Category Archives: Recipes

Time for fresh, local produce in Worthington

I love summer! You know after the long, cold winter our summers here in Minnesota just don’t seem long enough. So I am thankful that today the Worthington Farmers Market starts in downtown Worthington at 4 p.m . Buying fresh, local produce from people I know makes me happy and summer meals created with the local food purchased at the farmers markets are loaded with flavor and healthy nutrients.

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Farmers markets have gained a lot of popularity over the last few years as people are becoming more aware about the foods they eat and where they come from. People love the opportunity to buy straight from producers. It feels good to be able to ask questions about the food you are purchasing and a good number of the producers at the Worthington Farmers Market grow their goods without using harsh chemicals. This year, I am happy to see several vendors selling gluten free options.

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If you live in the Worthington area I invite you to visit our local markets. The downtown Worthington Farmers Market goes from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays at the parking lot at Second Avenue and 10th Street and this year the Saturday market starts July 11 and runs from 6:30 a.m. to Noon at Ace Hardware along Oxford Street. If you are not around Worthington, I encourage you to find a farmers market close by and enjoy all of the delicious produce and goods it has to offer!

So last week we in our fresh produce box from 10 Acres Flat there was kale. This is definitely a vegetable I have grown to love but trust me it took some time. Last year, Freya from 10 Acres shared the kale recipe posted below. It made me love and crave kale!The one thing I learned from this recipe is if you are eating kale fresh you should massage it so it is easier to digest and it also gives it a better flavor. Now, I know many of you are saying…ick, I am not going to eat kale but give it a chance! And if you don’t like it one way, try it another way. Kale is loaded with vitamins and minerals including calcium and vitamin c. In fact, did you know kale has more vitamin c than one orange?

Why is kale a winner-

 

This is the first recipe I have used fresh kale. Usually, I throw kale in a morning smoothie or I sautee it with onion and garlic in butter or bacon grease. This salad was a hit at our house. In fact, my husband and I finished it off the first night I made it and I had to make some just a few days later because I was craving it. And of course, kale is something you can purchase at the local farmers market.

Kale

KaelSalad

Kale Salad

1 bunch kale

1 avocado

Juice from 2 fresh lemons

2 tbsp. olive oil

1-2 tsp. local honey

1 cucumber, bell pepper, carrot or other favorite salad veggie

¼ cup sliced almonds or sunflower seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

Remove the stem from the kale leaves. Discard stems and slice kale into strips. Place chopped kale in salad bowl with about a ½ tsp. of real salt or sea salt and 1 tsp. of lemon juice. Rub the salt and lemon into the kale (like you are giving it a massage) for a few minutes until it turns a brighter green and is starting to look almost wilted or cooked. In a smaller bowl, mash the avocado and mix with remaining lemon juice, honey and olive oil. If it seems to thick add a dash of water. Pour over kale and stir well to combine. Add chopped veggie of choice and almonds or sunflower seeds. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

NOTE: When I made this recipe last week, I chopped the avocado into pieces and did not mash it. I used a red pepper and cucumber for my first batch this season and loved the flavor the cucumber added. We did not put the almonds or seeds on it. The next time I made it I used a carrot and turnips. As you can see you can be creative and come up with many variations of this recipe.

Please share your favorite recipe using fresh, summer produce with us here at Be Real Blog.

Please subscribe to Be Real blog so you can receive email notification each time I write a new post. You can find the subscribe button to the right of this post or if you are using your phone it may be at the bottom of this post. 

Bone broth is a great addition to your diet

If you are like me when you hear the words bone broth you are thinking what? That sounds so weird how could it possibly be good for you. I grew up on a farm and we many times butchered our own animals and utilized many parts of the animal for food but I can honestly say growing up my grandmothers, mom or dad never made bone broth. I sure wish they would have introduced me to this super food much earlier in life, but then again if they had I might have turned up my nose and said no thanks!

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When I started doing research about gluten free eating and how to heal the digestive system I started coming across bone broth. It was popping up in nearly everything I read.I became aware of the many health benefits and realized is it very cheap to make. I am all for healthy foods that are affordable.  I made my first batch of chicken bone broth back in January 2014 and wrote this blog post about it. Get the recipe here. I was very happy with the way it turned out and it is so nice have to chicken broth in the freezer whenever we need it for recipes. Then about six months ago, I made a batch of bone broth with bison bones. I was so thankful when the bison producer we buy meat from for my two health food stores provided me with some bison bones. This broth turned out with really great flavor. In fact, I liked the recipe so much I used the same recipe for my beef bone broth this weekend.

