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Monthly Archives: October 2013

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15 Bean Soup — Great supper on a cool fall evening.. There’s two versions here!!

I bought Hurst’s Ham Beans® Brand..


Soak the whole bag of beans overnight in cold water…

Drain water add beans to a soup pot..

Add two quarts of chicken broth, and about 1-2 cups of cooked chicken.

Bring the beans and broth to a boil and simmer for 2+ hours..

Add 1 large onion cut into small pieces, 4 cloves of garlic, 1- 20 oz can of crushed tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper, continue for at least another 1/2 hour or until all the beans are cooked.

This soup may be served with a tablespoon of sour cream, if you wish.  I  served baked beans for an appetizer..


The bag came with a packet of ham flavor, but I declined to use it this time. I’ll save it for another soup…



So I made this soup again at Christmas.

Use a package of 14 or 15 bean soup.  Soak the beans overnight. Drain, and fill a pan with water and add beans and 1 teaspoon of Baking soda. Cook for 10 -15 minutes . Scrape off the froth.  Drain the beans and rinse them.

This time I cooked a ham bone with 2 Bay leaves and 4  whole cloves.

I took the bay leaves and the bone out and cut up the ham pieces. I left the cloves in the broth, and it made a wonderful taste to the soup..

While I was cooking the meat.  I cut up onions, shallots, garlic, carrots, parsnips, celery, yellow, and zucchini squash, saute all the vegetables in some olive oil.  You can use these or fewer vegetables depending on what you like to eat..  Add the prepared beans and the vegetable mixture to the ham water and cook until everything is cooked. It will take between 2 and 4 hours..  Enjoy!!!

You can serve this with whatever you like, but I bought some pumpernickel bread and a rye with sunflower seeds.. They are both delicious with this soup!!!!




Dried Ginger slices…

Cut fresh ginger root into small slices. Peel if you want. Lay slices on a cookie sheet lined with foil.. Put in the oven at 250 degrees F. until dry.. Store in a small glass jar..  It can be used as is in a recipe, or crushed, and added to any recipe..  I feel that these are better for me because there is no added sugar…

I used 3 slices, crushed in the Magic Bullet, in the third batch of baked beans..

Because I am trying to control  my Type 2 diabetes, I have chosen to eat baked beans with dinner for the last couple of weeks.   I often use other beans in our family recipes instead of pasta, rice, or white potatoes..

