Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thai Coconut Chickpea Salad (vegan, gluten free, dairy free, rice free)

Olivia went to bed early last night. I was SO excited, until she woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 2am and refused to go back to sleep. So I have decided no bedtime before 8pm for this child, who doesn't appear to need more than 8 hours of sleep. I did get a lot done in the early evening hours though. This salad is one of them. I fell in love with it and hope you do to!

Ingredients: 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil, organic extra virgin, 2 cups of cooked chickpeas ( I soaked and cooked mine the day before as this is more economical than canned for us, but if you buy canned you need two cans. I highly recommend Eden organics for their BPA free canned goods.)
 1 cup of organic chopped leeks
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Juice of 1.5 lemons and the zest
1/2 cup of coconut milk, organic canned (native forest, organic, BPA free)
1/2 teaspoon of real salt sea salt ( I prefer this for it's high mineral content)
1 cup of blanched organic broccoli (I cooked 5 minutes until bright green)
1 cup of organic chopped cilantro
1/2 a red organic onion
1 cup of toasted almonds, chopped
1/2 cup of organic unsweetened coconut flakes
crushed red pepper to taste
Directions: In a large skillet place the coconut oil, garbanzo beans and leeks. Cook until lightly browned. Set aside in a bowl. Next in the same skillet place the garlic, lemon juice and zest, coconut milk, crushed red pepper flakes and salt. Stir until warm.

Prepare the broccoli by blanching for 5 minutes, then cut into small pieces.

I use the core of the stems for added nutrition.

In a separate bowl mix together the garbanzo bean mixture with the almonds, onion, cilantro,coconut and broccoli. Then add the dressing. Toss together.

Serve with quinoa, rice, chicken, or over a bed of lettuce.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Curried Chicken Salad in Lettuce Leaves

For Mother's Day my mom bought her and I a cooking class at the Puget Sound Consumers Coop called essential salads. We went this past Monday. It was lots of fun, plus I learned alot about what you can combine together. Now when I say salads I don't mean lettuce, carrots and dressing. I mean all sorts of fun stuff like "crunchy endive and bleu cheese salad". This recipe here today is a slight modification of one we were taught on Monday. 
Ingredients: 2 cups of cooked organic chicken ( I cooked a whole chicken and used two cups of it)
3 teaspoons of curry powder
1/2 cup of mayo of your choice ( I used grapeseed oil mayonnaise)
juice of 2 organic lemons
3 tablespoons of organic extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste ( I used 1 teaspoon)
1 cup of toasted organic almonds, chopped
4 organic celery stalks, diced
1/2 cup of organic parsley
1/2 cup of organic thompson raisins
1 head of lettuce of your choice

Directions: First cook your chicken and toast your almonds. I toasted my almonds for 10 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet. Cooking the chicken will depend on if you bought pieces or a whole chicken.

Next in a medium bowl mix together curry powder, mayo, lemon juice, olive oil and salt.

This is your dressing. Next chop up your chicken, almonds, celery and parsley. Add them to the dressing bowl.

Mix together

Serve in a lettuce leaf!

I served mine for dinner with a quinoa side dish. This makes a great summer meal. It would work great for a picnic or memorial day side dish.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Toasted Almond Snack

Summer is upon us, well soon hopefully. Needless to say the weather in the Pacific Northwest is not looking promising. I've started to make snacks to take on summer outings like the zoo, hoping the weather will turn soon. This snack is a hit with Olivia so I thought I would share it. First you need 1-2 cups of raw organic almonds, a bottle of ume plum vinegar and sea salt or Himalayan Pink salt.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the rack on the middle shelf. Spread your almonds (or cashews) on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. (Watch the nuts so they do not burn, I cook mine until I begin to smell them.) Remove the nuts from the oven. While the nuts are hot drizzle with the vinegar and salt to taste. Let cool and serve! You can store this snack in an air tight container on the counter for a month or in the freezer for 6 months. Yummy!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Food Facts

I am reading a book this week called "The Hundred Year Lie". It's a book written by an investigative journalist on modern food and medicine. Most of it is reinforcing what I have already learned. Some of the facts are shocking. My commitment to no processed foods has only intensified along with my commitment to eat only grass fed beef and pastured chicken. If I can't afford it, I'll just pretend I'm vegan for the day!

