In my pursuit to cut out grains and add lots of veggies, I’ve started subbing one for the other. Roasted veggies are a fabulous base for dishes like Tikka Masala, a fabulous topping for salads to make them warm and savory, and a fabulous side to any protein dish. They fill you up and don’t leave you feeling sluggish. Continue reading
How do I name a soup to convey its deliciousness? The title of this post isn’t all that enticing but wowza this soup is amazing. It’s fresh, flavorful, and surprisingly filling. I was starving so I made a batch of this stuff and threw a couple of pieces of toast on my plate. I got so wrapped up in the soup that I forgot the toast! I ate two bowls and couldn’t have fit anything else in my belly. Plus, it’s really EASY.
I don’t make soup often but I never regret it. I made a big batch in half an hour. I probably could have eaten it all in one sitting but then I would have to roll myself to bed. So I froze half of it and now we have dinner for another night.
What do you cook when the entire meal will be appetizers? I knew that most people wouldn’t be hungry for a full meal so I planned out four appetizers instead. They all worked perfectly, except for this one. This took two tries but it was SO worth it. I got the original recipe from Sammie Kennedy. This stuff melts in your mouth. It’s gooey and chewy and crunchy. Salty AND sweet. YUM
I still had the microwave at this point but I was trying to wean myself off it. Turns out popping popcorn on the stove can be kind of tricky. This is where the first attempt failed. When I tried again the next day I was significantly less distracted and followed the instructions below to a tee. And of course it worked.
How to Pop Perfect Popcorn on the stove! – Simple Recipes
Sweet and Salty Popcorn (servings: 6, cook time: 25 minutes)
- 2 cups popped kernels
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar (barely increases blood sugar)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp sea salt
- Pop the popcorn in an air popper or over the stove.
- In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil and coconut sugar. Stir in the vanilla, honey, and cinnamon. Stir frequently. When it reaches a boil, remove from heat.
- Pour the liquid mixture over the popped popcorn. Add the salt on top. Mix gently with a wooden or plastic spoon so you don’t crush the kernels.
- Lay popcorn out on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until hardened.
- Break off the sheet and serve. Enjoy! It will keep a couple of days until the popcorn goes stale.
Ashley Life Update:
We went and got the Vitamix last night! I’m so flippin’ excited. My week is insane so I won’t have much time to experiment but I’ll be using it whenever possible and I’m sure you’ll all be hearing about it. Also, we found a fantastic deal on Stainless Steel cookware. 20% off and a rebate for a Cuisinart bowl set. It’s gonna take a little bit of saving to bounce back but I am SO excited to use this stuff. This night was better than Christmas. YAY!
Sweet potato fries. I’ve only had them once or twice in restaurants but I ALWAYS love them. So when I saw this post from Snack Girl, I figured I’d try it. Holy Bajolies these things are good. I did it a tiny bit differently from Snack Girl’s original recipe so here is my version:
We ate them with Santa Fe style scrambled eggs: eggs, almond milk, red pepper, spinach. Then salsa and avocado on top. YUM.
Sweet Potato Fries
- 2 large sweet potatoes (yams)
- coconut oil or grapeseed oil (because it’s high heat)
- garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Peel sweet potatoes then cut them into thin lengths. The thinner the cuts, the more crispy and delicious the fries.
- Lay out the sweet potato in single layers on the baking sheets.
- Sprinkle them with oil then with all the spices. Be conservative with the spices.
- Bake for 15 minutes then grab some tongs (or burn your fingers) and flip every fry. Continue cooking for 5-10 minutes or until the fries are golden brown.
Ashley Life Update: It’s snowing here again! The second storm in a week! Since I can work from home most mornings and my workouts are all here too, I’m loving this. I can just sit at our dining table, working and looking at the pretty snow 🙂
A common excuse for why people don’t cook for themselves is that it takes too much time. To these people I say, “NO!” If you want to be healthy, you have to figure out how it works into your schedule. Of course, I can help you with this.
My Solution: Cook three times a week, the nights you have a bit more time. Easy meals that take no more than 30 minutes. Cook double and eat leftovers on nights you really don’t have time to cook. However, make sure that you are reheating the leftovers in the oven and on the stove top, microwaves are BAD. Let the 7th day be your meal vacation day and get a pre-cooked pizza or order in.
This strategy means I only grocery shop once a week and it’s only for the three meals I need to cook plus a little breakfast and lunchtime stuff. And now nothing goes bad either!