There are many articles on the benefits of bone broth. Click on these links to read more about the benefits. Dr. Mercola lays out the many health benefits in this article. Whole 9 does a great job of answering questions about bone broth. Read their insights here.   It can be beneficial for joint pain, skin, teeth health, digestive health, bone health and so much more. It is loaded with lots of vitamins and minerals that can provide our body with much needed support.  So you can make bone broth and have it ready when you need it for recipes (this is a great money-saver) or you can consume 4 to 8 ounces each day for health benefits. Just like with anything, if you want to notice some kind of a difference you will have to drink it consistently and every person is different so what works for one of us might not work for another person.

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Beef Bone Broth

2 to 3 pounds of beef bones with marrow

3 tbsp. organic apple cider vinegar

3 cloves minced garlic or 2 tsps. Simply Organic garlic powder

2 tbsp. Real Salt

2 tsp. Simply Organic oregano

2 tsp. Simply Organic basil

Filtered water

Put all ingredients in a crock pot (I used a 6 quart crock pot). Fill crock pot almost to top with water. Cook on low in crock pot for 24-48 hours. Let cool and put in glass containers to store for the week or freeze the leftovers for use anytime.

Pheasant taco soup perfect for a cold day

So today I had it in my mind I wanted to make a recipe with pheasant because we have a lot of it in our freezer right now. I also wanted to use ingredients I had around the house so I did not have to make a trip to the grocery store! The recipe I came up with is Pheasant Taco Soup. Of course, you could use chicken for this recipe and have the same flavorful results if you don’t have access to pheasant. I also think this recipe would work great in a crockpot but today my crockpot is filled with buffalo bone broth. Stay tuned for the recipe soon on the blog!

The pheasant taco soup was easy to make and it tastes great. I used my homemade taco seasoning for this recipe. You can view the recipe by clicking on this link. It is hard to believe we have been using homemade taco seasoning at my house now for about a year. The flavor is great and it is not loaded with unhealthy fillers. I also like this pheasant soup recipe because it uses corn which I froze last summer and tomatoes that I had in the freezer. And the onion came from the local farmers market when I stocked up at the end of the season.

My plan is to freeze some of the pheasant soup leftovers and have it for lunches at work. I think fresh cilantro would be delicious in this recipe but I did not have any at the house. When I make this again I will grab some cilantro to add even more flavor. When serving you could top it with fresh avocado, tortilla chips and/or salsa.

PheasantTacoSoup

Pheasant Taco Soup

6 pheasant breasts, cleaned well and cubed

1 tbsp. oil

1 small onion diced

3 tbsp. homemade taco seasoning (or 1 taco seasoning packet)

1 bag frozen corn

2 cups tomatoes (frozen or canned)

1 can green chilies

1 jalapeno (optional)

2 1/2 cups water

Put 1 tbsp. of oil in a soup pot. Add cubed pheasant, onion and taco seasoning. Cook on medium-high heat until pheasant is almost fully cooked. Then add corn, tomatoes, green chilies, jalapeno and an additional 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes on low. Remove from heat and serve.

Farmers markets a highlight of summer

I love summer! You know after the long, cold winter our summers here in Minnesota just don’t seem long enough. So I am thankful that today I am able to sit out on my deck and type this blog post. As the hot sun is beating down on my skin, I get to sit here and write about one of my absolute favorite things about summer—the Worthington Farmers Market. Every Tuesday and Saturday in my town we have a farmers market. Buying fresh, local produce from people I know makes me happy and summer meals created with the local food purchased at the farmers markets are loaded with flavor and healthy nutrients.

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Farmers markets have gained a lot of popularity over the last few years as people are becoming more aware about the foods they eat and where they come from. People love the opportunity to buy straight from producers. It feels good to be able to ask questions about the food you are purchasing and a good number of the producers at the Worthington Farmers Market grow their goods without using harsh chemicals. This year, I am happy to see several vendors selling gluten free options. A few weeks ago I purchased a delicious, heavy, homemade bread with good ingredients that is gluten free. It was a real treat. Bread is not something I eat on a regular basis so I enjoy it sparingly.

