Brides or Bridezillas? Don't let your food stress you out!

Brides....Bridezillas? Don't let your food stress you out! 

As a "newly" engaged woman I am learning that it is no surprise why the term Bridezillas exists! After hearing the stories from many of my wedding vendors and seeing the push for brides to be smaller in their dress I learned one thing...they probably aren't Bridezillas, they are probably just HUNGRY! 

Depleting the body of precious nutrition and fuel is surely a recipe for disaster. Some couples even begin a family shortly after marriage. With those hungry bodies and finished goals it is a common time for adding on too much too soon or choosing those junk food items that were on the NO list for so long. A woman's body is her child's only source of nutrients for building their systems for the rest of their life

If fitting in a smaller dress is on the agenda or if having kids after the wedding is the plan, then special care and the right plan is surely essential! 

If you are that bride or know of one that needs help ....Email me to make that plan become a reality! 


Follow my bridal and Journey to Wellness on Instagram! 

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Delicious Pecan Bites

Healthy Pecan Pie Bites (more photos to come soon!!!)
Makes 12 Bites/Squares

Crust Ingredients:
● 1 Cup Pecans
● 1/2 Cup Pitted Dates
● 1 Tsp Cinnamon
● 1/4 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

Filling Ingredients:
● 1 Cup Pitted Dates
● 1 Cup Pecans
● 1 Large Ripe Banana
● 2 Tbsp Agave (can substitute stevia if you wish)
● 1 Tsp Vanilla
● 1 Tsp Cinnamon
● 1/8 Tsp Nutmeg
● Extra Pecans for Topping

Directions:
1. Using your small food processor bowl and blade blend all pie filling ingredients until smooth and set aside (except extra pecans).
2. Using your large food processor bowl and blade process all crust ingredients until dough like consistency with visible chunks of nut.
3. Grease an 8×8 baking pan or glass dish with a healthy oil. (or use cupcake pans)
4. Press crust mixture evenly into baking dish.
5. Top with pie filling using a spoon or spatula to make sure the filling is evenly
distributed over the crust.
6. Add extra pecans evenly over the top.
7. Cover with saran wrap and freeze overnight.
8. When you’re ready to serve remove from the freezer, cut into squares and serve
immediately.


Guest Blog: Frozen Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cups

Frozen Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cups


Makes 4-6 muffin tin cups (depending on how thick you want them).
25 g protein, 15 g fat
 
Ingredients:
    •    1 scoop chocolate whey or casein protein
    •    1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    •    1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
    •    1 Tbsp. 0% Fage Greek yogurt 
    •    Pinch of salt
    •    Dash of Frank's Red Hot (optional but amazing)
    •    1/2 tablespoon instant decaf coffee granules (optional but amazing)
    •    20-30 stevia drops (more or less depending on how sweet or bitter you like it)
    •    Unsweetened almond or cashew milk
    •    1 tsp virgin coconut oil (adds 5g fat)
    •    1 Tbsp. of natural nut butter (adds 10g fat) 

 
Directions:

Mix all ingredients very well by hand, or whiz it up in the blender, excluding the nut butter, adding milk slowly until reaching brownie batter consistency.  Lightly grease muffin tin pan and empty batter evenly into 4 cups. Divide up the nut butter into however many tins you have, and place a small dollop of peanut butter right in the center of the chocolate batter.  Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. (You can also chop up just a couple nuts coarsely and sprinkle that on top as well for texture!)  Freeze for at least 45 min-1 hour.


Find this awesome health coach at her FB page link here! She excels working with athletes as well! 

Jackie's Journey: Adventure to Wellness

FOLLOW ME ON MY JOURNEY TO IOWA NATURALS BIKINI COMPETITION. 

 After so much inspiration and deliberation I've decided to enter into the 2016 Natural Iowa bikini competition on May 14th, 2016. This choice is a goal for myself as I love meeting goals and working towards something that pushes myself. For me it is not about the looks but about a learning process of myself and helping others learn as well.

My intention is to show that this can be attained by eating a plant-based diet, by using young living products for muscles, aches and pains and more, and the process will greatly aided with regular float tank sessions. 

Foods will be blogged, oils will be listed and explained, and, of course, some awesome vlogs when using the float tank! What is the float tank? Check out www.honestfloating.com


The plant based foods naturally keep a body at lower weights and easier to get into competition mode. Our meals at home are already plant based with the exception of 1 local small chicken every other week and eggs. There is some learning to do with the meal plans, however I do intend to eat more intuitively vs very restricted. The float tank will help me recover while soaking in the Epsom salts in 60 minute sessions and help maintain low stress and excellent focus during this busy time. Finally, by adding essential oils for muscle care, energy, aches and pains and more I can continue to be chemical free and feeling great. 

