Category Archives: Healthy Living

Daughter sick, Comfort food to the rescue

Yesterday, I received a call from the nurse at my daughter’s school. Her throat was sore and her stomach was feeling queasy. I told the nurse I’d be right there. That’s one of the benefits of working from home. It’s also a negative. I can literally work from anywhere.

Broccoli and cheese soup

Broccoli and cheese soup

My daughter is fond of broccoli and cheese soup and so I prepared that for her.

Kimchi eggrolls

Kimchi eggrolls

I also prepared eggrolls; vegan and chicken. Both versions were loaded with vegetables and also included homemade kimchi! My work and home life are still extremely busy; however, I’ll be making an effort to post more.

Salmon and string beans

This dish was prepared in less than 15 minutes and it was freshly prepared. Why would anyone choose processed food, when they could make freshly prepared healthy meals daily. This morning, I made salmon and string beans for my father.

Salmon and string beans

Salmon and string beans

Besides the fish and string beans, not too much was added to this dish. I knew the salmon was fresh and of course the string beans were also since they came from our garden.

Autumn Harvest 2015

About an hour ago, I decided to take a few outdoor photos so you can see what we view daily. The majority of the food we consume comes straight from our garden. Which means our produce is fresh and organic.

Gardening. Pumpkin. 10.21.15

Pumpkins harvested from the garden

 

A few days ago, I made a pumpkin curry. Currently, I have the seeds from that pumpkin drying in my Excalibur food dehydrator. I have no idea what I’ll make with this one? Perhaps a pumpkin pie or a pumpkin banana curry? We’ll see…

Gardening. Tomatoes. 10.21.15

Tomatoes, zucchini and habanero peppers

 

Today I’m canning. You are looking at some of the tomatoes that did not make it into my stockpot. I am canning marinara and pasta sauce.

Gardening. String Beans. 10.21.15

String beans

 

I love eating string beans raw or lightly sauteed in a skillet.

Gardening. Drying beans.10.21.15

Drying beans outdoors

I also love dry beans. I have an Excalibur food dehydrator; however, I’ve always preferred drying my beans outdoors. Afterwards, I shell the dried beans, set aside for storage, and prepare them (when needed) in my pressure cooker. I use the cooked beans in our meals.

Gardening. Sage. 10.21.15

Sage

 

We have an abundance of sage. I love its scent and enjoy adding it to a variety of dishes.

Gardening. Collards. 10.21.15

Collards

 

Here’s an up close and personal shot of one of our collard plants. Oh my they are so good. They make the perfect wrap and they are quite tasty in a stir fry.

Woods.10.21.15

Our woods. It’s a perfect place to hang out and reflect.

 

This is a picture of our woods. We live on four acres of land, about three acres is woods.

Is this a munchie post? It is in our household, since we mainly eat whole foods. Which simply means as close to the natural food source as possible. Because of that, I’m linking up to Midweek Munchies.

 

 

Pulled Jerk Chicken

Although my diet is mainly vegan, it does not stop me from preparing non vegan meals for those I love. Guess what? You don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan to eat healthy. In fact there are plenty folks within both of those groups that eat very unhealthy. You just need to make healthy choices. In our household, we eat mainly whole foods, which simply means as close to the natural food source as possible.

Pulled Chicken.10.18.15

Pulled jerk chicken

Earlier today, I made the above dish for my BF. I used a kitchen favorite, my BF’s 15 pound granite mortar and pestle (which I gifted to him) to grind up the variety of herbs and spices.

This afternoon, when I arrived home, my daughter asked if I would make eggrolls. She loves them and they are the perfect finger food.

Sunday lunch…

This past Sunday, I did not make it to church. I had every plans of being there, but… I had lunch to make for six people and by the time Sunday rolled around, I hadn’t made a thing and so,  a little after 10:00, you could find my daughter and me picking up the ingredients needed at Redner’s. I purchased beef, chicken breast, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, ginger, onions and garlic. I also purchased a variety of juices and back to the house we went where I spent the next 2.5 hours cooking.

I wish I could tell you that I took a photo of the food set out at the table. However, that didn’t happen. But, my daughter was thoughtful enough to take a few pictures, while I was preparing the food.

Sunday Lunch_1 Eggrolls 8.9.15

Eggrolls: Vegan and chicken

 

The above picture is the last food I made, eggrolls! These were appetizers. I don’t deep fry my eggrolls. I pan fry them. They aren’t as greasy and they are still flavorful. I made vegan and non-vegan versions.

Sunday Lunch_2 Potato Salad 8.9.15

Potato Salad

 

There was also potato salad. It was still warm, when it was placed on the table, so plenty of that stayed. Much to my daughter’s happiness. A few hours after being in the refrigerator, this was properly chilled. I had a spoonful and it tasted delicious. My daughter, helped herself to a large bowl. She seemed thrilled, when I mentioned that I had forgotten to give the BF some to take home with him.

 

And now on to the food you can’t really see. My daughter took all the pictures; however, I should have reminded her to take the covers off the food so what was made could be seen.

Sunday Lunch 3 Beef and Vegetables 8.9.15

What’s in there? Beef and vegetables!

 

Here’s a picture of some of the food that was on the table. The beef and vegetables (broccoli, carrots and other things I can’t remember) was the most popular food on the table. Not too much of that was left. I cooked the beef in my pressure cooker. According to the comments, this was extremely tender! Of course it was, it was made in the pressure cooker.

Sunday Lunch_4 Chicken Breast 8.9.15

What’s in there? Chicken, mushrooms, vegetables in a savory gravy.

