Category Archives: Recipe/Food Life

chili lot

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It’s about as Mexican as in you’re driving down the road hungry craving “Mexican” and you stop at some taco place. As much as I love cooking, there are times when I want something quick that stops just short of drive through. This is less sketchy and healthier- A “not a drive through- that satisfies my need for spiciness plus throw it in a pan” creation.

 

What you need

Pre cooked chicken diced

* cook it your self (1 lbs)  or buy rotisserie, packaged. No judgement zone

Brown Rice 1 dry cup cooked

* get the “it takes 5 minutes kind”

Diced Tomatoes   1 14.5 oz can

* no salt added, machinery may be involved

Corn 1 14.5 oz can, no salt added

Onions  1/2 cup diced

Cilantro 1 Tbsp

Garlic  2 Tbsp or 2 cloves diced

Cumin 2 Tbsp

Cayenne 2  Tbsp

Shredded Cheddar Cheese 4 oz, reduced fat

* separate into half – 2 oz and 2 oz

Reduced Fat Cream Cheese 8 oz

Turn oven on to 350 to preheat

Making it

Step one- get it prepped and together.  If your chicken isn’t cooked, cook it.  If your chicken needs to come off the bone, do it.  Cook your rice. Open your cans. Open your packages. Measure your stuff.

Step two- dump it all but 2 oz of cheese.  Then stir it together.

Step three- Sprinkle the remaining 2 oz of cheese on top

Step four- shove the dish in the preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 mins.

This can be vegetarian converted- replace chicken with two 14.5 oz cans of kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, or a combo.

Namaste your hunger quickly

Health Foodie: Taking A.M. Lightly

I have food infatuations. There are several items that are my staples, several in rotation, and an obsession of the moment. Egg plants and sweet potatoes have been it. At some point our relationship will cool a little and they will become part of the fridge stock.

Except salsa. We are always hot for each other. I love the substance of the sweet potato and avocado to fuel with the lightness of egg white and salsa.  It comes with a variety of nutrition which goes beyond the fuel. Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals are a few things that fight disease, enhance bodily functions, and reduce aging. It is gluten free with “make it gluten options.”  An incredible balance to get us going.

A. M. Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes cooked and peeled
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  1. Mash sweet potatoes and flour together- start boiling water20180223_1019541067962792.jpg
  2. Spread out on a flour surface and shape a square
  3. Cut into 1 inch squares
  4. Place a few squares in boiled water- wait for it to float then let it ride the waves for about a min
  5. Pull out and let cool
  6. Continue for the rest of the squares

In picture it is topped with egg white, avocado, and pico.  Walnuts and raw honey would be a great option for a sweet tooth and omega brain boost.  Some whole fruit with yogurt or kefir is great. Tomatoes, oregano, chopped garlic, and chopped spinach are an amazing combo too.

Simple Pico de Gallo

Ingredients

  • One medium onion
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 lemon or lime
  • 1 table spoon of cilantro
  • Sea salt
  • 1 jalapeño dice
  1. Dice tomato and onion and jalapeño  then mix
  2. Squeeze in lemon or lime on mixture
  3. Stir in cilantro with add salt to taste

This is food satisfaction from the start that doesn’t have to be overly complicated.  The gnocchi recipe can be halved for a smaller amount or the full recipe offers leftovers for the next day.

Namaste and Start Your Day

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When Salad Goes Bad

From low calories to nutrient potential, salads can be a go to in “healthy eating.”  It’s an easy option to lighten up a meal encounter and comes with a variety of options.  It does have some pitfalls.  Eating raw is not for everyone and every digestive track.  Lightly cooking  veggies is a healthy option if veggies in their original form is detrimental to your food relationship.  Salads can fall into the monotonous status that is tasteless and boring.  Certain choices can hurt your relationship and health if you are not careful.  Fortunately a boring and unhealthy salad encounter can be fixed.

