Category Archives: Healthy Eating

Irish Nachos

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irish nachos titlesI have to thank my friend, Meghan, for giving me the idea for this post. She is highly qualified to make these being both Irish (on her dad’s side) and Mexican (on her mom’s side).  There are enough recipes out there for the traditional Irish foods like corned beef and cabbage, or sausage and boxty (I did those last year). And since we are a No Artificial Colors blog having something faux-green is right out. I was captivated by this fun, light-hearted take on St. Patrick’s Day food since it uses lots of real food in a delicious, fun, family-friendly way.

The idea is simple yet brilliant. Make a big pan of oven-fries (the inspiration for my fries comes from Lidia’s Italy) and then top your fries with traditional nacho ingredients. To keep the Irish theme be sure to use plenty of Kerrygold butter and cheese. (We love Kerrygold, not because it’s Irish but because they pride themselves on using milk from grassfed cows.)  Be sure to use plenty of fresh cilantro and/or parsley on top because it is both green (can you wear cilantro instead of a shamrock if you don’t want to get pinched?) and it’s also really good for you. irish nachos potatoes title

Irish Nachos

for the potatoes

6 good sized organic Russet potatoes

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 Tablespoons Kerrygold Irish butter

1 teaspoon sea salt or herbed season salt such as Rosemary Celtic Sea Salt

preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Scrub the potatoes and slice them into thin wedges, at least 8-10 per potato, maybe more depending on how big your potatoes are. Thinner wedges get crispier. Thicker wedges are more like steak fries. Melt together the butter and olive oil. Toss the potatoes with butter mixture and sprinkle on the salt or seasoned salt and toss well. Place the wedges skin-side down in a large cast iron skillet or stoneware baking sheet or on a parchment-lined baking sheet. It may take more than one pan to fit them all in. Cast iron or stoneware help the potatoes brown better. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, turning the potatoes over once or twice to help them cook. If you’re using two pans be sure to rotate pans during the cooking. While the potatoes are cooking assemble the rest of the ingredients for the topping so you will be ready as soon as the potatoes are done.

for the toppings

1 lb. grassfed ground beef (or make the Irish sausage recipe and use that to top your nachos)

2 Tablespoons taco seasoning (no-MSG! use my recipe to make your own)

8-10 ounces Kerrygold cheese, shredded

3 green onions, thinly sliced

salsa (make your own probiotic salsa here)

sour cream (read the label, nothing but cream and cultures should be in it, we like Daisy)

chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Brown the ground beef. Sprinkle in the taco seasoning and mix well. Assemble the remaining ingredients. Feel free to add any other nacho toppings you want like black olives, jalapenos, or bacon. Mmmmmm, bacon….

for the nachos

When the potatoes are done pull them out of the oven and turn on the broiler. While the broiler is heating up, spread the seasoned ground beef evenly over the potatoes. Evenly spread the shredded cheese over the ground beef. Slip the potatoes, beef and cheese back into the oven and broil for 2 minutes or until the cheese is melty. Remove from the oven and top with the remaining toppings. Serve at once.

Irish Nachos
 
Author:
Cuisine: Irish and Mexican
 
A fun spin on nachos to make your St. Patrick's Day, or any day, more festive!
Ingredients
  • 6 good sized organic russet potatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Kerrygold Irish butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or herbed season salt like Rosemary Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 lb. grassfed ground beef
  • 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning (no-MSG)
  • 8-10 ounces Kerrygold cheese, shredded
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • other nacho toppings as desired
Instructions
  1. To make the potatoes preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Scrub the potatoes and slice them into thin wedges, at least 8-10 per potato, thinner wedges make crispier fries.
  3. Melt together the butter and olive oil and toss with the potatoes along with the salt.
  4. Place the potatoes skin-side down in a large cast iron or stoneware baking pan, or a parchment-lined baking sheet using more than one pan if needed to fit the potatoes in a single layer.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes turning once or twice to help brown evenly.
  6. While potatoes are cooking assemble the remaining ingredients for the toppings.
  7. Brown the ground beef and season with taco seasoning and/or more salt if needed.
  8. When the potatoes are done pull them out of the oven and preheat the broiler.
  9. While broiler is heating top the potatoes with the ground beef and the shredded cheese.
  10. Return potatoes to the oven and broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts.
  11. Remove from the oven and top with remaining nacho toppings and serve at once.

 Tell us how you like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at your house. Leaves us a comment here and don’t forget to pin this recipe to use again – there’s no rule saying you can’t have these anytime!

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Number Two Immune Boosting Food – Wellness Wednesday

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family.

It’s Wellness Wednesday – I’m sharing about another great food for boosting your entire immune system, then at the end there is a link for you to share your own wellness-related blog. Don’t forget to check out the other fine folks who’ve linked up here too!

