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Posts by Char G
They were able to recognize them as the Grinch.
They are easy to make with strawberries, grapes, banana slices and some mini marshmallows. You just put them together with toothpicks. I did see another site that suggested you melt chocolate to make add faces, but I didn’t take the time to go to that level of detail.
Last night for dinner, we had mini meatloaves with garlic sweet potatoes and homemade “Almond Joy” candies. We are taking the “real food” manifesto to a new level by trying out the Fast Metabolism diet. (BTW, the diet is working and pretty easy to follow as you can design your own menus.)
With this diet, we are eating A LOT of vegetables, which if good, but you’ll probably see that reflected in my latest recipes.
Here’s the details on this meal:
Mini meatloaves — these were made with ground beef, zucchini (pulled from my freezer stash), grated carrots and some spices. I topped a few of them with my homemade pizza sauce just see how that tasted. I liked the ones with the pizza sauce on them better than the plain ones. TM liked them both.
Garlic sweet potatoes — In the last few years, I’ve discovered I like sweet potatoes. I always thought that I didn’t but it’s just that I don’t like them when they are made “sweet” with brown sugar and cinnamon, etc. I love them cooked in a savory way and I found a recipe for garlic mashed sweet potatoes. I really enjoyed them. TM wanted his prepared “sweet” next time — go figure!
Homemade “Almond Joys” — These were an experiment. We are not eating any sugar — NONE. I think cutting it out completely has helped me not crave it. For a treat (after 3 1/2 weeks on this diet), I wanted to try making these. You mix coconut oil with powdered cocoa and some Stevia. Then mix in unsweetened coconut and slivered almonds. They were good but not great, in my opinion. We may make them again and just drizzle a bit of chocolate onto the nuts and almonds.
Here are links to the recipes I used:
Mini meatloaves – http://bigoven.com/recipe/232570/Tasty-Tiny-Meatloaves
Mashed Sweet Potatoes — http://goodcheapeats.com/2013/11/mashed-sweet-potatoes-with-olive-oil-and-garlic/
Here’s an example of a real food lunch that comes together in minutes…
It’s a slice of sprouted grain bread with a little safflower mayo, spinach, sliced chicken breast, and slices of cucumber and tomato. The sandwich went well with apple slices and a small portion of almond butter to dip them in. It was delicious!
These are cookies I made for my dogs, Duchess and Buddy (we never say Buddy’s name first, and I don’t know why?). I used a recipe from The Dog Food Dude although he suggests you roll them out and cut them into squares with a pizza cutter. I didn’t want to take on the extra work, so I just scoped them into balls using a melon ball utensil. Then I smashed them flat with a coffee cup (just like my mom or grandma showed me years ago).
Be sure to use natural peanut butter since many other peanut butters have added sugar and salt. You can use whatever stock you have on hand. I used a homemade chicken stock that I had in the fridge. I would post a picture of my dogs with the cookies, but I doubt they would be able to keep from eating them long enough for me to take it!
Peanut Butter Dog Cookies
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
Put peanut butter and stock into a microwave safe bowl and cook on high about a minute, until peanut butter melts and you can mix the two ingredients together well. Add flour, cinnamon and baking powder and stir into a dough ball. (I didn’t use my stand mixer, but I wished that I had.) You can add in a little water, as needed.
Scoop into cookies and put on a baking sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. I plan to freeze them to keep on hand for treats when my dogs are being good.
A few weeks ago, I was going to watch the NDSU Bison game with friends and I wanted to bring along a snack to share. My goal was to come up with a “real food” snack without letting on to anyone. I also didn’t have time to go to the grocery store, so I just used what I had in my fridge and pantry to create it. The consistency was a little thin and I suppose you could add more shredded cheese if you wanted it a little thicker.
I did make some notes as I worked on this creation, so I do have a recipe that I’ve shared below. But, feel free to take lots of latitude with this recipe. I had green chili oil on hand, so I used it; more olive oil would also work. I used my own homemade salsa but store bought (no sugar) would do the trick. I had a can of chicken on the counter, but you could easily cook a chicken breast, shred it and use it. You get the idea, right?
We served this with tortilla chips (not real food) and it was a hit with everyone. Someone even asked me for the recipe – smirk!
1 tsp. green chili oil
1 tbls olive oil
1 onion, diced
2-3 peppers, diced
2 cans black beans, drained
1 can (12.5 oz.) chicken, drained
1 tsp. chopped garlic
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 small jalapenos, finely chopped
1 tbls lime juice
½ cup chunky salsa
1 tbls dried cilantro
2 tsp. cumin
2 cups Colby jack cheese, shredded
1 cup chicken stock
Warm chili oil and olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Soften onions and peppers in this frying pan.
