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Friday, November 19, 2010

My Morning Greens

I have several family members who have "gone raw" or mostly. I am not ready to do that nor is it even my ultimate goal. I do however see the benefits and want to start adding more raw foods to my family's diet. We eat pretty well at my house. I cook mostly from scratch, I don't buy much processed or refined foods, we eat out very rarely, and sweets and desserts are for special occasions. Even at that, I looked down at my lunch one day and realized there was not one raw food in it. I again noticed this with my supper later that day. So my goal is to add one raw food to each meal. Not too hard.

I remember when Kellen and I were dating. I was at his house when I watched his mom make a "green drink." She put carrot juice, spinach, parsley and some other ingredients in a blender and . . . DRANK IT! I thought that was so disgusting and knew I would never do it. Well, the picture below is MY typical breakfast! What a great way to start out the day. I love it and I know my body loves it. My kids love it too. They will drink a full sippy each of "shake-a shake-a" every morning and usually ask for more. I drink two glasses worth and Kellen makes his own version, leaving out the milk and vanilla and adding protein. I think that accomplishes my goal of adding raw foods pretty well. Not only is it raw, it's greens and a lot of 'em! It's more than I would eat, and definitely more than I could get my kids to eat, in a day.

Here's the combination my family has found we like. If you know of anything great I could add let me know. It's an easy way to sneak in healthy foods that are hard to eat on their own.

Purles Shake-a Shake-a
(These are all estimated quantities. I just dump, then taste and adjust.)
  • 1 cup milk/water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice or 1 whole orange
  • 3 Tbsp omega oil blend
  • 2 Tbsp wheat germ
  • 1 pkg dry oatmeal
  • couple spoonfuls plain yogurt
  • 3 packed handFULS spinach (then I taste it and add more if it tastes like I can hide it)
  • a couple kale leaves
  • 1-3 carrots
  • wedge of purple cabbage
  • wedge each of lemon and lime, rind on
  • frozen fruit - banana, strawberries, grapes, pineapple, berries, peaches, mango
  • splash of vanilla (I think this is the key to masking the taste of the other stuff. I can add twice as much spinach since I started adding vanilla.)
  • honey or agave, to taste, if needed. (This usually depends on the sweetness of the fruit.)
Blend until smooth. Add ice if needed. I use frozen fruit so I don't usually add ice. Plus it gets through a sippy easier if giving it to kids that way. Chow down! Literally! You know, it's good to chew your smoothies too. This starts the digestive process by stimulating production and mixing in the saliva!

* Tips and Tricks - I make my own fruit blend of whatever is on sale or in season. I stock up when grapes and strawberries are .79/lb. or when pineapple is .99/ea., or when people are begging for help eating all the fresh peaches off their trees. I bring it home, wash and chop it so it's ready to throw in a shake. Then I lay it out on a cookies sheet and put it in the freezer. Once frozen, I put it in a bag and it's ready to go. Inexpensive and custom made fruit smoothie blend!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Salted Nut Bars

16 oz jar dry roasted peanuts
12 oz peanut butter chips
3 Tbsp butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
10 oz bag miniature marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla

Grease a 9x13. Sprinkle half of the peanuts in the pan. Melt the chips and butter for 2 minutes in the microwave or over low heat on stove. Add milk and cook for one more minute. Remove from heat or microwave. Add marshmallows and vanilla. Stir to coat. Pour into pan and press down. Sprinkle remaining peanuts onto and press down. Refrigerate until cooled and set.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fit For a Hero Chocolate Cake

A member of the single's ward made this amazing cake for the luncheon after my brother's, Clark, funeral. I don't think that one person who tasted it didn't rave about how moist, rich, and delicious it was. My mom said, "Lucky is the man who marries the woman who made this cake!" We did our digging and got the recipe. (Now we are those women too so men, count yourselves lucky!) It is now a go-to favorite amongst our family. Clark became a hero to many during his illness and this cake is nothing short of being fit for a hero.

  • 1 box chocolate fudge cake mix (I used SuperMoist's Triple Chocolate Fudge, but any chocolate kind with pudding in it works - the fudge is definitely better than Devil's Food, promise!)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips (3/4 cup)
Mix together everything but chocolate chips (easy, no?) - I followed the box's recommendation of 30 seconds on low and then 2 minutes on medium. Then mix in the chocolate chips.

Pour into a well-greased (with shortening - NOT oil), well-floured bundt pan. I can't stress this enough! The greasing and flouring are essential for the cake to not stick, so be thorough.

Bake at 350* F. for 40-45 minutes.

When the cake has cooled , drizzle with chocolate glaze, which is made by combining:
  • 3 Tbsp. butter (you can melt it; I just used softened butter and then zapped the whole glaze for 25 seconds to make it pourable)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp. hot water
  • 6 Tbsp. cocoa
I recommend serving along with some vanilla ice cream.

Hit the Spot Ham and Potato Soup

I have been dreaming about ham and potato soup for awhile. I made a few different recipes and none of them satisfied my craving. Then I made this one and I couldn't get enough! It was just what I was looking for. It is also a good base recipe for variations.

Servings: about 8

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes (about 2 1/2 lbs.)
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1-2 cloves garlic, or to taste
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
2-3 carrots, small dice
3 1/4 cups water
4 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules or 4 cubes
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

Stove Top Directions:

Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

Slow-Cooker Directions:

Combine all ingredients except last three in slow-cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours. Combine the butter, flour, and milk then add to slow-cooker. Cook on low 1 hour more.

Add Ins or Substitutions:
green beans
Instead of ham add Italian sausage and peppers,
or chicken and broccoli,
or clams.