20 Ways to Incorporate Whole Food into your Kitchen –from — http://eatlocalgrown.com/

  1. Buy local. Ideally, you never need to set foot in a grocery store.  Change your shopping habits and buy from local farmers, either directly from their farm or from a farmer’s market.  You will get your produce at the optimum time, right after it was picked. As well, you can directly ask the farmer about his practices.  Sometimes farmers grow organically and they just haven’t gone through the expensive and highly regulated certification programs that exist to make increase the monopoly of factory farms.
  2. Join a food co-op or CSA. This is win-win, because it helps out the farmers and it helps out your family.With both of these options, you can register ahead of time (in some cases you pre-pay for the season) and then receive a box brimming with abundance from your own area.  You will get to try lots of new things (this is how we tried one of our family favorites, rutabaga, for the first time) and you will get to do this at a fraction of the price.
  3. Buy produce that is in-season. Purchasing food that is in-season is not just cheaper, it is nutritionally beneficial too.  Buying strawberries in January and asparagus in October requires that the produce be picked before it is fully ripe, and the produce begins to decompose and lose nutrients the second it is separated from the plant.  Avoid the high cost of transporting your “fresh” Christmas berries and melons and stick to the items that nature is currently providing in your area.
  4. Grow as much as you can in the space you have.  Plant a sunny windowsill with salad veggies and herbs, grow a container garden on a balcony, or turn your yard into a mini-farm.  Every bite of food you grow yourself is a revolutionary act.
  5. Plan your menu AFTER shopping, not before. This allows you to stay on budget because you aren’t shopping for special ingredients to make pre-planned meals. You can take advantage of the best deals and plan your meals around those.  This can also help by keeping those unplanned budget purchases from going to waste in your crisper drawer while you carry on with your planned menu.
  6. Drink water. We generally stick to drinking water. Not fluoridated tap water – we purchase 5 gallon jugs or fill them in a spring when that option is available.  Water is cheaper and healthier.  Beverages that you make yourself like coffee and tea are far less expensive than the soda pop and energy drinks that fill most modern refrigerators, not to mention, relatively free of the toxic chemicals that overflow in the store-bought drinks.
  7.  Buy staples in bulk. Organic grains like brown rice, wheat berries, cornmeal, barley and oatmeal can be purchased in bulk quantities.  This reduces the price to lower than or equivalent to the smaller conventional packages that are offered in your local grocery store.
  8. Buy some meats frozen instead of fresh.  Some butcher shops freeze meat that isn’t sold immediately and sell if for a lower price.  Look for deals on frozen chicken breasts, frozen fish, and frozen turkey breast. Fish is nearly ALWAYS cheaper frozen. Just read your ingredients carefully and make sure you are just getting fish, and that the fish is from a safe source (not the radiation-laden Pacific Ocean, for example, or a tilapia farm where they feed fish their own recycled feces).
  9. Buy meat in bulk.  Look into buying beef in quantity.  Check out the prices at local farms for a quarter of a cow.  You will pay slightly more for the lesser cuts but much less for the better quality cuts.  It balances out to a much lower price for meat farmed in the healthiest way possible.
  10. Add some lower priced protein options.  While lots of us would love to have grass-fed beef and free range chicken breasts twice a day, the cost is prohibitive.  Add value-priced wholesome protein with beans, farm fresh eggs, homemade yogurt and cheese, nuts, and milk.
  11. Stop eating out. Just one McCrud meal for a family of 4 is between $20-30.  Delivered pizza is about $25 plus a tip. The $45-55 that you would spend for this “convenience” could buy a lot of whole foods.
  12. Get into the habit of bringing a cooler with you.  If you are going to be out running errands for the day, load up a cooler with healthy snacks, water, and even a picnic lunch.  This is the perfect answer to the lament from the back seat, “I’m huuuunnnngryyyy.”
  13. Don’t buy anything with an ingredients list greater than 5 items. The more items on the ingredients list, the more likely you are to be consuming someone’s chemistry project.  Even things that sound relatively innocuous, like “natural flavorings” can be, at best, unappetizing, and at worst, harmful.
  14. Cook from scratch. Cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be as time-consuming as you might expect.  I don’t spend hours each day slaving in the kitchen. Spend a weekend afternoon prepping your food for the week ahead and you can have weekday dinners on the table in less than half an hour.  Consider the price differences in homemade goods:  homemade tortillas (pennies for a package that would be $3 at the store), pizza dough, peanut butter oatmeal cookies, trail mix,  and granola bars. This stuff is literally pennies on the dollar in comparison to the same goods store-bought.
  15. Some conventionally grown foods are okay. Learn about the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen.  Some foods have a fairly low pesticide load, even when conventionally grown.  Use these foods to help offset the higher prices of items that are soaked in poison, like strawberries.
  16. You will actually eat LESS when you feed your body.  Part of the reason that the obesity problem is epidemic in North America is because people are desperately seeking nutrients from depleted food-like substances.  Their bodies are crying out, “I’m hungry!” even though they have consumed thousands of calories, because their nutritional requirements are not being met. What’s more, many chemicals are added because they are engineered in a way that makes you want to eat more and more (like MSG, for example).  They don’t stimulate the satiety centers in the brain that tell your body that it’s full.
  17. Brown bag your lunches.  When I worked outside the home, most of my coworkers ate out every single day.  They often invited me along, saying that a certain restaurant offered “healthy” food.  The thing is, the price of that presumably healthy food was 4-6 times higher than the healthy food that I had brought from home.  My daughter takes a healthy lunch from home to school every day, as opposed to eating the offerings there.  Depending on the school, this may or may not be cheaper, but it’s guaranteed to be more nutritious.
  18. Preserve food.  Whether you grow it yourself, rescue it from the “last day of sale” rack at the grocery store, or buy it by the bushel from a farmer, learning to preserve your own food allows you to buy in bulk and squirrel some of that delicious food away for the winter ahead.  Canning, dehydrating, and freezing are all methods to help extend the summer harvest for use later in the year.
  19. Eat leftovers.  The act of eating leftovers is almost unheard of, it seems.  But if you put aside small amounts of leftovers in a freezer container, you can make “soup” for a meal that is basically free because it came from items that would have otherwise been discarded.  Use larger amounts of leftovers for lunch boxes or  a “buffet-style” meal for the family.
  20. “Shop” from nature.  You might be surprised to learn how many edible plants are growing wild in your own neighborhood.  Even city dwellers can often find things to forage.  When we lived in the city, we used to pick up fallen walnuts from a tree in a local park.  For those not ethically opposed to it, hunting or fishing can abundantly supply your protein needs, and you don’t have to worry about whether or not you are consuming antibiotics and hormones with game.

