Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chicory Root is the understudy for Decaf Coffee?

No more! This is role reversal right here! :) This is happening!!
I recently made a purchase from and amongst the fun and exciting bags I received was one bag of chicory!
...and if you look over in the upper right hand corner
you'll see it's brewing...
Yep, right here!


I've heard that there is a lot of processing that goes into making decaf coffee and I wanted to see if I could bypass that altogether. Enter Chicory! Maria of MariaMindBodyHealth shares a bunch of ways chicory root is good for you. But would it taste good? You know, I must try this first hand for myself! :)
And so... I did!
The smell of this lovely stuff reminds me of caramel! It has a sweetness all its own, I was on autopilot adding the same amount of truvia as I do to my usual coffee, but in this instance I really didn't need so much. I also managed to make it strong though I followed the instructions...
just strong for our taste I suppose ;).

If you'd like to have a more flavorful decaffeinated experience then I definitely recommend chicory root! And get your whole family to try it? Why not? With the health benefits this root is laden with, it's definitely worth passing on!  
At any rate, I was very excited to share this with you, as if you were here and ooed and ahhed at the fun packaging and the fun items I got with me. Oh! Here's an exhaustive list of what is pictured above:
1 - 5lb bag of almond flour <---I am super pumped about this! I use it for all the things! XD
2 - 1lb bags of peanut flour
1 - 1lb bag of Ceylon Cinnamon sticks <--- more on this later... coming to a blog post near you.
1 - 1lb bag of Chicory (yay! :D)
...and wouldn't you know it?! The folks were kind enough to send a complimentary bag of chia seeds with the whole lot! :) That made me smile! :)
Okay okay, now to wind down and try to get some sleep. I hope you are enjoying your January so far! Thank you for stopping by and reading about my foodie adventures as they unfold! More recipes to come too! ;)
Best, Dawn

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Homemade Bone Broth - Helpful Links

We saw about 5 inches of snow here in Northern Virginia today. I was thankful I had my bone broth ready to go!  This was my first attempt at bone broth and while I'd say it flopped ( ie. didn't gel, flavor was bland ) I added a bit of my own gelatin to make sure I had that in there ;) and some Himalayan salt as it was in need of it! :D Lessons were learned and I know it will be better next time, so it's all good!

Back to the drawing board, I perused the internets and found some knowledgable resources for the next time I make chicken bone broth. And because this blog serves to share my culinary creations and the information I find along the way I hope you find these entries helpful too! Enjoy!

Chicken Bone Broth Recipe from Oh Lardy!

10 Reasons I Drink Bone Broth from Kitchen Stewardship

5 Reasons Why Your Stock Won't Gel from The Healthy Home Economist

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Chicken Cilantro & Bacon Soup for your Crock Pot - Low Carb & Paleo Friendly

The flu hit our house this year. It got me first and while I'm definitely on the mend and can see the light at the end of the tunnel I'm not taking that for granted! I'm nursing the soups! ;) Now that I have a bit more energy I'm making a soup for the family. My dear husband, I'm sorry to report is ill but with a cold rather than the flu! Luckily he's much more mobile than I was while ill as well. Until we're back to our work routines and normal energy level I think it will be soups and broth for us! :) Which means... its time to share another soup recipe! Ha! January is shaping up to be full of soup recipes! :D I hope you like them all! ^-^

Chicken Cilantro & Bacon Soup
Pin it for later HERE.

What You Need:

2 Chicken Breasts Shredded
6 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro
6 Cups Chicken Stock
4 Tablespoons Bacon grease, divided
6 Bacon strips cooked and crumbled
3/4 Cup chopped Onion
2 Scallions chopped
1 Tablespoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper

Optional: Avocado

What To Do:

1) In a large skillet over medium-high, heat 1 Tablespoon of the bacon grease. Add chicken to skillet and cook until there is no pink in the center. Transfer chicken to a glass plate and shred with a fork.

2) Add shredded chicken to crock pot with all other ingredients (exception of avocado ;)).

3) Set crock pot to Keep Warm for 8 hours or Low for 4 hours.

4) Serve warm with a topping of avocado.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How to make your own FROZEN Liver Pills

A few months ago I was talking to a good friend of mine from the Midwest. She's a bit of nutritional foodie herself! :) We got on the subject of organ meats, specifically ... the liver. I hadn't tried the stuff, not that I'm adverse to liver, I just hadn't had an opportunity to experience it. Truly. I've had the opportunity to try:

- Cow tongue - found it to be kind of grainy.. I can't remember the taste.
- Calamari - love it, the texture mostly and that you eat it with condiments... mmmmm
- Oysters - not a fan of eating something that has a texture similar to that of mushrooms, that and they tasted    like pond water smells. How is that delicious?
- Frog legs - Yes, yes they taste like chicken. They're kind of adorable too. Is that primal of me to say? O.o
- Deer Meat - Yummy, yes have some!