This journey started September 7th and will be updating social media such as Instagram, Pinterest and this blog! My motivation comes from helping others and any feedback you have is always accepted!! I have amazing coaches and support. Thank you all for being a part of this journey!!


Thank you Dusty Swehla, Lisa Barta and Ernestine Shepherd for this area of inspiration!!! I've made excuses long enough. Time to pony up and just do it!!

Fall Black Bean Soup - YUM YUM!

This is a recipe that I end up making entirely too much of and Rob typically bows out after 2-3 days of it. BUT! The option to freeze some for those busy weeks is always there. Another tip is that we sprinkle nutritional yeast on it for a cheesy flavor and...well...nutrition! 

Ingredients

1 small yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 vegetable stock powder or fresh stock
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 {15 oz} cans black beans {do NOT drain}
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot

*I add 1-2 green peppers, chopped

Sometimes I also add carrots if we have extra (which we always do)

Directions

Add half a can of beans, salt and cumin, and puree soup slightly in a blender {I used my Vitamx but it would fit in a Magic Bullet}, then put into the crockpot. Add the rest of the ingredients.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the arrowroot with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water. Add the lemon and the arrowroot mixture to the soup, and cook until thickened.

Put all of this into the crockpot. 8 hours low, 4 hours high. If it thickens or boils too much liquid out then mix up a little more stock and add it to it! 

Serve and enjoy!

Viola! 

*derived from onehundreddollarsamonth

The Sustainable Couple - Marion, Iowa's Best

Kelli and her husband, John, have the most beautiful home in Marion, Iowa. They have added things like animals, produce and much more on their in-town acreage. This is one couple you want to learn from!

Lets dig in!

This family includes two dogs, Manny and Bruce, and their four backyard chickens!! (Rob I am so coming for you!) The coop sits in their backyard along with plenty of goodies growing and rain barrels collecting natures rain. Kelli has really developed a great system for her garden and understands it's ever changing needs with sunlight and using things like the three sisters gardening combinations. They also shuffle their produce locations and are very intentional with where they plant each crop.  

In Kelli's own words, "I am a former high school English and journalism teacher (turned educational mentor and blogger), and John is an electrician who spends much of his time on the road. (Read about that here and here.) We've lived a pretty traditional life for the last six years, but things changed when I quit my full-time teaching gig to do a little traveling with John. (You can read more about that here and here and here.)

You've probably gathered that life, with us, is always an adventure. 

Together, John and I love live music and live entertainment, camping, outdoor activities, and working to become a more 'sustainable couple'. I love to garden, can and preserve food, cook, upcycle, and dream of becoming a self-sufficient micro-farmer, complete with backyard chickens. John's life goal is to prevent me from getting backyard chickens. John finally agrees that I can have backyard chickens! We're getting backyard chickens!  We have four backyard chickens!

Together we enjoy making our one-third acre city lot a more sustainable place. We're building a little homestead in the middle of a large Eastern Iowa town. We believe in living a self-sufficient lifestyle (mentally and physically) and are slowly transforming our practices to encompass those beliefs. We dig simple, frugal living.

Much of what we write about on our blog relates to eco-friendly living, growing as much of our own food as possible, learning skills to make us self-sufficient, renovating our 1840s home, cooking from scratch, crafting, being cheap asses frugal, essential oils, our dogs, and our travels. Sometimes we'll throw in a good story about our knucklehead friends and family." 

Kelli showing me her lettuce and the combinations she had in this bed. 

Just looking down her rows show things like green beans, squash and corn. It was a beautiful sight and smelled lovely. So fresh!

Check out these friends that came up to say Hello! 

By using barrels from Amana they made these rain barrels that when full, one and a half barrel can water their entire garden. Each barrel has a hose up top connecting one barrel to the next. You can slightly see the white hose between the first and second barrel. When one is full it "spills" over to the next and so on and so forth. 

As I stood there talking with Kelli about their compost and scraps rotation I spy feathers amongst the growing tomato plants. These companions spend some time on the cool earth under the plants. 


