Monday, December 7, 2009

Random Notes

The Azure order deadline is this Thursday for locals! The group is getting so big that we had to move our drop spot! We are now code number 525629 which is the parking lot of First Family Church's new building on SE Magazine.

I accidentally ordered unrefined coconut oil last month and it tastes like coconut! If you prefer a neutral flavor (like me!), I suggest the refined coconut oil. I'm trying Wilderness Naturals this month because I think it's cheaper.

On the Azure website, check "Specials" then "Produce" for this month's produce. Sometimes, you can find organic produce for cheaper than grocery store non-organic produce.

Irene,, has all kinds of meat and eggs that she delivers right to your house! We've been getting delicious eggs for a long time ($3/dozen), and this time, I got some boneless chicken breast too.

I highly recommend viewing "Food, Inc." We ordered it on Netflix, but I'm assuming it's in rental stores too. I'm not saying that I agree with absolutely everything on there, but it's eye-opening and it was fun to show my husband since he will never be interested in reading about this stuff! :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Basic Bread Recipe

I've made this several times since I last posted it. (I had just switched bread recipes.) I've simplified and adjusted it a little.

1 1/2 cups very hot water
1 cup cold almond milk (can use organic whole cow's milk)
3 eggs (optional)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1 T sea salt
6 - 7 1/4 cups freshly-milled flour
4 1/2 tsp. instant yeast

Combine water, milk, eggs, oil, honey, and salt. (Temperature should be just right for yeast.) Mix in yeast. Add flour to make a soft dough. Knead by hand or with mixer's dough hook until smooth and elastic (about 8 - 10 minutes). Shape into loaves and let rise until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped on top with fingernail. Makes 2 - 3 loaves.

This bread recipe is a little "stickier" than most, and I think it might be because of the eggs but I'm no expert. I like it better though because it stays moist for several days, whereas the recipes I used before dried out so quickly. My KitchenAid mixer has a dough hook, so I don't have to knead it by hand which might be difficult since it's sticky.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Best Gadget

If you've decided to try whole foods cooking, you may at first be overwhelmed by the number of "recommended" gadgets - especially if you read Nourishing Traditions like I did! It's a great book, and I agree with about 95% of it, but after I read it, I thought I had to buy 85 new things and make 300 recipes from scratch every week. In all of this, I don't want anyone to feel like a burden is being put on them. Listen for the Shepherd's voice. We can avoid legalism and be wise stewards of the home and family for which God is entrusting to our care.

We may spend more on equipment or higher-priced health food items. But we may also spend less on the processed food we used to buy. You may decide to make some sacrifices so that you can afford what you need...eating at home more, avoiding that Starbuck's stop, or packing lunches instead of picking something up. If Jesus is calling you to make changes, he will help you see what can be done to make the changes possible. He wouldn't ask you to do something and then make it impossible to do!

I got a little off-topic but maybe someone needed to hear the rambling! Anyway, my personal opinion is that the best gadget to improve your family's health is a grain mill. Most all meals contain grain of some type in them and if it's store-bought (with the exception of the Ezekiel brand), it's probably not healthy. You may be amazed at how far you can stretch a meal by adding a bread product like rolls, breads, or muffins.

You can take the bread recipe here and make it into a hundred different things, so that you can just get in the habit of making bread dough every day or every other day and you will find that you don't have to think so much before meals. I usually make the dough and use half of it for an everyday loaf (sandwiches, toast, etc.) and the other half for pizza dough or rolls or whatever. Pretty soon, it will be as mindless as brushing your teeth.

If you ever want to try mine, let me know. Homemade bread products are my family's favorite part about a whole foods diet!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Favorite Breakfast Foods

If you don't have a grain mill, you may want to try gluten-free flours. I'm not an expert in that area, but there are lots of bloggers out there who are!

Note: I have a special "Breakfast Syrup" container that is half syrup/half water so we can dunk our pancakes and waffles without consuming so much!

Pancakes & Waffles

2 1/4 cup freshly-milled wheat flour
1 T aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cup organic whole milk, almond milk, etc.
2 T raw honey
2 T olive oil or melted butter
2 eggs

Mix dry ingredients well. Put milk in small pan on stove to gently warm. Whisk in honey and oil, then eggs. Add to dry ingredients and mix briefly, until blended but still lumpy. Pour by the 1/3 cup onto electric skillet. Flip. Serve with organic butter and real maple syrup.

