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Whole Wheat Pie Crust

10 Dec

As promised, here is my super simple recipe for whole wheat pie crust. I made this crust with my pumpkin pie, and my husband made it with his pecan pie, and it was perfect for both. This crust is a crumbly type crust, it reminded me a little of a graham cracker crust. This recipe is a whole foods approved version that I adapted from an old family recipe, using just three ingredients. Easy as, well…pie!

Whole Wheat Pie Crust

Ingredients

1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup butter, melted

4 tablespoons water, more or less as needed

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour and butter together, and if needed add water one tablespoon at a time until you have the right consistency. Press your crust into an 8″ or 9″ pie plate. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Now you are ready to add your filling!

 

 

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Pumpkin Pie

2 Dec

I was in charge of bringing a few different things this Thanksgiving, and pumpkin pie was one of them. I have not made a pumpkin pie since we drastically changed our diet earlier this year, and I ended up adapting a Paula Deen recipe I found on Food Network. My version is whole foods approved, and oh so yummy! Organic ingredients are always preferred of course.

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Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

2 cups canned pumpkin

1 cup coconut palm sugar

2 eggs

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 homemade whole wheat pie crust (I will post this recipe soon!)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Press the homemade pie crust dough into a 9 inch pie pan, pressing up the sides of the pan to the top edge. Bake for 10 minutes.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer or standing mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar, and beat until combined. Add the eggs, heavy cream, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, and cinnamon, and beat until incorporated.

Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices.

School Lunch Round-up

26 Nov

I make my girl’s lunches four out of five school days a week, and allow them to purchase lunch in the school cafeteria once a week (down from twice a week last year). Honestly, most weeks they forget to ask about purchasing their lunch (and I don’t remind them), so I end up making lunch for them all five days which I highly prefer given that the lunches at school are mostly unhealthy. Here are a few of the lunches I have packed for them in the past couple months. All ingredients are organic unless otherwise noted. Both girls (ages 9 and 5) get the same thing.

Carrots, olives, homemade hummus, dried mango pieces, and brown rice

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Homemade whole wheat crepes, pure maple syrup, bluberries

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Applesauce, carrots, quinoa, Hail Merry mini chocolate tart (I found these at Costco!)

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Leftover roast bites, raw cheddar cheese, crackers, salad with olive oil, fruit leather

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Peanut butter and cream cheese on honey whole wheat bread, raw cashews with dark chocolate chips, purple bell pepper, whole milk yogurt with frozen blackberries

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School Lunch (9/3)

2 Sep

Today for lunch my girls both get Whole Wheat Skillet Pizza with local pastured ground beef and black olives (left-over from dinner the night before), cubed local organic watermelon, and raw organic cashews.

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School Lunch (8/29)

31 Aug

I am making a concerted effort this year to make lunches for my two school girls that are fun, and offer a variety of nutrients to get them through their day in a healthy way. I am prepping almost everything the night before, which gives me more time to be creative. Both girls, 4th grade and Kindergarten, get the same lunch which keeps things simple for me.

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Today’s lunch included homemade Whole Wheat Waffles served plain (leftover from dinner the night before), an organic unsweetened Apple Sauce cup, raw almonds, and a macaroon.

Homemade Popcorn

3 Jul

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We love popcorn, who doesn’t? Even more, I love the fact that popcorn is a whole grain and therefore fits into our whole foods diet! It is super easy to make healthy homemade popcorn, so please don’t ever buy those boxes of chemical and toxin filled popcorn that you find on the grocery store shelf again.

I read this tip on 100 Days of Real Food, and we have been enjoying healthy delicious popcorn ever since! All you need is a bag of organic popcorn kernels, and brown paper “lunch sack” bags. Since roughly 90% of corn in the United States contain GMOs, it is always best to go with organic popcorn kernels. Put 1/4 cup popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag, and fold the top of the bag over 4-5 times. Microwave as you would a store bought bag of popcorn. It takes about 2:00 minutes in my microwave, but the time will vary depending on your microwave so just listen for the popping to slow down. I put my popcorn in a big bowl, drizzle with 1 tablespoon melted butter (you could use olive oil instead), and sprinkle with salt to taste. So yummy! You could use other spices to create all kinds of flavors; salt and lime juice, salt and pepper, sugar and cinnamon, etc. Enjoy!

Lemon Water

29 Jun

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For several weeks now, my husband and I have been drinking warm lemon water almost every morning. I first read about this practice on Food Babe, and decided to try it…although we don’t add cayenne pepper to our drink like Vani does. I have since read about the benefits of drinking warm lemon water elsewhere, and I thought I should share this little health tip with you. Try it for a few weeks, and let me know what you think!

We drink our warm lemon water first thing in the morning, before we eat or drink anything else. I keep my lemons in a bowl on my kitchen counter, they juice easier if they are at room temperature vs cold from the fridge. When I get up I run the largest glass of hot water from my Kuerig into my cup, then pour half of that into another cup for my husband. I add 1/2 cup of cold filtered water to each of our cups, and then squeeze in half a lemon (or a 1/4 for each cup). We end up with about 8oz each. Combining the super hot water with cold water makes it just right warm, and I can drink it right away.

Bottoms up for a healthier, happier you!

Banana Split Breakfast Bar

28 Jun

A couple weeks ago, to kick off the start of summer break, I invited a few of my girl’s friends over for a banana split breakfast. The girls came over in the morning wearing their pajamas, and I set up a “banana split” breakfast bar.

