Peanut [Flour] Butter Waffles (Single Lady Series)


Peanut butter. The most amazing and most delicious thing on earth. I’m being serious here… I have a slight obsession with peanut butter. I did when I was little too. When I wanted a snack, little me preferred what my mother and I called “peanut butter blobs”. Yes, my mom would give me a (smallish) bowl of peanut butter and a spoon. Little me was awesome! However, adult me knows that it’s not acceptable to eat a blob of peanut butter. This is where peanut flour comes in. It’s made from peanut left-overs after the peanut oil has been extracted. It’s basically lower calorie, lower fat peanut butter. Notice I’m not saying “fat free”. You still receive the benefits of the healthy fat from the peanuts, just not loads and loads of it. You just mix it with liquid (I prefer to make it with unsweetened almond milk) and you’ve got smooth creamy peanut butter. Adult me is also not a heathen, so instead of eating peanut butter blobs I made peanut flour waffles! Every Saturday morning Coco and I have waffles. It’s our thing, our tradition…. it’s been going on for the last five years. I look forward to Saturday for this reason. To make waffles, and wake up slow and easy with my sweet puppy and not have to go to work. Saturdays are the best, kind of like peanut butter.

 

 This is a single serving recipe as part of my ongoing Single Lady Series. These waffles are protein packed (I use Protein Plus Peanut Flour), GF, DF, and as always SF!

 

 

Peanut Butter Waffles

 

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup peanut flour
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg whites
  • 3-4 T stevia/erythritol mix
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1T vanilla
  • approximately 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

What you do:

  1. Heat waffle iron
  2. Mix all of the dry ingredients together
  3. Add the egg whites and vanilla, mix together lightly whipping the egg whites (you want fluffy waffles!!)
  4. Slowly add the almond milk until the batter creates a ribbon when you lift the spoon (you may need more or less)
  5. Once the waffle iron is hot grease it, add half of the batter to the middle and push it out to the side with the back of the spoon – this is the important part NO PEEKING! If you peek, you will ruin your waffle and it will be a sticky nasty mess, and no one likes a sticky nasty mess on a perfect Saturday.
  6. Repeat the pour, no peek process for the second waffle.
  7. Top with whatever your heart desires: fresh fruit, yogurt, maple syrup (I’ll be showing you how to make your own SF version soon!), or like I did this time with NSA apricot preserves

 

Yoga in the comfort of your living room (or bedroom, kitchen, whatever)


Hey guys! Okay, okay I know that not everyone has time to make it to yoga class. It just doesn’t fit everyone’s schedule. But EVERYONE should take the time to tune into their bodies and calm their mind. This is my stress relief, this is how I cope. Of course everyone has their own stress regime – I just prefer yoga as it helps my mind and helps my body recover from training.

This video is from Sara Beth’s yoga channel on YouTube. I’ve recently discovered her, and I really like her style of teaching and her pose flows. I highly recommend checking her out!

Green Chili Smothered Chicken & Homesickness


As we know, I have relocated. I have left behind my beloved New Mexico, my chilies, my mountains, my culture. I find myself deep in the heart of Texas, and there I am lost. One would think that the culture wouldn’t be that different, but it is. New Mexico has a cool and calm lifestyle. It’s laid back and everyday is taken in stride. Here, here is fast. Fast and rude and pushy. People don’t hold doors or say thank you. I’ve experienced so many instances in the past six months of people behaving just plain badly. My new job (I won’t call this a career) revolves around customer service. My job is to make sure that our customers are happy and their needs are met. I speak to people from all over the country (and internationally on occasion), and for the most part they are rude. Rude and nasty. If their package is lost by USPS they scream at me. Of course it’s not my fault, or even in any way the company’s. There are times I want to ask them if that’s how their mother raised them? To be accusing and mean? I highly doubt that’s what their mother intended! There are , of course, several states and areas that are more rude than others – New Mexico not included. :) Why am I sharing this with you? There is a reason, and a lesson to be learned here: be kind. No matter the situation, just be kind. Hold doors, say thank you and remember that everyone is fighting a battle that you know nothing about.

