Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Real Food Challenge

I have just joined the Real Food Challenge at The Nourished Kitchen. Go over and check it out. Challenge yourself if you want!
Each day, for the entire month of February, you’ll receive an assignment that will help you learn about the principles of a nourishing diet including the importance of grass-finished and pastured meats, wholesome fats, sprouted and soured grains and probiotic foods.
I'll be blogging about my escapades into this...hopefully I won't have to eat liver!! :)

Yummy Low(er)-Carb Dinner

I love chicken chunks. Love them a lot. And my hubby really loves chicken nuggets and fried chicken too. So earlier this week I experimented. I used my Bob's Red Mill baking mix as a breading for chicken and it was delicious!!

2c Bob's Red Mill Low-Carb Baking Mix
1/2c panko bread crumbs
2chicken breasts, cut into 1" chunks
2t onion powder
2t garlic powder
1t chipotle powder
1t curry powder
1/4c cream
1/2c water
  1. whisk together egg, water and cream in one bowl

  2. in another bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients for dredging

  3. heat about 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees in dutch oven (I used a candy thermometer to keep temp constant)

  4. soak some chicken in the egg mixture, then dredge in breading mixture and fry a few at a time. Transfer to newspaper to drain excess oil off.

  5. Chicken pieces are done when they are nice and golden brown on the outside, just 3-4 minutes is all it takes.

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These were very yummy! I will definitely be making them again. I served them with butternut squash french fries baked in the oven. Delicious! The chunks run about 10 carbs/serving (approximately) and I don't think Hubby even realized they were low-carb. The baking mix gave the breading a really great texture because not only does it contain different flours, but also oat bran and flax seed meal. (BRM mix contains: Vital Wheat Gluten, Whole Grain Oat Flour, Oat Bran, Oat Fiber, Flaxseed Meal, Whole Grain Rye Flour, Wheat Bran, Whole Grain Soy Flour, Sea Salt, Evaporated Cane Juice)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Menu Monday (on Tuesday)

Quick post from my iPod today!

Monday - low carb fried chickenchunks & butternut squash fries. Delicious! Recipes soon!
Tuesday - chicken & broccoli stirfry with noodles (I won't eat noodles). Friends will be coming over so we will also have applesauce & I'm hoping to make some low-carb icecream too!
Wednesday- beef stew (with leftovers)
Thursday - beef stirfry with asparagus
Friday - dinner at our house! Roast chicken, corn, butternut squash & hopefully some homemade bread
Saturday - out of town at a cousins baby shower
Sunday - homamade pizza if we get home before dinner!

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- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, January 25, 2010

Adventures with Beef-a-roni!

My husband grew up on boxed meals. His parents both worked, his mom worked nights, and a lot of the time it was either he and his siblings cooking, food brought home, or something from a box. He loves the stuff, that and canned pasta.

However, I just can't do it. I'll buy him a few cans of the pasta stuff for when he's cooking for himself, but I can't in my right mind buy a box of beef-a-roni and make it for dinner! That's why I'm very happy I found a from-scratch beef-a-roni recipe! I've modified it a bit, but I'll post the original recipe here first.

1lb ground beef
1/2lb macaroni
2c water
1 1/2c tomato sauce
2t sugar
1t mustard
1t pepper
1t onion powder
1salt to taste
2c shredded cheese
  1. Brown and drain ground beef

  2. Add spices and mix to combine.

  3. Pour in water and pasta, bring to a boil.

  4. Simmer 15 minutes.

  5. Turn off heat and stir in cheese.

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The first time I made it, I stuck to the recipe and my Hubby loved it! And it's easy enough that he can even make it himself! Since going low-carb, I've had to modify it a bit. I'm still working on getting it just right, but it works for us :)

First change is to boil his noodles separately. This is actually making it difficult to get the right water ratio in the meat portion, but I'm getting close.

Instead of noodles for me, I usually steam some cauliflower or broccoli. It's surprisingly good over cauliflower!

I'm using my own home-canned tomato sauce with very little sugar in it, and then I only use about 1 t of splenda. I also cut up about 1/4 of an onion and saute it with the ground beef instead of onion powder.

And last but not least, I add garlic :) We love garlic! It makes everything tasty!

