I had a different title for the blog, which was “The Goddess Has Arrived”. I decided to change the title because I got on my soapbox I was so mad. Funny, the definition of soapbox means: “A modern form of the soapbox is a blog or a website on which a user publishes one’s thoughts to whoever reads them.” Reference the entire definition here. Well, I have thoughts about The Eat Clean Diet that I wanted to share with anyone who is listening.
Anyway, back to the Goddess. I bet you are wondering exactly what the original title meants, or if I’m just that conceited. NO, I’m not (at least I don’t think so). What I’m referring to is this:
If you haven’t tried Annie’s Goddess Dressing, the ingredients include tahini and lemon with chives and parsley. It is fantastically yummy! I put it on a monster fresh salad that I made from homegrown kale and spinach, organic tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, grapes and goat cheese.
Monster Fresh Salad
Of course there was some homemade bread. I finally got around to trying the sandwich bread that I had made the other day, and I was not impressed. It was way to dense for my liking, and was missing the flavor of the French bread that I like to make.
With Goddess dressing. Mmmmmmm.
Today was a beautiful, awesome day in the ATL. The temperature hit 63*, and the family hung around outside enjoying the sun. The sun makes me happy! The sun can also make the sky look wondrous…
Beautiful Sky Scene
Of course there were chickens, and apparently I am the chicken lady because they follow me around the yard!
The Chicken Lady
Sean was trying to feed them kale from the garden…
One of the chickens was actually eating from his hand!
Fatty the kitty watched and has stopped attacking the chickens and scaring himself…
Fatty the kitten
Fatty is only 10 months old. He had a sister and brother, but they both met an early demise, as did the Mom. Fatty is a sweet kitty and loves lots of attention. He learned not to pounce on the chickens, because they scare him silly!
When I went out in the garden the other day, I was very surprised to see that my spinach had already grown again and needed to be harvested. I wanted to harvest some kale too, and my take was huge!
I love kale and spinach!
Hence the spinach and kale salads I’ve been eating lately. When I was at the store the other day, I picked up a monstrous bunch of collard greens. Being down south, you would think that I would know what to do with them, but they’re an anomaly to me. I plan on doing some research (I’ve noticed a lot of recipes contain bacon) and cook it up soon.
We ordered Chinese food for dinner one night, and I got Kung Pao Chicken and Miso Soup, (it wasn’t very good, I was thinking it would be more like the thai dish with the peanut sauce but not so much) plus this little diddy here:
This had some strange name but it was raw tuna, avocado, chives, black sesame seeds and a sweet sauce. This was the best tuna I have ever had! I hate when they drench the raw tuna in soy sauce. Ick. Plus I don’t need the sodium.
As you know, I’ve stated that I won’t be replacing my foods with organic and/or GMO free until I run out of the items that I already have. Well, I ran out of hot chocolate, and bought some new:
I really like NOW Foods. I have had lots of luck with them every time that I’ve bought them. You can check out the hot chocolate here.
So this week, I had a bit of a shock, and let me tell you why. On Facebook, I was following The Eat Clean Diet. Every once in a while, they post recipes. They had posted a recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies. This was posted on their Facebook page and their blog. The caption above the picture read: “A clean, sugar free version of this delicious cookie!”
The following were the ingredients:
1/2 c + 2 tbs (50g) oats
1/2 c (56g) almond flour
1/2 c baking stevia
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c (227g) greek yogurt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 c sugar free maple syrup
1/2 tsp butter extract, optional
1/3 c + 1 tbs (60g) raisins
Can you guess which ingredients I had an issue with? Now, I know that “clean” can be interpreted in many different ways. But the 3 ingredients, the “stevia baking blend”, “sugar free maple syrup” and the “butter extract” are nothing but chemicals.
In my infinite wisdom I decided to call them out on it. This is what I posted below the recipe on their Facebook page:
These aren’t clean! It irritates me when people think they’re eating clean and they’re really not. I explain WHY on my Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/fitandclean I’m surprised at The Eat Clean Diet. Shame on you!
Here is what happened: they have since REMOVED my post and blocked me from commenting! Because you know what? THEY KNOW I WAS RIGHT! Please share the word about my blog and page if you like it and feel that others would too. They’ve got 146k followers seeing some of their “unclean” recipes and just TAKING THEM AT THEIR WORD that the recipes are clean. I am actually furious about this.
(They didn’t even bother to reply!)
This is why I called them out on their ingredients:
The stevia baking blend: Only 30%-50% of maltodextrin is GMO free and the gums are sometimes questionable.
