Pico de gallo, spanish for “rooster’s beak,” is a great fresh condiment that is made from fresh ingredients and a little fruit juice. It’s also quick to make, and fits into an Cinco de Mayo celebration.
- 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 to a whole small onion
- 1 or 2 seeded chopped jalapeño peppers
- Chopped cilantro to taste
- Lime juice to taste
- Salt to taste
Put the tomatoes, onion, and peppers into a bowl. Add the cilantro and stir to combine. Sprinkle the lime juice and salt on top and stir again. Done!
Be sure to check out our other Cinco de Mayo recipes!
Our family likes to make up a batch or two of these healthy oatmeal cookies to keep in the freezer, they work great for when we are feeling like something sweet but not wanting to be “bad.” They make a healthy treat for the whole family, and they are so easy to make. I make these cookies if I am wanting to do some cooking with the kids but don’t have time to make something that is really involved. Because you don’t have to bake these cookies, they make up in less than 30 minutes.
Vegan No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (or other shortening of choice)
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, less if you don’t like a really rich chocolate flavor
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 2 cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a saucepan over medium heat combine the maple syrup, oil, cocoa and cinnamon. Boil for three minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter, rolled oats and vanilla until well blended.
- Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto waxed paper (I used foil and sprayed it so they wouldn’t stick) and chill to set, about 30 minutes. Keep refrigerated.
Sprouting grains and seeds is easy and fun. The health benefits are well worth the extra work. You can sprout wheat berries, barley, buckwheat, alfalfa, sesame seeds, and flax seeds, to name a few. When the seed or grain sprouts, nutrients are released during the growing process that are not present in the seed or grain by itself. By sprouting, dehydrating, then grinding your grains, you are creating flour that is many times more nutrient rich than any flour you can purchase in the store. I love watching my food grow, it’s inspiring!
Step 1: Soaking
The first step is to soak the seeds or grains. Place the seeds or grains in a large pot overnight (the size of the pot depends on how much flour or sprouts you will need, keep in mind that soaking causes the grains to expand as they absorb the water).
Step 2: Rinsing
After the overnight soak, you will want to pour your grains into a colander, about half full, and rinse. When I rinse them I like to get my hands in there to mix it up to make sure that all the grains are well rinsed. Do this 2-3 times a day until the sprouts form, you want the sprout to be about 1/4 inch in length. Each seed and grain has a different germination phase. Wheat berries take around 48 hours while quinoa sprouts in as little as 12 hours.
Step 3: Dehydrating
Depending on what you are planning to use the sprouts for, you may or may not choose to dehydrate your seeds or grains. I use my sprouted wheat to make bread flour and buckwheat to make Buckwheatie Bars. Dehydrating is simple. Just give the sprouts one last rinse and place them on the dehydrating trays. It usually only takes around 4-6 hours to dry. Use your dehydrated sprouts quickly, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to a month or so.
My husband Andru has come to the realization that a lot of the food we eat on a daily basis contains a lot of sodium. Not because I have chosen to dash everything we consume with a bit of salt here and there, but because some foods come into our home with so much added salt through processing. He was fuming about how he had chosen to purchase some soup simply because the label said “Organic” because in our mind set “organic” is supposed to mean good for you, but that is not necessarily true so he went off in a tirade after reading the label and seeing that in a one cup serving of this “good” soup there was 980 mg. of sodium, 41% of the sodium we need for the day in one cup of delicious death. He was very concerned that this percentage was in relation to an adult’s body mass, not a 3 year-olds tiny frame. How much sodium can a toddler take before a salt-induced coma? Anyway, to alleviate his worries, he is on a mission to eat more foods that are “living”, meaning less meat and processed foods and more fruits and vegetables.
In order to support his new found revelation, I decided one night to come up with a raw fruit and vegetable salad that is delicious despite not being smothered in dressing—and I aptly named it Rainbow Fruit & Veggie salad because after all was said and done, I threw in so many different colors of fruits and veggies, it became a taste sensation for the eyes. I was very tempted to add a touch of sugar to the natural dressing mixed in, but then thought, well that defeats the whole purpose, so instead added some strawberries for that touch of sweetness. Voila…a new recipe was born, and Andru loved it and the kids seemed to like it also, thank you strawberries. It is a great side dish and the recipe can be varied in so many ways, I added raw zucchini when I made it a second time and it was a hit at our Fellowship meal after church. I hope it pleases your taste buds also!
Last year my husband and I were on a raw food kick. We bought a great book called, “The Raw Food Detox Diet” by Natalia Rose - that is where I got this recipe. My husband and I have begun a slow journey of becoming healthier people. We are trying to regain ground for ourselves at the same time as we teach our children the many benefits of eating healthy. One of the main points in this book, “The Raw Food Detox Diet,” is that we need to eat in such a way that our meals will exit our bodies in a timely manner. But equally important, we want our food to give our bodies the maximum amount of nutrients possible. One of the ways we can do this is by not eating starchy foods and meats together as they take much longer to digest when eaten together. This recipe is a great, “quick exit meal,” not raw, but definitely a great source of nutrition and it tastes great. I will be sharing more thoughts about this book in later entries, so look forward to hearing more from me on the subject of the Raw Food Diet.
