Salmon Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

We love salads and fresh homemade salad dressings, especially in the hot summer months. Lisa loves this vinaigrette, so we decided to share a salad recipe for one of our 3 days of PINK lunches.

For the salad,  I start with a big bowl of super greens made of spinach, kale, and beet greens. You can usually find this prepackaged in the grocery store. Adjust your portions according to your family size. I then add as much as I like of chopped cucumbers, chopped green onions, Spanish Manzanilla green olives, and chopped walnuts. Do you see the healthy fats in this salad?

I then steam 3 salmon fillets in a skillet, skin side down, for about 6-8 minutes. Salmon is an easy quick fix and makes a great leftover. You can cook it the night before and take it for lunch the next day. It’s great cold on a salad. Once the salmon fillets are done, I put my premixed salad in individual large bowls for serving and place my salmon (skin removed)  on top of the salad.  I then pour the Lemon Vinaigrette over the salad, and lunch is ready! Here’s the recipe for the vinaigrette.

1/4 cup red wine, apple cider or white vinegar (personal preference)

1 Tab. Dijon mustard  (This can be adjusted.  I only use about 1 tsp. mustard)

1 tsp. oregano (dried or fresh)

1 tsp. lemon thyme or regular thyme (dried or fresh)

1/2 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

2 Tabs. fresh lemon juice

pinch of Stevia, Xylitol, (optional), or 1 tsp. of honey

Whisk vinegar, Dijon mustard, oregano, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Slowly stream in olive oil while you are mixing briskly.  Beat your lemon juice into the mixture.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Add pinch of sweetener if needed.

Pour into jar or bottle and shake until well emulsified.

All oils are not created equal.  Typically “store-bought” dressings are not made with the best types of oils and they often contain a lot of unnecessary ingredients.  It doesn’t take that long to whip up a great salad dressing.  Use olive oils, avocado or nut oils in order to get the best types of healthy fats.

Thanks Lisa for the great recipe!

*** Information contained within this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Turkey Burgers

I’m not a person that looks for a beef substitute; I love red meat!   But, sometimes I just want to make something different and these turkey burgers hit the spot.  If you are trying to cut back on red meat and you miss the idea of a hamburger then these will be a welcome addition to your lunch or dinner table.

You may make turkey burgers often but I have only been making them in the last year.  Here’s some things I have learned.

In order to make a moist turkey burger you will need to add a few more ingredients than you typically put in a beef burger.  There just isn’t much fat in turkey and the burgers have a tendency to dry out while you are cooking them.

This is a good basic recipe.  You can make adjustments with your spices or add Worcestershire (homemade is best, check out this recipe) or Steak Sauce.  Be creative!

3 lbs. ground organic turkey

1/2 cup bread crumbs or ground up gluten free oatmeal

1/4 cup grated onion or carrots

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 clove minced garlic

1 tsp. salt or seasoning salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

(this original recipe calls for 2 beaten egg whites.  I have never added them)

The bread crumbs in this will help hold these burgers together.  If you don’t eat gluten then blend up your gluten free oats into bread crumb consistency.

I have always used the grated carrots in my burgers but I am sure that the diced onion add a lot of great flavor.

Decide on the ingredients you are going to use and put them all in a mixing bowl.  I use my hands and lightly mix everything up.  (Don’t overwork your burger mixture)

I always re-season the outside of my burgers before I put them on the grill.

Heat your grill to 350.  When the grill is heated up put your burgers on and cook until cooked through.  Poultry should be cooked to about 180.  I use a little meat thermometer to check for the correct temperature.  I cook mine until they are about 170 knowing they will continue to cook after they come off the grill.  Don’t cook these too quickly or too hot because the outside will be too “done” before the inside is cooked.

If you eat hamburger buns then dress these just like you would your beef burger.  I don’t eat the bread so I just put all my veggies and condiments on top of my burger and eat it with a knife and fork.

Tasty!!!!

-Lisa

 

 

 

 

Quinoa Quiche Cups

My friend, Cari, shared this recipe with me after attending an Ancient Grains cooking class at The Bread Beckers Store in Woodstock, GA. Quinoa is a staple in my pantry! I use it in salads to add a bit of protein, as a substitute for pasta in Spaghetti, and just plain with a sprinkle of Olive Oil, salt and pepper. There are a lot of great recipes our there using this ancient food.