Sugar Free Maple Syrup can have a conglomeration of chemicals in it. (WATER, SORBITOL*, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: CELLULOSE GUM, SALT, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CARAMEL COLOR, XANTHAN GUM, SORBIC ACID AND SODIUM BENZOATE (PRESERVATIVES), ACESULFAME POTASSIUM (NON NUTRITIVE SWEETENER)*, SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE, PHOSPHORIC ACID, SUCRALOSE (NON NUTRITIVE SWEETENER)*.) ***There’s nothing maple about it!!
Butter Extract doesn’t have any butter in it…and contains water, artificial flavor, propylene glycol, and FD&C Yellow 5.
I’ll get off of my soapbox now. (I’m only allowed 1 per week.)
I named this blog post “Fall Granola Recipe” because it totally reminds me of fall…cinnamon, nutmeg… but this granola recipe is so good I could live on it indefinitely. That says something. I don’t say that very often.
Double batch this time!
It was sooo good, I haven’t been able to stop eating it since I made it.
The “after” picture
I added Craisins after it cooled instead of raisins. They added a lot to the flavor and texture.
Fit and Clean Fall Granola Recipe
Preheat oven to 300*
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup oat bran
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Craisins
Mix all dry ingredients together including spices in a large bowl, set aside. Simmer honey, maple syrup, water and vanilla extract just until bubbles form. Combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Spread in a single layer onto a baking pan (or 2). Bake for 30 minutes, stirring half way through cooking time.
Be sure to check out my updated page, “What is clean eating?” It has been re-written and updated!
This week hasn’t actually been a great eating week for me, personally. For someone not big on eating a ton of carbs, I’ve apparently been carbo-loading, because of the items I’ve been making homemade! Grrrr….sometimes it’s not easy and I’m sporting the weight gain to prove it.
Even with that said, the items that I cooked up this week that actually turned out (some turned out, some not so much) were really amazing.
Today we’re under a tornado warning here in Georgia. There’s some really nasty weather out there! I just saw a picture of a school where all of the kids were in the hallway, on their knees, facing the wall with their hands covering their heads. Hoping my kids are ok as they’re at 3 different schools in the area and they’re not near each other. Last week, we had the kids home from school on Friday for an “ice storm” that didn’t really happen, and this week tornado’s. So my question is, who pissed off Mother Nature??
This week I made another batch of homemade, organic yogurt and the result was yummy parfaits. I started with another fruit salad:
added homemade yogurt, granola and some honey:
So much better then Starbucks. Healthier, too!
I mentioned on my FaceBook page that my spinach was overgrown when I went out to see my garden.
I picked a huge bowl, and then ate all of it in 2 days, lol
Sauteed wilted spinach
Cooked with turkey bacon, garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. It was wonderful!
What made it even more wonderful then normal was the fact that I grew the spinach. It gives you a sense of satisfaction.
I also baked some rolls that resembled flat pancakes:
Flat pancake rolls
They tasted good, and the kids liked them, but they weren’t much of a sandwich roll! I’m ok with that, though, because it was my first attempt ever in making rolls! (My second attempt was successful, just in case you were wondering.)
Of course, I made some bread also, and managed to burn it because I decided multi-tasking was a good idea and didn’t hear the timer.
It doesn’t look terrible from the picture above, but when you flip it…
Really burned bottom of the boule
I did manage to make up some more pizza dough for the kids lunches this week that turned out.
Let’s talk green smoothies for a minute.
Mojito green smoothie
Mojito Green Smoothie Recipe
1 package of fresh mint leaves (usually found in the produce section of a grocery store)
2 good sized handfuls of spinach
8 oz. pineapple juice
1 bunch fresh kale
1 stalk celery
1 cup of ice (unless your banana is frozen, then you can omit the ice)
Blend until smooth.
Have a great day…next post is my new granola recipe! I could live on this recipe…it is that good!!
How are you all doing? I’ve been great. I’ve been cooking quite a bit…and everything this time around has actually turned out! This is very exciting for me.
As some of you know, I’m on a quest to incorporate GMO Free foods and Organic foods into my families diet and our pantry. So far so good.
I made banana bread for Sean:
This is just your basic banana bread recipe: flour, sugar, vanilla, banana, baking soda. Very simple and easy, and with ingredients that can be pronounced.
I made a colorful fruit salad and there was a huge bowl full (it’s gone now.) The boys and I devoured it within 3 days.
There was cantaloupe too but that is gone also.
I tried again at the bacon and egg cups…and made some modifications and they turned out great!
They still don’t look like that wonderful picture I showed you last week but it’s probably made out of plastic or something for food pictures. (They do some weird things when taking pictures of food.)
Here is is my recipe for the bacon and egg cups:
Fit and Clean Bacon and Egg Cup Recipe
12 slices of turkey bacon
cheese to top, or veggies (just set on top of the egg)
tin foil muffin cups.
Preheat oven to 350*
Taking a muffin pan, line each area with a tin foil baking cup. Situate the bacon around the out edge of the muffin cup. Crack the egg (whole egg or egg whites) and pour into the middle of the cup. Add salt and pepper, then top with toppings of your choice, cheese and/or veggies.
