Salt Roasted Chicken and Wellness Wednesday Feb 25

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I’ve been cooking my way through the Zenbelly Cookbook: An Epicurean’s guide to Paleo Cuisine by Simone Miller.  I’ve made over a dozen of the over one hundred recipes in the book, and have enjoyed every one so far. Some are a little complicated and others, like the one I’m sharing with you today, are so simple and yet still very delicious.

One page 158 is a recipe titled Perfect Roast Chicken. It’s not so much a recipe really as a method. It yielded a chicken for our dinner tonight that was crispy all over on the outside and tender juicy on the inside. Two ingredients: one whole chicken (about 3-4lbs.) and 1 tablespoon finely ground sea salt. I used pink Himalayan salt on a 3 1/2 lb organic chicken.  Just coat the entire chicken with the salt and put it in a cast iron Dutch oven breast side up. The whole thing slips into a preheated 425 degree oven to roast, uncovered, for an hour. At the end of the hour use a thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165 degrees. If it isn’t there then put it back for another 15 minutes. Keep checking at 15 minute intervals until the meat reaches 165. My chicken was done right at one hour.  Let it rest for ten minutes and then carve and serve.

We’ve also enjoyed the Moroccan Shepherd’s Pie, Creamy Purple Cabbage Slaw, Biscuits (the first grain-free biscuits my entire family has loved), and the best Chocolate Hazelnut Waffles I’ve ever had. This is one tasty cookbook that just happens to be Paleo.

Now it’s your turn. What have you been doing this week that you’d like to share with us on Wellness Wednesday?

Welcome to this week’s Wellness Wednesday!

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Wellness Wednesday is all about wellness, natural living, real food, diy, and encouragement. Join us and meet some new bloggers and find how you can live life well!

Every week we will feature the most popular posts! Your hosts will pin and promote them as much as possible. This week’s features:

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Complete Guide to a No-Side-Effect Medicine Cabinet by Deep Roots at Home

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The Benefits of Epsom Salt by Drops of Nourishment

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Cinnamon Almond Granola by A Nest in The Rocks

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Sweet Potato, Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Saute

brussels sprouts sweet potatoes bacon titlesHere’s another great post from Amy, the other half of Well Fed Family. I will forgive her description of me in the morning because this recipe is so yummy!

Getting Creative with Breakfast

After my sister went gluten free, she began coming up with very creative breakfast ideas. These often involved shredding various vegetables and slowly sautéing them in bacon grease, then topping them with a fried egg. Lee is not a morning person, and moves very slowly in the morning. This means that it takes her a while to cook her breakfast, especially when we’re in vacation-mode at the lake. Something about this method of slowly cooking brightly colored vegetables, combined with the mouth-watering aroma of bacon, makes my sister’s gluten-free breakfasts very appealing. Is it the way she stands at the stove, patiently sautéing? Or is it the visual appeal of the bright vegetables? Maybe it’s the heavenly smell of the whole thing. Or maybe it’s all of that plus the relaxing atmosphere of the lake? I don’t know, but after spending Christmas together and watching Lee prepare more Paleo style breakfasts, I found myself back home scouring the fridge for something more colorful and exciting than the same old bacon and eggs.

Everything’s Better with Bacon

On that particular day, my fridge was found wanting of pretty squash and beautiful greens, but I did have a bag of Brussels sprouts needing to be used, and a big bushel box of sweet potatoes from a recent bulk foods delivery. There was just one thing missing, and that was in the freezer: BACON! I immediately knew what to do, and produced a breakfast that made me the envy of my family. First I cooked a few slices of bacon, then sautéed some shredded sweet potato and Brussels sprouts in the grease. When that was done, I crumbled bacon on top and set it aside while I fried an egg. I ate the egg on top of the potatoes and Brussels sprouts. It was divine! And it was so delicious that I made it again for dinner for my oldest daughter and me, then again the next day for the family! A few days later, I increased the quantities and took it to a potluck. Yes, a legend has been born. This is our new favorite dish.

You can adjust this recipe to serve just one or two people, or to make enough as a side dish for a full meal. The amounts given here make a nice sized side dish that will provide leftovers, but you can use just one sweet potato, a couple slices of bacon and a handful of Brussels sprouts to make enough for one or two people.  A food processor makes preparation quick, but if you are just making enough for one person then it is no trouble to just use a hand grater and a knife. You can chop the sprouts as coarsely or fine as you like. Finely shredding the sprouts makes their flavor less bold for those finicky eaters in your family.

sweet potatoe brussels sprouts bacon with titlesSweet Potato, Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Saute

1 package bacon, preferably antibiotic-free, nitrite-free
1 package Brussels sprouts, washed and stems and outer leaves trimmed
2 or 3 sweet potatoes, peeled (optional) and shredded
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cook the bacon in a heavy-bottom skillet until somewhat crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel to cool, and reserve the drippings in the skillet. While the bacon is cooking, chop or shred the Brussels sprouts and set aside. Add the sweet potatoes into the hot bacon grease, slowly sautéing over medium heat until tender. Add the chopped Brussels sprouts, continuing to sauté until they are cooked to your liking. Crumble the bacon and mix it in. Taste for salt and pepper, and add if needed. Serve immediately!

