"So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy"
~Colossians 1:10-11

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dirty Dozen and Clean 15- 2010 recommendations

Here is the latest list on the "Dirty Dozen" - produce you want to try and buy organic or from a "clean" farm if at all possible and a list of the Clean 15 - cleanest produce you can buy conventionally grown.

My list was complied from here and here and here and here!

Here is a Shoppers Guide pdf file with a wallet size cutout of the list!

Dirty Dozen

Bell Peppers
Grapes (imported)

Buy organic whenever possible- borderline foods


Clean 15

Sweet Potatoes

*Tomatoes were on the "Dirty Dozen" list in 2009, and made the "Clean 15" in 2010...... doesn't really make sense to me. This website mentioned it as well with no reason given, but I would think it to be "borderline" enough that if I could find organic - or clean farmer grown- I would certainly lean this direction on them!

I would also be curious about the difference between regular potatoes and sweet potatoes seeing as one made the dirty list and one made the clean and I would think they would be pretty comparable! Any ideas?

Also, do you know if buying frozen vegetables off the dirty dozen list would affect the "ratings" at all? For example - is frozen chopped spinach "cleaner" then fresh spinach? Or blueberries? If I can't buy organic blueberries am I better off buying frozen blueberries then fresh conventionally grown? Let me know if you have read anything on this, I would be curious to know!

Lentil Confetti Salad

Lentil Confetti Salad
This is a yummy cold salad, perfect for warm evenings or lunches. The recipe is easily adaptable to veggies you have on hand or flavors you enjoy!

4-5 TB balsamic vinegar or seasoned rice vinegar
3-4 TB olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp dijon mustard

1 cup dried lentils, cooked*
1 1/2 cups frozen corn,
(you can cook slightly if you like, I usually don't- it thaws quick enough I add to the salad and serve)
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced or coarsely diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced (green onion works too!)
2 TB fresh basil, chopped (mint is a nice variety too!)

Lettuce leaves, pita bread or tortilla to serve in

In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients, mix well and refrigerate

Combine cooked lentils*, corn, carrots, celery, peppers, onion and basil. Pour dressing over salad and mix gently but well. Refrigerate at least one hour to blend flavors.
Serve either in a "lettuce cup" or in a pita pocket or rolled a tortilla shell.

Makes about 6- 1 cup servings

*to cook lentils, soak 12-24 hours, drain off water and recover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer till lentils are cooked. Tender but not mushy! Maybe 20-30 minutes? Drain, rinse with cold water and drain well.

Credit for the original recipe, this is slightly changed, goes to a friend who got it from a Pillsbury recipe book a long time ago!

This post is part of Pennywise Platter over at Nourishing Traditions

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thoughts for Today

"In order for something to become clean,
something else must become dirty,
but you can get everything dirty without
getting anything clean."

~as seen on an old "thought a day" calendar page

It seems this is my life lately :-)
If it's not dishes, it's the living room, if not there, the boys have been cutting paper, or the diaper pail needs attention and don't even mention the bathrooms!
If my thoughts could become blog posts, you would get updates at least daily. Cause I am always thinking of stuff. Finding the time to write them out in coherent thoughts though.... it's a challenge some weeks- or months!
I have several pages of menus I would like to get posted and link to some new recipes. I have been working on a 2 week menu- looks great on paper, but I am not doing very good at following it. Oh, we've been eating well and out of the fridge... just not off the paper! Oh well.
And I would love to do some free advertising and reviews for a couple e-books I have helped "proof/preview" read for Katie and Stephanie. But I promise.... those posts are coming soon!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thoughts for Today

This is a wonderful and encouraging post on the purpose of the home I found over at Passionate Homemaking. I printed it out and have read it thru several times and just wanted to share!
Read and enjoy!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Split Pea Soup

Does anyone else remember this book?
I think of it every time I make split pea soup. I am more a George here as I really don't care for split pea soup all that much. I can eat a small bowl, but that's about it and I usually have trouble getting rid of leftovers since it's hard to make a small batch of soup :-) BUT, my husband really likes split pea soup and so I make it a couple times a year for him. And this is a good week to make it cause I have a ham bone leftover from the ham I cooked earlier this week. (Not really for Easter, we had leftovers on Easter evening, and I cooked the ham on Monday!) Here's the recipe I am using, it does taste pretty good for split pea soup........... anyone want to come over for leftovers tomorrow? How do you think this would freeze?

Oh and if you are looking for other good uses for leftover ham - here's a post from Money Saving Mom with some ideas....... the white bean soup is on my list to try too!

