Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Easy Clam Chowder

Easy Clam Chowder


1/2 c diced onion
1/2 c diced celery
dash salt and pepper
1 tsp original Mrs. Dash
1 tbsp butter
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups diced potatoes
1/2 c shredded carrots (I grated mine.)
2 cans diced clams (drain juice and use with vegetable broth)
1 cup mashed potatoes*
1 cup milk (or cream, or half and half)

 Over med heat. lightly saute the onions and celery until soft. Add vegetable broth and clam juice and bring to boil adding potatoes and carrots. Cook about 10 min. Add mashed potatoes, seasonings, and milk. Bring to boil and cook on med-low heat for about 10 minutes. Add clams in the last 5 minutes. Remove from heat, Thickens as it cools. Serve warm w/ crackers. Serves 4-6 easily.

* Many people I know use flour to thicken, I learned that other mashed fresh vegetables that are starchy will thicken just as well and you get the added vegetable nutrients and flavor. I had leftover homemade mashed potatoes from last night's roast and just used that. If you do not, you can fry 2 tbsp flour with the onions and butter in the beginning right before adding the broth. This will create a thick gravy to add to.  By using the mashed potatoes, however, you can serve this without problems of wheat flour (for those with sensitivity.)












Monday, November 17, 2014

DIY Cookie Butter

Simple to make, and soooo very good. It's sinful, and delicious!!

DIY Cookie Butter


1 c crushed cookies
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/4 c water
1/4 c olive oil

To make, crumble cookies into food processor and pulse until fine powder. Then add oil and water and process for a minute. Slowly add powdered sugar  and let process until thick and creamy.  Scoop into jar or bowl with a good lid. Use on toast, crackers, waffles, pancakes, or as frosting /glaze on cake, or whatever! Warm in the microwave for 30 seconds and drizzle as topping over ice cream.

Refrigerate. Lasts a week.

My advice is to use hard cookies, like chocolate chip or snicker doodles. Cream filled cookies tend to separate. The absolute best is to use homemade cookies, that way you are certain of no extra ingredients you don't want. The oil you use can also vary- I suggest coconut oil or olive oil.
However you put this together, it is definitely cheaper to make at home, (Total price for what I made was about $0.80) and quick to make too! 
Your kids will love the alternate, and you will love both the price and ease.



Monday, November 10, 2014

DIY Homemade Ensure

        Recently, I asked what might be needed to be researched. “Homemade DIY ______??????”

The answer I got back was: Homemade DIY Ensure. 

      Without question, I understood. (Instantly I had a childhood flashback of my Grandfather, who had cancer, and the bottles of Ensure stacked up in his kitchen.) 
     For many, it is necessary.  Ensure is the most recommended meal substitute on the market; but, sadly, also remains one of the most expensive. 
     The reasons for needing it are wide and varied. As I began to research the best recipes, I understood quickly the variations involved in needs for people. Some need complete meal replacement, others need added calories for weight gain, and some are trying to lose weight. I have decided to share several recipes; and ask that you -as the reader- to decide which might be best for your circumstance. 
      My focus remained on how to make it at home, with the minimal cost and most nutritional value.  Here are the top 5 recipes I found. The  #4. Protein Shake is my personal favorite. I will be making more of this one for us in the future! 
___

1. Homemade DIY Ensure

In empty gallon container pour in:
3 cans sweetened condensed milk*,
2 cups Ovaltine,
1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil.
Shake/mix vigorously until completely incorporated.
To this, add whole milk until gallon container is filled.
Shake/mix vigorously again.
Serve 8 oz. Glass, three times a day and be sure to take 1 quality multivitamin a day. lasts 3 days in refrigerator.

