Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Crunchy Sweet Brussel Sprout Salad

We had this as a side for dinner tonight. YUMMO!!! I was wishing I had brought it for Thanksgiving. It was delish.

Crunchy Sweet Brussel Sprout Salad

1 Pound Fresh Brussel Sprouts
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1/2 Dried Cranberries

Shred Sprouts by removing the core and thinly slicing. Warm oil over med. heat. Add sprouts, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook until bright and slightly wilted (2-3 min). Add walnuts and cranberries and toss to combine. Serve!

For original recipe click HERE. Thank you food network! Hope your Thanksgivings were Wonderful!

--Ashlee

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dip

Another Melissa recipe....Dip! You can change this up any way you want. Add or take away. The sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, lemon juice and water is the base...don't change that.

1 cup raw sunflower seed

1/2 sesame seed (or hemp seed..another super food)

juice from two lemons or lime (if you use lime you may need to use 3)

about 1/4 cup water

2 tbsp maca powder (optional. this is a super food)


to taste...about 1 tsp or maybe more.. (use fresh if you can but dried will do the job. i use dried because fresh is expensive).

thyme

chives (a lot)

rosemary

sage

put in food processor or a blender will do the job, until smooth. This is a yummy veggie dip.

I sometimes use garlic, green onion, basil etc. The sky is the limit.

Crisp

Here is something a Melissa recipe. I think it is yummy and will help with those chocolate cravings that we all have.

2/3 flax (I use 1/3 ground up and 1/3 seeds. you can grind it all up is you want. Costco has ground up flax for way cheep).

1/2 tsp sea salt

a few squirts of Agave or Honey

1/4 cup cocoa or cacao

Mix by hand

You want it to be like cookie dough that is a little dry. You can make it more wet if you want. That is up to you.

Cut up an apple or pair, scoop it right out of the bowl with your sliced up fruit and eat. I love this!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Get Well Green Smoothie

Hello friends! We are sick. AGAIN!!! It took me a really long time to get over being sick in Utah and I woke up this morning with a disgusting nose and sore throat! Darn it, darn it, darn it!

I totally know why this has happened though. I have been eating horribly! I am going to partially blame the pregnancy... (yes you all know so I can talk about it) because I have truly only been able to stomach VERY mild things like mashed potatoes, white breads etc. Whole grains, fruits and veggies etc. have been so hard for me to eat. But I decided today that I cannot cater to those things anymore. It is messing with my whole body and I need to get back to eating well. I will make it work! I WILL!

Thank you guys for continuing this blog and our nutritional conversations. It has been a long time since I have done any research and felt motivated to eat healthily, and our recent conversations have really helped. I am feeling more excited again and I am ready to get back on track!

I have started already in fact. I read up on green smoothies and raw foods yesterday. I have decided that we are going to start eating green smoothies frequently for breakfast. I think my goal will be 4-5 times a week for now. We'll see how it goes. Baby steps right? We started today with a smoothie of my own concoction that I am hoping will help us "get well," hence the name.

Get Well Green Smoothie

The "Meat," of one Pineapple, chopped
2 Bananas, peeled and chopped
2 Oranges, peeled but with a generous amount of pith left on (that stuff is good for you!) and chopped
1 bunch of Lacinato Kale, stems removed, chopped
8 ounces of water

Blend, chill and serve. (Warning: If you don't have a large capacity blender I would do it in batches! Also: if you are scared of the Kale I would do a bit less to start out with. We really liked it with that much in, but if you have picky eaters I would start out with a bit less until they warm up to that kind of flavor)

I was so blessed at the store today. I ended up getting my Kale organic and for only a dollar! Can you believe it? Also the pineapple was the already peeled kind in a container also on super-mega sale. I was so thrilled!

To get the boys to agree to drink a green smoothie (they are great about healthy food, but I knew the green would freak 'em out... and I was right.) We had a big exciting talk in the morning about a new drink that would make us healthy and strong like Superheroes! And it's even a crazy color! We are going to have it a lot for breakfast now and if we keep drinking them we will get so strong! Etc. Etc. I don't feel like I was lying. I absolutely believe there is a correlation to how you feel, your health and well being etc. with what you choose to eat. Don't we all? So ANYWAY- we made a big deal about it, went to the store and bought ingredients to last us for the rest of the week, and I even bought some cheap "special superhero glasses," that we will drink them out of. Then I was totally honest with them about what they were eating. They watched me make it. I wanted them to know that Kale could taste delicious. I didn't want to hide it from them. They were worried when they saw how it looked, but once they smelled it they were good to try it. Jack drank his and flexed his muscles and said he felt stronger.

So far it's sitting in my tummy pretty well. Wish me luck!

Last note: This made a LOT of smoothie. More than enough for the 4 of us.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Raw Chocolate Pudding

This is yummy and super healthy. You can eat it just as pudding or for dipping fruit. Enjoy! This recipe is from, "All Recipes.com". I love that site.

Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients

* 1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks
* 1 banana, peeled and cut into chunks
* 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
* 1/4 cup raw cocoa powder
* 2 tablespoons agave nectar
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)

You can even sprinkle a little cinnamon on top (optional)


Directions

1. Place avocado, banana, soy milk, cocoa powder, agave nectar, lemon juice, and coconut into a blender. Cover, and puree until smooth. Divide into small containers, and store in the refrigerator 1 hour until set.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tomato Soup

I finally found a tomato soup recipe that I like. I have tried... no joke.. 4 recipes before this... all of which were horrible. I think the difference is that in this one there is more than just tomato. If any of you have a recipe for tomato soup I would LOVE to try it. We liked this one a lot, but if you had a good one you use I would want to know about it!

Tomato Soup - Family Fun

1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Onion, Chopped
3 Stalks of Celery, Chopped
1 Carrot, Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
1 28oz Can Tomatoes with Juice
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 Teaspoon Oregano (I used more)
6 Cups Veggie Broth
2 Teaspoons Sugar
Salt and Pepper
Fresh or Dried Basil
1 Cup Milk (optional)

Melt butter in large pot. Saute onion, celery and carrots until soft. Add garlic and cook 1 more min. Add tomatoes, paste, oregano, broth and sugar. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 min uncovered stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Blend in batches in blender or food processor. Return to pot. Season with Salt, Pepper and Basil. Stir in milk if using.

We used the milk and liked how creamy it was even with just skim.

Sorry to post 2 days in a row! I just made this last night and wanted to share. Katie... Whitney... it's your turn for a recipe I believe!

--Ashlee

Thursday, October 28, 2010

An Alternative Snobby Joe

Hey guys! Emily already posted a really yummy snobby joe recipe that uses lentils. I wanted to give you the one we use which uses black beans. I just basically stole Rachel Ray's sauce (and changed a couple of ingredients) and then substituted beans for meat. This is a family favorite at our house:

Ashlee's Snobby Joes

1 tablespoon olive oil
A few slices of onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped (red is best... green will do)
1 tablespoon-ish mustard (I just give it a good squeeze)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons (I like less) steak seasoning blend (we use McCormick Montreal)
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

Heat oil. Saute onion and pepper. Add all other ingredients and simmer for a few minutes.

Eat on Buns with:

Pickle Slices
Tomato Slices
Barbeque Sauce

Yumm.

Random thought: I recently switched from packaged, pre-chopped garlic to fresh. I am loving my new life. Do any of you have an opinion on that?

Random thought #2: I don't think I'm going to the trouble of adding color etc. on my posts anymore. I'm boring.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Juice, "Morning Sun"

You need a juicer for this one. If you don't have a juicer I highly recommend getting one. It does not need to be fancy. I promise you will love it! I have been juicing for 7 months now. I have one to two juice a day and I LOVE,LOVE, LOVE IT!

My new favorite juice is from a book called, "Living Raw Food", by Sarma Melngailis .