Sweet Potato, Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Saute
Author: 
Recipe type: vegetable side dish
 
Smoky bacon adds great flavor to this simple vegetable dish. Serve it as a colorful, nutritious side dish with dinner, or top it with a fried egg for a great Paleo-style breakfast.
Ingredients
  • 1 12-16oz package bacon, preferably antibiotic-free, nitrite-free
  • 1 package (about 1 lb.) Brussels sprouts, washed with stem and outer leaves trimmed
  • 2 or 3 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled (optional) and shredded
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook the bacon in a large, heavy bottom skillet until somewhat crisp, then remove bacon and reserve the drippings in the skillet.
  2. While the bacon is cooking, chop or shred the Brussels sprouts and set them aside.
  3. When the bacon is cooked, add the shredded sweet potatoes to the hot bacon drippings and slowly saute over medium heat until tender.
  4. Add the prepared Brussels sprouts to the pan continuing to saute until they are cooked to your liking.
  5. Crumble the cooked bacon and mix it into the sweet potato mixture.
  6. Taste for salt and add as needed along with the pepper.
  7. Serve immediately.

 

Are you a morning person? Or does it take you a long time to get going? Do you wish someone would fix you this delicious dish for breakfast? Tell us about it in the comments. Don’t forget to Pin this recipe for later.

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8 Things You Can Do to Boost Your Immune System

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I covered two super ways to build and strengthen your immune system in this post and this one. Here are eight more ways to give your immune system what it needs to keep you well. All of these ten items are from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and her ground-breaking book Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, ADD, Dyslexia, ADHD, Depression, Schizophrenia. Dr. Campbell-McBride is a pioneer in the field of gut, brain and immune system health.

1. Onions and garlic

Onions, garlic and other closely related foods like leeks, shallots and scallions, contain amazing nutrients that have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. They are also full of polyphenols, special nutritional compounds found in fruits and vegetables in addition to the more well-known vitamins and minerals. Garlic, according to The Herbal Home Remedy Book, garlic is one of nature’s best antibiotic and antiviral agents. Jo Robinson, author of Eating on the Wild Side, gives this important tip to maximize the nutrition we get from garlic: “ If you just chop, dice, slice or press that garlic, set it aside for 10 minutes before you expose it to heat. That garlic is producing all that allicin. When that reaction is complete, you can do whatever you want to it at that point. You can broil it, you can fry it and you get all of the allicin. It’s just press, rest for 10 minutes.”

2. Freshly Juiced Vegetables and Fruits

No juice boxes or bottles here, just the pure juice from fresh vegetables and fruits consumed as soon as they are extracted. Fresh juice contains all of the valuable enzymes and micronutrients that canning and pasteurizing destroy. Juicing makes the nutrition easier to digest, especially for anyone already suffering from digestive issues. It’s also easier to get a wider variety of vegetables in your diet when you combine less favorites ones with others that you really like. If you don’t have a juicer at home you can usually find fresh juice at many health food stores. Try mixing bitter greens, beets and celery with the sweeter flavors of apple or carrot and then add some spice with ginger, cilantro, lemon or lime. Boost the nutrient absorption even more by stirring in a little raw cream or coconut milk.

3.  Regular Consumption of Greens

Parsley, dill, cilantro, green onions, dandelion, kale, and many other strong tasting, dark green vegetables support the healthy functioning of our immune system organs. Healthy people are efficient at detoxing. It happens every night while we sleep. Our liver and pancreas kick into detox mode, and by the time we wake up these organs have filtered out all the bad stuff and sent it on its way out. Leafy greens, especially those bitter greens listed here, offer just the right ingredients to give the liver and pancreas a boost so they can do their job even better.  Raw, cooked or juiced – be sure to include a little butter, bacon fat or other fat to help absorb the vitamins.

4. Fermented Foods and Probiotic Supplements

Maintaining a healthy gut flora is super important for good digestion, clarity of mental function, and supporting the immune system. The majority of our immune system resides in our gut, so having healthy levels of beneficial bacteria can give us more energy and help us to manage stress appropriately. Fermented foods have been an important part of every culture all throughout history. Fermentation preserves food while at the same time making it more nutritious. Add sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, kvass, kefir, kombucha, and lacto-fermented pickles and vegetables to your daily diet. When you can’t get fermented foods probiotic supplements can step in and help. There are also certain strains of probiotics that can help target certain conditions and provide therapy to aid specific concerns.