Follow this incredible couple on their sustainable journey! 

http://www.thesustainablecouple.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TheSustainableCouple

Guest Blog by Lora Schmuecker- Sweet Potato "Hash"

Sweet Potato "Hash"


Makes 1 serving.  Each serving contains: grams of carbs macros allowed, 10 grams of fat or macro allotment and 15 grams of protein or macro allotment
 
Ingredients:
    •    1 tsp olive or coconut oil
    •    Sweet potato, cooked and cubed (as much as allowed for macro allotment)
    •    Toasted whole wheat bread, crumbled
    •    1 cup chopped kale (without rind)
    •    3 egg whites
    •    Any desired additional chopped vegetables such as broccoli, leeks or red onion
    •    Large pinch of :
    •    Pizza seasoning
    •    Garlic powder
    •    Black pepper
    •    Chili powder
    •    Crushed red pepper
    •    Topping:
    •    2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
    •    1 ½ Tbsp. 0% Fage Greek yogurt
    •    Frank's Red Hot sauce (as desired)
 
Directions:
Heat oil on med/high skillet.  Add potatoes and vegetables, cover and cook for 2 minutes.  Stir and add all seasonings, stir and cook for additional 2 minutes.  Spread evenly across skillet and pour egg whites over evenly.  Cover and try on one side for 3 minutes.  Crumble bread onto bottom of plate.  Flip contents of pan to fry on other side.  Break up into pieces and lay over bread crumbles.  Mix hot sauce, yogurt and parmesan cheese and pour over "hash".  Enjoy!
 
 
Additional Notes:
    •    Variation to add protein: add diced chicken or albacore tuna
    •    Variation to add fats: peanut butter or PB2 is amazing mixed into this as a topping


Find this awesome health coach at her FB page link here! She excels working with athletes as well! 

 

Pf Changs Lettuce Wraps - V

PF Changs Lettuce Wraps

SERVINGS 4-6 

INGREDIENTS
1 lb chicken or tofu, extra firm or firm
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1⁄2 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes
3 tablespoons sesame oil
2 heads iceberg lettuce, cleaned
1⁄2 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 ounce scallion, sliced thin
2 tablespoons soy sauce

DIRECTIONS

Dice the chicken into tiny pieces. Place the chicken in a mixing bowl and add 3 tablespoons sesame oil, ginger, garlic, chili flakes and 2 tablespoons soy sauce. Mix together in circular motion until well mixed.
Let marinate in refrigerator for 2-4 hours.

Mix together the remaining citrus juices, soy, and hoisin sauce with a whisk. Reserve until needed.

 

 

 

Clean the romaine lettuce, chopping off the stem, peeling each ‘spear’ and running under clean cold water. Reserve in refrigerator until ready to use. Chop scallions into rings and reserve chilled.

 

 

 

 

Coat a very hot sauté pan lightly with soybean or vegetable oil.


Lay the chicken/tofu around the sauté pan being careful not to lay too many on top of each other. Sear the chicken/tofu until crispy and golden brown, about 2 ½ minutes. Once it is brown, toss gently in pan and sear another 2 ½ minutes. The pan will appear to “burn”, but that is the carmelization and where all the flavor comes from.

 

 

 

 

 


Add ½ of the citrus soy mixture to the sauté pan and coat well. Let the sauce coat the chicken until it is glazed, and thickens on the chicken. Add more or less depending on how “wet” you want your mixture. Spoon chicken onto a plate.

Wrap the chicken mixture in romaine lettuce and top with scallion rings. Serve and enjoy!

The best Zuppa Toscana ever!

Ever since I can remember I have loved a zesty, smooth and also hearty soup. When I visit Italian restaurants and see the soups and smell the flavorful zuppa I feel like running because I know if I eat it I will be left with the worst stomachache ever due to the dairy. 

Today, I present to you, dairy free zuppa!!!! 

Ingredients 

1 medium onion, chopped (I had 1 small red and 1 small yellow, I make due!)

1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

6 cups vegetable bullion 

1 tube Gimme Lean ground "sausage" or 2 Italian sausage links (Big Boy Meats or New Pi has the best options)

3 small russet potatoes, chopped 

1 sweet potato, chopped 

1 TBS garlic, minced/chopped

1 cup almond milk, unsweetened

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, I added more until it was super deliciously spicy  

1/2 TBS Italian seasoning, recipe below, I also added more until I liked the flavor

2 TBS butter or Earth Balance, unsalted (add after in warm phase)

2 cups kale, I only had spinach on hand so spinach it was!

I simply sautéed the onions and sausage in a sauté pan then added everything except the butter and kale to a crockpot! I put it up to  high until it boiled then reduced to low. When it was about an hour to finished I took the lid off to allow it to thicken a little and then to warm. Add the butter and kale. 

 

Italian Seasoning, yield 10 TBS

2 TBS basil

2 TBS marjoram

2 TBS thyme

2 TBS oregano

2 TBS rosemary

 

Italian Dressing Recipe (unreal!!)

This has to be one of my favorite new recipes for the year! I actually had this at Dhamma Pakasa where I learned the Vipassana meditation technique for 10 days silently. 

The fresh crunch of the salad with all of the wholesome goodness of the fixins, what a treat! 