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Caution

When you’re out eating and trying to stay committed a salad seems like the no brainer option.  Often it’s not the case. Spend a few obsessive hours researching restaurant menus and nutrition, then most often you find there are hidden”fees.”  Croutons are not the sole culprit.  You pay for higher sodium in dressings, fried foods,  tortilla strips, sauces, etc.  Too much salt sucks out the good part of you.  Then there are the bad fats.  Not like “ooh bad” or guilty pleasure.  Like bad, bad.  Physically and mentally bad for you.  From too much processed cheese, fried toppings, and dressings.  Short lease those fats.  An every once and awhile entanglement is okay.  Then there’s your salad base. The semi- green base that’s the meh to your food relationship, it looks pale or wilted.  That’s your salad connection dying.  Read below to fix that.  When you are settling in at home or meal prepping, it’s a similar problem with salads.  High sodium, high fat, not enough variety thus nutrients.   It’s time to find the balance.

The Salad Fix

  In every relationship there needs to be a base to spring from.  In making a salad there are more supportive options such as Mixed greens, spinach, kale. These does more than carry the “fun stuff.” They have their own contributions to your nutrient profile on a plate. Once you have your base, then you need lean sources of protein.  Chicken breast, chick peas, cauliflower, nuts, seeds, turkey pepperoni, lunch meat are a few choices to add on. “Whole” is best, meaning it doesn’t require a label or comes with a few listed ingredients.   While it does this part well, protein is more than a filler.  It has it’s own set of nutrients and it builds from muscles heart to brain to body. When adding on to your base and protein, for nutrition and simplicity sake, rainbow variety needs to be your salad motto.  Each pepper, tomato, carrot, broccoli, cabbage, and so on is packed with their unique set of nutrients.  This is a great way to get multiple vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants.  It’s a better calorie burn with increase function of brain, nerves, eyes, etc.   When dressing a salad, it needs to be the right one.  Low calorie, low fat is not necessarily the best.  There are fats your body needs plus those low cal/fat option may have artificial ingredients that are harmful.  Avocado, sesame oil, avocado oil, or olive oil are a few examples of a short leased but great options to get dressed in.  Read ingredient lists;  the least amount listed on that bottle the better.

Not so salady options

Salad don’t have to look like the precursor to an entree.  An Asian vinaigrette with lean pork or chicken on chopped mixed greens/ bok choy is delicious.  Ground turkey taco meat with salad on greens is a naked taco. Who doesn’t love naked?  A limited use of pepperoni, turkey deli meat, ham deli meat with an italian dressing and greens makes a lighter cousin to the sub version.  There is so much more less salady options on Pinterest.  Just watch the base, ingredients, and dressing.   Armed with the right green base, you can break that food relationship boredom and not pay for it with your health.

Namaste & For the Sake of A Healthy Food Relationship Pass This Along

No Salt Added- Spice Up Your Food Life

Healthy food and meals can loose their excitement.  Especially when you take away the fats, sugar, and salt.  Wait, I am to entice you to eat healthy. Hang with me.  Decades ago salt was left by the way side as a  primary means to flavor food for me.   We are in deep with spices and herbs.  By this I mean I get way too excited when they go on sale and enjoy picking them out.  I am in deep.  I love the choices, options, and various ways to can make different flavor profiles.  I love that my food doesn’t taste bland and doesn’t cause me to bloat (salt does! bastard).  Even better, this is a friends with benefits relationship.  Most spices reduce inflammation which benefits your digestive system, joints, muscles, heart, and brain.  Brain and body love.  Certain herbs aid in memory and concentration, are rich in vitamins (some even have iron!), boost immune systems, and fight free radicals with antioxidants.  If you are not familiar with free radicals, those are the bullies who pick on your healthy cells which may lead to cancer.   You are constantly surrounded by free radicals. Herbs are a great free radical bully buster.  Food love with benefits.

There are some things you need to know.  Some spices and herbs may not be safe if you have diabetes or high blood pressure.  Most help with that but a few may need to be run by your doctor.  This is noted with that particular spice and herb below.  Please practice spice safety.  Herbs come in two forms: still looks like the plant (fresh) or confetti (dried).  Dried herbs store for longer periods of time and organic in a glass container is recommended.  Dried herbs are in the spice aisle and fresh herbs are in the produce section (in a bunch you bag or in a plastic container).  Spices can be whole or ground.  I haven’t picked a side and don’t see a reason too.  I am passionate about trying to stick with glass and organic when possible.  Dried spices and herbs are more at home in a dry, cool place.  They don’t do well in direct sunlight.  Let them live their vampire existence in a dry cabinet away from heat.

