Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ways to Use Canned Food

Coconut Curried Peanut Soup
-2 14-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
-2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes
-1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
-1 cup vegetable stock or water
-1 sweet potato, cubed (approximately 1 cup) (You can use any kind of potato, If you have no potatoes you can serve the soup over instant mashed potatoes or rice)
-1 diced onion (You can substitute 1/4 c. minced dried or diced dehydrated onions)
-1/2 cup red lentils, drained and rinsed
-1 tablespoon curry powder
-1/4 cup natural peanut butter
-1/2/ to 3/4 teaspoon garam masala (depending on how spicy you like it)
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 tablespoon minced or pureed ginger
-3 teaspoons minced garlic
-sweetener to taste (organic sugar or stevia)
-dash of cinnamon
- 1 tsp. salt

Optional Garnishes: diced avocado, chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts,

Combine all ingredients in a Crock-Pot and set on high for about a half an hour, and then switch to low for an additional 3 to 4 hours. Serve and pass garnishes at the table.

Tip: You can add a half a pound of any kind of diced meat you like if you don't want it to be vegetarian.

-1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 14-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
-1 14-ounce can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
-1 14-ounce can corn
-3 14-ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes in juice or diced tomatoes
-1 diced onion (You can substitute 1 c. diced dehydrated onions)
-2 large carrots finely diced
-1 stalk celery, finely diced
-3 teaspoons minced garlic
-2  tablespoons chili powder
-2 teaspoons oregano
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 teaspoon basil
-3 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
-1 tsp soy sauce
-2 cups vegetable stock
-1/2 teaspoon organic sugar
-salt and pepper to taste

Optional toppings: diced avocado, chopped cilantro, sliced black olives (14 oz can)

1. Lightly spray large stockpot with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat.
2. Saute onion, celery, and carrots until celery is softened and onion is slightly browned. Add spices and saute for approximately 1 minute until spices are aromatic.
3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 to 45 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
1. Combine all ingredients in a Crock-Pot and set on high for about a half an hour, and then switch to low for an additional 3 to 4 hours.

Pass optional toppings at the table. Serve with,or on top of,  mashed potatoes or cornbread.

Tip: You can add a half a pound of any kind of diced meat you like if you don't want it to be vegetarian.

Simple Taco Soup
(modified from

  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 can (16 ounces) mild chili beans, undrained
  • 1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (15-1/4 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces) diced tomato 
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, optional
  • Optional: 1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
  • Optional: 1 pound ground meat
  • In a pot, cook meat over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add taco seasoning and mix well. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Yield: 6-8 servings (about 2 quarts).

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Health - Provident Living on the Mormon Channel

I just listened to this:

on the Mormon Channel.  I have to listen to this episode again to be sure, but I really think I agree with everything they said! That is pretty amazing when it comes to people talking about health.

Seriously, you'll want to listen to it too! It's so awesome! I have some serious goals for sleeping better (going to bed before 10:00pm), de-stressing and not over working (more yoga, relaxation and moderate exercise), writing down what I am thankful for every day, and drinking more water (paying attention and drinking some whenever I am thirsty).

I am thankful for the good that technology can bring into my life if I use it the right way. I am thankful for the people who work so hard to give us helpful things to listen to on the Mormon Channel. I am thankful for my calling in my ward as Provident Living Specialist.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Nutty for No-Bake Energy Bites!

So, our friends/neighbors, Beth and Bob Winder introduced us to No-Bake Energy Bites. I am sorry to say that it has taken me this long to try and make them, and they are so easy and delicious! I looked them up on line and found a million recipes for them. They are very versatile. This is my rendition of them.

Taking care of John all day and working often as well makes me hard pressed to have time to eat 7 meals a day, Usually I try to fit in 4, 3 is not enough. But when I am in between meals, I often just need a boost. Something that is not full of high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, oil and preservatives...Something healthy and filling and hearty with a whole bunch of calories. This is an excellent answer! Just don't eat too many! - Good luck with that.

No-Bake Energy Bites

- 1/3 Honey or Agave
- 2/3 - 3/4 c. natural nut butter (peanut, almond, etc.)
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 c. oats
- 1/2 c. ground flax seed
- 1 c. unsweetened coconut
- 1/3 c. vegan mini-chocolate chips
- 1/4 c. finely chopped raw nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc.)
- 1/8-1-4 c.ground chia seeds
- 1/4 c. raisins or craisins
- 2 TB. sunflower seeds
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1. Add all the gooey ingredients and stir.
2. Add all the rest and stir until mixed.
3. Chill in fridge for 30 min.(if you can wait that long!)
4. Roll into balls and enjoy!
5. Place in a tupperware in layers separated with parchment paper.
6. Store in the freezer.