Italian Dressing

This makes about 8 ounces and I mix it up into a 16 wide-mouth ball jar and use one of those metal balls that come with a protein shake mixer cup to mix it. OR traditional whisking works too but the ball in the  jar really helps when you want to pour some out in a snap. 

2 1/2 tsp & a pinch - Soy Sauce or Tamari or Braggs liquid aminos

1 1/2 tsp & pinch lemon juice

2 1/2 tsp & pinch Braggs apple cider vinegar

2 1/2 tsp &  pinch balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup + 2 1/2 tsp & pinch water

1/3 tsp & pinch salt 

1/3 tsp & pinch pepper

2 1/2 tsp & pinch honey

3/4 tsp dill, dried

1/8 tsp oregano

1/8 tsp basil 

1/8 tsp mustard powder

2 1/2 tsp &  pinch tahini

1/3 cup + 1 TBS + 1/8 tsp extra virgin, olive oil

Creamy delicious dressing!! 

Creamy delicious dressing!! 

Naked salad!

Naked salad!

Eat and enjoy!!! 

Take a photo of your meal and tag us or post on our Facebook wall. #honestlivingrecipes

 

Curried pumpkin soup

Yes, I am loving on pumpkins! We got some from an Echocollective box randomly a month ago and it's been very fruitful.  

Curried Pumpkin Soup

6 servings

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

2-3 TBS curry powder, adjust to your liking, start smaller

2 cups pureed pumpkin (find instructions to cook in this blog post here) or 1 can organic pumpkin (Farmers Market brand)

2 cups vegetable broth

1 tsp cumin powder

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

2 cups rice milk, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk (whatever your "milk")

1 tsp dried parsley or 1 tsp dried oregano

1 TBS olive oil

1/2 TBS 

1 bay leaf

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In large pan cook onion with oil. Next add garlic. Then add spices.

 

 

 

 

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Add the bay leaf. Next add pumpkin & mix it well, then add stock.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bring this to a boil for approx. 2-5 minutes and then reduce to simmer. Add in the "milk" and simmer for another 10-20 minutes. Take out bay leaf. Make sure this is thickening, do not put a lid on the pot. 

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*If this is not thickening, use 1 TBS arrowroot (a healthy substitution for cornstarch) to 1/2 cup cold "milk" or water and add to the pot. This shouldn't throw off the liquid ratio because this is a thickener. 

 

 

Eat with a delicious piece of fresh bread from New Pi!!! Breads are wonderful special treats to have with a good soup once in a while. Make sure the ingredients are excellent before you pop it into your cart when shopping. 

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As you can see, it was  delicious!!! 

Crab ragoons DF & Egg rolls! Yum!

I have a weakness for crab ragoons but they always upset my stomach. And egg rolls...who doesn't like egg rolls?! But my main concern is never knowing what is in these 2 tasty treats. Well now I can make my own!  

These foods are not meant to be a staple but rather a treat or a once in a while food. While the wrappers are not gluten free or entirely healthy it is surely nice to know what is in them is hand selected and of quality ingredients from either New Pionner Coop in Cedar Rapids, and some from a local farm (green onion from fall, which is now just growing on our window sill in the kitchen in a small mason jar with water). I always say, if you're going to have a treat or a food that is not so nice on the waistline at least make sure it is a clean quality ingredient without added chemicals, processing or additives. 

I didn't snap any photos of the process because I wasn't sure if I would tweak it or not.  

Crab ragoons, dairy free

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8 ounces Toffuti cream cheese

2 green onion, chopped up

1/2 tsp Worchestershire sauce  

1/2 tsp soy sauce

1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper

1 clove fresh minced/pressed garlic  

8 ounces crab, chopped up  

1-2 TBS almond milk

1 package egg roll wrappers, approx 15

safflower oil or sesame oil  

Mix it all up! I added the milk to soften up the mix. 

Get a small bowl of water & pastry brush (or your fingers) and place it next to cutting board. Lay out a wrapper and place about 2 TBS mix in the center. Wet one "V" area and fold the wrapper over, pressing out bubbles and seal tightly.

Heat about 1/2 inch oil in soup pot. I turned up the heat 3/4 the way. Do one or so at a time. My pot was small, I did one at a time.  

When the oil is hot it should only take seconds. Literally. I tried to do something else and come back and the first one was burnt! So only a few seconds.  

Done! Viola!! 

 

Sweet & Sour sauce  

1/4 cup rice vinegar

4 TBS brown sugar

1 TBS ketchup

1 tsp soy sauce  

2 tsp arrowroot (healthier version of cornstarch) mixed with 4 tsp water

Mix everything in a small sauce pot, except the water mix. Bring it all to a boil. Combine in the mix and stir to thicken.  **I'm playing with this recipe to add things to make it more authentic. 

