It’s time again for Wellness Wednesday! I’m so glad you’ve joined us!
Welcome to this week’s Wellness Wednesday!
This week’s features:
Coconut Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies by Picky to Plenty
The Best Sugar Cookies Ever by Pennies into Pearls
Are You In the Mood For Lovin’? by The Oil Dropper
Every week we will feature the most popular posts! Your hosts will pin and promote them as much as possible. Thank you for linking up! If you’d like, grab the button below and add it to your blog!
Alternative Living Network is a network of Christian natural living bloggers — bringing light and life to the alternative lifestyle. Find us on Facebook for daily holistic living posts, and find inspiration from the many talented bloggers within the ALN group.
We’ve Collected the Best for You
ALN bloggers have joined together to make over two dozen compilation posts of the best of 2014. If you’re not familiar with ALN’s bloggers this a great way to get a taste of all we have to offer! Leave a comment here about which is your favorite, and share the love with that blogger by leaving a comment telling why you love their post!
Alternative LIving Network’s Best of 2014
If you hit a link that doesn’t work please let me know. Some of these are scheduled to “go live” later than others.
Best of 2014: Homemaking
Best of 2014: Money Saving Tips
Best of 2014: Parenting Tips
Best of 2014: Grain-free Goodies
Best of 2014: Marriage Encouragement and Christian Sexuality
Best of 2014: Homemade Cleaning Supplies
Best of 2014: Natural Hair Care
Best of 2014: Homeschool Inspiration and Ideas
Best of 2014: E-books
Best of 2014: Side Dishes
Best of 2014: Chocolate
Best of 2014 : Main Dishes
Best of 2014: Essential Oil Recipes
Best of 2014: Pregnancy and Birth Tips
Best of 2014: Homemade Beauty Recipes
Best of 2014: Soups and Stews
Best of 2014: Crockpot Meals
Best of 2014: Cultured Foods and Beverages
Best of 2014: Salads
Best of 2014: Breakfast
Best of 2014: Baked Goods
Best of 2014: Homemade Bread
Best of 2014: Easy Snack Ideas
Best of 2014: Dairy Free Recipes
Best of 2014: Gluten Free Recipes
Best of 2014: Christian Inspiration
Best of 2014: Home Remedies
Best of 2014: Research Based Healthy Living Articles
Best of 2014: Simple Living Tips
Which post is your favorite? Leave us a comment sharing which tip will be the most useful in the coming year, or which recipe you can’t wait to try!
This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.
It was the 80s – Girls Night Out meant dressing up in punk rock and mini skirts with big hair and blue eyeshadow. For us it also meant going to Ryan’s on Opelika Road for Cheesy Chili Chicken Salad. This was back when chicken fingers were a new thing, so you know it was a long time ago! The salad was huge. It came in a giant bowl ringed with tortilla chips and filled with chunks of chicken fingers, kidney beans, cheese, olives, lettuce and Ryan’s special creamy chili dressing. This recipe is my rendition of that awesome meal-in-a-salad that takes me back to those crazy nights with the girls.
Cheesy Chili Chicken Salad
1/3 cup full fat sour cream (I like Daisy)
1/3 cup mayonnaise (I usually buy Hain’s)
1 chipotle chile, canned (save the rest in a ziptop bag in the freezer for next time)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
juice of one lime
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups shredded crisp lettuce such as romaine
3 cups chopped roasted chicken
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups cooked red beans
1 cup shredded cheddar or colby cheese
1/3 cup sliced ripe olives
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup frozen organic corn kernels, thawed
sliced avocado for garnish
non-GMO tortilla chips
Dice the chipotle chili very finely (wear gloves and don’t touch your eyes!) Combine the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. To prepare the salad, combine the lettuce and remaining ingredients except avocado and chips in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving and toss gently to coat. Garnish with avocado slices and serve immediately with tortilla chips. Mini skirts and big hair optional.
- ⅓ cup full fat sour cream such as Daisy brand
- ⅓ cup safflower mayonnaise such as Hain's
- 1 canned chipotle chili in adobo, reserve other chiles for another recipe
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- juice of one lime
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 cups shredded romaine
- 3 cups chopped roasted chicken
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups cooked red beans
- 1 cup shredded cheddar or colby cheese
- ⅓ cup sliced ripe olives
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 cup frozen organic corn kernels, thawed
- sliced avocado for garnish
- non-GMO tortilla chips for serving
- Finely mince the one chipotle pepper.
- Freeze the remaining peppers for another recipe.
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
- To prepare the salad, combine the lettuce and remaining ingredients (except avocado and chips) in a large bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving.
- Toss gently to coat.
- Garnish with avocado slices and serve immediately with tortilla chips.