For Apple Pancakes (my fav!): Add 1 - 2 tsp cinnamon to dry ingredients. Core 2 small apples and dice small, shred, or put in mini food-processor to shred. Mix in at the end.

For Blueberry Pancakes: Stir in 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries at the end.

For Peach Pancakes: Add 1 - 2 tsp cinnamon to dry ingredients. Reduce honey to 2 tsp. Stir in drained can of peaches (diced) in their own juice at the end.

For Waffles: Double the recipe. It takes about 2 minutes, 35 seconds on my big waffle iron. I love to make these Saturday morning and then pop the leftovers in the toaster on Sunday for a quick, easy breakfast before church! You can add any of the above fruit options for waffles as well.

For Thin Pancakes or Crispy Waffles: Reduce flour to 2 cups and increase milk to 1 3/4 cup.


2 cups freshly-milled flour
4 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1 egg
3/4 cup organic whole milk, rice milk, etc.
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup olive oil or melted butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine flour and baking powder in large bowl. Whisk eggs, milk, honey, and oil. Add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Line 12 - 15 muffin cups and fill with batter. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

For Banana Muffins: Fold in 1 1/2 mashed ripe bananas and 1/2 tsp cinnamon until just blended at end.

For Berry Muffins: Fold in 1/2 cup berries at end.

For Carrot Muffins: Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon to dry ingredients and fold in 1 cup shredded carrots at end. (They're good and also go great with dinner! You can add 1/2 cup raisins too if you like.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Snack Ideas

Sweet Potato Fries

If you haven't tried these before, you may be surprised at how good they are! There's a lot of different ways to prepare them, but basically cut a sweet potato or so into strips (like fries) or rounds. Pour a little olive oil or melted butter into the center of a shallow pan. Toss the sweet potatoes in the oil or butter then spread out to a single layer. Sprinkle with sea salt and choice of spices. (Paprika is my current favorite. I also like Italian seasoning or just oregano.) Put in 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes or so, depending on how thick you cut them. If they are thin, you won't have to flip them in the middle. Salt again if needed and serve.


We buy bulk organic popcorn from Azure for cheap and then use a Whirly Pop with a little olive oil in the bottom to pop it. I suppose you could use a popcorn popper too. While it's popping, I melt a little butter in the microwave. When done, mix in butter and sea salt. For caramel corn, mix butter with raw honey or real maple syrup before mixing and reduce or omit salt.

Chips & Salsa or Hummus

Organic tortilla chips (check the oil used) aren't high on the healthy list, but they're not too bad if you find a good brand. You can find easy homeade salsa recipes online that used canned tomato products, garlic, lemon juice, cilantro, etc. or buy pre-made salsa (check ingredients). Hummus is also easy to make or you can buy it (check ingredients).

Azure Order Deadline on Thursday

The order deadline (if you're local) for Azure Standard is tomorrow! If you need the drop point in my town, the code is 39820. Jule ( sends out the email saying what time the truck will arrive next Wednesday, November 18. Lately, it's been arriving mid- to late-afternoon. You just show up at Bee the Butterfly and find the boxes with your name on the label. If you ordered frozen items, be sure to check the separate set of boxes as well. You pay online so you don't have to do anything when you pick up. It's also fun to meet other whole food-eating families in town! You will come away not feeling so strange after all! :)

Let me know if you have questions!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Dirty Dozen

Which food items are worth the extra cost for organic? For more information, google "the dirty dozen foods".

1. Meat
2. Milk
3. Coffee
4. Peaches
5. Apples
6. Sweet Bell Peppers
7. Celery
8. Nectarines
9. Strawberries
10. Leafy Greens
11. Grapes
12. Carrots, Pears, Cherries, or Kale (depending on who made the list!)

There are also some products (such as canned soup or tomatoes) that I buy organic because they are more careful with the "extra" ingredients.

Whole Foods on the Internet

To find a healthy replacement for an unhealthy recipe that your family loves, try googling like this:

brownies whole food
brownies gluten-free (if you don't have a grain mill)
brownies honey instead of sugar

Or, you can google for whole food blogs and find a never-ending supply of recipes! Most people that blog on whole foods know their way around the kitchen...not me! I just want to help make it easier and more organized for beginners.

