Simple and satisfying side-dish

About two years ago my husband found a recipe for a sweet potato and bacon “salad;” it was a little too rich for me, but my husband loved it. The other day we were going to a friend’s house for dinner and charged with bringing a side. For some reason, I thought that the sweet potato and bacon salad had brussel sprouts, which my husband assured me did not. But brussel sprouts, bacon, and sweet potatoes sounded like a fabulous combo, so we decided to give it a try and create something new.

Sweet potatoes, salty bacon, savory brussels; sounds perfect to me! I imagined something hearty and satisfying, yet still somewhat green and my husband wanted to make sure we made something paleo or primal. I also did not want to make a dish that had a million ingredients. I’m the type of girl who wants simple, wholesome ingredients, and not need a huge list for the grocery store.

Anyways. We whipped the sweet potato, bacon, and brussel sprout salad up and it turned out great! It was a hit at the party and something we will definitely make again, probably for a 4th of July BBQ!

So here’s the recipe – simple, and very forgiving! If you change the quantity of the ingredients here or there, it should still be pretty tasty.

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Free printable tag for your lemon curd

Have I mentioned that I LOVE lemon curd? I really do. I need to find a healthier option, but until then, I will enjoy it as a special treat. But seriously, it is one of my most favorite things ever.

I canned a few jars of it this week and needed a nice little gift tag for it. Fold it in half and write a nice message inside the card. Lemon curd should be consumed no later than a year after it’s been canned (who would wait that long?!), so make sure you write the appropriate dates on the back.

Fold it, punch a hold  towards the top fold, and hang by a pretty ribbon or bakers twine.

lemon curd tags

*Will post a picture soon, my printer is out and I need to get them printed. If you are having problems with the quality, email me or leave a comment.

Natural Dishwasher Detergent Fail

Looks like I have been M.I.A. these last few weeks. I have just been busy doing random things and haven’t spent too much time on the internet. Give me another couple of weeks and I should be back here full-swing!

Anyways, I wanted to post about homemade dishwashing detergent. There are plenty of recipes out there for you to substitute store bought cleaner for you dishwasher with something natural and homemade. The many recipes I looked at involved 2 or more of these ingredients:

  • Borax
  • Baking Soda
  • Castille Soap
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon Kool-aid (or citric acid)

Despite using various ratios and different recipes my dishes did not turn out very clean. Even with the vinegar and lemon kool-aid rinse the dishes still came out cloudy with a powdery film.

Maybe my dishwasher is too old or our water too hard, but we had to turn back to store bought dishwasher detergent.

Anyone else successfully use homemade dishwasher detergent?

 

 

Tips for making the perfect smoothie

I love smoothies. I often have a smoothie for breakfast because it’s quick and easy and super tasty. My favorite is coconut milk, almond butter, and banana smoothie!

Tropical Green Smoothie Recipe at bottom of blog post

Here are my top 3 tips for successful smoothie making:

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Crock pot roast beef

I’ve been enjoying the crock pot lately; it’s just so easy to use. Simply brown the meat, throw it in the crock pot with some liquid and leave it alone all day.

Tonight we had roast from a local grass-fed beef supplier. Roast beef isn’t my favorite piece of meat but I still find it edible if it’s moist and flavorful. Here’s tonight’s recipe:

Crock pot roast beef

Roast beef with the cooking juices

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Galinha Guisada – AKA Portuguese chicken stew

As mentioned before, my husband and his family are all 100% Portuguese, coming from the Azores Islands. Since I had first starting dating my now-husband, some 9 years ago, I have had several Portuguese dishes. These meals I would categorize as “comfort foods.” Most meals feature meat and potatoes. Every Christmas Eve we have bocalao, at BBQ’s we have Portuguese baked beans, and every once in awhile we may have Galinha Guisada for a family lunch.

Galinha Guisada is quite easy to make and inexpensive. Made with chicken legs or thighs and chicken stock, you get the important nutrients and collagen from the bone marrow. Want to learn more about the benefits of stock and how to make it? Visit Weston A. Price Foundation’s article on broth.

Instead of using your homemade chicken broth for chicken soup, save it for Galinha Guisada!

The following recipe has been Americanized a bit (I use Italian seasonings and garlic powder and skip the bay leaf).

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Gazpacho Recipes

We picked up our CSA box yesterday; it was full of an assortment of vegetables and fruit and even a very tasty watermelon. The weekly newsletter included two recipes for gazpacho. I’ve never made gazpacho before, but it seemed like a great way to use several different vegetables at once.

There was a recipe for Watermelon Gazpacho from All Recipes, and a recipe for Gazpacho Soup from Raw Foods Diet Center.

The Watermelon Gazpacho had a lot more ingredients so I decided to try the Gazpacho Soup.

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Roasted Chicken: Recipes From This Week’s Meal Plan

Chicken with potatoes, carrots, and squash

I think that roasted chicken is one of the easiest things to make for dinner. You just stick it in the oven for a while and leave it alone. If you bake a chicken you can have leftovers for tacos the next day, and keep all the chicken bones and extras to make chicken broth that you can freeze for later. Warning: if it’s a hot day it may not be the best solution to keep your oven on high for over an hour. But this recipe does make magic potatoes.

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Quick and Easy Garden Pizza

Use leftovers and extra veggies for a simple meal

I’m a fan of Food Renegade, and as part of their Fight Back Friday, here is simple recipe for a healthy meal with lots of vegetables.

Sometimes we have trouble eating all the vegetables we get in out CSA Box or sometimes we just don’t feel like cooking. The solution?

Easy Garden Pizza

Ingredients:
Premade or precooked crust – I use organic gluten-free or sprouted-wheat crust
Olive Oil
Seasonings (basil, pepper, garlic, etc)
Vegetables (we use organic vegetables from our CSA Box or garden)
Cheese (we use raw cheddar, mozzarella, Parmesan, or goat cheese)

The winning combo for us this vegetable season?
Yellow squash
Eggplant (a great way to use this veggie if it’s not your favorite)
Leeks
Red onions
Peppers
Tomatoes
Garlic

I brush the crust with olive oil and 2 spoonfuls of fresh organic salsa. I sprinkle minced garlic throughout.
I top with sliced and chopped vegetables, then sprinkle with cheese. (if using leftover meat, place on the pizza before the cheese).
I then sprinkle basil and sun dried tomato flakes all over the pizza.

Place on a pizza stone after following crust directions for temperature. Should be ready in 8-12 minutes. We find the pizza pairs perfectly with a fresh salad with oil and balsamic vinegar.

This recipe can easily be changed to be gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian.
A friend of mine uses veganaise as a dip to serve with pizza.

Don’t be afraid to use whatever vegetables you have on had. You can put anything on pizza and it can be healthy!