5. Contact with Animals

Have your kids been begging you for a pet? It’s probably a good thing. Several studies link increased immune system strength to growing up with pets in the home. Having dogs, cats or even a horse can help us in many ways including lowered blood pressure, stress relief, combating depression and even aiding Alzheimer’s patients.

6. Swimming in Unpolluted Natural Lakes, Rivers and the Ocean

When you need to disinfect germs in your bathroom toilet or dirty laundry you often reach for bleach. The active ingredient chlorine is designed to kill germs, but it doesn’t distinguish between infectious germs and beneficial bacteria. So why do we want to spend hours swimming in a big chlorinated swimming pool? Chlorinated swimming pools have a strong effect on asthma and respiratory allergies. In fact, chlorinated pools have a five times stronger effect than secondhand cigarette smoke. Contrastingly, swimming in the ocean is restorative and healing helping you to detoxify naturally and take stress away from your immune system. Similar benefits are found to a lesser extent with swimming in natural, unpolluted lakes and streams. If you have a backyard swimming pool consider switching your chlorine filter for one using ozone or ultraviolet light, or copper or zinc filters. There are also safer “shock” treatments using baking soda rather than chlorine.

7. Physical Activity in the Fresh Air

Exercise can create at least an additional 50% boost in your immune system’s chance of preventing cancer, and can cause improved function in your entire metabolism.  Doing this exercise outdoors gives you the added benefit of breathing in clean air and taking a break from indoor pollutants lurking in carpets, furniture, cleaners and dirty ventilation systems.

8. Exposure to Sunlight and Sensible Sunbathing

Our greatest source of vitamin D lies in our body’s ability to create Vitamin D in our skin using cholesterol during exposure to the sun.  Let me repeat this – vitamin D is made from cholesterol in our bodies when our skin is exposed to sunlight. With all of our modern cholesterol fears and manic sunscreen use is it any wonder we have a rise in vitamin D deficiency and all of the vitamin D-related health conditions including heart disease, mental illness, auto-immune disease, osteoarthritis, cancer and high blood pressure?!  According to Dr. Campbell-McBride “The skin cancer, blamed on sunshine, is not caused by the sun…it is a fact that skin cancer (just like any other cancer) is caused by our modern processed foods and our modern toxic lifestyles. Trans fats from vegetable oils and margarine and other toxins stored in the skin are a particular culprit.”  Being outdoors year round is important for all living creatures, human and animal. So much has been written about the importance of vitamin D. Here is a great place to read more.

How many of these tips do you already practice? Which are your favorite? Which are you going to try to incorporate next? Let us know in the comments or visit our Facebook page and share with us there.

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Wellness Wednesday Feb 18, 2015

Welcome to this week’s Wellness Wednesday!

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This week’s features:

Coconut Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

Coconut Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies by Picky to Plenty

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The Best Sugar Cookies Ever by Pennies into Pearls

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Are You In the Mood For Lovin’? by The Oil Dropper

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Essential Oil Diffusion Methods

Essential-Oil-Diffusion-Traditional-Cooking-School-GNOWFGLINS-main-jpgThe aroma of fresh lemons mingled with spicy ginger drifts over my writing area, and my cool mist diffuser hums quietly. I’ve only used essential oils for a few years, but in that time I’ve learned and discovered so much, and it’s been a real blessing for my family. Recently I’ve been looking at the most effective ways to diffuse essential oils and I’m eager to share what I have learned.  (The rest of my post on essential oil diffusing can be found at Traditional Cooking School)

Click here to Read more…

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Real Chocolate Fondue

chocolate fondue titlesGive your special people some seriously delicious love this Valentine’s Day. This chocolate fondue recipe is simple but sublime – a treat that definitely says “I Love You!”

Fair Trade Slavery-Free Chocolate

Say “I love you” to the farmers and harvesters by using the really good stuff.  Look for fair trade, non-gmo verified dark chocolate. 70% cacao or more means lots of antioxidant power. I’ve tried Endangered Species, Theo and Dagoba brands and like them, but there are plenty of others that are good – just look for the fair trade or slavery-free verification. I really don’t want my chocolate at the expense of someone else’s hardship.  Plus, over the last several years the mainstream chocolate companies have realized they can make more money by fractionizing their chocolate, taking out the cocoa butter to sell as a separate product, and replacing it with an artificial emulsifier called PGPR.  To those who know better cocoa butter is a natural, healthy, tropical fat, and taking it out of chocolate decreases the food value of that chocolate. So read your labels and don’t buy anything with artificial flavors or emulsifiers with capital letters for names.

fair trade chocolate

Try these dipping ideas

Get creative with what you dip into this fabulous fondue! I like to keep it on the healthy side as much as possible so I usually offer big, red, ripe strawberries which are in peak season right now where I live in Florida. Banana slices are good too, as are any tropical fruit like kiwi, pineapple and even orange. Apples or pear slices work too. You can also use homemade shortbread cookies, large walnut halves, little squares of homemade pound cake, or how about homemade marshmallows?!

