Category Archives: Recipes

No noodle chicken soup

When the weather forecast was predicting a blizzard for today it put me in the mood for a healthy, warm soup. I decided this morning to make chicken soup without noodles. I was in the mood for something really healthy without the extra carbs. And I thought this would be a great way to use some of the homemade chicken broth I made recently.

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This soup was easy to put together and the flavor was really good. I enjoyed the taste of the herbs in the chicken broth. I like the richer flavor in the homemade broth and I feel good eating it knowing it is loaded with nutrients. I had a bowl for supper, put a couple bowls in the refrigerator for lunches this week and I had a couple bowls left to freeze for future meals.

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No noodle chicken soup

2 chicken breasts, cubed

6 cups of homemade chicken broth (click on this link for recipe)

1 tbsp. oil (I used avocado)

1 tsp. garlic salt

2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced

3 or 4 carrots, chopped

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1/2 onion, diced

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Cook chicken on medium heat in a pan with oil. Pour about a half cup of chicken broth into soup pot and add all vegetables and garlic salt. Saute for about 5 to 7 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add the rest of the chicken broth and cooked chicken to soup pot. Simmer for about 30 minutes on low to medium heat.

 

Homemade chicken broth: Easy to make & healthier

I was so excited a few weeks ago when I made homemade chicken broth for the first time! It was SO EASY to make and it tastes delicious. It makes me so happy to have 16 cups of broth in the freezer for use in future recipes. No more store bought cans or containers of chicken broth at the Tate house. It really is so easy to make and very inexpensive and remember you will not have MSG, yeast extract or any other icky fillers in your final product. It will be loaded with flavor and all real ingredients. This is a recipe I really just threw together. I used whatever I thought would be good. But, I did write down what I was doing so I could share it here. It tasted really good. You could seriously just throw some chicken and vegetables in this broth and it would be a delicious soup.

So finally, here is the recipe for those of you who have been asking. Let me know if you give it a try. Or who has been doing this for a long time? With how easy it is to make, I hope more of us can get back to making our own, real food. It feels so good to put the leftover chicken bones to use instead of just discarding them and bone broths are loaded with lots of great nutrients. For more information on the benefits of bone broth check out this article by Dr. Amy Meyers. She also has her own variation of a recipe in the article. There really is no science to making bone broth you can create your own anyway you choose. And also, you can make beef broth the same way. So let’s start putting bones to good use and make a healthy broth!

ChickenBroth

Homemade Chicken Broth

Bones of 1 chicken

16 cups of water

2 tbsp. Real Salt

2 tbsp. Bragg’s apple cider vinegar

Cloves of one garlic

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. celery salt

2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. parsley

1 tsp. rosemary

1 tsp. thyme

Put all ingredients in crock pot for at least 9 hours and up to 24 hours on low. Let cool. Can be used right away or put in the freezer for future recipes.

Beef stew perfect for cold, winter day

It’s another cold, windy day here in Worthington, Minnesota, and the crazy weather outside has me thinking of beef stew. I wish I would have had this in the crock pot today. It would have been the perfect dinner.

I made this beef stew for our ladies Christmas party at church and it got such great reviews, I made it again for the Walljasper family Christmas. So finally, I am getting around to sharing the recipe on my blog. My friend Stephanie gave me the original beef stew seasoning mix recipe. The recipe below is what I did. I made just a few changes to the recipe. As I said in my homemade fajita post —it is so easy and inexpensive to make your own seasoning mixes. Not only, does it taste better, it is also much healthier because it does not have added ingredients, fillers and preservatives.

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Beef Stew Seasoning Mix

1/2 cup tapioca flour

2 tsp. oregano

1 tbsp. basil

1.5 tsp. black pepper

2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. cayenne

1 tbsp. celery salt

2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. onion powder

Measure all of the ingredients and mix well in a medium size mixing bowl.

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Pour into jar and cover. To use, add 2 to 3 tbsp. of seasoning per pound of meat.

