Saturday, December 31, 2011

Canned goods and BPA

"According to Consumer Reports, however, a 165-pound adult who ate one serving of canned green beans would exceed by about 80 times what the magazine's experts considered an acceptable daily amount of BPA. Children who ate multiple daily servings of foods found to have high levels of BPA would approach levels found to have done harm in animals, the report said. ""


BPA free tomatoes:

other canned goods:

Grandma's Spaghetti Meat Sauce

My grandmother is a phenomenal cook, always delicious and tasty. So I tweaked her spaghetti recipe a bit to clean it up! Enjoy!

1 lb grass fed ground beef
1 small onion
3-4 cloves garlic
1/2 bell pepper
1 can organic tomato paste
2-3 cans organic stewed (or diced) tomatoes
12-15 fresh basil leaves, torn
3-4 tsp fresh oregano leaves
1 tsp fresh parsley
red and black pepper
1 Tbsp sugar (optional)

1. Brown ground beef.
2. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper and seasonings to taste. Saute until vegetables are soft.
3. Add tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. Next add stewed or diced tomatoes.
4. Add enough water to cover the meat and simmer until done. The longer it cooks, the more delicious, Granny says!
5. Serve over cooked spaghetti. Top with parmesan cheese if desired.

Caveat: Granny's original recipe calls for 1 can Stewed tomatoes. I use a combination of stewed and diced, simply because it is easier for my little ones to eat diced than for me to cut up the stewed ones. Also, I add more tomatoes and use less meat than the original, which also calls for 2 lbs ground beef. No matter what, this is delicious.

*To have gluten free spaghetti, make sure to find a pasta substitute!! Or use spaghetti squash!

Spinach and Orange Salad

1/4 c EVOO organic
1/4 c white vinegar
2 tbsp organic sugar or stevia
1 tbsp parsley
Dash pepper

1/4 to 1/2 c crushed pecans
1 bunch organic spinach, torn
4 c organic lettuce (optional)
1/2 c chopped celery
1/2 c chopped green onions
3 satsumas or other mandarin type oranges

1. Combine dressing ingredients, shake well. Refrigerate 1 hour to blend flavors
2. In large bowl combine salad ingredients. Pour dressing over salad.

Many thanks to my mom and dad! We are LOVING those fresh satsumas, grown in their back yard! Delicious and the perfect snack too--easy to peel.

*caveat: some people with gluten intolerance react strongly to vinegar. This is worth looking into before trying this recipe if you are highly sensitive!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Morrocan Braised Beef

Just got The Best of Clean Eating 2 for Christmas, and this was my first recipe that I tweaked from it....and it was AWESOME!

Word on Bart's picks: I find my husband to be somewhat of a food connoisseur, and a picky eater :) . So when he loves something, I am thrilled!! He LOVED this and said that it might be the best thing he has ever eaten. Now I won't go that far, but it was very good!

1 small orange, zested and juiced
1 lb organic beef stew meat
sea salt and black pepper to taste
olive or coconut oil
1/2 med onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tomato, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste3 cups low sodium, free range organic chicken broth
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
12 dried plums
1 cup cous cous
handful of green onions or scallions

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cut beef into 1 inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste (approx 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper). In large, oven proof pot with lid, heat 2 tsp oil. Add as much beef as you can without crowding pot. Brown beef on both sides. Transfer to plate and repeat till all beef browned.
3. Once beef removed from pot, add onion and garlic. Cook to tender, about 5 min. Add cumin, paprika, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne. Stir and cook for 2 min. Add tomato and tomato paste, cook for two more min.
4. Add 2 cups broth and orange zest and juice. Bring to simmer, then add beef and any juices. As soon as liquid returns to simmer, cover and transfer to oven; cook for 45 min.
5. Remove pot and add remaining 1 cup broth, carrots, parsnips. Cover and return to oven for 25 min.
6. Remove pot and add plums. Return to oven and cook for 15-20 more min. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
7. About 15 min before beef is done, bring 1 cup of water and 1/4 tsp salt to boil. Stir in cous cous, cover, remove from heat and set aside for 5-10 min.
8. Top cous cous with beef mixture and scallions. Serve and DELIGHT in it!!

