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Sunday, September 14, 2014

September - Honey Month

Honey has so many benefits. We use it for cooking and hubby takes a teaspoon full morning and evening. He has a poor immune system and the fall allergins are just around the corner. He also takes echinesia and grape seed extract to boost his immune system.

I used to just buy plain honey in the stores, then I bought raw honey in the stores. Still there is nothing better than LOCAL RAW HONEY.

We found a local bee keeper who keeps his bees about 10 minutes from our home. He said he only harvests the honey once a year in June. Apparently, he lost a hive harvesting the honey before winter. A lesson learned. Bees need honey to eat through the winter months when there are not as many sources of food out there. This man also said that store bought, processed, raw honey isn't as good as his. The store processed honey filters out to much of the pollen needed to make honey a benefit for those who have allergies. Of course we got greedy and bought 4 pint jars @ $10 a jar. I would rather buy good food than pay for good doctors. You can even see the pollen on the top of the honey. NEVER PUT HONEY IN THE MICROWAVE. Heat it by setting it in warm water.

I use honey in my homemade granola bars and baking. I do use the store bought raw honey for my recipes so we can keep the good stuff for hubby.

I remember my mother buying honey in the comb. I can't remember if it was local but it was good. It's amazing how we once used all these natural cures so many years ago and have simply just forgotten all their goodness.

We have gone back to basics to continue the lessons learned decades ago. If we have a cold coming on we squeeze REAL lemon juice in a cup of warm water (NO SUGAR OR ALCOHOL). I also take 1000-2000 mg vitamin C. I prefer a chewable tab.. (Clues for a cold coming on are the tightness of your shoulders and being tired) Get plenty of rest and liquids. Green Tea is a benefit also.

Could you make specific honey based on what activates your allergies? Good question. Heck if rag weed is an issue put the honey bees near those flowers. This is just an example. Check out
The Walden Effect
 
You have seen this on the side of the roads. Hubby's alergies are on a 12 hour clock. He takes his spoonfull at 6am before breakfast and before dinner. It seems to work. 


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Weight Watcher Tuna Steak

Tuna Steak ( 2 servs)

8 ounces Albacore Tuna Steak ($8.89 lb from Trader Joes)

Coat each side with a bit of olive oil and grill seasoning.
I used the George Forman grill cooking it on both sides at once. Total time cooking was  15 minutes at the most.
I had a few olives left over and an avocado that needed help.

4 oz Tuna Steak, 1/2 C peas, 7 olives, 1/2 avocado = 9 points VERY filling when eaten slowly.

Eating secrets: eat slowly, chew more and don't drink while eating. Your stomach enzymes will appreciate you.

Dessert: I added a glass of red wine (5 points) and 1 sq 73% chocolate square (1 point).

I MAKE room for my wine every evening. If I have enough points I substitute the chocolate for a WW chocolate toffee bar (3 points).

Simple Tuna Stead Dinner

Sunday, September 7, 2014

WW BROCOLLI TURKEY STIR FRY

2 Servings


Heat 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in large frying pan or chicken fryer on medium heat.
Add:
1 sliced onion
1 C brocolli cut up
1 large minced garlic clove
1 Tablespoon grated ginger (1tsp dry)
½ sliced bell pepper
½ C sliced mushrooms
Cook 5 minutes (if it gets to dry add a bit of water)
Add more veggies if you want

Remove from pan, set aside.

Add 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
Brown 6 ounces turkey breast sliced
Add:
1C chicken broth
1 tablespoons lite salt soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon horseradish

1 teaspoon brown sugar
(ketchup and horseradish add some zip to this recipe. You could add sriracha also.
Cook on low heat until turkey is tender.

Take two tablespoons of liquid out and add 1/2 tablespoon corn starch to it. Add to pan. This will thicken the mixture

Add veggie mix, ½ teaspoon sesame seeds.
Total WW points per serving is 7 points and a very filling meal.

Serve over whole wheat noodles if you want. We had a fruit salad.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

My recipes will be a bit different

As of Saturday, September 6, 2014, I have joined Weight Watchers Online. I played around with the tools on their sight and will revise my old recipes to adapt to Weight Watchers Points. My hubby is joining me. Actually Weight Watchers is a good way to eat for most everyone. PORTION CONTROL is important with meat and fat.

On Weight Watchers all your veggies and fruit have NO points. I am allowed 33 points based on a calculations they design.

Today we shopped at Trader Joe's, as usual. It is easy in the fruit and vegetable department. Pick items you like to keep on hand for munchies and for salads. Each meal will include a salad. We chose Trader Joe's Organic Red Wine & Olive Oil Vinaigrette this week. Two tablespoons is a serving and is equal to 4 points.
 
Preparing a salad has changed. Now that we are using less dressing it's easier if you put the salad in a bowl and put the dressing over it and toss it. Then put it on a separate smaller plate. You can add cherry tomatoes and some vegetables over the salad if you want. If you want to add a bit of cheese choose low-fat or a small amount of Parmesan Cheese. Adding fresh herbs can perk your salad up also.
We always put cucumbers, red onions (grilled if we have time), mushrooms, and tomatoes on our salads. Occasionally we add feta cheese if our main meal is low in points.

 Sooooo we are rethinking our breakfast meals. No longer can I have two waffles and bacon. Instead this morning we each had 1 egg/canadian bacon/whole wheat english muffin/and fruit. Total of 6 points. You can also add veggies to the scrambled egg. Hubby likes mushrooms and onions.

