Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chicken Corn Soup

1 whole natural chicken (preferably pastured and without hormones)
1 whole lemon
2 minced garlic cloves
2-3 quarts pure water
salt, pepper, herbs, seasoning
Place whole chicken in a large pot, with a lemon cut in half and 2 minced garlic cloves stuffed into the cavity for extra moistness and flavor.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and additional herbs and seasoning of your choice.  I used a chicken seasoning blend.  Add water to make a rich broth, and simmer for a couple hours until the chicken falls off the bones.  Simmering the bones will release valuable minerals to the broth.  Pour off the broth to reserve for the soup, and allow chicken to cool enough that you won't burn your fingers as you remove the meat from the bones.  Squeeze the juice from the lemon into the broth, and toss out the rest.  Chop up the chicken and add to the broth. 

While the chicken is cooling, cook the following until tender and add to the chicken and broth:
2 large chopped onions
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups carrots, chopped fine or grated in food processor
2 cups corn (I cut fresh corn off the cob, but frozen corn would be fine)
Add at least 2 Tbsp. ginger paste to the soup. (This can be found in the produce department or you can save by making your own by blending chopped and peeled ginger root with a little water and olive oil - just enough to blend it well.  Freeze in ice cube tray or Tupperware midget cups to add to soups, salad dressings, meats, etc.).  
For directions:

Taste to see if you need to add more salt, herbs, or seasoning.  I added a drop or two of each of the following doTERRA essential oils: cilantro, dill, basil, black pepper.  They add so much more natural flavor and are completely safe for cooking, although not all essential oils are safe to use internally.

I made this batch of soup without adding carrots and celery, but they do make it more colorful, tastier, and healthier.

Healthier Coffee

A favorite way I used to enjoy my one cup of coffee each morning was to put stevia and non-fat dairy creamer in it, BUT the dairy creamer is full of chemicals, so I had been going without any cream at all.  Recently I heard of putting 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a cup of coffee for the many benefits it has, so I tried it.  I poured only a fourth of a cup of coffee into my cup with a little stevia, then added 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.  The secret to making it a great cup of coffee though is to use a hand blender in the cup at this point to mix it up real well - then add the rest of the black coffee.  The coconut oil makes the coffee look and taste like cream and vanilla were added!  Delicious!   There's no need to buy an expensive cup of coffee.  Make your own for a money-saving benefit, plus great flavor as well as better health!

This is about 1/4 cup of coffee, a small amount of stevia and 2 Tbsp. coconut oil after mixing it with the hand blender.

The full cup of coffee and the hand blender I used to mix it.

Apple Ginger Salad

Recipe from Cara at Health Home and Happiness - Grain-Free Meal Plans - - Used by permission

1 apple, cored and chopped
1 tablespoon ginger root, grated
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup crispy walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
Combine first five ingredients in a bowl. Blend together the honey and orange juice, then use it as dressing.

Ginger Broccoli Beef Stir Fry

Recipe from Cara at Health Home and Happiness - Grain-Free Meal Plans - - Used by permission

This delicious stir fry using fall and winter veggies can be prepped in the morning or the night before.  I went ahead and chopped all the veggies and placed in the fridge while I was grating the ginger for the marinade this morning, then dinner just took minutes to put together in the evening.  The ginger gives a nice sweet heat to this meal and the red peppers give it a beautiful burst of color.

Marinade for the Beef
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
5 Tbsp. fish sauce (or 1 tsp. sea salt + 1/4 cup stock)
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. peeled, grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. chili pepper flakes
1 tsp. ground cumin

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

1 1/2 lb top sirloin steak
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil (optional)
3-4 green onions, sliced 1/2-inch apart, including the greens
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3 hot chiles, such as red serranos, seeded, sliced
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled, cut lengthwise into matchstick shapes
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
Chill beef in the freezer for 30 minutes before slicing, this will make it easier to slice.  Cut into thin strips, 1/2 inch by 2 inches approx.  Place in a bowl and toss with marinade ingredients. Allow to marinade all day.
Stir fry: In a skillet over medium-high heat heat oils until very hot.  As the oil heats, pour marinade from beef.  Saute beef in 3-4 small batches until browned on the outside but rare on the inside, approx 1 minute.  Transfer to a bowl and stir fry the rest of the ingredients, cooking until vegetables are cooked to desired doneness, just a few minutes.  Serve, pouring juices remaining in the bottom of the pan on top.

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix

1/2 cup ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. ground ginger
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cloves

Mix all the spices together with a wire whisk, and spoon into a spice jar.  Purchase your spices in bulk from a natural foods co-op if possible for lower prices (in most cases).  If you live near a Sharp Shopper, this is a good source as well.

Sharp Shopper
You might want to find store locations here  for some extra good deals on healthy food.  Although they sell plenty of junk food, they do have an entire aisle of health foods with excellent prices.  People travel several hours just to shop there for low prices on certain items.  There are several things I buy there when we visit family nearby.  They sell 25 pound bags of wheat berries, 25 pound bags of rolled oats, and have many health foods already packaged and priced (grain such as spelt, oats, barley, rye, and others), unsweetened coconut, various kinds of seeds and nuts, baker's yeast, and spices, to mention a few.