"Morning Sun"

4 medium oranges, peeled
1 Apple
1 Pear
4 Cups pineapple (or one large can seems to do the trick)
one 1inch know of ginger
2 tsp honey

mix honey in after all fruit is juiced.

Enjoy!

Raw Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Raw Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting and Easy bake Banana Cookies

Raw Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with raw cashew cream cheese

Cookie

1 3/4 c almond meal
...1/2 cup pumpkin
1 dash cayenne pepper ( optional)
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 cup Raisins
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 cup coconut oil
1/8 cup agave nectar of honey
1/4 cup chopped nuts

Put in food processor until dough like. add chocolate chips and more raisins. place in food dehydrator about 108-116 degrees for 2-4 hours, desired texture. I did mine for 2 1/2 hours. I like them a little soft. If desired, put cream cashew cream cheese on top of cookie and eat.

Chocolate chips

Need rolling-pin, pizza cutter, mixing bowl and spoon

1 cup cocoa
4 Tbsp Agave nectar or honey
2 Tbsp cup coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla

Mix chocolate by hand. Place on wax paper, fold wax paper over the chocolate, roll chocolate out
place in freezer for 20 minutes, take out of freezer, peel back wax paper, cut chocolate into bit size pieces.

Cashew cream cheese

Soak cashews in a bowl of water for 4 hours before making cream cheese.

1 C cashews
1/8 cup water
6 Tbsp honey
Juice from one tangerine or half and orange
1 tsp vanilla

Put in food processor until well mixed. NO chunks.
Put in fridge. You can put this on top of cookies. So yummy!



Banana Cookies

2 1/2 cup oats (you can use gluten free. best price i have found is sun flower market $5.99 for two pounds)
3-4 bananas
1/4 cup canola oil, olive oil, coconut oil (the type of oil is up to you and your taste buds)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt (optional)

Bake 400 8-10 minutes

I like to add chocolate chips and raisins. If using coconut oil I like to add coconut, craisins and chocolate chips. The sky is the limit.

Lots of Love,

Emily

Sunday, September 26, 2010

An Indulgent Sunday Breakfast

Hello veggie loving darlings. Our breakfast this morning was good. SO good. Way better than I thought it would be actually. It looks like just another breakfast bar, but we thought it was very special. Try it if you like. I call it indulgent because it has more sugar than we all would like, but there are a lot of great things in it too- and my kids won't eat nuts, but they loved this, so I figure it's worth it. Promise me if you try it that you won't healthify it too much. I know, I know. We all LOVE to do that to recipes- but just don't with this one will ya?

And to give credit where credit is due this recipe is from Ellie Krieger over at the Food Network. I got two of her cookbooks from the library and am absolutely in love. She's their "healthy," chef and for the most part I think she does a truly great job. I got the books "So Easy," and "The Food You Crave," (which is a collection of favorite recipes made healthy. Tonight we are trying her macaroni and cheese which has 20 ounces of pureed winter squash in it, and significantly less cheese than normal recipes... it's baking as we speak and smelling SO good)

Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars

1 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ (I toasted normal wheat germ in a pan over med heat for a few minutes- worth the extra effort in my opinion)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey (okay I didn't put the entire 1/2 cup but it was close)
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg, beaten
1 egg white
3/4 cup chopped dried cherries or cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup fruit only apricot preserves

Preheat to 350. Spray 8x8 pan. Stir dry together. Stir wet together until well combined. Stir walnuts and dried fruit in wet. Stir wet into dry until well combined. Spread in pan. Bake 30-35 min. When bars are nearly done heat preserves in small saucepan until runny. When bars come out immediately spread preserves on top. Cool and cut into bars.

They are very filling so one bar and a piece of fruit is a very satisfying breakfast! Yumm! And for pete's sake do NOT cut the preserves out of the equation. That was a stroke of genius!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Apple Crisp

It has been way to long! I have a recipe and it is not healthy but it is the best apple crisp I have ever eaten in my life. The recipe is similar to others but it is the way you prepare it that make is so dang good. Almost cookie like. You can use apples, peaces, pears etc.. for the fruit.

8-10 Apples- Peeled and sliced
3/4 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp flour
cinnamon (as much as you want)

1 1/2 Cups oatmeal
1 Cup butter (you can use Earth Balance butter (vegan) if you want)
1 Cup brown Sugar
1 1/2 Cup Flour

Put sliced apples in bottom of glass 9x13 pan, mix sugar, cinnamon and tbsp of flour and sprinkle over apples.

In bowl , mix oatmeal, softened/melted butter , brown sugar and flour.

Mixture will get lumpy and sticky (like cookie dough).

Drop clumps of mixture over apples- don't smooth out.

Bake 350
30-40 minutes

This is so yummy and perfect for the fall.

Enjoy!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Summer Mango Salad

Make this before summer leaves us till next year!

Mango Summer Salad

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 tsp minced fresh chile
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 T fresh lime juice
2 tsp brown sugar
2 T unsweetened dried shredded coconut
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 small red bell pepper, minced

fresh cilantro or spearmint leaves

In a large bowl, combine everything but the cilantro. Cover and chill for 15-20 minutes and serve cold or at room temperature. Just before serving, top with cilantro. Serve as a salsa-style dip with chips or as a quesadilla topping on a tortilla with shredded lettuce and beans or cheese.


My friend Linda made this for my family a few sundays ago and we loved it! We had it just as a side dish without chips or on top of anything. It was delish!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

I promise you will love this. Plus Quinoa is so good for you. Google it if you don't know about it. Very high in protein etc.

1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 1/2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed (I used 2 cups)
1 1/2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups corn, fresh, canned, or frozen (I used frozen without cooking them to keep their enzymes intact)
1 red bell pepper
4 scallions, chopped (I used 6)
1 garlic clove, minced (jar of chopped garlic was in my fridge)
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped ( i used a tsp of coriander seed powder)
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/3 cup olive oil (I used 2 Tbs)

Rinse* quinoa in a fine sieve under cold running water. Put quinoa into a pot with 2 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil**, then cover and simmer 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Fluff it a bit with a fork now and then to keep it from sticking. While quinoa is cooking, toss the beans, vinegar, corn, bell pepper, scallions, garlic and coriander in a large bowl. In another small bowl, whisk the lime juice, salt and cumin and pour in the oil while whisking. When quinoa is done cooking, toss it with the beans and vegetables. Then, drizzle the lime mixture over quinoa and vegetables and toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature. (I like it better the next day when all the tastes have had a chance to combine and be absorbed.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I am back!

I have not posted for a while. Man Moving is hard and messes up everything. I will post a yummy recipe soon.

Hope all is well in baby land.

Love,

Emily

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bountiful Baskets

Okay, so I don't know if I'm the last person on the planet to know about this......but in case you guys don't already, I discovered the coolest thing this week. It's the Bountiful Baskets food co-op. How it works: on Monday you visit www.bountifulbaskets.org and place your order. Each basket is $15 with a $3 first time basket fee; occasionally there are add-ons - this week it was bread, granola, tortillas, or an extra order of produce specifically for mexican dishes. You must order at least one basket to get any add-ons, and I think you can order up to three baskets.

