Friday, August 6, 2010

Keeping it fresh!

If you are remotely interested in doing your part to help the environment and lesson the amount of toxic chemicals used in your home - this recipe is for you!
We have already made the switch to a homemade spray cleaner that we use on the floor, in the kitchen, in the bathrooms and on windows. (one part white vinegar to two parts water and a tablespoon of alcohol, dash of essential oil for smelliness) But we have been paying an arm and a leg for laundry detergent. Unless you have been living under a rock lately, you know that mainstream detergent has a number of harsh chemicals and is made using petroleum. Not necessarily something you would want to bath your grundies in and wear so close to your skin!
Natural Home magazine just sent me an e-mail that has a number of eco-friendly recipes to use in the home. Below is the one for laundry powder!

Simple Washing Powder

16 cups baking soda
12 cups borax
8 cups grated castile or glycerin soap flakes*
3 tablespoons lavender, lemon or grapefruit essential oil
Combine baking soda, borax and soap flakes. Add essential oil and mix with a wire whisk. Use 1⁄8 cup per load.
Yield: This recipe makes enough powder to last a family of four one year.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Yummy Summer

Summer in Texas is delicious. If any of you have been to one of the local farmers markets lately, you know what I am talking about - tomatoes, peppers, peaches, melons, herbs, onions, oh my! While perusing the market the other day, I had an incling for a special dinner - stuffed veggies. Now, this dinner does take some time. You all know that 30 minute meals are a general rule in my house. But when you have the time, these stuffed veggies are well worth the wait! I couldn't find a recipe that suited what I had in the kitchen, so I made up my own. Let me know what you think!

Sausage and Brown Rice Stuffed Veggies

1 lb ground sausage, cooked
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red/yellow/orange pepper, diced
1 tbsp chili powder
3-4 sprigs fresh oregano, just the leaves
4-6 veggies for stuffing (peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, sweet onions, etc.)

Mix up the first 7 ingredients in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cut veggies and seed to prepare for stuffing. Spoon meat mixture into veggies. Cook for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Unearthed Secret

I absolutely LOVE fried rice! It is possibly one of my favorite foods and I order it just about every time we go out for Chinese. But every time I try to make it at home, my cooking falls short. Well, browsing some recipes online, I found the secret: The rice you use should be cooked beforehand and refrigerated! Simple! So here is a recipe that will give you something to do with your extra rice. I used brown rice, but I am pretty sure you could use white.

Garlic Chicken Fried Brown Rice

3 cups cooked rice
1 lb chicken, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup peas
2-3 tbsp soy sauce (check the ingredients to make sure it doesn't contain wheat!)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp sugar

Throw the chicken, pepper, onion and garlic into a pan with some canola oil and cook on medium/low. When the chicken mixture is done, put aside. Heat the pan to medium/high and pour in about a tablespoon of canola oil. When the pan is hot, add the rice and stir around until it is heated through. Add the peas, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar. Toss the chicken mixture in and give it a good stir. This is a pretty large recipe and should serve about 6 people.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Once again... its good to be flexible!!

My amazing husband was so kind as to stop by the grocery store to pick up a few items needed for yesterday's casserole recipe. But, as things tend to do, my list was lost in translation. To Seth's defence, he did get everything I asked for... maybe my requests weren't specific enough. So of corse I wait until 10:30pm to begin making the breakfast casserole for tomorrow's festivities. And, what do I find? Yep, that's right... I don't have the ingredients needed! Well thank God for resourcefulness and the internet. I was able to find a glutenous recipe for which we had all of the ingredients. With just a few changes, the stuff is in the oven and our kitchen smells devine. Can't wait to try it tomorrow!

GF/DF Baked French Toast with Blueberries

1 loaf of gf bread, cubed
1/2 can coconut milk
3 eggs
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp turbinado sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
2 cups of frozen or fresh blueberries

Grease a casserole dish and toss in the bread cubes. In a seperate bowl, whisk coconut milk, eggs, syrup, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pour mixture over bread cubes and toss until all of the bread is coated. Top with blueberries and a bit more cinnamon and sugar. Bake in 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until the center comes out clean. Serve with warmed maple syrup and a smile!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Delicious Independence

Each year, the fourth of July finds our family seated on the curb of Pinehurst eagerly awaiting the magnificence that is the Onion Creek Fourth of July Parade. All of the kiddos gather in front of Grandmother's house, ready to scramble into the street for the tossed candies and goodies. We all clap and cheer as the old folks cruise past in their old cars... because that is pretty much all there is in the parade. But the kids don't mind, as long as they get their candy!
After the parade, its time for brunch. This year I have elected to make a gluten free, dairy free breakfast casserole that is safe for Layla and I to eat... I sure hope it tastes good enough to fool everyone else!

Sausage and French Toast Casserole

1 loaf gluten free bread, cubed (Udi's is our favorite)
1/2 lb breakfast sausage links, sliced
1 can coconut milk
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
6 eggs
pinch of salt

Grease a 13x9-inch baking dish. Place bread and sausage in baking dish. In a seperate bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon whisk eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in coconut milk and salt and pour evenly over the bread mixture. Press down on the bread to allow the milk mixture to coat the top. Cover and refrigerate for at least and hour or up to 24 hours. Bake uncovered in a preheated 350' F oven for 40 - 50 minuets or until the center is set. Pull out of the oven, cut into squares and serve with maple syrup.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Spanish Rice

Any good Mexican dish deserves a tasty side of Spanish rice. But Spanish rice, while oh so tasty, is generally made with white rice. We all know by now that white anything is a no-no because of the lack of nutritional value. Here is a way to compliment your main dish with a brown rice side.

Spanish Brown Rice

1 cup brown rice
2 cups broth
1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 Tbsp cumin
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (or 2-3 medium fresh tomatoes, diced)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil, stir once and cover. Turn down heat to low and cook for about 45 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ode to Yummus Hummus!

Oh heavenly hummus,you are delicious.
Dipped with vegetables or chips, you are Divine.
When presented at parties, some may be suspicious.
But that's okay, then you are all mine!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1 red pepper, seeded
2-3 cups garbanzo beans
1 clove garlic
1/2 onion
2-3 Tbsp tahini
juice from 2-3 lemons
1/2 Tbsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
approximately 3 Tbsp olive oil (for a fat free version, substitute with broth)

Rub pepper, garlic and onion with olive oil and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Throw ingredients in the food processor and blend to desired consistency. Be sure to add the olive oil slowly so you don't end up with soupy hummus!