Sunday, December 4, 2016

Raw Buckwheat Breakfast Bowl.....Grab Some Groats!

      If you're looking for something new and different for breakfast...this may be just the ticket!  Head to your nearest health food store and acquire raw buckwheat groats.  The groats are the fruit seed of the buckwheat flower.  Even though the word "wheat" is in the name...there's no wheat grain to be found in this plant food :)  Consequently, buckwheat groats are gluten-free!  This breakfast porridge recipe can also be vegan.  It is high in fiber, minerals and omega fatty acids.  The real treat is the
no-cook ease of preparing this satisfying porridge :) 
Let me take you on my raw buckwheat porridge journey!
Here are the groats! 
I measured out 2 cups into a large glass bowl and covered them with filtered water. 
They needed to soak overnight for increased nutrition and digestibility :)
In the morning, I rinsed them off several times using a fine-mesh strainer.
Then I placed the soaked groats into my food processor...along with 1 1/4 cups of almond/coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.  I processed these ingredients until they were combined and somewhat smooth.  Then I added in a tablespoon of pure maple syrup and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.  I processed again until I had a nice, creamy consistency.
*The original recipe called for 1/4 cup of Agave nectar or maple syrup.  I've been watching my sweetener I opted to reduce the amount.  You can always add more sweetness as the  individual servings are being assembled :)
Here is the finished product!  I have added a sliced banana and some blueberries :)
You could add in nuts and any other kind of fruit.  Your choice!
*Store any uneaten porridge (as if!) in the fridge.
*This recipe makes about 4 cups of porridge.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

When the moon hits your a big pizza pie!

      I had such a hankering (real word) for pizza the other day!  However, I am trying to avoid gluten...and cooked tomatoes are not my friend of late.  What to do??  Then I remembered that my husband had brought home a gluten-free pizza mix.  Then I found some wonderful ideas for alternatives to tomato-based pizza sauce.  Then I found the uncured pepperoni and some quality mozzarella cheese in the fridge.  Dang!  Let's make some pizza :)
Sorry for the blurry photo....
Although this is certainly a "processed" product...there are very few ingredients!
(Almond flour, arrowroot powder, flax meal, cauliflower, baking soda, 
organic oregano & garlic...and cream of tartar.) 
It is vegan, grain-free, dairy-free and soy-free :)
I needed to add apple cider vinegar, oil and water to the mix.
I used Bragg's Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar and some avocado oil.
Super easy!  I used a bit of coconut oil on my hands to spread out the dough :)
I pre-baked the crust for 5 minutes before adding my toppings.
Here's my pepperoni! 
My non-tomato "sauce" is a combination of olive oil, a balsamic vinegar reduction (boiling until it becomes a thick syrup) and some garlic powder.
Here comes the cheese... 
And now...for the finished product fresh from the oven!
Bubbly cheese, savory pepperoni, the interest of oil and vinegar...and a crisp almond crust:)
Let's eat!!
Credit for the alternative sauce goes to...

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Bone Broth Benefits!

      So...what is bone broth?  Simply put, it is the slow-simmered broth of chicken (or beef) bones, some veggies, some herbs and the all-important raw apple cider vinegar.  The end result is a nutrient-rich liquid with a myriad of health benefits. I recently made a batch of chicken bone broth using breast bones and chicken feet.  Yes...I said feet :)  I will share more about that in a bit.  If you can't get your hands on some feet (snicker)...other chicken parts work well.  You can use a whole chicken...or bony chicken parts such as: necks, backs, breastbones and wings.  When I roast a whole chicken, I always save the carcass and freeze it for my broth. 
As always, try to source the highest-quality parts and pieces you can find! 

