Monthly Archives: January 2016

Hot Cheesy Corn Dip

This is a fun, warm dip that I like to make and share with a group of people because even though it’s made from real foods, the mayo and all the cheese make it more of a special treat, and you definitely don’t want to be eating the whole pan! We like to serve this with tortilla chips, which is another special treat :).

To make this dip, combine all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir together. Spread into a greased 8×8 inch baking dish.2015-12-19 12.48.42

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow it to cool 5-10 minutes before serving, but serve warm.


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Hot Corn Dip

1 c mayo
2 cans diced green chiles
1-2 Tbsp chopped jalapeno
1/2 c chopped red bell pepper
1/2 c parmesan cheese
1 c monterey jack cheese
1 c corn

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. Place in a lightly greased 8×8 inch baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Allow it to cool 5-10 minutes before scooping a spoonful onto your plate and enjoying with tortilla chips! Leftovers are wonderful reheated and served on the side of other Mexican dishes like these enchiladas.


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Filed under sides, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers

Apple Peanut Butter Sandwich

If you’re feeling like having something a little different for lunch, or mixing things up for your kids school lunch, these apple sandwiches are perfect! I love the idea of having a simple and easy sandwich, but I don’t love eating that much bread every day, so I particularly love these. They are also one of my kids favorite after school snacks, but they don’t like to wait for food to get ‘fixed’ so I try to have them ready before they walk in the door.

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To make these you take an eating apple (dimpled kind, not the all round and fat kind, like Granny’s that are for baking) like Fuji, Breaburn, Gala etc and slice it horizontally. Cut out the core from the slices (or core, then slice; I just always have problems doing it that way :)). On one apple slice, spread with 1 Tbsp peanut butter, then top with another apple slice. Use remaining apple slices to make a second sandwich.

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Apple Peanut Butter Sandwich
*makes 2 sandwiches

1 large eating apple (we love gala, fuji and braeburn)
2 Tbsp peanut butter (or almond butter)

Core 1 apple and slice it horizontally, into circular slices (Or slice, then core). Top with 1 tbsp peanut or almond butter and a second apple slice. Enjoy!

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Filed under Lunch, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers, vegan

Green Smoothie

I love green smoothies and have been drinking one daily for the past 6 years! I rarely miss a day because I don’t feel my best if I do. Green smoothies help me to feel energized and clean, and how many people do you know that get this many greens in a day, let alone just at breakfast:

2016-01-08 08.38.34Yeah, not many…probably just the crazy people :), like me. Even when I travel, I try and drink green smoothies…if a blender isn’t available for me to borrow then I’ll usually find a local health food store and buy premade green smoothies.

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I posted another green smoothie recipe on this blog about 4 years ago which you can find by clicking here.  I change my recipes up regularly, using different greens and fruit that are in season, but the outline is the same:  water, greens, fruit and ice or frozen fruit. Sometimes I’ll add a super food like spirulina, acai, maca, chia, hemp, oats, flax etc. for added nutritional benefits.

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The recipe I’m sharing today uses spinach, kale, chard, parsley and celery, plus some wonderful, sweet fruit.

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My husband and kiddos sometimes share my smoothie with me in the morning, but I’m the regular drinker in our house. I drink a lot of it at breakfast and I’ll save a cup or two to have later in the afternoon if I’m feeling hungry, or if I get cravings before dinner.  I like to drink it at breakfast because most people don’t get greens or any veggies at breakfast and because I  have a set morning routine which includes things that make me strong and healthy physically, mentally and emotionally, this habit fits in perfectly.

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I have a Blendtec which is a high power blender that makes smoothies Jamba Juice smooth, and Vitamix does the same thing. Using other blenders is possible, but you will not get the same smooth consistency. I LOVE this blender and use it often, not only for smoothies but also sometimes for soups, chopping nuts, and for grinding nuts and coconut into flour. It’s pretty amazing.