Bake for 20-30 minutes.
The kids loved these and, they keep in the fridge to reheat the following day(s) for breakfasts!
I don’t know if I mentioned my winter garden. Right at the end of fall (it was a little late but oh, well) we planted our winter garden. The weather is so mild in GA, (usually, this year it’s been very up and down…warm, then ice, then really cold…) Anyway, we planted cold weather seeds outside and they are finally growing!
Fresh garden spinach
My spinach looks like it needs to be harvested.
We also planted kale:
Farm fresh kale
The kale, unfortunately, isn’t doing as well as the spinach…it looks like it barely grew at all!
I had forgotten what this crop was until I saw these in the ground:
Thank goodness I saw these little buggers! I had totally forgotten that we planted radishes! These are looking like they need to be harvested shortly too.
There was also some romaine lettuce:
Farm fresh romaine lettuce
This crop of lettuce could use a little bit more growing time.
The other item that I made this week was frozen yogurt. My new ice cream machine came, I got it on sale because it was refurbished and it works like a charm. I made the yogurt homemade, then added cocoa powder, organic sugar and vanilla:
I added this to the frozen container that fits in the ice cream maker and it turned out perfect!
Chocolate frozen yogurt
I have to admit, that only Aidan and I liked it…Sophia didn’t (I think it was too tangy for her) and Sean isn’t big on chocolate. This is totally different flavored then ice cream. The yogurt that I make is very tangy, and then the sugar that is added when frozen makes it a bit sweet.
Do you remember the other day when I made homemade organic granola? I found that this granola isn’t only great for snacking, it’s also great for breakfast with some milk.
Granola for breakfast
I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday evening! :)F
Happy Wednesday! Hope you all are having a great week. To my surprise, we are supposed to get snow tomorrow in GA. Of course the grocery store was packed today with people stocking up with supplies. I think that’s funny, just because I’m from New York State and it snows there maybe 9 months out of the year, LOL.
This week I changed up the blog a bit. I changed the pictures, added my Amazon.com store, and reinstated my associate accounts. It had been a really long time since I made any changes, and I am enjoying them. I hope you all like them just as much.
This week I cooked some different recipes, some of which turned out, some of which didn’t, and some that were saved from major catastrophes. The vanilla frozen yogurt recipe was one that I saved from total catastrophe.
Fit and Clean Frozen Vanilla Yogurt
1 and 2/3 cups milk (I used whole organic milk, but any fat % will work)
1 cup granulated sugar (I used organic)
4 cups fat free yogurt (I used homemade, which wasn’t fat free)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Frozen vanilla yogurt ingredients
In a mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to combine the milk and sugar, then add the yogurt, heavy cream and vanilla and stir.
If using a ice cream maker: turn the machine on, pour mixture into the frozen bowl and mix until thick.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker: Pour into a container ( it needs to be large enought that you can easily scoop from it and can be put in the freezer) freeze. Take out of freezer an hour before serving…will have the consistency of a Wendy’s Frosty.
Frozen Vanilla Yogurt
Sophia didn’t like it (picky child!) but Sean and Aidan did so I consider this near catastrophe a complete success! Sean and Aidan had some that I managed to scrape out (I had no idea that it would be so solid) over fruit salad that I made a couple of days ago.
I wanted to show you how my second batch of yogurt turned out. Making yogurt was a learning process, but good thing I learned quickly! The first batch was runny and lumpy. It turns out that I didn’t ferment it long enough (10 hours instead of 6) and I didn’t let it cool long enough in the machine.
It turned out thick and wonderful…just like a Greek yogurt that you would buy at the store.
Homemade Greek yogurt
When I was on Facebook the other day, I saw this great little recipe that I wanted to make. My boys are big fans of eggs and bacon. 6:30 AM comes awful early, though, and there isn’t enough time for me to make eggs in the morning. This is the picture that I saw on Facebook which looked awesome: (I baked them at 350* for 20 minutes, but honestly I could have used a little less time.)
OK, so I went about making mine – my chickens have finally started some sporadic laying so I have fresh eggs…
I put the bacon and then the egg in muffin pans that I sprayed with organic canola oil:
Homemade Egg cups
I only had 4 slices of bacon (and they were pre-cooked) so I made a muffin pan of just egg too.
Muffin pan eggs
So let’s see…my egg cups didn’t exactly look as good as the ones in the original picture.
Fit and Clean egg cups
Getting these out of the pans was easy enough, but they weren’t pretty, lol.
A bunch of egg cups
It kind of makes me laugh…the differences in egg cups, hahaha!