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Toby’s Corner was one of those “special occasion” places where you took someone you wanted to impress. It was a swanky restaurant in the historic district, the old Sun Center building, in downtown Gainesville, FL. Since we were living on a beginning teacher’s salary and a graduate assistant stipend we didn’t eat there very often. But when we did we always ordered the Bananas Foster – it was their signature dessert prepared tableside with great panache. I waited for the perfect opportunity to get the recipe, all I had to do was pay attention when the waiter rolled the linen-covered cart up to the table to give us the show whose grand finale involved flaming the brandy for dramatic effect. Scribbled quickly on a scrap of paper from my purse I treasured that recipe and quickly transferred it to a notecard and stashed it in my recipe file. Now we could have that special dessert at home!
For those of you who’ve never had Bananas Foster it’s a warm caramel sauce with ripe bananas poured over vanilla ice cream for a hot-cold-creamy dessert sensation. I haven’t changed the recipe very much at all from the original, just tweaked the sweeteners so it doesn’t use quite so much refined sugar, so even if the restaurant isn’t there anymore you can still get a taste of what it was like when you make this dessert for you own special occasion. Much of the alcohol does burn off during preparation, but if you don’t want to use it then simply leave it out. The fresh orange and lemon still give it plenty of flavor. Serve this over homemade vanilla ice cream from our free ice cream e-book. To get your copy just click the link on the right hand side of this page, sign up for our newsletter, and we’ll send you the e-book with 10 delicious homemade ice cream recipes right away!
Bananas Foster Toby’s Corner Style
Have the ice cream portioned into four bowls and keep them chilled while you make the sauce. Melt together 3 Tablespoons each of butter, sucanat and real maple syrup in a wide, flat pan. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture gets bubbly and thickens. Add the juice of 1/2 of an orange and 1/2 of a lemon plus 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Stir and heat until bubbly again. Then add 3 Tablespoons each of Creme de Banana liqueur and brandy, flambe if desired, and then slip two bananas that have been peeled, sliced lengthwise and then again in crossways to form 8 total pieces into the warm caramel mixture. Coat the bananas with the sauce stirring to let them get warm, and then spoon the mixture over bowls of vanilla ice cream.
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Tablespoons sucanat
- 3 Tablespoons real maple syrup
- ½ orange
- ½ lemon
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 Tablespoons Creme de Banana Liqueur
- 3 Tablespoons brandy
- 2 ripe bananas, peeled and slice lengthwise and again across
- 4 bowls vanilla ice cream
- In a wide but somewhat deep pan (or a flambe pan), melt together the butter, sucanat and maple syrup stirring until melted and bubbly.
- Squeeze in the juice of half an orange and half a lemon, plus ½ tsp cinnamon stirring well.
- Return to bubbling.
- Add the banana liqueur and brandy (if desired) and flambe.
- Add the sliced bananas stirring to coat the bananas in the sauce as they warm.
- Divide the sauce between the bowls of ice cream and serve immediately.
This blog is for informational purposes. Some links my be monetized.
So I’ve been teaching Sunday School for the past two years now. But this is Sunday School like you’ve never seen it. I have the coolest classroom – it’s a little cafe with a real kitchen area. We teach Bible stories and use hands-on cooking projects to cement the lesson in the kids’ minds and hearts (and stomachs!) This week we’ve been getting ready for a big Open House to show off all the neat classrooms and creative lessons being used to teach Jesus’ Love to these sweet kids. I’m going to do a cooking demo for the Open House – I’m making Mud Cookies. We used this recipe when we taught about the Miracles of Jesus. In chapter 9 of the New Testament book of John it tells how Jesus made mud with some dirt and saliva, and rubbed it over the eyes of a man who had been born blind. He then sent the man to wash it off in one of the city fountains. When the man washed off the mud he could see!
Our cookies start out looking like a bowl of lumpy mud. In fact they look pretty gross – you mix cocoa powder with egg whites which looks an awful lot like dirt and spit. But soon after stirring and stirring the batter gets shiny, then you drop spoonfuls onto a parchment paper and bake them. What you get are the most deep, dark chocolate cookies you can imagine! My classroom recipe only makes 10 cookies because our little oven only holds that many, but you can easily double the recipe to make a bigger batch. And you will definitely want to do that because we discovered that these cookies make the perfect sandwich for homemade vanilla ice cream! Oh. My. Goodness. My son made the vanilla ice cream today from the Well Fed Family free ice cream ebook (have you gotten yours yet? sign up for the newsletter using the link on the right side of this website and we’ll send it to you for free!), we used these cookies to make ice cream sandwiches for dessert tonight. Perfect! They are just the right texture, just like those soft cookies that come with the eskimo pies from the ice cream truck. And oh so chocolatey! What a perfect way to use up the egg whites leftover from making the ice cream!
