Fresh Avocado Salsa

20130502-121637.jpg

Fresh Avacodo Salsa

If you are looking for a fresh alternative to a traditional salsa or guacamole to serve at an upcoming gathering, consider this recipe for Avocado Feta Salsa. This chunky salsa is fresh and bright with creamy feta and tangy lime.

This is one of my husbands favorite recipes, he actually discovered this and I adapted the original to suit his tastes. Never be afraid to change a recipe, play with your food and discover for yourself what tastes good or not so good!

Remember to buy local, fresh and organic if possible!

Ingredients:

2 large avocados
2 medium sized tomatoes
1 shallot
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 small lime
4-6 oz of crumbled feta cheese

Now it’s really simple roughly chop tomatoes, parsley and shallot and place into bowl. Add minced garlic and oil stir gently to combine. Cube your avocados and add them along with the feta cheese. You want to do this last to preserve the size and consistency of these ingredients. This is a chunky salsa not a creamy dip. Squeeze 1/2 a lime over the top and fold with a spoon to evenly distribute all ingredients. Taste and add the other 1/2 lime if needed. Place the avocado pits in dish to help keep fresh.

Serve with tortilla chips, pita or crackers. Enjoy!

20130502-121637.jpg

The Mighty Elderberry! Andi Lynn’s Elderberries Review

20130512-201837.jpg

Andi Lynn’s Elderberry Syrup

What is it?

A syrup made from elderberries and honey used to aid in immune support and promote overall health.

Read this excellent article about all the benefits of the might elderberry!
Click Here!!!!

Summary:

Andi Lynn’s elderberries come in several forms.

Original syrup in mason jar- 96 tsp servings:
Pure blend
Spring blend
Winter blend

2 oz dropper bottles:
Baby Glycerite
Mista Hista Glycerite
On The Go Tincture

I personally love the pure blend, it’s especially delightful on vanilla ice cream!

People have seen improvement in allergies, asthma, eczema and many other health concerns.

This winter my husband came down with the flu, and the same week I had oral surgery so not helping take care of Jack was not an option. My husband was so sick and even though he continued to hold, bathe and change him, Jack didn’t get sick. I certainly attribute that to the 3 daily doses of elderberry he was receiving everyday.

The original syrups had honey in them so they are not recommended for infants under 1 year of age. The baby blend is specifically formulated for infants and uses vegetable glycerin to preserve it instead of honey. The convenient dropper bottle can go wherever you go without refrigeration.

The newest offering is Mista Hista. This is especially good for springtime allergies and colds. It contains nettle leaf and anise seed along with elderberry in a dropper bottle and does not require refrigeration.

I am giving away a 1 oz dropper bottle of Mista Hista on this blog. to be entered you must follow this blog, like Andi Lynn’s Elderberries on FB and comment below.

20130520-095257.jpg

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Cast Iron Rump Roast

20130514-134515.jpg

Ingredients:

3-3.5 lb Grass-fed Boneless Rump Roast
1 qt of beef bone broth
3-4 large carrots
1 onion- if desired
7-8 small baby red potatoes
2 cloves of garlic crushed
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup all purpose GF flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Add lard or expeller pressed coconut oil to your cast iron dutch oven and heat on stovetop. Medium heat.

3. Salt and pepper your roast on all sides, use an ample amount as much will fall off and end up in the broth.

4. Roll the roast in GF all purpose flour.

5. Add roast to hot oil and sear until brown on all sides. This takes about 10 mins. Add the crushed garlic while doing this.

20130517-113452.jpg

6. Add the qt of broth and bay leaves, & onion, fill to mostly cover roast adding water if needed.

20130517-113600.jpg

7. Cover with lid and place in the oven on middle rack.

8. Cook for 4 hours, fork meat to test tenderness. If fork entered meat easily, go to next step. If NOT – cook another hour and test again.

9. Add carrots and potatoes and cook for another 1-2 hours. Check after 1 hour and test “fork tenderness”.

10. When tender remove from oven and serve!

This is an old school pot roast so feel free to remove the potatoes and whip with some cream, white cheddar and garlic as well!

20130517-113418.jpg

Who Cares About High Fructose Corn Syrup?

20130512-113933.jpg
So who cares about high fructose corn syrup? I DO! And here’s why…

What is HFCS?

