Christmas in a Jar

If you still need to do some last minute Christmas gifting, this one is fun, simple, and affordable. This is perfect if you’re on a student budget. It also made for a really fun night with my friend, Lauresa!

There are many recipes online… we decided on a veggie bean soup recipe, but there are cookie and dessert ones too.

2015-12-22_10.06.23.jpg

For your loved ones without weird diets 😉 

http://christmas.organizedhome.com/crafts/gifts-in-a-jar/recipe-index

Our recipe:

VEGETARIAN FIVE BEAN SOUP MIX

header2.jpg

Much thanks to Cassie Johnston at : http://backtoherroots.com/2012/12/03/handmade-holiday-vegetarian-five-bean-soup-mix/  
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: None
Makes: 4 Jars
INGREDIENTS
• 1 pound pinto beans
• 1 pound split green peas (or green lentils)
• 1 pound great northern beans
• 1 pound black beans
• 1 pound kidney beans
• 1 tablespoon black pepper
• 1 tablespoon paprika
• 1 tablespoon dry mustard
• 2 tablespoons dehydrated onions (found in the spice aisle)
• 2 tablespoons sea salt
• 2 tablespoons garlic powder
• 2 tablespoons dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
• 8 bay leaves
• 4 vegetable bouillon cubes
MATERIALS
• 4 clear quart Mason jars plus lids and rings
• Parchment paper
• Tape or stickers
• Labels
• Fabric and ribbon to cover top
INSTRUCTIONS
1. In each of the four Mason jars, layer 2/3 cup of pinto beans—shaking the jar gently to level the beans. Then repeat with 2/3 cup of green peas and so on ending with the kidney beans. Set jars aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine all remaining spices except bay leaves and bouillon cubes.
3. On a 10″ x 10″ piece of parchment paper, spoon 3 tablespoons of the spice mixture in the middle. Place two bay leaves and one bouillon cube on top. Fold parchment around spices to make a small spice packet. Seal with tape or stickers. Repeat three more times to create four total packets. Squish the packets into the top space of each of the four bean jars. You can also package the spices into plastic zip-top baggies if you prefer.
4. Place lids on jars, cover in fabric and ribbon and label as desired.
Remove the spice packet from the jar and set aside. Rinse beans and place in a large stock pot. Cover by 1” of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for one minute. Remove from heat, cover, and let soak for one hour. Drain and rinse beans. Return beans to the pot, add in spice packet, 1-15 OZ CAN OF DICED TOMATOES AND 5 CUPS OF WATER. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer for 1-1/1-2 hours until beans are very tender and soup is thick. Serve with a bug hunk of crusty bread. Enjoy!

 

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!

xoxo

Bon Appetite!

Bonjour! It has been too long since I’ve posted. I’ll blame that on papers, homework, and children in general (but absolutely worth becoming a teacher someday). Summer break has finally come! A glorious week of sleeping in, getting sun kissed, laughing with friends, Netflix, and naps. And trying some new recipes, of course!

Since I last made Ratatouille, I’ve decided to experiment. I’ve combined two new recipes– a simple Allrecipes.com and a Parisian Chef’s version– into a sort of American-French hybrid. The sauce and flavor turned out amazing! So if you are looking for a relatively simple version of Ratatouille with authentic French flair, then you’ve come to the right place.

And did I mention that it’s Paleo/GAPS friendly?

IMG_0017

Disney’s Ratatouille Recipe– http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/222006/disneys-ratatouille/?mxt=t06rda

Cooking with Kurt- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56d1J_oCl04

How to chop eggplant (because let’s be real, chopping veggies can be confusing) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdaX8MDsJkc

INGREDIENTS

Veggies:

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small eggplant, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 tomatos, thinly sliced

Spices/Oil: 

  • 1/4 cup minced garlic OR small handful of fresh basil, chopped (I’ve been having trouble with garlic lately, but found basil to be a delicious alternative)
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil  (1 at beginning, 3 tbl at end- or to taste)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or to taste

PREP-45 min
Cook- 45 min
Ready In 1 h 30 m
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F 

DIRECTIONS

PART ONE: Preparing the sauce

  1. Chop 2 carrots and cook in a large pan with oil.
  2. Meanwhile: Optional- for a nice smoky flavor, turn the red and yellow peppers over the stove until they are crispy on the outside (see youtube video above). Then set peppers aside to cool.
  3. While the carrots are cooking and peppers are cooling, begin to chop the other ingredients: onion, tomato, eggplant, yellow squash and zucchini. You want THIN slices.
  4. Once carrots are looking tender, you’ll want to add the chopped red and yellow pepper to the pan. If you have smoked the peppers, removed the charred outer layer before chopping. Let the carrots and pepper sizzle together for several minutes or until softened.
  5. Next, toss in the onion. Stir and let sizzle for a couple minutes.
  6. Now add your tomato paste, basil/garlic, water, salt &pepper, and extra olive oil. You want a sauce that is thick and creamy but not chunky or watery. (See pictures below..my sauce right before I added a couple tbl of water)
  7. Once everything has simmered for 5-10 minutes and the vegetables look tender, set aside to cool. (If you want to speed up this process, pour into a bowl and cool for 5-10 minutes in the fridge/freezer.)