Here are a few bullet points from the book that have really hit home:

"In large feedlots, 100 percent of cattle are fed five or more sex hormones, such as progesterone and testosterone, to accelerate weight gain, and these hormones are known to cause reproductive dysfunction and cancers in humans."

"Many of our commercial dairy and meat products come from animals that consumed livestock feed made from the remains of tens of millions of dogs and cats that were killed with euthanasia drugs at animal shelters and veterinary clinics,"

"Medical evidence is emerging that suggests that the artificial sweeteners in diet soft drinks may cause brain tumors and neurological diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The occurrence of these diseases has risen dramatically in proportion with the expanded use of those synthetic sweeteners."

Our food in America may be "cheaper" but the long term health affects are staggering. If you watch a show called extreme couponing you see cash register totals of 3.00 for a cart full of "Food" but is it really? It may fill our stomachs but is it nourishing our bodies? Food is medicine, so bad medicine in equals a bad body and many many long term health effects. Let's nourish our bodies with the things we buy, grow and give.
I am looking forward to sharing more of this months reading with you in a future blog post!

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's beautiful out!

Today is a gorgeous day in Washington State! Go outside and get your vitamin D. You need 10 minutes a day in a tank top and shorts with no sunscreen to get your daily allowance.Adequate amounts of vitamin D have been shown to lower your risk of heart attack, osteoporosis and cancers of the breast and prostrate, perhaps that's because usually along with sunshine you get more exercise because you are outside. So go get your D on! That's what I am doing today.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May in our Home

May has been a very busy and rewarding month. God has been good! First I want to say thank you to the ladies of Des Moines Gospel Chapel for the privilege of speaking at the ladies tea. I had so much fun preparing and then actually speaking. Thank you for being such good listeners and so supportive. During my preparation for the organic living on a budget talk the accountant and I  would be out shopping and I would randomly tell him numerous facts I had found out about organic and conventional foods, plastics, bath and body work products. In fact anyone who went shopping with me April through May would have found me an annoyingly full encyclopedia of random facts! Our kitchen table was piled high with library books. My husband was excited for me to speak but now I am done preparing he is very excited to "have his wife back", and more than that the kitchen table back!  

Olivia is now 15 months old! She is growing up so  fast. She talks a mile a minute, most of which I just nod and say "u huh" since I have no idea what she is saying so excitedly. She has become mommies little helper loving helping hang laundry on the line outside (she pulls it out of the basket and hands it to me, faster than I can hang), unloading the dishwasher (after I remove the knives) and "sweeping" the floor. Wesley (our yorkie who is the same age as Olivia) got his first haircut. Boy was it needed with all those chickens out there. We cut it ALL off. Bathing him every single day just wasn't an option for me.

Here are our 5 week old ducks! They love the sun. Now mind you they are MUCH MUCH messier than chickens but highly entertaining. They quack very very loudly if you separate them from each other. I haven't named them yet. Any ideas?

Meet our English Sussex chick. Yesterday I went to the coop to get duck feed and made the mistake of looking at the baby chicks...I came home with two English Sussex (reportedly good winter layers)

and three silver laced Wyandotte's, also good winter layers and very calm and even tempered. I must agree with the reviews. I loved my first set of chicks but these one's are by far the calmest and friendliest. After only one day they already coming running to my hand when I feed them.

We have discovered we have not two but 3 roosters! Help one is an australorp. I love my bantam roosters (one of which I have found a new home for) but I am not so sure about the Australorp. He is already picking on my favored polish bantam rooster, pulling out tail feathers. The accountant of course loves the black rooster because he is so big and so far friendly to humans. I am not sure how long this will last since I read they are nasty adults, so he might have to go. (This is how I justified the five new birds, I know three does not equal five but they are so cute!)

My herb garden is coming along nicely. My peppermint has taken off, the horseradish is finally poking through the ground, and my chives are gorgeous. I have much more than this but these are my favorites!

 Lastly, I am 13 weeks pregnant and into my second trimester! Wow, time is flying. I was exhausted the whole first 3 months but as soon as week 11 hit the tiredness left me and I feel normal again. I LOVE the second trimester. Hopefully the nice weather will stick around and I can enjoy lots more sunny walks with my new found energy! 


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