Then, on Saturday, you go to your local pickup site, (selected at the time of order) and get your basket. Guys, this is a seriously good deal. For $15 I got a full laundry basket full of produce. There were bananas, peaches, strawberries, canteloupe, grapes and pears, celery, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, lettuce, and broccoli. I meant to take a picture of all I got for that steal of a deal, but didn't. Anyway, suffice it to say that it is a great deal. And I thought I'd share it with my veggie lovin' friends in case you didn't already know about it, because this is perfect for us, right? It also runs year round too! One thing to note, the baskets sell out fast, so make sure to get on the site as soon as it opens for the week. I think in Utah it's 8:00 pm on Mondays.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dear Emily

Would you please post that Chocolate Zucchini Cake for us? I need a good healthyish snack :)

Much Love,

Ashlee

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ratatouille's Ratatouille

Last night we were invited to a friends house for a BBQ and guess what?!? They didn't serve meat. She asked if my kids would eat hot dogs... wherein I was obliged to explain our eating habits... and she was nicer than anyone I have ever had to explain it to. Then when we got there she had prepared all these amazing veggie dishes. They were SO good. We had THIS Ratatouille recipe served on top of couscous and topped with a little sour cream (the recipe called for goat cheese but that stuff is gross so she substitued sour cream. It was really good but I would call it optional... Corey had his without). and I told her I MUST have that recipe. I will never make my recipe of Ratatouille again. This one was SO good. Anyway I wanted to share it with ya'll seein' how I love ya so much! I am wondering if she substituted tomato sauce for crushed tomatoes... but I think it would be delish either way. Also I think she just covered with tin foil instead of doing the paper. Whatever. It was great!

Hope you're all having a lovely morning!

PS- I think I am going to have to peruse Smitten Kitchen a bit more... her recipes look great!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Veggie Burgers

Ash has an awesome Black Bean burger recipe that is an Ashlee Original, and it is delicious, I just found a new one that we like a lot too, so I wanted to share.

I found it from Allrecipes, and I am never really sure if it is ok to just copy and paste someone else's hard work, so I am going to link over to it and give credit where credit is due and then put the whole thing on here too...just so we don't have to go jumping from one site to the other.

We really liked this burger. It stayed together really well. We most recently had ours with corn on the cob, seasoned oven fries, and strawberry and raspberry salad. Delicious!

I do have to say one more thing. I have a hard time getting my 'veggie burgers' or 'black bean burgers' to be the right consistency. I really liked the idea of the rice in this recipe to help it stay together a bit. Also, it give it a bit more protein, and there is not a ton in there, but it seemed like just enough to keep it together a tad better.

Recipe from Allrecipes.com
Best of Everything Veggie Burger

1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1 cup water

2 (16 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (I found if I let mine dry for a bit, it works better too)
1 green bell pepper, halved and seeded (I used an orange pepper, I loved the added color)
1 onion, quartered
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (I used WAY more mushrooms than this :))
(also, I think that really any veggie that you want to add will work, I have had veggie burgers with corn and other things added as well.)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (we omitted the cheese, We normally like to have a slice melted on the bun that we are using)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce (Ok, this is where I always use my own seasoning. I didn't follow this at all. I used a BBQ seasoning rub, and it was delicious! Probably more sodium, but we didn't use a ton of it, and it was really good)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, or as needed

Bring the brown rice and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, 45 to 50 minutes.

Mash black beans in a large bowl with a fork until thick and pasty; set aside.
Place the bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor, and chop finely. Stir the bell pepper mixture into the mashed black beans.

Place the brown rice into the black beans and mix. (the original recipe says to food process the cheese and the beans, we didn't do this)

(We like ours chunky. I didn't food process anything, I just chopped everything really fine, and added it into the black beans. I added the rice whole as well.)

Whisk together the eggs, chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, and hot sauce. Stir the egg mixture into the black bean mixture. Stir in the bread crumbs, adding additional bread crumbs as needed until the mixture is sticky and holds together.

Divide into 6 large patties.

To bake the patties: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and lightly oil a baking sheet. Place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.

We almost always serve our sandwiches or burgers with sliced red onions, red leaf or romaine lettuce, sliced tomato, avocado, sprouts, and mayo and mustard.

So, after reading over the recipe the original way, and the way we did it, that might be the reason I have a hard time having my burgers stay together or be the right consistency, I change things up too much! ha! Ah well, these ones worked really well for us! :D

Burton Breakfast Hash

Hey guys! It's MEEEEEE blogging from my HOOOOMMMEEE! I wasn't without the internet that long but it sure felt like it. I will not normally be posting during the day, I will save the computer for when the boys go down at night, but I couldn't resist doing one tinsy post before I head off to work, just for the pure joy of POSTING again.

This particular recipe (an Ashlee Original) is dedicated to Katie:

Burton Breakfast Hash - serves all 4 in my family with a little leftover

4 medium russet potatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/3-1/2 cup onion, chopped finely
4 tablespoons minced garlic
1 bell pepper, diced
2 eggs
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained

Wash, dry, and chop potatoes (skins on) into small cubes. Rinse and pat dry with towel. Spread on microwave safe plate and microwave for 8 minutes until they are just fork tender stirring once during cooking to ensure the guys in the middle get cooked as much as the guys on the outside. (they will cook more later so don't get them ALL the way done).

Meanwhile, heat half of the oil in a large nonstick pan on med heat. Add onions and cook till soft. Add garlic and cook 1 min. till fragrant. Add bell pepper and cook 2-3 min more. Break eggs over the veggies and scramble. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat remaining oil over med to med-high heat. Turn pan to coat with oil. Add potatoes when they are done in the microwave. Fry potatoes in pan stirring occasionally to brown all sides of the potatoes. Season with Salt and Pepper. When potatoes are done frying add the set aside egg/veggie mixture and black beans. Heat through.

Serve with:
Salsa
Sour Cream
Hot Sauce
Barbeque Sauce

Aly and I do a dollup of SCream and Salsa, Jack does strictly BBQ Sauce, and Corey does HSauce and Salsa.

We love this for breakfast and occasionally have it for dinner. Yumm!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Okay, I'm Not Done Yet.....

See, what did I tell you? I can't stop! I just wanted to let you know, (if anyone is seriously considering the big switch) that I think I've found a new favorite diaper. And it wasn't mentioned at all last post, so it deserves it now.
Ta-da! Isn't that the cutest thing ever?!! Okay, I really struggle with this, because I know in my head, it's going under pants so what does it matter? But I can't help myself anyway. See, the truth is, you only save money on cloth diapers if you can stop buying them. But then they come out with new styles and prints, and they know they've got the suckers like me out there.

Anyway, in all seriousness, this is one of the Thirsties Duo Diapers. This happens to be the Alice Brights print. Let me tell you why these diapers rock. They are the pocket style that I told you before I love so much, but here's the cool parts:
  1. The pocket has an opening in the front and the back. This is cool for two reasons. You can stuff from whichever end floats your boat, and......are you ready for this.......you don't have to un-stuff the diaper after it's been used. The inserts agitate out in the wash. (Note: I haven't actually tested that feature out. I'm in the habit of pulling out my inserts anyway, and haven't dared tempt the fates, but I haven't heard one complaint that it's not true. I'm just paranoid.)
  2. It comes with two inserts as do most pocket diapers; one is the usual microfiber terry, but the other is hemp! So you get the extra absorbency at no extra cost, (although you can still stuff extra if you wish). This is nice because not only is hemp more absorbent, it's a more "trim" material; making the diaper thinner and a better fit under pants. Again, make sure the hemp insert is furthest away from baby's bum. I forgot that once. Won't do it again. :)
  3. This is a "two-size" diaper. Meaning, it comes in two different sizes that adjust further for a better fit than your typical one-size diaper.
  4. This diaper comes in the absolute cutest colors and prints ever. Really, if this diaper doesn't make you want to switch, nothing will.
  5. Price point. This is one of the most reasonably priced diapers I've found. Especially considering all Thirsties products are made right here in the U.S.A. MSRP for these is $18.50 for solid colors and $19.50 for prints, but if you click on the link found above, this store offers them for $17.50 and $18.50 respectively. And again, look for package deals. They're out there. I know, I know, this sounds like a lot for one diaper, especially considering you do have to buy two sizes, (still better than perfect size diapers, which usually have 4-5 sizes). But, I think this is one of the highest quality diapers out there, and (remember the hemp insert that comes standard?) this diaper is comparable in price to the BumGenius 3.0 mentioned in the last post. Way cooler diaper for the same price. (Note: BG 3.0 has been discontinued as of like yesterday. If you had your heart set on those, better act fast. There is a buy 5 get 1 free promotion going on. And watch for something cool to come from BG to replace it. I'm hoping for something to rival the Duo.)
  6. I almost forgot! How could I? Leg gussets! Okay, I know that sounds like a silly term. See the photo below? See around the leg openings that extra bit of fabric? That my friends, is a leg gusset, and it is the best thing ever for containing blow-outs. Other diapers have a bit of bunching fabric around the elastic casing and call it a leg gusset in the photo, (see BG image from last post) but it's nothing compared to these babies.