High fructose corn syrup is made from corn starch that does not have enough sugar in it naturally to be called a sweetener – so the corn must be altered in a lab and only then is fructose chemically bonded to make it sweet. Of course, the corn that’s used is genetically modified – adding to the toxic burden within the human body.- Blanche Levine

What are the risks of consuming HFCS to your body?

Insulin resistance
Liver damage
Weight gain
Mercury exposure

Where is HFCS found?

EVERYWHERE and almost in everything. High fructose corn syrup has replaced conventional table sugar in almost every processed food.

HFCS is not hidden, it’s written very clearly on the label. So why are people buying it? There are a few reasons for this, some do not care about their health, some do not realize it is bad for them & some are under the assumption that it is safe. They think it is safe because there are television advertisements and web pages devoted to convincing the public that this substance is natural and safe.

Wake up people. Obviously regular sugar is not healthy and can cause an array of health problems when eaten in excess but liver damage? Mercury exposure?

I hear people say “it’s in everything, you just can’t avoid it.” Wrong! You can avoid it, you have a choice. You may not always make the right choice but it is yours to make. If it contains HFCS then you probably shouldn’t be eating it anyway because chances are it is processed junk.

Now lets get real. Have I consumed products containing this? YES. Will I consume products containing it in the future? YES. But chances are that it will be unknowingly. Control what you can and do not sweat your Aunt Betty’s brownies that you eat every 4th of July picnic. Read your labels and make conscience decisions about your nutrition. This is the first step to taking personal responsibility for your health.

Happy and Healthy Eating!

Visit these links for more information:

Global Healing Center

Natural Health 365

Diabetes Health

Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

20130507-143504.jpg

Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

Ingredients:

1 lb Tomatillos husked

3-5 Garlic cloves unpeeled

1 Poblano pepper seeded and deveined

1 White Onion quartered

1 Jalapeño seeded and deveined

2 tbsp Olive Oil

Salt and pepper or sprinkling

1 lime

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2. Toss vegetables in olive oil and spread out on baking sheet.

3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. See below picture.

20130507-144555.jpg
4. Roast in the oven until the vegetables start to brown like picture below

20130507-144749.jpg

20130507-144801.jpg

5. Let cool slightly and peel garlic cloves

6. Transfer everything into a blender and run until smooth.

7. Add lime juice starting with 1/2 of the lime and add more to taste.

8. EAT! This is good with chips, or on grilled steak or chicken.

20130507-145117.jpg

Baby Food In A Jar- WHAT A JOKE!

20130505-145443.jpg

Let me start by saying, I don’t think “jarred” baby food is evil or that you are a bad parent for feeding it to your kids. BUT!…………IT-IS-A-JOKE!

I want to say shame on Doctors for insisting that parents need to feed their infants puréed food in the first place. Babies that are truly ready for solids are well able to feed themselves, chew foods with or without teeth and swallow and without choking to death. Obviously parental supervision is required when feeding a baby anything. This approach is called baby led weaning, to learn more about this click HERE

See Jack above demolishing a piece of grilled chicken. (No salt of course)

Secondly, shame on you baby food manufacturers for insisting that you are the expert on infant feeding and quality. I beg to differ. Charging obscene prices for disgusting mush… But then again many parents choose to give you their hard earned money.

Parents exactly how much of your money are they getting? Lets see, at a mere 3 jars/containers a day of the non-organic “1st foods”-say pears buying the most popular brand will cost you an avg of $3 per day. In one months time, $90 will have gone to factory processed puréed pears. If you took your $90 to my local produce stand you would be able to purchase 56.6 pounds of fresh delicious pears at 1.59 per pound. At that rate, you could make over 360 “jars” of puréed pears yourself.

This is an example and I’m sure some parents spend way more and some way less.

I understand that we all lead busy lives and convenience is king but when you think about how much that is costing you, it’s sickening. Even myself have purchased organic purée in a pouch before, but I don’t make a habit of it. They are nice on the go but extremely expensive and again there’s an option for that as well.

If you are not comfortable with the baby led weaning approach, no problem! But do yourself a favor, purchase a food mill, stainless fruit/veggie steamer and make your own. Set aside a couple hours per week and make larger batches if need be. They also make reusable squeeze pouches to put your home made baby food in.

I’m not trying to condemn or judge so do not take this the wrong way but I am trying to point out how ridiculous this baby feeding fiasco actually is.

Reusable food pouch on amazon here.