Now the good stuff. I kept this list basic with it’s benefits, draw backs, flavor profiles, and what I use them in.  Have at it.

Spices

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herbs

That’s the short list.  These are common in many recipes which gives you a great base for cooking.  As you expand you will find there is so much more love out there.

Namaste and rekindle the food love

Laundry Detergent Made Me Itch: Foodie with Allergies

As a foodie with food allergies I feel that any packaged product is potential death waiting to happen.  That might be a bit dramatic.  Seriously, my step son with bakers dozen food allergies and I of a few call certain products boxes of death.  Largely, because it is. Shockingly it gets worse, food allergies are NOT just in the food aisle. They lurk every where.   As a matter of frightening fact, companies can pretty much put any claim or statement on their product with little to no accountability.  There is one major Federal law to “protect” us foodies with food allergies.  Thank you foodallergy.org for informing us that only eight allergies have warning labels on a certain number of food products.  If you clean with it,  take a prescription, take an OTC, put it on your skin, has a kosher label, or smoke it (ew) then a company is not obligated to tell you when an allergen may be in their product.

Lesson one is read labels on household products but they are not required to have a warning label.  We learned this the hard way with lotion containing almonds and hand wash with casein (milk protein).  It was right on the ingredient label and we just didn’t think. Have you read their labels? I decided not to become a chemist for a reason.  Read labels and learn the chemical names.  Especially when it comes to cosmetics.  Speaking of,  lip balm and lip glosses may contain fish oils.  Watch for that.

It isn’t always on a label either.  After taking on the GF life, I was still reacting as though I was still eating gluten.  As wise sage informed me that it may be my laundry detergent.  She was right.  Water and flour are suspected added as fillers.  We switched to a concentrated, natural product and the reactions stopped.  Along with the laundry switch and a reading/investigation about peanut oils in products, cleaning products were changed too.  I like my house clean but don’t want to put my sons life at risk.  Lesson two here is: if you have an allergy and have removed it from your diet, chances are its in a household or self care product.  “Get rid of it” instructions below.

Other scary food allergy things

– Play dough contains wheat

– Marzipan is made from almond paste

– Worcestershire sauce contains fish

– Soy sauce is blatantly out there with having soy

– Read supplements and vitamin labels.  Example, many joint supplements contain shellfish

– Ask before you vaccinate- some contain eggs

 You have the PSA.  Food allergies are everywhere.  Practice food allergy safety- know chemical names, read labels, and listen to your body.  If you are reacting as though you have a food allergy and you haven’t eaten it, it may be skin deep. Or more.  Take away whatever you suspect for two weeks (takes that long to get out of your system) then keep it away if you get better or you can “challenge” by adding it back to see if the reaction happens again. If the reaction is severe or life threatening, don’t play chicken and stay out of challenges.  If you aren’t sure if you are reacting or why or the reactions are severe, see an allergist.

Namaste and Share for the Good of other Allergy Foodies

Health Foodie & Veggie Relationships: Let Them Love You Back

I like flexibility in my food relationships.  Could this be a fajita? A wrap? Ditch the tortilla for a salad? Add some spices for Italian flare? It all depends on what the mood today.  Buying a  few, key ingredients that work in multiple ways can be a powerhouse to you and your budget.  Freshness variety is great.  Too much variety of perishables in a small window of time can be costly and if you can’t eat it all before expiration, wasteful.  It’s about intent.  This list can have a few additions and be used in multiple ways for delicious health.