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Crock Pot Beef Stew

2-3 cloves of garlic

1 onion

2 stalks of celery

3-5 potatoes

4 carrots

2-3 parsnips

1.5 cups of beef broth (can use more depending on consistency you prefer)

2-3 pounds stew meat (or a roast cubed)

1 can of petite diced tomatoes (about 1.5  cups if using fresh)

Toss the meat with the spice mix and let it set while preparing the vegetables. Put chopped vegetables in crock pot. Then add stew meat and last add the beef broth. Stir and cook on low for 8 hours or cook for 4 hours on high.

Feel free to add or change the recipe. I have made it with no tomatoes and no parsnips before. So get creative and make changes to whatever suits your taste buds.

I hope you enjoy this hearty beef stew that is perfect for a wintery day!

Amanda

A taste of summer during the cold of winter

 

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Cilantro! Tonight’s dinner was inspired by a partial bunch of cilantro sitting in my refrigerator. Why is deciding what to have for supper always such a hard decision? Tonight my husband had a meeting so I knew I wanted to make supper (and tonight is the only night this week I will be home for supper) so all morning I was trying to come up with an idea. Finally, it came to me…Cilantro Lime Chicken Breasts with Mango-Avocado Salsa.

So, I just finished eating supper now and it was delicious! My husband agreed! We had to stop ourselves from eating all of the mango salsa so we could have some for leftovers! And what I love most about this meal, is it reminded me of summer…or even better being on a tropical vacation somewhere! I am definitely putting this recipe in my summer collection so we can grill the chicken breasts. That would have added even more flavor to this tasty dish! The Mango-Avocado Salsa would taste great with fish also!

Here is the recipe…

Cilantro Lime Chicken Breasts

2-4 chicken breasts

2 tbsp. avocado or olive oil

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 tsp. garlic salt

Combine ingredients and spread over chicken breasts. Marinate in a covered bowl in refrigerator for at least two hours.

Then you can bake the chicken breasts at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, fry on the stove top or grill.

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Mango-Avocado Salsa

1 mango diced

1 avocado diced

½ purple onion diced

1 red pepper diced

1 jalapeno pepper diced

½ bunch cilantro chopped

1 clove of garlic minced

1 tbsp. fresh lime juice

½ tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. garlic salt

Combine ingredients and stir gently. Do not over stir. Spoon over chicken breasts and serve!

 

 

Fajitas de Navidad

WOW! There are no words to describe how thankful I am for all of your positive comments so far! I had no idea the blog would be so well read in just a few short days! Your words of encouragement are inspiring me to keep on writing and sharing! 2014 is going to be an exciting year and I look forward to seeing what God has in store! It is hard to believe 2013 is coming to an end.

We just finished our last Christmas celebration with family this past weekend. My husband’s children were here and we had a great time. And of course with holiday celebrations come lots of delicious food. For the last three or so years, we always made Sesame Pork Loin when they are here and mashed potatoes. At Thanksgiving this year my husband had the idea to change up the menu and do a Feliz Navidad meal. I loved the idea (I am a huge fan of Mexican cuisine) and traditional Mexican food has plenty of gluten free options so that always makes me happy! The kids loved the idea also and so that is what we did. We prepared a meal of fresh guacamole and homemade fajitas. I vowed about three weeks ago when I made beef stew with a homemade seasoning (blog post on this coming soon)—not to buy any more store bought seasoning packets. The seasoning packets are loaded with extra fillers and preservatives and many contain MSG. It is so easy to mix up a seasoning mix; I can’t believe I just figured this out. I have used store bought seasoning mixes my whole life and never thought twice about it but on this journey of a healthier lifestyle I know it is much healthier to make from scratch and it is cheaper!

So here it is—my fajita seasoning mix that was a hit! The mix was my contribution to the meal. My husband prepared the meat and vegetables. For our fiesta, I quadrupled the seasoning recipe. You can also make up seasoning mix ahead and store in a glass container so it is ready to go when you need it.

