Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Brown Rice & Lentil Stew (with leftover refried bean broth)(V)

I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it, figured it would be such a waste. So what can you do with pinto bean broth after making the refried bean recipe I have on here? Well make a hearty stew with it that's what! I added a bunch of stuff to my crockpot on a whim and yum! Serve this with some fresh warm bread.

5-6 cups bean broth leftover from making refried beans
water as needed
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 cup uncooked brown lentils, rinsed
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 large carrot, cut in bite size pieces
1 cup frozen corn
1 tsp. of garlic powder
1 Tbs. dried parsley
S&P to taste

-Put everything in the crockpot except water and sweet potato, about half way through cooking add the sweet potato, cook on low for 6-8 hrs or when rice is done.

- I have not made this on the stove yet but I assume you would just simmer everything for about 25 mins or until rice and lentils are done.

-Add hot water or more broth liquid as its cooking if it seems too thick.

-Since the bean broth already had so much flavor from the refried beans I didn't add much at all to it.

*If you like celery it would prob be a good addition, I'm not a huge fan myself unless its hiding under peanut butter lol.

*You can probably use regular broth for this recipe but then you will need to add more seasonings and it won't be as thick, but it's a good base for a good hearty soup regardless of the broth you use.

*I haven't had any gas issues from the refried beans or this, but if you do it could be from undercooked beans or your body isn't used to them, you could also add some fennel seed, or bay leaf, this helps to relax the stomach. Recipe Tips and Alternatives

Monday, February 27, 2012

Info on Soy

Hey everyone, If your still confused as heck about soy, is it good, is it bad? Well I just came across some accurate info, its a video and a web page with Dr. Mercola. Check it out!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Refried Beans in a Crockpot (V)

So I guess technically these aren't refried since they are only cooked once, but hey I don't mind because they are delicious and easy to make! I originally found this recipe on allrecipes.com but then changed it up a bit for our tastes, and it is so savory with just a tiny bit of spice from the jalapeno and pepper. This will make your house smell wonderful!
(never thought I'd say that about beans lol).

Makes about 6 cups.

3 cups dried pinto beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
1 medium onion, cut in chunks,(don't worry they mash up later)
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 3/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1 bay leaf
4 cups vegetable broth
5 cups water
Salt to taste

-Mix everything but salt into the crockpot (salt can have an effect on the beans soaking up the liquid and may remain hard), and cook on high 6hrs. Also if your worried about any gassy effects for extra precaution you can boil the beans separately first for about 10 minutes and scoop out any foam that comes to the top, and add a bay leaf, then drain and add everything to the crockpot.

-I didn't have to add any water during cooking, if you need to then your temp might be too high, just watch it towards the end to make sure it has enough liquid to cover the beans a few inches above, crockpots vary.

-When the beans are soft drain them but keep the liquid, what we do is scoop out most of the liquid with a ladle into a glass container, that way you don't have to lift up the heavy crockpot.

-Remove the bay leaf and mash beans with potato masher, adding the saved liquid as needed, add salt to taste, 1-2 tsp.

* You might also like the sour "cream" recipe that's in the pic- Click Here

*Keep the extra liquid for later use with rice or soups. Click here for a recipe with bean broth.

*I also like to freeze the leftovers.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sour "Cream/Cream Cheese" (V)

 Recipe from www.thespunkycoconut.com. I posted it on here just in case the link should ever stop working for any reason. It's a great recipe and the best alternative I have found so far.
Cashew Sour Cream/Cream Cheese:
1 cup of cashews, soaked in water to soften 2-8 hrs, strain and rinse.
  Add to the food processor of blender with:
1 to 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 to 4 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp sea salt or Herbamare seasoning
Puree till creamy and smooth.
I like to add a pinch of onion powder to mine too. Yum.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sweet Potato Slices/Cubes, Baked and Seasoned (V)

In Cubes
In Slices
These are good when everyone else is having fries, I used to do this with regular potatoes until I started eating more sweet potatoes. This is based on a Betty Crocker recipe.

3-4 servings:

1 large sweet potato or 2 medium (= to about 3 med reg. potatoes)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar, or dry sub.
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder

-Mix seasonings together, (sometimes I just make a big batch and put it in a shaker).