Instead of ice cream, we used cooked oatmeal for the base. Toppings included vanilla yogurt (in place of whip cream), sliced strawberries, sliced bananas, shredded coconut, and mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. Yum!

I read about the idea over on Momables, and my girls and their friends had a great time with it…the “banana split” was delicious too!

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Restaurant Review: Potager Cafe (Arlington, TX.)

18 Jun

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“We would like to bring people back to the way we should be eating — with joy and pleasure, experiencing wholesome food, fresh from a local farm.  As much as possible, we get our products directly from nearby farms and ranches – we have personally gone out to Gnismer Farms in the morning to pick the fruits and vegetables that will be on your plate that afternoon.  We have known the pleasure of quietly watching the cattle at Burgundy Beef contentedly grazing on honest Texas grasses.  We marvel at the freshness of the eggs and taste of the free range chicken we get from Livestock First Ranch.  Our outstandingly skilled and talented chefs have reverence for these products.   Following Slow Food principles, they prepare a menu each day that reflects the ever-changing seasons.”

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I had the opportunity to try another (new to us) restaurant with my family the other day that I had read about, named Potager Cafe. I will be completely honest…when we pulled up, and then stepped inside, I was a little taken aback. This definitely wasn’t like any restaurant I have ever been to! From the outside, the building and its surroundings seemed a bit run-down, and I was a little worried about how this dining experience was going to be.

We arrived at 6:30pm, and found a table in the one (small) room dining area. Each table was a different shape and size, and was covered with a white lace tablecloth. The style of the room was eclectic and random. We sat for a minute taking it all in, and looking at the large chalkboard menu near the counter that listed that days offerings. There were a lot of things that sounded good, but in the end all five of us (my sister-in-law was with us as well) ordered the same thing: Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, Roasted potatoes, and Green Beans with caramelized onions.

When we were ready to order, we went up to the counter and told the man behind it what we wanted. He made our plates for us, and asked if we wanted bread. The bread was a small slice cut from a baguette. We took our plates to our table, and got ourselves water glasses and water from a shelf on the side of the dining room. We also had to get our own silverware and cloth napkins.

The food was unbelievably good, and the portions were just right. My girls split an adult portion, and both finished every bite and were asking for more! Every single bite of food had incredible depth and flavor, and I didn’t want it to end.

The owner/chef came out at one point and chatted with us for a minute. She seemed very sweet.

The small hallway leading to the bathrooms smelled horrible, like that rotten egg water smell. The bathroom itself was clean (womens).

All in all I would say the experience was a little strange but good, and I would definitely eat there again. I love that they follow slow food principles, and source their ingredients locally as much as possible. The menu changes daily based on what is in season locally, and what they can get their hands on. I wholeheartedly support that approach to eating, and try to follow the same principles in my own kitchen.

Potager Cafe
315 South Mesquite Street
Arlington, TX.
817-861-2292
www.potagercafe.com

Hours:
Tuesday – Wednesday: 11am – 3pm
Thursday – Saturday: 11am – 9pm

Cost:
$$ (most entrees under $25) (based on their “suggested” price list, although there are no set prices here)

Fare:
Wholesome Comfort Food

A Weeks Worth of Groceries (April 29 – May 5)

5 Jun

As stated in previous posts of this nature, this is a typical week’s worth of groceries for my family of four (2 adults, 2 elementary age children). All items are organic unless otherwise noted. My hope is to inspire you to eat better everyday!

Central Market

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Lactose Free Whole Milk* (for my husband), Organic Whole Milk, Applegate Farms Smoked Turkey Deli Meat, Organic Bananas, Red Seedless Grapes*, Green Seedless Grapes*

*These items were conventionally grown, and are not organic. This is not the norm for us! My daughter really wanted grapes for her birthday party, and I could not find local or organic unfortunately.

Earthwise Gardens

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Ground Beef, Ground Breakfast Sausage, Pork Brats, Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cauliflower, Strawberries, Vanilla Almond Granola, Texas Trail Mix, Oranges, Grapefruit, Pecans, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Raw Milk Cheddar Cheese, Raw Milk Mozzarella Cheese, Raw Milk Feta Cheese, Cheese Spreads (strawberry, chive, and basil-garlic)

*All items from this store are local (within the state of Texas), organic, meats and eggs from animals that are pastured/grass-fed, cheeses made with raw milk.

Cupboard Natural Food Store

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Honey Acres Chocolate Honey Mint Patties, Organic Valley Mozzarella Cheese, Hail Merry Tart (chocolate, and vanilla creme), Hail Merry Blonde Macaroons, Organic Valley Butter, Applegate Farms Prosciutto, Organic Refried Beeans, Choice Green Tea, Pepper Belly’s Salsa, Muir Glen Pizza Sauce, Native Pineapple Chunks, Jeffs Naturals, Sliced Peperoncini, Barbara’s Cereal Honest O’s, Organic Lemons, Fruit Leather (raspberry, apricot, grape), Way Better Sweet Potato Chips, Ryvita Pumpkin Seed Crackers, That’s It Bars (apple/cherry, apple/mango, apple/pear, apple/apricot), Way Better Blue Corn Chips, Beanito Black Bean Chips, Basil, Tomato, Heartland Bread (honey whole wheat, sunflower seen, and raisin cinnamon)

Tom Thumb

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Organic Whole Milk, Triscuits, Chicken Broth, Parmesan Cheese

Costco

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Larabars, Clif Kids Fruit Ropes, Stretch Island Fruit Leathers

*I shop at Costco about once every 4-6 weeks