PART TWO: Preparing the pan & creaming the sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and oil the bottom of a 10×10 pan.
  2. Make sure the rest of your vegetables are sliced and ready to go: the zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and tomato.
  3. Now that your sauce has cooled, pour it into a blender or a food processor. Blend until creamy. It should have a sweet and slightly smoky/spicy flavor…yum! I think it’s the sauce that really makes or breaks Ratatouille.
  4. Pour the sauce into the pan, spread evenly. Dash on a bit of salt and red pepper.
  5. Now you can begin making your rainbow. Arrange alternating slices of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomato, starting at the outer edge of the dish and working concentrically towards the center. Overlap the slices a little to display the colors.
  6. Drizzle the vegetables with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with thyme leaves.
  7. Cover with foil. Bake in the preheated oven until vegetables are roasted and tender, about 30- 45 minutes. This will be even faster in a toaster oven.
  8. If you’re able to eat dairy, serve with dollops of mascarpone cheese.

BON APPETITE!

IMG_0005     IMG_0012             IMG_0013           IMG_0009

IMG_0015            IMG_0017

Ratatouille-2007-Movie-HD-Free-Download

Everyday Yummy Tricks!

How I substitute healthy foods for daily ingredients:

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Instead of SUGAR…

9DFkIfmXVBuyidiuvIlm_7gT8e5pYFJumlr-o4yLwojk9gTrcLYBkC4XEcWsRQe7tP5zI7-5Tw0BQV1L5eIP_aOGC83Id3gWMWFWyIkgwSglnqTxu2XiMOtqtdWWsfnhgStc-8QRB0s2c3HzfldTrzL5Je8SuJOWjAZCiawRAIivSnrIfoW0glVzEv3H9ZMl8SKEsnBtazS3hERwqLYqOy8YfCPBzAQR

Banana   – thickener & sweetener for baking

Honey  –  baking & hot drinks

Agave   -baking, cold & hot drinks (ex. smoothies, alcoholic drinks)

Maple Syrup  – baking, cold drinks

____________________________________________________________________________________

Instead of CREAM & DAIRY…

Lf7gB9zkZcpX5uxWaqumqOQ99mklWhD21UCRtpbz7wCxXc7S4vUc2f8wGubii325CGuLpAJ2iZrt3GbA8sziWRYuymADrhx2p4sjlckDVJ65RiadxI2Y5U7qaehX-299RR96UDvQPbIMCDek96aJA-Q7Hn-BWlFPPEn_L65wC1bG9KRJ-qTJjyGtMrszjwu_VZjXS8d-FqjNaLlSqlINKnTLRh0ncICg

Coconut cream has the near consistency of whipped cream– super thick and just coconut! Great over desserts (such as pies) or with a bowl of fresh berries and honey. Also for flavor & thickener in tropical smoothies.

Coconut milk is wonderful in pies, quiche, smoothies & a little bit in tea. Unlike coconut water it is slightly thicker, but nearly as rich & filling as coconut cream.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Sugar-free TRAIL MIX!

1JNvsx8I0fDcf0AJgbgupaj4sKMX5HYeEF7t5rNtsiUJneHosicscN43XiF7DE7JYl6TnruvULNE2BOSVtNIeIq5iPhchpJaSdMw-kfJIJG6qUE89Ra88-cOpnJDXxle1uYDrQi2cJyfYpkQUmFuBFS_An1pRWI4iXtke8AGzD1-U8eHhw-LKRAAzCHKnO-c0iSCDzDuuIQWq4XDfIf4gaygCauMooN5

Blend nuts & berries of your choosing for on-the-go!

I love the almond & raisin combination with some freeze dried fruit! The perfect blend of tart, nutty & sweet.

And all the ingredients are whole… you aren’t eating any preservatives or extras.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

THICKENERSLJepEbMRmrEO0EpLrxnXx5IBnJOqrzNRJmIqDT1dZRamcZ-BNcx23K1poHcchIOvV8GJUc-hcwFX37iYcMecHgtkFmcpwjn6dH04lcSFMGkGZT7-GahVxIXGS6aFGF2dKRfPrn72kzAIKgslZ2RjdS5Uvcu0EI291rrgQf2QFRxa6OUcurB4IlV8ZgIWLQnX3kG1_CHkTk7rN4Q6C9vV6TZORyS1_eNC

Avocado is nature’s butter.