In short, if I was a rich lady, I'd buy a whole stash of these in girly colors for my new babe to be and Paige.....and then buy them all over again in boy colors someday, but alas.....I'll have to save up or trade in to get any more. My diaper budget has capped out for the moment.

Thanks for tolerating my diaper posts. ;) It's good for me to get it out here. Brandon's tired of hearing about my uber-enthusiasm. He can only get so excited about a "poop-sack" as he terms them.

And bear with my technologically un-savvyness. And my grammar. I tried changing some font sizes and it changed more than I wanted and I can't figure out how to fix it. And I didn't dare do the color thing, because, well.....you saw what happened last post.

Monday, May 31, 2010

More Than You Ever Wanted to Know.....

Alrighty folks.....you asked for it. This may be entirely more than you all want to know, but once I get going, it's hard to stop. ;) I have become a fan of cloth diapers for so many reasons. The money-saving, the "emergency preparedness factor", the fact that they're just so darn cute, environmental reasons, the fact that my kids almost never have diaper rash now....I could go on and on. So for anyone who's interested in going this route, here's what I have learned.

First, a crash course in all of the different types of diapers, (who knew there were so many?!!).
Prefolds and flats: These are what most of us think of when we first think of cloth diapers. These are what our mamas used. Basically they're a rectangular piece of absorbent material that you wrap around baby's bum, fasten somehow, and cover with waterproof fabric. The difference between a prefold and a flat, is that the prefold has extra layers of absorbency sewn into the middle, the flat will be larger and you have to fold the absorbency where you want it. One thing to note if you go this route: make sure to buy DSQ or diaper service quality prefolds. DON'T buy the gerber ones from Wal-mart. DSQ usually means that there are about 8 layers of absorbency sewn into the middle. The gerber ones have like 2. They're really only good for burp cloths.

Even these kind of diapers have improved since our mama's day though. Gone are the days of poking with pins. Most diaper covers are now snug enough that many mamas just put the cloth and cover in place and don't worry. For those that feel they need a little extra something, there are these handy dandy "snappis" that fasten the diaper by gripping the fabric.
Prefolds or flats are definitely the cheapest way to go if cost is your main concern. There are kits sold like the "Econobum" from Cotton Babies that include 12 one-size fits all prefolds, and 3 one-size fits all covers, (enough to diaper for a day or two) for $49.95!!! Depending on how often you want to wash your diapers, you could go from birth to potty training VERY cheaply this route.

Covers: Oh, covers. These are not plastic pants ladies. There are so many different fabrics to choose from, all of which are way nicer that what our mamas had. And you can choose from covers that pull on, covers that snap closed, covers with aplix, (the cloth diaper world term for really nice velcro) one-size fits all covers, sized, you name it.

A lot of moms who like natural fibers choose wool covers. You're probably thinking, "Yikes! That sounds hot!" But really, I've seen research on this. It's NOT hotter than a plastic non-breathable disposable diaper. Think about it.....it's mother nature's waterproof covering for sheep....why not use it for bums?

I personally didn't want to hassle with the special laundry considerations of wool, (or the extra price) so I use the more typical fabric covers that have a layer of polyester urethane laminate (PUL) to make them waterproof, when I need a cover. And since I have two, soon to be three in diapers, I use the one-size covers so I don't have to worry about who they're for. Most covers can be wiped, and air-dried after use, (unless of course they're soiled) and used two or three times before washing. You'll be able to smell when they've had it.

Fitted/Contour Diapers: These are the next step up from prefolds. These are shaped like a disposable to fit your baby. A contour diaper can be fastened with a snappi or wrapped and secured in the cover, a fitted will usually have some sort of fastening of it's own, (snaps or aplix). These diapers are not waterproof, so you still have to have the cover, but they are more convenient in shape and less intimidating to dads and others who may be afraid of cloth diapers. These vary greatly in price, (usually starting around $10-11 each) and again come sized, or one-sized, but are generally still a pretty cost conscious option considering you only need a few covers to go with your diapers.

Pocket Diapers: These are my personal fave. I thought I would hate them at first, so I tried a few other things before I came around to them, but they really are awesome. These diapers consist of a waterproof cover or sleeve with a "pocket" opening into which you add the inserts, (of varying fabrics) to create absorbency. The inner lining is usually fleece or suedecloth. These materials are fabulous for two reasons. One, they wick the moisture through to the absorbent layers quickly so what touches baby doesn't actually feel or stay wet, and two, poop just flicks right off into the toilet rather than sticking, (usually).

Pockets fit and fasten like disposables, (again with choice of snaps or aplix, sized or one-sized) they just require a little more work, because you have to stuff them. They're a pretty good middle of the road option for Dads and babysitters, especially if you leave them stuffed and ready to go! Again, they vary in price, but I get most of mine for around $17 each depending on the brand. You can really spend as much or as little as you want in this category. I'll tell you a couple of my faves so far......

Again I like one-sized diapers, so I use usually either the BumGenius 3.0,
or the Katydid diaper. Check out the link to these. The features photo wasn't one I could paste here. They have a couple of really nice features that I think make them better than a lot of other pockets. One, they have a side snap that gives a little extra snug fit for smaller babies, and a wrap and snap feature that allows you to wrap up the diaper and snap it shut like you would a disposable if you're out and about and can't immediately dispose of it. I also think that because of the side snap these are one of the very few one-size diapers that would actually fit a newborn. These adjust very small. That said, they do have a shorter "rise".....(meaning how high up on the belly they go) than some other pockets, so most people might not feel like they fit bigger babies. Trust me, they do. They fit my probably 30 lb. almost three year old who is not yet potty trained. I didn't think they would, but we can go all night and wake up with dry jammies, which we couldn't always do even with disposables. These are worth a try.

So, all of that said, another nice thing about pockets is that you can customize the absorbency because you choose what to stuff them with. Most pockets come with two inserts, (usually microfiber) but you can always buy extras if needed. I have also heard about, but haven't tried hemp inserts which are supposed to be crazy absorbent. The one thing is that they take time to absorb, so you have to have the microfiber closer to babies bum to soak up the initial wetness, (otherwise it would run off the hemp) and then the hemp will soak up through that with time. One that I've heard lots of good things about is the Joeybunz insert.....(Em, I think this would help with your night-time issues). Hemp is also very trim compared to the microfiber, another reason people like to use them.

AI1/AI2 Diapers: And now we come to the Cadillac of cloth diapers. The All-in-one or all-in-two diaper. These are for mamas who don't have a budget when it comes to cloth diapers, or who are really afraid of cloth. The AI1 is exactly like a disposable. Put it on, use it, take it off. No fuss. Many of these come with the option of extra stuffing, but it's not needed, especially for daytime use. A lot of moms will keep a couple of these around for going out and about or for Dad to use, or daycare, whatever. The AI2 is a little different, you reuse the cover part, but snap in a new insert for each use. Examples of these are Softbums, or Best Bottoms.
AI1's tend to be the most expensive of diapers, (usually around $25 each....AI2's are a bit cheaper) but you get deals when you buy in bulk, and for example, even if you were to buy 24 of the BumGenius Organic Cotton, (organic fabrics cost more) AI1 diapers, you would still only spend around $530, (with the bulk discount). Pretty cheap compared to an average three years of disposable diapers.