 

Egg rolls

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2 cloves garlic, minced  

2 tsp fresh ginger, shredded on small side of cheese grater

2 cups mushrooms, sliced thinly  

2 medium carrots, shredded on large side of cheese grater 

3 medium green onions, diced 

1/2 head of cabbage, chopped, semi-fine, remove core

1/2 block of Japanese tofu, the shelf stable kind, chop into strips about pencil width

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 TBS arrowroot  

Sesame oil

(safflower oil from crab ragoons) 

1 package egg rolls wrappers

First prep vegetables & put in individual bowls.  

Heat large skillet with about 2 TBS oil. Add onion, garlic, & ginger for 1-2 minutes. Mushrooms until softened, approx 5 minutes. Add tofu & carrot, 1 minute. Add cabbage until it has reduced in size by half. 

Dissolve arrowroot in soy sauce, pour over skillet mix. The heat will thicken it up. Pour about 1 TBS more oil onto mix. Transfer to a bowl to cool.  

Place small bowl with water & pastry brush (or fingers) next to cutting board. Place wrapper onto board and brush water onto 3 sides, put about 1/3-1/4 cup mix onto the side that was not brushed. Begin rolling from this area, tucking the wrap in as you go. 

Have oil heating in soup pan as you roll. I cooked one at a time because I used a small pot, thus less oil. Egg rolls cooked up so fast, only about 15 seconds. I only cooked up 4 though. The rest I will freeze then wrap it up later. 

 

Enjoy!! Make sure to come back and view my healthy takes on recipes and fun foods! I'll also be highlighting foods for athletes soon! 

Subscribe below! 

 

Pumpkin sweet potato red lentil chili

This recipe has a new flavor of any chili I've ever had. It has lots of flavor and incredibly good for you. 

yield: 6              prep time: 10 minutes        cook time: 4-8 hours     

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2 15 ounce cans kidney beans, drained & rinsed

2 cups vegetable broth

2 15 ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, watch for added sugars and excess sodium

1 cup dry red lentils 

1 cup pumpkin puree, recipe below

1 cup chopped yellow onion, I just did 2 small

1 TBS cocao powder, make sure you're using real cacao and cocoa powder

1 TBS chili powder 

1 tsp cinnamon 

2 tsp cumin 

1/2 tsp cloves

1 tsp kosher salt

1-2 sweet potatoes, chopped into inch pieces 

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1- Add ALL ingredients to a 3-quart or larger crock pot. Stir!! 





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2- Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8. I prefer things a little more fresh vs cooking a looooong time and having them mushy. But in this recipe you want to go long enough that the lentils are soft. I didn't cook mine entirely too long, 3-4 hours and they were still fine. My cooker gets really hot though. 

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Pumpkin Puree

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1-2 small pumpkins

*this made about 2-3 cups or more

Get a metal or glass casserole dish. Heat oven to 350-400 degrees. I chose 350 degrees and just went longer, I like to always under cook then cook more vs cook too much then be stuck with an over cooked item. Place pumpkin in dish, and grease up with olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil. Cover with foil and set timer for 25 minutes. Check pumpkin with fork. If you feel the  skin getting soft this is great! Rotate the pumpkins and keep them evenly cooking. 

I eventually cooked for 40 minutes, took out one that was done and finished the other for another 10. Cut it in half to then scoop out the seeds, save them for baking with oil and salt to then have for a snack! 

Put it all into a Vitamix or blender and there you have it! Pumpkin puree! 

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Enjoy these farm fresh goodies and look for more once Iowa produces and provides these goodies! 

Please share and comment, I love to hear what you think of these when you try them. Tag me with #honestlivingrecipes or connect with me via the social media links below! 

Oopsie! Raw Vegan Banana Cream Pie

Well! I tried my hand at a raw vegan banana cream pie.....and I even failed at my cheat! I bought a crust made from New Pioneer Coop here in Cedar Rapids to test it out, and I forgot to bake it! I know I also recently had a blog about reducing sugar, I think this is a nice way to have a sweet treat without all the processed junk. 

Despite that the pie is delicious! I can't wait until I try it with the intended pie crust. 

Prep and Total Time- 15 minutes, Serves 8, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, (Vegan)

Crust:

1 heaping cup of walnuts

1 heaping cup of pitted dates (soaked for about 10 minutes in warm water and drained)

Filling:

1.25 cups cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight, then drained

3.5 TBS coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup

1 medium just ripe banana (1/2 cup mashed up) **You can alter this with other fruits also, mango is great when it's in season! 

