Category Archives: 365 Real Foods Series

Post 27 of 365 Real Foods Series: Easy Veggie Chicken Bake

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Easy chicken veggie bake is one of my go to recipes when I need something quick and easy. I LOVE one-pot meals because you often use leftovers and fresh ingredients, plus you get everything you need in one dish.

I often make this after we have baked chicken and I need to make stock. This dish is versatile and pretty much anything can be added. I mix it up depending on what we have in the fridge. My mom grabbed me some mark down zucchini at the market in town, so I have a few and I love adding zucchini to this dish. I also had leftover broccoli and I always have plenty of carrots.

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Ingredients:

  • Baked chicken diced
  • 1 cup rice of choice (I prefer white for this recipe – for speed purposes instant is a good choice)
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • About 1 cup of cooked broccoli
  • Tomato sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, or bread crumb topping (optional – I omit both but reserve cheese on the side for John and Jack)

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350.
  • Cook rice per instructions.
  • Chop carrot and zucchini, steam quickly or sauté on stove until cooked.
  • Dice cooked chicken .
  • When rice and veggies are done, add to baking dish with rice, chicken, and sauce.
  • Mix together.
  • Bake at 350 for roughly 20 minutes.
  • Everything is cooked so it simply needs to heat through.
  • (Optional) top with cheese of choice for last five minutes of baking.

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It’s super quick and easy to make, and to adapt this recipe to dietary needs. We have this once every other week or so.

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Enjoy!

Happy Homemaking,

The Joyful Homemaker

Post 26 of 365 Real Foods Series: Naturally Dyed Cupcakes

I lost the first two weeks of February to illness and the last two weeks to a ridiculous foot injury, but now I consider myself off the bench and back in the game!

Prior to my last food post, Postponement of 365 Real Foods Series (http://thejoyfulhomemaker.com/?p=918), my friend Courtney posted a photo of gorgeously dyed cupcakes on her Facebook page. I nearly went insane when I saw how stunning they were. She kindly sent me the information so I could blog them. 🙂

She began experimenting with natural dyes to test out colors for her daughter’s birthday cake. Like us, she avoids artificially dyed foods, so her goal was to find a way to make a colorful cake using natural ingredients she has at home.  She used real foods to make beautifully colored cupcakes, and they came out amazing.

Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • White and yellow cake mixes (for the purpose of experimenting and budgeting, Courtney used a basic Betty Crocker mix).
  • Organic eggs
  • Paprika
  • Organic basil
  • (7) small canned beets
  • Blueberry jam
  • Organic frozen raspberries

Directions:

  • Prepare mixes per instructions on box with eggs.
  • Divide mix into three separate bowls.

Yellow Cupcakes: 

  • Yellow cake mixed used – no need for adding any additional color. Try a bit of cumin if you wish to add more color.

“The yellow cupcakes were simple yellow mix and tasty.”

Green Cupcakes:

  • Yellow cake mixed used.
  • Put fresh basil leaves and stems into blender.
  • Chop and add cake mix to blender.

“These cupcakes had a very fresh, bright, herb flavor and the color was bright green.”

Orange Cupcakes:

  • Yellow cake mix.
  • Add paprika to cake mix.
  • Blend well.

” …  a little goes a long way (the taste was slightly savory with the normal texture).”

Purple Cupcakes:

  • White cake mix.
  • Place canned beets into blender and blend until nearly smooth.
  • Add cake mix and blend until nicely combined.

“The beet cupcakes have a very mellow sweet taste and texture, barely noticeable earthy tone.”

Blue Cupcakes:

  • White cake mix.
  • Add blueberry jam to cake mix and blend until combined.
  • Do not over mix.

“The blueberry cupcakes have a dense texture, deep blueberry flavor, and almost a moist pound cake feel to them.”

Pink Cupcakes: 

  • White cake mix.
  • Place thawed, frozen raspberries into blender.
  • Blend until smooth and add cake mix.
  • Blend together until smooth.

“The texture is very moist and dense, almost like a fluffy cheesecake, flavor is very fruity.”

Overall, these cupcakes came out amazing. Courtney would tweak a few things here and there, but was happy with the outcome. If making for a party, she would use organic cake mix. “If I’m going to go all the way with this much effort….It’s going to be organically spectacular!”

“I do have some cream cheese frosting that mellows out the stronger flavored cupcakes, it compliments basil, beet, and paprika very nicely. Blueberry and raspberry are already so moist they don’t need the additional creaminess. The final judgement on these has been they are very flavorful, the color is intense, and the texture is off in the mixtures I put into the blender. I would not put the mixture into the blender again, even though it makes it so easy to mix and to pour into the cupcake pan.”

About Courtney: I’m a mother, girl friend (12 years running), sister, daughter, organic gardener for food and landscapes. Creating meals with organic food I have grown or bought is my goal. I am willing to use non-organic products to help my budget. I focus on buying organic dairy, meat, and veggies, locally during the season. I have many organic spices, sugar, and other baked goods. I buy them when they are on sale and I clearance shop at the natural food stores.