Getting to the point here, I’m homesick. I miss waking up and smelling the green chilies roasting. I miss looking east to the mountains, and watching the afternoon rain clouds build up over them. I miss the mountain trails and the horses. Oh, how I miss the horses! I even miss the smell of manure. Being homesick, and thinking of New Mexico made me want some classic cooking. I did, as usually, want something equally healthy as it was delicious. I’m currently detoxing from carbohydrates for a few weeks – I recently was in a very damp area and felt like I might be at risk for a fungal infection. Anyway, this put enchiladas or chili out of the question (darn!). So, in a moment of desperation, this recipe was born (as most are). I’m sure it has been thought up and executed before, but this is my rendition of Green Chili Smothered Chicken. All the oozey goodness of a cream cheese enchilada baked to bubbly perfection atop budget friendly chicken breasts.

 

Green Chili Smothered Chicken

Serves 4

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What you need:

  • 8oz (about two) boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced thinly in half and pounded thin
  • 4 oz can green chilies
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt/cream cheese mixture (I get this at Aldi’s!) *
  • 1 cup 2% Mexican cheese blend
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  2. Combine the cream cheese with the green chilies and mix well to combine
  3. Once you’ve sliced and pounded your chicken, season both sides with salt and pepper
  4. Liberally grease a baking a dish with FOC (I used olive oil)
  5. Place the chicken breasts in the greased dish and cover them evening with the green chili/cream cheese mixture
  6. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 – 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the chicken from the oven (check to make sure it is no longer pink in the middle or use a thermometer if you choose), sprinkle the chicken evenly with cheese and allow to melt before serving

*If you can’t find the Greek yogurt/cream cheese mixture just mix equal parts unflavored Greek yogurt and cream cheese

Homemade Yogurt


Yogurt, oh yogurt, how I love you. I, however, do not love paying the high prices for yogurt at the grocery store. Thankfully it’s pretty simple and easy to make yourself. You don’t even necessarily need any special equipment or tools. All you really need is some good, wholesome milk and a live active cultured yogurt to start it (or a yogurt culture if you want to be fancy). I’ll clue you in on how I did it!

I used:

8 cups non-fat, organic milk

1/4 cup 0%   Greek yogurt

That’s it!

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Method:

  1. Heat the milk in a large stock pot or sauce pan. If your milk is already at room temperature, it won’t take near as long as it will if your milk is cold. Bring it to a boil (scald the milk for all of you kitchen-savvy friends), but don’t let it burn! It’s helpful to whisk or stir the milk while it heats to prevent it from burning on the bottom – burnt milk is so gross.

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  1. Once the milk begins to boil, remove from heat source. Walk away, read some blogs, do some yoga, dance around the kitchen for awhile.
  2. If you happen to have a kitchen or yogurt thermometer, the milk is ready once it is at 108 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have one, just touch the side of the pot. Once you can hold your finger to the side of the pot without burning (please be careful doing this!) photo 3
  3. At this point, add your cultured yogurt and whisk to combine.
  4. I happen to have a Yogotherm – which acts like a thermos to keep the milk at a warm temperature while it ferments. If you don’t happen to have one of these amazing little devices, turn your crockpot on the lowest setting (preferably before you start this process) and pour the milk/yogurt mixture in there. Walk away. If you happen to do this in the evening just let it ferment overnight. I allow mine to sit on the counter in the Yogotherm for about 12-20 hours (big window, I know, sometimes I forget about it). When you wake up in the morning, you’ll have glorious, amazing, delicious yogurt!

Notes:

This will create a slightly runny, tangy yogurt. If you would like to thicken it to be more like plain store-bought yogurt you can add some powdered milk until you reach the consistency you prefer. If you would like to make this yogurt Greek-style, you can pour it in a muslin bag hanging over a bowl to collect the draining whey. Once the whey has drained you’ll have a thick, wonderful Greek yogurt. Save the whey and use it in place of buttermilk for bread :).

 

Parmesan Pork Chops


Pork chops are like that friend you have that you only hang out with every now and then. You always forget about them, and when you do remember to call them you think “oh this is going to be awesome!” and it never is.

That’s how I usually feel about pork chops. I always think, this is going to be so good and I take photos and then I say “meh I’m full so I guess it served it’s purpose” and I never post that recipe. However, I made these parmesan pork chops, and POW! I’m definitely making this again, and I’m about 95% sure that it would pass the boyfriend test as well.

And it’s taking forever to post this because I’m currently watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix. Dear God, this show is hilarious… and addictive. And distracting. Seriously, I’ve been typing this paragraph for about twenty minutes. If you haven’t already watched this show, start now and avoid all of your responsibilities and procrastinate as much as possible.