      In actuality, what I made was more akin to chicken stock.  Both broth and stock begin with water, onions, celery, carrots, black peppercorns and various herbs (parsley, thyme, bay leaf).  Broth is usually created with a whole chicken...then strained to produce a clear liquid.  Stock, however, is made with bones.  As the stock ingredients slowly simmer, the nutrients in the bones are extracted with the help of the vinegar.  The finished product is not meticulously strained...and it forms a gelatin when refrigerated. 
That glorious gelatin holds a variety of healing properties!
      The jiggly gelatin is actually denatured (altered) collagen that is extracted from the bones you are simmering.  The raw apple cider vinegar "draws out" minerals from the bones and the veggies.  If you acquire high-quality bones...and feet :)....and you simmer low and will produce broth/stock that gels properly.  Only broth created in this way can offer the health benefits I am going to share.  Let's get going...
**Traditional bone broth contains four crucial amino acids...proline, glycine, glutamine          and alanine.
Proline supports collagen and cartilage production so that your joints move freely and your skin glows with health.
Glycine helps to manufacture other amino well as being vital to hemoglobin production. It also help in the synthesis of bile salts that enable you to digest fats. 
Glutamine is the preferred nutrient for the cells in your gut....which turn over rapidly.  This amino acid not only nourishes gut cells; but it can heal damage, as well :)
Alanine supports important liver functions...and it helps to build muscle mass.
**Properly made bone broth contains water-trapping molecules called proteoglycans.  Within your body, these molecules are found all over, under and around the collagen-infused fiber networks in your skin, cartilage and bones.  Proteoglycans acquire and hold water.  Many of us are dehydrated on a daily basis...and we don't sense thirst until we are already water-deficient.  Maintaining hydration from within your body helps to keep your cells fluid, flexible and young!  Lubricated joints, muscles and bones move freely.  Proteoglycans have also been shown to decrease inflammation and strengthen your immune system.
      The nourishing and healing bone broth benefits are many and varied.  Traditional bone broth is truly a super food :)  It is the epitome of simplicity...with the potential to increase the quality of life of those suffering with auto-immune disorders, infectious diseases, digestive issues and cancer.
You can create this treasure! 
Pour yourself a mug...and then savor the nourishing warmth :)
**I wish to thank Sally Fallon Morell, and her book....Nourishing Broth!


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Gluten-Free Cherry Upside-Down Cake! Oh yeah :)

I thought about putting this gem on my Recipe page on  my website...
but the Blog was calling my name :)
For a moist and almost fluffy cake, I suggest finding free-range eggs!
Use organic ingredients whenever possible :)
Preheat a 350 degree oven while you get your cake pan ready.
Place a 9-inch cake pan on a piece of parchment paper and trace around the bottom of the pan.  Cut out the traced circle...and place it onto the bottom of the cake pan.  Grease the sides of the pan with coconut oil. (I even put some oil on the paper itself.)
In a small mixing bowl...combine 1 tablespoon of melted butter, 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder *.
Spread this mixture evenly onto the parchment paper in the cake pan.
Now place 2 cups of canned unsweetened tart cherries (drained well) onto
the butter/syrup mixture.
 *Arrowroot powder is a thickening agent, derived from the starch of certain tropical plants.
In another small bowl...whisk together 6 tablespoons of coconut flour, 6 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt.
In a medium-sized bowl...whisk together 4 large eggs, 4 tablespoons of melted butter,
1/4 cup of pure maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice and
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and quickly whisk them together until they are combined.
Pour this batter over your fruit and spread it evenly with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes...then ever-so-carefully invert the cake onto a plate.
Gently peel off the parchment paper.
Let the cake cool completely before serving.
This recipe makes at least 8 servings.
Dig in!!
Recipe inspired from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook
by Alissa Segersten & Tom Malterre, MS, CN

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Bloom Where You Are Planted!

I used to live in a house with a very small kitchen.  Well, I guess my current kitchen is similar in size :)  Anyway, this kitchen from long ago had nearly zero amount of counter space.  And yet, I managed to make bread from scratch and Boston Cream Pie.  I used an old kitchen table with 2 small drop-down leaves. 

I've lived in rental homes, apartments, a townhouse, homes with mortgages, a home with a killer kitchen replete with a large island... and now the condo...with somewhat of a galley kitchen.  It doesn't matter.  It really doesn't matter.  I can create my food anywhere.  If I'm truly passionate about nourishing myself (and my family and friends) with high-quality food...I can find a way to make that happen.  I'm not going to wait until I have the "perfect" cooking and baking digs.  These current digs work just fine :)

Here's a look at my kitchen, my pantry, my two refrigerators and my basement storage area.  Taking these pictures reminded me that all I need to do is bloom where I am planted!

Oats...a butternut squash...some the hall pantry!
Just a small pantry closet...but it works!
Hey...another drop-down table to work on!
The view out the window is a bonus :)
We did add some cupboards and counter space when we moved in!
More counter space by the sink!
Upstairs fridge...loaded and ready to go!
I do not claim the Lite beer :)
Basement storage of some kitchen overflow!
Basement fridge...great for baking supplies, a pot of soup and some chocolate coconut milk!
What about your space?  Do you think it's too small, too old or too dark?  Take another look.  Change the curtains...add a potted plant...bring in more light...if you like :) 
Gather up your quality ingredients and create something nourishing and tasty! 
Bloom with health in that kitchen where you have been planted :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Pumpkin Pie...Crustless and Gluten-Free!