A big thank you to Courtney for sharing! These are wonderful, and I can’t wait to try them. <3

Give these cupcakes a try and let me know what you think. I would love to see your pictures as well!

Happy Baking,

The Joyful Homemaker

Post 25 of 365 Real Foods Series: Sick-As-A-Dog Soup!

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I am on day three of being as sick as a dog. Wesley and I are pretty darn sick and not much is helping to kick the illness. It has been impossible to blog the past few days, so the 365 Series is lacking recipes. My friend Courtney provided me with some amazing creations, and I can’t wait to share them later.

Most people run to chicken soup and tea when sick and my Sick-As-A-Dog Soup is not far off. This soup is warming and has multiple healing properties. It tastes really good and helps to get things moving (think running nose – this is good).

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of bone broth
  • 1 dollop of ghee
  • Turmeric
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Pink Himalayan salt

Directions:

  • Heat broth over medium high heat
  • Add ghee
  • Add spices and salt
  • Bring to quick simmer
  • Pour into mug and drink

That’s all there is to it.

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Happy Homemaking,

The Joyful Homemaker

Post 24 of 365 Real Foods Series: Mango “Ice Cream”

We all love desserts and finding healthy options is a bit challenging at times. I often make “ice cream,” because I like to have something sweet on hand when a craving hits.

Making “ice cream” is super easy and fun. Pick and choose the ingredients you would like and run with it. I often break out my vitamix and experiment with flavors. I am sure many of my 365 Recipes will be “ice cream” related, especially come summertime.

Ingredients:

  • Frozen or fresh mango chucks
  • Half can of full fat coconut milk

Directions:

  • Blend together in blender
  • Pour into freezer safe container
  • Enjoy once frozen

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The only problem I have with this recipe is trying not to eat it right out of the blender. Add in some pineapple and banana for an exotic treat. Do you have any easy “ice cream” recipes?

Happy Ice Cream Making,

The Joyful Homemaker

Post 23 of 365 Real Foods Series: Homemade Ghee

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Ghee is a staple in our home. I use it for everything from stir-fry to popcorn. It is delicious and therapeutic, plus many of us with dairy allergies can eat ghee without an issue since the milk solids are boiled out.

I recently finished my last container of my favorite ghee, http://www.amazon.com/Purity-Farm-Organic-Clarified-13-Ounce/dp/B0046IIPMW

Locally I can purchase 13 ounces of Purity Farm ghee for $10, which I don’t mind spending on organic, non-GMO ghee; however, it is cheaper to buy a pound of organic, non-GMO butter to make my own ghee and I get roughly a pound. Not a bad deal.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of butter

Directions:

  • Put butter into a cast iron skillet.
  • Turn to medium high heat.
  • Butter will begin to melt, stir slightly.
  • You will begin to hear the butter boil and the first foam will form on top.
  • In the next few minutes the butter will start to turn yellow and the foam will start to dissipate.
  • Reduce heat to low and allow butter to continue cooking.
  • At this point, the butter will form a second foam and the cooking sound will lessen and stop.
  • Part the foam and you should see a nice yellow, clear liquid and the solids should be at the bottom of the pan.
  • The ghee is done cooking.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Pour into desired container through a very fine sieve.
  • Strain twice to make sure all solids are removed.
  • Allow to cool before putting on lid.
  • Ghee does not need refrigeration and has a shelf life of a few months. It can be refrigerated with no harm done to the product.

Melting butter

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First foam dissipating 

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Second Foam – Cooking is coming to an end

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Ghee is done!

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Begin straining

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Second straining

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Cooling down

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Ghee is a delightful addition to any dish. It’s widely used in Indian cooking and traditional Indian medicine. It has gut healing properties and is a healthy oil source.

Happy Ghee Making,

The Joyful Homemaker

Post 22 of 365 Real Foods Series: Warming Winter Soup – Featured Recipe

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This is certainly the kind of winter for a myriad of soups; therefore, I must feature my friend Alicia’s Warming Winter Soup as Post 22 of my 365 Foods Series. This soup is delicious, healthy, and perfect for the frigid winter nights we have been experiencing.

Take a hop over to Alicia’s blog, Peace, Love, Laundry and Food, for a step by step on how to prepare this amazing soup.

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http://peacelovelaundryandfood.blogspot.com/2014/01/warming-winter-soup-variation-on.html?spref=fb

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Happy Homemaking,

The Joyful Homemaker

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Post 21 of 356 Real Foods Series: Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

While I don’t consider peanut butter cups, “real food,” we must have desserts every once in a while! 🙂

I found this recipe when searching for something yummy to make:

http://thehumbledhomemaker.com/2013/05/homemade-protein-packed-peanut-butter-cups-healthy-easy-sugar-free.html, on the Humbled Homemaker’s Blog, thehumbledhomemaker.com.