Okay, okay on to these life-changing pork chops…

Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops
Serves 2

Ingredients
2 center-cut pork chops, sliced thinly lengthwise
1.5 T shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup oats, course ground to breadcrumb consistency (I used a coffee grinder on the course setting)
1 T liquid egg whites
pinch salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika

Method
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Process the oats to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Combine the cheese, oats, and seasoning in a shallow dish. Brush the pork chops with the egg whites. Dip the chops in the oat/cheese mixture to coat and place on the baking sheet.

Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, carefully flipping at 10 minutes. Enjoy your crispy, awesome pork chops and relish over the fact that you “didn’t like pork chops” 20 minutes prior.

Now go watch Parks and Rec.

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Puppy Parmesan- Pumpkin Softie Treats


Here’s a great recipe for homemade, soft and chewy dog treats. The recipe doesn’t make a huge batch, which is great since they don’t contain any preservatives. You could in theory double the recipe and store the extras either in the freezer or the fridge after they cool.

    Doggie Parmesan-Pumpkin Softies

Ingredients

1 cup pumpkin puree (either canned or homemade)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup millet flour (or other GF/WF flour of choice, as most doggies can’t digest wheat)

Method

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and spread the mixture out about 1/4 inch thick on the lined baking sheet. Using a pizza cutter, make a grid on the spread out dough (like you would if you were making crackers).

Bake for 20 mins at 350 degrees. Carefully flip the cookies and bake another 20 minutes.

Allow to cool before giving them to your sweet baby.

Adapted from this recipe.

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Grinding Flour Yourself: Save Money, and Your Health?


Have you ever had pancakes from freshly milled flour? (whether gluten-free flour or not) It’s divine. Also, it’s much more nutritious for your body. How can this be when its exactly the same grain in the store bought bagged flour? Unless you’re purchasing flour from the freezer section of your grocery store (which I highly doubt) then it’s entirely different.

Commercial flour has to be able to last through packaging, distribution, and sitting on a shelf until the ultimate consumer (A.K.A. you) purchases it and takes it home to sit in pantry until it’s used. I don’t know about you, but something with that long of a shelf-life without any kind of refrigeration or preservative measures rubs me the wrong way. How is it able to to sit on a shelf and not go rancid if it is indeed “whole grain”. It’s simple, the flour you purchase is not whole grain. In order to make flours last on the shelf and in your pantry the bran and germ must be removed, and if they aren’t removed they go rancid quickly after milling and the nutrient qualities deteriorate.

I’m sure you’ve seen online that you can purchase whole (intact) grains in bulk for reasonable prices. And I’m sure you’ve said to yourself “but what do I do with whole spelt berries?” (or whatever grain you happen to be looking at). You grind them into flour silly-pants!!

The Benefits:

Save money!

Freshly (self) milled flour contains the entire grain including the vitamin and fiber rich bran and the germ, which is chock full of healthy oils and vitamins

You can make it when you need it, no store trip at 9:00 PM when you want to make blondies and suddenly realize you only have 1/8 of a cup of flour.

You know what you’re getting. If you have allergies or intolerances to certain grains or seeds that are commonly produced in flour mills, you need not worry about cross-contamination!

Do you need a flour mill? Not necessarily, you can use a coffee or spice mill for very small amounts of flour or a food processor in some cases. My mom (of course) has a Nutrimill, which is where I get most of my flour from, I just freeze all of the flour until I’m ready to use it to preserve the germ and nutrient. (which you should do with all of your whole grains, including your brown rice and quinoa… if you’re not it’s time to start)

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Freshly ground corn meal in the Nutrimill

Homemade Lavender Chamomile Night Cream


As you all know, I don’t like to put artificial scary things in OR on my body. Your skin is actually an organ, yes an organ. This means that your skin absorbs and metabolizes whatever it is exposed to. Now if that doesn’t make you think twice about putting preservatives and petroleum jelly on your skin, I don’t know what will! If you’d like to read more about the harmful effects of petrochemicals and what to look for in beauty and personal care products here is a great article:

http://www.naturalpureorganics.com/petrochemicals.htm

Ok, now onto the good stuff. I wanted a super moisturizing and relaxing night cream for my super dry skin and tight muscles. Simply, I need to relax more. As I have mentioned before, my mother makes homemade lotions, soaps, and various other beauty and personal hygiene product regularly. So we had all the supplies necessary for making this cream, but they can easily be found in a health-food store or online.