Mud Cookies and Ice Cream Sandwiches
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup egg whites (about 3)
1/2 cup organic sugar or honey
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
Mix everything together in a medium bowl. Use the honey if you don’t mind having a chewier cookie, the sugar will make it a little firmer but less nutritious. However these are dessert – so don’t feel like using honey means you can eat the whole batch yourself Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes until they are dry on top to the touch but still springy. Cool on the baking sheet for a minute or two and then use a metal spatula to remove to a cooling rack. Use two cookies, flat sides together, with two tablespoonfuls of ice cream to make the sandwiches. Eat immediately or wrap in wax paper to freeze for later.
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup egg whites (about 3)
- ½ cup organic sugar or honey
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- vanilla ice cream, homemade or good quality store bought
- Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Stir all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Use a heaping tablespoon of batter for each cookie spooned onto the parchment, leaving some space between the cookies.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until the top is dry but still springy.
- Allow to cool on the parchment for a few minutes before using a metal spatula to remove to a cooling rack.
- To make sandwiches place one cookie flat side up on a plate.
- Spoon 2 Tablespoons of softened ice cream onto the cookie and top with the flat side of a second cookie.
- Press slightly to spread filling to the edges.
- Eat immediately, or if desired, wrap in wax paper and freeze to eat later.
I can definitely see these with variations. Maybe sub peppermint extract for the vanilla for mint chocolate mud cookies. Or use any of the other ice cream flavors in our free ice cream ebook, wow, how about peanut butter ice cream with these chocolate cookies! Leave a comment and let us hear your great flavor ideas! Pin for later or share on Facebook using the links above the blog.
Some links may be monetized. Thanks for supporting Well Fed Family. This blog is for informational purposes only.
To say my daughter loves this menu would be an understatement. Whenever she sees me meal planning she begs me to include these burgers. When she noticed me pulling out the recipe to blog she asked hopefully, “Can we have these tonight?” And I agree they are delicious. We’ve served them to company because even though it’s casual fare it’s still enough of a flavor carnival in your mouth you feel special just eating it.
A couple of notes about the ingredients: Sriracha sauce is a very spicy Thai sauce made from hot chili peppers, vinegar and garlic. It’s easy enough to find in most grocery stores BUT it’s important to read the labels because most of them have chemical preservatives in them – don’t ask me why because there’s nothing in hot chilis, vinegar, garlic and salt that needs extra chemicals! So anyhow, look for a sauce without preservatives. Lee Kum Kee makes one and so does Shark Brand. The red curry paste is another ingredient that needs label reading. Red curry paste should be just a mixture of flavorful herbs and spices including lemongrass, galangal, Kaffir lime, and chilies. But sometimes you will find msg or chemical preservatives, too. I like Thai Kitchen’s red curry paste, but I’ve read good things about Mae Ploy brand and both of those have good ingredients.
To get this all on the table at the same time here’s the order I do things: First I mix up the Lime Mayo sauce and refrigerate it, then I mix up the slaw with the dressing and let it marinate. Then I like to get the burgers all mixed up and shaped into patties on a tray. The burgers will absorb all the flavorful ingredients as they sit. Lastly I slice up the sweet potatoes and get them into the oven so they will be done when the burgers are grilled. If you don’t want to heat the kitchen at all you can actually make the sweet potato fries on the grill, too, but you’ll need to get them started before the burgers since they take a little longer. Once the potatoes are going I grill the burgers. Poultry burgers must be fully-cooked, no medium or rare with these guys! I use an instant-read thermometer to check that they are done. A minimum of 165 degrees is recommended.
3/4 cup safflower mayonnaise (or homemade)
zest and juice of one lime
2 Tablespoons of Sriracha sauce (use less if you don’t like it hot)
Snow Pea Slaw
1 cup julienned snow peas
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup julienned bell peppers, use orange, red, or yellow for the prettiest salad
1 1/2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon raw honey
Thai Chicken Burgers
2 pounds ground chicken (you can also use ground turkey or a mixture of both)
3 scallions, sliced thinly
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons raw honey
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon red curry paste
6 cloves garlic, pressed
Sweet Potato Fries
1 medium sweet potato per person
For the Lime Mayo sauce: Combine everything in a small bowl and set aside.
For the Slaw: Combine the vegetables, stir in the remaining ingredients and toss well to coat with the dressing. Set aside.
For the burgers: Combine the ground chicken, scallions, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, curry paste and garlic mixing well in a large bowl. Divide the mixture into eight 4oz patties. Grill over medium-high heat about 4-5 minutes per side. Burgers are done when they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
For the sweet potato fries: Slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise into wedges about 3/4″ thick, at least 8 wedges per potato. Toss the slices with melted coconut oil and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. You can roast them in a cast iron or stoneware baking pan at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, or you can grill the wedges on a medium-high grill for about 12 minutes per side. If they begin to burn on the outside before they are tender in the middle, move them away from the direct heat and allow them to continue cooking.