If you’re ready to make a change to a whole foods lifestyle, don’t let your budget hold you back!  Take a long hard look at what you are spending on take-out coffees and lattes, fast food, delivered pizza, microwave meals, and frozen dinners that you shove into the oven. Look at the beverage budget you spend at the grocery store every week, and keep track of how many soda pops you buy from the vending machine at work. You might be pleasantly surprised when your budget goes down, instead of up!

Baked Pumpkin Bread{less} Pudding



Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whip together eggs, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla.  (Hint – measure the oil first, then the honey in the same measuring cup.  It will slide right out without a mess.)

pumpkin bread 1

Step 2: In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

pumpkin bread 2

Step 3: Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.  Stirring well until fully combined.

pumpkin bread 3

Step 4: Add pumpkin and mix well.

pumpkin bread 4

Step 5: Pour into a well-greased 1.5 quart baking dish.

pumpkin bread 5

Step 6: Bake for 50 minutes or until a fork inserted into the middle comes out clean.

pumpkin bread 7

Eat and enjoy.

By Sarah Nichols, Contributing Writer

You know you are a real foodie when you can’t decide if a recipe you just invented should be breakfast or dessert. That’s right! The coconut flour, pumpkin, and eggs in this recipe make it a filling breakfast, but the pumpkin pie seasoning, honey and vanilla give it a dessert-like quality that will have your family begging for more.

Breakfast? Dessert? It’s a good conundrum to have!

This is a sister recipe to the most popular recipe on my blog – Baked Apple Bread{less} Pudding.  Not only is it gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free, but it fills your house with the smell of pumpkin pie as it bakes.  I do have to give you a small warning, however. Do not make this recipe if you want to have leftovers. It just won’t happen. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. ;)

A quick note about this recipe: Remember, it’s a baked pudding so it is supposed to be very moist and not dry like most baked goods.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice — from: By LORI LANGE@RecipeGirl

It’s going to (officially) be fall in just a matter of days, and you’re sure to come across a lot of recipes that call for Pumpkin Pie Spice. Sure, you can buy this spice at the market, but it’s really not necessary when you probably have the right mix of ingredients at home to make it yourself.

Pumpkin Pie Spice


    about 1/4 cup



  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cloves


  • In a small bowl, whisk together all spices. Transfer to a container with a tight lid, and measure as needed.


Makes about 1/4 cup.

Mango dressing and vegetable salad:::

1/2 bag frozen mango slightly thawed for 30 seconds in the microwave, if necessary
2 small dried red chilies, (mine came to me from Honduras from my BFF Pat Havener…)
1 1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon lime rind
2 thin slices of ginger plus 1 slice crystal ginger cut into small pieces…

Put chilies, honey lime juice, lime rind and gingers into tall Magic Bullet jar. Grind until fully liquid.. Add mango and grind until fully mixed.. Add more honey, lime juice, or a bit of water if necessary…

I made 2 batches for the large salad below…


1 Head of leaf lettuce pulled into small pieces,

1 bag of spinach pulled into small pieces,

1 orange pepper cut fine,

1 yellow pepper cut fine,

1 head of cauliflower cut small,

2 pints of grape tomatoes,

2 cucumbers quartered lengthwise and slices into thin pieces,

1 large sweet onion cut into tiny pieces,

3 cloves of garlic,

You may add celery, carrots, or any other vegetables that you like..  Serve with Mango dressing….



GRAB LIFE BY THE LEMONS: 10 WAYS TO USE CITRUS AT HOME : from :: https://brightnest.com

Date: April 07 2013 | Author: Ashley | Category: Clean

When life “hands you lemons,” you can do a lot more than make lemonade. With dozens of simple, non-toxic uses for lemon around the house, this yellow citrus is a great item to add to your grocery list and a powerful cleaning agent. If you want to get more from this versatile fruit, check out ten of our favorite uses for lemons:

1. Clean your glass. To give your windows and mirrors a streak-free shine, all you need are some boiled lemon rinds and a coffee filter!