 

Then there was this dish. It had chicken breast, mushrooms and other vegetables, spices and herbs.  It was pressure cooked also and then I made a gravy from the juice that the chicken breast produced while it was cooking in the pressure cooker.

 

 

Lunch and Breakfast: What’s on the menu?

My goodness is the time flying by. This past July 4th weekend, my daughter and I spent part of our weekend with the BF.

July 4th quotes

 

Naturally, I cooked meals. As I tell the BF, he’s fortunate that I enjoy cooking so much. For me, it’s a form of crafting. I don’t use recipes and I definitely am not measuring what I add to the dish. Often, I have no idea what I’m going to make but my heart and fingers usually guide my path.

I told the BF that I wanted to making “pulled chicken,” for my daughter and him. “Do you have barbecue sauce?,” He asked. I smiled and told him I did not need barbecue sauce and I also told him that a “pulled chicken dish,” did not automatically have to have that.

First I put the chicken breast in his pressure cooker so it would be nice and tender. While that was working I sauteed onions, squash and mushrooms in a skillet. To that dish I added herbs and spices that I ground in my granite mortar and pestle. Once everything was completed I shredded the chicken and added it to the vegetables. My daughter said she wanted cheese and so I added a tiny amount to the last few minutes of cooking.

Pulled Chicken_1 07.04.15

Pulled chicken sandwich and potato salad

 

Here’s the result. As you can see, I also made potato salad. It’s the first time my BF has tasted my potato salad and he raved at how good it truly was. Guess what? They both ate seconds… and thirds! Although I love potato salad, I have not made it in a while. Truth be told… I could simply feast on a huge bowl of potato salad, that’s how much I adore the dish. However, I did not do that and ate in moderation.

Breakfast Meal_1 07.04.15

Spicy eggs, bacon and a roll. The drink is freshly juiced carrot/lemon juice.

 

I also had a chance to make them breakfast as you can see in the above photo. My daughter loves her cheese and so I added a small amount to the eggs, along with mushrooms, broccoli and a few other vegetables, spices and herbs. They both raved over this dish also and when back for seconds. With full tummies they were content to lounge about for a bit before we all played Scattergories!

Birthday dinner: Baked ziti for us…

Garfield-happy-birthday-whenever-it-wasOf course, I did not forget my daughter’s birthday; however, I did not write about it here on her actual birth date.

This past Thursday, my daughter turned twelve. For lunch, I brought donuts for her sixth grade class. Her classmates were thrilled and even sang Happy Birthday to her, much to her embarrassment, although she was secretly pleased.

My birthday celebration for her (was held at home) was a small affair and my daughter was happy with that. The BF had plans of coming out on that day; however, he was stuck in a ton of traffic, that would have delayed him by at least an hour. We are an hour apart. He called (on his way to see us) and told me that he was going to surprise us (I figured he would) but had to turn around and head home because of the heavy traffic. It would have put him out our way about a few short hours before my daughter’s bedtime. He felt terrible.

But he made up for it the very next day…

He came to see us and brought gifts for the birthday princess. Art supplies for my daughter conveniently housed in a plastic storage container. My daughter was thrilled. He drove us to his place and he proceeded to make baked ziti for my daughter and me. I tried to assist, but he told me politely, but firmly to sit down and “let me make dinner for you for a change, ok.” I listened. It was my daughter’s second birthday dinner. She felt super special.

Pete baked ziti 5.23.15

The BF preparing the baked ziti for my daughter’s birthday

He did a wonderful job. I do think the sauce had meat in it, although there was plenty of pasta and veggies to make me happy.

Pete baked ziti_2 5.23.15

Placing the Ziti into the oven

Overall, I was thrilled with what he had done and it certainly was a healthy meal. My daughter must have liked it also, since she had more. She’s not vegetarian/vegan although she will happily consume whatever I put in front of her and be extremely happy. I’ve taught her well.

Dessert for the Birthday girl

A few hours later, we walked to Milo’s for ice cream. They have a stand at the back of the restaurant. My daughter loves ice cream and so she was thrilled! Milo’s is about a mile or so away from his home. The trek took us through the older part of New Market, which is lovely with it’s old buildings. My daughter was thrilled with everything that Mr. Pete did for her on her birthday. Did I say how much I love this man? Of course, I expect him to treat me well. I would not be with him if he didn’t; however, it’s the way he treats my daughter that has me impressed. Again, I would not be with him if he didn’t treat her well or include her in our outings. The fact that he loves her, makes it even better. Again, that’s not an option. We are a package deal after all. Bonus points is that she loves him too, although most times, she’s still to shy to tell him that. 😉

Daughter and me 5.23.15

The BF loves taking pictures of my daughter and me. Sighs… I really dislike having my picture taken.

I will admit, that it felt odd not cooking. I did not know what to do with myself, heh! But… I think I COULD get used to it now and again…

Hiya Hiya knitting needles

In other news…

I DID not finish my daughter’s knitted amigurumi in time for her birthday. In fact, I didn’t even start knitting it yet. The past few years, I’ve knitted an amigurumi toy for her birthday.  I decided to let her choose the type of amigirumi that she wants me to knit. She has and the design she chose means I needed to purchase additional yarn and a special type of “eye” for the knitted toy. Oh well, she’s not disappointed and is super excited that she’ll have another knitted stuffed animal.

Also, I made my first item for the BF. A knitted dishtowel. It’s made of super absorbent cotton. I forgot to take the picture, and so he promised me he would do that so I could post it here.