1/3 cup full fat coconut milk (scrape off the top, the cream, and set it aside to make whipped topping)

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp sea salt

2-3 TBS lemon juice

Place soaked dates in the food processor and process until small bits remain and/or forms into a ball. Remove and set aside. Process the walnuts in processor until a meal consistency is achieved. Add back in dates and a pinch of salt and mix to combine. When squeezed between two fingers, the crust should stick together and feel moldable. If too dry, add another date or two. If too wet, add a little almond or walnut meal. Press into a springform pan, or an 8x8 baking dish or round cake pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment. Press until flat, going up the sides about 1/2 inch. Place in freezer to set. 

In blender add all filling ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. If it's having trouble blending, add a little more agave or water to encourage it along. It should be silky smooth when completely combined. 

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Line the crust pan with sliced bananas. Pour filling into crust and smooth with a spoon. Tap to release any air bubbles if it is thicker, mine poured right in. Cover and freeze it to set, about 4-6 hours. 

To serve, thaw 5 minutes, top slices with coconut if you'd like or homemade coconut whipped cream, crushed peanuts or caramel sauce. It should keep for about 1 week in the freezer. 

Enjoy!!!! 

Coconut Whip

Cream remnants of the can of coconut milk

1/2 TBS light brown sugar

1/2 TBS coconut sugar (use organic and fair trade for best quality)

1 TBS vanilla extract

Whip! And whip it good. 

Comment and follow my blog by clicking the follow link below. Share and Pin these to help people access great new recipes!

Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchiladas and the health benefits!

This is an incredibly tasty and easy recipe for a full flavor Mexican dish. By using a plant based protein we cut down on things like cholesterol, fat and excess weight, not to mention it's more sustainable and ethical. Here is the recipe and photos to guide you. Enjoy!

Make sure to read further in the blog about the benefits of these natural whole foods!

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas

Servings: 8, size: 1 enchilada

Ingredients

1 cup red enchilada sauce, I made my own and have the recipe below

1 tsp olive oil

2-3 cups peeled butternut squash, cut into small chunks 1/2 inch diameter (to peel use a vegetable peeler and cut off ends then scoop out seeds with spoon)

1 small onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno, seeded and diced 

10 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, I realized too late that we only had a can of stewed tomatoes so I used those! 

1 1/2 cups reduced sodium canned black beans, rinsed and drained (1 can approx)

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, diced

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 cup water, this may be less or more

8 tortillas of your choice, we use whole grain or chia seed variety

*optional 2 TBS chopped scallions, for garnish

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees, place 1/4 cup sauce onto bottom on large baking dish. 

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in large skillet, add onions, garlic and jalapeno and cook 2-3 minutes until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant. Add cubbed squash, tomatoes, beans, cilantro, cumin and chili powder and season with salt and pepper to taste. If there is already plenty of liquid then cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, about 30 to 35 minutes. If more liquid is needed to soften this all up then add more slowly. Remember, the lid being on will create moisture of it's own. It is easier to start out with less and add moisture then to have to turn up the heat to reduce the moisture thus over cooking. 

Lay out one tortilla at a time and fill it with a generous 1/3 cup of the mix in the skillet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and place them all into the baking dish, I used a 9x11 glass dish. Pour over remaining sauce and cover dish with foil and cook for about 10 minutes. 

Serve and enjoy! 

I also free-styled some salsa out of some cherry tomatoes, red onions, garlic, onion salt, garlic powder and cumin for topping. 

Enchilada sauce

3TBS olive oil

1 TBS flour, I used coconut

1/4 cup chili powder

2 cups vegetable stock

10 ounces tomato paste, however I used a small can which was 6 ounces (kind of thought it a waste to open up a second can when I wouldn't be using it all)

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion salt

In medium sauce pan heat oil, add flour, smooth and stir with wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. Add chili powder and cook for seconds. Add stock, paste and spices. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook approx. 15 minutes until it is thick and smooth. Adjust seasonings to your liking. 

*Freeze some and save it for later!

Benefits of Black Beans

Black beans were first domesticated thousands of years ago in Peru, and quickly became a staple of the South American diet. They first came to Europe when explorers came home with them in the 1500s.

They are very high in fiber, folate, protein, and antioxidants, along with numerous other vitamins and minerals. Black beans make a complete protein when paired with brown rice, which is often why they are so commonly included in a vegetarian diet.

Digestive Tract Benefits

The high quantity of both protein and fiber in black beans help to move food through the stomach to the large intestine at a healthier pace. This keeps any one part of the digestive tract from having to work too hard and supports the ideal balance of chemicals and populations of microorganisms required for a healthy digestive system.

