Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cultured Lunch Ideas

I got a newsletter from Cultures for Health yesterday and it had an article with lots of great ideas for including cultured/fermented foods into your lunch.  There are several things mentioned that I want to look into.  Just thought I would share!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Creamy Mac and Cheese

Just wanted to pop in and say that the recipe Laura has for Creamy Mac and Cheese is sooooo good!  It is one of the easiest recipes I've ever used.  Maybe even easier than buying the box!  I prefer the taste of rice pasta rather than that of the whole wheat pasta.  Also, one recipe provides 3-4 servings when using it as a main dish for my kiddos lunch.  Let me know if you like it!

Monday, August 22, 2011


About a month ago, Pioneer Woman posted a recipe for Watermelon Granita.  It looked like a wonderful treat for the 100+ degree days we've been having ALL SUMMER LONG...  I had about 1/2 of a gallon of apple juice taking up space in my fridge, so I decided to make granita with it instead.  All I did was pour it into a glass dish, stick it in the freezer, and scrape it with a fork every so often.  Easy.  Simple.  Refreshing.  I loved it, and the kids thought I had made them a marvelous treat!  (Plus, it wasn't near as messy as serving pop-sickles!)  Go forth and make granita!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fresh Green Beans

This summer we had green beans in our garden and were able to enjoy several pots cooked up just like my grandmother.  Delish!  I took notes and measurements during one batch to share with you here.

3/4 lb green beans, ends removed
3/4 lb new potatoes, quartered
4 cups water
1/4 onion, sliced
2 tsp Celtic sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Put all ingredients in a soup pot, bring to a boil.  Boil for 20 minutes.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Simple Egg Salad

This simple egg salad is a cool, nourishing treat during these HOT summer months!  I served mine on sourdough bread with tortilla chips and salsa on the side.  Oh, don't forget some fresh strawberries (or cherries!)...

6 hard boiled eggs
6 tbsp mayo
3/4 cup chopped, cultured pickles
1 tsp mustard

You could always make your own cultured pickles if you have any cucumbers in the garden...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Water Kefir Soda, An Update

I'm still loving my water kefir soda! 

For awhile I started to get overwhelmed with feeding it and bottling it everyday (even though it only takes about 10 minutes), so prior to VBS and a week of being out-of-town I fed it and stuck it in the fridge.  The directions that came with my water kefir grains say that you can use 3-4 tbsp of grains to culture 1-3 quarts of sugar water.  I washed out an old gallon glass pickle jar and decided to try making bigger batches, less often. 

It's working!  When I got my kefir grains out of the fridge I drained of the liquid and put it in fresh sugar water in my gallon jar.  I used 3/4 cup sucanat and 9-12 cups of water (I just pour water in to a line I drew on the jar).  After letting it sit two days (with a quart jar I only let it sit one day, but it seems to be taking longer to work through this much liquid) I bottled it up with a little grape juice and let it sit 18 more hours on the counter.  Delish!  I'm getting 4-5 full bottles every other day and when I run out of bottles (I have a dozen) I'll just stick the grains back in the fridge until I need to start again. 

Just thought this might be helpful for any of you trying to manage your water kefir.  Let me know if this is unclear.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

San Marcos Steak

My sister, Amy, sent me this recipe years ago.  I had forgotten all about it until this week.  It is so incredibly fast and easy to throw together and tasty too.  The original recipe calls for Lipton Onion Soup Mix, but that's full of stuff your body doesn't need, so I've tweaked the recipe using herbs and spices from my pantry.

2 lbs chuck steak (I used tenderized round steak)
2 tbsp coconut oil
8 tsp dried onion flakes
1 tsp onion powder
4 tsp beef base (I like to use Organic Better than Boullion b/c it doesn't have MSG or hfcs)
1/4 tsp celery salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 (14 oz) can Italian diced tomatoes
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or Balsamic vinegar
garlic powder

Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the steaks.  Sprinkle with seasonings.  Pour tomatoes over the top.  Sprinkle remaining ingredients over the tomatoes.  Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Easy, peasy.

Serve with brown rice or mashed potatoes!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Non-Toxic Cleaners and How I Get Them for Free!

I joined Melaleuca, The Wellness Company over a year ago during a $1 membership promotion.  A few months later I referred 8 others during a $1 promotion.  So far I have spent about $20 for 13 months worth of dish-washing detergent, laundry soap, bar soap, mascara, lip gloss, pro-biotics, vitamins, cleaners, disinfectants, hairspray, deodorant, aftershave...  And the list goes on!  I love all of their products.  None of their cleaners require a safety cap and they really work!  No bleach or formaldehyde either (you'd be surprised what main-stream cleaners have in them...).  You can check out a slideshow about the company here (passcode is Melaleuca).  Joining is easy and they're having $1 memberships again through August 16th!  I'd be happy to help you get set up!