Now this particular recipe calls for cheese, so it is not dairy free. It also calls for Quinoa Flour, not cooked Quinoa. So you will need to make the flour first. The picture above shows uncooked Quinoa on the left and fresh ground Quinoa flour on the right (for those of you that may not know what it looks like). The flour process can be as simple as placing two cups of uncooked organic Quinoa in a high powered mixer, like a Vitamix, and blending until fine. Or you can use a coffee grinder, but you will have to grind it in batches. You can also toast the quinoa in a pan on low heat prior to grinding. This really brings out its nutty flavor. Some people wash theirs before starting the process, but I don’t. My Daddy always said a little dirt wouldn’t hurt me:) It hasn’t yet!

  • 1 cup of organic Quinoa flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 oz of fresh ground turkey or chicken sausage
  • 2 cups of coarsely grated zucchini
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely grated
  • 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese (Remember, buy the block and grate it yourself. Too many preservatives and binders in the grated store-bought varieties. Bread Beckers also sells wonderful raw milk cheeses.)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a small skillet over medium heat, brown the meat and drain (you may need to add a bit of olive oil to the frying pan if using ground turkey). In a large bowl, combine the browned meat, zucchini, onion, and cheese. Mix in the eggs and oil, and season with pepper. Stir the flour mixture into this mixture until well combined.

Divide mixture evenly among prepared 12 cup muffin pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing. If you like a browned “muffin” place them under the broiler for a few minutes.

Leftovers (if you have any) can be stored in fridge and reheated as needed.

Thanks for the recipe Cari!

– Mary

 

*** Information contained within this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Power Breakfast

Have you ever heard it said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well, I believe it. I feel so much better if I start my day with good nutrition. Today’s recipe is somewhat of a combo; a juice and a breakfast bread recipe. The “POWER” comes from the avocado and the green juice. The strength comes from the 2 fried eggs atop the piece of Ezekiel bread (PROTEIN). Now, I know that sounds like a lot of food, but it’s all good for you. You’re even getting a serving of fruits and veggies in at breakfast!

You really can’t go wrong when it comes to juicing. No juicer needed for this recipe. You can choose to use a strainer after blending to get the true “juice” experience, or you can choose to drink the pulp for an extra dose of fiber. So here’s the exact recipe for the juice pictured above:

  • A handful of super greens (kale, spinach, watercress, beets greens, etc.) I chose a mixture of spinach and kale. Adding beet greens to any mixture is always a great idea, they’re really good for you. They do not change the taste, I promise:)
  • 1/2 stalk of celery
  • 1/4 cup of cherries (I use organic frozen cherries.)
  • 5 chunks of pineapple (average sized chunks-1 inch cubes, not slices)

Place these ingredients in a blender, cover with filtered water, and blend. Blending times will vary with blenders. I blend mine until it’s a uniform green color. At this point you would need to decide if you want to strain off the pulp or leave it. My blender leaves very little pulp, so I drink it ( I like the added fiber). I joke that this juice is like an IV of liquid power. I feel so energized after drinking it!

I made pre-packaged bags of this combo and gave to my niece to drink while she was going through chemo. There were days when she couldn’t drink it all, but there were days where she could, and needed to due to the effects of the chemo and steroids. The combinations of treatment were rough on her digestion and made it difficult at times to be regular, so the extra fiber was helpful.

Okay, on to the breakfast bread. My breakfast bread starts with a slice of Ezekiel bread. I love to make it homemade, but my current schedule doesn’t allow for that. So, I buy it here: http://www.breadbeckers.com/. I live about 30 minutes from this particular store and enjoy my trips to stock up on Ezekiel bread and all the other goodies I can find there. You can also purchase the frozen variety at local grocery stores, but I prefer fresh. I top my Ezekiel bread with 2 good old-fashioned fried eggs. I use local farm fresh eggs and avocado oil for frying. Avocado oil has an unusually high concentration of beta-sitosterol, a type of cholesterol which our bodies can use to convert less healthy fats into forms which are more usable and less damaging to cells. Avocado also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to prevent damage to arterial walls which may in turn lower the risk of heart disease caused by plaque deposits. Atop my egg, I slice 1/2 of an avocado, and 1 small Campari tomato. (You can use any type of tomato, I just like the Campari’s because of their low acidity.) To that I add fresh ground pepper and oregano, as much as I want!  This breakfast is loaded with healthy fats from the avocado, lycopene from the tomato, and tons of minerals from the black pepper and oregano. I love to research how proper nutrition can aid in healing the body. Click here for an article on the benefits of the mineral manganese and heart health. It is from, what I consider a reputable source, the American Heart Society.