My Favorite Main Dishes

Shepherd's Pie
A comfort food!

Mashed Potatoes:
3 large or 5 medium baking potatoes, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup milk or almond milk
3 T organic butter
1 tsp. sea salt

1 medium onion, diced
2 T olive oil
3 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 lb. ground turkey or beef
1/2 cup hot water
1 tsp. sea salt
1 bay leaf (optional)
spices (garlic and oregano or whole cloves or whatever you like)
4 - 6 T ketchup
1 T red wine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook potatoes in water to cover thoroughly. Make sure they're really soft. Drain and mash with milk, butter, and salt. Set aside. Brown onion in oil. Add carrots and celery and saute until tender. Remove from pan. Brown turkey or beef in same pan. Add back veggies and all other ingredients. Mix. Place in deep baking dish. Smooth top. Cover with thick layer of mashed potatoes. Cook about 1 hour or until potatoes are brown a bit on top. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Tea Room Chicken
adapted from the Perry tea room cookbook

1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp thyme
1 T parsley
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (may be difficult to find organic)
1 slice bread, crumbled by hand or in mini food-processor
chicken pieces (about 4 servings)
1/3 cup water
1 T olive oil
1/4 cup organic butter, melted
1/3 cup Marsala wine

In a bag, place spices, cheese, and crumbs. Coat chicken well by shaking. Grease a pan with olive oil spray or olive oil. Pour in water and arrange chicken. Sprinkle chicken with oil and melted butter. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Pour wine over chicken. Cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes more. Will have extra sauce to put on baked potato and/or veggies.


Dough from Bread Recipe
Muir Glen pizza sauce
Ground beef, browned
Cheese, shredded

Make dough into pizza crust. Let rise to desired thickness. Bake for 5 - 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove and spread on pizza sauce. Top with beef and cheese. Return to oven until cheese is melted and dough is cooked (about 10 minutes depending on size). Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Note: The bread recipe is enough for about two large pizzas, so you may end up using it for one crust and one loaf, or I've heard you can freeze baked pizza crust if you decided to eat one and freeze one.

Sweet and Sour Beef Stir-Fry
This is one of my hubby's favorites.

1/2 medium onion, diced
1 T olive oil
1 lb. ground beef or beef chunks
1 zucchini, diced (or other veggie)
3/4 cup beef stock
3 T real maple syrup
3 T vinegar
2 T arrowroot powder
1 T naturally-fermented soy sauce
2 cups short-grain brown rice, cooked

Saute onion in olive oil for a couple minutes. Add beef. Cook until brown. Remove from pan. Saute vegetable in olive oil until desired softness. Add onion and beef back into pan. Whisk together remaining ingredients, except rice. Add to pan; cook until thick. Serve over rice.

Note: Short-grain brown rice has a sweeter flavor but is more difficult to find. You can use long-grain brown rice as well.

Marinated Chicken Skewers with Pineapple and Onion adapted from The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook
If you're not up for making skewers, you can do whole pieces of chicken and rings of pineapple right on the grill or broiling pan.

1 cup tightly packed cilantro (or cheat like I do and use dried cilantro in smaller amount)
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup raisins
2 T lemon juice
5 cloves garlic or 1 T minced garlic (can be bought in small jar)
sea salt and pepper

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into about 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 - 2 onions, cut into chunks
6 cups fresh pineapple chunks (or canned, in its own juice if possible)

Blend all marinade ingredients in a food processor. Put chicken and marinade in covered container and refrigerate, overnight if possible. When ready to cook, put chicken, pineapple chunks, and onion chunks onto skewers. Grill or broil on broiling pan on high, turning every 5 minutes. Brush with remaining marinade. Tastes good with brown rice.

My Favorite Soups

Chicken and Dumplings adapted from my favorite cookbook, The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook
A comfort food that tastes like something grandma would make!

2 carrots, chopped (or more)
2 stalks celery, chopped (or more)
2 T olive oil
2 cups diced cooked chicken (can be leftovers)
10 cups free-range chicken stock
1 tsp sea salt (or more)
pepper (optional)

1/3 cup arrowroot powder
1 cup freshly-milled wheat
1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup milk or almond milk
1 egg

Saute carrots and celery in olive oil in large pot over medium heat. When soft, add chicken, broth, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a slow simmer about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Mix arrowroot, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add milk and stir until moist. Add egg. Stir well. Wet hands with water and drop about 16 balls of dough and parsley into soup. Be sure that the soup is barely simmering, because if you boil it, the dumplings will fall apart. Cover pot, turn heat as low as possible, and cook about 15 minutes. When done, add salt and pepper to taste.