It's that time again...time for pumpkin this and that!  For some reason, cooler weather...a bit of color change in the leaves...and I'm hankering for some pumpkin pie :) 
This recipe is soooo easy!
Credit for my original crustless pumpkin pie recipe has to go to my grandmother-in-law Gladys Paszli.  I think she found it in a magazine.  It always ended up on the table at Thanksgiving :)
The pumpkin filling was always my favorite why not make that the whole pie!

I've made it my own by using organic ingredients, kicking out the margarine and using a gluten-free baking mix.  You can also use Hodgson Mills' regular baking mix if you aren't concerned about gluten.

Here is the finished...and yummy...product :)

Here are the easy directions!
Use organic ingredients whenever possible :)
*In a large mixing bowl, combine 3/4 cup of raw sugar with 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
A large whisk works well :)
*Whisk in 2 beaten eggs.
*Whisk in 1/2 cup of baking mix and 1 can of evaporated milk...alternating between the two.
I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Biscuit and Baking Mix.
You could also use Hodgson Mill Multi-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Mix.
*Now whisk in a 15 or 16 ounce can of pure pumpkin.
You want just pumpkin...not a pie mix!
*Now you're ready for 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice and 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla.
*Give it a few more whisks and it's ready for a coconut oil-greased pie plate.
*Bake this beauty in a 350 degree oven for approximately 55 minutes.
I baked mine for the full time...but I suggest checking your pie frequently toward the end of the baking avoid any overcooking or burning...
Enjoy with a big 'ol dollop of homemade whipped topping!!


Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Power in Self-Care....Field Trip to Goshen!

      I usually write about nutrition and food.  I sometimes write about healthy lifestyle habits apart from food.  Today I am writing about the nourishing benefits of honoring emotional and spiritual needs in healthy and appropriate ways.  Science confirms the deep connection...and inter-relationship... between our bodies, minds and spirits.  With that in mind, I believe that nutritious food, regular body movement and stress management offer each one of us the potential of a
      So here is my personal story about taking a "field trip" to a nearby town for some much-needed
R & R.  I was feeling overwhelmed by tasks in my life...and I needed to get away and spend a few hours doing some things I love.  What I did that day may not suit you.  That's cool :)  Renewing peace of mind will take on different looks depending on who you are and what you prefer to do. 
I recharge my emotional and spiritual batteries with time alone...savoring places and activities that SPARK JOY (borrowing a phrase from Marie Kondo). 
Here's a peek at my Thursday re-charge day...

      I almost didn't go.  It seemed to take forever to get myself around that morning.  I thought about just staying put.  Why make the effort?  Why waste the gas?  But I did go.  I took a book I am currently reading and my journal.

      I arrived in Goshen around noon.  I had a light lunch at Electric Brew.  I remained there for about 30 minutes....rereading some journal entries...and adding an entry.  I left the "Brew" and leisurely walked down to Better World Books.  By the way, it was a lovely, sunny day :) 
At the bookstore, I slowly scanned the shelves for anything of interest.  I lost track of time.  There was no where I had to be...just here...NOW. 
No surprise...I purchased 3 books!!

      Now for another leisurely walk down to Twice As Nice consignment shop.  I found a cute pair of brown ankle-length jeans and 2 pairs of earrings.  Then back to the car to drop off my finds and drive up to Maple City Market.  I wanted a snack :)

      I decided on a bottle of Kevita kombucha fermented tea and Justin's chocolate & peanut butter cups.  I enjoyed a little of each right there in my car in the market's parking lot :)  While I sat in the car...relaxing...I made the decision to go home by a different route.  Instead of traveling back to South Bend on the bypass, I would drive down Bashor Rd and jog over onto County Road 28.  (I love driving down country roads...soaking in the farm fields and animals.)  That path took me over to Olive Cemetery.  That's where 3 generations of grandparents on my mom's side lay at rest.  I don't really know why...but I needed to stop and visit.