Well, there you have it,  A POWER BREAKFAST! Now you can go be superwoman…..or superman:)

-Mary

 

*** Information contained within this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

Baked Oatmeal

I love oatmeal!   A lady that used to cook for Meals on Wheels in Forsyth County gave me this recipe several years ago.  It’s a great way to turn a healthy “standard” into a new family favorite.   I fix this for breakfast but you could serve it for a healthy dessert.  If you eat dairy it would be great with a little ice cream on top!

2 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal  (you can purchase gluten free oats)

3 oz. honey

1 cup milk  (you can use almond, coconut or other dairy alternative milk)

1/2 Tab. baking powder

1 Tsp. cinnamon

1 Tsp. vanilla

Pure maple syrup

chopped apples, dried fruit, nuts, etc.   You can add these to the  oatmeal before its baked or let individuals top their oatmeal as they wish  (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients and pour into an 8×8 or 9×9 inch pan.  Bake about 30 minutes.  (golden brown on top)  Remove from oven and punch holes into the oatmeal with the handle of a wooden spoon.  Pour pure maple syrup over the oatmeal. ( If you haven’t used pure maple syrup you are in for a treat.  It is so much better than artificially flavored maple syrup.   (which is really just thick maple flavored liquid sugar)  Be careful about the amount you use because it is sweeter than regular syrup and it is easy to get recipes too sweet.)  Dish out into individual serving bowls.  You can top with more milk, toppings or just eat it as it comes out of the oven.

Oatmeal is an important source of fiber, vitamins and minerals.  Many people use it to help control high cholesterol.   If you eat grain, this is a good one to add to your diet.

Eat breakfast and have a wonderful day!!

-Lisa

 

*** Information contained within this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

 

 

 

 

Buffalo Dip

I know what you’re thinking, another buffalo chicken dip, right? Well, kinda. More like a chicken less and cheese less buffalo dip. Yes, I said no cheese. This is a dairy free recipe.

From time to time, I like to give my body a rest from dairy to allow my digestive system a little break. I still get plenty of calcium, and I actually get it from its original source……..vegetables and fruit. Here’s a few of my favorite calcium rich foods:

  • Spinach, Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash, Brussel Sprouts, Celery
  • Oranges/Tangerines, Dried Figs, Dates, Kiwi, Lemons/Limes, Raspberries/Blackberries

Okay, on to the recipe. This is really a guilt-free recipe, so eat as much as you want. I DO!

  • 2 heads of cauliflower
  • 3 Tablespoons of ghee (go here for the recipe). You can also use a healthy oil (NOT Canola or Vegetable), but I personally like the taste of the ghee.
  • 1/2 cup of Franks Hot Sauce (my favorite) *You can adjust the heat by adding more or less.*
  • Olive oil for pan (Be careful if using spray oils. Look for sprayers without propellants or buy a spray bottle that you fill with a healthy oil like olive or avocado oil.)
  • season with Sea Salt (optional)

Cut your cauliflower into large chunks. Wash, drain, and air dry cauliflower. Once dry, place your cauliflower into a large mixing bowl.  Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  While oven is preheating, heat up your ghee in a small saucepan. Add the hot sauce and stir until combined. Remove from heat, pour mixture over cauliflower, and stir to coat the cauliflower well.   Coat a 9×13 pan with olive oil, arrange cauliflower on pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.

At this point you could choose to plate the cauliflower bites on a plate with Dairy Free Homemade Ranch Dressing, celery sticks and carrots. Or, you can follow the next few steps to make Buffalo Cauli Dip (SOOOOOOO GOOD!).

Place roasted cauliflower in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup of Dairy Free Homemade Ranch Dressing to bowl. Get out your handy immersion blender and start pulsing the mixture until mixed well. This is where I add the Sea Salt to taste. I give it a final stir and place in a serving bowl. Add your crunchy veggies (celery and carrots) and your ready for half time!

-Mary

 

*** Information contained within this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

 

I’m Almost Finished

…and I feel good!  Tomorrow is the 21st day; the last day of my Standard Process 21-Day Purification Program.

I got off coffee.  It took days and days but I finally kicked it and stopped having the headaches.  But you know what?  Come Monday I’m going to have a whole pot!!   I just don’t see myself giving up coffee permanently.