-Scrub potatoes gently but do not peel, cut into about 1/4 inch rounds, thinner if you like them more crispy,or 1/2 inch cubes. I tried doing this in fry shapes once but the potatoes got pretty soft and didn't want to stay together so the rounds and cubes work better.

-Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

-Spread out potatoes in a single layer, sprinkle with seasonings, flip and sprinkle with more seasonings if you want it on both sides.

-Bake at 425 degrees 15-20 mins or until dark and desired crispiness,or you can pierce with a fork, flip carefully half way through cooking time.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Organic Consumers Association

I just came accross this website while at Dr.Bronner's site and thought I would share it with you, It contains a ton of info on where to find organic products in your area, health info, food saftey, and also helps you contact places to make a difference and fight against GMO and labels and false advertising,etc. It's a great resource.

Organic Consumers Association- Campaigning for Health, Justice, Sustainability, Peace, and Democracy

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox

I just recently came across a documentary for Dr. Bronner's Magic soaps. There is so much more to it than I previously knew, sure I've seen the strange looking soaps at the store but never knew what they were all about. After watching this documentary, I now understand and have a new found respect for the people that own and run the company. I just have to say Wow! It has inspired me. I never thought that soap products would be the one's to do that but it cut straight to the heart. At first I thought it was a little strange and I was a little weirded out but the more I watched the more I realized they are trying to do some good in this world and you know what, I am going to try this as soon as I can. I will post my review when I do. If you don't know a lot about it Dr. Bronner's magic soaps they are mostly concentrated organic soaps that are good for washing anything from hair to cars, he also preaches "All-One-God-Faith" but you don't have to be religious to like it, the website has more information on some other subjects and is definitely worth your time.

For a Preview on the documentary- Click here

For Dr.Bronner's website- Click here

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lipstick Video

Well I just watched this really scary video about lipstick, Yikes!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Reed Diffuser

If your anything like me you have a bunch of cute little vases you couldn't say no to at the antique store you bought for a couple bucks. I have these all over my house and it occurred to me one day I could make my own reed diffusers, it will be no where near the price you buy them at, and it will be in a container I like without all the chemicals. I combined some of what I learned from several websites and here is how I prefer to make them;
  • Small Vase
  • Essential Oil
  • Diffuser Reeds
  • Mineral Oil
  • Vodka
-Mineral oils are found at Pharmacies, this is used as a non-evaporating base to hold the essential oils.
-The Vodka can be cheap, doesn't matter just not diluted.
-Make sure your vase has been glazed on the bottom, if it hasn't it will leak all over. If your not sure then test it with some water on a safe surface for a while and see if it leaks.
-Your vase should have a small opening on the top so that it doesn't evaporate as fast. And a large base so it can hold enough liquid.
-Pick up some Reed sticks, not bamboo, they don't absorb as well. You can probably find these at your local craft store.
-It's best not to use a plastic container

-Pour 1/4 cup mineral oil in a glass measuring cup, add 2-3 tbs vodka, these don't mix naturally so stir well, the vodka thins the oils to help it move up the reeds.
-Add the essential oils, should be about 75% base and 25% essential oils.(try about 10 drops to start if your not sure) Stir thoroughly.
-Pour into your vase and add about 5 reeds that are about twice the length of your vase and flip them over after a few hours and again every few days.

*If you want you can just use the essential oil and water, however it may not last as long.

Click here for Info on Essential Oils. I love to use lavender or vanilla.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Frosting For Cookies

We put the frosting in these awesome squirt bottles I found at a craft store originally for melted chocolate, they work great for kids.
This is just an easy basic frosting recipe, you can do more with it if you want like add cocoa powder, almond extract, or for our gingerbread cookies we added cinnamon. Yum!

3 3/4 cup organic vegan confectioners (powdered) sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

-Mix all ingredients until smooth, if it seems too dry add a tsp of liquid at a time.

-You can also use water or milk alt.instead of corn syrup for more detailed work since the corn syrup can make the frosting spread better for a more all over frost.

-I laid out the frosted cookies on wax paper till dry.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bleeding Hearts

These grow in front of our house and I'm assuming my parent in-laws planted them, and they are so cute I love them.

Good For You Pasta

I tried this pasta a few weeks ago and it was so good my husband and his cousin couldn't even tell the difference between this and regular angel hair pasta! I really liked it and its good for you!