Split Pea Soup

2 cups dried split peas, soaked overnight and drained

1 qt chicken stock and/or water- may need to add a little more during cooking
1 1/2 pound ham shank bone
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt (more to taste)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
1- 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
2 potatoes, chopped

Bring to a boil and simmer 4-6 hours. Stir occasionally and add more liquid if you think it needs it. I find if I cook it covered it keeps more liquid in there :-) Remove ham bone and take off any meat you want to add back in to soup - or add in leftover diced ham to warm through. Serve with warm bread and a salad!
This is easily adaptable to the crockpot as well.
I would love any thoughts on if you think this would freeze okay......... I may have to give it a try!

This post is part of Pennywise Platter over at Nourishing Gourmet!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chicken Tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini
(can be made with turkey as well!)

Melt 1/4 cup butter
Blend in:
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Remove from heat once blended smooth

Stir in:
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream (I have used whole milk or half and half as well!)
2 TB sherry (I usually don't have this and leave it out!)

Heat to a boil and stir 1 minute- will thicken

Mix together with:
1 pkg spaghetti - COOKED!
2 cups cubed/diced chicken or turkey - COOKED!
1 cup sliced mushrooms - optional*
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese- you can mix in or wait and add to top once in pan

Once mixed well, pour into a greased 9x13 pan and cook at 350 degrees about 30 minutes till browned slightly and warm thru.

*I have also added some cooked veggies to this - zucchini or spinach go nicely, but you can be creative!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Nut Loaves

Nut Loaves

2 TB oil
2 1/2 cups chopped onions (I don't usually use this much, maybe 1 large onion worth?)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
Saute above ingredients and mix with all below

1 TB bouillon ( I often leave out!)
3 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs (frozen work too!)
2 1/4 cups finely chopped walnuts
2 TB soy sauce
1/2 cup tomato juice (I have used a couple TB ketchup or tomato paste and added water to make 1/2 cup when I didn't have tomato juice on hand!)
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Mix well - form into small "loaves" - mine usually look like a oval potato size. I will make a couple smaller ones for the kids, and a couple larger ones for adults. Makes maybe 12 loaves, depends on the sizes.
Bake on baking sheet, stone or 9x13 pan- GREASED at 350 degrees for about an hour.

NOTE: Cook your potaotes at the same time and save on energy!

These freeze well before or after cooking- to thaw, either leave on counter till mostly thawed and cook, or increase cook time to allow thawing. If already cooked, just completely thaw and warm. Oven is best, if you microwave watch them closely to avoid "over-cooking" - they can get hard in the microwave. Even 20-30 seconds is usually enough to warm up leftovers.

Meal plans - guest edition

My in-laws were here visiting for almost 2 weeks. Here is what we ate, and just about everything went over just fine and would be fine to serve to any company.

(sorry my week started Tues.... can't remember what we ate those couple days before they came!)
Tuesday - Beef Stew and bread
Wednesday - Corned Beef, Cabbage & Potatoes, Carrots & Turnips (this was St. Patrick's Day!)
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - Taco Salad (this only went over so-so, probably wouldn't serve it again to them, but I think it's a great company meal since it makes lots and doesn't keep well :-))
Saturday - Spaghetti with ground beef in sauce and bread

Monday - Leftover soup and sandwiches
Tuesday - Chicken Tetrazzini
Wednesday - Whole chicken, corn on the cob & mashed potatoes
Thursday - Nut Loaves & baked potatoes (this is a great vegetarian meal, my DH wondered where the meat was and I served him leftover chicken as well!)
Friday - Beef Stroganoff & Spinach Salad
Saturday - Chicken Soup

(I also managed to make 2 batches of chicken stock this week - ended up with 19- 12 ounce jars of stock plus enough left out to make the chicken soup from all stock!)

I will try and get the other recipes posted soon too!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thoughts for Today

When we've given all our questions to God,
when we're not grumbling about the past or
anxious about the future, when our tomorrows are in His keeping,
we are free to wake up every morning and say,
"God, You've given me today as a gift. Show me how to glorify you in it."

-from Calm my Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow, pg 203

Beef Stew

Beef Stew

I personally think this is the best beef stew ever, you've got to try it
Work great on the stove top or crockpot!

1/2 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Toss with 1 pound stew meat, diced till all meat is floured

Heat 3 TB oil in pot on stove
Add floured meat and cook slightly, maybe 3-4 minutes
2 onions, chopped
2 cups beef broth
1 cup water
2 cups, or 16 ounce can whole or diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
3/4 tsp thyme
2 whole cloves
Heat to boiling

4 cups carrots, sliced into coins
4 cups potatoes, diced

** Put everything in crockpot at this point and let cook about 4 hours on high or 6-8 on low


continue cooking on stovetop on low simmer till potatoes and carrots are desired tenderness - maybe 2 hours?

A few minutes before serving from either stove or crockpot - you can add 1 - 1/2 cups of frozen peas or lima beans. Either will cook in just a couple minutes.


Stores great for lunches and leftovers too!