Hybrid diapers and flushable liners: Flushable liners are just that....flushable. For those that don't want to deal with the poop. Hybrid diapers are similar to the AI2, and you can usually buy cloth or flushable/disposable inserts. Examples of these are the GroBaby and Flip diapers. Again, once you've bought the cover, a pack of 18 Flip disposable inserts is only around $5. Compare that to 18 disposable diapers. Same convenience, cheaper cost.

Okay, so the next thing one thinks of when it comes to diapers is wipes, right? You can go all sorts of crazy and buy all sorts of fancy wipes when it comes to cloth diapers, and solutions to go with them, but I have found that the cheapest, easiest option is the cheapest pack of regular cotton washcloths I could find at Target. I think I got a pack of 12 for $6. Simply get it wet with water, wipe, and toss it with your diapers. I totally didn't think I'd switch from disposable wipes, but plain warm water does the job and is way less harsh on baby's bum. Plus, think about it.....how many times have you gotten poop all over your hands with disposable wipes that are thin, little squares? Now think of a nice, big, thick washcloth forming a barrier between your hand and all that poop. What are you going to choose? Plus, if you're not wrapping the wipes in that disposable diaper to throw away, you've just got a bunch of stinky poopy, wipes to carry to the garbage can alone. You might as well wash wipes along with your diapers rather than deal with that.

What else are you going to need? In my opinion a diaper sprayer is a must. Get this one:
They hook up to the fresh water supply of your toilet, (like so easy I did it myself, no plumber required) and all you do is turn it on, hold your diaper over the toilet, spray, and flush. No dunking, no swishing, no hands touching toilet water or poop......done. I do recommend pointing the sprayer down for best results. ;) This baby will only cost around $45 and makes the whole experience well worth it. I did cloth for about a week without one, and would never go back to not having one. Yes the fleece repels the poop, but on the instances it doesn't.......well, be glad you've got this baby. The reason I recommend this particular one is that the pressure is adjustable, I've heard this is not the case with all brands.

You will also need a diaper pail. You can buy them from any diaper store specifically for cloth diapers, or honestly you can use a garbage can with a tight fitting lid. Same thing. The only thing different about the specific diaper pails is that they come with a slot for deodorizing disks that help with smell. But really, you could drop the disk in the bottom of a garbage can and get the same results. You can also get fancy ones that have carbon filters, but I haven't had smell problems to the point that I'd want to spend that much. Honestly, wash at least every other day, change your deo-disk once a month, and it still doesn't smell as bad as the diaper genie in my opinion. I never even notice the smell until the pail is open.

Then of course you'll need a wetbag to go in the pail. Simply a laundry bag that holds the diapers. It has the PUL lining like the covers to keep wetness from leaking through the bag into your pail. I like this one. Get at least two, so you always have one in the pail while washing.

The last thing that I think is necessary is a travel wetbag. This is so you have something to keep the stinkies in when out and about. Really, no less gross than carrying around a poopy in a grocery sack until you find a garbage. Plus, these babies really keep the smell in. So you CAN use cloth ANYWHERE. Especially if you carry a water bottle that you can always use to wet your wipes. Again, here is my recommendation. I also have this larger version that I use instead of a pail while traveling. And you CAN do this while traveling. When I visit family, (as long as they don't mind you washing diapers in their machine) I just make sure to use pockets only for ease of poop disposal. In a hotel, I've even used the coin laundry to wash diapers...it cost me a few dollars, but that was cheaper than buying a pack of disposables to use. Other than that, there's no difference in my opinion.

Speaking of washing.....please note, you can't wash cloth in regular detergent. But that's fine, because we're going green here anyway, right? Your detergent just has to be free of dyes, perfumes, brighteners, and enzymes. You can make your own, (1 c. borax, 1 c. oxyclean free, 1 c. washing soda mixed together, use 1-2 Tbsp. per load) or buy it at any cloth diaper store. To wash your diapers, do a cold soak or rinse first with no detergent, (to avoid stains) then a hot wash with detergent, cold rinse, extra cold rinse. Water is your best friend when washing diapers. You really don't need that much detergent, and if you use too much, you'll get a buildup on your diapers and they will repel moisture instead of absorbing. Also, sunshine is your best friend. Line drying outside will make your diapers last longer and will bleach all those stains away. It's amazing. And it makes you happy. :)

So how many diapers should one have on hand? Most recommend 24-36 diapers....but I'll tell you what; I have about 18 pocket diapers between two kids and I do just fine. More would be nice, but I just haven't gotten there yet. I wash at least every other day, but you'd probably want to do that anyway to keep stinkies at bay. Just think about how many diapers your baby wears each day, divide that by how many days you want to go between washings, and that's how many diapers you'll need. (Keep in mind drying time. ;) )

So, let's think about this.....is it really cheaper? Let's see....if I were to buy 24 of my very favorite Katydid pockets, (at bulk price) it would cost about $420; add in the sprayer, at $45, two wetbags, at $17 each, the pail, $24, (again you could do a cheaper garbage can) the large travel bag, $30, the out and about bag, $16.50, wipes, (let's say you buy two packs of washcloths) $12, you're sitting at about $581. Again, compare that to the cost of three years worth of disposables and wipes, and you're saving a lot of money. Not up front, but it is SO worth it. Plus, you can really shop around for the best prices. And if a site doesn't offer a bulk price, don't hesitate to ask about one before you buy. You'll most likely get it.

So where do I shop? The better question is where don't I shop! Here's a few of my favorite sites:
www.diaperjunction.com (Always free shipping over $75)
www.nickisdiapers.com (Free shipping over $75 and always free shipping on certain items like pocket diapers, which is nice if you just want to try one or two things. Plus, excellent bulk deals.)
www.fluffenvy.com (BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER and super fast shipping)
littlerabbits.webs.com (Local to Utah, $1 shipping, and has a store location at the Provo Quilted Bear. Also usually has a coupon and better pricing in person. Offers cloth diaper classes, and diaper parties, {like for showers or even just like a tupperware party}.)
www.wildflowerdiapers.com
www.cottonbabies.com (makers of BumGenius, Econobum, and Flip)

Really, shop around and do some price comparisons. It doesn't hurt. Also, a lot of these online stores have a "test drive" program where you buy one of several types of diapers until you find what you like, then you send back the ones you don't for store credit. I HIGHLY recommend this. I didn't do it, and wasted quite a bit of money trying to find what I liked. You can read all you want about it, but you never really know what you'll like until you try it.

Also, check out www.diaperpin.com. It features reviews on different diapers, and will post sales for different diaper stores. www.diaperswappers.com is a forum where moms can ask questions, and even swap or sell diapers. You can get some great deals on used, (get over the thought....it's not that bad).

Sorry for the monster post, but I figured I might as well tell all! Any questions?! Go look at these sites....seriously, these diapers are SOOOO CUTE you'll be hooked!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Diapers

Katie, Please post cloth diaper info on our blog. I like mine but I would really like to invest in more and the hose thing that hooks up to the toilet. You said you got your Katiedid diapers at the Provo Quilted Bear? How long ago?

It was also so nice to meet you. I did not get the chance to tell you what a cute pregnant mom you are. I love pregnant moms and I did not even get to tell you that. I am a little obsessed with it. Anyways, it was fun seeing you and your little girl. If you are ever out this way let me know and maybe I can come meet up with you and Whitney.

Love,

Emily

Thursday, May 13, 2010

South of the Border Pasta

I got this original recipe off of Allrecipes.com, and have switched it up a bit. Also, I renamed it, I like the sound of 'South of the Border Pasta' rather than what they had it called.