Blood Sugar Regulation

The steady movement of protein and fiber through the digestive system allows for a measured breakdown of food into its component parts. This even breakdown of food helps to curtail extremes regarding simple sugar uptake from the digestive tract. An excess of simple sugar uptake all at once can produce an unwanted blood sugar spike. A lack of simple sugar uptake may produce a rapid blood sugar drop. Either extreme can upset blood sugar balance. The quantity of fiber and protein in black beans helps avoid both extremes.

Cardiovascular Health

Black beans are abundant in soluble fiber, which is specifically the type of fiber that has been found very helpful in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Lowered risks of coronary heart disease and heart attack have both been associated with increased consumption of soluble fiber, particularly from legumes.

Black beans also contain a wide variety of both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which combat cardiovascular disease. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection is particularly important for the cardiovascular system. When blood vessels are exposed to excessive oxidative stress or inflammation, risk for disease development is considerably higher. The prevention of oxidative stress and inflammation lowers risk of acquiring most cardiovascular diseases.

Black beans are also high in folate and magnesium, both nutrients highly associated with preservation of cardiovascular health, and the antioxidant minerals zinc and manganese.

Cancer Prevention

Considering that black beans contain at least 8 different flavonoids with enormous antioxidant potential, and their high content of phytochemicals, it's hardly surprising that studies have connected black bean consumption with reduced risk of certain cancers. Recent studies have suggested considerable effectiveness against colon adenoma, a non-cancerous tumor that can progress into colon cancer.

Nervous System Health

Folate, or vitamin B6, is particularly abundant in black beans. The nervous system relies on folate to produce the amino acids it needs to function. For pregnant women a deficiency in folate can cause the improper development of the fetus's brain and spinal cord. The high iron content of black beans is also particularly beneficial to pregnant women.

Rich in Molybdenum

Black beans are an extremely rich source of the trace mineral molybdenum. Molybdenum serves the useful purpose of breaking down and detoxifying sulfites found in foods like salads and wines. Many people are sensitive to sulfites, and may they cause rapid heartbeat, headache or disorientation when consumed. Studies also suggest that molybdenum deficiencies can result in impotence in older men.

*from healthdiaries.com

Benefits of Butternut Squash

Lowering and preventing high blood pressure

Getting enough potassium in your diet is just as important as lowering your sodium intake when it comes to maintaining a healthy blood pressure.2 According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 2% of US adults meet the daily 4,700 mg recommendation.3

Also of note, a high potassium intake is associated with a 20% decreased risk of dying from all causes.3

Preventing asthma

The risks for developing asthma are lower in people who consume a high amount of beta-carotene, the antioxidant that gives certain fruits and vegetables their bright orange pigments. Look for other orange plant foods like papaya, apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, pumpkin and carrots to increase your beta-carotene intake.6

Lowering cancer risk

Beta-carotene has also been shown to have an inverse association with the development of colon cancer in the Japanese population.4

Among younger men, diets rich in beta-carotene may play a protective role against prostate cancer, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health's Department of Nutrition.5

Managing diabetes

Type 1 diabetics who consume high-fiber diets have lower overall blood sugar levels, while type 2 diabetics have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One cup of butternut squash provides about 6.6 grams of fiber out of the recommended 21-25 g/day for women and 30-38 g/day for men.

Healthy looking skin and hair

Butternut squash is also great for your skin because it of its extremely high vitamin A content, which is needed for sebum production that keeps hair moisturized. Vitamin A plays an important role in the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair.

As an added bonus, one serving of butternut squash provides over 50% of the required vitamin C intake for the day, which is needed for the building and maintenance of collagen that provides structure to skin and hair.

Promoting regularity

Maintaining a high fiber diet helps to prevent constipation and promote a healthy digestive tract.

Recent studies have shown that dietary fiber may even decrease inflammation and improve immune function, consequently decreasing the risk of inflammation-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. Increased fiber intakes have also been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and enhance weight loss for obese individuals.

Boosting immune function

Plant foods like butternut squash that are high in both vitamin C and beta-carotene offer an immunity boost from their powerful combination of nutrients. Some studies have shown that high-fiber foods may also offer improved immune function.

*from medicalnewstoday.com

Thank you for reading today! Share this and make your own at home! Tag us at #honteslivingathome

Enjoy!

 

I am Pho real! Quick recipe guide for a home favorite.

Pho! 

10 cups rich vegetable stock
5 limes
2 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce, comes in a jar or bottle
2 star anise seeds (optional)
1 package vermicelli, this is a rice noodle I get at the Asian grocery in Cedar Rapids called Saigon Market on 2nd Ave near the new fire station, they are very helpful for any questions you might have
1 1/2 cup bean sprouts, make sure you look for the freshest container, dates should be posted
6 green onions
1/2 bunch cilantro, try growing some in the kitchen!
1 pound local farm raised chicken breast
1 cup basil leaves, grow these at home too
2 jalapenos
OR
4 serrano chilies
Additional fish sauce
Sriracha or other Asian chili sauce

Bring stock to a boil in a large stock pot with the juice of 3 of the limes, fish sauce, and star anise if using. Let stock boil for 15 minutes. 