Now that I’m down to the wire, I can say there have been numerous positive results.   A lot of the motivation that had disappeared with my knee injury has returned.  Cleaning up my diet has made me feel better internally and that seems to have translated to my willingness to be more active.  Of course as my knee has healed and gotten stronger it has been easier to walk and to jog a little.  (A “little” jogging is the appropriate word)  But undoubtedly our eating habits help dictate our ability to perform.

Lack of dairy is a big key to my feeling better.  If you are unsure if its a particular food that is causing gut discomfort then I don’t know of better way to find out than to try a detox diet.  You will be able to discover what your problem is during the reintroduction period.  Finally finding out what is causing your issues will be a huge relief.

Completely cutting out processed sugars for a period of time always seems to short circuit my cravings.  Now, I can’t lie and say I never want white sugar because my friends know that is not true!!  But, I am one of those people that can OD on candy and cake very quickly so its just better for me to stay away as much as possible.  A detox is a good way to start getting off the sugar train!

This diet allows you to eat unlimited vegetables and 1/2 as many fruits.  I’ve been eating more varieties of both.  When you increase your vegetable and fruit intake you can’t help but feel better.

Concerning weight loss and detox programs; they seem to work for a lot of different sized folks.  If you follow the “rules” of the program and you are overweight then you will lose pounds.  But conversely it seems if you are only wanting to “get clean” and you don’t overdo your exercise, as prescribed, then a person that doesn’t need to lose weight won’t lose too much.  I have found this to be true on several different detox programs.  I assume that our bodies are really trying to get to and stay at our optimal weight.  Our bodies do want to be well and fit.

Here’s the bottom line.  This Standard Process detox is a great starting point if you are wanting to “change your ways”.  Sometimes we have to take drastic measures and Anybody can do Anything they set their minds to do for 21 days.

Here’s to good health!!

 

(Again, I am not paid by Standard Process.  Participating in this program was my personal decision)

Lisa

Game Day JOES

I found this recipe a few years ago from Homemade Simple. We all love football around here (home and office). What could be better on a day of football than Sloppy Joes? These “Joes” combine the traditional recipe with a Mexican kick.

We limit our intake of bread, and substitute a sweet potato instead. It’s sort of like a stuffed potato. I have adapted this recipe to reflect a few healthier choices. There’s also two additional recipes within this recipe, so be sure to look for them.

Reflecting on PINK: There was a common statement that my niece made while undergoing treatment last year. She would tell me, she just wanted to feel normal. It was difficult for her because the chemo would knock her out for several days after receiving it. So this recipe, is my attempt to bring normalcy to the lives of the family of those currently going through treatment. This recipe can easily be doubled or even tripled, making it easy to share! Reach out to someone around you that may be going through cancer treatment. Offer to cook a meal for their family. The power of healing is often felt through the hand of a neighbor or friend!

Southwestern Sloppy Joes:

  • healthy oil for sauteing onions and peppers (olive oil or avocado
  • 1- yellow or Vidalia onion, chopped (I live in the south, so it’s always a Vidalia)
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped (use your color of choice). These little guys are full of the antioxidant vitamins A & C. I personally use one whole yellow bell pepper. The more antioxidants, the better.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of organic frozen corn (Please try buy organic, non GMO. Corn is one of the highest genetically modified foods. Cancer patients benefit from low exposure to pesticides and preservatives. It allows their immune system to fight the disease instead of trying to breakdown the non-sense added to their food. Just omit it if you don’t eat corn.)
  • 1/2 cup of black beans (I buy beans in the cardboard boxes or BPA free cans if I don’t have time to swell and cook them myself.)
  • 1 pound of organic grass-fed ground beef
  • 16 oz. of organic tomato sauce (Homemade for those of you who had gardens and canned this summer.)
  • 1 TBSP of honey (optional)
  • 1 TBSP of homemade Worcestershire sauce (homemade recipe here) The store-bought variety is full of preservatives.The homemade is really good! I just store the extra in a mason jar. It’s great for a marinade as well.
  • Hamburger buns (if you must) OR Sweet potatoes

In a large skillet, saute onion, bell pepper, and garlic in oil until tender. Once tender, transfer mixture to a holding bowl, then use skillet to brown ground beef. Once browned, add beans and corn. Next, fold in the onion mixture. Add tomato sauce, honey (optional), and homemade Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered to help thicken. Season with salt and serve in baked sweet potato.

I love this dish with a side of coleslaw. My Momma made simple, country-style coleslaw quite often. Two main ingredients, cabbage and mayonnaise. When I found this recipe for homemade mayo, using a few simple ingredients, GAME ON! I started making my Momma’s coleslaw but much healthier.