Turkey/Chicken Noodle/Rice Soup with Spinach adapted from The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook
A good way to get lots of veggies without noticing! :)

1/2 medium onion
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
4 scallions, sliced (or 1 tsp dried chives)
1 T olive oil
2 cups turkey or chicken meat (can be leftovers)
8 cups free-range chicken stock
pinch of thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt (or more)
2 oz. pasta or brown rice or quinoa (or more)
1 10-oz. package chopped frozen spinach
fresh ground pepper (optional)
1 tsp. hot sauce (optional - I'm too wimpy for this!)

Saute onion, celery, carrots, and scallions in olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat until soft. Add broth, turkey or chicken, thyme, and salt to pot. Cook 25 minutes at a simmer. Then add pasta or brown rice or quinoa. (If pasta, cook until just done. If others, make sure they are soft.) Add spinach, pepper, and hot sauce. Cook at slow simmer until nice and hot.

Chicken Corn Chowder adapted from The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook

2 T olive oil
2 oz. nitrite-free bacon, diced (2 - 3 slices)
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, cup up
3 small potatoes or 3 medium red potatoes, cubed small
4 cups free-range chicken stock
cooked chicken, cut up or shredded (can be leftover)
3 cups milk or almond milk
3 cups organic fresh or frozen corn
2 T flour
sea salt and pepper
parsley (optional)

Cook bacon in oil over medium heat until crispy. Add onion and celery and cook until soft. Add potatoes and broth. Cook at a simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add milk and corn. Cook about 20 minutes more. Add chicken. If you desire a creamy chowder, combine flour with some of hot soup in a little bowl, stirring until smooth. Add back into pot. (I skipped this step last time and it didn't turn out as well.) Stir in well. Add salt and pepper, and cook a little longer to thicken slightly. Serve with a little chopped parsley if desired.

Mix and Match Chicken Soup

One thing that whole foods cooking has taught me is what and why foods go together. Soup is one of the easiest things to "play" with. Basically, you can saute veggies (such as onion, carrots, celery) in olive oil and add free-range chicken stock, pasta or brown rice or quinoa if desired, cooked chicken or turkey, and spices to make your own creation. Add lemon juice if desired.

Friday, November 6, 2009

No Condemnation

Once I started learning about organic, whole foods eating, I felt this guilt when I would eat something unhealthy. It has taken a long time to get over this. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. We can make wise choices without putting healthy eating on the altar. The goal is for we sheep to listen to the voice of our Shepherd. He will never speak guilt into our lives. We are free from guilt. He speaks words of life, gently urging us to follow him in all things.

Keep an eye out for panic, distress, guilt, discouragement, or seeking to control others. These things are not from the Shepherd. I have felt all of them at some point, so know that we are in this together! In this tough transition period, you may not have the ingredients to make a healthy snack or haven't found a dessert you like yet. That's okay! Or, maybe you would just like to have a candy bar tonight and are not sensing that you would be disobeying Jesus by doing so. That's okay!

This is not just about food but about self-control that comes through grace - not trying to receive God's favor by being self-controlled! The focus is on God's worthiness, not ours! Hang in there, friends!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Easy Desserts

Peanut Butter Cups adapted from

3/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 T raw honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup coconut oil

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup raw honey (or more, to taste)
2 T real maple syrup (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk first set of ingredients well. You can add chopped nuts if you like them. Drop by heaping teaspoons into lined mini-muffin pans or heaping tablespoons in regular muffin pans. Place in freezer uncovered.

Put second set of ingredients in top half of double boiler. (If you don't have one find a heat-proof bowl that fits on top of one of your pots.) Bring about two inches water to boil in bottom pot. Watch carefully so chocolate doesn't burn. Stir gently. When almost melted, remove from heat and stir until melted and mixed. Pull muffin pans out of freezer and drop chocolate over each one.

Put in freezer until solid. Remove from pan and refrigerate.

Notes: You don't have to line muffin pans, but it's a little tricky to time it just right as to when you can pop them out of the pans. Try freezing them for about 20 - 40 minutes before popping.