South of the Border Pasta

1/2 pound whole wheat pasta
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 onion chopped
1 pepper (red, yellow, orange or green) chopped
1/2 cup sweet corn kernels
1 (15 ounce)can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes
1/4 cup salsa
Juice of one lime
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1/4 cup olives
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Cook Pasta until al dente

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook onions and pepper in oil until lightly browned. Stir in corn and heat through. Stir in black beans, tomatoes, salsa, olives, taco seasoning.

Cook until heated.

Transfer sauteed veggies and noodles into a baking dish.
Sprinkle with cheese. Cover with foil.
Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and let cheese melt (about another 5 minutes)

We serve ours topped with green onions, avocado, sour cream and halved grape tomato.

Also, the great thing about recipes like this is that you can put anything else into it, or omit anything. I was thinking that a fajita one would be good too, with fajita seasoning and all three kinds of peppers and then onions.

(Oh, and, can someone teach me how to make my words red? I can't seem to figure it out, since I don't have that option on my blog layouts, and I don't know where to go to change it.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tyler's Mahi Mahi and Guacamole Salad

Yesterday we went to Ed and Cindy's (Corey's Parents) for dinner. It was delish! Absolutely delicious, and from the event I got two recipes I wanted to share with ya'll.

The first one is not technically a recipe because Corey's brother just kind of made it up on the fly... but I called him later that night and said... 'okay I don't care if you don't know perfectly what you did, you still have to try and tell me because it was SOOOO good!' which thankfully he obliged and told me.

The second recipe is totally healthy, totally scrumptious, totally eat to live, and comes from the most unlikely of sources. Ina Garten... aka the Barefoot Contessa... from the Food Network makes the best food on the planet. Hands down. Her stuff is guaranteed delicious, but it is usually insanely indulgent and bad for you. When Cindy told me where she got this particular recipe I was like 'Whaaaaat?' She's worse than Paula Deen usually! But this one is totally healthy and still manages to taste as good as a Barefoot Contessa recipe should taste! Wonderful!

That's enough chatty, chatty though. Here's the recipes:

Tyler's Mahi Mahi

Olive Oil
Fresh chopped Garlic
1/2 red onion, sliced and ringed
1 Orange, juiced and the rest chopped
Lime Juice
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
Fresh chopped Cilantro
Mahi Mahi fillets

Comine the oil, garlic, onion, orange juice, lime, and spices to make marinade. Marinate the Mahi Mahi in it for a couple of hours. Then grill.

Simple and delish. He did it outside... we'll have to settle for George Forman when we make it here. It was seriously SO good. It was the first fish that I didn't feel like I needed to dip in something to make it taste good. Kate- I know you wanted to try fish- Mahi Mahi is a great one in my opinion. It handles more like chicken, and it even tastes more-- meaty than fishy. Whit would you agree?

Guacamole Salad (please try this... I have several recipes that are similar, but to me this was the best!)

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup small diced red onion
2 tablespoons minced jalepeno peppers (about 2 small peppers)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
1/4 cup freshly sqeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 ripe avacados diced

Place tomatoes, bell pepper, black beans, onion, jalepeno, and lime zest in bowl. Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and cayenne. Pour over veggies and toss well. Just before serving fold in avacados. Serve at room temp.

This was such a fabulous side dish, and even though it's supposed to be eaten right away, I have been snacking on leftovers of it, and it has held up just fine. For the original recipe click HERE.

Love you ladies! Have a good night!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spicy Black Bean Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayo

Yummmmm!!! We were such fans of this. I will say though that we used more chipotle peppers than was called for, and a bit more of the other spices too because we are just kind of spicy people. Even my boys like it that way.

Spicy Black Bean Sandwhiches with Chipotle Mayo

1 tablespoon mayo
3 tablespoons sour cream (I have heard of this stuff called vegonaise-- if you wanted to make this vegan you could substitue all 4 tablespoons and I bet it would be good!)
2 teaspoons chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (every walmart I've ever been to carries this in a tiny can in the mexican isle- usually by the diced green chilies)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup chopped red onion
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1 clove minced garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt, to taste
Pita Breads (We used Arnold Thin's-- a splurge on $ but we love 'em so)
Shredded Lettuce
Sliced Tomatoes
Sliced Avacado

Combine mayo, sour cream and chipotle peppers to make the chipotle mayo. Combine black beans through salt and mash a bit with a fork so that it's easy to work with getting it to stick together on a bun or in a pita. Put bean mixture on bun forming a semi-patty (just so it doesn't fall apart while eating), top with lettuce, tomato, avacado and your chipotle mayo.

Hope you enjoy! I think this makes a great no-oven, summer meal!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

FYI and a question...

I don't know if you guys will even care about this or not... but today I made my whole wheat biscuits and used the original recipe and it really was so much better. It calls for 3/4 cup white flour, 1 cup wheat flour, and 3 tbsp. wheat germ instead of ALL whole wheat with the wheat germ. If you are completely boy cotting white flour you have my praise- but in case you were willing to bend a bit I wanted you to have the really yummy version.

As a bit of an update- we are not doing Eat to Live 100% right now. We are trying to incorporate it into our life in a level that is comfortable, but I'm not stressing about it. Has anyone been withholding recipes because they are not completely ETL appropriate? If you are... please don't. I personally would still love to hear them when you have time to post... like Whit: didn't you say you had a good pasta recipe?

I decided yesterday that I really WISH I was a vegan. But it's really hard! So maybe someday.... but for now I am just taking it slow and making healthy changes at a rate that is comfortable for our hectic life. Although I must say that I am SO grateful for what I have learned from ETL, and I am still SO excited about it. We have made a few permanent changes so far and I hope to keep making more. So if you have anything to share from ETL still do! Em, I am SO impressed that you have been able to be so dedicated! Please keep sharing your success and your recipes with us!

Much Love to you All-

Ashlee

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Golden Chickpea and Artichoke Salad

I got this recipe in a free magazine from Smith's Marketplace. Katey I hear you love chickpea's? I really like this salad and plan to make it again.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
5-7 artichoke hearts, drained and sliced (I got mine in a big jar from Costco, you could also buy it in a can or fresh)
1/4 to 1/3 cup sliced almonds (if desired, toasted)
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

1. Heat oil in skillet. Add chickpeas and cook over medium-high for 10 minutes, stirring only to prevent burning, until chickpeas are golden brown all over. When done, transfer chickpeas to large mixing bowl and set aside.

2.Add more oil if needed to pan and saute sliced artichoke hearts until browned. Add artichokes to chickpeas.

3-Add almonds, lemon juice, salt and parsley to chickpea mixture. Eat!!!

Salad, Grains, Beans, Fruit!!!

My advice to us Veggie lovin' friends as we are eating the same diet is, do not skip out on your salads or grains. If you eat your BIG salad at lunch and dinner time comes and you feel like there is no way in the world you can eat another HUGE salad with your soup, bean burger, whole grain waffles or whatever your dinner is that night; suck it up! Just eat your salad. Even if your salad is not as large as your lunch salad just eat it. You will be able to tell the difference in weight loss and general health. I have a testimony of salad.

Don't skip your grains. You must eat those. To me, the grains are what gets me excited. What kind of grain will I have tonight? I love it!

Eat all the fruit in the world. Look at my post on "Just like cheese cake". The sauce that is for that "cake" is so yummy to dip fruit in. All it is is frozen berries and dates put in a food processor.

Eat your beans! I am sure you do but they will fill you up. During my first six weeks I thought, "There is no way I will get on that scale tomorrow and see a loss in weight", but I would loose weight. The more you eat the better the results.

Good Luck! I hope you are all having fun eating this way! It is fun for me to know my veggie lovin' friends are on the same page as me.