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Green Smoothie
*makes about 36 oz

1 1/2 cups cold water
2 large handfuls spinach, kale, chard mix (or just spinach if you’re just starting out with green smoothies)
2 stalks celery
1 small handful parsley
1 banana
1 apple, cored (or 1 orange or handful of grapes, or any other piece of fruit you have on hand)
1/2 a lemon, with juice squeezed
1 c ice (or you can do 1 cup of frozen berries/fruit)
optional: 1/2 tsp spirulina powder (spirulina has a very strong taste so I don’t usually do more than this)
optional: 1 Tbsp chia seeds or flax seeds or oat groats
optional: 1 tsp acai powder

Place water in high power blender. Add in greens and blend. Add in the rest of ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Add more ice if not cold enough, or can add a little frozen fruit. FYI: If you use dark berries(blueberries, raspberries etc) it will change the color of your smoothie from green to a brownish color.

*Why I like these ingredients:

Greens (spinach, kale, chard) : high in beta-carotene, cartonoids and flavonoids, vitamin K, A and C and numerous minerals like calcium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, folate, and selenium(these will help with aging). Lots of fiber which will sweep wastes and toxins from your body. Kale provides free-form amino acids which can be assimilated directly into the body and built into protein and it also has the flavonoids kaempferol and quercitin along with many others, that fight against the formation of cancerous cells.

Celery: anti-inflammatory; calming effect on the nervous system possibly because of high concentration of alkaline minerals including calcium, magnesium and potassium, and it helps lower high blood pressure. Detoxifier, and aids in elimination of toxins from the body by promoting healthy and normal kidney function. Natural laxative.

Parsley: High in vitamins A, C and in folic acid. Flavonoids that act as antioxidants(for anti-aging). High in iron. Blood purifier and helps kill bacteria in the body. Restorative digestion remedy. Helps cleanse liver of toxins and rejuvenates it.

Lemon: One of the most restorative foods for the liver. High in Vitamin C. Blood purifier and cleansing agent that flushes bacteria and toxins out of the body. Aids digestion.

Apple: contains pectin fiber, both soluble and insoluble. the soluble form swells with water in digestive tract, creating gel-like substance that binds with fats in the intestine which helps lower cholesterol and creates stable blood sugar levels. The insoluble fiber roughage helps cleanse the colon which helps to have clean blood.

Banana: High in B6 which helps with irritability and insomnia. Also it’s magnesium helps promote better sleep patterns. A combination of nutrients, healthy carbs and essential amino acid tryptophan in bananas can fight depression and help you stay in a good mood. High concentration of fiber and Vitamin C which helps promote good digestion and prevents constipation. Helps maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Good source of potassium which helps regulate proper fluid levels in the body. Vitamin A and natural oils help keep skin moisturized.


Filed under Breakfast, Smoothies

Shopping at Costco and Sprouts

Happy New Year! I’m one of those people who likes to regularly set new goals for myself, but at the beginning of a New Year, I actually write those goals down and take extra thought and planning into how I’m going to accomplish those goals. I’ll share a couple of those with you today, that deal with health/nutrition. Besides maintaining my current exercise program that I’ve done for years now, I also want to be better about eating a lot more vegetables and greens(with every meal and snack), less sugar, and not eating so often. Ideally, I’d like to have my three meals, one of which is a green smoothie(and which I’ve been having daily for 5+ years now), and one snack; I used to have two snacks, but I don’t feel like I really need it, I just like it :). I’m currently reading and listening to, The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder, CN, which I am loving and which is helping me understand the science behind how our bodies work and the why’s and when’s and how’s of the foods we put into our body. I’m also having fun experimenting with her recipes in the back of the book; I’ve just borrowed it from our library but I may need to purchase a copy for my personal library.