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If you live in the Worthington area I invite you to visit our local markets. The downtown Worthington Farmers Market goes from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays at the parking lot at Second Avenue and 10th Street and on Saturdays the market runs from 6:30 a.m. to Noon at Ace Hardware along Oxford Street. If you are not around Worthington, I encourage you to find a farmers market close by and enjoy all of the delicious produce and goods it has to offer!

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One of my favorite new recipes I have tried this summer came from Freya at 10 Acres Flat. She included the recipe with one of our weekly farm shares that had kale in it. The one thing I learned from this recipe is if you are eating kale fresh you should massage it so it is easier to digest and it also gives it a better flavor. Now, I know many of you are saying…ick, I am not going to eat kale but give it a chance! And if you don’t like it one way, try it another way. Kale is loaded with vitamins and minerals including calcium and vitamin c. In fact, did you know kale has more vitamin c than one orange? This is the first recipe I have used fresh kale. Usually, I throw kale in a morning smoothie or I sautee it with onion and garlic in butter or bacon grease. This salad was a hit at our house. In fact, my husband and I finished it off the first night I made it and I had to make some just a few days later because I was craving it. And of course, kale is something you can purchase at the local farmers market.

Kale

KaelSalad

Kale Salad

1 bunch kale

1 avocado

Juice from 2 fresh lemons

2 tbsp. olive oil

1-2 tsp. local honey

1 cucumber, bell pepper, carrot or other favorite salad veggie

¼ cup sliced almonds or sunflower seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

Remove the stem from the kale leaves. Discard stems and slice kale into strips. Place chopped kale in salad bowl with about a ½ tsp. of real salt or sea salt and 1 tsp. of lemon juice. Rub the salt and lemon into the kale (like you are giving it a massage) for a few minutes until it turns a brighter green and is starting to look almost wilted or cooked. In a smaller bowl, mash the avocado and mix with remaining lemon juice, honey and olive oil. If it seems to thick add a dash of water. Pour over kale and stir well to combine. Add chopped veggie of choice and almonds or sunflower seeds. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

NOTE: When I made this recipe, I chopped the avocado into pieces and did not mash it. The first time I made this recipe we used a red pepper, carrot, cucumber, fresh garlic and onion. We did not put the almonds or seeds on it. The next time I made it I used a carrot and turnips. As you can see you can be creative and come up with many variations of this recipe.

Please share your favorite recipe using fresh, summer produce with us here at Be Real Blog.

Please subscribe to Be Real blog so you can receive email notification each time I write a new post. You can find the subscribe button to the right of this post or if you are using your phone it may be at the bottom of this post. 

Rhubarb pudding is a treat

Last Saturday when I was visiting my friend Jen, I discovered she had a huge rhubarb patch with some very fine looking rhubarb! We picked lots and lots of rhubarb and she let me take a bunch home with me. For some reason this year, I am just loving the taste of rhubarb.

RhubarbPudding

I wanted to make rhubarb like my grandma used to make with tapioca. I have not had it this way in years but it sounded so good. As I was looking at tapioca to buy in the grocery store, I decided I did not want to buy a whole box for a one recipe and the idea came to me to use chia seeds and make a pudding. The recipe I came up with is similar to the cranberry chia pudding I shared earlier on my blog. See that recipe here. Chia seed pudding can me made with all different types of fruit so be sure to experiment and have fun!

So Sunday was my rhubarb day. I started out my morning making a refreshing rhubarb drink. This recipe came from Freya at 10 Acres Flat in our first food share box last week (read more about 10 Acres here). In her letter last week to shareholders, Freya said she was hesitant to share a rhubarb recipe because everyone around here already has a family favorite. She did however share a recipe for making rhubarb juice and serving it over ice. The recipe piqued my interest-as I had never thought of making rhubarb into a juice. So I of course, had to try it. It was tasty.

Then later in the day, I decided to try my rhubarb pudding idea.

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This is the rhubarb cooked with honey and it tastes great this way! So if you don’t want it to become the consistency of pudding you can eat it just like this. It tastes good!

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However, if you want it to turn out pudding consistency you can put the rhubarb and honey in the blender and then add coconut milk and blend. And then stir in the chia seeds and refrigerate for at least 3 to 6 hours. This yummy treat has been my breakfast each morning this week. It is very different from my regular breakfast of eggs or a smoothie but I am finding it keeps me full (the chia seeds are great for this and the healthy fats in the coconut milk) and it is a nice treat in the morning.