Caveat: original recipe also called for turnips, which would be tasty! Also, check your prunes and your seasonings if you are gluten intolerant!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Icing: Vegan and Eat Clean!

We made this yummy cake to celebrate Christmas!! Happy Birthday Jesus!


1 c unbleached flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 c sugar
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
6 Tbsp coconut oil
1 cup water


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Stir all ingredients into 8x8 cake pan.
3. Bake for 35 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
4. Cool and frost!

2 cups organic powdered sugar
1/4 c soy based butter or margarine (I use Earth Balance)
1/4 c almond or coconut milk
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla


1. In a medium/large mixing bowl, cream powdered sugar and butter until thick but well combined, using electric mixer.
2. Add milk, cocoa, vanilla and continue until smooth.
3. Frost that yummy cake and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Non-toxic living

Ran across this website, Our Little Place, on my search for non-toxic feminine products. So not at all food related, but has great tips for everything related to decreasing the chemicals and toxins in your home and environment. GREAT TIPS!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Quinoa with Carmelized Red Onion, Bell Pepper, and Garlic


1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 red ionion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced fine
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of quinoa
parsley (to garnish, optional)
salt and fresh black pepper

1. Soak quinoa for 5-20 min prior to cooking. Drain in fine sieve. Prepare according to package instructions.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and bell peppers. Cook for 10-12 min or until vegetables are tender and golden brown.
3. Once browned, remove onions and bell pepper from heat. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
4. Combine with cooked quinoa and mix thoroughly. Season to taste.

WE served this with Chicken Rioja and LOVED it!

Garlicky Spinach

Again, this recipe is from Clean Eating Magazine!

1/2 onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp olive or coconut oil
1 bunch spinach, organic
1/2 c packed basil leaves, shredded fine
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in a large pan over med-high heat. Saute garlic and onion for about 5 min until onions at desired texture. Then add spinach, basil and salt and black pepper and toss for 2 minutes until spinach is wilted.

Serve with Chicken Rioja and Quinoa.

Chicken Rioja

LOVE this recipe. It is not an original. I picked this recipe up from Clean Eating Magazine, and it has been a family favorite, so I HAD to share!

2 Large red bell peppers
4 chicken breasts
2 tsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450. Place red peppers on baking sheet and roast for 20 mins, turning once. Some of the skin should turn black. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool about 5 min
2. Place chicken on another baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and bake for about 15 min.
3. Meanwhile, peel and seed red pepper. Puree with the vinegar in food processor until smooth.

Serve with Garlicky Spinach and/or Quinoa with Carmelized Red Onion, Bell Pepper and Garlic. Also, if you are gluten free, check the red wine vinegar. Additionally, some gluten intolerance folks seem to react to vinegar.

Thai-style Tilapia

4 fresh tilapia filets
5 cloves garlic
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 red bell pepper, julienned
3 Tbsp cilantro, coarsely chopped
handful green onions
1/4 c olive oil
1 lime, juiced
2 Tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)
1 tsp ground coriander
salt and red pepper to taste
parsley garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Place tilapia in lightly greased pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, coriander, garlic, ginger, cilantro, green onions.
3. In a small bowl, combine liquids (olive oil, lime juice, fish sauce). Pour evenly over fish. Lay red bell pepper on top.
4. Bake for 12-15 mins, until fish flakes easily with a fork.

We served this with Shrimp and Coconut soup and basmati rice.

