Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Raw Foods Treat: Dates and Pecans

I think the original recipe called for almonds. I did not have almonds. This was still good. So good, in fact, that I ate them like candy. And, then went and made more just so that I could continue eating them like candy. I first received this idea when a fellow Momma brought these to a Christmas party. She rolled hers in sugar. Delightful. I did not. Still delightful.

Pecans (or almonds!)

Slice the date and shove the pecan inside. Eat.
Eat some more.
Eats some more.
Eat some more.
Oh, yes share some too. of three weeks ago all I knew of dates was from Indiana Jones....remember the line, "bad dates" from when the monkey died from eating the poison dates!? No. You don't. Indy was saved from sudden death by date thanks to his friends who caught the date mid-air..still not ringing a bell? Ah, yes a dork I am indeed. Indy may have encountered bad dates, but this treat sure will convince you otherwise!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Raw Food Lunch

Last year we jumped pretty much head first into the whole foods pool. There is an occasional dip back into other waters, for example today I took my kids to Chick-fil-a and ate enough waffle fries to sustain a small army. But, for the most part we are striving to eat foods that are whole. unrefined, unprocessed, and free of preservatives, fillers, coloring, and pesticides. This is a lot of work. And, just when I felt like I was getting the hang of it I stumbled (literally) over this cookbook at our library: The Complete Book of Raw Food.
After reading the very convincing fist chapter on why I should eat raw foods I wanted to curl up on the floor, order McDonalds and give up. Sometimes, just when I feel like I am finally getting the hang of things, something comes along to remind me, "girl you don't know nothing yet!"

Now, I do think there is much to be said for a raw food diet and I would bet my bottom dollar that the people writing of a raw food diets ability to heal, nourish, and sustain the body in incredibly effective ways are absolutely true. After getting up off the floor of the library, forgoing the fast food entirely, and reminding myself that baby steps are indeed acceptable I checked the book out and continued my reading at home.

Here is what I have gleaned:
1. Raw foods are plants or animal foods that are "living" and have not been heated above 115 degrees, thus not harming any of the enzymes in the food which contribute to incredibly nutritive and digestive value.
2. Raw foods can help heal and prevent digestive problems which lead to a variety of common ailments in people.
3. Raw foods help the body release toxins, improve skin conditions, and help maintain a healthy weight.
4. There are a lot of delicious recipes for a raw food diet.

Here is what I have decided:
1. After looking into some of the recipes I discovered that many of the items it takes to make the recipes (such as almonds) are pricey! So, still desiring to increase our raw food intake beyond just an apple a day I am striving to make raw food lunches for my family five out of seven days a week.

This is baby step number one. Lunch.

And, perhaps it will stop there. Perhaps, most likely, actually the greatest baby step here was simply opening my mind up to a new burst of knowledge and now I can run with it. A raw food lunch here, a raw food dressing there, a raw food desert another time.

With that said, let me give you my first raw food lunch idea. I had to use what I had, so this could be better with additional ingredients which I will suggest after the post.

Raw Lettuce Wraps, A Desperate Raw Food Invention by Katie: 

First, chop up whatever lovely vegetables you have. This would be wonderful in the summer. I had red peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini.

Second, make a dressing. I whipped up a dressing with red wine vinegar, olive oil and nutritional yest. It was ok. Next, time I want to use a dressing from the Raw Food cook book. Did you know you can make raw ranch? raw italian? raw french?

Third, I stirred my freshly cut vegetables in the dressing and put them into a wrap using a nice crisp leaf of Romain lettuce. Next time around, I think adding more vegetables such as avocado and sprouts would be wonderful. Also, frozen uncooked corn and peas thawed lightly would add to this as well.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A leftover meal: Turkey Tetrazzini

We had an awful Thanksgiving. I need to write about it simply to get it out of my system, get a chuckle and move on. Perhaps I will soon. As soon as all the leftover (frozen by now!) turkey has been used up.

This is my first time making Tetrazzini. And, as usual I did not follow an exact recipe. You would think that I would at least write down my creations so that I could share them.  I might want to post them on this really great blog I know...something about Mommies...Meal Planning....what was it?

Anyway~ Here is the basic idea.
Leftover Turkey.

In a pot I mixed together a little bit of flour, whole cream, chicken stock, and butter. Out of this I made a gravy. I seasoned it with salt and pepper until I liked the taste. This part was very easy. A nice creamy sauce was made.
Next, I cooked up some noodles.
And, thawed the turkey.
I mixed the turkey, noodles, and sauce together. Oh, and some diced mushrooms too.
All of this went into a casserole dish with some cheese. Atop it all was crushed up cracker crumbs. I baked it and whala....Turkey Tetrazzini...or something like it.

Don't want to follow my method? This one looks pretty good!

And, if you happen to have any fresh cranberries left over blend them up really well in a blender, add a bit of agave nectar  and you have a lovely tart and sweet juice. This really livened up our morning green smoothie!

Truffles just in time for Christmas!

I came home last Sunday night and my husband had made truffles! The recipe he used was off of The Pioneer Woman. Very tasty recipe and according to him, easy. 
He did have two suggestions~
1. After making the first batch of melted chocolate let it sit in the fridge overnight. It made rolling the truffles into balls much easier as the "dough" was firm. The picture above was of his first batch.
2. Use the leftover chocolate wisely. After dipping all of your truffles into the chocolate coating (which we simply used semi-sweet chocolate chips) the pan with have chocolate left. He added whole cream to the pan and began whisking.....and then added a little bit of milk......and some vanilla.....and we had delicious hot cocoa all from the chocolate that might have been washed down the sink!

He made three kinds~ sea salt, plain, and sprinkled. The sea salt were the family favorite even from our little ones! 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday: Hamburgers on Sprouted Grain Buns

My husband teased over the weekend that he does not remember what meat tastes like. We do eat meat, just rarely now. About twice a week. Its been a good change, slow in coming, rewarding for the body and budget.  So, in light of the teasing I planed for hamburgers and we made this together. He was happy.

Grass-fed beef
Sprouted Grain Buns
Sweet Potatoes

I did not know until this summer, when out of desperation I started sticking peppers into the freezer, that they freeze incredibly well. For these hamburgers I took green and red peppers out of the freezer, sliced them and sauted them along side some leftover mushrooms.. After making the hamburgers I added the vegetables to the sandwiches.
The carrots and sweet potatoes took the place of traditional fries. I sliced them very thin, rolled them through olive oil, and baked them until crisp.  Tasty!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Day, Boo Boo Monster

This time last year I was working on labor, day two. Tomorrow is my little son's birthday. Boo Boo Monster. And, he is precious and delightful and cherished and adored. As, all children are and should be.

We are celebrating his first birthday this evening with our church followed by Christmas caroling in the neighborhood that sits around the church building. There will be hot cocoa and smiles, singing and anticipation~ will he devour his piece of cake or gently poke at it?  As his Mommy (hey, I know the kid best!) I am leaning towards poking at it,followed by devouring.

I am making for him a millet cake that I have posted on here before. It is delicious and nutritious. I feel very comfortable giving this cake to my one year old and letting him have at it!

Here is the recipe for Birthday Cake made with Whole Grain (Millet). 
All for now, I must prepare for this day and a great week ahead. I must go give kisses to my children and open their curtains because overnight we received four inches of thick perfect snow and they are going to  be ecstatic.

Happy Almost Birthday my beloved Boo Boo Monster.