I am happy that I have enough rhubarb to put some in the freezer so I can make Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp or this pudding again when rhubarb is no longer in season.

And in less than two weeks the Worthington Farmers Market in downtown Worthington will be under way and more fresh, local food will be available!

Rhubarb Pudding

2 cups chopped rhubarb

1/2 cup local honey

3 tbsp. chia seeds

1/2 cup water

1 cup coconut milk (or any milk of choice)

In a pan cook rhubarb, honey and water on medium heat until fully cooked about 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool. Then put rhubarb mixture and coconut milk in blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl (that has a lid) and add chia seeds. Stir well. Put lid on bowl and put in refrigerator for at least four hours or overnight.

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Rhubarb and asparagus are sure signs of spring

It is really starting to feel like spring. Earlier today my husband and I went on the search for fresh asparagus and we came home with enough for several meals. It is still crazy to me that around here people go out searching for asparagus because it grows wild along the road ditches. For us it is a fun thing to do and I must say my husband is much better at spotting it than me. I say it is because I have not hunted for it until I came to Minnesota. In southern Iowa, we had large asparagus patches in our gardens.

Today, we just drizzled the asparagus with olive oil and some Real Salt or seasoning salt and put it on the grill! It was delicious. I could eat fresh asparagus every day! And it has such great health benefits. It contains glutathione, which is a potent antioxidant that helps detoxify the liver, it is a natural diuretic and it is contains fiber, iron and other important vitamins. So if you don’t have your own asparagus patch head on out and try to track some down so you can enjoy its delicious flavor and all of the health benefits that go along with it.

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And tis the season for fresh rhubarb! I was so happy to get some rhubarb from my mother-in-law this weekend. Rhubarb is a sure sign that spring has arrived. And I love the tart flavor that rhubarb brings to the table.

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I decided to create a new recipe today using the rhubarb. And I am pleased with how it turned out. I used organic raw cane sugar in the recipe  and it has a rich flavor kind of like brown sugar so it worked very well in this recipe. Originally, I was going to use only rhubarb but when I had just under 4 cups of rhubarb I decided to add just over 1 cup of strawberries to the mix. I used my last bag of frozen strawberries from our local strawberry patch, Schumacher’s Berry Farm. Thankfully, in less than a month we can go pick more fresh, local strawberries. For this recipe you could use all rhubarb or you could use 2.5 cups of each. Enjoy in moderation. You will notice this recipe has more sugar in it than a lot of recipes I post but with rhubarb the sugar is necessary to help reduce the tartness. I choose to use raw cane sugar because it is less processed. (That does not mean you can overindulge though…too much sugar, is too much sugar.)

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

4 cups rhubarb

1 cup strawberries

3/4 cup organic raw cane sugar

3 tbsp. corn starch

Topping

1/2 cup gluten free oats (if you need gluten free)

1/4 to 1/2 cup organic raw cane sugar (depending on sweetness you prefer)

1/4 cup almond flour

1/4 cup butter

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, mix the strawberries and rhubarb with the cornstarch and one cup of raw cane sugar. Place in an 8 x 8 baking dish. In medium bowl, mix oatmeal, almond flour, raw cane sugar and butter. Pour evenly over the top of the rhubarb and strawberries. Bake for about 30 minutes.

 

 

Kora’s Blueberry Muffins taste delicious

Kora

When I had the chance to hang out with my two-year-old niece Kora last week, one of the first things we did that morning was make muffins. I just can’t say enough about getting kids involved with the cooking. The kitchen is a great place to talk to kids about what is healthy. And it is good for children to see where food comes from and that there are many options available for making food. Food is much more than processed junk out of a box. When my nieces ask for fruit snacks, my new answer is “Ok here is some fruit what kind do you want?” It is fruit and it is a snack. How did we get to a place where fruit snacks are handed out everywhere and they are brightly packaged and many times very sneaky in their marketing tactics. I believed for many years, fruit snacks were a healthy snack. Well, obviously I was not reading the ingredients back then, I was just going off the name. The fact the name has fruit in it makes us think it is healthy. So even when the package says,”100% real fruit juice” Fat Free,” “Gluten Free” or “All Natural” do not be fooled. When we turn over the package and look at ingredients it is startling. Most brands have at least two or three artificial colors, sugar (and sometimes more than one kind of sugar) and when I was reading labels for this blog post I also came across some brands that had artificial sweeteners in them. And yes, there are some organic fruit snack brands that do not have artificial colors and other harmful ingredients. However, I recommend these only as a special treat. They are still packaged and processed with lots of sugar and they can be an expensive snack. When time allows, choose real, whole food for your kids.