Thai Shrimp and Coconut Soup

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth (organic)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp grated lime rind
4 tsp lemongrass
2 inch piece of ginger root, fresh, peeled and finely sliced
1 can coconut milk
8 Tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)
3 tsp light brown sugar
6 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 lb medium shrimp
1/2 lb or one large container shiitake or white mushrooms
salt to taste

1. Combine in large stock pot: broth, onion, garlic, black pepper, lemongrass, lime rid, and ginger root. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer. Simmer until onions are nearly cooked, about 15 min.
2 While simmering, add coconut milk, nam pla, sugar, and lime juice. Stir well. Let flavors merge, about 10 min.
3. Now, here's your choice. You can either strain the soup or puree and discard the large spices. I pureed but I think next time I will just strain it, and perhaps add in a bit more nam pla and lemongrass.
4. Place liquid back over heat, and add mushrooms. Bring to low boil, simmer mushrooms in soup for 5 min.
5. Add shrimp to soup. Continue low boil for about 2 additional minutes. Season to taste

Caveat: tastes good garnished with green onions and red pepper flakes. Also I served with Thai-style tilapia and basmati rice. Also, fish sauce/nam pla is not always gluten/wheat free! Make sure to check your labels if this is part of your diet!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

1 lb organic dried red beans, rinsed (or pinto beans)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper, freshly ground black
pinch cayenne
3 bay leaves
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp thyme
1 lb smoked sausage, cut into 1" pieces
free range, low sodium chicken broth, and/or water (enough to cover beans in pot)
4 cups cooked rice (can use brown or white or basmati: brown is healthiest, rice is the traditional fare, basmati is in the middle--tastes more like white, but healthier though not as healthy as brown)


1. OPTIONAL: place beans in large pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight.
2. In large pot, add 1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil and brown sausage for about 5 min. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne and saute until veggies are soft.
3. Add the bay leaves, parsley, and thyme. Cook about 1 min.
4. Add the beans and stock/water. Put just enough liquid to cover beans plus about an inch. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally until all beans are tender and starting to thicken (about 2 hours). If beans should become too thick and dry, add more water, about 1/4 c at a time.
5. Remove from heat and with the back of a heavy spoon mash some of the beans against the side of the pot. Continue to cook until tender and creamy, about 15 more minutes.
6. Remove from heat and remove bay leaves. Serve over rice.

Caveat(s): our sausage is from Louisiana, made fresh from fresh wild venison and pork. It is then smoked to give that rich smokey LA flavor...I have never made red beans and rice without this fresh, flavorful, non-processed, non-fatty sausage. If you are attempting this without it, try to find a healthy sausage that has a smokey flavor, otherwise the recipe with not quite taste "Louisiana authentic"

Check your seasonings and sausage if you are gluten free!

Additionally, I know it is always recommended to soak your dried beans. I do sometimes :) However, I have found that you can make this recipe without soaking them. Just may have to cook longer. SO if you decide at the last minute to make this recipe, don't fret. You'll be fine! Additionally, you can make this with 4 cans of organic red beans, although I find it more flavorful (and more nutritious) with dried beans.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mexican Rice

4 cups cooked brown rice
1 bunch green onions, chopped fine
1/3 cup pitted black olives, chopped
green chili peppers, chopped (confession: I used 2 canned)
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 can black beans, rinsed

Tomato puree:
2-3 red tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
1/2 tsp cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 350. Make tomato puree by adding all ingredients and pureeing in blender.
2. Combine all ingredients into large pan. Mix well, and bake for approximately 30 min.

Caveat: a great side dish for any mexican meal! For non-vegans or those with no allergy to dairy, Monterey Jack cheese would be the appropriate choice as a topping!

Suffed Poblano Peppers (with pecans and raisins)

5-6 poblano peppers, top removed, de-seeded, and roasted (see below)
1 lb fresh organic ground beef
1 1/2 c crushed pecans
1 c raisins
5 cloves garlic
handful green onions
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg
dash allspice

1. To roast peppers: once they have been cleaned, top removed, and de-seeded, place over gas fire on stove and roast (turning frequently) until skin begins to blister SLIGHTLY. For best results do one at a time.
2. Preheat oven to 350.
3. In large pot over medium heat, combine all ingredients except peppers. Cook until meat is brown and cooked thoroughly.
4. Stuff poblanos with this mix. Place in greased pan (can lay side down) and bake for 20-30 minutes.

Caveat: some prefer to slice the side and stuff that way. Others like to add cheese, if not allergic.

