Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Making Banana Pancakes, Pretending It's the Weekend...

*sigh*

Oh yes. Today is a *sigh* kind of day. Or week, rather.

My oldest DD has had a scratchy sore throat for days. We're still waiting to get the test results to see if it's strep.

And then last night, about midnight, my youngest started throwing up and hasn't stopped since.

So, today, we decided to play hookie from homeschool and instead we made banana pancakes and are watching tv, pretending it's the weekend.

Enjoy! (and if you wouldn't mind, please say a little prayer for our family)

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Angela's Banana Pancake Sandwich
This recipe was inspired by Angela's Banana Pancake Sandwich. This is essentially the exact same recipe as Angela's, but with substitutions and amounts increased in order to serve 3.

1/2 c brown rice flour
1/2 c oat flour
1 c almond meal/flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3 dashes sea salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1T unsweetened cocoa powder
1.25 tsp vanilla
1-1.5 c almond milk
1.5 bananas
a few handfuls gluten-free mini chocolate chips

see Angela's Recipe for directions

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Angela's Reduced-Sugar Syrup
Yields: 1
 
Substitutions:
*sub - 1T raw coconut nectar for maple syrup
*Note: It helps to warm up the coconut nectar & oil before trying to mix them together since they separate easily.

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And now... let Jack entertain you while you pretend it's the weekend!

Monday, October 15, 2012

An Apple A Day...

Tis the season for Apples!

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as our family does.

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Lisa's Crockpot Apple Sauce
In my house, applesauce is a staple. My kids can't seem to get enough of it. But, thanks to this recipe, I won't ever buy homemade applesauce again! No preservatives!

In the morning, when my DD's bowl is empty of applesauce, this is what happens...
video

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Angela's Apple Pie Oatmeal

Substitutions:
*sub - raw yacon syrup for maple syrup

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Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
Serves 1

1/2 c raw oats
3/4-1 c water
dash of sea salt
1/2 c dried unsweetened apple rings, chopped
2T walnuts, finely chopped
cinnamon, to taste
powdered stevia, to taste

Make your oats with the water and sea salt. While the oats are heating, chop your apple rings and walnuts. Add to the hot oatmeal. Then, add your cinnamon and stevia, to taste. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Raw Cookie Dough!

What if I told you that you could eat cookie dough guilt-free?

What if I told you that it's egg-free?

What if I told you that this cookie dough tastes pretty darn close to the real thing?

You probably wouldn't believe me, right?

But, it's true!


Substitutions:
*sub - 5T oat flour for 5 tsp flour
*use - 2 tsp coconut oil
*omit - sprinkles
*sub - vegan chocolate chips, amount is as desired
*use - 1 tsp almond milk
*omit - forming into balls
*omit - cooking! eat raw!

Happy Eating!


Winner Announced + 2 Mexican Dishes

Congrats to Andrea for winning the Nuvia Cafe giveaway!

Thank you to everyone else for entering the giveaway. I'm hoping to have more giveaways in the future, so stay tuned!

If you are a company, interested in having me giveaway your product on my blog, please contact me by emailing me. Thanks!

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While I love the colors of fall, I don't love the colder weather coming in.

Yesterday had me dreaming of warmer, sunny days, like you see in Mexico.

Oh well. If I can't have warmer days, at least I can eat like I'm there.

Ashley's Mexican Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Serves 2-4

This was amazing! It had a bit of heat to it, so I couldn't believe it when my youngest cleaned her plate! 

This is a favorite and will for sure be made again in my household.

We topped ours with the following recipe, like Ashley suggested.

Averie's Raw Cheddar Dipping Sauce

Again, amazing! I think I've found my new favorite salad dressing, "cheese" for pizzas, etc.

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Life around here has been chaotic. We are running at least 2-4 nights per week for swimming lessons, small group and dance lessons. So, when meal planning, we're trying to take those nights into consideration, since we won't have time to cook and want to plan ahead so that we won't be tempted to eat out. We're trying to utilize our slow cooker more and make meals that can be eaten multiple times throughout the week.  This meal was perfect for all of those things! This recipe is even "freezer-friendly" so you can prep everything ahead of time, if needed.

Gina's Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup
There are so many fun variations on toppings for this soup, but it's also good by itself, too. The first time I had it I used organic corn tortilla chips infused w/lime to scoop up the soup. I can't wait to try it with plain greek yogurt and/or avocado! Yum!