It is important for kids to be involved with making healthy, real food.  Both of my nieces really enjoy helping in the kitchen. When they come to visit me cooking is always one of the fun things we do together. The recipe I had decided to make was blueberry muffins.

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I started off asking Kora if she likes blueberries. She said yes but I was not sure I believed her because she can be a pretty picky eater. So I took the blueberries out of the freezer and gave her a couple to eat. She ate them and said yes I like them. I told her we were going to put the yummy blueberries in the muffins we were making.

My teaching background of course always shows through in the kitchen too. We talk about what color the blueberries are and we count how many eggs are in the recipe. Cooking is a great opportunity for learning about counting and measuring. We even practice words in Spanish while we are making the muffins. Kora’s first job was to put the silicon muffin cups onto the cookie sheet. We counted them in both English and Spanish when she got them on the tray.

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This is a new recipe I put together. I wanted a muffin recipe that used applesauce because I still have some unsweetened applesauce in my freezer that my sister and I (with Chloe and Kora’s help) made last summer. I was really curious to see if Kora would eat the muffins once they were baked. Trust me, I had nothing to worry about. She loved them and wanted to eat only muffins for lunch. I really think when kids are actively involved in food preparation they are more likely to eat what is on the table because they had a part in making it. OK, so I was not super surprised when my two-year-old niece liked the muffins because she helped make them (when kids help prepare food they are always more excited to eat it) but when my husband asked on Sunday morning if we had any blueberry muffins left, I knew they must be good! We both really like them and in fact, I made another batch this week. If we don’t eat them fast enough I will freeze the extras.

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Kora’s Blueberry Muffins

2 ½ cups almond flour

¾ tsp. baking soda

3 eggs

2 tbsp. organic, unrefined coconut oil

1 tsp. organic apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tbsp. honey

1 tsp. pure vanilla

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen will work)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a glass bowl, mix the flour and baking soda. Melt coconut oil. Then mix in the eggs, applesauce, honey, coconut oil, vanilla and vinegar. When mixed well stir in blueberries. Put in muffin tins and bake 15 to 19 minutes until a nice golden brown color. If you are using muffin tins without paper liners be sure to grease the pan with coconut oil.

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Zingers make drinking water fun and flavorful

Remember when I wrote a blog post at the beginning of this year called, “New Year: A time to make healthy changes.” There is a lot of great information packed into that one post (for those of you who are new to my blog and want some tips for getting healthier you can click here to read it). The very first tip I wrote about was drink plenty of water! Again, I just can’t tell you how important it is to drink a sufficient amount of water on a daily basis.

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One of my favorite new water bottles is the Zing Anything Citrus Zinger. This bottle makes it easy to add real fruit flavors to your water and enjoy the flavor all day long! It is so simple! I received a Citrus Zinger bottle as a gift in October while I was in Texas and as soon as I saw it I knew it was something I wanted to order for The Daily Apple Worthington and The Daily Apple Storm Lake! What a genius idea to flavor water naturally! Yes, I know a lot of people think they do not like plain water. Trust me, I hear this every day! It is important that we realize here that not all water is created equal. So many people grab zero calorie drinks marketed as flavored, healthy waters. What many people do not realize is these waters are loaded with icky chemicals and artificial sweeteners. So before you grab for a flavored water, be sure to read the label and find out what your are really ingesting.

Here’s an idea—make your own flavored water and it will be cheaper in the long run and much healthier! And using a reusable bottle is much better for our Earth (with Earth Day just around the corner what better time to start using a reusable water bottle).

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Zing Anything makes two styles of bottles to infuse water. The first one I owned is the Citrus Zinger. This bottle works great for lemons, limes, oranges, cucumbers and even more. It is easy to juice the fruit in the bottom. This bottle has a lid that screws off to open and drink out of. I have come to like the Aqua Zinger bottle a lot because it has a straw in it and so it is easier to drink on the run or at work near the computer. This bottle has a different style of grinder. It works better for berries. For great recipes from Zing Anything click here.