Bacon and egg cups
What I learned from making these egg cups: as much as I sprayed the pans, even though the pans were non-stick also, egg sticks. It was a pain to get the egg off. I think it would work better in paper muffin cups and then baking them in the oven. I haven’t tried it though but it seems like a better idea. I would only bake them for 15 minutes, too.
I’m going to sign off for now, I’m currently studying for my Sports Nutrition certification. I’m really looking forward to this! I think having this will complement my Personal Trainer Certification and maybe open up some additional employment doors.
If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I’ve been talking a lot about GMO (genetically modified) Free food. It’s my new cause, and is very important.
Today’s post is not about GMO’s (that post will most likely happen this weekend), but more about how I am slowly switching to organic and GMO Free in my pantry and refrigerator. (Of course, I will have my usual rants and raves lol.)
I am not throwing away food (who can afford to do that) but as I run out of items, I plan on replacing them with organic. It’s more cost effective this way, I believe. Food is so expensive no matter where you buy it; and the prices keep increasing every year. I paid almost $6.00 a gallon for organic milk. I find that disturbing.
Two of my new purchases this week included organic flour:
Hodgson Mill Flour
I’ve been ordering a lot of my organics from Amazon.com, I think they are competitively priced (and some times cheaper because a lot of the foods are in bulk). This was a pack of 6 (2lb bags) for $21.00.
I also purchased organic apples:
as well as organic milk for the kids and yogurt…
Organic milk and yogurt
You can see that everything has the USDA Certified Organic label.
Anything with this label is supposed to be certified organic and GMO Free. Of course, you still need to look at the ingredients to see if everything is organic. (Nothing is easy when it comes from the government!)
I had a gift certificate to Williams-Sonoma (my favorite cooking store!!) so I decided to purchase a yogurt machine so we can make our own organic yogurt at home.
Cuisinart Yogurt Machine
To begin, you needed to measure out either 6 oz. of organic yogurt, or purchase starter cultures. I opted for the yogurt. Once you do this, out of each batch you hold 6 oz. back, and are able to reuse the starter indefinitely.
Oikos Organic 0% plain yogurt
(I swear there’s yogurt in the bowl…I didn’t realize that it wasn’t easily seen in the white bowl. )
Anyway, what you do is add the yogurt to 4 cups of organic milk, set the machine, and let it go. The setting I had it at was for 6 hours, (the recommended time) and then it goes into cooling mode and stays there until you turn it off.
It turned out kind of watery, but I plan on straining off the whey (using cheesecloth) to make it into the thickness of Greek yogurt.
Homemade yogurt in Weck jars
For dinner one night Sophia wanted ravioli so I bought some frozen (Celentano) and made that for dinner. I couldn’t find out if this brand is GMO free on the internet, and I just realized right now that on the ingredient list, it has modified corn starch. Also, I read last night that it’s possible that xanthan gum is potentially modified also. I’m fairly certain that it’s not GMO free. Companies are so sneaky…you almost need a chemistry degree to read the ingredients.
In the near future, I would love to get a pasta maker attachment for my Mom’s Kitchenaid stand mixer.
This was the ingredient list:
Grrrrr! Moving on (we all make mistakes…learn from mine.)
I bought one of the Kashi Certified GMO Free cereals…Cinnamon Harvest and it tastes great. The only issue I have is that it’s made by Kellogg, who is currently being boycotted by GMO Free USA. Which I found out yesterday. (I was on my computer a lot of the day ) I’m trying, that’s all I have to say.
Kashi GMO Free cereal
Something that I did make this week was Clean Eating Granola and it turned out fantastic, AND is preservative and GMO Free. (It is so easy to make, and a lot cheaper then buying at the store.)
I decided to replace the Goji Berries with raisins. Oh, and this will go great with the homemade yogurt!
The finished product after baking:
And, it looks very nice when put into Ball Jars. You could even give it as a gift for holidays!
Fit and Clean Clean Eating Granola Recipe (makes to large jars full)
4 cups regular oats
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup chopped slivered almonds (or nut of your choice)
1 Tablespoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup apple juice (I juiced my own but store bought is fine)
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cooking spray (I have a Misto sprayer that I used with the organic Canola Oil)
1/2 cup of dried fruit (raisins, apples, goji berries, etc)
Preheat oven to 300*
Mix together first 5 ingredients
In a small sauce pan, add apple juice, brown sugar, and honey. Stirring frequently, heat until sugar dissolves
Add the two mixtures together stirring to combine
Spray a large baking pan (or 2!) with cooking spray and bake at 300* for 10 minutes.
Stir every 10-15 minutes and cook until golden brown. Mine took 1 hour, but I should have used 2 pans. If 2 pans are used, I would say 20-25 minutes on average.
After baking stir in dried fruit.
The next post will be about my hockey-puck-like bread…but I will post a picture of the loaf that actually turned out and tasted GREAT. Recipe to come soon…
Homemade Organic Boule