You can purchase a food mill from amazon or angel britches in the local Baton Rouge area.

Stainless Steamer On Amazon

20130505-154647.jpg

Oven Roasted Chicken

Roasting a whole chicken is often a feared task because often the chicken turns out a less than appetizing pale yellowish color and dry as an old dogs bone. In reality a whole roasted chicken is actually one of the easiest and most satisfying meals you can make. It is one of my favorites for sure. Try to buy local, fresh and organic whenever possible.

My secret weapon is a digital prob thermometer. This can be purchased at any cooking store, online or most grocers. I personally own this model from sur la table click here & a deep roasting pan with elevated rack. If you do not have a rack simply elevate the chicken with large carrots and celery bunches. Air needs to be able to circulate around the chicken totally.

So here’s my recipe…

Ingredients

5-6lb whole chicken giblets removed
1 stick of butter softened
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper (black or white)
3 cloves fresh garlic minced
1 tsp thyme
2 lemons
2 bay leaves

Set prob thermometer to 160 degrees as desired food temperature. I understand that 165 is recommended but we will be letting our bird rest for 20-30 mins after cooking. So by the time we cut into our chicken it will have continued cooking and reached our desired temperature of 165. if you are not comfortable with this due to the nature of chicken please set your thermometer at 165

PRE-HEAT to 500 degrees

1. Make sure chicken is totally defrosted and wiped dry.

2. Place chicken onto rack or vegetables in roasting pan, tucking the wings under the back.

3. Insert probe from thermometer into the thickest part of breast making sure not to hit a bone or enter the empty cavity ( this is important in order to have an accurate temperature reading).

4. Zest one lemon into a med size bowl. And add the juice from said lemon after zesting.

5. Add all remaining ingredients excluding the other lemon and bay leaves. Mix well.

At this point you should have a bowl of delicious fragrant garlic lemon and thyme butter. It’s hard but try not to eat it!

6. Using your finger or back of a table spoon gently separate the delicate chicken skin from the meat working from breast to tail. And then from tail to breast being especially careful with the leg skin. If you tear it, slow down and keep working. This takes some practice so relax.

7. Push the butter mixture under the skin of the chicken until it is evenly distributed throughout leaving enough for the top of the skin as well. Rubbing the skin prior to adding butter on top will help move it into hard to reach areas such as the leg.

8. Rub the remaining butter mixture all over outside of the chicken.

9. Cut remaining lemon in half. Place one half inside the chicken cavity followed by the 2 bay leaves and then the other half of lemon.

Place chicken into 500 degree oven for about 20mins until skin is brown. This time may vary from oven to oven. Your chicken may need to be turned around also if your oven does not heat evenly. Try to watch through the glass instead of opening the oven as frequent opening will result in a longer cook time.

When skin is mostly brown on top reduce oven heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking without opening oven until your thermometer reads 160 or 165 whichever you desire.

Remove chicken and let rest for approx 20-30mins without cutting or removing probe. Removing the probe or cutting without allowing a resting time will allow the juices to escape and dry out your bird!

Enjoy! And save that chicken carcass in the freezer for later! Coming soon- making your own chicken broth from left over bones.

20130429-131840.jpg

Eating healthy is too expensive! Fact or Fiction?

I cannot tell you how many people tell me in conversation “it’s just too expensive to eat healthy”. While there are a lot of things by comparison that are more expensive to buy organic or natural over conventional- many things are less expensive.

Here’s an example: I recently went shopping for some items at my local outdoor produce stand. They purchase and stock many local grown items and I love to support local & small business. The small local farms are usually not certified organic but they usually have less chemicals and are not irradiated. Here’s the list of goods I obtained:

1 huge long stalk of broccoli
1 whole cantaloupe
3 lbs dried navy beans
4 extra large carrots
2 avocados
5 lbs sweet potatoes
12 baby red potatoes
3 heads of garlic
2 apples

How much would you guess this would cost in a traditional grocery store? Or even Whole Foods? $25, $35, $45?

I can tell you that avocados are usually $1-1.50 ea, and that broccoli would’ve been $4, Navy beans $6-7 so that about $11-12 right for just the 3 items.

I paid $15 for all of that food. In this case buying healthy local and fresh was a lot less expensive. I encourage you to seek out a farmers market or local produce stand and see the difference for yourself!

20130429-112952.jpg