heartier
  10. Delicious with homemade bread

I’ve been making soups for a while, and I think I’ve finally gotten it figured out. Here is the basic recipe for any type of soup you want to make, and the method I have found most effective:

  1. Sautee 1 chopped up onion and 1 clove of garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat
  2. Add in 1 cup of your favorite vegetable and 1 cup of an accompanying sweetening fruit or thickening agent (potato is a great way to thicken a soup without heavy cream or a rue)
  3. Pour in water or broth until it covers the vegetables by about 1 inch
  4. Bring to Boil
  5. Bring down to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are fork tender
  6. Let cool
  7. Blend using a blender (carefully) or a hand soup blender (my favorite is  the Hamilton Beach Brand)
  8. Put blended soup back on burner and season to desired taste
  9. Store in mason jars, freeze any extra for later

For two examples, I will share with you two of my many many favorite healthy, light, no cream, soups:

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No-Cream Broccoli Potato Soup

  • 2 small onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4-5 heads of broccoli with stems
  • 2-3 small Idaho potatoes
  • 4-6 cups of homemade broth (or water)

Chop/Dice Onions and Garlic and broccoli stems. Sautee onion, garlic, and broccoli stems in sauce pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil until onions are translucent. Add in Broccoli, chopped stems, and peeled and chopped potatoes. Sautee, and season with salt and pepper. Add in the broth until it covers the broccoli, broccoli stems, and potatoes, by about an inch. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the stems of the broccoli are fork tender. Let cool. Blend with hand blender. Put back on burner on low, and season to desired taste. I usually season with salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, cumin, red pepper, and chervil.

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Simple Tomato Soup

  • 2 cans of tomato soup
  • 3 cans of broth
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic

Sautee chopped onion and garlic in olive oil. Add in tomatoes, and broth until the broth covers the tomatoes by 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool. Blend. Put back on low heat, and add in 2 tablespoons tomato paste, oregano, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings desired.

While these two soups are delicious, and are on my weekly meals this week – other favorites of mine include sweet potato or squash soup made with apple or pear for sweetening, vegetable soup, bean soup, and of course – chicken noodle soup.

I’m going to be exploring my souping abilities and broadening my horizons so let me know what other soups you have made and please share your recipes with me! I’m open to more suggestions!

HAPPY SOUPING!

 

Someone said something to me at a happy hour Friday that I thought was really…….sad. We were all standing in the upstairs of this cool, dark, wooden, Michigan State bar (The Michigan State part =not my choice); and everyone had their white wines, red wines, vodka’s, and beers. And then there was me – with my soda water with lemon (which is of course obvious because they put it in a huge child’s glass). That’s when someone asked me: “How’s your fast going? I mean, that is what it is. A fast.”

Let me just say this – if you look at eating clean and being healthy as a “fast” than you will never succeed. It’s not a fast – of any sort. I don’t believe that America’s issues are with certain “foods” I believe it’s in the way that food is processed. Nobody cooks with High Fructose Corn Syrup – so why let someone else cook with that for you? You can eat whatever you want – as long as you cook it yourself. (reference to Michael Pollan, yes, again!)

Eat anything —– as long as you cook it yourself. Eat anything —– as long as you cook it yourself. Eat anything —– as long as you cook it yourself. Eat anything —– as long as you cook it yourself. Repeat this to yourself every day.

Now, with that said, you can have a fantastic super bowl with all of your favorite foods. You just have to cook them! The reward from having home cooked foods for a football game party are priceless. Plus, you’ll impress all your guests!

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Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip w/ Veggies

  • Rinse spinach and put in food processor or cut up to bite size pieces. Steam in microwave or on stove until cooked down. Salt and Pepper.
  • Rinse 1 can of artichoke hearts (low sodium) and cut into small bite size pieces
  • Mix artichokes and spinach w/ 1 cup of plain greek yogurt and 1/4 tablespoon butter in sauce pan and mix until butter melts
  • Add in 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Stir until melted
  • Add 1 minced garlic
  • Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (pepper flakes optional; you can go light on the salt if you had salted butter and sodium in your artichoke hearts)
  • Let cool and transfer to Tupperware. Before game time, top with more mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes; until cheese is melted and the sides are golden brown. Serve hot with carrots and celery

 

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Game Day Chicken Wings

  • Make Your Own Ketchup (See my blog post on how EASY this is by clicking here!)
  • Mix 1/4 cup Ketchup with 1/2 cup soy sauce. Add in crushed garlic and rosemary. Put chicken wings in a plastic bag with the soy sauce/ketchup marinade, or just mix together with your hands. Fully coat all wings.
  • On Game Day, Bake wings with marinade in 350 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes or until juices run clear/inside is not pink

 

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Low Calorie Chicken Breast Chili

Click here for my delicious low calorie chili blog!

