Summer Harvest – Onions

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It is getting to that time of summer when crops are starting to reward us for all of our hard work.  Next year I need to learn to plants my crops in stages so that I can pick lovely little gems each week as needed.  For this year, I was dancing with excitement when I picked this PILE of diamonds from the dirt.  45+ onions for the ripe little price of a couple of bucks.

I LOVE MY GARDEN!!

What am I going to do with all of these onions?  Easy, I freeze them to use all year long in soups, chili, sauces, casseroles, etc.  The options are endless.  Here is how I freeze my onions:

  • Peel them and chop them into whatever size onion you prefer to use.  I typically freeze a couple of different sizes.
  • Place wax paper or parchment paper on a sheet pan to prevent sticking and lay your chopped onions out in a thin layer.
  • Freeze the onion tray for an hour or two so that each little chunk freezes individually (this allows you to take as much as you want from the bag later and it won’t be one solid frozen onionsicle)
  • Place frozen onions into freezer zip bags and label them appropriately “Onions 2014” etc

That’s it!  Enjoy your organic garden onions year round.  Soon I will be canning tomatoes (and more) and sharing that with you as well so be sure to follow the blog.

The “Grass” Smoothie

It’s the epic battle of parent versus child.  There we sit, separated by three short feet of kitchen table.  The red-brown stains are already setting in….oh wait, that’s just the sloppy joe mess.  I can see the tears welling up and I prepare myself for the final battle – the dreaded vegetables.  Not the vegetables!!!  It is two pouting little faces against me and just when all seems lost I realize I have already won.  They already ate the vegetables!  They were IN the sloppy joes.  What’s better is that their fruit will be called….wait for it….dessert!!  Can it be true?

Yes I understand all the arguments.  My top favorites are “Children need to learn to like vegetables.  Put it on the plate 483 times and they will eventually like them.”  Better yet, “I am the parent, you are the child, obey or suffer the consequences.”  What about MY suffering?  Does anyone care about MY suffering?  I don’t wanna fight them to eat, I whine.  I just want to sit with them, talk about the day, laugh and be happy.  I think I am a pretty intelligent person and yes I can lay down the law or…..and this is what I am most proud of….I am willing and capable of outsmarting a 6 year old and a 3 year old.  (applause)  I’m not saying the parental drill sergeants are wrong.  I’m just saying that I would rather save my threats and yelling for when they are running toward the street rather than over a carrot down the hatch.  If the nutrients get in there somehow – success in my book.  Here’s your popsicle.  After you fall in love with the flavor, I will teach you all about the nutritional benefits of eating whole foods and skipping the fillers, preservatives, refined sugars, etc.  For now, it’s yummy.

I will share the sloppy joes recipe another day (packed full of veggies my children would rather eat dirt than consume like carrots, bell pepper, mushrooms, and more).  Today I share the “Grass Smoothie” with you.  We use it as dessert, treat, and breakfast sometimes.  It is versatile.  My 6 year old’s mission in life is to not eat anything with nutritional value.  We have spent much time discussing “too much sugar” and “you need to eat more fruit and veggies.”  One night as he was clearly on the verge of starving to death (or so he would have you believe) he very pathetically said to me, after being denied any more before bed snacks, “Mom I just wish I could have a protein or a grain or something.”   No son, chocolate is not a grain and you cannot have any but I actually do love you very much so stop looking at me like that please.

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Back to the point – my little veggie hater BEGS for Grass Smoothies, most often in popsicle form, nearly every single day.  Here is his most current recipe.  He varies it a lot but he loves to put in as many different colors and shapes as he can (score one for the parent!)  Grandmom has one of those high power blenders – someday I will have one – and they make everything perfectly smooth and delicious.  Fortunately for us, Grandmom lives right next door so getting a smoothie every day is a cinch.

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“Don’t forget the grass!” he says.  UPDATE:  He now calls it kale.  Point for the parent!