You could chop them to use them in other recipes that call for peanut butter cups.

Make sure you take some to Amber who has had the "privilege" (haha) of trying my different healthy desserts over the past couple months and has liked these the best. Well, if you don't want to share, at least let them remind you to pray for her sweet baby Miles.

No Bake Cookies

2/3 cup real maple syrup (maybe you could use honey?)
1/4 cup olive oil
5 T unsweetened cocoa powder (may need more if not using the Azure bulk kind)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp vanilla extract

Over medium heat, combine maple syrup, oil, cocoa, and cinnamon. Boil for three minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, oats, and vanilla until well-blended. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto unbleached parchment paper (or wax paper). May want to refrigerate, depending on preference.

Chocolate Ice Cream

3 cups milk, coconut milk, or almond milk
almost 1/4 cup cocoa powder (may need to double if not using Azure bulk cocoa)
almost 1/2 cup real maple syrup
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk cocoa powder in a small amount of milk until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until well-combined. Pour into ice cream maker. Add chopped peanut butter cups, bananas, or whatever in last five minutes if desired. Serves 4 plus.

For Vanilla Ice Cream: Do not add cocoa powder, and increase vanilla to 1 T.

Note: If you use cream for part or all of the milk, it will be thicker and taste a little more like what you're used to. Reduce arrowroot, which is a thickener, if using cream.

Chocolate Pudding adapted from

1/3 cup arrowroot
1/3 cup cocoa powder
dash of sea salt
2/3 cup maple syrup
4 cups milk, coconut milk, or almond milk
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk the arrowroot, cocoa, and salt together until no lumps remain. Add about 1 cup of the milk and all of the maple syrup and mix until no lumps remain. Stir in rest of milk and heat on medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Heat until mixture starts to thicken (usually as its starting to simmer) and cook for one minute more. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into containers and serve when thick. Serves 6.

Baked Custard

1 can coconut milk (or 2-3 cups milk or almond milk)
1/4 cup raw honey
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt

Beat all with mixer until blended. Pour into custard cups or medium dish that fits inside a 9 x 13 that has been half-filled with hot water. Sprinkle with nutmeg if desired. Bake at 350 for 45 - 60 minutes or until knife in center comes out clean. Serve warm or chilled. Makes 6 servings.

Cookie and cake recipes to come!

What's for Breakfast?

I'll share some delicious breakfast recipes later but here is some simple stuff to get started. I will not pass judgment on those who eat breakfast cereals, but you may want to know that they (even "healthy" ones!) are listed as the second-deadliest food in the American diet in Nourishing Traditions, with pop being the first. This could just be the author's opinion though, so I'm not stating it as fact!

We usually have a protein and a carb for breakfast to keep us full until lunch time. However, a lot of people are fine with one or the other, so maybe this is just what we've gotten used to doing! Also, the Ezekiel products are a complete protein because of the combination of grains that are used. See Ezekiel 4:9 to be encouraged that God cares for his people and was so clever in creating foods!

Carb Ideas:
1. Ezekiel or homeade bread, toasted with butter
2. Ezekiel cinnamon raisin or homeade cinnamon raisin bread, toasted with butter
3. Leftover rolls or other bread products
4. Oatmeal with real maple syrup and milk or coconut milk
5. Ezekiel brand makes some cereals (expensive though!) that are actually healthy. The only one we like is Cinnamon Raisin, but there are four varieties. I like to keep one box in the cupboard for emergencies. Eat with milk or coconut milk.

Protein Ideas:

1. Scrambled eggs - Start by melting butter then add eggs. You can scramble them right in the pan with a fork then add a little milk or almond milk to make them fluffier. One of my favorite foods is to first cook diced sweet potatoes in the butter and then add the rest.
2. Bacon or turkey bacon with no nitrates or nitrites.
3. Put peanut butter on your toast.
4. Target and Hy-Vee sell an apple chicken sausage or something similar that's made with maple syrup.

French toast! Scramble two eggs per person in a small dish. Add milk or coconut milk, sea salt, and vanilla (without sugars in it). Cook on an electric skillet and sprinkle with cinnamon before flipping. Once you get a system, this is almost easier to make than anything else. Top with butter and real maple syrup. (I mix it with water so my boys can dunk it without getting to much sweetener!)

What's for Lunch?

