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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reclaimed Food Week #11

This week's theme must have been....GREEN!  Check out all those goodies - maybe Produce Guy thought the chickens needed a little St. Patrick's Day pick-me-up. :)  

Either way - we LOVE our green veggies here at the hive- just today for lunch Te-Man snagged a piece of cucumber off of my lunch plate and munched away happily.  Ze-Ra is always down for eating some veggies - she is seriously the easiest kid when it comes to food.  As long as it isn't sauer kraut or salted ham, she's game!   It is so fun when you get to watch your kids make great choices! :)  
 Tuesday 03/12/13

Thursday 03/14/13

Reclaimed Food Week #10

Whoa momma....look at all the corn, yellow squash, and peppers!  Craziness! 

I made a new recipe with the squash - it was a chocolate zucchini bread recipe.  It was interesting....everyone but me LOVED it....maybe it was because I used honey and I don't really like the taste of honey....I don't know. :(

We made hashbrowns out of the butternut squash - those were delish!  I'll have to make them again and take a pic - super easy and even a great work out ;) 

Te-Man was so excited when he saw that corn - YUM!

Tueday 03/05/13

Kale soup baby....yea! 
Thursday 03/07/13

Reclaimed Food Week #9

Only one day of produce this week, but that's alright - no complaining here!  

Even with getting produce only one day, I was able to save over $30 of produce from hitting the garbage!

Have I convinced you to contact your local grocery store to ask about their produce scraps?  You should definitely do it - the worst thing that can happen is they say no.  

My "chickens" eat like kings!!! 

Thursday 02/28/13

Reclaimed Food Week #8

Wow, I have gotten bad about posting these....yeesh.

Maybe I am forgetting to post them because I'm so busy eating all of the produce.....yea....that's it. ;)

I can tell you that it might not have kept me busy, but it sure did keep us (and Wiley Kat's family) happy with tummies full of fruit! :)

Tuesday 02/19/13

Thursday 02/21/13

Grok On!

Do you remember this post from back in January where I was talking about getting serious about my health again and just generally removing my head from my rear end?   Well, in addition to everything I mentioned there, the ante has been upped this week. 

Back in 2008 I was so unhappy with how I felt, just sluggish and "blah" all the time.  I thought it was because I'd put on a few pounds and maybe buckling down on things would make me feel better.  Well, a coworker was doing Atkins and I thought, eh....what the heck, I'll give it a try.  

At first, it was great. I felt AWESOME!  It was like someone had turned up the dial on my energy level and was stepping on the gas pedal.  I was eating more fruits and vegetables than I'd eaten in my whole life!   But then....we found ourselves {Wolverine joined me in this adventure, so we could do it together, just as we do in all our adventures :) } trying as hard as we could to make "Atkins" versions of the food we used to eat before.  These were mostly horrible.  I mean they had some kind of weird after-taste or the texture was awful or they just tasted like chemicals.  Ugh.  We found ourselves wondering is this what we want?  The answer was Atkins was not for us*. 

Fast forward a bit to January 2009 and I stumbled across a book called Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson.  This book was literally life changing for me.  It made me realize that the way I was feeling when we were doing Atkins (in the beginning) was they way I could feel all the time.  I just needed to start looking at food in a different way.  If I filled my body with the right type of fuel (vegetables, meat, fruits, nuts, etc), it would reward me with energy and health.  

I had the epiphany that eluded me before. 

I struggled on Atkins because I knew certain foods weren't "allowed".... but wasn't it my "right" to eat those foods?  Isn't that what people ate?  The lunch bags and plates of people around me and everyone's shopping cart was filled with CRAP.   I mean I wasn't going crazy and eating tons of junk food, just normal stuff - so shouldn't I be fine?

But then after reading Primal Blueprint it changed my way of wasn't my "right" to eat those foods, I was eating them because that's what I have always eaten and I would rather eat what I wanted and be miserable than feel amazing and fill my body with nutritious and delicious food.  But would I? I wouldn't.  My mind set had changed.  It was no longer I wasn't "allowed" to eat those foods, it was I didn't want to put that food in my body.  

Our primal adventure began in January 2009.  Was it always easy?  No....not really.  Did I "fall off the wagon" a few times - yeah I did.  But what kept me coming back was knowing that when I was eating primally I felt like a well oiled machine.  It was incredible.  Will I tell you that I didn't build "carb days" into my life - no I won't.  There was a period of over a year that we would eat carb heavy once every few weeks and I was in the best shape - physically and mentally of my life.  

I was primal through my entire pregnancy with Te-Man - everything went amazingly well, almost zero issues, not even the normal pregnancy complaints.