Popcorn Broccoli

  • Cut Broccoli Heads and put in large bowl
  • Drizzle with olive oil
  • Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cajun powder, and cumin
  • Place on a baking sheet spread out so the broccoli is not touching (otherwise it will steam vs. bake)
  • Bake in 350 degrees F for 15 – 25 minutes or until golden brown

 

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Need a chocolate treat? Try out my 10 Minute Easy No Bake Chocolate Bars

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Or, like I did for the Super Bowl, just some old fashioned chocolate chip cookies!

  • Mix 3/4 cup melted butter with 1/2 cup white sugar and 1 cup brown sugar. Add in 2 eggs and 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • In a separate bowl mix 2 cups flour with 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp salt
  • Slowly add in flour mixture to sugar mixture until all is smooth. Add in 1 cup chocolate chips or chocolate chunks.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Let cool before transferring to plate/Tupperware

So now we have the food set, and our favorite shirt on – but what about something to drink? If you have a craving for beer but don’t want the effects, try a non alcoholic beer. A lot of people don’t like them, but I think they taste like the real deal and I personally love the O’Douls Brand. I order off amazon because it’s too cold to go to the store in Chicago in winter time – BUT you can get it at any store. I am personally a non alcoholic wine lover, but like I said, I mean, it IS football….

I hope this gives you some great ideas on how to have a clean homemade super bowl! And don’t forget: “Eat what you want, just make it yourself”

SO WHO WILL IT BE THE PANTHERS OR THE BRONCOS?!?!!? (See, I know what’s going on.)

Well friends, it’s official. For the first time since I was….ten maybe? Just kidding. 18. I mean, 21 of course…. I have gone 4 full weeks with no alcohol or coffee.

I decided to focus this blog on alcohol, as alcohol is such a prevalent and expected part of society. In the past month I have given up alcohol and coffee. Reactions I get when I say I gave up coffee are usually along the lines of “good for you!” “that is awesome!” “you’re going to feel so great!”. Reactions I get if I start off saying I gave up alcohol are usually “are you serious?” “Why would you do that?” or simply….”Ha.”

Why the difference? Alcohol is actually 100x worse for you than coffee! Well, the difference is alcohol is a huge crutch in society. Coffee is an admitted addiction – but alcohol is not. Even one glass of alcohol at dinner can cause serious health effects such as lack of sleep, sinus congestion, digestive issues, acne/premature aging, and liver/blood issues. On top of that, we drink at the worst possible time for our bodies – before bed.

So in celebration of my 1 month detox coming to an end today, I am reflecting on this month by highlighting the 4 things that will happen when you cut out alcohol for even just 4 weeks.

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1) YOUR SKIN GLOWS AND YOUR SINUSES CLEAR UP

Your liver’s health is reflective in your skin. Alcohol is actually a poison – or – more commonly referred to a “toxin” (sounds better right?). We all know this, and we all know our liver is responsible for breaking it down. When your liver cannot break down the large amounts of alcohol, it has to be rid of your body in other ways. So, your body can rope in your skin for reinforcement. Side effect? Your skin looks dehydrated, old, and “flat” or not glowing, and break outs can even occur. You ever heard of why pregnant women “glow?” a big part of that might be because they aren’t drinking! Ditch that $30.00 face cream that promises you “glowing skin”. If you really want to see an improvement, you will, in 4 weeks of no alcohol.

Additionally, there are very large levels of histamine in alcoholic drinks (especially beer and wine) which directly attack your sinus cavities. We usually drink at night as a society, when sinuses naturally get worse anyway. Even one glass of wine at dinner is enough to dehydrate you, increase histamine levels, and keep you awake. The combination of not sleeping well, not being hydrated, and having increased levels of histamine leave you waking up with a head ache, stuffy nose, and wrinkled/dehydrated skin.

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2) YOU WAKE UP BEFORE YOUR ALARM

Did you know that one night of poor sleep takes your body roughly 10 days to recover from? You may think drinking a glass of wine or whiskey before bed can help you fall asleep (and you are in a sense correct…) but your quality of sleep is going to suffer. Drinking even one glass of alcohol puts your body in “overdrive” trying to break down the toxins in your body. Your cells basically freak out because they know the alcohol doesn’t belong there. This makes your body work 10x harder when you are “sleeping” (which probably won’t involve REM cycles because alcohol typically makes your body skip REM completely) which makes you either wake up around 2-3am unable to fall back asleep, or makes you feel very uncomfortable and unrested when you wake.