Immune Boosters

Recently I gave you the Number One immune boosting food – you can read about it here. Today I’m revealing the food in the Number Two slot. This one also plays a powerful role in rebuilding and maintaining a healthy immune system. If you were surprised by #1 then this one may also surprise you. This list is from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, M.D., is a neurologist, and creator of the GAPS diet, a successful nutritional protocol used in healing both physical and neurological disorders such as autism, auto-immune diseases and heart disease.

cold pressed oils collage

Immunity Booster #2: Cold pressed oils such as olive oil, fish oils, nut and seed oils

While fresh animal fats and cholesterol-rich foods are stellar when it comes to building strong cells and creating important stress-coping hormones, there are many other healthy fats that we should incorporate into our daily diet.

We’re all familiar with extra virgin olive oil, and many of you are also aware of the benefits of fish oils (especially cod liver oil). What you may not have heard about are which of the nut and seed oils truly are healthy, and which ones are toxic.

Just as with animal fats, the fats from plants are also mixtures of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated – there is no naturally occurring fat that is only one type.Coconut, palm kernel, and cocoa butter are all rich sources of plant-based saturated fats. Olive, avocado, almond, pecan, cashew and peanut all provide generous amounts of monounsaturated fats. Cold water fish oils like cod and salmon; along with flaxseed,  non-GMO soy, canola, corn and safflower are primarily polyunsaturated.

Just as with animal fats, the sources of plant fats are extremely important. Many seed oils come from genetically modified plants and carry with them the pesticide and herbicide residues as well as other questionable factors.  Nearly all soy, corn and canola in the U.S. is GMO.

Unlike animal fats, however, there are many methods of extracting fats and oils from plants. The extraction method chosen is extremely important – in fact, even if your plant source is 100% biodynamically-beyond-organic, but you extract the oil incorrectly you will have ruined it, made it toxic.  Care must be taken when extracting plant oils. If powerful chemical solvents are used to extract the oils then you can be sure the oils will retain the toxins from these chemicals. When high heat methods are used for extraction, especially on the fragile polyunsaturated oils, these oils are damaged and turn rancid.  This is why the #2 Immune Booster must come from cold pressed oils.

Any oil that is primarily polyunsaturated should be kept chilled and stored in a dark container to protect the fragile nature of this type of oil. If you find a polyunsaturated oil in a clear container sitting out on a grocery shelf just leave it there! It is already rancid and has no place in your body. It’s not an immunity booster – it’s just a big bust!

vegetable-oil-rancid-ola-toxic-label

So to summarize: Choose your plant-based oils from organic, cold-pressed sources. Read the labels for any expiration date. Keep polyunsaturated oils refrigerated and use them up before they expire. Never heat polyunsaturated oils, keep them for salad dressings or adding to smoothies. Coconut oil and olive oil can be kept at room temperature, but it is still important to keep olive oil in dark containers as the enzymes are light sensitive. Saturated and monounsaturated plant oils can be used for cooking, but save the higher heat applications for the mostly saturated ones.

Now it’s your turn! Share with us on Wellness Wednesday – here’s all the info…


Book Review: The Paleo Cure – Wellness Wednesday

paleo cure book cover with titles
Welcome to another edition of Wellness Wednesday! Today I’m sharing a book review of Chris Kresser’s Paleo Cure. Below the book review you’ll find links to last week’s featured Wellness Wednesday articles plus a link to add your own to this week’s blog hop!

The Paleo Cure by Chris Kresser
“Eat Right for Your Genes, Body Type, and Personal Health Needs; Prevent and Reverse Disease; Lose Weight Effortlessly; Look and Feel Better Than Ever”

Author Chris Kresser is an Integrative and Functional Medicine Practitioner with a practice in Berkeley, CA. He also runs the popular health website Chriskresser.com and hosts the Revolution Health Radio podcast. This book was originally published in hardback under the title Personal Paleo Code in December 2013. The paperback version carries the updated title, but both books are identical otherwise.

The introductory chapter bears a bold title: “This Book Can Save Your Life”. I suppose he makes this nervy statement to grab your attention right away – “This book is no ordinary diet book,” he seems to say. In many ways he is right, because this book does not advocate the One Single Way to be healthy, and as you work your way through the chapters you are repeatedly encouraged to trust yourself, listen to your body, and go at your own pace.

“Here’s the truth: There is no single formula to follow that will guarantee you perfect health in three weeks – or seven days, or any other arbitrary number you find on the bestseller list. As seductive as that sounds, it just doesn’t work that way. The only formula I want to give you is the formula for figuring out how not to follow a formula! If my clinical experience treating patients has taught me one thing, it’s this: there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to diet and lifestyle. After all, the fossil record indicates that not all Paleolithic people ate the same way. So why should we expect a single program to be the perfect fit for everybody?”

I love the early chapters that give dietary examples of traditional cultures such as the Inuit or Aboriginal Australians. It was refreshing to read a logical explanation of what it means for a food to be nutrient dense, and I was glad to see that diet was not the only focus, but that exercise, gut bacteria, stress management, healthy sleep, correct sun exposure and social connections were also addressed as being equally important factors in a healthy life.