This is often a difficult adjustment, so here's some ideas. Please feel free to add your own!

We go through phases, but right now, our Monday - Friday lunch usually consists of the following...
1. Ezekiel or homeade wheat bread with Smucker's natural peanut butter and a little bit of Polaner's all-fruit jelly -OR- tuna salad (tuna in water mixed with organic safflower oil mayonnaise).
2. Frozen green peas (cooked) with butter and sea salt -OR- Terra chips (The varieties with a short ingredient list are best....sweet potato chips, sweets and beets, or they may be others but they are more expensive. You can buy these even at Target.)
3. Banana or apple or unsweetened applesauce
4. Sometimes carrot sticks

Hubby's lunch (he doesn't have microwave access) consists of the following...
1. Ezekiel or homeade wheat bread with lunch meat (natural as possible - best is nitrate/nitrite free but expensive) with organic safflower oil mayonnaise and spinach -OR- tuna salad -OR- organic tortilla chips with tuna salad for dipping
2. Raw veggies such as carrots, broccoli, or celery
3. Banana or apple

Other ideas:
1. Costco sells Naked Nuggets, which are natural chicken nuggets without breading. I don't think they are too exciting but others have liked them. You can make honey mustard sauce by mixing - you guessed it - honey and mustard or dip them in ketchup.
2. Leftovers.
3. I will buy a package of tilapia fish and then bake a couple with a little olive oil and garlic salt. I cut it up and put it over a salad with some raw veggies, hard-boiled egg, fresh berries, whatever I have, and put Annie's Naturals dressing on top. I use the extra fish/salad for hubby's lunch the next day.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Love Not Your Life Notice

I've had to do a couple things because of the upcoming events. Sorry for being me if you have questions.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Easy Main Dishes

Spaghetti & Variations

Prepare Ezekiel brand sprouted grain noodles (preferred) or brown rice noodles.

Brown hamburger or saute cubed chicken in olive oil.

Mix meat with pasta sauce (check ingredients).

Optional: Mix in roasted veggies - can be leftovers (cut up zucchini, yellow squash, sweet potatoes, etc. tossed with olive oil and sea salt and cooked at 400 degrees until tender).

Optional: Put all over spinach leaves.

Optional: Sprinkle grated cheese on top.

Honey Mustard Chicken
adapted from my friend Lisette S

1/4 cup organic butter
1/4 cup (or less) raw honey
2 T mustard or dijon mustard
1 tsp sea salt
chicken pieces
1 cup brown rice (preferably short-grain), cooked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put butter in dish and place in preheating oven. Remove when melted and whisk in honey, mustard, and salt. Place chicken in pan, turning to coat. Bake for about 30 minutes (depending on size of pieces). Layer rice, then chicken, then sauce drizzled on top.

Note: It works well to serve a non-kid-friendly veggie like broccoli with this, because you can drizzle the extra sauce on the veggies to make them yummy!

Taco Soup adapted from my sister Elizabeth B

1 lb. ground beef
1 large or 2 small onions, diced
2 cans black beans (check ingredients)
1 can kidney beans (check ingredients)
4 cans tomato sauce, 8 oz. (Muir Glen?)
1 can diced tomatoes, 28 oz. (Muir Glen?)
frozen organic corn, small bag
taco seasoning to taste (at least 2 T)
1 - 2 cups water or more
organic tortilla chips (check ingredients)

Brown beef and onion in very large pot. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer 30 minutes or more. Serve with tortilla chips. Makes a LOT of soup. Can freeze.

Note: Healthy taco seasoning can be found at Campbell's (the 42nd Street location) or from Azure Standard.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Making Bread

My friend Sarah W just introduced me to, an excellent resource. There, you can order a free copy of "Do Not Eat the Bread of Idleness." I've read the condensed version and learned a lot. It's a summary of the damage done by white flour. If Jesus is the Bread of Life, bread should be healthy, right? For so many years, I avoided purchasing bread from the store because it just didn't seem healthy to me, but I didn't know what to do about it!

Bread is one of the most difficult changes about a whole foods diet but it will seem normal someday! When your husband comes home to the smell of fresh-baked bread, he may not think this diet is to bad after all. :)

Step One
Purchase wheat berries from Azure Standard or Bread Beckers.