2. Freshen a humidifier. If your humidifier is starting to smell a little stale, freshen up the aroma by adding a few teaspoons of lemon juice to the water. Your home will smell fresh – and have the perfect level of humidity!

3. Eco-friendly air fresheners. Want a fresher smelling kitchen? Simmer a combination of lemon zest, cinnamon and baking soda in a pot to eliminate stubborn odors from last night’s dinner (or the trashcan).

4. Clean copper. If your copper needs a quick shine, grab a lemon and some salt. Microwave your lemon for ten seconds, and then cut it in half. Dip the juicy side of the lemon into the salt, then vigorously rub your copper. The stains will disappear and your copper will shine like a new penny!

5. Tackle soap scum. If you want to be a soap scum ninja, squeeze lemon juice directly onto the stubborn scum, let sit for a few minutes and wipe away the mess with ease.

6. Remove ants. If ants have invaded your space, reach for lemons instead of a chemical-based spray. Boil a handful of lemon peels with one cup of water, then slowly pour the solution over any anthills to get rid of them.

7. Clean your garbage disposal. To get rid of that garbage disposal funk, all you need is one lemon, a few teaspoons of baking soda and 60 seconds of free time.

8. Polish furniture.  If you’re looking for a fresh-smelling, all-natural furniture polish, mix one-part lemon juice with two-parts olive oil. Massage the mixture into your furniture for a smooth, shiny finish.

9. Erase ink spots. If your pocket protector failed you, erase those nasty ink spots with lemon juice! Douse the stain with the citrus as soon as you can, and then wash it in a cold cycle.

10. Quench your thirst. You’ve worked hard, reward yourself! Dirty up a glass, add lemon juice, tequila and honey. Repeat as necessary.

mizzeliz comment: I do not recommend # 10 as it reads.. Skip the tequila, and start another project:

Baked Beans with cinnamon and citrus… Ginger and Bee pollen added too..

Updated on Dec 30, 2013…

1 lb black eye beans, or white Navy beans, maybe Cannellini Beans..

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 medium onion cut in small pieces, plus a piece of shallot cut fine,  for more flavor

4 cloves of garlic cut fine ,   Mix onion, shallot, and garlic together..

8 oz salt pork cut into small pieces or more if you wish. I used 12 oz.    Divide into 2 sections.

2  Tablespoons honey

3/4  cup molasses

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon I use organic cinnamon..

1/2 teaspoon dried citrus rind I used tangerine rind

12/29 I added  1/2 t Honey Bee Pollen and 2 slices of Crystal Ginger…  
Soak beans overnight in cold water.  Pour beans into a colander pick over and then rinse well.   put beans into a cooking pan, and cover with fresh cold water and 1 tsp. baking soda, bring to a boil and cook until skins of beans crack.  Pour off the water.  Place 1/2 of the onion garlic mixture in the bottom of a bean pot.  Add about 1/2 the beans add 1/2 the salt pork. repeat the process with onion garlic mixture, beans and rest of salt pork.  Add the  honey to the top of the beans. Combine molasses, mustard,  cinnamon, citrus rind,  and 3/4 cup water heat until very hot,  pour  into bean pot.  Cover and bake for 6 hours at 300 degrees F. Check now and then add more liquid if necessary…


I sliced the ginger into small pieces and put the honey, molasses, mustard, cinnamon, dried citrus rind,Honey Bee Pollen with 3/4 cup of water into the large Magic Bullet Container and whipped the mixture for about 1 minute..

Then I poured all of this over the Beans in the pot…  They are delicious…

I used black eye beans the first time and they were delicious. I’m using Navy beans today with the updates.. I’ll update later after we try them… The first batch was a bit wet, and the second batch was a bit dry because I used less water. After I added a bit more water they were delicious.. Third Batch I used Cannellini Beans.. I could not find the tangerine rind so I added  three slices of dried ginger which I put into the Magic Bullet with the water molasses mixture before I heated the mix in the microwave….  This must be the 5th time I’ve  made beans this winter. I made them today with no  onions, we were out, how did that happen??? So I added extra garlic and added  3 T. dried salsa mix…….. Feb 1st 2014 taking them to the Super Bowl Party..  ET


Baked Pollock fillets


  • 3  (6 ounce)  pollock fillets

  • EVOO

  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper,  mix with Paprika in a small cup

