Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fad Diets vs. Organic Whole Foods

Fad diets are based on the wisdom of the world. Organic whole foods have been healthful since their creation by our beloved Creator.

Fad diets are 1, 5, or 10 years old. Organic whole foods are 6,000 years old.

Fad diets are found in magazines, newspapers, and on television. Organic whole foods are found in the Bible.

Fad diets are usually focused on glorification of self. Organic whole foods can be focused on glorification of God through good stewardship of our body.

Fad diets involve eating foods (low-fat, low-sodium, low-sugar, low-carb) created or chemically altered by man. Organic whole foods are created by God and sometimes naturally altered by man (such as olive oil and wine).

Fad diets usually fix one problem while making others worse. Organic whole foods bring healing.

But, most important, Jesus died for people who are on fad diets and people who eat organic whole foods and people who could care less about what they eat and people who have nothing to eat. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. Romans 14

How to Savor Vegetables

In the past, vegetables were something that I steamed fresh or frozen, slapped on some butter and salt, and shoved'em down my throat to check "ate veggies" off my list for the day. As I'm learning more about cooking and vegetables, I actually look forward to eating them! It's all in how they are prepared. Here's a few ways we have enjoyed. It's fun to experiment with different combinations and spices! (You just witnessed me crossing over into cooking geek hood.)

Roasted Veggies

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut fresh veggies into squares, rectangles, thin and skinny, or fry shapes - whatever you like. Thin cuts will get crispier. Pour some extra virgin olive oil into the middle of a big jelly roll pan (they are like cookie sheets with short sides). Put the veggies onto the oil and toss to coat then spread into a single layer on the pan. Sprinkle with sea salt. If desired, sprinkle with other spices such as garlic salt, Italian seasonings, lemon pepper, or paprika. (They taste great without extra spices too though.)

Veggie Ideas
Zucchini, Yellow Squash, & Sweet Potatoes (Cut sweet potatoes smaller since they take longer to cook.)
Green Beans & Onions (finely diced)

Make It a Meal
Toss chicken parts, boneless skinless breasts (cut up), or fish pieces in the oil with the veggies and cook together. We often do chicken parts, diced onion, large-diced potatoes, and halved baby carrots.

Sauteed Veggies

Preheat large pan on stove. Put organic butter or extra virgin olive oil in pan (can add more later if veggies are burning or looking dry). Once butter/oil is hot, add veggies and cook until browned and tender. Add sea salt when about a minute left.

Veggie Ideas
Sweet Potatoes (diced small)
Zucchini (cut into rounds, turn once when one side is lightly brown)
Broccoli, Onion (diced), & Garlic (uses more butter/oil, stir often)
Green Beans, Onion (diced), & Garlic
Green Beans, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Tomatoes (diced, a few), Onion, Garlic, Frozen Corn and/or Peas (add toward end) or other crazy mixtures. All the colors make it look fancy when really it's very easy!

Make It a Meal
Whisk organic eggs and a little milk in a bowl and pour over diced sweet potatoes. Tastes better than you think it would!
Add diced, cooked chicken and cooked brown rice to veggies at end for a Chinese-tasting meal.

Foods with Veggies

If you're family needs help adjusting to eating veggies, you may have to get creative for a while. Try making zucchini bread instead of banana bread or carrot muffins instead of blueberry muffins.

There's a lot of recipes that you can simply add more veggies to. For instance, we were going to eat spaghetti one night. I diced onion and finely-chopped broccoli (green pepper would have worked even better) in the pan with the ground beef, then added the pasta sauce. Then, I put a layer of spinach underneath the sprouted grain spaghetti and sauce. No one in my family noticed!

Soup is another food that can handle extra veggies well.

Feel free to share your ideas or favorite veggie prep methods in the comments!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Most Versatile Recipe

Oat Squares

This is a recipe that we have used for breakfast bars in the car (yes, a little messy), snacks, and even dessert when eaten warm with cinnamon ice cream (add 1 T cinnamon to vanilla ice cream recipe). It's taken from the book What the Bible Says About Healthy Living Cookbook.

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup organic whole milk or almond milk
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup (less if for breakfast, maybe more if dessert)
1 tsp cinnamon (I like more cinnamon.)
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1 unpeeled apple

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8 pan (or 9 x 13 if making double batch). Mix ingredients, except apple. Chop or shred apple. (I use a mini food-processor.) Mix in. Press oat mixture into pan and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Cut into squares and serve. For on-the-go, put into ziploc bags or saran wrap. The original recipe calls for dates, raisins, pecans, walnuts, and optional dried unsweetened coconut as well, but I like this simple and soft version. If you like nuts, that would be a great way to get protein into them.

My Favorite Desserts


1/2 cup extra virgin first-cold-pressed olive oil
10 T honey (This is a 1/4 cup filled 2 1/2 times.)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 T vanilla

1 cup plus 2 T freshly-milled wheat/spelt or a gluten-free flour combo
2 T arrowroot
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup hot water
2 cups (or less) chocolate chips (homeade or organic - not the healthiest but when eaten with a healthy diet, every once a while is probably not a big deal!)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Either line muffin cups, mini-muffin cups (my favorite way!), or grease a pan.

While milling grain into mixing bowl, mix the wet ingredients (except water) together in a medium bowl. Set aside. Whisk dry ingredients together. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring to combine. Stir in hot water to make a smooth, silky batter. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spoon into muffin cups or pour into pans. DON'T overbake; leave slightly gooey, will change as they cool. Mini-muffins are pretty quick - maybe 10 minutes or so. Muffins might take more like 15 minutes or so, and I have no idea on a pan version since I haven't tried it before. :) I told you I'm no expert - just learning how to copy the experts! :)

Leave muffins in pans for a few minutes before removing.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

1 cup arrowroot
3/4 cup freshly-milled wheat/spelt or almond flour
2 tsp xantham gum
2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt

chocolate chips

Put garbanzo beans in food processor until smooth. (It they aren't getting smooth enough, try adding some of the coconut oil.) Add remaining wet ingredients and blend on low until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add wet to dry and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 12 - 15 minutes. They will be slightly brown on top when done. Let cool on pan for a minute or two before removing.

They do taste a little more cake-like than the cookies you might be used to eating, but they are delicious and no one will know they have beans in them! I love the higher protein content to help keep your blood sugar stabilized when eating dessert!

For cinnamon raisin cookies, add 1-2 tsp cinnamon to dry ingredients and stir in raisins instead of chocolate chips.

Fudge Sour Cream Brownies

2 egg whites (keep yolks)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup real maple syrup (maybe could use honey?)
1 1/4 cup quinoa flour
1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 organic sour cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat egg whites on high until stiff. Mix remaining ingredients (separately) until moist. Gently fold in egg whites. Put into greased 8 x 8 pan or lined muffin tins. Bake pan for 30 - 35 minuts or muffins for 12 - 16 minutes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

News and Praise

Baby # 4 is on the way! I'm about 6 1/2 weeks pregnant and due around August 27.

I have been praising God for the ways that his created foods have brought healing to my body, and this pregnancy is one way I've seen his wonderful design.

In my previous three pregnancies, I was on either Unisom (over-the-counter drug) or Zofran (prescription drug) for the entire nine months. If I was even thirty minutes late taking a dose, I would begin to vomit profusely. With my last pregnancy, I was on IV at the hospital for a while due to morning sickness.

After being on an organic whole foods diet (it will be two years in May), I have not yet thrown up this pregnany, even without drugs! This is just unbelievable to me. Now, I'm still sick 24 hours a day but I can tell that my body is healing and responding well to the diet changes, and this baby will benefit from it too! Thank you, God!