Monday, January 30, 2012

Frugal Lunch: Leftover Meat Puttanesca

Leftover Meat Puttanesca

The other night we had penne with meat sauce for dinner. There was enough leftovers for a light lunch for one. I somehow had to turn this into a hearty lunch for two. The previous day, I had soaked all my garbanzo beans to cook and freeze for future use (I avoid all canned foods as most cans are lined with toxic bpa which leaches into the food.) I decided to make a puttanesca with whatever I had in the fridge. We enjoyed it so much that I am making it again for tomorrow's lunch with leftover roast chicken. The best part about this recipe is that you can leave out or add in whatever you have or don't have in your kitchen. The garbanzo beans have enough protein to make this a hearty meal even if you don't have any leftover meat. Here is the basic recipe:

Leftover Meat Puttanesca Recipe

1 cup leftover meat (spaghetti sauce w/meat , roast or boiled chicken, can of sardines etc.)
1 cup leftover brown rice pasta or cook up the desired amount of pasta
1 bunch  chopped swiss chard, kale, or mustard greens
1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1/2 chopped onion or 1 tsp onion powder
3 cloves garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 - 1 cup pasta sauce or chopped tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
1 cup chopped sweet peppers
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup chopped olives
salt and pepper to taste


top with cheddar or mozzarella cheese

Saute the onion, stems from the greens, and garlic until soft. Add sweet peppers and cook for a couple of minutes. Add everything else except olives and heat through. Turn stove off and add the olives and mix. Serve in bowls and top with cheddar or mozzarella cheese.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Soup

I've started roasting or boiling a whole chicken every week. I always try and make something new with the leftover chicken. I had made all this chicken broth the other day so I wanted to make a soup but I was craving a creamy soup. So I came up with this creamy chicken soup recipe. My husband said it tasted like pot pie. You can really add whatever vegetable you have on hand. I would have loved to add some celery, spinach, and/or mushrooms if I had some. If you add fresh spinach, add it at the end with the milk. I also made this gluten-free by using potato starch as a thickener. Here is the recipe:

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Soup Recipe

16 oz homemade chicken broth
4-5 carrots, chopped
1 bag of frozen peas or any frozen vegetables you have on hand
2 sprigs of lemongrass or 1 inch of ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups deboned roast chicken
1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp himalayan salt
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
2 cups raw milk (I used soured milk)
3 tbsp potato starch
Brown rice to serve with

Pour chicken broth, chopped carrots, onions, and garlic into pot and bring to boil. Lower heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add lemongrass or ginger, poultry seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. In a small bowl mix together 1/2 cup of milk and potato starch. Add the remaining milk to the pot and stir. Add potato starch mixture to the pot and heat until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Serve over brown rice.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Soaked Oat Breakfast Bread

Over the long holiday weekend, I tried a new breakfast recipe. It was for a soaked berry oat breakfast bread. I have been trying to stay away from grains but some days can't seem to get full unless I have some grain. I have recently learned about soaking grains prior to cooking them from the Weston A. Price Foundation. Soaking reduces the phytic acid which increases the ability of your body to absorb the vitamins and minerals from the grain and reduces enzyme inhibitors which in turn makes the grains easier to digest. The first recipe I tried was a baked oatmeal from soaked grains which I enjoyed. So I looked for more soaked grain recipes. I have made this berry oat breakfast bread a few times now, but I altered it every time to my liking. When I saw the recipe, it reminded me of Entenmenn's cheese danish I used to eat when I was a kid, so I added a cream cheese mixture, among other changes. Here is my version:

Soaked Oat Breakfast Bread

4 cups freshly ground organic rolled oats, (I blended oats in a magic bullet)
2 cups raw sour milk
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp maple syrup

Mix the above in a large bowl. Cover and put in oven 12-24 hours to soak.

The next morning:

1/2 cup water
1 tsp himalayan salt
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup blueberries
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped
2 tbsp chia seeds
4 free range eggs

Cream Cheese filling:

4 oz cream cheese
3 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add the water, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla and maple syrup to the bowl of oats and mix. Beat the eggs and bananas together in another bowl. Add to oat mixture and mix until combined. Stir in the blueberries, chia seeds, and walnuts. Pour into 2 greased 8x8 or round casserole dishes.

In a separate bowl mix cream cheese and maple syrup. By the tablespoon full, drop this mixture into the dishes. There should be one dollop for each slice you plan on cutting. I put four dollops into each dish.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve with a tablespoon of butter on top.

8 servings

Monday, January 9, 2012

Natural Burn Remedy That Works - Aloe

I had dinner in the oven and was trying to get all the dishes done before the casserole was done cooking. I grabbed the saucepan off the stove to wash, not realizing it was still hot, and put my hand on the bottom. Owww! This was the worst I had ever burnt myself. I put a bag of frozen green beans on it but realized I had to do more because this was a really bad burn. My husband was on the computer so I asked him to look up what to put on a burn. He said aloe will work so he went outside and pulled some aloe off one of our aloe plants. Within minutes the burning had stopped. I kept re-applying the aloe until I went to bed and the next morning I was fine. No blisters. Two of my fingers were slightly red but no pain. Aloe really works for burns! Every cook should have an aloe plant in their backyard just for burns. Now that I have discovered this remedy, I will never have another burn scar on my hands again.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Without Borax and Citric Acid

I have been wanting to make my own laundry detergent for a while. I researched the ingredients needed and all the recipes included borax. I looked at our current detergent be Seventh Generation and it has borax in it so I assumed it was fine to use. I was going to order borax online when my husband asked me how safe it was to use. I checked its rating on the Skin Deep database and it is listed as a 5-6. It also says not to use on infant skin. So I did not order the borax and instead searched for recipes that did not include borax. I ordered the washing soda online because it was cheaper that way and I do not know where to get it locally.

I never got around to make the laundry detergent but we were out of dishwasher detergent so I found a recipe online. I had to look for a recipe without citric acid because I did not have any but I had lemon juice which I thought would do the same thing. I found a recipe for dishwasher detergent at The only change that I made was to use Seventh Generation dishwasher soap instead of castile soap.

Homemade Liquid Detergent Recipe

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup liquid dish soap
2 tablespoons pure lemon juice
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon washing soda

Combine all the ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan over medium heat. Mix until everything has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour into glass container. Shake before using. Fill dishwasher compartment and pour white vinegar into rinse compartment.

I have used this twice now and it cleans as good as my Seventh Generation dishwasher detergent did and this is so much cheaper!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Homemade Raw Milk Yogurt

I have made yogurt once before a few years ago with raw milk and it came out good. But I never made it again as I never had the time. My mother has always made her own yogurt since I was a kid. She always boiled the milk first. I have since learned that raw milk is more nutritious and boiling the milk kills the good and bad bacteria. We only buy raw milk now, at least until we have our own goats and cow. We had too much milk in the fridge so I decided to make some yogurt as I have been craving a yogurt smoothie.

I boiled some water and poured it into the mason jar I was going to use to sterilize it. Then I heated up the milk. I don't have a thermometer so I guessed the temperature. It was probably around 100 degrees. I was really just trying to get it a little warmed up. Then I put a heaping tablespoon of store bought yogurt. I used Stoneyfield Farms plain yogurt. I stirred it with a spoon, covered it, and put it in the oven with the light on overnight. In the morning I had beautiful yogurt. You could see the cream floated to the top. The yogurt tasted amazing and it was nice and thick, not watery at all.