I enjoyed the real-world stories from patients who found healing using The Paleo Cure. In addition to Chris’ personal story we read about a woman with diabetes and high blood pressure, a young man crippled by Crohn’s disease, an elderly woman with mobility issues and brain fog, a 20-something woman with thyroid disease, a woman unable to get pregnant, a middle-aged man with constipation, another who was struggling with depression, a corporate VP with chronic skin issues – all of these people and many more were able to find healing using the protocols outlined within the pages of this book.

Chris unapologetically challenges conventional wisdom. Instead of going with the flow, he looks at the evidence provided in quality research, and applies a good measure of critical thinking skills. You will find real information on saturated fat, cholesterol, eggs, red meat, and other controversial foods revealed in this book. I especially appreciated the charts on various kinds of fats to use and to avoid.

The 3 steps to discovering your own personal diet/lifestyle solution for health.

#1 begins with a Thirty-Day Reset which removes the major offenders in causing weight, allergies, and other health problems. This is the most strict portion of the diet, and yet after more than a week following this with myself and my husband, I have yet to feel deprived or hungry, instead I’m feeling pretty good!

#2 allows you to slowly reintroduce healthy foods that may work for you such as white potatoes, dairy, or certain grains. If you find yourself feeling sick again this is your clue to remove the offenders again. If they work, then you are one step closer to building your own personalized health plan.

#3 guides you through the final steps of tweaking the diet so it works just the way you need it to, but it is also the time where you address the remainder of your lifestyle decisions including stress management and sleep.

The Paleo Cure includes a Seven-Day meal plan with recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner compliant with the 30-Day Reset. As a bonus there are also three more weeks of menus available online. In addition to the extra menus the online bonus materials include entire chapters addressing specific health topics such as leaky gut or adrenal fatigue. More online bonus material includes a guide to supplements, links to sources for healthy meats, snacks, and Paleo-friendly doctors. There is also a forum section where you can start up a conversation with others also working through the diet.

Now it’s your turn. Tell us your favorite post from last week’s Wellness Wednesday, leave a link to your own blog, or use the social media buttons at the top to share with your friends!


The Number One Immune Booster – Wellness Wednesday

WW titleWelcome to Wellness Wednesday! Each week I will share an article or recipe as part of the Wellness Wednesday blog hop link-up, and at the end is a place for you to share with us too! Co-hosts for this blog hop include Never Lacking Zeal, Frugal G33k, The Wise Wife and Hudman Honey Farm.  So let’s go!

Immune Boosters

More and more people are hearing about the GAPS diet. GAPS (an acronym for Gut and Psychology Syndrome) is based on Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s ground-breaking book Gut And Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, ADD, Dyslexia, ADHD, Depression, Schizophrenia.

Along with priceless information about healing the digestive tract and restoring the gut microbiome she includes her Top Ten list of ways to boost your immune system.

Big Surprise!

Newcomers to the world of real, traditional food will probably be dumbfounded to read that the number one way to support a healthy immune system is with animal fat and cholesterol-rich foods. For over thirty years Americans have been brainwashed to believe fat is bad, fat makes you fat, fat clogs arteries, fat causes heart attacks. Except that it’s all been a big fat lie.

As you begin to absorb the information from Dr. Natasha’s book it begins to make sense how Americans have been in a downward health spiral for the last several decades. We’ve been mistakenly advised to eliminate the very foods that can keep us healthy. Because of this we have put a very heavy burden on our bodies: a burden to create new cells, regulate their growth, create hormones, create barriers to toxins that want to get in, fuel an immune system that needs to patrol for infections and disease – all of this without the proper tools, without the proper building materials. It’s like telling a brick layer to build a wall without using any bricks. You could build a wall with just mortar, but it will not be structurally sound and certainly won’t last as long as a wall built with mortar AND bricks.

#1. Fresh animal fats (from meats and dairy) and cholesterol-rich foods (particularly raw egg yolk)

Animal fats include tallow (beef or lamb fat), lard (pork fat), chicken or goose fat (sometimes called schmaltz), and duck fat; butter, cream and cheese from cows, goats and other dairy animals. Wild caught cold water fish such as salmon and cod also possess healthy fats such as cod liver oil, fish oil and roe.

Animal fats are not made up only of those wrongly demonized saturated fats, but, like all naturally occurring fats, each is a mixture of different percentages of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. Goose, duck & chicken fat, and lard have generous amounts of monounsaturated fats like those found in olives and avocados.

The health food world has discovered the many useful properties of coconut oil, a saturated fat, and yet they are unwilling to embrace beef or lamb tallow, lard or duck fat because they include saturated fat. Healthfully sourced animal fat is something to be desired in a healthy diet.

Healthy animals make healthy fat.

cows on pasture
Animals living outdoors in ways appropriate for their species, eating the food God created for them to eat, will yield beautiful, clean, healthy fat rich in vitamins and fat soluble activators.

Unhealthy sources of fat include fat from any animal living in confined animal feeding operations (CAFO) fed a steady diet of GMO grains, antibiotics and other inappropriate substances.