      I stood by my mom's parents gravestone and cried.  My Grandma Kindig died a month after I got married...42 years ago.  I walked down past several driveways to my Grandpa Kindig's parents' gravestone....Emery & Susannah.   No tears there...I just wanted to touch the stone and say hello.
I walked back to the car to finish my tea and treat.  Then I drove across the street and up the drive near Olive Mennonite Church to Emery's parents' gravestone...Henry & Elizabeth.  That stone is so weather-worn.  I could barely read Henry's name...and Elizabeth's was gone.  I was sad. 
Interesting Fact:  Henry M. Kindig died on December 29th.  My grandson, Henry Michael, was born on December 29th.  My daughter did not know about this relative when she named Henry :)

      Unfortunately, the mosquitoes drove me back in the car.  I popped back onto CR 28 and once again enjoyed the country road trip.  CR 28 turns into Kern Rd...and back home.

      Although I mentioned stores and brands...this post is NOT a commercial.  I could have gone off that day with a sack lunch and not spent a dime. I could have read or journaled the entire time.  Also, this post is NOT a recipe for your day of renewal. 
What brings you joy?  What recharges your energy...your spirit? 
I did not regret the time I carved that day.  I came home lighter in spirit. 
Even the cemetery visit was ultimately I felt connected to my roots. 
I came home NOURISHED!



Friday, September 2, 2016

Raw White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart!

      Eating raw foods really intrigues me!  I truly believe that it's beneficial to include raw, fresh fruits and veggies into your daily diet.  But once in a while, it's fun and tasty to try a raw dessert :)  This recipe uses raw almonds and cashews; coconut and cacao products; and sweet red raspberries.
The finished product is visually impressive...and de-licious!  I'll walk you through the three parts of this dessert construction...

The Crust
In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of almond meal with 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil.  Press this mixture into the bottom of a tart pan or pie plate.  Place in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling :)
The Filling
*Soak 2 cups of raw cashews for 2-4 hours.  Drain and rinse.
*Blend the soaked cashews, 1/3 cup agave nectar OR raw honey, 1/2 cup of melted cacao (cocoa) butter, 1/3 cup of melted coconut oil and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla in a food processor...and process until very smooth :)
*Spread a thin layer of the filling onto your chilled crust.
*Using 2 pints of rinsed raspberries...spread a tightly-packed layer of berries over the thin layer of filling.
*Pour the rest of the filling mixture over the raspberries.
*Place back into the fridge to chill while you prepare the chocolate ganache topping :)
The Chocolate Ganache Topping
*In a small bowl, blend together...1/2 cup of 100 % cacao (cocoa) powder, 1/2 cup of agave nectar OR raw honey and 1/4 cup of softened coconut butter.  This mixture will be thick!
*Drop spoonfuls of ganache onto the filling...and spread carefully with a butter knife.
*Place the finished tart back into the fridge.
*Remove the tart...and let sit at room temperature...about 30 minutes before serving.
Where to find the ingredients...
Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal from Kroger's, Whole Foods Market, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market or Garden Patch Market
Coconut Oil from any grocery or health food store
Coconut Butter from DC Meats...and most health food stores
Cacao Butter (in brick form) from DC Meats...and most health food stores
Cacao Powder from DC Meats and any health food store
Agave Nectar and Raw Honey from any grocery or health food store
**This is a vegan dessert when using agave nectar.
Recipe adapted from Rawmazing by Susan Powers

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A New Twist on the Peanut Butter Cookie!

      Have I mentioned before that I believe Kroger's Grocery Store is really rockin' these days??  I can't speak for all of the local stores; but the one near me is providing about 80% of my food (minus the meat).  I can find a variety of organic fresh fruits and veggies, canned beans, nut butters, milk and nut milks, butter, Ezekiel bread products, etc.  Periodically, I receive a small magazine in the mail from Kroger's called my magazine.  It contains food articles, recipes and coupons.  The Spring edition had a recipe...and yummy-looking picture... of Banana Peanut Butter Cookies.  It was high time that I created those cookies in my kitchen :)

BPB cookies ready for the oven!

      I made a few slight changes and doubled the recipe.  Here you go...
Ingredients (Use organic whenever possible :)
2 large ripe bananas
1 cup of crunchy peanut butter (without oil or sugar)
1/3 cup of raw sugar or Sucanat
1/3 cup of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
1 cup of whole wheat flour
**I have also tried 1/2 cup of Spelt flour & 1/2 cup of unbleached white flour.
 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
2-3 cups of rolled oats (add oats until you have a dense cookie dough...somewhat "tacky").
*Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Make sure your racks are far enough apart to accommodate 2 large baking sheets.  Line the sheets with parchment paper.

