healthy

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Black Rice Salad

Published July 10, 2018 by lynn k scott

As part of my psuedo-raw, vegan, vegetarian diet I made up this dish.  I thought it would be great for lunch and it was!

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I started by making just half a cup of black rice.  Yes, I know, they look like little ants in a salad, but it’s SOOOOO good.  That, and you can use it to freak out your kids.  Either way, it’s a win!  Sorry…couldn’t resist; ok, I didn’t really try either.

Then I cut up some veggies to add to my salad:  Cucumber, mini bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, a bit of fresh cilantro, fresh basil and fresh dill (I put that one everything), shredded carrots and a few beets.  I made up a light dressing to toss it in.  Mixed everything together and divided into two portions.  I had lunch for two days.

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I will say, adding avocado to the salad, right before you eat it, will take it to a whole new level.  I am going to be making more for my lunches.  It is definitely better than the standard lettuce salad.

This salad was vegan, gluten-free and DELICIOUS!  I modeled it off a recipe I have been making for years (not my personal recipe).  You can make either or make it a combination.  Either way, it’s salad season…

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Fruit Platter

Published July 5, 2018 by lynn k scott

Sometimes I wish I didn’t have a background in catering; esp. when I have to bring something to a potluck. However, I do and that’s why I can’t just pick up pre-cut fruit, and bring it to where ever I am going.

Recently, I made a fruit platter for our VBS (Vacation Bible School) potluck bbq. I had envisioned using a cored out pineapple as the center of the dish; however, this was not meant to be.

I laid down some red-leaf lettuce. One, it provides a nice garnish but also covers up an blemishes on the platter. When I can, I prefer to use purple kale and I like the color contrast, but I had to use what was available.

I then cut a watermelon in half and sliced the half. This gave me some straight pieces of watermelon, which I halved again and created watermelon triangles. I placed them on the border of the platter and added a second layer.

I had cubed some cantaloupe melon and made a small layer, adding it between the watermelon layers to hold up the second layer of watermelon.

Added blackberries, opposite each other, did the same with some grapes and added cherries in the center. After all, everything is better when topped with a cherry (or cherries, in this case), right?

Last touch was to sprinkle some blueberries over the entire platter.

All in all, I was pleased with the outcome. To me, it ended up looking like a flower was in bloom.

Homemade fruit platters aren’t the cheapest to make, but they are gluten-free, fresh tasting and provide a healthy alternative to some of the items that normally accompany a bbq.

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Mayo-Free Coleslaw

Published January 15, 2016 by lynn k scott

I was excited to post this coleslaw that I made last night.  It’s the second time making it since originally find it in a friend’s Facebook post.

I thought I had taken pictures of my prep work, but apparently I hadn’t.  Then I only took one picture of the final product and managed to delete it upon reviewing pictures.  UGH! How am I supposed to blog about it without sharing pictures?  UPDATE:  I uploaded the pic to WP before my deleting spree took effect.

Never fear…Google to the rescue!  I actually tracked down the exact recipe from another food blog!  The recipe is really simple.  I like that it only has a few ingredients and one of them isn’t mayonnaise.  I have never liked the creamy oil and egg concoction.  I’d go without eating than eat a sandwich with mayo slathered all over it.

Not to mention, mayo-free means less calories.  No longer need to worry about spoilage for a summer picnic.  I know for some people it won’t be the same.  As I never jumped on the mayo bandwagon, I wasn’t missing anything and I am more willing to try dishes such as this.  Using fresh ingredients also means I can guarantee it’s gluten-free, which is a requirement for my diet.

Another reason I like this recipe is the use of fresh lemon juice, instead of vinegar.  Don’t get me wrong, I love vinegars; have 6 variations in my pantry.  I like the “pop” of flavor from the lemon and its zest.  This recipe also uses honey instead of sugar.  I have significantly cut refined sugar from my diet; including my coffee!  I’ve noticed how sluggish I used to be once my sugar-high crashed like the waves against a shoreline in a Category-5 hurricane.  It’s nice to be free of those highs and lows.

I’ve listed in the ingredients and recipe below, but please visit the website to see the amazing pictures of this simple, yet tasty, coleslaw.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 small red cabbage
  • 1/2 small green cabbage
  • 1/2 carrot, shredded
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Remove any tough outer leaves from the cabbage.
  2. Trim the core and any tough stems from the cabbage and thinly slice.
  3. Add to a bowl with the shredded carrot, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and black pepper. Toss to combine.
  4. Serve this right away for more of a salad, or store it in the fridge overnight for a slaw that’s more pickled.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Originally found on:  http://www.pbs.org/food/fresh-tastes/no-mayo-coleslaw

My New Sneakers!

Published January 13, 2016 by lynn k scott

They just arrived!!!  Yes, I am excited about a new pair of running shoes.  One, I don’t often treat myself to new stuff.  However, this time there was a “special” occasion.  On Monday, I had received an email that I had won a $10 gift card for Amazon.

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I’m all about saving money.  I have lots of apps that allow me to scan purchases.  I either get PayPal payouts, free products, entered into contests; you get the idea.

My coworker had introduced me to the Wellcoin app.  The app picture is a little gold coin. It’s a way to keep you on track with healthy eating, exercise, etc.  The premise is you take a picture of healthy food, healthy beverages, counting steps, checkups, etc.  There are A LOT of options to collect coins.  Then you can exchange the coins in their store.  The items change out every so often.