  • 1 large shallot sliced thin
  • 2 cloves of garlic sliced into small pieces
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, cut in half withwise, then slice into strips
  • 1/2 orange pepper, cut in half widthwise, then slice into small strips
  • Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil baking pan with EVOO.. Sprinkle pan with 1/2 the Paprika, black pepper mix..
  2. Run Pollock fillets under cold water then, lay in pan on spices, sprinkle  top of fish with paprika and black pepper, layer with shallot, garlic, pepper slices, and tomato slices.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until fish has cooked and flakes easily, about 15 minutes. Turn oven off, place two slices of cheese on each fillet. Return fish to the oven and allow cheese to melt, about 3 minutes.                                                         Serve with Cole Slaw or salad…

Growing Ginger — from– http://www.growingherbsforbeginners.com/growing-ginger/

By Greenthumb On June 28, 2011

Ginger Roots

Ginger Roots

Have you tried growing ginger yet?

Ginger, known as Zingiber officinale or official ginger is a very easy herb to grow. Even better? You can probably find a start at the grocery store.

This is not the tropical ginger with flashy blooms that you see in Hawaiian photos, but rather the ginger root you use in gingerbread! If you grow your own you can use it fresh or even dry it.

If you can find an organic piece of ginger root with some eye buds forming (sort of like the eyes on a potato) you will have a ginger plant sooner rather than later.


Gigner roots- eye buds

Ginger Roots-See the Green Eye Buds?

Although it is easy to grow in a container or in the garden, Ginger has a few requirements for growing well.

  • It likes warmth.
  • It likes partial shade.
  • It likes moist, rich soil.

If you can provide these things, you can grow your own ginger root!

Here’s the “Ginger Growing 4-1-1″ :

Find a nice ginger root (known as a rhizome) at the store. Look for eye bud swellings.

If you can get them, an organic rhizome is probably better because non organic roots may be treated with a growth inhibitor, and you may want to eat your root at some point! If you can’t find anything else, grab the non organic anyway and give it a try. Organic or not, I have never had one NOT grow!

If you have a large root with several eye growth buds, you can break the root into several pieces, each with an eye bud and plant them all!

Dig your spot in the garden, or use a good potting mix and fill your container nearly full. Plant the ginger just an inch or two beneath the soil, making sure the eye buds are pointing upward!

planting ginger root

Ginger root with growth buds facing up!

Cover the root and water.

A 12″ pot can probably handle two roots, larger containers can handle another one or two. Plastic is best, roots can get ‘stuck’ in terra cotta and you may shatter pots when digging the roots.

Make sure you keep the rhizomes moist, out of bright direct sun and wind.

Compared to other herbs, Ginger plants are ‘slow pokes’ when it comes to growing. They will eventually reach a height of  2 feet or more in a container and may hit a height of 2 to 3 feet in the garden.

growing ginger in a container

Ginger growing nicely!

You can harvest your rhizomes at any time after the plant has grown for several months, but the longer you can keep the plant growing the larger your harvest will be. You may notice the rhizome has some roots. You can just cut them off and use the ginger root, or save a piece (with a growth bud) for re-planting!

You may also notice new ‘buds’ forming at the top of the rhizome. These can be separated and planted for even more ginger!

New Ginger rhizomes

New Ginger Babies!


Since I live where it’s cold in the winter I usually start mine in the greenhouse early in Spring, or in the house in February. Once night temperatures are above 60*F I set them out and let them grow all summer. Roots are harvested when the leaves start to die back in the fall- but before a frost. Frost kills the plant and can harm the roots.

If your ginger has been growing awhile you might find the roots have gotten quite a bit larger by the time you harvest!

If you don’t want to harvest just yet-

You can bring the whole pot inside and store it somewhere dry and cool, but not cold. Remember, it’s a tropical plant! Don’t water it. Don’t even look at. Next year when the weather warms you can add some nice compost, set it out where it’s it will be toasty and watch it begin growing again.

You can also keep it in a warm, well lit area and keep it as a houseplant.

Ginger Plant and Root

Ginger Foliage and Root

Zingiber officinale does not produce a showy blossom like many tropical plants, and the way I usually grow mine does not allow time for the plant to bloom anyway. If you overwinter yours, or you live somewhere warm, humid and tropical you might get a few ‘plain Jane’ blooms from your Ginger plant.

Send me a picture if you do!


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