*In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.  Add in the peanut butter
and combine thoroughly.
*Add in the sugars and flour(s) and blend together.
*Add in the vanilla.
*Incorporate the nut milk into the mixture.
*Finally...add in your oats.
*Grease your hands with a bit of coconut oil to form the cookies.
I made mine "golf ball-sized" :)
*Place the balls on the parchment paper and flatten each one with a fork.
*Bake the cookies for 8 minutes.
*Switch which rack each sheet is on...and bake for another 7 minutes.
The cookies should be lightly browned on their bottoms...and the edges should be slightly browned.
They should be soft coming out of the oven...and remain soft as they cool.
*When the cookies are done, transfer them onto cooling racks until they are thoroughly cooled.
**Since photographing these cookies, I have taken to placing 3 dark chocolate chips on each cookie before baking.  My husband heartily approves :)
The finished product!  Just gotta' taste one :)
**This recipe makes 24 moist and yummy cookies.  Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge...if there are any leftovers!
Recipe adapted from my magazine

Friday, August 5, 2016

I'm in a pickle!

      Last Saturday I scored some great little pickling cucumbers at the Goshen Farmers Market!  I always look for dark green, firm cucumbers...with lots of warts :)  I dug out my simple refrigerator pickle recipe and got to work. 
      I put the canning jars in my dishwasher to sterilize them.  I washed the rings and lids...and I was ready to roll.  I washed my cucumbers...cut off the very ends...and then cut them in half.  I set them aside to work on my pickling mixture.
      Figuring out how much liquid pickling mixture you need for your jars is a tricky business :)  I had purchased 4 pint boxes of cucumbers.  I ended up doubling my mixture recipe...and having enough liquid to cover 6 pint jars.  The jars are you will see in the last picture!
      It is extremely important to use the correct kind of pot to heat up your mixture.  You want a non-metal pot...or a coated metal pot (like Teflon, Silverstone or enamel).  Make sure your coated pot does not have cracks in the coating.  Uncoated metal will react with the vinegar and make your pickle solution turn cloudy.
I used....
*2/3 cup of sucanat (raw, unrefined cane sugar)
*2/3 cup of canning salt
*4 tablespoons of dill weed
*6 very large shallots...
*6 small cloves of garlic....sliced
*2 teaspoons of celery seed
*4 cups of white vinegar
*1 cups of water
I brought the mixture to a "near boil"...and then turned the burner off.
      I let the mixture cool while I placed my cut cucumbers into the jars. They were rather small cucumbers, so they went every which way in the jars.  I packed them in rather tightly.  In years past...with larger cucumbers...I was able to stack them upright.  I found out this morning that it really doesn't matter :)  After a 6 day wait, I opened a jar for the "snap test".  If they are ripe and ready cucumbers at processing time, they should have an audible "snap" when they are eaten.   And they did!!! Yay for easy refrigerator pickles! 
      So.....after the cucumbers are placed into the jars, cover them with the pickling liquid up to the upper glass band on the jar.  You want to leave at least 1/2 inch free of liquid at the top of the jar.  I then placed the rings and lids on the jars.  I let the jars cool to room temperature (about 2 hours)...and then I placed them into the refrigerator.  That's were they need to live :)  Since they are not conventionally canned pickles, they would spoil if left out of the refrigerator. 
      Now for the wait...  You want the seasonings to have a chance to fully absorb into the cucumbers...and turn them into PICKLES!  Be patient and wait 6 or 7 days.  You will not be sorry :)

Here they are!!  Let's eat!
Recipe credit go to

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I have to show you this beauty! I finished putting my lunch together...and was going to sit down and enjoy it...I realized that I HAD to take a picture of it!  What a beauty!  It never fails...when I put this & that together...I end up with a spectacular tasting creation that is pleasing to the eye, as well :)
      It helped that I had THE BEST avocado to work with today.  It was perfectly ripe with no blemishes.  I placed the avocado in a bowl...mashed it a bit, then added in:  seaweed gomasio (sesame seeds, seaweed and sea salt); pepper; basil; and olive oil.  I found some leftover mango salsa, some fresh spinach and newly-acquired alfalfa sprouts.  Perfect!  I also found some pita halves in the fridge. 
      So, I...toasted the pita bread and loaded it up with all my goodies!
      I believe the variety of flavors, colors and textures made this lunch special :) 
      Crisp and slightly-warm pita...creamy avocado...zingy mango salsa...bright green spinach...
      crunchy sprouts...Heaven...I'm in heaven....