With a bit of tweaking, this gems came out awesome! My husband did say they taste a bit “coconut-ish,” so next time I will use refined coconut oil. Additionally, the stevia leaves an aftertaste that everyone (four adults) noticed. I swapped the protein powder for PB2 (powdered peanut butter). We were all thoroughly impressed with this healthier version of peanut butter cups.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons of melted, extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of Pb2 powder
  • 2 packets of Stevia

Directions:

  • Mix everything together
  • Pour into molds (I used small Tupperware containers because I had nothing else on hand)
  • Freeze (mine were in overnight)
  • Pop out of mold and eat immediately, these melt super quickly

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The above recipe is all it takes to have a healthier peanut butter cup. They are pretty delicious. Thank you to The Humbled Homemaker http://thehumbledhomemaker.com/ for a great recipe!

Happy Homemaking,

The Joyful Homemaker

Post 20 of 365 Real Foods Series: Coconut Carrot Soup

I woke this morning with plenty of energy; however, by noon I could feel a cold coming on. I fought off the last cold with my winter soup (http://thejoyfulhomemaker.com/?p=649) so this time I took some Sambucol and made a batch of this good stuff. 🙂

I have been making this soup for years. It is a soup I turn to when I am sick or need an immune system boost. It is a very simple, tasty delight. It makes a great comfort food and uses healthful ingredients. I love coconut milk and I really enjoy cooking with it. It is thick and holds up well in this recipe.

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Ingredients: 

  • Three carrots
  • About 1 1/2 cups, or two cups, of full fat, canned coconut milk
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Vegetable stock or bone broth

Directions:

  • Skin and chop carrots into small pieces
  • Put into a small sauce pan
  • Cover with just enough stock to cover carrots
  • Bring to a boil
  • Lower to medium heat and cook until soft and broth has evaporated
  • Remove carrots from pan and blend with a hand blender until smooth
  • Put coconut milk and some water from can into sauce pan
  • Set heat to medium / low and stir gently until milk is liquid
  • Put carrots into milk
  • Add as much of the above spices as desired
  • Mix until steaming and hot, no need to boil
  • Remove from heat, sprinkle with cracked pepper
  • ENJOY!

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I simply love this easy soup. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Happy Homemaking,

The Joyful Homemaker

Post 19 of 365 Real Foods Series: Homemade Gluten-Free Egg Noodles

Yesterday Jack and I decided we really wanted egg noodles with homemade bone broth gravy and peas for lunch. The frigid weather had us craving serious comfort food. I did a quick internet search for recipes on homemade egg noodles and came across this super easy recipe from the Frugalfarmwife.com.

http://frugalfarmwife.com/article/gluten-free-egg-noodles

Our attempt was successful! Thanks Elise for the delicious recipe!

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Ingredients:

  • Two egg yolks
  • King Arthur’s All-Purpose GF Flour
  • 1 teaspoon of grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon of water
  • A pinch of salt

Directions:

We followed Elise’s directions. (excerpt below):

“Beat together first four ingredients. Mix in enough flour to form a ball. Sprinkle more flour onto a flat non-stick surface and roll the dough as thin as you can or want to… Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut strips. Drop noodle strips into simmering broth.”

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These came out great and tasted JUST like egg noodles should! My noodles were not pretty, but with some practice, they will look pretty good. The yield was small, so to feed a family of three or four, you need to triple the recipe. Easy enough. These are sure to happen more often in our house.

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Happy Noodle-Making,

The Joyful Homemaker

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Post 17 and 18 of 365 Real Foods Series: Cinnamon Quinoa & Coconut Flour Banana Pancakes

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It’s been pretty impossible to work on my blog lately. It’s not easy with a 3-month old and a 3-year old, so I figured I would combine two easy breakfasts into one post.

Cinnamon Honey Quinoa and Coconut Flour Banana Pancakes are two of the easiest breakfasts going. They are both healthful and delicious. Jack LOVES the coconut flour banana pancakes. He often asks for three or four. John prefers my Chocolate Chip Hemp Seed pancakes (we’ll save those for another post).

So, below are two easy breakfasts that are sure to please. 🙂

Cinnamon and Honey Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • Fruit and/or nuts of choice (optional)

Directions:

  • Cook quinoa per directions
  • While almost done add cinnamon
  • When done pull off heat
  • Add raw honey and any other desired ingredients (I add chopped raw almonds and blueberries)

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Coconut Flour Banana Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • About 1 1/2 tablespoons of raw coconut flour
  • A few drops of vanilla extract

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Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients into food processor, I used my Kitchen Aid
  • Heat skillet, toss is butter or coconut oil if needed
  • Pour in desired amount of batter
  • Cook on one side about 7 minutes per side
  • Flip, cook until done

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That’s it! Both recipes are super easy. Give them each a try and let me know what you think.

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Happy Homemaking,

The Joyful Homemaker