Ditching the alcohol brings your body and your brain back to a place of comfort and routine. You will begin to dream, and remember your dreams, and wake up at the same time every morning happy and energized – and fully rested.

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3) YOUR STRESS LEVEL GOES DOWN

When you are supplementing your body with toxins and stimulants and depressants, your body gets stressed out. You may feel stressed and blame it on your job, or your coworker, or your dumb boyfriend (who let’s admit it needs to grow a brain), when in reality your body is stressed by what’s been going into it. Taking out alcohol and coffee brings your body to a level playing field, and your brain is satisfied and isn’t over-working and over-stressed. When your brain can finally relax, so can you. Stressful situations seem manageable, and you can attack issues from a strategic, calm place vs. a place of haste, confusion, and anger.

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4) YOU SAVE A LOT OF MONEY

Wine bottles are expensive. So is a drink at a bar. So is getting a cup of coffee from your favorite breakfast place every morning every day of the week. I can’t even begin to tell you how much money I have saved this month. Should I buy a pony?? (Seriously, though).

So there you have it. I’m beginning to think this was the best thing I’ve ever done – regardless if the sinus infections come back or not.

 

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Hello Everyone! I felt like I hadn’t blogged in a while and then I realized I actually did last week. Ha!

This week has been crazy busy and I ended up having to get food out a lot because I didn’t meal prep to my full potential on Sunday.

Saturday I spent the day shopping with my mother and godmother – I know they are so cute. After going from store to store where t-shirts were $300.00 I finally found two things I loved – a fuzzy white sweatshirt for $25.00 and a bath and body works candle! So all week I have been coming home, putting on my fuzzy sweater, and lighting my bath and body works candle!

I had a LOT of left overs from where we went to dinner including a HUGE serving of brown rice stir fry, and a huge side of vegetables. I also had half a pound of halibut that I cut up and put in with a salad, and some clam chowder.

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Other meals this week were oatmeal for breakfast, (one day I got a Santa Fe from protein bar; eggs/spinach/tomato) and a spinach smoothie. For lunch I either had a pasta dish with tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and cheese, or a salad, or soup. It’s been crazy! I’m hoping this weekend I can get back on track, and I’m making some broth now and defrosting the rest of my bread dough so I can make proper meals again this coming week.

Nonetheless, I thought I would share with you a great tip. After going to a restaurant – sometimes you just don’t want your sides anymore. For me, I just didn’t want to eat more plain vegetables on the side. So I decided to make them a) last longer and b) taste differently in an entirely new dish by transforming them from vegetable sides to a vegetable stew.

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This process can’t be easier, and can be done with any side dish you find yourself coming home with.

Step 1) Place your vegetables in a sauce pan and fill the pan with broth

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Step 2) You can let it simmer and add additional seasonings if you like, (or just package it up right away)

Step 3) When you are ready to eat it, top it with cheese and pop in oven or microwave until cheese is melted

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And voila! You have a delicious new dish from an old one! #OneYear

It’s been 3 weeks with no coffee, alcohol, or processed food! (Minus pasta.) I have to say, the first 2 weeks were really difficult. That first week back to work after Christmas vacation was straight up brutal. I could smell the coffee in the kitchen in the morning, and it took EVERYTHING inside of me not to just pound it. I’ve been drinking decaf, because let’s face it, I love a cup of joe in the morning, and have now gotten hooked on the decaf coffee at a coffee shop by work that has fresh ground decaf coffee beans from PERU! (I just think it’s fun to say that). Where I used to crash around 3-4pm I am now peaking, and the days are going by SO much faster and I feel much more on top of my game.

This week I was going to go bowling on Tuesday but actually felt super punky all last weekend (why I didn’t vlog) and ended up coming home to sleep instead. Thursday was our company party, and it felt so good to be drinking water and not feeling bloated/ill while socializing like I would drinking a “real drink” !

Two weeks ago I made a huge batch of homemade broth, and let it cook all day Saturday and then let it cool Saturday night as I went to a party. It worked out perfectly, because by the time I got back from being out the broth was cooled and I could transfer it into mason jars in the fridge (no I wasn’t drinking and wouldn’t advise transferring broth to mason jars under any influence). I’ve never done a full post on how to make bone broth, but if you want to see it let me know! I froze a couple mason jars of broth for this week (which was a life saver considering I wasn’t feeling 100%) and used it for this weeks meals.