Then....well....we didn't so much fall of the wagon as drive our wagon off the cliff.  I could bore you to tears with excuses and reasons, but they don't matter.  What matters is that the entire time I wasn't primal I had a nagging....almost guilt....that I was filling my body with junk that I shouldn't and that even though I wasn't eating all of the processed junk in boxes and bags from the grocery store, my body was still starving for nutrients and I was feeding it food from which it couldn't get those nutrients.  I have a Grok On t-shirt in my closet and every time I would wear it or see it hanging there, I would feel like a fraud.  

I am fraud no longer! We re-committed ourselves to eating primally on Monday and I feel AMAZING already.  I feel great physically - but mentally I feel a weight lifted off of my shoulders because I know I made the right decision.  

Is it more expensive, yes.  Is it a pain sometimes when you just want to be lazy and order a pizza, yes.  But it is worth it 100 times over.  

I would really encourage you to take a peak at Primal Blueprint.  Not because I think everyone should "go primal" (we have experimented with a standard way of eating, vegetarian, vegan, Atkins, and primal and we found what works best for us), but because it might be the first step towards realizing what the food you put in your body does for you.  

And if that encourages you to add more fruits and vegetables into your diet then how can that be a bad thing? 

Grok On! 

*Please note, that Atkins and Primal are VERY similar, heck, almost the same - we just weren't prepared with all of the information we needed at the time we were doing Atkins and we were doing it wrong.  Atkins isn't about combining weird chemical laden ingredients to form some kind of edible concoction that is similar to a "non Atkins" food....we were making it that and completely "missed the boat".  

Monday, March 4, 2013

Oven Fried "KFC" Chicken

I haven't eaten at a KFC in over 10 I might not be best judge of whether or not this chicken tastes like KFC.....but I do LOVE fried chicken!

This stuff was FANTASTIC!  It was great at dinner, it was great cold out of the fridge that night, and it was still great the next day for lunch on a salad!  YUM! I can not wait to make it again!

This was so easy to make - you should definitely try it!

Oven Fried "KFC" Chicken
What's In It:
2 c buttermilk*
2 lb chicken
1 c flour
1 T Season All
3/4 t pepper
3/4 stick of butter (6 T)

What To Do With It:
Place chicken in bowl and cover with buttermilk.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour (I left mine in the milk for about 6 hours).
Combine seasonings with flour in a wide bowl or other dish suitable for flouring chicken.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place butter in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish, then place the baking dish in the oven during the preheating to allow the butter to melt.
While butter is melting, remove a piece of chicken from milk mixture and dredge through the flour mixture.  Place on a plate and dredge remaining pieces of chicken.
Once all chicken is coated, remove pan with melted butter from oven and transfer all chicken to the pan.
Cook for 20 minutes.
Carefully turn each piece of chicken over and cook for 20 minutes more, or until cooked through.

*I used homemade with milk and lemon juice

Homemade Season All

I had never heard of "Season All" until I needed it to make some Oven Fried KFC Chicken.  I have always been kind of leary of seasoned salts...they just never taste as good as I hope they will.

This one did not disappoint though! I have used it probably 10 times since I made the chicken.  

Will definitely be keeping this one around! :) 

Homemade Season All
What's In It:
2 T black pepper
1 T chili powder
2 T parsley
1 T garlic salt
1 T chicken bouillon
1 1/2 t onion powder
1 1/2 t paprika
1 t cumin
1 t marjoram
1/2 t curry
1/3 c salt

What To Do With It:
Combine and store in an airtight container.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Granola - Challenge 2013 Recipe #14

Would you like your home to smell so good your husband (or wife) kisses you in thanks?

If so, make this today!  It is so good on yogurt, fruit, yogurt and fruit, with milk, on soon, etc. ;)


DIY Test Kitchen Granola 
America's test kitchen does not have the recipe posted, but the link takes you to a site that has the recipe does.

Here are few pictures of our breakfast parfaits this past weekend.

Granola Bars - Challenge 2013 Recipe #13

Sometimes I just want to be able to send a granola bar to school with Ze-Ra or pack one in Wolverine's lunch.  Yet, the granola bars I have made are always too brittle or too crumbly or too sweet or too.....ugh.   
Is it really so much to ask? 

No. No it is not.  I am elated that I have decided to make my way through this book.  I am only two months in to the year and I already have SO MANY new recipes to keep around! :)

This one is definitely one of those.  I have already made two batches, and I have played with the ingredients a bit (keeping the ratios the same of course)! 

America's test kitchen does not have the recipe posted, but the link takes you to a site that has the recipe posted, the only thing missing from the posted recipe is 1/3 c unsweetened coconut.  I have made these as listed and also without the pumpkin seeds and coconut and instead with peanuts and chocolate chips - both were delicious!