The Core List:

Bell Peppers

Mushrooms

Roma tomatoes

Spinach

Green Onion

Kale

What you can add on for flavor variety

  1. Lightly cook peppers with mushrooms.  Then put on a couple corn tortillas with a half to a full ounce of neufchatel cream cheese on each tortilla.  Add red pepper flakes, a few slices of avocado, and the rest of the veggies. Corn tortillas and neufchatel cream cheese are lower in fat and calories.  
  2. Roast veggies-  add black beans with salsa, a half cup of brown rice.
  3. Light roast veggies with 1 tablespoon of oregano and basil with two cloves of garlic; add whole grain pasta with a light butter sauce
  4. Lean meat the size of your hand palm to numbers 1-3 like chicken breast, 90% beef, ground turkey or chicken.
  5. Breakfast: lightly roast veggies and add egg/egg whites, lean bacon or sausage

Caution:

Be good with your tortilla, rice, and pasta carbs.

You need carbs within the suggested serving.

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These veggie combos love you much.  Most the vegetables contain vitamin Bs which makes your calorie fuel burn better.  Vitamin Bs and magnesium are essential for nerve function thus your brain, they have that too.  Eat it now to help with focus and handling stress later.  Quite a bit of these veggies are packed with antioxidants, especially vitamins E & A.  This means reduced cancer risk and help with the fight in aging at the very least.  Vitamin C dominates in this group and brings more than immune boost to the table.  C also plays a vital role in helping to absorb other vitamins and minerals.  We could go all day about nutritional value in this list, but take this start.  Work your short list for the long list of total body benefit.

Please leave a comment on the veggie you love/tolerate and the ones on your black list. Me: spinach and I have a love affair.  Brussel sprouts are earning my trust.  I become faint by smell of cooked turnip greens.  

Namaste and Let Your Veggies Love You

Warning: We are Those Food Allergy People

You know who we are.  We are those who constantly ask what is in that and say we can’t eat that.  There was a time in my life where I had just the one food allergy. It was glorious.  Along the way I have built a nice collection of allergies that completely altered my diet, care routine, and trust.  It affects everything. And its nothing compared to my stepson who has bakers dozens of food and environmental allergies. Then we have intolerances of the ridiculous kind that might as well be allergies.  We are well stocked in antihistamines.

We DO NOT wish to be these people.

At Holiday functions we must be these people.  On Halloween our children will say thank you politely and bring their bags home to meticulously inspected.  It kinda sucks the fun out of it.  Except for parent taxes.  If you have food allergies then you are our people.  I have hard learned suggestions for those holiday gatherings for us.   If you do not have food allergies then I have some hard learned suggestions on how to handle us in these gatherings.

 Holiday Gatherings with Food Allergies

For the food allergy people-

  1.  Ask. Ask. Ask and apologize once for inconvenience it might cause. It’s just being polite but not apologetic for doing what you must to survive.  Ask what is being served, if their are alternatives (don’t expect it), etc. You give kindness in your situation, usually your host reciprocates it.
  2. Plan ahead. When you can bring food.  My bag, my kids’s bags, and travel bags have food that accommodate our allergies.  It is your and our responsibility to be sure you have what you need and work within your food issues, not someone’s else.  You can always ASK (see number one), but ultimately it is up to you.  Our families and friends are great at working with us.
  3. Be proactive and offer a dish or two that you know you can eat and share.  It is helpful to you and your host.
  4.  Get ingredient list and read labels. Ahead of time when possible and if available.
  5. Have a medical plan and supplies in case of an oops or emergency. Know where the nearest hospital is and be well stocked. Epi pens only buy you time and you may need more than one pen to make it.

For the non- food allergy people

 
  1.  Please do not be insulted by our questions.  We have to ask.  To survive.  It is not a reflection on your cooking skills (we haven’t eaten it yet) or hosting skills. I’m sure you are lovely.
  2. Please do not take offense if we bring food or offer to bring a dish.  We are trying to help you help us. It’s really awkward when we can’t eat anything or just the one thing.
  3. Please be gracious as our bruised ego has to be meticulous in ingredients.  We are trying not to use our number five.

A little goes a long way when our food allergy people are prepared and our non-food allergy people are accommodating.  It can be enjoyable with flexibility and understanding on both sides.  Join Teal Pumpkin Project for your trick or treaters that are “those people.”  Your kindness will be returned to you.

 

Namaste and Share for Foodies of All Types