Now, onto the subject of my post. People often want to know  what I have in my fridge, pantry, and food storage and where I buy these things for the best price. I did my best to write down staples  from the stores I shop at most often, but I’m sure I’m forgetting some things. It’s important to me to have these items on hand and in my storage because it makes cooking and eating whole foods that much easier, when you’re prepared and stocked. Before we go into that list, here’s a quick look at our food storage:

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From top to bottom: Spelt(LOVE this grain; usually do 50/50 with wheat which helps cooked foods  be not so dense and heavy had you just used only wheat ), almond milk, puffed brown rice cereal, Izze drinks for special occasions, Unbromated white flour (used sparingly), molasses, olive oil, coconut oil, pure maple syrup, powdered sugar (I decorate cakes), coconut sugar, rice cakes, vital wheat gluten(for bread making), spices, raisins, brown rice, applesauce, popcorn kernels, parmesan cheese, marinated artichokes, corn tortillas, canned beans and coconut milk, marinara sauce, natural peanut butter, almond butter, almonds, triscuits, canned fruit and tomatoes, more marinara, pasta and on the floor are big buckets of oats and whole wheat berries.

The two stores where I do most of my grocery shopping are Costco and Sprouts. Here is a list of the items I generally buy from those stores:

Costco Buys:

almond butter
peanut butter
wheat buckets
oat buckets
whole wheat bread
coconut oil
olive oil
organic cane sugar
parmesan cheese
marinara sauce (no sugar!)
diced tomatoes
canned corn
tomato sauce
nuts: almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, sliced almonds
short grain brown rice
pure maple syrup
raw honey (just the small bottles for drizzling on sandwiches. I buy a big 60 lb bucket from a local bee keeper for baking)
toilet paper
dish soap
laundry soap

almond milk
eggs (no hormones and antibiotics, vegetarian fed, cage free)
2 lb block of cheese ($5) cheddar and mozzarella
vegetable bouillon
spinach, chard, kale mix
rotisserie chicken (large, already cooked, $5; no hormones)
boneless, skinless chicken (no hormones)
frozen berries
plain yogurt
minced garlic
feta cheese

Sprouts Buys:
all produce besides greens (I love all of it! and it’s so inexpensive!)
popcorn kernels
chia seeds
flax seeds
carob chips(Chatfield brand)
puffed kamut, brown rice and millet cereal
spelt (sometimes here or sometimes through a website: azure standard, which is usually cheaper)
unsweetned coconut
coconut sugar
Bragg’s liquid aminos (soy sauce substitute)
rice cakes
Friday night treats from the bulk section (we love the lemon covered almonds and the strawberry Aussie licorice; my hubs loves the dark chocolate covered peanuts)

I should have organized my fridge and pantry shelves before I took these pictures, but I didn’t, so you get it just as I see it everyday :). We go through a lot of produce so that’s mostly what the bottom half of our fridge contains, along with some eggs and plain yogurt. The top half has salsa, almond milk and whole cow’s milk, parmesan cheese, almond and peanut butter, hummus, home made chicken stock, pure maple syrup, and various leftovers including black beans, indian brown rice and coconut curry, and oatmeal. On the door we have some fruit sweetened jelly’s, feta cheese, lime and lemon juice, butter, cream cheese, curry paste, minced garlic, coconut water, banana peppers, mayo, hot sauce, newman’s own olive oil and vinegar dressing, ketchup (no high fructose corn syrup), artichokes and a yam.

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In this cabinet I have a shelf with lots of quart and pint sized jars with various grains, seeds etc that I buy from sprouts in their bulk section.

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And Here’s our pantry…sorry I had to do it in two pictures because I couldn’t fit both top and bottom in one picture. Also, not pictured is my big bucket of honey and my big bucket of oats which I keep in my kitchen behind my counter, and my produce that I keep on the counter with avocados, bananas, oranges and more apples. In the pictures below we have my wheat bucket, peanut butter, raisins, triscuits, whole wheat bread, peanuts, corn tortillas, homemade granola, sliced amonds, popcorn kernels, dates, chopped dates, quinoa, spelt, brown rice, puffed brown rice cereal, carob powder, coconut sugar…basically a lot of the stuff that’s down in my food storage.

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I hope this helps you get an idea for some whole foods items to keep on hand which will make cooking and eating whole foods easier.

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