The Grass Smoothie

As many different fruits as you can get your hands on – variety is great

Spinach and/or Kale (this is what was once referred to as grass)

Coconut Oil (a teaspoon or two)

Small container of yogurt (your choice of flavor)

Ice

Juice or water

Pile them in, liquid on the bottom, and blend until smooth.  We put them in popsicle molds (by the dozens) and then my kids eat/drink at least some of their fruits and veggies every single day.  There are a million ways to make a healthy smoothie.  Try a few!

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Even little brother loves his grass smoothies!

Share your healthy smoothie recipes here with us.  🙂

Product Review: Veggetti

Disclaimer:  I have not been asked to review this product.  I am not affiliated with any related company….blah, blah, blah.  I just really wanted to try it and thought I would share the results with you.  

That said, I have used this contraption twice this week so clearly I like it.  I have made zucchini “pasta” in the past with a vegetable peeler.  That gives you long, wide “noodles” and works great.  The moment I saw the commercial for this product I was intrigued.  I am on a “Mission To Me” as one of my Pinterest board is named and am constantly looking for recipes that make eating healthy enjoyable.  So, here we go.

Start with one zucchini, washed, ends removed (and composted).

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The Veggetti has two ends (thin and thick) – you are seeing the results of “thick” end.  Just insert the zucchini and twist.  It is exactly that simple.

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When you get to the nub, they provided a cap with prongs on it to continue twisting.

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And here is what you end up with.  I compost the pointy leftover, but you could eat it.   Slice the pile in half to make the “noodles” more manageable.

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Then I boiled them in lightly salted water for a VERY short time – 2 min maybe?  I topped them with home-smoked turkey slices and homemade spaghetti sauce made from last year’s garden tomatoes that were canned.  So delicious and super healthy.

This meal took me all of 10 min to prepare, no joke.  I have my husband smoke turkey breasts on the weekend to enjoy all week long.  If I can’t eat the fatty American diet, my diet at least has to satisfy my taste buds.  I can only bend so far people!  😉

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The cold hard truth – no they do not taste like pasta.  Nothing tastes like pasta except wonderful starchy pasta.  However, on the journey to good healthy some things much be sacrificed or saved for special occasions.  This is an acceptable substitute for daily living (for myself – my husband and children cannot be fooled.  lol)

I do recommend this product.  I foresee it getting tons of use in my kitchen.  It also came with quite a few sauce recipes to try with your veggie “noodles.”

Again, I was not asked to review this product.  However, if YOU have a product you would like me to review please contact me at wwcreationsllc@gmail.com

Desperate For Dessert

So, I have been doing this sugar detox and it has been a raving success.  My blood sugar was never high (to my knowledge) but my resting blood sugar has dropped about 10 points and is well within the normal range.  Why detox?  I need to lose weight and I wanted to kickstart that with success as well as de-junk my diet.  At first it was really (REALLY) hard but I quickly learned a lot about my bad eating habits.  Such as finishing everything my kids didn’t eat whether I wanted it or not.  Now I start them with less and give them seconds if they are still hungry (and feed what’s left of round 2 to the very grateful dog).

After the first few painful days, I noticed I had a lot more energy and my brain seemed to function more clearly.  I am now on my third week, slowly adding back in foods to see how my body reacts but I am desperately missing the event of dessert!!!  I don’t miss the sugar, just the act of having a treat after dinner.  Naturally, I ran to Pinterest.  lol  Nothing fit into my plan perfectly so I adapted this fried bananas recipe and OH. MY. YUMM.  Here you go – enjoy!

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Cinnamon Bananas

Banana – sliced in half long-way

Cinnamon

Coconut Oil

Melt a small amount (teaspoon or so) of coconut oil over med heat.  Sprinkle cinnamon over the sliced banana and fry both sides to desired doneness.  That’s it!  So easy, delicious, and healthy.

Bananas, Cinnamon, and Coconut Oil all have nutritional benefits so enjoy (in moderation of course) without the guilt that typically comes will dessert on a diet. SCORE

Dirt Between My Toes


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“Dirt Between My Toes” happens to be the title of my gardening Pinterest board (www.pinterest.com/kekasue) but I am also known to walk through my freshly-tilled garden site every year barefoot just to feel the dirt under my feet.  There are so many reasons to plant a garden.