Thursday, June 16, 2016

Harvesting Arugula!

      Arugula found a place in our garden this year!  It's been a learning curve, as we have never grown it before.  I learned that it thrives best in cooler weather.  We planted our arugula in the early spring...and now we are harvesting just as the hotter weather is beginning.  We can pull up the plant at the end of harvest time, and replace that place in the garden with a hot weather green like kale or chard.  We also have the option of planting arugula again in the early fall...and enjoying another harvest before winter sets in.  I really don't want to think about that right now :)
      Arugula is a leafy green herb in the mustard family.  It is called "rocket" in other countries.  Arugula leaves resemble the leaves of an oak...which you'll notice in my first picture below. 
This snappy herb has a peppery flavor...almost a good way :)  It becomes more bitter as the leaves grow larger.  As arugula matures, flowers appear at the tops of the skinny stalks.  These flowers are edible :)
      Arugula is nutrient dense...low in calories and high in nutrients!  It is a good source of vitamins A and C, folate, calcium and magnesium.  Enjoy this green raw or cooked.  It works best added to salads with other (sweeter) greens...or added to pizza, pasta, casseroles, sandwiches or soup! 
Arugula can be used in place of basil in your favorite pesto recipe.  If you grow your own arugula...refrigerate unwashed greens in a bag...and use within one to two days of harvesting.
Have a look at my fresh arugula...and the tasty salad we enjoyed with supper!
So Simple Salad!
I combined arugula with romaine and purple leaf lettuce.
Then I added toasted sunflower seeds, feta cheese and dried cranberries & plums.
A bit of red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt & pepper finished it off :)
               1,000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Trying Some New Smoothie Ingedients!

I went in this morning for my yearly blood work draw.  It was a fasting draw, so I came back home ready for some nourishment :)  I thought I would try out a relatively new version of my Sun Warrior protein powder...and a different brand of almond milk.  Along with some organic blueberries...and a juicy  mango, I added hemp seeds and a bitty splash of pure maple syrup!  I honestly forgot to add some greens. Oh well, next time :)

Here's the low-down on the protein powder...It's called Sun Warrior Classic PLUS Organic Raw Plant-Based Protein Vanilla.  I recommend non-soy, plant-based protein powders (rather than dairy-based) to avoid any kind of dairy intolerance.  It also fits the bill for the sometimes vegan in me :)
This raw organic protein boost is made from pea, brown rice, quinoa, chia seed and amaranth.  It is USDA organic, soy free, gluten-free and dairy-free!  Some of y'all just plain don't like the experience of protein powders.  It may seem too gritty...or have an aftertaste.  I understand.  Personally, I trade a bit of that experience for the high-quality...and portable...nutrition in this product.  It's such a clean product with 100 calories in one scoop offering me 18 grams of protein.  Bottoms up!!

The almond milk is from the SO Delicious company.  This vanilla almond milk is carrageenan free...and is NON-GMO project verified.   Carrageenan is a substance extracted from a variety of seaweed.  It is used to gel, thicken and/or stabilize food products.  Carrageenan cannot be digested...and it has no nutritional value.  Your digestive tract doesn't really like this stuff, and it can lead to inflammation in the gut.  I am happy to see companies taking this unnecessary (and potentially harmful) ingredient out of their foods. 
Here are some pics...

Carrageenan info credit to: 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Time for Real Food

      I just finished reading an article about the reality...or lack thereof...of purchasing and preparing REAL FOOD.  By REAL FOOD...I mean whole and nutritious food that is unrefined.  The woman who wrote the article, Lori Hernandez of Third Day Farms, attends a church that participated in The Daniel Plan.  A component of The Daniel Plan deals with diet and nutrition.  Most of the people in that church group came to the conclusion that following the plan was unrealistic.. too much time needed for shopping and preparing...and too much money needed to purchase the REAL FOOD.  It's all does take time and money.  For the majority of the time humanity has existed, we have spent much our days looking for food, cultivating food and preparing food.  It is only in relatively recent history that acquiring nutrition can take such little time.  Frozen food...sit-down restaurant food...prepared entrees are quick answers to "What's for dinner?"  I know some people that don't cook at all.  I know someone who has never used her oven...ever.  I am not casting judgment.  But the fact remains that we are a sick nation...sick with chronic, degenerative diseases.  Something has to give.  Are we too busy to improve our health?  What activity or obligation in our day could be shifted to allow time for family cooking and meal times....time for a trip to the Farmers Market...or a local orchard?  Not everyone loves to cook...and I get that :)   Could we form a network of family and friends that can share the tasks involved in enjoying REAL FOOD?  What about bartering skills and services for REAL FOOD?  I urge you to think outside the box.  Health is a gift you can give yourself each and every day :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A New Store-Bought Hummus Find!