I unfortunately didn't get a picture of this from dinner last night, but it's not the most photogenic of meals anyway. But it's beef-a-roni, use your imagination! :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Adventures with Cauliflower Soup

Yes, you read that correctly, cauliflower soup. I myself was skeptical, but I'm expanding my horizons, and I'm glad that I did!! The original recipe came from Pioneer Woman. Thanks for the inspiration :)

Unfortunately, everyone liked the soup so much I didn't get a chance to take a picture. But it was delicious. I used ham stock and put in a little bit of ham I had in the freezer from the holidays. I omitted the salt as a result of that. So good! Have I said that yet :)

6 servings. 6 carbs per serving!

1/2stick butter
1stalk celery
1cauliflower head (or two if they are small. You can also use frozen.)
2T parsley
2quarts stock (chicken, ham, veggie or beef will work)
1 1/2cup whipping cream
2t salt
1c sour cream
  1. Cut up cauliflower, celery and carrot into bit sized pieces. Place in roasting pan and roast at 375 for about a 1/2 hour. (This step isn't completely necessary, but I think it makes it tastier!)

  2. Melt butter in soup pot or a dutch over. Add diced onion and cook for a few minutes (I added garlic too!). Add roasted veggies and parsley. Stir to combine.

  3. Cover and cook on very low for 15 minutes.

  4. Pour in stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer.

  5. Ladle about 1/2 of the soup into a blender or food processor and blend. Return to soup.

  6. Add cream and simmer on low for a few minutes. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary.

  7. Just before serving, place the sour cream in a serving bowl or soup tureen. Add 2-3 ladles of soup and mix with sour cream. Pour in remaining soup and stir.

  8. Serve immediately.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

The good fats

This is a really great post from Nourishing Days regarding good fats versus bad fats. Most interesting I think are the charts, which show an undeniable correlation between the use of margarine and the increase in hear disease. Please check it out!

Menu Monday & Our Eating Habits

It's that time again already, I can't believe it! Last week flew by for me, and so did the weekend unfortunately.

Monday - spaghetti with homemade meat sauce. (I am trying Dreamfields pasta tonight, only 5 carbs per serving. I'm not exactly sure how they do it, but I'm willing to try it!)
Tuesday - crockpot greek chicken. (We did get to do this last week because we ended up going out on Friday for a birthday.) If I have time, we'll also have some roasted asparagus with this. But, we may be going to a movie with friends, so I might not get a chance!
Wednesday - crockpot Pot Roast with turnips
Thursday - chicken & broccoli stirfry
Friday - dinner at our neighbors
Saturday - leftovers
Sunday - homemade pizza (I've made one on a l0w-carb tortilla. It's not the same, but it works! Hubby doesn't care for tortillas, especially if they're wheat, aka "poison", so I'll make a real crust for him.)

For more Monday Menus, visit!

In case anyone is wondering about our other meals, it's really simple!
For breakfast nearly every day I have a sausage, egg and cheese scramble. I freeze the sausage into portion sizes so in the morning I just pull a puck out, defrost it for a few seconds and scramble it all up!

Hubby gets a sausage and cheese biscuit in the mornings. I've been buying a big pack of Jimmy Dean premade sandwiches from Sams for convenience. I feel bad about it, but he asks for them. Recently, however, he's been asking me to take the egg off b/c he doesn't really like the texture of the egg. So, I've decided to make our own. Each Sunday I will make up some sausage patties and some biscuits. Then in the morning I will just warm them up and add a slice of cheese! Perfect.

Lunch for me is usually leftovers or some kind of salad with seasoned meat. I like to make up a big batch of taco meat on the weekend and then just eat off it during the week.

Lunch for Hubby makes me cringe to think about. He eats out of the machine at work now. I hate it! But he says he doesn't have anywhere to put a lunch if he takes it and doesn't always have time to eat. On days when he doesn't have time, he just comes home and fixes himself a sandwich or something. I try to keep sandwich fixings around so he can. He likes deli meat and chips. For all that I try to make things from scratch and keep things healthy and whole foods, my husband loves processed foods. Little Debbie snacks, pringles and deli ham. It kills me. I am trying little-by-little to convert him.