Dressing and Salad idea

I figure I have eaten 208 salads since January 4 2010. Therefore, I have become creative with them. Here is a salad idea that is good when you are having a sweet tooth.

I like using spinach but use whatever type of lettuce you want.

Pile your plate with Spinach and...
Cut up strawberries, apple, mandarin oranges and grapes (whatever size you want them)
Serving size of cashews

Dressing

Agave
Apple Cider Vinegar
Cinnamon

Heat the dressing in microwave to make it warm. You can even heat up some of the apple chunks with the dressing.

Pour over salad.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Emily's Spinach Salad

ETL is BIG on salads but how many times can you eat the same salad over and over? Here are a few ways to mix things up.

Spinach Salad

5 Big mushrooms
1 Yellow onion
1 Head of garlic

cut mushrooms and onion to desirable size.
Peel garlic and cut each clove into four pieces.
Put small amount of Olive oil in hot pan (I use olive oil but you can use water), throw veggies in until tender.

Put desired amount of mushroom mixture on fresh spinach, handful of craisins and 1/4 cup of chopped up Almonds. Use a raspberry vinaigrette dressing, olive oil and vinegar or plain.


Have fun with the dressings. It will save you!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Asian Spaghetti Squash Stir Fry

I got this from Kate's Garden Cafe. She calls it 'Spectacular Spaghetti Squash'. We have a link on the side to her bloggy blog which I love. I wish she posted more... her stuff is great.

Asian Spaghetti Squash Stir Fry

1 Spaghetti Squash
1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Sesame Seed Oil, or both
2 Carrots, peeled and julienned
1 Bell Pepper, julienned
4 Mushrooms, sliced (I used WAY more)
Large Handful of Pea Pods
2 Cloves Garlic, Pressed (I used minced. I'm lazy)
1 Green Onion, sliced
1 Tomato, diced
Sesame Seeds (ours was fine without)
1-2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar (I used seasoned- left over from RC wraps that Kate posted)

Cook Spaghetti Squash how you like to. Reserve strands. Meanwhile, heat oil and add all other ingredients. Stir Fry until veggies are bright and beautiful but still crunchy. Pile the veggies onto your spaghetti squash and BAM. Your done. Delish!

Just Like Cheese Cake

Every person that I have given this to loves it. I hope you will too!This really does not take that long to make and it it really easy. Good luck!

Ingredients

Crust
2 Cups raw macadamia nuts (I use a mixture of nuts with macadamia nuts because macadamia nuts are expensive)
1/2 cups dates (pitted)
1/4 cup dried coconut

For the cheese
3 cups raw cashews
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup coconut oil (I use coconut milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

For sauce
1 bag or two cups of frozen berries
1/2 cup dates

Directions

Mix crust ingredients in food processor until well blended. Put in cheese cake spring board pan and press down.

Mix cheese sauce ingredients in food processor until well blended. Pour over crust. Let chill in freezer for one hour.

Put sauce ingredients in food processor. This will take 5-10 minutes. You might have to stop it and mix it up again, turn it back on a few times. You will know what I mean when you make it. You want the sauce to be just like a smoothie. No chunks!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Raw chocolate chip cookies (cashew's)

My sister send this recipe via facebook. I love it so much. It takes no time at all and gives you one more way to eat nuts.


• Ingredients:
Cookie dough:
o 1 3/4 cups ground raw cashews
o 3/4 cup ground raw oats
o 1/4 cup Agave Nectar
o 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
o 1/4 cup coconut oil
Raw chocolate chips:
o 2 Tablespoon coconut oil
o 1/2 cup carob powder
o 1/2 cup cocoa powder
o 4 T agave nectar
o 2 teaspoon vanilla
Directions:
Dough: Grind up raw cashews and raw oats in a food processor or blender. Place all cookie dough ingredients into a large bowl and mix by hand or with a spoon. OR simply place all ingredients in the processor and blend (why didn’t I do this!? lol). Mix until a dough forms and you can make a large ball. Refrigerate dough while you make the chocolate chips.
Chips: Mix all chocolate chip ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Roll the dough out onto parchment paper and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Optional: Half way through at 15 mins., flip the chocolate sheet over for even freezing.
When chocolate is frozen, cut into chips. This is the fun part! I used a pastry slicer and it was SO fun making the chips.
Mix chips into dough and have fun!
Place in fridge (if you have any left that is) to harden for about 30 mins. They get real hard! Make sure to refrigerate them on parchment paper or they will stick to the plate.
Notes: If you don’t have carob powder you can substitute it for cocoa powder just as easily. Alternatively, you may be able to sub the agave nectar for maple syrup or honey. If you try this and it turns out let me know!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A New Beginning and Ratatouille

Well folks we have joined the Eat to Live Bandwagon!

Last night Corey and I read together from the book, this morning we went shopping, and we are officially up and running! A few notes:

-I'm not having the kids do this too... Em did you? Katie are you going to? I am certainly involving them with pieces of it, and taking this new start for me and Corey as a chance to be extra diligent about their diet in general, but I didn't think they could get enough calories and fat content that their little bodies need doing the same thing as us... especially the first 6 weeks that are designed for weight loss. Any thoughts mommies? (Whit that totally includes you too!!! Yay!)

-Corey is done with soda. Yesterday he also said he'd like to have meat only 4 times a year: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and the 4th of July. WHAT?!? I was shocked. He is so on board with this it's awesome!

-I was SO shocked at how much food I was able to buy with the amount of money that I spent. WOW! Shocked really was the only word. I hope it's that way for you too Kate. I had the luxury of shopping at 3 different stores including a Sam's Club where I could buy cheap frozen berries.

-It feels like there is more but I guess that's it for now. I will leave you with what we had for our first Eat to Live dinner:

Ashlee Ratatouille (Whit I still would like your recipe too!)

1 small-med eggplant or 1/2 of a large one
1 med zucchini
1 large red bell pepper
1/3 of a large yellow onion
1 can no salt diced tomatoes
Mrs. Dash Italian Medley Seasoning (I have a feeling with this no-salt business Mrs. Dash is going to be a big friend!)

Chop eggplant, zucchini, pepper and onion to be bite sized (yes even the onion- I love me a big bite of onion! Corey gave all his to me). Toss them all in a very large skillet with a tablespoon of water. Stir and cook for a few minutes over med-high heat. Add tomatoes and generously season with Mrs. Dash (does it bother you that I used an italian seasoning for a french dish? Just let it go, it totally worked). Cook and stir until almost boiling and reduce heat. Continue cooking until veggies are the crispness you like. Don't make 'em mushy! Mushy eggplant is yucky!

We served ours with a small portion of plain brown rice and cooked butter beans. I had never tried butter beans before. They get 2 thumbs up from the Burtons! I am trying to make beans something that we eat with all types of meals, not just mexican, and I think this worked pretty well. My kids love Ratatouille and I was thrilled that they liked this version seeing as how the one I had been making used a packaged salad dressing and cheese.

I know that the next 6 weeks are going to be hard, and take a lot of work, but I am so excited!

PS- Everyone still wants to do this blog right? We've all been kind of absent lately. Just checking :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Coming Soon

I am here but I have had no time to sit down and post recipes. I do have a few that I am excited about but I will have to post them on Sunday because it is now 11:16pm and I need to go to my bed.

Emily

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Herbal Remedies?

Do any of you lovely ladies have some herbal remedies you would like to share? We are sick at our house this week. And have been for a week. I HATE taking my kids to the doctor and paying the "urgent care" copay and hearing, "it's just a virus" but after a week with no improvement I took my princess in today. And guess what? This time they assume it's "just a virus" but they want to treat it with antibiotics. Can they make it any more obvious they don't know what the heck they're talking about? Good doctors here in our little town are hard to come by. I'm not sure what I was expecting today, but it made me angry.