*You can also DIY Homemade Sweetened condensed milk. See Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

____

    2. Homemade DIY Ensure

    Combine:
    3 cups whole milk
    1 package Vanilla instant pudding powder (4 serving size)
    ½ c instant dried powdered non-fat milk
    2 packages or 2/3 c Nestle Carnation Instant Breakfast (any flavor)
Blend on low speed in blender for a minute. Serve 8oz glass. 
Cover remainder and refrigerate for up to 3 days. 
__

    3. DIY Homemade Ensure

    ½ c Yogurt
    ½ c Milk
    1 c frozen or fresh fruit
    1 tbsp Bee Pollen
    1 tsp flax seed
    1 tbsp whey protein
    Blend. May add carob chips

__

    4. DIY Homemade Protein Shake.

8oz. Whole milk (or 4 oz yogurt+4 oz milk) 8-10g protein
½ c cottage cheese (or 2 raw eggs; or 2 tbsp peanut butter) 8-14g protein
1 c chopped/diced fruit (apple, banana, berries, etc.- you can also use 1 c pumpkin puree) 2g protein
3 tbsp oatmeal (or 1 tbsp bran powder) 15 g protein
1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil

In blender pulse oatmeal first until powdery, then add remaining ingredients. Blend on low for 1 minute. Drink this one right away when nutritional content is best. This can provide 30-50g of protein.
I suggest 1 quality multivitamin a day in addition to this.
 (It is recommended that the average active adult gets between 50- 175g of protein /day. Ratios are dependent upon body weight and activity levels)

*Additional note: When I made this for my sons- they asked for additional honey- 1 tbsp. Final taste test: A+ Kid approved.
__

    5. DIY Homemade Ensure w/ Protein powder 

    (I avoided this one until last because I was trying to find options that do not include expensive protein and vitamin powders- I suggest if you do buy them save money and buy in bulk.)
    ¼ can sweetened condensed milk
    1 tsp vanilla
    ½ c strawberries
    ½ c milk
    3 Tbsp protein powder
    3 tbsp wheat germ
    ½ tsp. Omega 3 oil
    Vitamin powder (optional)
    Mix well in blender & drink.
__


These are the basic recipes I have found. You can substitute a variety of things to improve or change flavors- do not be afraid to try different fruits. Use ice cream or yogurt to thicken. If you are allergic to milk- I suggest coconut milk, or rice milk. (I would have said soy a few years ago- but the fear of GMO's bugs me here.) If regular sugar bothers you, I have included a link to making homemade sweetened condensed milk with several different sugar options.



All in all, I hope this helps; and gives those of you who might need this supplemental drink a few more options that are easier on the budget!







Disclaimer: This in no way is intended to endorse, slander, or harm the name Ensure. I intend only to provide alternate suggestions for people who may need it. ***This does not replace the advice of your doctor. Do your research, ask a dietitian or nutritionist, and make your choices carefully.





the following Affilate links in no way raise your final cost, but they do help to support the efforts and endeavors of this blog and my family. :)Thank you

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Easy Carrot Salad

Easy Carrot Salad

2 cups shredded carrots,
1 cup raisins,
2 tbsp lemon juice,
1 diced apple,
2 tbsp. honey,
1 heaping tbsp. mayonnaise (Homemade preferred).

Grate, dice, and mix! Stir together and chill for 1 hour before serving.


Excellent for picnics, kid approved, great way to teach kids how to make recipes. 
Bring a smile- enjoy. 

Proof we can have fun with fruits and vegies! 

Recipe also noted in Carrots!



Saturday, November 1, 2014

Baked Oatmeal and Raisin Yummies

       I have made oatmeal and raisin cookies many, many times over the years. But I had not tried baked oatmeal until recently. How silly it sounds now;  this delicious, warm and wonderful comfort food is a must have for family night or on a rainy day! How did I ever miss this one when the boys were small!?! It simply was not a staple in the house I grew up in, and not a recipe I adopted until recently. Oh!!!!!!!!!! How I wish I had tried this recipe sooner! I hope you love it as much as I do!

Baked Oatmeal and Raisin Yummies. 

Serve warm with extra milk.

Preheat oven to 350 F and prep a 9x9 baking pan.
In large bowl combine:
3cups quick oats
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp real salt
1 tsp fresh ground cinnamon
Sift until mixed together well.

in another bowl whisk together:
1 egg
1/2 c applesauce
1/2 c coconut oil (or real butter)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c milk

Stir this liquid in with the dry oatmeal mixture and combine well. Lastly, add in 1/2 c raisins and give one final stir. (You can also add 1/2 c of any fruit or nuts mixture you'd like- chopped apple bits is especially good! a small handful of chopped walnuts perhaps?? or both?)