Baked Pita Strips

eat clean whole wheat pitas

1. Preheat oven to 350. Cut pita into strips, allowing to two sides to separate.
2. Place on baking sheet (cooking spray or oiled optional)
3. Bake for 10 minutes until crisp.

Caveat: can serve on various salads to replace croutons. Can also put various seasonings (salt, cracked black pepper, garlic, etc) into olive oil and brush on before baking!

Avocado Salad

2 containers cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 cartons fresh mozzarella cheese pearls, drained (optional for those with dairy allergies or vegan diet)
5 avocados, peeled and diced
1/2 c basil, chopped
4 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped fine
2-3 lemons, juiced
1/3 c olive oil
salt and pepper
baked pita strips (optional)


1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except avocado and baked pita strips. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
2. Just before serving, stir in chopped avocados (to prevent browning). Serve with pita strips on top.

*caveat: omit pita strips or use a gluten free option if you avoid gluten!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

(Baked) Lemon Garlic Chicken Kabobs

This recipe is adapted from: One Perfect Bite and is WONDERFUL!! A definite favorite!

2/3 c EV olive oil
zest 1 lemon
3 Tbsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
3 tsp sea salt, plus more, to taste
1 tsp fresh group pepper, plus more to taste (and/or lemon pepper)
4-6 organic chicken breasts

1/2 c EV olive oil
juice 1 lemon
1 large red onion, cut into 1" chunks
2 red bell pepper, cut into 1" chunks

1. Chicken- In bowl, whisk oil, zest, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Add chicken. Stir. Cover bowl and refrigerate to marinate 2-8 hours.
2. Soak cedar skewers for 20 min prior to cooking. Prepare grill, or preheat oven to 450.
3. In bowl, whisk 1/2 c EVOO, lemon juice, salt, pepper. Set aside.
4. Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinate. Thread chicken and veggies, alternating on skewers. (original recipe is to put on separate skewers; however, I like the mingling of tastes!)
5. Brush skewers with oil/lemon juice mix. Place in preheated oven. Bake at 450 for 15 min. Turn and cook for additional 15 min, or until chicken is cooked through.

I served with an organic cous cous quinoa dish by Good Food Made Simple

Caveat: this can be done on a grill; however, I recommend limited amounts of grilled meat. Meat and meat fat that come into contact with open flames synthesize highly carcinogenic hydrocarbons. Your body can deal with these hydrocarbons in moderation and if it is healthy; therefore, I say, err on the side of caution and limit grilled meats :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grandma's Black Eyed Peas


4 cups fresh, organic black eyed peas
1/2 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp coconut or olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat pot over med. Add oil.
2. Saute onion and garlic, until onion translucent. Add peas. Saute lightly a few minutes to a small change in color.
3. Add water to cover peas. Simmer on medium low for 30-40 minutes until desired softness. Salt and pepper to taste.

T-bone Steak

We just purchased some organic, grass fed beef from a local ranch...This was delicious! Thanks Paidom!


2 organic, grass fed Tbone steaks
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp coconut or olive oil
1 bunch of green onions
1/2 c red wine
2 cups beef stock
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper


1. Marinate meat at room temp for several hours in lemon, salt and pepper.
2. Brush skillet with oil. Pat steaks dry. Heat pan and cook steaks over med-high heat for about 7 min each side (for med-rare to med). Transfer to plate and store in oven.
3. Add oil and gently saute green onions.
4. Add wine and bring to rapid boil
5. Add stock. boil rapidly and reduce to about 2/3 c. Season to taste.
6. Transfer steaks to individual plates and spoon a little sauce over each.

Caveat: we served with grandma's black eyed peas and fresh bread rolls.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pumpkin pancakes


1/2 c almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 c flour
2 1/2 c water
1 c almond or coconut milk
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda


1. Combine 1/2 c. almond milk with tsp vinegar in a separate bowl. Allow to sit 5 min to curdle (making vegan buttermilk.)
2. Stir all remaining ingredients together, including additional 1 c. milk. Add "buttermilk" mix. Stir well until moist.
3. Allow to sit 5 min to rise, and lightly stir. Cook over medium heat, and serve with vegan butter, pure maple syrup,etc!

