Thursday, June 30, 2011

My new toy a YoLife Yogurt Maker!

I have been making yogurt at home on and off for a while now. Most of the time it turn out but not always. Since I am using expensive organic RAW milk I decided I needed something that would help prevent the "not always" turning out part. So I bit the bullet and invested in a YoLife Yogurt Maker that I found on Can we just say I am in love. So far every batch turns out perfect. It keeps the milk at a steady 110 degrees for as many hours as I like (usually 8-12) and gives me my desired consistency. The best part for me is the little containers they send with it to make the yogurt in are made of glass. So no plastic touches my yogurt.
So yes...I am guilty of having one more contraption in my kitchen that I could have made in the crock pot or a tub of hot water but I love it!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Raw Milk Ice Cream

The accountant LOVES ice cream. I was shocked when we first got married at how much he would actually eat when I bought it. So...I quite buying it. Why? It was expensive to buy the healthy stuff and the bigger the container I bought the more we would eat. When I noticed my milk allergy I switched to buying those expensive little coconut ice cream containers. SO not worth the price either! A few months ago we were in Costco and noticed the ice cream makers were on sale for $26 dollars. We splurged and bought one. I doubt we will ever return to store bought ice cream. I haven't perfected the coconut milk ice cream yet so I am only going to share with you the raw milk ice cream (raw milk doesn't seem to affect me the same way as the pasteurized, the casein protein is more broken down.) I and the accountant and Olivia adore homemade ice cream. Here is our recipe:

  • Ingredients: 3 1/2 cups of raw milk mixed with raw cream (the more cream you use the creamier the ice cream, we tried a batch last night of pure cream ice cream. It was heavenly. We won't think about the calories!)
  • 3 pastured egg yolks (you can omit the eggs if you don't want to eat raw eggs, it just won't be as thick)
  • 2 Tablespoons of organic vanilla extract (less if you like less vanilla flavor)
  • 1/2 cup of rapadura (raw cane sugar, mix in a  magicbullet or food processor for a finer grain.)

Directions: First grind up rapadura to a finer texture.

Our new beloved
cuisinart ice cream maker.

 Then in a medium size bowl place all ingredients and mix together thoroughly.

 Remove the ice cream container from the freezer at the last possible moment. Then pour in the ingredients. (This recipe is good for a one quart ice maker.)

 Yum! Look at the ice cream beginning to form.
 This is the end product.
 These are my yummy organic strawberries from Fred Meyer (2 pounds for 5 dollars)
Yum!! We shared this bowl between the three of us. Olivia kept begging for more. Great nutrition for the little one growing inside me! I will share a perfected coconut milk ice cream recipe sometime next week.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Eating Healthy and Organic on a Budget

I get asked all the time. How do you do it? Eat organic on your budget. My answer is always simple and complex at the same time. It has to do with eating less, and yet eating more at the same time.  Less junk, simple carbs, and processed food. More veggies, fruits and whole grains. It's about not always getting what I want to eat at that particular moment. It's about trying not to impulse buy and if I can't make it at home then to not buy it at all. It doesn't mean we never eat out, or never eat non-organic but it does mean I try as much as I can to use the accountants hard earned money (well both of our moneys but he's the one who gets up and leaves the house every day) to buy less food and reserve whatever is left over for fun things like dates and vacations, and necessary things like nicer health insurance.

I used to spend WAY to much on food. I could easily spend 800 dollars to 1000 a month on food for 2 people! Sounds like a lot but it's true. I did it with no budget and without thinking. That amount is now down to less than 200 dollars per month plus an annual meat purchase from the local butchers.
How I have been asked? By slowly but drastically changing our diet, making things from scratch and severely limiting my processed food purchases. My purchases for this week were 2 dozen eggs (pastured organic), organic raisin bran cereal (for the accountant, it's his favorite treat), organic pistachios, organic raisins, 2 loaves of organic whole grain rudi's bread, 1 pint of organic raw cream and a Klesick box of veggies totaling 45 dollars. I already have the whole grains, meat and frozen fruit that I will need for all my planned out recipes. ( planning what to eat is key to conserving money)

What about Olivia? What do you feed the little one? She has never eaten any different than Jason and I so, she doesn't know that she is "supposed" to be eating things like baby food and prepackaged snacks. Instead she lives off of pastured eggs, oatmeal, applesauce, avocado, broths, fresh veggies, fresh fruit, whole grain rice and breads, homemade yogurt, anything (except cherries) that comes her way she will at least try. Her favorite meat is lamb! I didn't do anything special to get her this way, I just never gave her any other option.
Eating more on less has been a gradual process for us, brought on by necessity and now finally by desire. I used to do the budget because I had to, now I do it as a challenge and as a desire. I must give credit to my family (both the accountants and mine) they have graciously supplemented our food budget when we don't have enough to cover the 200 dollars per month with a box of produce from a local organic CSA. Our food budget recently drastically took a dive as we found better health insurance for the delivery of our next little one. It saves us a LOT of money in the long run but cut our food budget down to 150 dollars per month. The difference is being made up with organic produce given to us by my mother in law and my mom. Thanks so much you guys!