Hope you enjoy!

-Mary

Roasted Garlic and Tomato Soup

I’m on the back porch again, in my favorite spot (mentioned in day 1). I’m re-reading an amazing cookbook, Eat Like There’s No Tomorrow. Hans Rueffert is the author. It’s not only a cookbook, but has little excerpts about loving his family, sharing amazing food, and fighting cancer. I highly recommend you check it out.

My husband grew up with Hans, and has often shared stories with me of his afternoons in the kitchen at the Inn.  Hans family founded and still operates the Woodbridge Inn located in Jasper, GA. Hans is the main chef at the Inn. Hans story of fighting cancer was such an inspiration to me as my niece went through her diagnosis and treatment last year. I often visited his “FIGHT” story and reminded myself and Amber how every trial is an opportunity to become stronger, just like Hans. Watching your loved one go through treatment is so hard, especially when she’s like your own daughter. Hans included not only his fight of cancer, but also how the fight looked through the lens of his wife, children,and parents.  Thank you Hans for sharing your story with your community!

The recipe I’m posting today is straight out of Hans book (page 55 to be exact).

  • 3 heads of roasted garlic (discard the papery husk and roots)
  • 1 quart of chicken stock
  • 3 cups of fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (canned are fine)
  • 2 cups of rough torn bread (preferably dense, chewy farm bread or sourdough)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • coarse ground pepper to taste

In a large heavy pot, combine the chicken stock, garlic (both types), and the torn bread. Bring the stock to a slow boil, allowing the bread to become totally saturated. Using an immersion blender (or food processor), blend the stock until the bread is completely dissolved and the garlic is thoroughly pulverized. Next, add the crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper.I like to have small chunks of tomatoes in the soup, but if you prefer it smoother you can add the tomatoes before you blend the soup. Adjust your seasonings and enjoy. The soup will last in the refrigerator for several days and is actually quite good with a dollop of sour cream.

Hans tops his soup with homemade Garlicky Skillet Croutons, which is also in his cookbook. Who doesn’t love homemade croutons?

Hans story is inspiring, his food is amazing, and his love for life is contagious! Wherever you are on your life journey, or whatever you are currently going through is totally doable with the love of God, family, and friends!

 

*** These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Information contained within this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Butternut Squash Soup

This is Lisa’s recipe, can you tell I like her cooking:) When we began discussing the idea of these 31 days of recipes, I began researching the different ingredients I use in cooking. I never imagined the foods I’ve been eating had all the healing properties they do. Here’s a few interesting things about butternut squash:

  1. May help decrease high blood pressure due to it containing potassium.
  2. Helps regularity due to it’s fiber content.
  3. May help improve eye sight. It’s loaded with Vitamin A.
  4. Helps keep bones strong. It’s full of various minerals that help build and maintain healthy bone structure.
  5. Protects skin, thanks to vitamin C. This little guy has almost half your daily allowance.
  6. Because of its high antioxidant content, butternut squash may have anti-inflammatory effects.
  7. Due to it’s high fiber content, this squash could also aid in weight loss. How? You’ll feel fuller faster, just with the fiber content alone.

So whether you use butternut squash as a side dish, or make it into a soup, you can’t go wrong when it’s your main ingredient.

1 (2-3) lb. butternut squash, peeled and seeded

2 Tab. grass fed butter

1 small onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 medium carrot, grated

1 clove garlic, minced

chicken stock

1/2 cup canned coconut milk

salt and pepper

nutmeg (if desired)

I think folks are often “scared” to use Butternut Squash because it is too hard to cut.   A great trick is to cut the squash in half and microwave it cut side down in a glass dish filled with a 1/2 inch or so of water.  Cook until squash becomes a little soft and  you will be able to peel and cut it into 1 inch cubes.  The very easiest way is to buy it in your produce section already peeled and cubed.  I find it this way in most of the grocery stores.

Melt butter in a large pot and add onion, celery, garlic, carrot and squash.  Cook until lightly browned.  Pour in enough chicken stock in order to cover all your vegetables.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce your heat to low and cover.  Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg during cooking time.  Cook mixture about 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Remove pot from heat and add coconut milk.  Taste for correct seasoning.

Use your immersion blender, food processor or blender to mix to desired consistency.

This is yummy, creamy and very satisfying!

 

*** These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Information contained within this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.