Anyway, here's our symptoms.....don't read if you plan on reading the recipes later. I'm going to speak plainly here. Runny/stuffy noses, boogers everywhere including the eyes, coughing that brings up more boogers, sore throats, and boys throwing up boogers in the night because they refuse to and/or don't know how to blow their noses, etc., boogers, etc. We've been using saline flushes in the noses, lemon juice in the ears, and today tried a honey/onion cough syrup that worked somewhat. Any other tips?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sick of Soup?

I'm totally not.

I know I have posted nothing but soup, soup and more soup but it's just so dang good! Soup and dangerously hot showers are pretty much the only thing I miss about winter when it's gone.

I liked this one for lots of reasons:

A- Totally new flavors. The boys totally loved the okra (as did I). And I had never tried anything with Creole seasoning before... but BEWARE: Creole Seasoning is no joke! Whew! Plus there was pepper and paprika to boot! I had to put sour cream in the boys so they could eat it, and my boys have Burton tastes- they can handle hot.

B- SO easy. Frozen, pre-chopped veggies? Awesome. And they actually tasted good! Click THIS which is where I stole the recipe. You can read all about why frozen veggies aren't so bad nutritionally- in fact they may even be better.

C- I have always hated lima beans and yet I liked them in this. Totally didn't see that one coming.

Southern Succotash Stew

1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
12 ounces baby lima beans, fresh or frozen
12 ounces frozen soup vegetables (mixture of carrots, corn, peas, green beans, etc.)
6 ounces okra, sliced, fresh or frozen (I got mine frozen)
6 ounces green beans, fresh or frozen, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 large turnip, peeled and diced (may substitute potato)
1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning (or more to taste)
7-9 cups hot water or vegetable broth

In a large soup pot, sauté onion until soft. Add remaining ingredients along with 7 cups of the water or broth. Cook until turnips and other vegetables are tender, about 1 hour, adding more liquid as needed. Check seasoning, adding more Creole seasoning and salt to taste.

Serving Suggestion: Stir in a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to each bowl just before serving.

Ashlee Notes: I get the feeling this is a recipe with a lot of wiggle room. I didn't have thyme or extra green beans in addition to the bag of mixed veggies, and I used tomato sauce instead of crushed tomatoes. Worked out great! To cut down on costs I used one box veggie broth and the rest water. I didn't find that I needed to add more liquid. It needed to cook down quite a bit I thought... of course I didn't have those extra grean beans. And like I said earlier sour cream can take this down a notch. I didn't use the lime juice but I bet that wouldn't be bad. We ate this with my biscuit recipe below. It was yummo!

Whole Grain Buttermilk Biscuits

You may already have a recipe like this, but if not I thought I would share. This is a family favorite. I make 'em for breakfast or to go with dinner like I did tonight. If you make it go ahead and compare it to a standard recipe for normal biscuits. You'll be pleased with this much lighter, higher-fiber version I promise.

Whole Grain Buttermilk Biscuits

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons chilled butter or trans fat free margarine-for you vegan types ;) - it works too I tried it.
1 cup lowfat buttermilk or sour milk (ya'll know how to make sour milk I presume)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter with pastry cutter or knife.

(Kate did you ever get a pastry cutter? Everytime I use mine I hope that you got one at some point)

Stir in milk until moist dough forms, and don't worry-it should be pretty wet. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes so that it's workable. Turn dough out on floured surface and pat out to 1/2 inch thick. Using floured cup or biscuit cutter cut out your biscuits. Place on to baking mat and bake 8-10 minutes until golden.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I did something

I added a place on our side bar for the food sites we like and then put up the links for some I enjoy. Feel free to add if you wish :)

PS- I must tell you that I am considering hiring Corey for a blog makeover here at veggie lovin' friends. I love what he did for our Relief Society blog.

--Peace Out

Ashlee

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Not Just Chick Food

This week we tried Rookie Cookie's Thai Veggie Wraps. She suggested they would make for an excellent lunch with the girlfriends, (and they would) but my husband loved them. We made a few alterations and really liked them so I thought I'd share.

Sauce:
1/4 c. peanut butter
2 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, (I used evoo)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 t. salt.......(Note: I actually completely omitted this. We don't eat very much salt, and I thought that it looked like a bit much when there was already soy sauce in the recipe that contains 1160 mg sodium in 1 Tbsp.)
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
pinch crushed red pepper

Combine the above and whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Veggies:
Combine the following:
1 can garbanzos, (I heated mine a bit)
1 bag coleslaw mix
1 bunch cilantro, chopped, (I only did maybe 1/4 c. And that's a generous estimate. My man don't like cilantro.)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 c. unsalted peanuts

Combine the veggies and the sauce. Wrap, and viola! A lovely light spring-time dinner. Now, my husband thought the sauce was so good that he said he would drink it with a straw, but I thought it was a might spicy for the kiddos, (and the leftovers seemed to get even spicier) so I wrapped theirs prior to adding the sauce. Also, I didn't add the peanuts to the mix, I just put them on each wrap, cause they'll get soggy leftover.

Another note....if you check out Rookie's original recipe, you'll notice that she used edamame instead of garbanzo beans, but I have issues with all products soy since watching The World According to Monsanto. Just google that title and you can watch it for free online if you wish....Ash, this was the one that really freaked me out. Although be prepared for a bit of a snoozer! I thought my beloved garbanzos were a nice substitute. Do what you will!

This Was a Crowd Pleaser

This recipe was one I got from Super Healthy Kids, and modified a bit. It didn't look like anything special, but my husband asked me to add it to the rotation, (a very good sign) and it was the first dinner that Drew has voluntarily eaten in a week. Parker also gave it a thumbs up. Paige will eat anything, so take that for what it's worth. To see the original recipe, click here.


Pasta and Veggies with Sauce:
For the sauce:
Melt 3 Tbsp. butter and whisk in 3 Tbsp. flour to make a roux. Let simmer for 1 minute, then add 1 c. broth, 1/2 tsp. oregano, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. At this point, I thought it looked more like gravy than a pasta sauce so I added some milk, (maybe 3/4 c.?) and a couple handfuls of cheese. I used a mix of cheddar and parmesan, probably totalling about a cup, (I'm pretty heavy-handed with cheese). Am I fired from the blog? I know that probably totally "unhealthified" that recipe.....but it sure made it tasty.

For the veggies:
Saute 1/2 onion in olive oil until tender. Add 2 cloves of garlic, 2 c. cauliflower, 2 c. broccoli, and 1 pkg. peas. Sir in 1/2 c. broth, bring to a boil, cover and simmer until veggies are tender.

Toss all of the above together with 1 box of cooked whole wheat linguine. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan on top.

Here's where I have a question....I noticed at the grocery store that there are all sorts of different labels for the "brown" pasta. What's the best? I bought some that said "whole grain" but is that as good for you as whole wheat? Is that like buying "wheat bread" instead of "100% whole wheat?"

Monday, March 15, 2010

King Corn

Well it's official. I'm never eating again :)

We watched King Corn last night.

Thanks for the recommendation Kate. I can see why you felt a little crazy after you watched it. I'm feeling it too.

I do have to say though that I really appreciated the explanation that they gave as to HOW it got to be as bad as it is. I had only the idea in my head of power-money-hungry people who took things over. It was all pure evil! While I know that there certainly is corruption happening I appreciated them pointing out that the changes in American agriculture also started in an effort to make food more affordable to American families, and I believed that to be sincere.

It's sad the consequences those changes have had though. I for one am more committed to eating whole, unprocessed foods. I did a search too for local organic farms but unfortunately they are still very much out of our price range. Someday though.... In the mean time we'll do the best we can with what we have :)

Love you all!

Ashlee