So what does our menu for the week look like? (everything is organic, free range, pastured unless otherwise mentioned.)
Monday: Minted Lamb Chops with  brown rice, peas and corn.
Tuesday: Chicken Soup
Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner
Thursday: Garlic Ground Lamb patties with quinoa and broccoli
Friday: Baked potatoes with mushrooms and onions, a side salad.

Breakfasts are oatmeals, homemade granola and eggs in various ways
Lunches are left overs!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Article Link "The True Cost of Tomatoes"

When buying food I like to consider not only the nutritional value to me but also the "cost" to those who harvest, grow and supply it. Here is one more reason I like to buy from small, local, organic farmers. Click HERE to read the article from the New York Times on Florida's commercial tomato business abuses.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Top 3 Overlooked Allergy/ Food Intolerance Signs in Children (and adults)

1. Skin speaks volumes: Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body? Skin shows how your body is feeling. Even if you have a little one that can't speak, their skin can speak for them. "Sensitive" skin, eczema, rashes around the mouth, knees, elbows, armpits, bags under the eyes. These are all key signs of an inflammatory response in you or your child's body.

2. Poop: Are they constipated or having loose stools? Poops are a clear sign of how properly your child (or you) are digesting your food. Stools should be firm and medium in size.

3. Ear infections: Usually a sign of a dairy allergy although they can also be indicative of a gluten intolerance. If your child is complaining of frequent earaches an elimination diet might be in order. In today's world with such a heightened awareness of allergies this has become simpler to do!

Other key signs of a food intolerance or allergy are: brain fog, crankiness, sleep problems, inattention, acne and mood swings.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad

My box from last week's CSA had a huge a bunch of arugula in it, and to be honest I didn't want to put it in a salad. So I googled recipes for arugula and discovered you could make pesto out of it! Since I am dairy free I scooped some out for me into a  separate container before adding the cheese and put it "plain" on my gluten free pasta.  This was a big hit with the accountant and Olivia!
Ingredients: 2 cups of packed organic arugula leaves, stems removed
3/4 cup of organic raw shelled walnuts (trader joe's)
3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese (organic from local coop)
1/2 cup of organic extra virgin olive oil (costco)
10 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tsp of sea salt (if using regular salt only 1/2 tsp)
Noodles of your choice (1 pound)
Optional: 1 pound of organic ground chicken
1 yellow onion
pepper and basil

Brown the garlic cloves in a skillet over medium heat until garlic is lightly browned. With the garlic add in walnuts and lightly brown for a roasted flavor. While you are browning  place your water on to boil and cook noodles of your choice according to directions.

Meanwhile in a food processor place the arugula, and salt. Blend until chopped. Then add in the garlic, walnuts and slowly add olive oil. Pulse til texture is to your satisfaction. Remove from processor and stir in Parmesan cheese.

I cooked up some ground organic chicken (freezer section Fred Meyers, on sale this week.), onion, and organic peppers to add to the pasta. This is optional. Season with pepper and basil.

Mix all your ingredients together and you have a delicious pasta dish. Great for lunch or dinner!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Updated Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen List from EWG

This list is crucial in my shopping. I have an ethically hard time buying ANY non-organic items, but sometimes I just can't afford everything organic. Here is my "bible" for the grocery store produce. The Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen List.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Every day Life

The last two weeks have been busy at our house! First we all caught a nasty little cold bug, then Olivia and I had lots of trouble sleeping through the night and being tired all day. Then we had my thyroid checked and behold it was too fast! So after cutting my dose in half, baby is sleeping though the night (she is still breastfeeding partially so the meds were affecting her too) and so is mommy! The doctor is hoping to take me off the meds completely next month. Here is hoping. Perhaps all our diet changes and filtered water is making a difference? I hope so. Pregnancy is what triggered the imbalance the first time around, maybe pregnancy is making it better this time! 
Today has been one of baking and cleaning. This here is a banana cake recipe from the spunky coconut website. It smells yummy as it is cooking in the oven right now. Olivia isn't gluten or dairy free but I am keeping her on mommies diet with a few occasional exceptions because I think variety is the spice of life.

Last night the accountant vacuumed and mopped the floors for me. He can be so sexy sometimes!

My chickens haven't seemed to learn the back porch is off limits no matter how many times I let Wesley out to chase them off.

Our coop is all sided thanks to my new brother in law Matt, my dad and the accountant. Now to paint it yellow and red!

The accountant and I went to the coop together and came back with 9 more chickens. Three silver laced Wyandottes, two English Sussex, a furry bantam, an ameracauna, a buff orpington and a little black and yellow polish. I should probably go alone next time...good thing he didn't come to the animal shelter with Olivia and Nana yesterday. We might have come home with a cat!

Here is my little gymnast trouble maker. She climbs over and into everything. Even out of her crib. We have bought her an inexpensive low to the ground twin bed, now we just need a cheap organic mattress for it. The best prices I have found are on and ikea.

My chickens have taken over the compost pile. They spend all day back there pecking and scratching for bugs and worms. I am convinced they are laying eggs in this bunch of herb/weeds that the bees love but am too scared to look. 

I have three books I am working on right now from the library. VERY interesting book on fluoride. I highly recommend checking it out from your local library. And this was only the first three hours of my morning. How was your morning?


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