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Fajita Seasoning Mix                                                                                                            1 tbsp. corn starch (can use arrowroot or tapioca flour)                                  2 tsps. chili powder                                                                                                               1 tsp. salt                                                                                                                                    1 tsp. paprika                                                                                                                           ½ tsp. onion powder                                                                                                             ½ tsp. garlic powder                                                                                                              ¼ tsp. cayenne (more or less depending on preference)                                   ½ tsp. ground cumin

Stir ingredients together and then add juice of one half lime

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Three Meat Fajitas
4 chicken breasts (sliced or cubed)                                                                               1 bag frozen shrimp, tails removed                                                                          1¼ lbs. steak of your choice                                                                                           6-8 peppers sliced (red, green, yellow or any combination you like)  2-3 onions                                                                                                                 Avocado or olive oil                                                                                                   Seasoning mix (see recipe above)

Sauté vegetables in a pan with oil. When almost done, add 1 tbsp. seasoning and stir. When done remove from pan. Then cook meat. For this recipe you can mix all meat together or cook each meat separately. If you cook all meat together add the shrimp later (be sure not to overcook shrimp and steak). Add the seasoning mix when meat is almost done. Simmer for several minutes and then serve. Serve meat and vegetables on tortilla shells or for a healthier alternative skip the shell altogether and enjoy the flavors of the meat and vegetables. Top with fresh guacamole, cilantro, cheese, and/or jalapeno slices.

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Happy New Year to each of you!

~Amanda 

For the love of cranberries…

Ok, I can’t believe I am admitting this at age 37, but I bought fresh cranberries for the first time in my life just over a month ago! Yes, I was walking through the grocery store shortly after Thanksgiving and the beautiful bags of bright, red berries just jumped out at me. I decided I must buy some. Truly, I had no idea what I was going to do with them but I know they are healthy and they sure look pretty! In my health food stores, we sell a lot pure cranberry concentrate and cranberry capsules because of their antioxidant properties. But hey, we have to eat so why not add some fresh cranberries to your diet also!

When I got home I looked through some cranberry recipes and did not like the ingredients I found in most of them. So what did I do? Make up my own cranberry recipe. Most recipes call for canned cranberries….UGH….we have to get away from the canned goods and back to REAL food!

Now fresh cranberries are tart-yes very tart. So when making recipes with them it is easy to load on the sugar and quickly make the recipe unhealthy. So be aware and use sweetener with caution. And while you are eating them be sure to remember they are high in antioxidants and high in vitamin C. Cranberries are super healthy! I am not sure why we don’t hear more about cranberry recipes.

Cranberries

Cranberry Dessert
1 12 oz. package of fresh cranberries (wash well)
1/2 cup local honey
Juice of one fresh orange
1 tbsp. juice from fresh lemon
1/4 tsp. Redmond’s Real Salt

Simmer honey, orange and lemon juice for three minutes in a saucepan. Then add cranberries. Simmer for 5 minutes while stirring. Add salt and simmer another 6 minutes. Serve warm or refrigerate in a glass bowl for serving later. Top with pecans or other nut of your choice, if you want.

One cranberry recipe was not enough so when I was at the grocery store again a week later I decided I needed to buy another bag of cranberrries. This time I was going to make Cranberry-Lemon Muffins (I modified another recipe I have for muffins to find a way to use cranberries.)

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Cranberry-Lemon Muffins

6 eggs

1 tbsp. juice from fresh lemon

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

6 tbsp. local honey

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 cup cranberries, washed well

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another bowl. Once each are mixed well, combine the two and stir well. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan (I greased my pan with coconut oil) or into lined muffin cups.  You can top the muffins with fresh cranberry slices or pecans if you want. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

These muffins were delicious and I actually liked the taste and texture of them even better a couple days later. I shared some with friends but because I do not eat a lot of carbs on a daily basis I had some to freeze. I love having a homemade muffin like this in the freezer so mornings when I have to drive or run to an early morning meeting I can grab breakfast on the go. And when I grab these muffins loaded with cranberries I feel good about what I am putting in my body!

After making the Cranberry-Lemon Muffins, I had some cranberries left that I just could not let go to waste so I made a quick breakfast meal.

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Quick, healthy breakfast in a bowl

 1½  cups of almond milk

¼ cup chia seeds

 1½  tsp. pure vanilla

¼ cup of fresh cranberries

In this recipe I used one packet of Stevia sweetener. You could also use honey or pure maple syrup.

Mix together in glass bowl with lid and refrigerate. You can make this easy recipe with any fruit of your choice. Feel free to get creative and add cinnamon and other spices.

I would love to hear some of your favorite fresh cranberry recipes with real food ingredients!

~ Amanda