Bananas have a wonderful creamy texture as well, but a very dominate flavor.

Both are great for smoothies, baking & pudding. You can even make a mean Avocado Alfredo by throwing in a blender: 1 avocado, a handful of basil, 1/4-1/3 cup of water, and salt & pepper to taste. Creamy & guilt-free!

______________________________________________________________________________________

LETTUCE THAT LASTS!

axfY6HE5HGxZmts88W0mbf4Zu5qsMmOd8UzHGwMGnZXT6YmfA28hE5Bd7XfuHXBBL2S5TKEo_Je11Zp_j6O2XlMJa-tjzDtiJCPZj6YZmL2879NT_IfIuv3RphGP6QpY7aCyY6Xffj4x6Gk7uFEl4WHxppLlm_9052Qq8XFJot5MD3ELvVXXlOGh9hoCq818f47cay0KOjzeMnAXPYb0BjXCrIR3gzX5

Have you ever bought lettuce with the roots attached?

This baby lettuce is wonderful because it lasts for weeks! I don’t need to be stressed about eating it within a week or guilty if I forget about it for awhile.

Just keep it in the fridge and peel off the layers as needed.

Mom’s Cinnamon Black Bean Soup

I can’t get enough of cinnamon right now. Enjoy this simple and flavorful recipe! Great for a rainy day.

th Serves 3-4

INGREDIENTS:

Chop and saute together in a med-sized pot with oil until clear and soft

1 onion, 2 carrots, 1 celery             (I prefer sweet or red onion)

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

Next, add these 3 ingredients into the pot:

2 cups of water or broth

1 cup of plain tomato sauce

1 can of drained black beans

Simmer for 10 minutes. Then you may blend into creamy texture as desired.

Wonderful with avocado sliced on top & a side of potato!

photo courtesy & benefits of cinnamon @ Savor It: http://savorit.blogspot.com/2011/01/season-for-cinnamon.html

GAPS Zucchini Muffins/Bread!

These have been my favorite snack to grab n’ go this month! And my coworkers at Amai Day Spa love eating them too! They’re moist and melt in your mouth. And might I mention guilt-free?

Thanks to Danielle Walker @ Against All Grain. Here is her original recipe: http://againstallgrain.com/2012/04/24/almond-flour-zucchini-bread/

IMG_0930WM IMG_0800WM

Below are my couple alterations. I’ve enjoyed experimenting with some alternative ingredients:

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cup blanched almond flour
    • (Although other flours may substitute, almond is essential for the moist yet light texture)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½-1 teaspoon ginger
  • 3 eggs, beaten (or 2 eggs, with 1/4 cup of warm coconut oil)
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 ripe banana or 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup shredded, unpeeled zucchini
    • 1/2 cup zucchini & 1/2 cup carrots shredded is also delicious!

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. I mix everything in one big bowl to avoid extra clean up. First, whip eggs with a fork, then add in other WET ingredients. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Add the DRY ingredients over the wet, and stir only the top layer of dry ingredients gently. I find that doing this slowly mixes in the spices, salt, etc into the flour well enough.
  4. Mix all together thoroughly. I find a large spoon or spatula works great.
  5. Spray or grease: 2 mini loaf pans, 1 big loaf pan as needed. I like to use coconut oil. 12 muffin tins work great for on the go- my favorite!
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until clean toothpick poke.

ENJOY!

Make Your Own Garden Salad

IMG_4501

Fall is on its way, but I’m still lounging outside on the deck like a cat. I’ve moved back in with my parents to save money for grad school, and one of the perks has been enjoying the beautiful backyard! It’s a surprising and delightful time to take a breath and enjoy a slower pace. It’s also giving me time to try introducing more food back in.

One of the big challenges of food restrictions is FLAVOR. Ah! Flavor is truly the spice of life. Trying to find sauces, spices, and dressings can be incredibly discouraging.

I’ve made a break-through in my own homemade salad dressing. It’s made from single, raw ingredients, so it’s fresh and you know exactly what you’re eating!

IMG_4500

Garden Salad:

Leafs: Romaine lettuce, fresh basil

Fruits/veggies: Tomato, avocado, pinto beans, salt and pepper to flavor

Dressing:

Drizzle of agave or honey (agave is easier to spread and stir), dash of salt and pepper, and avocado oil. You may also add a squirt of lemon and/or vinegar.

That’s it!

IMG_4509