My friends have often said "just don't buy it. If it's not there, he can't help but eat the good stuff." Wouldn't that be nice? My husband instead will stop at the gas station in the morning and get fast food on his way home. Or, he will just not eat. Most people will say that he's a grown man and let him do what he wants. The problem is that my husband has an ulcer. Not eating is not good for him. He doesn't care most of the time, but as his wife, I feel that I've done him wrong by not providing food for him that he likes and will be good for him. So I'm taking baby steps.

Wow, that was a much longer post than I intended! Sorry!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Seed Catalogs Have Arrived!!

Some green deliciousness to get you all through until spring!

I'm so excited! I feel like I don't have any time to really plan my garden now, but it's all I want to to do! I'm tired...tired of sewing, tired of cleaning and tired of doing what I'm doing. And it's only January...geeze!

But on to happier thoughts, like spring gardens :) Last year ended pretty well, but I can definitely improve. I give up on broccoli and cauliflower. Neither did well at ALL when it came to producing anything to eat. Just leafy plants that soaked up water. I want more beans and want more lettuce. I also need to plant some lettuce in succession so I have it longer and get to eat it all!

Tomatoes have been difficult for me so far. I know I only had one year and rot was a problem everywhere, but I barely got anything worth eating. I know they need more I have to find a new place to put them.

I'd also like to expand my herb garden quite a bit, and relocate it to a more permanent location. I plan on moving the strawberries to a larger bed, and hopefully the old strawberry area can hold some of the herbs.

Berry bushes will hopefully make it into their permanent locations this year too. I've got blueberry and raspberry bushes and hope to get a few more of each.

I also really, really want to get a few fruit trees in. I love apples, absolutely LOVE them and I always have. We're talking a sack lunch of an apple, apple juice, applesauce and a cheesewiz sandwich in 2nd grade. And I kept asking for more! Unfortunately, the current phase of Atkins doesn't really allow me to eat apples right now, but I have hope for the future :) I hope to get a few miniature dwarf trees. They only get to be about 4 feet tall, so they'll fit in my tiny yard! I also have reason to believe I may be getting a dwarf mixed citrus tree this summer.

I've been listening to podcasts and reading blogs about permaculture and have been thinking about how to incorporate more food into my existing landscape. Like perhaps lettuce in the front yard where there's a lot of shade. And beans growing up the sides of trees. I'll talk more on that later.

For now, I'm not letting myself open the catalogs. I've got too much to get done first. But I will soon, and I'll be sure to share my findings :) Ugh, there's a lot of winter left!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Menu Monday: I'm Back!!

After basically ignoring my blog over the holidays (though it was with guilt), I am going to try and make a much more enthusiastic effort to keep blogging a part of my routine. My goal is to blog at least three times per week and to do so in a more refined manner than I have in the past.

I usually just get on here, upload some pictures and type away. No editing, no outlining, no research. Just me and my thoughts! For someone trained as a journalist, that means I can usually get away with a pretty coherent message that way, but it also kills me and goes against everything I have been taught!

In an effort to get back into more structured writing, I'm going to try and practice my writing style here. I make no promises, but I will try.

And now for the menu:

Monday - Chicken tacos
Tuesday - Pot roast & salad
Wednesday - Beef Stew with Turnips & green beans
Thursday - BBQ beef sandwiches with butternut squash fries (Hubby will have a sandwich, I will have a salad!)
Friday - Our friends are coming for dinner! Crockpot Greek Chicken from the low-carb slow cooker cook book. If it goes over well, I will post a recipe!
Saturday - leftovers
Sunday - homemade pizza (on low-carb tortilla crusts!)

I have a lot of pics and a lot of thoughts that I will hopefully get caught up on. But for now, just getting back to blogging my menu is a start!

I am also trying to eat from my pantry/freezer this month as much as possible. I am not taking up the challenge though, because eating low-carb doesn't really mesh well with my pantry stock! I'm also struggling because I can't eat all of the corn and jam Kira and I put up this summer. What am I going to do? Anyone want some yummy delicious frozen corn? I'm hoping I can start to incorporate small amounts into soups and stews soon at least.

I hope to take stock of the freezer tonight, but it's so darn cold I may not get to it.
There's nothing like rooting around in a freezer to make you chill to the bone.

For more Menus, visit