Healthy saturated fats provide structural integrity to our cells. Our immune system cells are not exception – all cells need saturated fats. Cholesterol, found in all animal fats, is the key component in several important body functions which include helping our skin manufacture vitamin D from sunshine exposure, and being used by the adrenals to make important hormones, including sex hormones and anti-inflammatory hormones. When we don’t eat cholesterol-rich foods our body must use up precious energy to manufacture it out of the carbohydrates in our diet, and then turn around and use the cholesterol to manufacture everything else. When our adrenal glands are already fatigued due to illness or stress this unnecessary step wears them out even more making us more prone to infections of all kinds.

Animal fats provide complete, fully formed and easily absorbable versions of the key fat soluble vitamins A, E, D and K. Pasture raised eggs, whole clean raw milk and cream, butter, cheese, grassfed beef liver and chicken liver, wild caught cold water fish and fish eggs are all great choices for immune-boosting fat soluble vitamins.

Even though labels may say carrots contain vitamin A, the truth is plant sources of these vitamins are not fully formed and require our bodies to use up energy, enzymes and and other reserves to complete the transformation into usable forms. Again, when our bodies are stressed this conversion is difficult and may not even happen at all. This is especially true for people with digestive disorders. This means no matter how many carrots you eat you just aren’t getting vitamin A – you need to eat foods with fully formed vitamin A to get what you need!

eggs1This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

Now it’s your turn. Share your number one wellness tip with us on the Wellness Wednesday link up!

 


12 Health Secrets from a Real Food Pioneer

This post is featured on the Traditional Cooking School website.

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pictured: Amy Knowles, Sally Fallon Morrell, and Lee Burdett at the Wise Traditions 2014 in Indianapolis, IN

I was privileged again this year to attend Wise Traditions, the annual conference for the Weston A. Price Foundation. I am always inspired by the speakers, exhibits and the wonderful meals. I come home recharged and motivated to try new things, and to keep sharing the message of good health. I’m thankful for WAPF President Sally Fallon Morell, and her team, who put together these weekends overflowing with information.

In this post, I’m sharing Sally’s own health secrets, given as part of the closing ceremonies for the 2014 conference in Indianapolis. These 12 points represent many of the same key ideas that made an impact on my own healthy journey when I turned away from current mainstream ideas. Read More here….

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family.

Fa La La Lasagne

lasagne slice with titlesIt was Christmas Potluck time at the martial arts school where my son takes Kung Fu. He really wanted to go, but I was too busy to cook anything for him to take, plus I wasn’t even going to go myself.  I told him he could go if he would make something himself to take. I didn’t think it was fair to send a bottomless pit teenage boy to scarf up everybody else’s food without bringing anything to share! He chose lasagne even after I told him the sauce takes a half hour to simmer and then it still has to bake almost an hour. He loves lasagne.

Being a homeschool mom I grabbed the teaching moment. I handed him the recipe and told him to look and see what we already had and then make a shopping list. Then I took him to Publix and made him shop. He’s 16 and the time when he is out on his own is drawing nearer and nearer no matter how much I don’t want it to come. I want him to be self-sufficient so I’ve taught him how to sort laundry and use the washing machine. I’ve had him with me in the kitchen since he was big enough to pull up a stool and stand next to me at the counter. He’s been cooking independently since he was six. He’s learning to drive, to balance a checkbook and manage a savings account. He can operate the vacuum, wash dishes, and clean the bathroom, mow the lawn, run the string trimmer and build a compost pile. Planning a menu, grocery shopping and cooking from scratch to share with others is something else grownups need to be able to do. He jumped into the project happily.

lasagne and leo with captionShopping, prepping the ingredients and making the sauce were all easy, he only needed a little help when it came to actual assembly of the layers. One of my tricks is to only cook the lasagne noodles halfway so they are pliable but they don’t fall apart when you pick them up. They continue to cook inside the casserole during baking so you don’t end up with crunchy pasta. It also takes a little experience knowing how much to use in each layer so you don’t end up with something leftover when it’s all finished, or run out of something before you’re done.

So here’s the recipe for my lasagne. I’ve been making it since I was 16. I’m glad to pass the torch along to my son. I have fond memories of making this lasagne and sharing it with my own friends and family; I hope he will build some memories sharing meals with his own friends and family, too.

Lasagne

Ingredients

1 lb grassfed ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
3 Tblsp olive oil, divided use
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
2 6oz cans tomato paste
2 cups filtered water
1 Tblsp chopped parsley
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp honey
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
8 oz lasagne noodles
1 lb whole milk ricotta cheese
8 oz mozarella, shredded
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preparation

In a large, heavy pan brown the ground beef and onion in 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, parsley, salt, honey, garlic, pepper, oregano and Italian seasoning. Simmer the sauce for 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the lasagne noodles for about half the time as directed adding the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the cooking water to keep them from sticking together. Drain.

