Chicken Soup

Ideally, making chicken soup is a leisurely affair involving a bath and/or a nap. You could make it in a couple of hours–but I like to make a day out of it.IMG_3406

All you really need to make it is a big pot, a chicken, water, onion and salt. I make it differently each time depending on what I have on hand. It is a great way to cook all those extra farm box veggies and I sometimes freeze the parts I don’t use (kale ribs etc.) for this purpose. A typical recipe combination I use is listed below.

You will have many meals from this one dish: chicken dinners, sandwiches, and plenty of broth to freeze.

Ingredients:

  • One whole organic, free-range chicken (I like Mary’s Chicken)
  • Celery greens (adds a lot of flavor)
  • Onion, cut in half
  • Whole garlic, cut in half
  • Carrots
  • Burdock root (medicinal)
  • Fresh Dill and Thyme (put in spice bag or wrap in cheesecloth)
  • Greens
  • Salt

Steps:

  • Put all ingredients in stock pot, cover in water and add salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Once it reaches a boil, add more salt. You may also skim the fat off at this time.

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  • Simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and cover.
  • Take a nap and/or bath.
  • Allow chicken to continue to cook with heat off for 1-2 hours.
  • Remove chicken and allow to cool.
  • Scoop out vegetables with a mesh strainer and discard. Rinse out the spice bag for reuse.
  • Once cool remove from bones and shred. You can freeze the carcass for another use.

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  • Remove broth–I like to use a glass measuring cup for easy pouring.

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  • Store in glass and plastic containers for the refrigerator and freezer.

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SO Delicious: Homemade Almond Milk

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I decided to start making my own almond milk to avoid the additives in the store bought but after tasting my homemade almond milk I would make it for the flavor alone. It is light, fluffy, creamy and just scrumptious.

Good enough to be desert!

Ingredients:

  • One cup almonds
  • Four cups water
  • Teaspoon cinnamon

Soak almonds at least overnight in water in the refrigerator. 

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Rinse and put in blender with four cups fresh water.

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Blend for one minute –add cinnamon and blend for another minute.

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I got a jelly strainer bag from the hardware store and secured it over the top of the blender before carefully pouring into a bowl. I then squeezed out all the liquid. I plan on using the excess nut meat in a recipe. You can also put the contents of the blender through a cheesecloth or buy something called a “nut bag” for this purpose.

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I came out with four cups of heavenly almond milk-the same amount as a 32 ounce store bought carton.

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Egg and Kale Muffins

These yummy little muffins are loaded with protein, greens, and Vitamin C.  They reheat nicely–just put them in the microwave for one minute for a quick and satisfying breakfast.IMG_3757

Ingredients:

  • 9 eggs
  • Handful of fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 3 or 4 kale leaves, ribs removed and shredded
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 slices turkey bacon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Coconut oil melted, to grease pan

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Grease muffin pan with coconut oil
  3. In a food processor blend kale, parsley, onion and turkey bacon
  4. Chop bell pepper into small pieces
  5. Whisk egg and spices
  6. Combine all ingredients and pour into muffin cups
  7. Bake about 20 minutes or until set

Makes 12 muffins.

Kale Chips: Not Meh

The highlight of my Sunday morning is reading the “Meh List” in the New York Times magazine.  The meh list is a weekly compilation of things, people and places that are neither here nor there–just so so. I have been trying to come up with an item I can submit and on my list of possibilities was kale chips. Well I recently made them and and as it turns out not only are they not “meh” they have some sort of mystical quality. They were so good that I barely remember eating them!

Ingredients:

  • One bunch kale leaves, chopped
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Red Pepper
  • Salt

Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 300
  • The best way to get crisp kale chips is to make sure they are completely dry. After I ran the kale pieces through a salad spinner I laid them out on a kitchen towel and rolled them up.

  • Combine all ingredients, except salt, in a plastic bag and shake.
  • Lay across a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt.

  • Bake until crisp @ 20-25 minutes.

Kale “croutons” in sweet potato soup

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I had so much fun making this recipe. I picked the apple from our tree, the nuts came from the local farmer’s market and the squash from our weekly farm box. After I devoured it I threw the shell in the compost pile in our backyard. 

I’m sure it was extra yummy due to the freshness, but this is also a tasty, healthy “pantry recipe”. You can easily keep these ingredients on hand to throw together at the last minute. Squash lasts for months on the counter and I suggest keeping nuts in the freezer. Dried fruit may also be used.

Ingredients:

Our Apple Tree

  • Acorn Squash, cut in half and seeds removed
  • Nuts, chopped  (I used a mixture of pistachios, walnuts and chestnuts)
  • Apple, peeled and chopped
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt, to taste

Steps:

 

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Mix nuts, apple, and cinnamon
  • Divide mixture and place in cavities of squash halves
  • Top with dabs of coconut oil and shake of salt
  • Cover and bake @ 40 minutes or until cooked through

Back to Mother Earth!

 

Easy Apple Crumble

Looking for a desert that is gluten-free, sugar free, dairy free, vegan and grain free? Well look no further! 

I’ll take a gander you will like this recipe even if you don’t have any pesky food allergies.

The measurements and cooking time are totally adjustable.

Ingredients:

  • Two apples, sliced
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Cinnamon to taste

Steps:

  1. Melt coconut oil in microwave in baking pan
  2. Mix rest of ingredients in baking pan–except lemon zest
  3. Top with lemon zest
  4. Bake @ 450 for 20 minutes

This desert was a huge hit at my house and I will be making more next time. Best wishes in your baking experiments!-Julie

Paleo: Banana Sweet Potato Muffins

I recently discovered coconut flour and am exploring ways to use it. Coconut flour is very in high fiber, low in fat and is naturally sweet. I am very happy to find another healthy gluten-free flour to add to my repertoire! I am not usually a fan of coconut but the flour is very mild.

I made these muffins with ingredients on hand and the result was surprisingly good. Even my daughter liked them–she noted the flavor was like banana bread but the consistency was different. And so goes gluten-free baking. For this recipe you can also use three bananas instead of the one sweet potato and chocolate chips instead of raisins.

These are great with scrambled eggs or a snack you can grab on the go.

Ingredients:

  • One sweet potato (cooked)
  • Two very ripe bananas
  • Two eggs
  • One cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • One teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt

Steps:

  1. Mash bananas and sweet potatoes together
  2. Add rest of ingredients, combine with hands
  3. Bake in muffin cups @ 325 for 20 minutes

Happy Baking-Julie

Energy Bites: Raw Paleo Nut Balls

I love the idea of energy bites: mini meals that pack a punch.

I got the idea to make these from the peanut butter candy my Mom made for my sister and I when we were kids. She would mix peanut butter, evaporated milk and honey. My sister and I shaped the “dough” into little sculptures then ate our creations.

I love almond butter and I used almond flour instead of evaporated milk to make it dairy free. Then I added all sorts of goodies. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
  • Honey to taste

Steps:

  • Combine almond butter, almond flour and chia seeds. Mix with hands.
  • Combine rest of ingredients.

  • Roll into balls and store in fridge.

Go nuts!-Julie