Saturday, May 14, 2011


These were so good!!!!  My 14 year old son even said, "This is better than taco night!!" and that's saying a lot because taco night is a favorite around here!

Here's how it's made:

First, I made pico de gallo.  I have a share in an organic Amish farm so I get a box of produce every week. They have been including ramsons in the box this spring.  I LOVE them!!!  Like garlic, only better!  I finely chop two organic heirloom tomatoes, a couple ramsons (bulbs and greens), a vidalia onion (because it's spring and I love them, but any onion will do), a handful of fresh cilantro, and a pepper (I like jalapeƱos, but I like it spicy).  Stir and let sit so the flavors mingle.  You could even make this a day in advance.

Then I took Ezekiel Corn Tortillas and fried them in a cast iron skillet.  I put enough high heat safflower oil in the skillet to cover the tortillas.  I heated the oil first.  It must be very hot to keep the tortillas from becoming greasy.  Once the oil is hot, I took tongs to place two tortillas at a time into the hot oil.  I let them cook on one side, then flipped them, but they were completely submerged.  Once they were crispy and a little browned, I placed them on a paper towel to cool off.

I heated up some organic refried beans, cut an avocado, and chopped up a spring mix that was also in the box.

I had everyone assemble their own by taking a tortillas, slathering on some refried beans, then topping with the spring mix, avocado, and pico de gallo.  The kids added organic grated cheese to theirs.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Fast Food??

Are you a fast food eater?  I LOVE fast food, BUT NOT in a fast food restaurant!!!  I can't tell you the last time I ate at a restaurant like McDonald's, Taco Bell, or Burger King.  Yuck!!

It's not that a hamburger is bad for you.  IMO, it's not.  Hamburgers *can* be a good meal.  But NOT the hamburgers that those restaurants serve.  Taco Bell has been in the news lately since their meat is mostly not meat.  The other restaurants claim 100% beef.  Sure.  It is 100% from a cow, but it's washed with ammonia!!  They don't have to tell you that ammonia is an ingredient because it's *only* washed with it.

Don't believe me?  Check out this article in the NY Times!!!

How about the chicken?  Nope, it's full of chemicals, too!  Dr. Mercola put out this article today.

So, how can I say I love fast food?  I mean, I love food that is fast!

Today, I went to Whole Foods to buy ingredients to make tacos for dinner tonight.  I had just finished teaching pilates at 1PM and was tired and hungry.  While I was there I picked up a prepared Indian dal wrap and a root vegetable salad.  Their salads are HUGE, so when I got home, I opened the wrap, then scooped out part of the salad onto my plate.  The salads even come with dressing.  Truly, it's fast, already prepared, healthy food.  I would show you a picture, but I was too hungry to take one!!!

I am as busy as anyone else (as you know since I don't often find time to blog), yet I find the time to eat healthy ALL the time.

My latest crunch snack I grab when I feel like crunchy chips?  Brad's Raw Kale Chips!!!  Oh my!  They are SO good!!  My favorite is the nasty hot kale chips.  Here's his site.  The only problem is, I eat a whole $7.50 box whenever I eat them!  Yikes!  I am going to try (again) to dehydrate my own.  I will let you know how when I figure it out.

My suggestion for when you are on the go and need something fast to eat is, look for a Whole Foods or other market that has a health food section with prepared foods.  If there is not one to be found, look for a place like a Panera Bread that has salads and good quality bread.  It's not organic, but it's comparatively good.  Keep healthy bars in your pantry so you can bring one with you when you know you will be out for too long between meals.  There are healthy bars as well as unhealthy ones.  A basic rule of thumb, can you read the ingredients and do you know what they all are?

Do yourself a favor, cut out the fast food from fast food restaurants!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Food combining

Before I got sick with Lyme Disease and lost a lot of weight, I used to food combine because I felt more healthy and energetic, and also looked younger when I did.  After I got well, I didn't start food combining again since I had trouble eating vegetables because of my poor digestion.