- As long as you have oats, honey/agave, vanilla, flax and nut butter, basically all the other ingredients can be switched out with other ones. Be creative!
- If adding more dry ingredients, add more nut butter 1 TB at a time.
- Instead of chocolate chips, use a Tablespoon of cocoa powder.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Shaker Square Farmer's Market

Today we had such a fun family outing! We went, for the first time (that is tragic since we've been here 5 years!), to Shaker Square Farmer's Market. It was everything I had hoped and more! It is from 8:00am-12:00pm every Saturday. They even go indoors in the winter and sell meat (that has been free-range and humanely grown) and eggs, syrup, honey, bread, and whatever produce they have available.

We bought tomatoes (ours aren't ripe yet because we planted late), romaine, green and red lettuce, a leek, 2 beautiful bunches of kale, cauliflower, cucumber (ours will be ready in a week though! I'm excited!), corn, green beans, whole wheat pita bread, and apples. All food we normally buy that is over priced and not very flavorful. I loved it!
-And it's great that you can buy small amounts or large amounts of whatever you want.
-And it's fun to see all the people there doing their part to help their bodies, local farming and the earth in general.
-Going to the farmer's market helped me feel less pressure to grow more things in my already overwhelming garden this year, because they have it all there!
I was so sad we bought a whole bunch of onions at Dave's last week...not next time! The onions were gorgeous at the farmer's market.
-And I'm not the best organic gardener yet. These people are experts!
-And the produce hasn't been covered in nasty wax (to preserve it for shipping and sitting in the grocery store) that we have to work so hard to get off.
-We used to do City Fresh - a co-op where you pay the week before and go pick up the produce they have available once a week. The problem is, we would always get so much kohl-rabi, bok-choy, and banana peppers. I did not know what on earth to do with these things! I have since learned that City Fresh gets their produce from what the Farmer's Market on Saturday couldn't sell. No wonder! I prefer choosing my own that the farmer's market. Yay! (But City Fresh is still better than eating romaine lettuce from LA, California that has come all the way across the country and is already turning bad...)

Here are the links to find out more about our Market.
Shaker Square Farmer's Market
What's In Season in Ohio
Farmer's Market Recipes
10 Reasons to Eat Local
  1. Fresh Flavors and Taste - the produce is even better than whole foods! We at some lettuce, tomato and leeks that we bought today, and it was like I had never tasted these delicious foods before!
  2. Healthy Lifestyle
  3. "Just Picked" Nutrient-Dense Produce - this food has not been shipped all the way across the country, or the world!, to get to us. It was grown right here near us. And so much of it is organic! And it's less money than whole foods even! We filled our fridge, and only spent $40.
  4. Local bakers, food purveyors, and artists
  5. Support small farms - I would much rather put money in their pockets than the huge companies that are promoting the ruin the environment.
  6. Fresh pesticide-free flowers
  7. Seasonal eating* - One of my goals is to eat more food in season. It is much more natural and healthy.
  8. Connecting with your farmer, the source of your food - it was cool to see the people who grew these things, and to see the pride they take in their product. 
  9. Local acclimatized nursery plants
  10. Pasture-raised eggs and meat - If we do eat meat, I would much rather buy it from these people who care for their animals. And you know that it's fresh and healthy, and didn't sit on a truck for days, or in a fridge for weeks or months.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a health code called, The Word of Wisdom in one of our scriptures called the Doctrine and Covenants. It helps us know what we should not put in our bodies, and I've found that people usually emphasize that part. But there is so much more to be learned from the Word of Wisdom about what we should put in our bodies.
10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome aherbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—
 11 Every herb in the season thereof*, and every fruit in the season thereof*; all these to be used with aprudence and bthanksgiving.
 12 Yea, aflesh also of bbeasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used csparingly;
 13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be aused, only in times of winter, or of cold, or bfamine.
 14 All agrain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;
 15 And athese hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.
 16 All grain is good for the afood of man; as also the bfruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground—

And if we do all these things, the Lord gives us marvelous promises: 
 18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, ashall receive bhealth in their navel and marrow to their bones;
 19 And shall afind bwisdom and great ctreasures of dknowledge, even hidden treasures;
 20 And shall arun and not be bweary, and shall walk and not faint.
 21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the adestroying angel shall bpass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.

And I could sure use these blessings! Couldn't we all? 
I believe in farmer's markets. And this awesome farmer's market at Shaker Square is going to become part of our Saturday Routine. We will buy whatever we can that we need there, and only buy the rest at other stores. 
Find a farmer's market near you!