I garden because…

  • I like the satisfying feeling of making something myself (with mother nature’s help of course)
  • I feel more connected to the Earth and therefore take more steps to clean up my environment, etc
  • Save TONS of money on produce each year
  • Eat non-commercially processed foods year-round (to some extent in our house, but some is better than none), care of canning and freezing techniques
  • Teach my children to respect and appreciate where food comes from…“no it does not come from that un-named chain restaurant we drive past daily and you beg for.  That is NOT real food, but since I am equally as addicted to that crap as you are (guilt)…just a small fry.  All things in moderation, right?”
  • Knowing that my food is not covered in chemicals.  Like I said, we are not perfect in my house but I’ll take all the fresh, full of bright flavor, CHEAP, easy-access food I can get each season.

Every year I have people jealous of my pickings (over 800 tomatoes last year from just 6 plants), but I say to them (and You) anyone can grow a garden.  If you have a small space, grow a container garden.  Grow herbs if that’s all you feel like doing.  Fresh herbs are so expensive and lose their fresh flavors sitting on that grocery store shelf.  Chives are my favorite because they come back year after year on their own – hello FREE!  Get a pot of dirt, toss in some seeds (like 25 cents a pack or less), water it from time to time and watch it grow.  I’ll bet you expand your garden next year after you get hooked.  haha

We’ll talk more about gardening as I get mine set up this year.  I have lots of fun changes I want to try.  Every year is an environmental experiment.  I can’t wait to see what you plant!

Paranoid Chicken With Rice

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I used to loathe cooking chicken because I literally could kill someone with my cooking.  From choking, not poison.  You may be thinking “paranoid chicken?”  I confess, it is me.  I am paranoid about under-cooked poultry which translates to I make dry chicken that requires tons of sauce to avoid choking and therefore defeats the purpose of making a healthy baked chicken.  Not anymore!  I have never made dry chicken using this method.  I say method, not recipe.  Again with the no measuring!  I know….I know.  I like ideas that you can manipulate across a variety of resources and I hate measuring.

My local grocery store had a great deal on chicken leg quarters.  Limit two, dag-nabbit!  If only my 3 year old had a wallet…a crafting idea….I digress.  Back to chicken.  So it was cheap and I went for it.  This method works awesome with split breast chicken as well.  I already had dinner planned but I have been wanting to share this method for a while and I am smack in the middle of a 12 week weight loss challenge (I’m not winning, but this lady has not sang yet) so baked chicken is welcome in my fridge any day in any way.  The more variety, the better.

This meal comes from my Aunt Jenny.  After I gave birth she was so kind and brought a bag of ready-to-bake homemade meals that we could just put in the oven.  All the goodness of a homemade meal without any of the work.

Tell me what to do already!  Ok. Ok. Ok.

What you want to do is take whatever chicken you are using and peel back the skin on one side to make a pocket.  Into that pocket you will insert sliced citrus fruit (orange, lemon, lime, etc).  I have used them all and each one is delicious.

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At the bottom of a baking dish I mixed a rice medley with chicken stock.  I use a 1 to 1 ratio and then add liquid as needed during cooking to ensure it doesn’t end up soupy and I like the rice at the edges to get crunchy…. but whatever you like, ish factor applied.  If you are using regular brown rice I recommend tossing in some dried fruit and chopped nuts for flavor, texture, and nutrients.  Whatever combo you like is perfect.  Place your citrus-lined chicken on top of the rice, cover with foil, and bake at 375 until done.

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I would give you a time but that brings us back to “I’m paranoid” and I certainly cook it way longer than necessary.  For the last 15 min or so remove the foil to crisp up your chicken skin.  I don’t eat the fatty skin regularly but have tasted it and it is delicious.  Crunchy and citrus flavored.  The chicken takes on just a touch of the citrus as well – this chicken is SOOOO good.

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Perfect chicken every single time I have made it.  No lie.  Thank you Aunt Jenny.  🙂  Comment and share your variations or tips and share with friends.  Don’t forget to follow the blog for more great ideas to come.  Have a great day!!

~Bonus tip:  Toss the ends of the lemons and any leftover cooked lemon from your plate down the garbage disposer for a natural deodorizer.