In a separate pot, bring water to a boil and cook noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles. While noodles are cooking and stock is heating, prep the condiments. Slice green onions on a long diagonal. Roughly chop cilantro. Slice chicken into as thin a slice as possible with a very sharp knife. Rinse basil, dry, and put on platter for service. Slice remaining limes and arrange next to basil on serving platter. Thinly slice chilies and arrange on serving platter. 

 

 

Place platter on table with fish sauce and chili sauce. Serve noodles into bowls. On top of noodles, divide evenly the bean sprouts, sliced green onions and cilantro. Top herbs with chicken. Remove star anise from stock. Ladle hot stock over each bowl of noodles and chicken. This should cook the chicken due to the temperature and the thin slices. If you prefer cooking before this step you can put it into it's own pot of bowling water then add to this bowl with noodles. Serve immediately. 

 

Allow each person to season bowl to taste with additional lime juice, basil, sliced chilies, fish sauce and chili sauce. 

Slow Cooker Quinoa and Squash

Slow Cooker Quinoa and Squash

As this layered slow ­cooker squash casserole recipe cooks, the liquid from the tangy tomatillo salsa and summer squash is absorbed by the quinoa, adding tons of flavor to the final dish.

Yield: 10 servings Active Time: 30 Total Time: 240

Ingredients

12 ounces tomatillos, husked, rinsed and chopped

1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped (I subbed in my very own steamed tomatoes, 1 32 ounce jar)

1 poblano or bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped white onion

1 cup vegetable stock

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup quinoa

1 cup kidney beans

2 pounds small yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4­inch slices

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

Preparation

  1. Combine tomatillos, tomatoes, pepper, onion, lime juice and salt in a medium bowl.

  2. Coat a 5­ to 6­quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Layer quinoa, 1/3 cup cheese and

    all of the squash in the slow cooker. Top with another 1/3 cup cheese. Spread the tomatillo mixture on top, but don’t stir the ingredients together. (Refrigerate the remaining cheese to use for the topping.)

  3. Cover and cook on Low for 4 hours. Serve sprinkled with oregano and the remaining 1/3 cup cheese.

Make this and let us see!! #honestlivingcooking

Crockpot Tikka Masala, YUM!

Slow Cooker Tikka Masala

The benefits of spices and convenience of a crockpot make this recipe a winter win!

Total Time:8 hrs 15 minutes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Servings: 6 Ingredients

  • ●  5 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 3 lbs) (there are options via Iowa Valley Food Coop

  • ●  1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced

  • ●  4 garlic cloves, minced

  • ●  2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

  • ●  1 jalapeño, stemmed, sliced in half and seeds removed

  • ●  1 (29 ounce) can tomato puree (I used my own canned stewed tomatoes and blended them)

  • ●  1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (I opted for a goats yogurt, make sure it's low sugar)

  • ●  2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • ●  2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • ●  2 tablespoons garam masala

  • ●  1 tablespoon cumin

  • ●  1/2 tablespoon paprika

  • ●  2 teaspoons salt (to taste)

  • ●  3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • ●  3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  • ●  1 ­3 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ●  2 bay leaves

  • ●  1 cup heavy cream (I opted for half coconut half almond milk)

  • ●  1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (I used arrowroot)

  • ●  long grain white rice or basmati rice, cooked

  • ●  chopped cilantro, for serving 

tikka 2.jpeg

Something that I didn't do that I would highly suggest is steaming some vegetables for a side dish and pouring some of the sauce over them and eating it with this. There is also always the option to throw the vegetables into the crockpot but I didn't want to throw off the liquid in the crockpot if the vegetables gave out excess liquid. 

Directions

In a large mixing bowl combine chopped onions, minced garlic, grated ginger, sliced jalapeño, tomato puree, plain yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, Garam Masala, cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until combine.

Pour half of sauce mixture into a large slow cooker then add in diced chicken followed then cover chicken with remaining sauce. Add in 2 bay leaves.

Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low heat for 8 hours (or high for 4 hours).

In a mixing bowl, whisk together milk and arrowroot, pour mixture into slow cooker and gently stir. Allow mixture to cook 20 minutes while you prepare the rice.

Remove bay leaves and sliced jalapeño and serve warm over rice and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. 

Check out and share some of the other recipes from previous posts! Serve up some delicious meals this winter!