I started off my days  this week with either greek yogurt with granola and berries or eggs and bacon or just eggs…or just bacon. A lot of people were surprised that I was eating bacon. DO YOU NOT LISTEN TO ANYTHING I SAY? (JK). But I do eat meats, fish, and dairy. I have talked about  “Orthorexia: An Unhealthy Obsession with Eating Healthy” before where I reference my favorite author, Michael Pollan. He discusses “macro” vs. “micro” processed foods, and is a great resource/reference.

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Then around lunch time I treated myself to some homemade bread and tomato soup! (And no – you DON’T need a bread machine to make bread!) It is super easy and takes about 20 minutes of prep time, and then you just let it rise and cook itself and leave it alone. It was the perfect thing to do on Sunday when it was -20 degrees outside! If you want to see a full “How To Make Bread Without a Bread Machine” blog let me know! (There are definitely a couple secrets that they DON’T tell you!)

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QUICK RECIPE:

  • Peel and deseed tomatoes (Or use some that you canned from the winter! To see my blog on how to can tomatoes click here – I’m also a fan of canned tomatoes but beware of extra sodium/ingredients that can be put in canned food! For my blogs on how to can/canned goods you can click here!)
  • Chop up 1 onion and 2 cloves garlic, sautee in olive oil in large sauce pan
  • Add in tomatoes, and season with salt pepper
  • After a couple minutes, add in enough bone broth to just cover the tomatoes
  • Cover, and bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Blend with either a hand blender (I just got an AMAZING Hamilton Beach Handheld Blender from Amazon. It is honestly saving my life so dramatically I will make a video specifically about how amazing it.) Or – you can let your soup cool, and then put it in batches through a blender.
  • Once blended, put it back on the stove and turn on medium low (low enough it won’t boil) and season it as you like. You may need more salt and pepper, and I always like to add Cajun seasoning and/or cumin. Pop a bay leaf in and let it sit, and I added just a splash of whole cream.
  • Check the soup to ensure there are no bits of seeds and peels (learned this the hard way) if there are, then put the soup through a fine mesh strainer to make it super smooth)
  • Transfer to Mason Jars so you have a serving of soup for every day!

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For dinner I would have a brown rice stir fry, and then before bed I will munch on some veggies or nuts or popcorn ( a small snack) and some ginger tea! (click that link to see my blog post on the healing powers of ginger tea!

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The week ended Friday night with my friend’s birthday! I had never baked a cake before, but wanted to make sure she had candles to blow out, and certainly wasn’t about to eat a store bought cake! (You never know what is in that stuff!)

The cake was super easy to make, I got the recipe from Hershey’s website! It was SO EASY, not messy, and delicious – you can find it here!!

And I made the frosting by just bringing a stick of butter to room temperature, blending it until smooth with my new Hamilton beach handheld blender! and then adding in a little bit of sugar, vanilla extract, and a splash of milk. For the chocolate frosting I added pure cocoa powder, and for the vanilla I didn’t add anything else. The cake took 1 hour in total from taking the ingredients out of my pantry to pulling it out of the oven. The only disaster? I didn’t have a nonstick cake pan! I greased and floured my regular casserole dishes, but needless to say it kind of fell apart. That made it uneven, crumbled, and made the frosting extremely difficult to put on. LESSON LEARNED! Here’s the pic of what it turned out like afterwards –

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so you tell me- SUCCESS OR FAILURE?!?!?!?! I tried to be funny and write “Happy 62nd 26th Bday!” But I don’t think anybody could read it. In fact….numerous people told me the cake “looked like shit” or looked “half eaten” or thought it was scraps from an actual cake that I stole and brought her.

womp womp.

 

 

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks without alcohol, coffee, or processed foods ! My Vlogs are always 1 week behind – so you can track my week 1 above! But – that works out well because I cook my meals for the following week on those days.This is surprisingly much easier than I thought it would be, and thank God for decaf coffee & non alcoholic wine! LOL!

The first week was an exciting one as this was the week we celebrated New Years at my Greek Orthodox Church. It is a greek tradition that on New Years Day you cut a cake with a coin baked inside. Whoever receives the piece with the coin, receives good luck for the year! There is a ceremonial way of cutting the cake, and the cake is usually made by a yia yia at the church. Luckily, the recipe is pretty simple, and here is a great link to an easy to make Vasilopita so you can try it out next year!!

Easy Vasilopita Recipe!