**Before I begin.....My trip to El Paso was so packed with family time that I did not blog anymore after that Houston Airport post.  It was wonderful to just sit and chat with loved ones that live so far away.  There was plenty of good food on that trip.  The most impressionable was a chicken quesadilla meal at Kiki's.  There is NOTHING like AUTHENTIC Mexican food...the seasoning on the chicken...the exquisite flavor of the corn tortilla....the uber-fresh sour cream....etc....
I just had to rave!  If you are ever in El Paso, Texas....please check out Kiki's on North Piedras :)

And now, on to my post for today...
      After Fresh Thyme Farmers Market opened in Mishawaka, I spent several trips just perusing the departments looking for old favorites and new finds.  I see it as my obligation to check out new foods and brands...and, of course, taste them :)   I ran across Oasis brand hummus...a new one to me.  I usually make my own hummus; but there are times when purchasing a high-quality store-bought product just makes sense.  This hummus (referred to on the packaging as hommus...ethnic spelling) is unique in that it contains no oil.  I tried the Spicy Mediterranean version...and it was very tasty with a little kick!  Oasis makes a wide variety of bean and eggplant spreads, salsa, tahini (sesame seed paste), and pita bread.  I have listed the attributes of Oasis hummus that qualify it as my opinion :)
*Made simply with chickpeas, water, sesame tahini, lemon juice, fresh garlic & sea salt
*No added oils
*Nutrient-dense: lots of nutrition in a few calories
34 calories in 2 tablespoons
*No preservatives
*Certified Non-GMO
*heart healthy
*packed with antioxidants
Here's a pic of my lunch with Oasis hummus on a Dr. Kracker cracker with fresh avocado!

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Saturday, April 2, 2016

I found nutritious food in the Houston airport!!

Right at this minute, I am sitting in the Houston airport enduring a 2 hour delay of my flight to El Paso.  Sigh :(     I'm with my mom...and traveling to visit my brother and his family.  I'm so glad I brought along my trusty laptop!  It's been a while since we ate lunch...and it will be a while until we reach El Paso.

So....I went for a walk looking for a banana!

It is amazing what a nutrition nerd can find in an airport these days.  I scored a bottle of Odwalla Superfood Smoothie....found my banana....and some fresh melon & pineapple.  I am almost entirely sure that none of this is organic, but the Odwalla juice IS NON-GMO :)   It's that old idea of "the lesser of two evils". 

Just found out that the flight will be leaving a bit sooner :)

Stay I will be blogging during my short-but-sweet stay in El Paso!

I would be honored to have you visit my redesigned website.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Super Simple Homemade Ketchup

If you are looking for tasty ketchup that is not full of high-fructose corn syrup...this recipe is for you!  I used the Simple Truth brand of organic tomato paste from Kroger's.  Five minutes later, I had 2 cups of zippy ketchup that will last for months in my fridge :)
Ingredients....Use Organic Whenever Possible :)
* 2 cans (6-7 oz. each) of organic tomato paste
*1/2 cup of filtered water
*1/4 cup of raw, apple cider vinegar (Bragg's!)
3-4 tablespoons of coconut sugar (or raw cane sugar)
* 1  1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
*1/4 teaspoon of dry mustard powder
*1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
*1/8 teaspoon of celery salt
*1/8 teaspoons of ground cloves
*1/8 teaspoons of ground allspice
*pinch of cayenne pepper or Chipotle chili powder
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small saucepan.  "Cook" briefly over a very low heat until the sugar is dissolved and the spices are melded with the tomato paste.  Adjust the taste to your liking with any of the seasonings.  "Pour" the ketchup into a clean glass jar. This ketchup will be thick.  Store in the fridge...and enjoy regularly :)
Recipe adapted from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook by Alissa Segersten & Tom Malterre
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