Purchase a grain mill from Urban Homemaker or Bread Beckers. I know it's pricey to get started but I calculated that it more than pays for itself. I had a Kitchen Aid mixer already, so I paid about $100 for a grain mill attachment.

Step Two
Rearrange your kitchen so that the grain mill and wheat are easy to access. (I put my wheat berries in a large bin with a scoop in it that takes up an entire cabinet.)

Step Three
Pour wheat berries into grain mill. Voila! Out comes freshly-milled flour! It couldn't be any easier!

Step Four
Put ingredients into bread machine (instructions to come) or make bread by hand.

Our Current Bread Recipe (adapted from Bread Beckers)
1 1/2 cups very hot water
1 cup cold almond milk (can use organic whole cow's milk)
3 eggs (optional)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1 T sea salt
6 - 7 1/4 cups freshly-milled flour
4 1/2 tsp. instant yeast

Combine water, milk, eggs, oil, honey, and salt. (Temperature should be just right for yeast.) Mix in yeast. Add flour to make a soft dough. Knead by hand or with mixer's dough hook until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Shape into loaves and let rise until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes. Makes 2 - 3 loaves.

If you want thin, sandwich slices that most resemble store-bought bread, I would recommend an electric knife (about $10 at Target) or wait until cool to slice with serrated knife.

Where Do I Find This Stuff?

Azure Standard ( is where we get most of our groceries. We actually spend less on food now than we did before we ate an organic, whole food diet! With Azure Standard, I order and pay online. The semi-truck comes from Oregon once a month to various locations around the western and central United States. Just figure out which drop spot is closest to you (Bee the Butterfly is my spot!), and enter that spot during the check-out process. The catalog can be fun or completely overwhelming. I've resorted to searching by keyword on the website to find what I need. Here are some of my favorites:

Santa Cruz Lemon and Lime Juice
5 lbs. arrowroot powder (replaces cornstarch and used for desserts)
Ezekiel 7-Grain bread and Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Natural Value Coconut Milk
Spectrum Coconut Oil
Spectrum Olive Oil Spray
Hain Safflower Mayo
5 lb. sea salt (cheap!)
Muir Glen organic ketchup (does have some sugar in it)
Natural Value garbanzo beans - bulk
Pacific Foods free-range chicken broth - bulk
Organic Hard White Wheat Berries - 25 lb bag
Rolled Oats - 50 lb bag
Kettle Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips - 12 x 18 oz box
Azure Alphabet Soup (makes a lot and kids like it!)
Muir Glen diced tomatoes, pizza sauce, tomato paste, and tomato sauce
Robbie's Worcestershire Sauce
Ezekiel Spaghetti Noodles
Rumiano Cheddar, white ($20 for 5 lbs - not bad for raw organic! I run it through my shredder and put them in freezer bags for pizza or whatever)
1 lb. cinnamon powder
organic butter, cultured, no salt (15 lb box and keep extra in freezer)
Baking soda
Rumford baking powder (non-aluminum)
Short-grain brown rice
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze (unsweetened original) - bulk
Azure Farm classic 3-bean chili mix (not amazing but tastes good and makes a ton for cheap)
Spectrum Balsamic Vinegar (for salad dressings mostly)
Bragg's Olive Oil (although I got the olive oil from Costco last time for cheaper and haven't noticed a difference)
Shelton Turkey Chili Mild

I buy beef from Wallace Farms. They deliver to three different Des Moines are locations once a month.

Irene ( delivers 12 dozen organic eggs to my house every other week for $3/dozen. They are even healthier and more delicious than grocery store organic eggs.

You can usually find someone locally that harvests and sells raw honey. Email me if you want the phone number for Ankeny. They sell it for $30/gallon and it's delicious!

Most everything else I buy from the Hy-Vee Health Market (10% off on Wednesdays!), Target, or Wal-Mart.

It does take some time to figure out a "system," but I promise that someday, it won't be so confusing! It will be just about as easy as your old grocery store shopping methods. I don't even have to think about it anymore.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Quick Comment : Different Viewpoints

It seems that every few months, I tweak something in our diet because of something I learned. For instance, before the diet, we drank AE milk. After the initial research, we switched to raw milk. Then, we quit that (apparently, it's illegal to sell in Iowa) and drank VAT pasteurized organic whole milk. Lately, we've cut dairy almost completely out of our diet because of the pasteurization involved and some skin problems our boys were having and switched to almond milk or coconut milk. Who knows what we will be doing with this next year!