I have received these gluten-free, delicious power bars.  A friend earned two different pair of running shoes.  There are discounts on workout clothes, footwear, etc.

You can also rate other members’ pictures.  It’s a way to earn additional points.  All in all, it’s helped me stay on track.  Being rewarded for something I enjoy doing is just all that much better.

If you choose to download the app and want to be “friends”.  I’m under “Anne” (there are several of us), but my profile picture is my grey pit bull’s face.  Say “hi” if you can find me.

It’s in the bag

Published May 24, 2015 by lynn k scott

Drop that can!  Oh, the convenience of it all.  Pick up a can of beans to use as a side dish or to use in preparing other dishes. I have come to tell you, there is another way. Did you know that all sorts of beans are sold dry and in bags? Amazing, right?

I never paid attention to bagged beans growing up.  My mother was less than a good cook.  It’s not being mean.  When the dog refused to eat her cooking, it was a validation that it wasn’t just us kids that didn’t like the food.  Just about everything she made came out of a can or was already processed.

Many moons later, as I made a commitment to myself to cook healthier, to avoid food allergens and chemical processing, I use dried beans exclusively in my cooking.  Granted, dried beans do require a few extra steps, but they are very tiny steps that yield much better results than anything that plops out of a can.

Last night, I put some navy beans in some water and soaked them overnight.  This morning, I dumped them into a colander and then added them to my crockpot.  This is my preferred method of cooking beans.  The crockpot is your friend.  If you don’t currently have one, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND picking one up.

When you utilize dried beans, you have the option of using recipes that suit your needs.  You get the opportunity of teaching your children to cook.  Crockpot cooking is still cooking.  After I added the beans to the crockpot, I diced up a small onion and added that too.

My daughter came into the kitchen and I let her help mix the sauce to pour over the beans.  I opened a jar of ketchup that I had previously canned.  Added the ketchup to some water, added some brown sugar, some molasses, a little apple cider vinegar, a bit of salt and pepper and let her whisk those ingredients together.

She poured the blended mixture over the beans and stirred to combine.  Then I had her place the lid on, set the crockpot to 6 hours and turn it “on”. This afternoon, we will have baked beans.  I will probably can several jars for use this summer.

My daughter really enjoys helping in the kitchen.  Making recipes like this teaches her about food, allows her to ask questions about the ingredients and she sees how raw ingredients come together to make a new dish.

The next time you are about to pick up a can of kidney, pinto, black or baked beans (just to name a few), think about making your own.  I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the results.

Vegetable Stock: In the Making

Published March 15, 2015 by lynn k scott

Veggie stock ingredients

This simple pile of vegetables and herbs will be transformed into vegetable stock, which I will then can and have on hand to use in making a variety of dishes.

Ever since I bought my pressure canner two years ago,  I stopped buying vegetable and chicken stock. While I primarily use vegetable stock in the majority of my dishes, I make homemade chicken stock throughout the year as well.  This 2015-03-15 08.41.27morning, I gathered my ingredients and put them all on the counter.  Armed with my favorite Hammerstahl chef’s knife, a vegetable peeler and a garbage bag ( for scraps, shavings, ends, etc.), I begin to prepping the vegetables for the pot.

Now, the Ball Canning Book I use has some really great recipes.  When I know I will be canning, I try to use only tested recipes.  I have tried several vegetable stock recipes over the last couple of years and this is just the best one for me.  Instead of just making one 7-quart recipe, I got out another stock pot, and am making 10.5 quarts.

The prepping takes about an hour, if you’re doing it yourself.  If you have helpers, you can cut that time by half, depending on their skill level in the kitchen.  I will point out, this is a great way to show kids how you can prepare store-bought items at home, have them be healthier and they can sample the ingredients that make up the stock.

Once on the stove, the veggies will cook, the water will fuse with the vegetables, and turn a yellow-brownish color. Depending on some of the ingredients used, that will determine the final stock color.  Red onions and red peppers will definitely add a depth of color that yellow onions and/or peppers won’t.  This particular recipe calls for bringing the mixture to a boil, reducing the heat to low and cook for two hours, covered.  After two hours, remove the lid(s) and simmer another two hours.  Then remove vegetables, strain through cheesecloth and begin the canning process.

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Since I use a local farm stand to purchase my ingredients, I always buy them just a day or two before I will make the stock. When canning, you want to use the freshest ingredients possible, to avoid bacteria growth.  Another benefit of making your own stock is that you can do so chemical and sodium-free. There are no added preservatives in this stock.

My canning season is starting.  I will typically can at least once a week now, depending what’s in season.  Having food allergies, intolerance, or whatever the term is these days, makes purchasing some prepared foods very difficult.  I enjoy making homemade dishes for my family, using homemade ingredients such as stocks and sauces.

The best part of this is the cost-savings.  Depending on the ingredients used, each 16-oz. jar (or pint) only costs me $0.50-$0.75 to make.  I always have a massive collection of canning jars on hand.  By mid-summer, I may need to purchase more, only because I am canning more and more every year.  I admit, canning can be labor intensive and even more so if you are the only cook.

When all is said and done, I am please with what my efforts yield.

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         Vegetable stock and tomato sauce.

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