In a 9×13 casserole pan spread 1 cup of the sauce. Alternate layers of noodles, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan – ending with sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until lightly browned and bubbling. Allow to stand 15 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.
yield: 8 servings

Lasagne
 
Author:
Recipe type: casserole
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8 squares
 
Making lasagne from scratch is a great activity for teens to do with each other or with the family.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb grassfed ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 6oz cans tomato paste
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 8 oz lasagne noodles
  • 1 lb whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to a large heavy pan over medium heat.
  2. Brown the ground beef and onion.
  3. Add the dice tomatoes, tomato paste, water, parsley, salt, honey, garlic, pepper, oregano and Italian seasoning.
  4. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. Cook the lasagne noodles for half the time as directed, adding the remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to the cooking water to keep the pasta from sticking together.
  6. Drain the pasta.
  7. Spread 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole pan.
  8. Alternate layers of noodles, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan - ending with sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until lightly browned and bubbling.
  10. Allow to stand for 15 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

lasagne resized watermark

Do you have teens? How are you preparing them for living on their own? Do they like to cook? Share your stories with us here or come leave a reply on Facebook.

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

Turkey Curry Recipe

curry with turkey titles resized

As I write this it is the Sunday evening of Thanksgiving weekend. The dishwasher is running, the kitchen is cleaned up, I’ve already made bone broth from the turkey carcass and put five quarts of it in the deep freeze. I’m thankful for my parents who volunteered to make the drive from Alabama to Orlando on a holiday weekend – if you’ve ever tried to drive Florida’s turnpike this time of year you know what a big deal that is! But it was nice to have all the grandparents around the table this year (my husband’s dad, who lives in the area, was also with us) so my kids were very blessed.

Now that the big meal is over we still have an entire gallon ziploc bag of turkey leftover even after two meals of leftovers plus a couple of turkey salad sandwiches for the travelers. My daughter pleaded “no more soup!” (we’ve eaten a lot of soup lately trying to keep everyone from catching the latest virus making the rounds). So I pulled out my recipe for turkey curry – it uses up a pound of the leftovers plus it’s a way to sneak more bone broth into everyone without actually eating more soup. Plus, the flavors of curry are a nice detour away from the typical holiday flavors. By the way, this goes great with leftover cranberry sauce, too!  If you’re reading this and it’s not after a major turkey-filled holiday you could substitute leftover cooked chicken for the turkey.

Turkey Curry

Ingredients

3-4 Tablespoons butter, ghee or coconut oil

1 large apple (peeled or unpeeled, it’s your call), diced

1 large onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1 Tablespoon curry powder *

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (or less if you don’t like spicy)

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder OR tapioca starch OR non-GMO cornstarch

2 cups homemade turkey stock (or use chicken stock), divided use

4-6 cups chopped leftover turkey (or chicken)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (optional)

3 cups hot cooked basmati rice

Toppings and garnishes:

choose your favorites to sprinkle over the top of the curry-

raisins, diced tomatoes, diced bell pepper, chopped cucumber, parsley, cilantro, pineapple, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, papaya, mango, chutney or even leftover cranberry sauce

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Preparation

Melt the butter or oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple and onion to the pan and saute about 10 minutes until the onions are translucent, don’t brown them. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Then add the curry powder, salt and red pepper and stir well. Stir in the coconut milk and 1 1/2 cups of the broth, reduce the heat and simmer another five minutes. Add the chopped turkey. Combine the arrowroot (or other thickener) with the remaining 1/2 cup of stock. Pour the mixture into the pan along with the lemon juice if desired, and stir constantly until the curry begins to thicken slightly. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. Serve over the hot cooked rice and top with your favorite condiments.

*curry powders vary wildly in their flavor and spiciness. Most curry powders contain turmeric, coriander, fenugreek and cumin; but they can also contain many other spices including ginger, cayenne pepper, fennel and even saffron. It’s fun to experiment with different curry powders, but read the ingredient list and don’t buy any that include MSG. Good curry powders are salt-free so you can adjust the salt in the recipe to your own taste.

Turkey Curry
 
Author:
Recipe type: curry
 
A nice change of pace to use up Thanksgiving leftovers.
Ingredients
  • 3-4 Tablespoons butter, ghee or coconut oil (or a mixture)
  • 1 large apple, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper (or less if you don't like spicy)
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder OR tapioca starch OR non-GMO cornstarch
  • 2 cups homemade turkey broth (or chicken broth), divided
  • 4-6 cups chopped cooked turkey (or chicken)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, optional
  • 3 cups hot cooked basmati rice
  • A selection of condiments for topping the curry, choose from:
  • raisins, diced tomato, diced bell pepper, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, mango, papaya, pineapple, chutney or even cranberry sauce
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the apple and onion and saute for about 10 minutes until the onion is tender, but not browned.
  3. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  4. Add the curry powder, salt and red pepper and stir well.
  5. Add the coconut milk and 1½ cups of the broth. Reduce the heat and simmer for about ive minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the turkey to the pan and stir.
  7. Combine the remaining ½ cup of broth with the arrowroot powder and then pour this mixture into the pan, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly.
  8. Stir in the lemon juice if desired.
  9. Serve over the hot cooked rice and top with your choice of condiments.
  10. Leftovers are even tastier the next day.

What is your favorite way to use up holiday leftovers? Tell us about it in the comments section or come over to Facebook and start a conversation there.

This blog is for informational purposes. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family’s blog with your purchases.