Pumpkin muffins


1 cup pumpkin (I used canned organic)
1/2 c almond milk
2 egg replacers (I use 1 Ener G egg replacer and 1 Tbsp flax 3 Tbsp water)
1/4 c coconut oil
1/4 c applesauce
1/4 c honey
1/4 c pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1 Tbsp baking powder


1. Preheat oven to 350 deg. Lightly oil a muffin pan.
2. In large bowl, mix all ingredients well. Beat until blended.
3. Pour batter into muffin pans, filling 2/3s full. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Voila!

Caveat: I had some leftover white icing from a cake I made the day before. Tasted DELICIOUS on these muffins!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bow-tie pasta with Mushroom and Spinach


12 oz dried farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 med onion, chopped
10 oz sliced portabello or other fresh mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups fresh spinach
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
1 tsp black pepper
salt to taste
2 tsp Parmesan cheese or cheese substitute (add to a finished plate, can be eliminated for vegan recipe)


1. Cook farfalle according to package directions. Drain well.
2 In large skillet, heat oil. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic and cook for approximately 5 min over med heat until mushrooms are nearly tender. Stir in spinach and seasoning. At this point you can continue to cook on very low heat for 1-2 min. What I like to do is turn the heat off and cover the pot and let the spinach wilt slightly. Stir in cooked pasta and toss to mix. You may also want to add a bit of olive oil (1/2 Tbsp?) if the mix is too dry.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Veggie Quesadillas


1 zucchini, sliced
1/2 yellow squash, sliced
1/4 c red onion, chopped
1 can organic black beans, rinsed
handful of spinach leaves
organic cooking spray
4-6 whole wheat tortillas
1 cup organic cheese
salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin to taste

1. In nonstick pan, saute vegetables in coconut oil, adding salt to taste. Meanwhile, in small pot, heat black beans with a few Tbsp water. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, chili to taste.
2. Remove veggies from pan.
3. In same pan, coat with cooking spray, add tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, vegetables, and beans. Cook until golden on both sides.

Pork Stir Fry


1-2 cups uncooked brown rice or jasmine rice
8 oz snap peas
1-2 cups broccolli
1 c sliced zucchini
1/3 c chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 lb organic pork, trimmed of fat and cup into 1/2" thick strips
1 Tbsp EVOO
3 tsp freshly ground ginger
1/4 c low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp honey and/or 2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 orange--zest and juice
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut meat and place in marinade of 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp orange juice, 1 tsp ground ginger, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Marinate 1 hour to overnight.
2. Cook rice according to package directions.
3. Fill medium pot halfway with water. Bring to boil. Add peas, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Heat coconut oil in sauce pan. Add pork and cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn over and for an additional 3-4 minutes.
5. Meanwhile in large bowl, combine orange juice, orange zest, ginger, soy sauce, salt, honey, brown sugar. Mix well and set aside.
6. Once pork is done, add zucchini, peas, broccolli, onions, garlic, bell peppers and steam over meat to preferred tenderness. Add orange juice mixture and cook on low for an additional 5 min to "set" the flavors. You may add the rice in or simply serve over the rice.

Thursday, December 1, 2011



1 1/2 c unbleached flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1tsp flax
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 c sugar or 1 c stevia
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/2 c coconut oil
1/2 c applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt. Pour in water, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix well until blended. Spread evenly into 9x13 pan.
3. Bake for 25 to 30 min until the top is no longer shiny. Cool before cutting!

Strawberry Muffins


1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c organic sugar
1/4 c agave nectar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp cocoa (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c almond milk
1/4 c coconut oil
1/4 c applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c strawberries


1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease muffin pan.
2.Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.
3. Gently stir in agave, milk, oil, applesauce, vanilla. Be careful not to over mix.
4. Fold in strawberries and pour into muffin tins.
5. Bake for 15-20 min. Enjoy!