Even among organic, whole foods advocates, there are some differing views. I'm am so far from being an expert; I know so very little. Also, some bodies are going to react differently to some foods because of how we are already messed up from our previous diets.

So it's okay if we have different viewpoints on anything or even everything! I will probably learn more from you than you from me!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Getting Started

It's overwhelming to switch to a whole foods diet, so for those of you who don't like to read or don't have time to read, here are some easy steps you can take to move toward a whole foods diet. Whole foods are prepared and consumed in a state that does not chemically alter, thereby compromising, their nutritional value.

Instead of vegetable oil, use extra virgin first-cold-pressed olive oil or coconut oil.

Instead of butter imitations (margarine, etc.), use real organic butter.

Instead of products containing corn syrup or sugar, use natural products (i.e. Smucker's natural peanut butter, Polaner all-fruit jelly, real maple syrup).

Instead of white and brown sugar, use raw honey or real maple syrup to sweeten foods.

Instead of canned fruits and vegetables, eat fresh or frozen (without extra ingredients).

Instead of white rice, use brown rice or quinoa.

Instead of store-bought grain/bread products, make homemade or buy brands such as Ezekiel. (Ezekiel brand makes breads, pastas, and more.) This can be the most overwhelming part, so I'll tackle this one in a separate post. In the beginning, it's easiest to just minimize or avoid grains for a while. It's a good de-tox anyway from all the white flour products you've eaten in the past.

Instead of unhealthy salad dressings, use Annie's Naturals or homemade (whisk a little garlic salt and vinegar into olive oil).

Instead of pasteurized beverages (milk, juice, etc.), buy raw or natural substitutes or drink water. We pretty much drink only water and kombucha at our house. I use coconut milk or almond milk for baking, but in some states, it's legal to have raw milk. Fruit juice takes all the sweet stuff out and leaves a lot of the healthy stuff behind, giving you just another way to keep your "sweets high" going. Even if it's an all-natural juice (i.e. oranges with pulp), it's still pasteurized which kills nutrients and provides the consumer with several servings of fruit in one sitting, which is not healthy. Whole fruits are so much healthier!

Most products that come in a box, can, or bag or not healthy, although there are more and more products coming out that are decent. We like to keep some natural canned soups on hand (from health stores) for Sunday afternoons or emergencies. Just because something says "natural" or "organic" does not make it healthy though, so use caution and common sense. Organic macaroni and cheese in a box just can't be healthy, can it? :)

There are some healthy, canned foods: tomato products (sauce, paste, diced, etc.), beans, and some others that can be found usually in health food stores. Check labels of course. Usually if the tomato products or beans say "organic," the ingredients are pretty good, but sometimes you can even find generic ones that are good enough.

Any questions? I'm not a health expert, but I believe God created foods for our benefit and not for our harm. We can go to the Bible for answers to anything - even what is best for our bodies! God is for us!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Purpose of this Blog

"Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand...

"Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.

"Therefore, let us make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food." Romans 14

The purpose of this blog:
1. Bring glory to God by serving Jesus.
2. Speak love - not judgment - to unify the body of Christ.
3. Offer practical tips and recipes for healthy eating.

There are many believers who eat healthy and sit in judgment on those who don't. Although they often claim to be accepting, the reality for many is quite different. (I've been among them.) There are also believers sitting in judgment on those who eat healthy, thinking that it's a waste of time and money when there are eternal matters at stake. This, too, often goes unspoken.

Both of these attitudes lead to disunity in the Church. That's why I want to make it very clear that this blog is not about telling people what they "should" eat. This blog is for the person who is curious about healthy eating or would like some new recipes.

Reasons we eat an organic, whole foods diet:
1. Relief from previous health issues.
2. Decreased illness and length/severity of illness.
3. Less time at the doctor's office.
4. Increased self-control in other areas.
5. Decreased risk of disease and cancer.
6. Free from sugar addiction.

The danger that it poses though is becoming legalistic or conceited about healthy eating. I must always keep this in check. I would rather eat a piece of cake made of white flour, sugar, and vegetable oil than cause someone to misunderstand Jesus.

I do not love health; I love Jesus. I want to make wise decisions for my family, while at the same time loving people to Jesus by accepting them just as they are - healthy or not.