Spoon mixture into 9x9 baking pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. Serve warm, with milk for fantastic breakfast, or anytime energy treat.  My kids love it on a rainy day!!!! Some people drench it in milk in the bowl, others serve milk on the side, my son tries to get a scoop of vanilla ice cream with it. Me? I love it plain. To each his own, yes?







You may want to try:



Disclaimer: the following Affilate links in no way raise your final cost, but they do help to support the efforts and endeavors of this blog and my family. :)Thank you

Monday, December 30, 2013

Apple-Pumpkin Spice Cake

Apple Pumpkin Spice Cake

 

You need:

1/2 c real butter melted (or shortening like olive oil)
2 eggs
1 1/2c brown sugar**
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c applesauce or applebutter ( I used my homemade applebutter)
1 c pumpkin puree
1 tbsp cinnamon (or 1 tsp cinnamon & 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice)
2 1/2 c flour (all purpose, or whole wheat works great)
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp real salt

In mixing bowl cream butter and sugar together, add eggs and beat until smooth. Add vanilla, pumpkin and applesauce. Mix well.
Add flour, salt and baking powder.




Mix until all smooth and no lumps- will be very thick.







Pour into greased 13x9 pan and bake 30 minutes at 350F degrees, or until butter knife inserted in middle comes out clean.






 Top with cream cheese frosting, basic butter cream frosting, just sprinkle with powdered sugar, or do nothing! It's delicious on it's own! .
Enjoy! :)

** If you are avoiding brown sugar then substitute   1 c honey or half honey/ half molasses?

This recipe is easy to make, and fairly inexpensive. A family favorite, and frugal on my budget. Which I love!
This is quick becoming one of our favorite cakes! Turns out moist and flavorful, a great for taking with you to family gatherings or parties!  Thumbs up from every family member! Kid tested, Kid approved! Yay!




You might like the links and recipes found at:
Frugal Days Sustainable Ways #101

Real Food Wednesday 1-1-2014

Monday's Homestead Barn Hop #141






If you cannot find ingredients you might try:

Disclaimer: These are affiliate links, which do not raise your end cost; but, do help support this blog. Thank you

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Rockin the Quinoa!

 Rockin' the Quinoa!


Easy to Make Quinoa

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp real salt 
1/2 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 c sliced mushrooms
1 c Quinoa (rinsed)
1/2 c chicken broth
2 c warm water

Lightly brown mushrooms and garlic in olive oil over med heat in sauce pan.  You want the garlic to start turning tender.
Stir in 1 cup rinsed quinoa and lightly fry in pan making sure to get all quinoa coated with oil. Keep over med heat for a minute.

Add 1/2 c chicken broth and bring to boil. Stir frequently until all liquid runs dry- takes about 4-5 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper, and 2 cups water.

Bring to boil then cover, reduce heat to simmer, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and let set final 5 minutes, fluff and serve.
(1 c raw quinoa makes about 3 cups cooked.)  Quinoa is delicious!


I was intimidated by Quinoa for a long time! Never having tried it or been exposed to it, personally. But Quinoa is a super food! Considered a complete protein source, quinoa is also high in magnesium,  iron, and fiber. It's a seed- not a grain. And after hearing about it in the majority of real food blogs I read, I knew I could not avoid it forever!
My sister is actually the reason I tried it- and now love it! She gave me the push and I am very grateful! There are dozens of different ways to make it- this is just my initial love recipe. I will be trying more and posting as I can. It actually is as easy to make as traditional rice- but less starchy and has almost a light nutty flavor.  Fluffy! I don't know what I was so afraid of! I regret not having tried it earlier!
The taste will be fantastic with fresh vegetables! I can't wait to try it with peas, broccoli, asparagus, green onions, etc!
Tonight we had it with baked chicken breast. Very very good!




You might love the links found in:
Real Food Wednesday 1/1/2014










You can find Quinoa at Trader Joes, or your Local Health Food store, and  at Whole Foods.

Or you can order it here:





Disclaimer: Affiliate Links in no way affect your end price, there is no increase for you. But, they do help to support the cost of the blog. Thank you.