Substitutions:
*omit - chipotle chili in adobe sauce (only because we didn't have any on hand)
*omit - cheddar cheese (can sub w/nooch, if wanted)
*sub - plain greek yogurt for sour cream


Happy eating!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Best PMS Food

Ok ladies, let's be honest here.

How many of you crave brownies when you're PMSing?

It's the number one food that I crave. But with all my health issues, it is the least friendly food to my system.

Until now.

Whether you like a more cake-like brownie or a denser chewy brownie, I've got a recipe for you!

Happy eating!

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For a cake-like brownie:

Coconut Brownies

1 cup soy-free vegan butter, softened
2 cups coconut sugar, blonde
4 eggs, organic, free-range
1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla
1.5 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

In a large bowl, cream vegan butter and coconut sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and cocoa; gradually beat into creamed mix just until blended. Stir in coconut. Spread into a greased 9x13" baking pan. Bake at 350* for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs (do not over bake!) Cool on a wire rack.

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For a dense, chewy brownie:

Katie's No Flour Black Bean Brownies

Substitutions:
*Used Coconut Nectar in place of Maple Syrup/Agave/Honey
*Omitted the Stevia/Sugar
*We used 2/3 cup chopped Trader Joe's Organic 70% Super Dark chocolate bar in place of the chocolate chips



Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fall in MN

Fall is my absolute favorite season.


The amazing color and beauty that come out when the leaves start changing colors is hard to beat.


Today some of my family and I celebrated our German heritage with an Oktoberfest-themed boat ride down the Mississippi.


Silly me forgot to take pictures of the food! So sorry!
Here is what we enjoyed:

  • Brats & Bavarian Buns
  • Sauerbraten
  • German Potato Salad
  • Spaetzle with Paprika Sauce
  • Vinegar & Oil Coleslaw
  • Black Forest Torte Cake
The brats and spaetzle were amazing!!!

I got a bit claustrophobic at the Lock and Dam. But otherwise, it was a beautiful tour.


We even spotted a bald eagle! Can you find it?

Hope you enjoyed Fall in MN!


Friday, October 5, 2012

Pasta w/Creamy Sweet Potato Sauce (GF, DF)

Doesn't fall just put in the mood for all things pumpkin, sweet potato and the like? It sure does me! That's why I was so excited to try this recipe! (sorry for the bad picture)

Pasta with Creamy Sweet Potato Sauce
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home
Yields: 5 servings



1 large sweet potato
2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 cups uncooked gluten-free pasta, any type
1T pine nuts
1 tsp rubbed sage
1T Earth Balance coconut spread or coconut oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup water
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup nutritional yeast

Scrub and pierce sweet potato; place on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 8-10 minutes or until tender, turning once. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin. Place potato in a large bowl and mash with almond milk. In the meantime, cook pasta according to package directions (do not overcook!) In a large skillet on low-medium heat, saute pine nuts and sage in coconut spread/oil until pine nuts are toasted. Remove from pan and set aside. In the same skillet, saute garlic in oil for 1 minute. Stir in the sweet potato mixture, salt and pepper. Drain pasta. Add pasta, plus 3/4 cup water to sweet potato mixture. Stir in the nutritional yeast, pine nut mixture and reserved cooking water. Now try not to eat all 5 servings in one sitting! ;-)


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Field Trip: Chicken Farm

Today was a homeschool field trip day. We travelled to my good friend and fellow ministry partner's farm.


Ok, so it's just a hobby farm, but they have cats, a dog and chickens! The chicken-part was new to me. So, imagine my excitement when I able to pick freshly laid chicken eggs and take them home!!!

The very next day, I decided to do a little experiment and see the difference between my Kirkland Organic Vegetarian-Fed Eggs and my friends' Free-Range Eggs. See for yourselves the difference...


Which do you think is which?

The darker (and larger) yolks, on right, are from my friends' farm. 

So, what's the difference?

Several sources indicate that the more orange (and thus, less yellow) a yolk is, the more access the hens had to bugs, worms and plants and the more nutrient-dense their diets were. You can trust these hens are truly free range. The yolk color, however, does not mean that they are more nutritious. Regardless of yolk or shell color, eggs are a great source of Vitamin A.
Sources: Ca.Uky.EduEggland's Best

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As most of you know, my DD is obsessed with Little House on the Prairie. I knew she'd be delighted if she could search for and pick her own eggs! So, my friend (who also homeschools) and I arranged for a "Pioneer Days"-themed day.

