Posts Tagged ‘Tasty Tuesday’

Tasty Tuesday: Simple Spinach Salad

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Recently a friend of mine brought this super simple spinach salad to a mutual friend’s blessingway. It was so yummy, I think had like 4 servings of it.  I made it today and pretty much munched on it all day long. I probably ate close to a pound of spinach today…although I did save a little for hubby to enjoy.

 

 

Ingredients:

3 generous handfuls of spinach

1 small onion, very thinly sliced

2 tablespoons high quality olive oil

1 tablespoon dried dill (or you could chop up about 1/4 cup of fresh dill…yum!)

juice from 1/2 a lemon

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Toss everything together in a large bowl and serve immediately. Whenever you pre-dress a salad it is best to eat it right away, otherwise it ends up soggy.

The raw onion and dill on top of crunchy spinach with the zesty lemon juice are the perfect combination of flavors. Enjoy!!

-Sarah

PS. If you haven’t entered this week’s giveaway for a 3 pack of flip Organic Night Time Inserts, be sure to get your entry/ies in soon! Also check back here tomorrow for a review of flip covers and the flip organic night time inserts. 🙂

Tasty Tuesday: Super Simple Pickled Carrots

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

I recently (and happily) discovered my grocery store carries 25lbs bags of organic juicing carrots…woohoo! One day while shopping I happen to see the huge bag of carrots sitting out and kind of assumed it was to stock the loose carrot bin. I decided to ask the produce person if I could buy it. He said “Sure!”.

Yippie! Now I know all I have to do is ask for a 25lb bag of carrots because they generally keep them in the back of the store. They sell the bag for 17.99 (that’s just .72cents a lb). AND they are GOOD carrots…super sweet and crunchy!

Needless to say we drink a lot of carrot juice and eat a lot of carrot soup. We dip raw carrots in our hummus and our bean dip. We use carrots to make our veggie stock. We make carrot muffins. I put carrots in our marinara sauce, stew, curry…in general we consume a lot of carrots. 🙂 I am always looking for creative things to do with carrots!

While visiting a friend a few weeks back she gave me a fun idea. It started with a VIP tour of her garden, (which included an all-you-can-eat snap pea bar that my four year old went to town on) and a generous bunch of fresh dill pulled straight from the dirt! My friend knew my kids were on a pickle kick and gave me the idea to pickle carrots. She let us sample of few of hers and shared these super simple instructions on how to make them:

Ingredients:

1 large, clean glass jar approximately 28oz filled with filtered water. (You need to use a jar that has a lid. I use an old pickle jar)

8 peeled and sliced carrots

1 – 2 teaspoons sea salt

1 handful of fresh dill

*you can add other ingredients to taste. Some ideas include garlic, peppercorns, jalapenos, cumin seeds, etc. Whatever flavors you like! I usually keep mine super simple so the kidlets will snack on them.

Directions:

Put all ingredients in the jar, put the lid on tightly, and then sit out on counter for 48+ hours. Then transfer to fridge. Enjoy once they are cold.

It’s THAT easy! This is not canning or preserving the carrots, so they won’t last long (but trust me, they won’t last long anyway) and must be stored in the fridge. ENJOY!

-Sarah

Tasty Tuesday: Black Bean Dip

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

In making an effort to get more protein in my diet, I am replacing a favorite snack of chips and salsa with black bean dip and veggies! It is just as yummy as chips and salsa but offers a little extra nutrients, including protein. You will love how easy and delicious this recipe is! I enjoyed a big ol’ scoop of it yesterday along side my infamous kale salad. 🙂

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked black beans*

½ cup of salsa

1- sliced jalapeno (or less depending on desired temperature level; be sure to remove seeds unless you like your bean dip extra spicy!)

2-3 diced green onions

½ tsp garlic pepper

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp salt

4 tbsp water

Directions:

Cook all ingredients in a sauce pan on medium- low heat for 10 minutes. Add additional water if needed to keep mixture from drying out. Pour into food processor and process until smooth. Serve with chopped veggies such as red pepper, celery, and carrot sticks. Enjoy!