So this week one of the three meals was make-your-own tacos. YUM. It’s cheap and so incredibly delicious.
Side Ingredients (mix or match with whatever you have, and organic is best)
no sugar salsa
pecorino cheese, grated (< hard sheep’s cheese, like parmesan but without the lactose)
Taco Meat Ingredients
ground turkey or chicken (< very important that it’s organic)
1 onion, diced
1 Tbsp coconut oil
garlic, 2 cloves minced or 2 tsp powder
1 Tbsp cumin
salt and pepper
optional: portobello mushrooms, other soft veggies
1. Cook the taco meat. Sauté the onion and garlic in the coconut oil on medium heat for 5 minutes.
2. Add the ground turkey/chicken, spices, and veggies. Set to medium-low heat and cover. Stir occasionally while heating side ingredients. Cook for a total of about 15 minutes.
3. Heat refried beans in a pot on stove. Stir frequently.
4. Heat tortillas in oven on lowest setting for 5 minutes. While you’re plating the sides.
5. Put it out all nice and pretty and let people serve themselves! Enjoy.
Hope you’re all having wonderful Tuesdays 🙂
Canola Oil was originally popularized in the US, in the form of rapeseed oil, to aid in the building of ships during World War 2. When the war ended, demand dropped, and the main producer of the oil (Canada) began to look for a form of rapeseed oil edible by humans. The new invention was lower in erucic acid (which is linked to heart disease). The Canadians came up with the very clever name Canola: Canadian oil, low acid. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A CANOLA PLANT.
At the time that Canada was going about inventing Canola Oil, American food manufacturers were looking for a cheap alternative to polyunsaturated oils like olive oil and healthy unsaturated fats like butter and coconut oil. Perfect! Canola Oil fit the bill and the Canadian producers began the expensive road to FDA approval and marketing to manufacturers.
The original Canola Oil was created through basic breeding and selection, however in 1995, there was a massive genetic modification in Canola Oil. The new oil was so genetically different from the original rapeseed oil that it could be patented. The modification succeeded in producing a bacterial DNA in the oil that makes it impervious to the toxic herbicide, RoundUp. This means that the patented oil is regularly doused in RoundUp to combat the growth of other plants. Yummy!
Canola oil is about a third polyunsaturated fat which is incredible unstable in high heat. This means that every time you cook with the oil, then eat whatever you cook (duh), they increase inflammation in your body (ouch) and contribute to heart disease, cancer, weight gain, and other degenerative diseases.
The way your body reacts to Canola Oil is the same with other industrial oils like CORN OIL and SOYBEAN OIL.
In other words:
– organic and grass-fed is best. Yep, full fat butter is good for you! When shopping, the lesser ingredients the better.
– organic and unrefined is best < MY FAVORITE. More on the amazingness of coconut oil later.
– organic and extra virgin is best (low heat only)
^ BOOOO!!! HISSS!!!!
This is a very short version of an awesome article by the blogger, Small Footprint Family. See the article here.
So when are you going to make the switch?
HAPPY MONDAY! 🙂
Macaroons are one of the most deliciously allowable foods for those of us that are gluten, dairy, and sugar challenged. I have yet to really explain to you all why I try to be sugar-free but you’ll just have to trust me on this one, sugar is really not good for you. You can substitute Stevia or Xylitol for sugar but sometimes it can taste a bit wonky. In this recipe, it just works!
So I made these macaroons and they are so flippin’ delicious. There are a few more steps than I’m used to but SO worth the brain power.
Chocolate Covered Macaroons
4-5 egg whites
14 oz of unsweetened coconut, shredded
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Xylitol or Stevia to taste
Chocolate Ingredients (this chocolate covering is optional):
3 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Xylitol or Stevia to taste
^ Beat egg whites until frothy.
^ Stir in coconut, butter, and sweetener.
Roll into tablespoon sized balls and drop onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes. Cool in fridge until firm.
The chocolate is optional but SO good, just do it:
^ Melt chocolate, coconut oil, and butter together. Add sweetener. Dip macaroons in chocolate. Cool on wax paper. Keep refrigerated.
Like an idiot, I got so excited to eat these babies that I didn’t take an after picture. DOH! But you can imagine how pretty AND tasty they were. And so easy to make. Try it, you will amaze yourself.
Does anyone have plans for a nice meal this weekend?
Who are you gonna smile at today?