Now I seem to be tolerating all foods so I'm starting the food combining again.  In the past week, I've lost five pounds all while eating good, healthy foods until I feel comfortably full.  I was not overweight.  It seems that most of the weight loss was bloat.  I know last time I food combined, about 7 years ago, I usually was on the light side, and right now I'm closer to the normal part of my weight range.  I don't care that I'm lighter or normal, but I do care about the increased energy I've been feeling for the past week, so I will continue with the food combining.

It really has been amazing.  I have the most energy I've had since I've been well.

Here are the "rules."

1) Only fruit until noon.  I usually make fresh juice with various fruit, almost always including apples.  Another frequent favorite is pineapple.  If I can't juice or will be away from the house, I cut up a few apples and put them in zipper bags to carry with me.  I need to eat the fruit throughout the morning so this is how I  handle it.  It's not the usual way of eating breakfast, you graze all morning.  As much fruit as you want.  This is a time of day when the body is cleansing and the fruit is easily digested, full of water and enzymes, and helps this cleansing cycle without the body needing to slow it down for digestion.

2) Never eat a protein and a starchy carb together.  Yes, this is the tough idea, especially with our modern way of eating.  I eat a lot of vegetarian recipes with carbs.  I eat veggies with meats and eggs.  I will start posting recipes like this.  Here's an example of eating out.  I had a half hour to eat before my son's game, so we went to Steak and Shake.  Healthy, right?  LOL.  I ordered a salad with ranch on the side and a double cheeseburger with tomatoes, lettuce, onions, mayo and no bun.  I cut up the burger and veggies and tossed it into the salad.  It was very good.  I felt good when I left, and that's saying a lot after Steak and Shake, LOL!

3) You must wait three hours past a carb meal or four hours past a protein meal to have fruit again.  Then wait 30 minutes after the fruit to eat other food.

At first it is hard, I won't lie!!  But, after a week on it .... I gave it a week trial .... I am sticking with it.  I feel so much more energetic, I need fewer enzyme/HCL supplements when I eat, and I don't feel bloated at all. It is well worth it.  Will I ever cheat?  Yes.  Probably once per week.

What about coffee?  Well, I like lattes.  On days I want a latte, I drink it at 12-ish.  I eat lunch about 2.  Technically, I'm not waiting long enough (four hours past a protein), but that's how I fit it in, and I don't eat a fruit.  It works for me.

Be looking forward to these fulfilling, feel good, properly combined meals!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


This minestrone is sooo good!!!  I adapted mine from Hunter's minestrone on the Food Network (link), but as usual, mine is how I simplify the recipe even more.  He serves it with grilled cheese with bacon and sliced apple ...... soooo tasty!!!  Yum!!  Especially easy if you buy already cooked bacon.  I prefer to use natural bacon without all the bad stuff and Whole Foods just started carrying it in the meat dept.  I used to cook my own to avoid buying the chemical laden version.

So, for the minestrone .......

First, put some water on to boil for the pasta.

I buy italian sausage from Whole Foods.  If they don't have bulk, they will either cut it out of the links for you or make you a fresh batch.  Don't give in and buy the unhealthy kind from the regular grocery, it's loaded with MSG, which is full to toxins.

I brown the sausage, about a pound and a half.  I puree carrots, celery and onion in the food processor.  Three or four carrots, three or four celery ribs, and a big onion or two small ones.  I add that to the cooked sausage and stir around a bit.   I throw in a couple sprigs of rosemary and thyme along with either some rubbed sage or some fresh sage chopped.  Once the soup is done, I take out the rosemary and thyme.

I add three boxes organic chicken broth.  READ the boxes!!  Lots of these chicken broths have "yeast extract", which is MSG and can make those of us who are sensitive get a belly ache.

I also add a couple spoonfuls of chopped garlic out of a jar.  Yeah, the lazy way, but this is the easy way to make nice recipes, right?  I'm no chef!!

I add a can or two of crushed tomatoes, depending on how it looks ..... and I add a bay leaf or two.  Then three cans of cannelloni beans (or other white beans if they're out).

When the water is boiling, add the pasta (one package is good).  Cook according to directions.  Then pour the drained pasta into the soup.  You want it to be a bite-size pasta.  I use organic.

It's good topped with parmesan, but I usually forget.

This is great soup, looks impressive, and isn't tough at all!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chicken and navy bean soup!!!