Real Chocolate Fondue

Ingredients

12 ounces of fair trade dark chocolate (chips or a bar cut into small chunks)

3/4 cup heavy cream (preferably raw but definitely not ultra-pasteurized if possible)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or almond extract OR you can make this more grown-up and use 1 to 2 Tablespoons of cherry brandy or orange liqueur. If you like coffee you could also use 2 teaspoons of espresso powder.

Dippers such as fresh fruit, homemade cookies or cake, marshmallows or nuts

Preparation

Place the chocolate and the cream in a heavy-bottom saucepan and melt over very low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. This doesn’t take long at all. You are not cooking this, simply melting the chocolate and combining it with the delicious cream. Remove from the heat and stir in the flavoring of choice. Transfer this chocolate mixture to a fondue pot or individual small ramekins and serve with your choice of dippers.

Real Chocolate Fondue
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert
 
Share the love with this delicious chocolate dessert treat.
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces of fair trade chocolate (either chips or a bar cut into small chunks)
  • ¾ cup heavy cream (preferably raw, but not ultra-pasteurized if possible)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or almond extract for a family-friendly version
  • OR 2 Tablespoons of cherry brandy or orange liqueur OR 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • assorted dippers such as fresh fruit, homemade cookies or cake, marshmallows or nuts
Instructions
  1. Place the chocolate and cream in a heavy-bottom saucepan and melt over very low heat, stirring constantly until smooth.
  2. Watch constantly and do not let this come to a boil or you will scorch the chocolate!
  3. Remove from heat and stir in flavoring of choice.
  4. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a fondue pot or to individual ramekins, and serve with dippers.
  5. Makes about 2 cups.

 Share your favorite dipping ideas with us in the comment section! Be sure to Pin this for later using the Pinterest buttons at the top.

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Wellness Wednesday – Feb 11

The kids and I drove from Florida to Tennessee and we are just now back home. That trip reminded me once again how hard it is to travel when you are determined to eat right – no fast food, no convenience stores – everything has to be packed from home. We were especially blessed on Sunday. We were invited to lunch after worship and this dear family went out of their way to accommodate our special diets. She even made a gluten-free cake for dessert! It really means a lot when someone shows that kind of hospitality!

Thank you for stopping by this week’s Wellness Wednesday. Please leave a comment with your favorite blog articles, and consider linking one of your own using the link button below.

Welcome to this week’s Wellness Wednesday!

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This Week’s Features:

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How Blogging Relates to Our Health by 60 – The New 40

Edible-Arrangement-FeaturedDIY Edible Arrangement by Pennies into Pearls

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Learning to Chill Out a Little by The Earthly Ones

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Wellness Wednesday Feb. 4, 2015

carrots with green topsI have a quick tip for you today before getting to the Wellness Wednesday linkup. This one comes from Jo Robinson’s book Eating on the Wild Side: the Missing Link to Optimum Health.  Jo Robinson gives page after page of ways to make the most nutritious choices when buying vegetables and fruits. When it comes to carrots she advises we skip the baby carrots, which are really just cosmetically damaged full-size carrots that have been shaved into uniform size. The most nutritious part, the outer layers, have been thrown away leaving just the inner core.  For the best flavor choose full-size carrots that still have their green tops attached. (Cut off the tops when you get home and stick them in the refrigerator.) For the biggest serving of nutrition look for purple varieties, which have almost 30X more antioxidants than orange carrots.

Welcome to this week’s Wellness Wednesday!

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This week’s features are:

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Happy Hair Tea: How-to by A Gypsy Herbal

Organic Dairy Yellow Butter an Ingredient for Cooking

Why You Should Be Eating Grass Fed Butter by Lavender and Cream

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Shaking the Sugar by The Earthly Ones

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Peace at All Times – Wellness Wednesday

I’ve been doing a wonderful Bible study with a friend and this verse came up. It gave me joy and comfort, and I hope it does the same for you.
Peace flowers 2 Thessalonians 1200
Wellness comes in all shapes and sizes, and I think spiritual wellness is just as important to nurture as physical wellness. Be sure to link up and share your wellness tips with everyone here on Wellness Wednesday.