* Directions for cooking with dried beans: Many people shy away from using dried beans because rumor has it they are difficult and time-consuming to prepare. However all that is really involved in preparing dried beans is a pot of boiling water. That’s it! Now there are a few different methods but I prefer the “quick cook method”. Here’s how I do it. First fill a pot with water (no need to measure because you are draining the water anyway).  Then add measured desired amount of beans (1 cup of dried beans = about 2.5 cups of cooked beans) or just dump a bunch pf beans into the pot (what I usually do and then measure after they have cooked). Allow to come to a full boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer gently for approximately an hour then test for softness. Drain water and rinse beans before using them. I usually cook a large pot at once so I have some left over to stash in the fridge and/or freezer when throwing together a last minute quick meal.  Dried black beans are waaayyy cheaper than canned and come in more eco-friendly packaging!

-Sarah

Tasty Tuesday: Coconut Whipped Cream

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Ever look at the ingredient list of Cool Whip? It’s full of stuff you probably don’t actually want to put in your body such as hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors to name a few. And quite honestly, it doesn’t even taste good…yet we often scoop it atop desserts at which point it just becomes a tangled mess of fatty and sugary flavors which might be why we continue to use it: The chemical flavor is masked by the accompanying dessert.

Many, many years ago I ditched Cool Whip and replaced it with real whipped cream. I would buy a carton of heavy cream, add sugar and vanilla and whip it into a delicious cream to put on top of pancakes, pies, and my all time favorite Tiramisu. Well then I became a Vegan and cut out dairy products which meant no more whipped cream for me. 🙁 I eventually found a soy whipped cream, but similar to Cool Whip it was full of ingredients that I didn’t want to eat. So after a little experimentation I figured out how to make a yummy Vegan Whipped Cream out of Coconut Milk. It’s soooo simple and sooo yummy!

Ingredients:

1 can of FULL fat Coconut Milk (or Coconut Cream if you can find it…Trader Joe’s carries it).

2  – 3 Tablespoons of sweetener of choice

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Directions:

Refrigerate can of coconut milk overnight. Put it in the way back of the fridge so it gets extra cold. I just keep one or two cans stored in my fridge so I always have a cold one ready when needed. Chill a metal mixing bowl and mixers in the freezer for approximately 10 minutes before mixing coconut milk (or coconut cream), sweetener, and vanilla extract. Whip ingredients together on high for approximately 3 minutes. Use immediately. If going to use at a later time, cover and refrigerate. Then re-whip before serving.

ENJOY!

Sarah

Tasty Tuesday with a Twist: A Video Tour of My Pantry

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

For many, many years I cooked meals out of a pantry that was in complete disarray. When I would get home from the grocery store I would put the food wherever there was room on the shelves with no rhyme or reason to their location. I was just happy to get groceries from the car, into the house, and unpiled from the kitchen table. It actually never even occurred to me to be more systematic about putting groceries away.

That is until I saw a few photos from a friend’s immaculately organized kitchen/pantry. She happens to be a pretty incredible cook who prepares deliciously clean, whole foods for her family. I felt inspired by her photos and really liked the idea of grouping food items together by category. So when we moved into our new house that seemed like the perfect opportunity to get my pantry under control. Additionally over the previous year or so I had become more adept at feeding my family; including knowing what were staples in our diet and how much we consumed during a typical week. Thus I had a better idea of how to adequately stock my pantry.

After almost a year of cooking from a well-organized and well-stocked pantry, I fully appreciate how it has positively enhanced the task of preparing healthy meals for my family. It makes meal-planning way easier, writing a grocery list is a cinch, food preparation is much faster, and our overall grocery bill has been reduced.

Because I share so many recipes here, I thought I would invite you all into my pantry! 🙂 Perhaps seeing what works for our family might help you develop a helpful system for your own family? I know I am very grateful my friend shared her photos with me many moons ago because it had a definite impact on our daily lives.  Feeding our family is something most of us do multiple times a day so efficiency with meal planning and preparation is a high priority for most mamas! 🙂

(more…)