This recipe was passed to me from a friend who has been a vegetarian all her life. So, needless to say, she has an arsenal of delicious veggie recipes that I have gleaned to add to the eclectic bunch that I rotate throughout the week. I love this particular recipe for tofu because everyone (including my kids) who has tried it, loves it. And it makes tofu taste like you would never believe. It has a few ingredients that one might seem would not be paired together but all of the flavors blend so well and it is a recipe to be tried on the naysayers of tofu. It is a meal that needs an extra day to prep, but it is so easy and foolproof. It is a healthy, protein packed meal that you will feel good about feeding to your kids. Serve it on top of white or better yet, brown rice; I like to add a green vegetable on the side to add that bit of color to please the eyes as well as the palate. I usually go with broccoli or green beans, but also love asparagus lightly sauteed with some olive oil and kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
I love this time of the year, when the weather starts to turn a little colder, and forces us indoors. I love the changing of seasons - it makes me feel creative, as there are so many different fresh food options with each season. In Washington, August through October is the season of bountiful apples, pears, plums, peaches, nectarines, and many other tree ripening fruits. I think that many people buy applesauce because, it’s less expensive at the stores, but even more than that, they don’t realize how easy it can be to make yourself. If you have apple farmers in your area, take a family trip and buy a box or two of apples, I think you will be surprised how much you will spend. The farmers in this area charge around $.40 a pound for seconds (perfectly edible apples that don’t look perfect so they can’t sell them in the stores, which are perfect for saucing). I love making applesauce because it makes the house smell delicious all day long. When I first started making applesauce a few years ago I had tried different recipes that all called for sugar. Every time I made the sauce I added less sugar until I realized, it doesn’t need any! This is such a simple recipe and such great apple flavor. I try to make it a fun event for the kids as well, they get to help me sauce the cooked apples and of course they get to taste the fruits of our labor!
- As many apples as you can fit in your Crockpot, quartered (the best sauce is made of 2-3 different kinds of apples, varying in sweetness)
- 1/4 cup water
- Dash of cinnamon to taste
- Wash and quarter apples, place in Crockpot.
- Add water and cinnamon. Cover and let cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 5-6 hours.
- Towards the end I lift the lid and mash up a bit with a potato masher, that way I can see if it’s ready or not. It’s ready when the apples are very soft and mash easily with the masher, if there are still big chunks you need to cook the apples longer.
- When the apples are ready, ladle the cooked apples into a food mill and sauce the apples, leaving behind the apple peels and seeds. If you don’t have a food mill you can peel and core the apples and mash with a potato masher for a little chunkier sauce, but very pretty. Be creative with this, if you like more seasoning you can add some allspice or nutmeg, some people like to add sugar and lemon juice, I prefer less sugar.
- I always freeze my applesauce, it’s so easy. I just ladle the applesauce into quart freezer Ziplock bags and label, that’s it! You can thaw in the refrigerator or in warm water if you need it to thaw more quickly, then place the sauce in a jar (or freeze it right in the jar, leaving a 1/2 inch of room at the top for expansion.
In many American homes the potato is a staple food. In our home, while they would not necessarily be considered a staple, they are definitely enjoyed every now and again, as a side dish or even as a main dish. I like to serve them fried, as a main dish, along with a salad and/or corn on the cob or another steamed vegetable. They are very simple and easy to prepare. You can easily adjust this recipe based on how many people you are serving and whether you will be using it as a side dish or as a main dish. My recipe will serve 4 adults as a main dish. You can use any kind of potato, sweet potato or yams (you will need to cook sweet potatoes/yams longer as they are a much harder vegetable).
Seasoned Fried Potatoes
- 5-6 medium sized potatoes
- 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove minced garlic
- Johnny’s Seasoning to taste
- Fresh herbs to taste (you could use many different kinds of herbs, oregano, rosemary, I’ve tried thyme and that was very yummy. Be creative!)
- Wash and peel potatoes, or leave the peel on if you wish. Poke with a knife or fork several times (this can be a great stress reliever but just be careful!)
- Partially cook in the microwave. I usually put them in for 3-5 minutes, turn and flip a couple times checking for doneness. You want the potatoes to be partially cooked, not too hard and yet still firm so they don’t fall apart.
- Oil your pan, cut potatoes into small cubes and add to pan. Toss in your herbs and spices and cook until they are nicely browned. Serve potatoes by themselves or drizzle a healthy serving of ketchup all over them. Enjoy!
With all of the crazy holiday and national recognition days out there, we love when there is one we can get behind whole-heatedly. Today just happens to be such a day, what with it being National Corn Fritters Day and all. I mean, is there anyone out there who doesn’t enjoy these incredible morsels of yellow goodness?
In all seriousness, today is National Corn Fritters Day, so we’ve got a recipe for Southern Style Corn Fritters for you. Check it out after the jump.
Rosh Hashanah started on Friday night this year, so make-ahead dishes are essential to the cook’s sanity. The previously posted beet salad keeps for days, and so does today’s Moroccan Beet Green Salad, though the flavoring strengthens a bit after 3 days or so (not that strong flavor bothers me!) Beets still attached to their greens seem fresher, and the greens are a powerhouse of vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, and calcium, plus fiber. Properly cooked and seasoned, greens are swooningly delicious, yet even a huge serving is low calorie. In order to provide those huge servings, I usually buy extra spinach (this year buy in a bunch, not a bag, or buy a bunch of Swiss chard instead) and mix both greens together. This salad’s lemony spiciness complements the holiday’s rich meat and chicken main dishes.
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