It was a bit windy and cold, so we scratched the theme, but the kids had a blast none-the-the-less.


First, I must show you some pictures of their lovely farm-style house!




Then, you can meet some of the chickens, one of which is lovingly named, "Sally".



And now you see my DD's first experience with gathering her own eggs!

The barn where the chicken coop is located.

Peeking her head cautiously into the chicken coop.

Got her first egg!

Found the hidden nest! Sneaky little chickens.

Found another one!

The final loot!

Thanks again to my friend, for letting us visit your chicken farm and taking home some of your delicious eggs!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Product Review + Giveaway!!!

I am so excited to share today's post and giveaway with you!

Big time bloggers sometimes have companies contact them. These companies want to send the bloggers their product, for free, to try out and review on their blog. This, of course, is for exposure and marketing purposes.

I don't consider myself a "big time blogger", so I was shocked and extremely excited when I had my first company contact me!

Rest assured, that I will only try out products that I truly feel might have a beneficial aspect for myself and my readers. If a company contacts me and I can't eat their ingredients or don't believe in their product, I won't even bother to try it. You can trust that I will give you honest reviews.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to Nuvia Cafe.

Nuvia is "Sumatran Arabica coffee infused with a trifecta of legendary ingredients: the extracts of 100% certified organic Ganoderma (aka Reishi Mushroom), African Mango Seed and Pomegranate. The Sumatran coffee beans are roasted to perfection yielding a superior flavor that is rustic, yet rich and full bodied. Ganoderma (an immune enhancer), African Mango, (a healthy, natural appetite suppressant) and Pomegrante (a super antioxidant) are renown in recent clinical studies." ~written on the product's box


Directions:
"If you desire a delicious cafe experience while optimizing your immune system, boosting your metabolism and protecting your cells, add the contents of a Nuvia packet to 6-8 oz hot water and enjoy!"


Personal Experiences:
Along with the product to try, I received a promotional newspaper from the company with four pages full of amazing testimonies from people who have used Ganoderma supplements in some form or another. Below is a summary of those testimonies.

  • energy increased
  • arthritic pain decreased
  • no longer suffering from PMS
  • cancerous tumor disappeared
  • eczema is clearing up
  • broke up congestion
  • chronic pain becomes manageable or disappears
  • sleep soundly
  • cravings for sweets disappeared
  • blood sugars are balanced
  • acne slowly cleared up
  • regulated menstrual cycle
  • eliminated menstrual cramping
  • calmed ADD symptoms
  • reduced ear and throat infections
  • menopause symptoms became more manageable
  • brain fog disappeared
  • weight loss
  • depression was gone
  • liver spots on skin went away
  • blood pressure normalized
  • digestive system regulated
  • red blood cells stabilized

You'll see that I "bolded" a few of the personal experiences. These are the things that most attracted me to this product, because those of us suffering from PCOS and/or endometriosis, have been dealing with these symptoms. It was worth a try!

My Review:
I agree with the company's statement that this product has a rustic, yet rich and full bodied flavor. It's equivalent to a dark roast. This product tastes nothing like mushrooms, cause I know you were wondering. ;-) It has a smooth taste and didn't aggravate my acid reflux, like other coffees sometimes can. The really great thing about this coffee is that it's an instant coffee. All you need is hot water. No need to even have a coffee maker!

You would have no idea that this was an instant coffee though; the top becomes amazingly frothy, like you got it from a fancy coffee shop.

I even tried this out on a few unsuspecting friends. And they loved it as much as I did! I haven't noticed any dramatic changes in my health, but I also have not been drinking it on a regular basis, like you should. The one thing my testers and I did notice, was that it wasn't as strong as other coffees. Some of us needed to drink 2 cups to feel the same caffeine effects as 1 cup of other coffees. This could be due to the dark roast, though, since the lighter the roast, the more caffeine there is. If you have endometriosis, remember not to drink anymore than 1 cup of caffeine a day during your menstrual cycle since it's known to increase a women's natural estrogen up to 70% over non-caffeine drinkers.

And now the best part!

I loved this product so much, that I contacted Nuvia Cafe and asked if they'd send me another box to giveaway to one lucky reader!

This giveaway will be open for one week only. A winner will be chosen on Tuesday, October 9th. So enter now!


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