Simple Squash Soup with Sage

sqash soup 1 titles

One of my privileges is to be a Weston A Price Foundation chapter leader.  I get to meet lots of friendly people, spread the word about healthy food, and schedule interesting speakers who teach us about all kinds of interesting things. Last month my friend Pam Wesley, who is a certified GAPS practitioner at Flourish Nutrition Centre, spoke to our chapter about the differences between the GAPS diet and the traditional diets of the Weston A Price Foundation. She also cooked this amazing soup and brought it to share with everyone.

I made the soup this weekend and shared some with a neighbor and shared the rest with my chapter co-leader, Steve Moreau, when he came over for dinner so we could plan out the chapter activities for the next couple of months.

Usually when I make soups from winter squashes I use butternut, but Pam had used acorn squash which gave the soup a different texture. I got wild and crazy at the grocery store and bought a buttercup squash just to try it out. I’d never had one before and turns out I’ve been missing something great – the buttercup flesh is thick and velvety when it is cooked and the soup came out so creamy!

squash at publix with labels

This soup is appropriate for the maintenance stage of the GAPS diet, or if you leave out the cream you can have it during the intro stage as well. The egg yolks are optional, but add extra vitamins and minerals.

Simple Squash Soup with Sage

5 Tablespoons sweet cream butter

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 lbs fresh winter squash, peeled and cubed

4 cups homemade chicken stock

3 egg yolks

1 cup heavy cream

fresh sage, minced

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven. Add the onion and saute until tender. Add the squash and the stock, simmer until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

Use a blender, food processor or immersion blender to puree the soup to a velvety smooth texture. Return to the pan. Beat together the egg yolks and the cream and add to the soup. Heat gently but do not boil. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with fresh sage and swirl in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and serve.

Simple Squash Soup with Sage
 
Author:
Recipe type: soup
 
This GAPS friendly soup is delicious enough to serve to company.
Ingredients
  • 5 Tablespoons sweet cream butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 lbs fresh winter squash, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream (preferably raw, not ultra-pasteurized)
  • fresh sage, minced
  • sea salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in a large pot.
  2. Add the onion and saute until tender.
  3. Add the squash and the stock, simmer until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Use a blender, food processor or immersion blender to puree the soup to a velvety smooth texture.
  5. Return soup to the pan.
  6. Beat together the egg yolks and the cream in a separate bowl, and add to the soup.
  7. Heat gently but do not boil.
  8. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Sprinkle with fresh sage and swirl in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and serve.

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This recipe was shared with Wildcrafting Wednesday #163

 

 

The High Cost of the Value Meal

value meal titles

A few weeks ago I shared the picture below on the Well Fed Family Facebook page. It received a lot of comments ranging from those who were disgusted to those who really wanted to know how it was possible to eat well when you didn’t have a lot of money.

too poor to be healthyWhen I mentioned that I had once blogged about how if someone was willing to just cook for themselves they could eat organic potatoes and grassfed beef burgers for less than the price of a fast food meal. Several people asked if I’d repost the article. So here it is, updated with current prices and including some recipes. I’m also going to post more budget-friendly recipes here on Well Fed Family that are healthier and cheaper than eating off the $1 Menu.

The High Cost of the Value Meal

It’s been 10 years since filmmaker Morgan Spurlock released his documentary Super Size Me where he eats 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, exclusively from McDonald’s. It’s doubtful anyone really thinks they are getting a healthy meal this way, however we still choose it all too often, eyes wide open to the detriment to our health and our children’s health. Why? Because often we perceive these foods to be inexpensive, a good value for the money and time spent. Some go so far as to say they cannot afford any other kind of food; that they are victims of the food industry. I’m here to show you nothing could be further from the truth.

Is a value meal really as cheap as it seems?

Let’s look at two common meals from two familiar fast food chains. Then we’ll compare costs with what we’d spend if we prepared these meals at home. I’m using restaurant prices from Fast Food Prices and grocery prices from my own personal grocery receipts from stores here in the metro-Orlando area where I live.

 

chickfila 1Meal 1:
Chick-fila original 8 count nuggets plus waffle fries and a sweet tea:
Items purchased individually total $6.59, purchased as a meal combo $5.95

The Chick-fila chicken nuggets are a favorite with most of the little kids I know. It’s the same chicken recipe as the original chicken sandwich, but cut into finger food sized pieces. Reading the actual ingredients might shock a few playgroup moms to discover they are seasoned with mostly MSG (monosodium glutamate – a known neurotoxin ) and sugar plus over 15 other ingredients. By the way, if you order the sandwich instead of the nuggets you might want to know there’s no actual butter on the “buttered bun” and the pickle chips contain 9 more ingredients in addition to cucumbers including two chemical preservatives and two petroleum-based artificial colors.

The waffle fries are made with potatoes but also include GMO canola oil, TBHQ, anti-foaming agents plus a little dextrose (sugar) and some color enhancers. All total it looks like about 8 ingredients not counting the salt.

Thankfully the sweet tea is simply water, sugar and tea. whew!