Of course I've had the usual beef, pork, turkey and chicken. We have bear in our freezer at the moment... I'm pretty excited about grilling that up with the husband in the near future too! :)

But back to the liver - I haven't been offered liver as a main dish or even a side dish. I can't tell you if I'd like the taste or not. Having heard of the advantages of eating liver (see more HERE) I decided it was time to go on a grocery store hunt. I struck out at walmart and wegman's, neither seemed to carry liver. Granted, I was looking for a liver that was about the size of my fist I figured, I'd not seen one in real life before okay? ;)

Having struck out during the usual grocery time run (we have a scheduled night for such things :)), I took a detour on the way home from work the other night and went to Whole Foods. I FOUND me some CHICKEN livers! Huzzah! ^-^. I was very excited to have found a liver of something finally - and these livers were from an organic farm! Yay! :)

It's important that the liver you purchase comes from an animal that has not been treated with hormones, just like when you are looking for grade A meat ;) you want grass feed, raised without antibiotics, etc.

If you can't stomach the taste liver or you're afraid to try it, you can still reap the benefits of this vitamin ladened food! How? By making your own liver pills!

See below! :)

Liver Pills

What you'll need: 

- Meat cutting scissors
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheet that fits in your freezer

What to do: 

Place a piece of parchment paper over your baking sheet.

Rinse each liver with water, proceed to cut the livers up into pea size pieces. 

Place each piece on the parchment paper making sure they don't touch. 

Once you've exhausted your supply of livers or space on your cookie sheet, then set that pan in the freezer.

Freeze for about an hour or two, once the livers are frozen, collect them from the parchment paper and put them in a freezer safe container and your liver pills are now stocked!

***It's recommended that you freeze the liver for 14 days to ensure all pathogens and parasites are dead.***

I'll admit, I was so excited about making my first batch of liver pills that I immediately tossed one back and followed it with some water. Only to read later on numerous websites about the suggested 14 day freeze before ingesting. Womp, womp. Well folks, I'm happy to report I'm still alive and kicking & I'm quite thankful I purchased the organic chicken livers lol. 


Monday, January 6, 2014

Chicken Pepper Soup for the Crock Pot - Low Carb, Paleo Friendly Gluten and Sugar Free Recipe

Awe yeah...

Some peppers, some spice and then it's all every one be nice to you because you are the cook and what not. Awe.... yeah... respect to the cook! :)

RESPECT! Amiright?

It's okay, it's your kitchen, you own it! Own that kitchen and get your cook on! Holla!

Now that we've established the owners rights of the kitchen and you, said cook have your game face on,
 lets work your apron and crock pot shall we?

Chicken Pepper Soup

What You'll Need:
1 - 3lb whole chicken (or 4 - 6 chicken breasts cut into cubes)
3 cups chopped bell peppers of all colors
1 medium zucchini chopped
1 cup onion chopped
1/2 cup water
3 jalapenos diced
1/2 c chili powder
1 - 6 oz can of organic tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon cumin
1/2 Teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 Teaspoon celtic sea salt

Place all items in your crock pot on High for 4 hours or on Keep Warm for 8 hours.
I do recommend stirring every so often.

About 30 minutes before you plan on eating, use tongs (and care!) to pull the chicken pieces from the soup. Let sit for 20 minutes (or set in the fridge for 10 minutes to save yourself from burning your fingers!)

Once the chicken has been cooled, pull the meat from the bones and put in the soup.

***You can hold onto the carcass and skin to make homemade chicken broth... just a thought. ;)***

It's time to eat! I add a bit of sour cream and chili pepper flakes to my own dish of soup, 
but you feel free to garnish however you like to how it suits you! :)

This soup would also be good to make when the family seems to be fighting a cold. The chili powder will help get their noses running and the broth you'll naturally make while cooking the chicken pieces will help them get better faster! I've heard a cup of broth a day keeps the doctor away! ;) 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Vegetable Beef Stew - Low Carb Recipe for the Crock Pot

Since I woke up to a rainy day this past Sunday, I knew it was time to pull out the crock pot and use the beef stew meat I'd had in the freezer.

This time, while making the soup, I held back on the spicy spices to help change things up a bit... After sharing all the recipes I'd made in my first post, I realized I make a lot of spicy things! :) So this recipe is an effort to balance things out and add more variety. Also, though zucchini is not listed in the ingredients, I later realized it would have been an excellent addition! If they are in your kitchen I think adding a medium sized one, all chopped up, would hit the spot! :)

Vegetable Beef Stew

What you'll need:

- 1.5lbs Stew Beef
- 1 Cup chopped onion
- 1 Cup chopped peppers
- 1 can drained green beans, kitchen cut
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 3 Cups beef broth
- 1 Cup water
- 2 Tablespoons Bacon Grease
- 1 or 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
- 1/8 Teaspoon Paprika
- 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Mustard

Add all ingredients to crock pot and set on low for 8 hours.
If you want the soup in 4 hours put all ingredients in crock pot on HIGH for 4 hours.

Serve warm! Add a dollop of sour cream on top if you like! It's equally delicious ;) 

Ahh... the beauty of crock pots...throw things together, set it and forget it... until you're ready to eat!