- ¾ cup safflower mayo
- zest and juice of one lime
- 2 Tablespoons Sriracha sauce
- 1 cup julienne sliced snow peas
- 1 cup julienne sliced orange, red or yellow bell peppers
- 1 cup thinly slice red cabbage
- 1½ Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon raw honey
- 2 lbs ground chicken or turkey
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons raw honey
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon red curry paste
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed
- sweet potatoes
- coconut oil
- sea salt
- For the sauce: Combine the mayo, zest and juice, and Sriracha sauce in a bowl, set aside.
- For the slaw: Combine the snow peas, peppers, and cabbage in a bowl.
- Add the vinegar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce and honey and toss well to combine making sure the dressing coats the vegetables.
- For the burgers: Combine the chicken with the green onoins, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, curry paste and garlic in a large bowl.
- Use your hands to mix the meat and seasonings well.
- Shape into eight patties, 4oz each.
- Grill over medium-high heat until burgers reach an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees, about 4-5 minutes per side.
- For sweet potatoes: Slice potatoes lengthwise into ½" wedges, about 8 wedges per potato.
- Use one medium potato per person.
- Coat the slices with melted coconut oil and sea salt.
- Roast the potatoes in a 425 degree oven, or grill them over medium-high heat for about 25 minutes.
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Some links may be monetized, thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases! This blog is for informational purposes only.
We all want strong immune systems. Most people have heard about taking vitamin C, or eating garlic, and if you’re up on your GAPS protocol knowledge you know about getting plenty of sunshine, eating fermented foods, and plenty of healthy fats. One often overlooked area of the immune system is the lymph system.
The lymph system is made up of special vessels, nodes and spaces all over your entire body from head to toe. It is filled with a special fluid, called lymph, that starts out as part of your blood, but slowly leaks out of the blood and takes with it anything dangerous or toxic. The lymph fluid holds onto these toxins until they can filter them through the nearest lymph node. The nodes isolate and neutralize the toxins by making special white blood cells. The neutralized toxin is released back into the lymph fluid and excreted with the rest of the body’s waste. Eventually the lymph fluid travels all around the body and ends up in a special area right behind the heart. It enters the heart through the thoracic duct and the fluid is returned to the circulation system where the whole cycle starts all over again. Your tonsils, bone marrow, thymus gland and spleen are also a part of the lymphatic system.
When you catch a cold or a sore throat one of the first things you notice, maybe even before you realize you are sick, is swollen lymph nodes. This is because your lymph system is already hard at work trying to fight off disease. It’s important to take care of your lymph system since it is one of our first lines of defense.
We all know our blood circulates on its own, quite rapidly, throughout the body making the trip from head to toe about once every minute or so. The fluid in the lymph system moves much more slowly. It makes the blood look like a Class V rapids in comparison! No, the lymph system is more like the lazy river – except that’s not exactly accurate since rivers flow on their own. The lymph system requires help to flow. You don’t want stagnant lymph, you want it to flow and circulate and clear away the toxins as efficiently as possible. So here are three things you can do every day to move your lymph along.
1. Exercise. Our lymphatic systems depend on the contraction of our muscles to move along and circulate. Sitting for too long causes the lymph fluid to stagnate. Sometimes this fluid builds up and causes swelling – sometimes in your ankles and lower legs – which is uncomfortable and not very safe either. Daily exercise helps activate the lymph circulation. Gentle movement like walking or tai chi can be as effective as more strenuous exercise when it comes to moving lymph.
2. Dry Brushing. Lymph only flows in one direction – toward the heart. So dry brushing done correctly is a great way to move that fluid along where it needs to go. Dry brushing also helps shed dead skin cells, a beauty bonus. To get started purchase a natural bristle brush with a long handle like this one. Before your daily bath or shower is a good time to do it. Start with the bottoms of your feet and cover your entire foot with firm, longish strokes moving evenly up from the foot to lower leg to thigh and hips. Do the same thing with hands moving up toward shoulders, and torso moving from hips and buttocks up toward the heart. Do both feet/legs and both hands/arms. Every stroke should move toward your heart. You can end with reaching the brush to mid back and stroking up over shoulders toward the heart. Then shower or bathe as usual. Dry brushing is most effective when done daily for at least three months.
3. Lemon water. The first thing you drink every morning should be something that benefits your health. So put the coffee or sodas, or even milk or juice, on hold while you have a glass of lemon water. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a 16oz mug and fill it with warm water. Drink the warm lemon water first thing to give your lymph system a boost as it dumps out all of the toxins it has accumulated from the day before and during the night.
Try these three ideas to nurture your lymph system now. This will help you get ready for all those back-to-school germs by helping to build and boost your immune system. Share this post with your friends by using the Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook links at the top of the page. We’d love to hear from you, please leave a comment!