This soup was SO GOOD!!!

First I made chicken stock.  I rinsed a chicken and placed it in a pot and covered it with water.  I added chopped celery (maybe 4 large pieces), two chopped onions, and one chopped carrot.  I would have used more carrots, but our bunny at them all without my knowledge!

I let that simmer for a few hours.  It works best if you let it simmer for an hour, then remove the chicken.  After it cools, take the meat off the bones and put the bones back in the broth.  I usually put the bones back in in some sort of metal strainer (I use the veggie steamer that came with another pot), that way you can simply lift out the strainer to remove the bones.  Then simmer for a few more hours, the longer, the more minerals you get from the bones.  Removing the meat from the bones lets the meat retain its flavor and consistency better.

Refrigerate the meat.

About an hour before you want to eat, take out the bones and add rice.  I added two cups of organic brown basmati rice.  About 20 minutes before we were ready to eat, I added two cans of rinsed navy beans, the chicken, and some chopped collard greens.

Very tasty!!  It even works well for leftovers!!

Chili pie!!!

This one is a real crowd pleaser and it's SIMPLE!!!  And can be made ahead.

First, make chili.  We've talked about making chili here, before, but here's how.  Brown ground beef (or ground bison, turkey or whatever) and chopped onion.  Pour off excess fat.  Add cans of crushed tomatoes and cans of rinsed chili beans.  I use 2 1/2 pounds meat, 2 onions, 2 large cans of organic crushed tomatoes, and 4 cans of Westbrae organic chili beans.  Add seasonings.  I like adding chili powder, chipotle powder, and some crushed garlic.  Let simmer.  The longer it simmers, the better!!

You can even make the chili in a crock pot, but be sure it's lead free!  I put mine inside my 250 degree (upper left) oven in my Aga.

When you're ready to serve, crush some corn chips into bite size pieces and place in a bowl.  In an effort to avoid GMO corn, I use organic corn chips.  My family considers the "real" recipe to call for Fritos, but as far as I know, they still don't make an organic version.

Top the chips with chili and grated cheese.  In the picture, I've topped it with organic monterrey jack, but cheddar is also very good.

This is a favorite for kids and adults alike!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Black eyed peas!!! Happy New Year!!!!

Sorry I've been so negligent in writing.  The kids are out of school, and I promise, we have been eating, but I just haven't been writing much.  We've just been too busy!!!  I think when they get back in school and the holidays are over, I will get back to telling you about our attempts at eating healthy in the real-I-am-not-a-chef world!

It's the new year tomorrow, so you MUST have black eyed peas.  My family comes from the south (yes, Florida is the south and yes, my family actually has been native to Florida since about 1900 ..... thanks a lot Mom and Dad for moving to the Midwest!!  Not!!).  Anyway, in the south, black eyed peas are the New Years' meal.  I always find it funny when people in the north don't know this, but I know some of them must because of all the cans (yuck) of black eyed peas at the grocery store.

Obviously, I want you to buy a BAG of peas, not a can, LOL, but please leave one on the shelves for me.  These beans are easy to cook because they require no overnight soaking.  Traditionally, you need a hog jowl, and this is what I usually use, but I have a nice ham bone this year that I will use instead.  There is still ham left on this bone, so that will add some meat to our peas.  I'm excited.  So are the kids; they're already talking asking when we are having them.  If you can't use a hog jowl, I guess you can use bacon, but a hog jowl is the traditional way.

Rinse the beans, put them in a pot of water (as much as directed for the amount you're cooking), add the ham bone and some chopped onion (one or two onions) for flavor.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours (or as directed on the bag of beans).  You may also add garlic or other spices you like.  Don't add the salt until they're finished cooking.  I also like adding some Bragg's Liquid Aminos for flavor.

I will most likely cook the ham bone for several hours before I add the beans.  Bone broth is very nutritious, so I want to take advantage of having this ham bone.  Sometime I will have to tell you more about bone broth.

We sit around and eat these all day.  They have been eaten in the south for generations on New Year's Day as a symbol of good luck and prosperity.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!  As my Biggie (my great-grandmother) would say - "Peas for peace, jowls for joy, and greens for wealth"