I will also have a blog on Weight Watchers site. I want to educate readers on how to eat and live as chemical free as possible.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Basics Part 1


This blog post is for my friend at work who is just starting to learn to cook.
There are three basic sauces you need to learn to make about anything.

White Sauce:2 servings

2 Tablespoons butter (BUTTER not fake anything)
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Cup liquid
Salt and Pepper to taste
For a basic sauce here is how you start. You can add whatever veggies, meat, spices, and pasta to this basic sauce and create what you want.

Melt the butter over medium heat; add vegetables at this point (onions, mushrooms or whatever you want).
Add the flour and cook for 30 seconds CONTINUALLY. Then add liquid and salt/pepper. For cream sauce use milk. Cook until thick. Add more liquid to thin out sauce.
Macaroni and Cheese: Add cheese after it thickens. Then add pasta and any veggie you want such as peas.

Chicken casserole:  Add chicken broth instead of milk and spices with pasta and chicken.

Tuna Noodle: Add tuna and chicken broth seasonings then noodles.
For all of these casseroles you bake them covered in tin foil @ 375 degrees until you see the bottom bubbling, about 40 minutes. Take the foil off and bake until you get a golden top.

You can just make this cream sauce and add garlic, pasta, parmesan cheese, and some peas for a good side dish.

Or Mac and Cheese

The object is to just use this sauce and add things you like. Maybe some Cajun spices and shrimp or shrimp and garlic. This is just a base for any good invention.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Massive BBQ cookoff

Since we have very little time to cook during the week we try to BBQ or cook for the week.
 
Buffalo Hot Dogs from Whole foods, Hamburger, Salmon from Trader Joe's, and Turkey Breast all went on the grill. Make sure you put a thumb mark in the middle of the burgers so they don't puff up in the middle. I try to make mine big because they will cook up smaller.  Life will be easy this week.

 


Well, at least they all fit. The salmon filet went firs then burgers and dogs. The turkey took another 1/2 hour on lower heat.
 
Last night we had Salmon Caesar Salad with parmesan cheese and homemade Caesar Salad Dressing. Usually I have croutons, but I forgot to make them from our homemade bread.
 
 

The salad dressing is a fairly easy recipe. I use all the anchovies in the small tin plus the juice. I just chop up the anchovies, add 3 large cloves of minced garlic and 1/3 C mayo. I use my immersion blender then add a bit of milk to thin it out. We like our dressing spicy hot so we use a lot of garlic. You can start out with a clove and add more after it ages. It is better to make your dressing the day before.
 
 
 
 
Tonight we had Buffalo Dogs and veggie chili from Trader Joe's. Of course, we topped it with shredded raw milk white cheddar cheese also from Trader Joe's.
 

 


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tuna Steak with Noodle Side Dish

Tuna Steaks....they are so amazing and easy to grill. They literally take under 10 minutes to cook.
We use wood chunks for grilling. We gave up charcoal and have never used propane for grilling. It has to many chemicals. The problem with wood chunks is they burn faster so you have to plan ahead.
Grill the tuna's first side good then flip it over only for a few minutes. It should not be solid when done, but have a bit of spring-back. (I have been watching Bobby Flay's cooking to much)
Before you even get the Tuna steaks on the grill you should make the noodle dish first.

Glass dishes tonight. It just didn't seem right to put this meal on paper plates.


Dinner for Two
Cook thin spaghetti noodles and set aside. Don't wash them off. The starch on the noodles gives the sauce something to stick to.
As the noodles are cooking saute:
1/4 chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon garlic from a jar or 1/2 chopped small garlic clove
We added 3 left over mushrooms (optional)
Cook for about 3 minutes. Add: 1 Tablespoon flour and stir. Cook for at least 30 seconds.
Add: 1/2 C of milk or cream. The sauce will thicken.
I added frozen peas and then noodles.
Top with parmesan cheese and stir.

Remove from heat and cover....meanwhile put the Tuna Steaks on. Timing is the real key. We take the steaks off and cover loosely with foil.

The noodle dish was fast. I put our deionized water on to boil before I jumped in the shower and it was just about boiling by the time I came out. Yep, multi-tasking.


Two Tuna Steaks from Trader Joe's @ $8.99/pound
 
The Tuna Steaks are so big we cut them in half saving the second half for a salad topping the next night.

 
Made in our iron clad cookware. I don't use a pan coated with anything.

This is a hearty dish. I think I got carried away with the noodles. (Of course our parrot screamed until he got his cut of noodles) This noodle recipe can be changed to fit what you have left over in your frig. You could add zucchini, peppers,  hot or sweet, carrots, and whatever. We love frozen peas and corn.

We also have a nice glass of red wine from Trader Joe's with dinner.

Tonight we are grilling the entire week’s meat: Turkey breast, (grill both sides on high heat to get the grill marks then over low heat until done) four burgers, four bison dogs from Whole Food, and salmon from Trader Joe's. We don't have a lot of time after work so this works best for us. Some of the turkey will be used in my pasta-bean-turkey salad for lunches. Tonight will be Salmon Caesar Salad.

I will take pics of our meals this week. Seems I don't blog much. Hubby and I now commute to work. I have to wait 1 hour after we get there before I work and he waits 1.5 hours after his work before I get out of work. Fortunately, we work across the street from each other. We are saving for a trip to the west coast around Christmas to see our kids and grandkids. We are living a bit frugal the next few months. We only go out once a week for a meal and no more weekend drives in the Texas country dreaming of an area to live. Hunker down and save is our motto.