Put the following into a slow cooker: softened onions and peppers, black beans, chicken, garlic, tomatoes, jalapeno, lime juice, salsa, cilantro, cumin, cheese and chicken stock. Let cook on high for 2-3 hours. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping.
This morning when I packed my lunch for work, I included some frozen cherries to try something different. Yesterday was the first time I had ever purchased frozen cherries. I just threw them into my lunch box, still frozen, not sure what to think.
I was expecting them to be tart – the ingredients listing said they were just frozen cherries, nothing else added.
Turns out they were amazing. I’ll be getting more for future lunches. They had thawed completely and were just the right temperature for eating. And they were surprisingly sweet tasting. A good “real food” find!
It’s the season of the food dehydrator at my house. I’ve been drying chili peppers like crazy. I think I have a supply that will last for several years and many more peppers still on my plant. I’ve also been drying apple slices, which are great to have once the snow flies.
This year, I sprinkled different spices on some of the trays, such as ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Then, I mixed the various flavors when I put them into the bag for storage. I’ve completed two batches with six trays each time. I’ve got a gallon size bag full right now.
I saw this recipe on someone’s page on Facebook, and I can’t remember who. I copied it and emailed it to myself and I tried it tonight. It was very good and super fast and easy. If you have a family to feed in a hurry some evening, this recipe is for you. Please note that all ingredients are “real food.”
Also, just think of the variations that you could try — mushrooms, other canned vegetables, olives, canned artichokes, I could go on and on! I substituted dried basil for the fresh and I topped mine with grated peppercorn cheese.
Here’s the base recipe. My apologies to whoever invented it; I don’t know the source.
Tomato Basil Pasta
12 ounces pasta (I used whole wheat spaghetti))
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid
1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 large sprigs basil, chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (I used chicken broth)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Place uncooked pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil.
Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated .
Season to taste with salt and pepper , stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.
It’s been a while since I spent much time focused on “real food.” We’re still eating a lot of real food, but it’s been mainly grilled meat with grilled vegetables from the garden, or lunches that I’ve made from garden vegetables. Today, I spent quite a bit of time in my kitchen, with all the tasks related to “real food.” TM started by heading out to the garden this morning. We thought we might completely clean it out, but there were still plants out there producing, so we just picked what was ready. There are still some tomatoes, peppers, chili peppers and pumpkins growing.
Here’s what I accomplished, in no particular order:
- Peeled and then “stewed” a big kettle of tomatoes, then froze them for chili and soup next winter
- Made a half batch of oatmeal powerballs to use in my lunches this week
- Cooked homemade banana pudding (this was the first time in my life that I’ve made homemade pudding and it’s not that difficult). I used this recipe from Once a Month Meals. See pictures below
- Chopped and froze green and orange peppers
- Made homemade chile pepper hummus, using one tiny chile pepper from my garden
- Made homemade guacamole that I had for dinner tonight, using slices of cucumber as my “chips”
- Baked some pumpkin that I’ll purree tomorrow and add to my freezer stash
- Put two layer of chile peppers into the dehydrator. In a couple days, they should be ready. This time, I am drying them whole, instead of slicing them
- Cleaned the pumpkin seeds so I can roast them later this week
- Made a frittata, including zucchini, tomatoes, onion, cheese and sausage. I’m also packing that in a lunch
- Made four lunches to have on hand to take to work this week. I like to pack them Sunday evening when I can and it’s a big timesaver all week
For the homemade banana pudding, the first step was to roast a banana in the banana peel to caramelize it and develop it’s flavor. Here’s how it looked when I took it out of the oven.
Here’s how the pudding looked after it had set. I sprinkled a few graham cracker crumbs on top.
The folks at 100 Days of Real Food hosted a lunch box contest on Facebook last week. You were supposed to make a real food lunch and then post a picture of it that day. Most of the pictures were of kids lunches that were sent to school.
Here’s what I posted.
It’s a salad made from salmon, quinoa, cucumbers and grape tomatoes. The dressing is cider vinegar, honey and olive oil and the salad is topped with shaved parmesan cheese. I used this recipe for Quinoa and Salmon Salad for inspiration. I also had fresh pineapple chunks, along with Triscuit crackers and a few Peppercorn cheese slices.