After an exciting day at church (No I didn’t receive the coin) haha, I did some grocery shopping and began my cooking for the week. Week one of my cleanse included the following:

Breakfast: Switched between Greek Yogurt with Berries Granola and Honey, to Oatmeal with Berries and Cinnamon, to Eggs & Bacon w/ Banana (changed every day)

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Around 10 am: Carrot Apple Ginger Soup

 

QUICK RECIPE:

  1. Sautee Chopped Onions, Garlic, and Ginger Root in Olive Oil for about 5 minutes
  2. Add in Peeled & Chopped Carrots and Apple (about 1 apple per 4 Carrots)
  3. Add in about 2 cups broth (or enough to just cover the carrots & apple)
  4. Cover, Bring to Boil. Then turn down and let simmer for 15 minutes (or until carrots are fork tender).
  5. Let cool, and then blend in blender. Put back in pan to heat and season. (I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, Cajun seasoning, and let a bay leaf bask in it for a bit).
  6. Remove Bay leaf and let cool a bit. Transfer to mason Jars. Enjoy!

Around 1pm: A brown rice casserole made with the carrots and celery from the broth scraps, and tossed with homemade tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese

Around 3pm: Homemade Granola Bars (If you haven’t seen my post on how to make this click here! I used my Homemade Peanut Butter to make the granola bars, so everything was delicious and non processed! I also switched out the plain cereal with peanuts and almonds!)

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QUICK RECIPE

  1. Mix Old Fashioned Steel Oats (about 2 cups) with a handful of: peanuts, almonds, flax seed, granola
  2. Blend 2 cups peanuts with 3-4 tablespoons oil until smooth. Cool in fridge for couple hours. Then heat up in skillet with a few tablespoons honey
  3. Mix the melted peanut butter and honey into the oats mixture until sticky
  4. Melt 1/4 cup chocolate chips in skillet with a couple tablespoons of whole milk
  5. Move the Oat Mixture into 8×8 pan, flatten, and top with melted chocolate
  6. Store in Fridge until Cool, Cut into bars, and enjoy!

Around 7pm: Chicken with Broccoli or Chicken With Salad

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“Choosy Mom’s Choose Jiff”

Really??? I’m not a Mom, but I can tell you right now my child is going to eat the way I ate as a baby – real – mashed up food. Which is exactly what peanut butter should be.

If you look at popular foods in the grocery store, these foods should be basic parts of our diet. Looking at something like peanut butter or sliced bread you begin to seriously wonder if the government is trying to kill us with early diseases in a form of population control (yes that’s my conspiracy theory..)

Nonetheless, peanut butter is so easy to make you won’t believe it. Peanut butter, Almond Butter, any nut butter – or any nut milk – Almond milk, etc. are all SO easy and take 1 – 2 ingredients: the nut, and some sort of liquid to make it creamy and blend.

1. Salt and Roast your Peanuts in 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or until golden brown

2. Put them in a blender with about 3 tablespoons Peanut Oil

3. Blend for about 2 minutes straight, scrape down the sides and add more oil if you need to

4. KEEP BLENDING!!! If you want it chunky (like I do) it will need to be blended for about 3-4 minutes; if creamier peanut butter is desired – perhaps blend to the song “American Pie” vs. “Let it Go”

5. Store in an air tight container in the fridge

This is perfect to eat with apples or celery – or if you are like me, I love to use this in my home made granola bars! If you are new to the blog, you can see the post for my homemade granola bars by clicking HERE!

 

Enjoy Nut Lovers!

*Caution: DoNotMakeThisTreatIfYouAreAllergicToNutsSpecificallyPeanuts

This is SUPER easy and can be done with any kind of winter squash: pumpkin, butternut, acorn – you name it. I also follow similar structure when making carrot soup or sweet potato soup, but I don’t roast the carrots/sweet potato -I just peel and pop them in the pan.

Step 1) Put your squash in a baking pan in 450 degrees F for 30 – 45 minutes

Step 2) Check the squash; if you can easily put a fork through it – take it out and let it cool until you can handle it (I let it cool overnight in the fridge)

Step 3) Cut the ends of the squash, and cut the squash down the middle. Scoop out the seeds at this time. Cut the squash into pieces without the seeds and put it in a bowl.

Step 4) Peel and cut your apple. 1 apple to 1-2 squash

Step 5) Sautee onions and garlic in a large sauce pan in olive oil. Add in your apples and squash. Fill the pot with broth until the broth covers the apples and squash by about 1 inch

Step 6) Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down and let simmer for 15 minutes or until apple/whatever vegetable you used (squash – carrot – sweet potato) is fork tender

Step 7) Season to taste; let cool; then blend in your blender or with a handheld blender. (Caution: blending hot liquids in a blender can cause the top to shoot off and fo the soup to go EVERYWHERE and BURN YOU. Let it COOL and then do it in very small batches!)

Step 8) Store in mason jars and enjoy!