One of my favorite naturalist blogs has a recipe of a cream that sounded like it was right up my alley. Dreamy, moisturizing, relaxation goodness. We followed the recipe word for word and it turned out fabulous! Go check out the recipe and try it for yourself from Claire at Everyday Roots!

everydayroots.com/how-to-make-homemade-lotion

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Quick and Easy Chicken Curry and Homemade Faux-Sourdough Buckwheat Naan


Okay so it’s 5000000 degrees outside. All week I’ve consumed nothing but cold salads and bowls of yogurt with fresh fruit and raw nuts just because it’s too hot to turn on the oven or to put forth any culinary effort. I’m craving solid, hot, real, homemade food. So why not heat things up a bit with some curry? Let’s go from one extreme to the next shall we?

I picked up some yellow curry simmer sauce at TJ’s this past week. I’ve been dying to use it, my first instinct was to poach eggs in it. Which I’m still planning on doing – when I can stand the heat to make breakfast in the morning. Regardless, I had some chicken tenders thawed which are the perfect venue for yellow curry. This simmer sauce from TJ’s was perfect for my taste – not too too spicy. We all know I love my spicy Mexican food and even most Asian chilies are right up my alley – curry however, is a whole ‘nother animal. If you tend to like your curry less… mild, you’ll want to spice up this sauce. If not, your golden.

Curry in my opinion, especially a nice thick and saucy curry like this one requries something to sop it up. You could put this curry over steamed brown rice or quinoa (yummmmm) or make this super quick and gluten-free (starch free, egg free, soy free, grain free) Naan.

So here we go, as Julia Child said gather your ingredients….

Quick and Easy Chicken Curry
Serves 4
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Ingredients:
1 Lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
3-4 medium sized zucchini squash, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 jar Trader Joes (or whatever brand you prefer or homemade ~ 2.5 – 3 cups)
1/2 white onion finely chopped

Method
Place everything in a large heavy non-stick skillet.
Cover and simmer about 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked, the vegetables are tender, and the sauce is super thick and delicious.

*I did not add water to mine as the jar of sauce suggested, this is because the zucchini squash release water when heated, if you add water you will have a runnier sauce.

Faux-Sourdough Buckwheat Naan
Serves 4
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Ingredients
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup nonfat greek yogurt
2 T yeast (yes, 2 T. Don’t doubt me)
1 t baking powder
1/2 t sea salt
(feel free to add any herbs or spices you desire)
2-3 T unsweetened almond milk (or water)

Method
Mix all ingredients together, approximately 10 minutes before you start the rest of your meal. Allow to combine and “rise” between 30 and 45 minutes.
Heat some olive oil over medium low heat.
The dough will be super sticky and hard to work with, I used a spatula to scoop it out into four even (ish) wads straight into the pan. Spread it out flat in the pan and allow to cook 5-6 mins on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Enjoy with curry, as personal pizza crusts, as a grilled cheese….. however you delight :)

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Battling a Cold…..


One thing that people always ask me about is what to do for a cold. They want to know what to take, eat, drink, and do to alleviate symptoms and speed up their recovery. From a holistic standpoint I advise to stead clear from over the counter medicines, as they are full of man-made chemicals and junk like high fructose corn syrup… Yuck. Instead I look to what God gave us for healing. Nutritious food and herbs generally do the trick for me.

I’m down with a cold right now for instance and I’ve been taking elderberry extract to kill the bug and increasing my vitamin C and zinc consumption in my meals. Also, tea is one of the most powerful medicines we have. Drinking echinacea tea helps alleviate the symptoms of the cold and dandelion tea assists your liver in filtering out the toxins created by your immune system battling the virus.

As for food go for lean proteins, especially wild caught salmon and tuna as the high omega levels will assist your immune system. Beans and legumes are an excellent source of potassium and zinc, especially when paired with a whole grain like brown rice ( which creates a complete amino acid profile as well ). You should also take in a good amount of fresh veggies and some fruit. (limit fruit if you have a candida issue like me) Spices like garlic, ginger, and turmeric also aid your immune system.

A good rule of thumb is it stick with anti-inflammatory foods. I will be talking more about those foods in my next health post.