Cost breakdown for Chick-fila meal:
4oz of chicken nuggets for $3.25 is $13/lb.
4 oz of waffle fries for $1.65 is $6.60/lb.
15 oz of sweet tea for $1.69 is $14.36 per gallon

Mcdonalds 1Meal 2:
McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese, medium fry, medium soft drink:
Items purchased individually total $7.17 or purchased as a combo meal $6.39

The Quarter Pounder with cheese is a McDonald’s staple. I have to say the burger itself isn’t bad – 100% beef, salt and black pepper. The bun, however, has the usual suspects in any factory-produced bread, things like GMO soybean oil, yoga mats, and several other chemical conditioners and preservatives. The burger toppings add more chemical preservatives, plus a hearty serving of high fructose GMO corn syrup in the ketchup.

The fries are worse here than at Chick-fila with three kinds of GMO industrially processed oils including trans-fat filled hydrogenated soybean oil, plus the usual chemical preservatives and anti-foaming agents. Interestingly these fries are vegetarian, but they contain “natural beef flavor” made from hydrolyzed wheat (a hidden source of msg) and milk.

trivia mcdonalds fries

As for soft drink ingredients… Do I really need to tell you what’s in these? Do yourself a favor and just order water.

Cost breakdown for the McDonald’s meal:
Quarter pounder with cheese is $3.89 which is $15.56/lb
4oz fry is $1.79 or $7.16/lb
21oz soft drink is $1.49 or $9.07/gallon

Here’s the “I told you so” part:

Making chicken nuggets or hamburgers isn’t rocket science. If you can follow the directions on a box of Easy Mac, you have the cooking skills to make these things at home.

Easy Nuggets or Chicken filet:
Cut your boneless/skinless chicken breast into whatever size/shape you want, stick it in a ziplock bag along with ½ cup flour, 1 tsp garlic salt, 1 tsp black pepper and shake it up. Fry the chicken in a skillet over medium-high heat with some melted butter until it’s brown all over and done on the inside – about 8-10 minutes per side. Voila! Chicken nuggets!

Fries are super easy as well if you make them in the oven. Use one large potato for each person being served. Cut the potatoes lengthwise into 8-12 wedges. Toss with melted butter or olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 475 degrees in a cast iron skillet for best browning and crunch, or just use any baking pan or stoneware pan. It takes about 20-30 minutes. If you want to kick up the flavor of your fries then crush a clove of garlic into a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. When the fries come out of the oven drizzle this garlic oil over the hot fries with a little more salt. Wow!

Sweet tea: Bring 1 quart of filtered water to a boil. Add two teabags and allow to steep for ten minutes. Sweeten to taste and serve over ice.

Hamburgers: Use 1 pound of ground chuck to make four burgers. Each burger will be ¼ pound pre-cooked weight. Mix 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 1 tsp of black pepper into a pound of ground chuck. (preferably grassfed or antibiotic-free) weigh out ¼ lb of the ground beef mixture and use your hands to shape it into a pattie. My mom likes to use the plastic lid from a quart yogurt container to help make the right size and shape to fit a bun. Grill or pan fry on medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes per side until done to your liking.

Make your own buns with just flour, water, egg and yeast following this recipe from King Arthur Flour.

Soft drinks: like I said earlier, don’t even go there. Drink water. Learn to make kombucha or water kefir. Make your own lemonade if you want.

Ok, so what’s the bottom line on our homemade chicken sandwich meal?

Conventional boneless/skinless chicken breast is $5.49/lb. I like to buy the non-GMO verified/antibiotic-free chicken which is about $7/lb for breast meat or $5.50/lb for thighs (which I think taste better.) However if you have a little skill with a knife you can buy bone-in chicken and remove the bones yourself. This saves you money and gives you the side benefit of having bones leftover to make homemade broth (instead of buying those expensive cans of broth – more money saving!) Boning your own chicken saves you another $2-$3 per pound.

Organic russet potatoes are $1.79/lb
Tea bags are about $4 for 100.

Cost breakdown for homemade chicken nugget meal for one serving:

$1.75 for chicken meat
.45 for potatoes
.08 for teabags
$2.24 is the grand total.

This leaves you between $4-$6 less than the purchase price at the fast food restaurant. This leaves plenty of change with which to buy the extra ingredients to make it from scratch and still have some leftover money to put in the savings account. (You only use a fraction of the flour, salt or olive oil so the per-serving amount cost from those ingredients is still very small.)

Bottom line on the Quarter Pounder meal?
Grassfed beef prices are high, but going down as the demand for this healthy meat increases. Right now I can get it for $7/lb from my grocery store. (I also have access to bulk beef and can get ¼ of a whole cow for about $6/lb. meaning steaks, roasts and ground beef are all the same price. This doesn’t have bearing for this argument unless you have a deep freeze, but the fact remains that you can get good prices on this kind of high quality meat if you know how.) Regular feedlot grocery store ground beef costs even less, and is still better for you than meats processed with nitrites, msg or preservatives. I’m sticking with grassfed beef because it proves my point just fine for this argument. This means our quarter pound burger is about $1.75.

