I love love LOVE to be in the kitchen experimenting with healthy recipes and share those with all of you for a healthy life-style.
I know this isn’t food, but it is health related and so easy! I had to share!
We go through soap pretty fast at our office so I decided we needed a better way then to keep buying it by the bucket. I found an article about using castile soap in tons of different ways and so I tried it for our hand soap (also just made homemade laundry detergent and shampoo!)
Ready for this? So so easy!
I bought a foaming hand soap dispenser at Bed, Bath and Beyond, for $8 with my handy 20% off coupon
Then I filled it with 1 part castile soap to 4 parts water. Viola! It foams, it’s cheapo and it’s fun! Go make some!
“Good broth will resurrect the dead,” says a South American proverb. Said Escoffier: “Indeed, stock is everything in cooking. Without it, nothing can be done.”
I took this quote from the Weston Price website. If you’ve never visited the site, you should check it out. There is a wealth of information there.
I’ve been making my own stock now for quite some time. The nutritional benefits from making your own stock (and for avoiding the toxic store bought stuff) are HUGE! Some say it can cure colds/increase your immune system, build strong bones, be a digestive aid/gut healer, joint support, gives strength to your hair, nails and skin, detoxify and on and on and on. This stuff is amazing!
You’ll first need to start with a good quality chicken. Lately I have been buying pastured whole chickens from Across the Creek Farm. Sometimes I’ll use the whole chicken when making the stock and have meat leftover for soups or chicken salad. Most of time I like to make this roast chicken or garlic crockpot chicken and then save the bones. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to make the stock right away, just freeze the bones and do it another day.
This stock is the first time I’ve used chicken feet. I know, it sounds very scary. And well, it is actually pretty scary to look at too. I try to just focus on the nutritional benefits and not think of nightmare on elm street…
When you add the feet you get a more gelatinous stock as well as glucosamine chondroitin, collagen and trace minerals. I bought my feet from Green Fork Farm at our local winter market.
Bone Broth (I follow the Weston A. Price recipe)
1 whole free-range chicken or 2 to 3 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings*
gizzards from one chicken (optional)
2-4 chicken feet (optional)
4 quarts cold filtered water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 bunch parsley
*Note: Farm-raised, free-range chickens give the best results. Many battery-raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.
If you are using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands and the gizzards from the cavity. Cut chicken parts into several pieces. (If you are using a whole chicken, remove the neck and wings and cut them into several pieces.) Place chicken or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 8 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.
Remove whole chicken or pieces with a slotted spoon. If you are using a whole chicken, let cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass. Reserve for other uses, such as chicken salads, enchiladas, sandwiches or curries. Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.
Inspired by a photo I saw from The Urban Poser-gah, I LOVE that lady, I decided to give it a whirl and the results were AMAZING! So amazing that Denny wanted to eat it again tonight for dinner!
This dinner is pretty darn simple, although you do need to think ahead a bit to prep the sour cream. I thought I read some where about making your own coconut sour cream but I didn’t get to experiment so I ended up with this dairy free sour cream with a cashew base. (Side note- it is also really good dipped with blue corn tortilla chips and salsa…mmm…mmm)
How cute is that pic?!? I baked my potato and then sliced it to add the toppings and viola! A heart! How many of you have sweet potatoes that love you? Or green peppers that smile at you?
Feeling the love in Mandy’s kitchen
Loaded Sweet Potatoes
4 large sweet potatoes
1 package local bacon (or good quality bacon would be best)
1 bunch of green onions
1 C of mushrooms (crimini or shitake)
Sour Cream (see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 375. Slather coconut oil on the outside of your potatoes and then sprinkle with sea salt. Wrap them up in foil and bake for 60-90 min depending on the size of your tater.
I tried baking my bacon this go round for the first time. It turned out great and was totally easy! And since your oven is already going for the potatoes you mind as well bake the bacon-
Line a cookie sheet with foil and spread your bacon strips out and then pop in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. Again, the time would depend on the thickness of your bacon.
About half way through baking your bacon drain about 1 Tbsp of grease into a small pan. Then add your mushrooms and sautee for about 5 minutes or until soft.
After the bacon is all done and crispy I placed it on a napkin lined plate to cool.
While you’re waiting for the bacon to cool chop your green onions.
Dairy Free Sour Cream
1 1/2 C cashews **soaked for 6 hours!**This it not totally necessary but helps with the smoothness/digestibility
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of water
Soak your cashews in a glass bowl cover with water for about 6 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse them after they have soaked. Add them to the vitamix along with the other ingredients and blend for about 1 minute. This might be a bit watery initially but after it has chilled in the frige for about and hour it will become nice a thick.
Add all the delicious toppings to your potato and enjoy! Yum!