The bottle that makes me the most excited is the brand new bottle designed for kids! (We actually had moms asking for a kid’s version of the Citrus Zinger even before the company released the kid’s zinger).  It is smaller and with a straw so it is perfect for teaching kids to drink water. Adding fruit to the bottom makes it fun for kids and it shows them ways to incorporate fruit into their diets.

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Zing Anything bottles are so easy to get excited about and I am so happy that this company has given me two products to give away! Be Real blog is now just over three months old and I think it is a great time for a giveaway. We are giving away an Aqua Zinger and a Citrus Zinger. And this contest has now ended. Congratulations to Michelle and Terri who were the lucky winners.

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Here’s to lots and lots of ‘zinging’ healthy water!

Amanda

 

 

A new way to make pork

 

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We all know it can be scary to try a new recipe that we have never made before. It is always an adventure to see how something will turn out. For the first time in awhile, we (ok, mostly my husband) made a brand new recipe that we had never made before and it exceeded all of our expectations.

I have to admit when Doug first told me about the recipe over the phone I was not sure what to think. But I loved that it was a new recipe and it had good ingredients. And as soon as the cooking was under way, it smelled delicious!

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 We used a dry red wine from one of our favorite local wineries, Calico Skies Winery in Inwood, Iowa. The American Chambourcin is a nice dry red that is packed with flavor from the oak barrels it is aged in. If you are ever in the Inwood area definitely check out this winery owned by Will and Ashlee. They are such nice people and they have a beautiful business!

With our pork chops we had Haricot Vert green beans (French green beans) cooked in bacon grease (keepin’ with the pork theme) with fresh garlic. They tasted delicious with the pork meal. We will definitely make this recipe again. It tastes so different than any way I have had pork. The flavors were awesome!

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Pepper and onion pork chops

4 boneless pork chops

1.5 tablespoons tomato paste

1 red onion

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 red peppers, cut into slices

4 cloves garlic

1/2 cup dry red wine

Salt and pepper

1 tsp. garlic salt

1 tbsp. olive oil

In a large skillet heat olive oil. Put chops in skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side (until browned). Remove from skillet. Add tomato paste to skillet and stir for about 20 seconds. Add onions and peppers to skillet and season with garlic salt. Cook stirring occasionally  until vegetables start to cook, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute.

Add wine and bring to a boil, stir in any brown bits in the skillet. Then put the pork chops back in the skillet, covering them with liquid. Reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook about 5 minutes and then turn chops over and cook another 4 minutes or so. Remove chops from skillet and let them sit for 4 minutes.

 

First try at homemade taco seasoning is a keeper!

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Well, for the first time in my life on Sunday, I made homemade taco seasoning. Again, I ask myself why have I not been doing this all along. It is less expensive and free of unhealthy ingredients like MSG, autolyzed yeast and all of the other preservatives that are in the pre-packaged mixes. This was a fun kitchen experience and I actually had to pay close attention and write down what I was doing.

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You see, I have never been one to follow recipes and oftentimes in the kitchen I do not use a recipe, I just put things together. Usually I have pretty good results but sometimes I fail miserably. Like last week, when I added too much stevia to my homemade chocolate. The whole batch tasted terrible. But now that I am writing this blog, I have to pay attention to the details…like how much of each spice I used…I have to be honest I was nervous to make the seasoning because my husband is pretty picky and I am not sure he is sold on my whole idea to not buy packaged seasonings anymore. But when we were at the grocery store Sunday he agreed to not buy a seasoning packet and he said I could try making it.

Oh no pressure at all. First off, I opened my spice cupboard and grabbed all of the spices I thought would be good in taco seasoning. I sat all of the bottles out on the counter and grabbed a measuring spoon and then the fun began. Below is the recipe and I can tell you it was well received. In fact, Doug (knowing how I cook) said I sure hope you wrote that down so we can make it again.  Whew! What a relief. Even though I wrote down the recipe I am pretty sure I will not make it exactly the same next time. Would be good to try a bit more oregano and more cayenne for heat. If you decide to make homemade taco seasoning (or maybe you already have an awesome recipe) let me know how you adjust the recipe. I would love to hear from you!

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Homemade taco seasoning

1 tbsp. chili powder

1.5 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. oregano

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

1/4 tsp. cayenne

Mix together well. Use at least 2 tbsp. per 1 pound of meat. Add seasoning mix and 1/2 cup water to meat when it is fully cooked. Let simmer 15 minutes or so.