Cheese: if you own a knife you can make your own cheese slices. Buying pre-sliced cheese is a waste of money and usually you can get much higher quality cheese if you buy it in a chunk. A good grocery store brand is Cabot. 8oz for about $3 means .38cents for a 1oz slice. (btw you can get Cabot for about half that price if you have a Sam’s or Costco membership. The big warehouse membership stores often have high quality cheese, even raw cheese, for very reasonable prices.)

Soda – remember, we aren’t drinking this, but for comparison’s sake you can purchase a 2 liter of soda for $2 or less. 2 liters = roughly 64 oz. That’s about 3 cents per ounce making your grocery store soda roughly 48 cents per 16oz glass.

Cost breakdown for the hamburger meal for one serving:

burger 1.75
cheese .38
soda .48
fries .45
$3.06 is the grand total.

Making it at home saves you between $3-$4, that’s plenty of cash leftover to more than supply funds for pickles and ketchup.

Feeding a Family of four?
Using the prices on our example meals you would spend $25.56 for McDonald’s or $23.80 for Chick-fila. Food for thought – feeding a family of four from Chipotle is $26.60 even if you ordered the most expensive thing on the menu for everyone, but it is quite a bit healthier with all of the vegetables, beans and quality meat choices. Feeding this family homemade organic/antibiotic-free versions of the fast food meals would cost between $8.96-$12.24. Now tell me you don’t have enough money to eat healthy.

determination to eat well quoteSave even more money by preparing Taco Stew, Rosemary Garlic Grilled Chicken, Cheesey Parmesan Fish, or Creamy Turkey and Brown Rice Soup for your family.

Here at Well Fed Family we post recipes all the time. Frequently they are very budget friendly, because that’s how we eat in our own homes, too! Subscribe to our newsletter (use the link at the upper right of this page) and we’ll send you more recipes and tips for healthy living each month, plus you get a bonus free e-book on how to make your own homemade ice cream! Follow us on Facebook or Pinterest for even more recipes and ideas.

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Plantain Pancakes (GF/DF)

plantain pancakes title

So I was driving from Orlando up to Georgia to pick up my kids after a weekend with their grandparents, and I was listening to a podcast with Chris Kresser (functional and integrative practitioner and author of Your Personal Paleo Code).  His co-host was asking him what was for breakfast that morning. Chris started describing these plantain waffles he’d eaten and I just started salivating – I love plantains, green or ripe, and they also happen to be a really good carb for just about anyone – so I decided I would look for that recipe when I got home.  I bought two nicely mottled-brown plantains at the store and then checked out Bing for the recipe.  I was pretty bummed when all I could find were recipes using plantain flour instead of just ripe plantains. But that didn’t stop me for long, because after all of the GAPS cooking, gluten-free cooking and Paleo cooking I’ve been doing lately I can pretty much make a pancake out of anything; maybe not a waffle, but definitely a pancake.

plantain vs banana

plantain vs. banana

If you’ve never had a plantain, they are similar in appearance to a banana, but a good bit larger. When you cook them green they taste a lot like potato. When you wait until they are nearly black all over and kind of squishy you can bake them or slice and fry them in butter or ghee for a sweet, warm, caramelized tropical treat.

For the pancakes I peeled the riper of the two plantains and cut it into chunks and stuck it in the blender.  I added two Lake Meadow eggs, a 1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk, aluminum-free baking soda, sea salt and a little coconut flour and blended it all up until it was smooth.  A little coconut oil on the hot griddle and it was time to see if it worked.

plantain pancake cooking on griddle

the bubbles will tell you when it’s time to flip it over

One thing about non-traditional pancakes is they are sometimes tricky to flip. I waited for the classic signs of pancake flipping readiness….little bubbles that form all over the batter then pop and stay popped.  After one fail (still tasty, but not really a good pancake shape) I discovered I needed to be swift and confident making the metal spatula scoop and flip in one quick movement.  A few seconds to finish the other side and then onto the plate.  I used a 1/4 cup of batter per pancake and got about 8 pancakes. Slathered with some Kerrygold butter they didn’t need anything else in my opinion.  My husband enjoyed a little raw honey on the one I saved for him. These are good hot or cold. I could see them used as a wrap for some nut butter and jam, or maybe with a little sliced ham.  I enjoyed them stacked on a plate hot off the griddle.

Plantain Pancakes (GF/DF)
 
Author:
 
Naturally sweet these pancakes are high in protein, good fats and good carbs.
Ingredients
  • 1 ripe plantain
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 2 eggs, preferably from pasture raised hens
  • 1 Tblsp coconut flour
  • coconut oil or butter for the griddle
  • any toppings such as butter, fresh berries, or raw honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat a griddle on medium-high heat.
  2. Peel the plantain, cut into chunks and place in a blender.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients into the blender and blend on high speed until smooth.
  4. Grease the griddle with a little coconut oil and pour the batter onto the hot griddle using approximately ¼ cup batter or less per pancake.
  5. Cook until bubbles appear on the batter that do not disappear when they pop.
  6. Quickly turn the pancakes over to finish cooking the other side, about 1 minute or less.
  7. Serve hot or cold with desired toppings.

 

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