3/24/14

Chocolate Raspberry Pancakes

Pancakes are a staple at my house each week. I have a certain daughter who will not eat much of anything. She saves up all her tummy space for pancake day when this 40 pound waif out-eats her 12 and 14 year old brothers. I think her record is 8. EIGHT!! And I do not make little silver dollar sized pancakes. I make thick fluffy man sized (or 40 pound waif sized) pancakes. The kids love them with chocolate chips, or with lemon zest and dried blueberries. But my favorite way to eat them is with chocolate and raspberries!


To make them, use this recipe of our favorite pancakes that keep you full for hours.

Place a 1/3 cup batter on a hot, buttered griddle. Quickly sprinkle on a few fresh or frozen raspberries and a touch of chocolate chips. These pancakes are very thick and are best cooked on a lower setting so they get done all the way through. Flip when the top is bubbly and cook until the batter is set.



They don't require much more, but I usually drizzle on a bit of pure maple syrup. So, are you a purist when it comes to pancakes? Or do you like to fancy them up? What is your favorite thing to add?
 
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3/22/14

Spring Fever

Has spring come to your neck of the woods yet? The weather keeps teasing us. The wind is not helping matters either. My four year old is so tired of winter. He looks out the window twice a week, sees the sun shining and asks,

"Can I turn the sprinklers on?"

Me: "Um, no!"

Him: "But the sun is shining." (sigh) "When is it going to be hot?"

The weather may not be cooperating, but life goes on at Happy Feet Farm. Some of those things are unpleasant, like disbudding goats, allergies and taxes. Most are wonderful like:

New baby bunnies.

 
Making "dirt angels" in the freshly tilled garden.



Watching baby goats play...

 
 

Planting seedlings in our jammies!

 
 
And cleaning up the yard!
 

 
I am just as excited about the upcoming warm weather as my little buddy. It brings more garden space for us this year, an aquaponics project that I will share soon, and time in the sunshine soaking in the Vitamin D! What are you looking forward to most about Spring?

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3/17/14

From Popcorn to Pickles: Living a Life Unprocessed

I am learning more and more every day about the importance of making your own food and avoiding processed garbage. The latest kick in the pants I needed came after reading this article about where "natural flavorings" come from. Poop is natural. Blood is natural. Snake venom is natural. So, natural flavorings can come from almost anyplace. I prefer to have them come from a real food source. The only way to guarantee that your food is free of beaver butt (you have to read the article to appreciate that) is to make it yourself. Here are a few recipes to get you started. Some are mine. Some have been graciously donated by other bloggers. My sincere thanks to them.  I hope these real food chefs will prove to you how easy and delicious and "natural flavoring free" unprocessed can be!

Make sure your seasonings are pure! No need to put imitations in your food. Here is a great recipe from the Curious Coconut your own pumpkin pie spice. Which is really good in chili by the way!

 DIY pumpkin pie spice recipe

Sugar abounds in granola and other energy bars, not to mention rancid soybean oils, and most taste like cardboard. Here is a 2 ingredient energy bar from It Takes Time made from nuts and fruit. Now that is natural flavoring!



Crackers are something we do not eat much around here anymore. Have you read the ingredients on a box of Wheat Thins? What is the point in eating those. They are like nothing! Try out this home made version from Melissa K. Norris.

Homemade crackers for less than $.50 Recipe at www.MelissaKNorris.com

Or maybe you are in need of a gluten free cracker. If that is the case, you may want to try these gluten free cheese crackers from Grassfed Mama. Look delicious, don't they!!



Crackers are not complete without soup! My most used non processed food at my house is these awesome cream soups with real, healthy ingredients. You can choose to make Cream of Chicken, Celery, or Mushroom. Or get creative with a vegetable stock. Delicious!



Or, if you want a more kid friendly soup, try this 15 min tomato basil soup! No excuses for eating soup from a can!!



Living a life unprocessed is so easy, even a kid can do it. Check out this video on home made guacamole from Well Fed Family.



Yogurt is the food I still buy most often from the grocery store. I don't know why exactly when it is just this easy. Check out this recipe from Paleo Diet Basics. I am doing the one with heavy cream soon!

Yogurt and Blueberries


The cucumbers are going in the garden very soon! Can't wait until fall to use this pickle recipe, also from Paleo Diet Basics.

Dill pickles

Microwave pop corn has got to be one of the greatest food abominations on the planet. And popping it on the stove top is easy breezy. Check out this recipe from This House of Joy! I would of course slather it in butter before inhaling as well!

Simple Stove-top Popcorn // This House of Joy

If microwave popping corn is an abomination, than Velveeta must be the spawn of he who must not be named. I have problems with fake cheese. I am so excited about this recipe from fellow Oklahoma blogger Christina at An Organic Wife.



Speaking of fake cheese, don't let the picture stop you, this is our favorite mac and cheese. My kids shun the box anymore. And why not, when this is so good and so easy! Maybe next time, I will try it with the home made Velveeta!




Does the need for an Oreo still plague anyone else? Well, no more. I love the idea that you can eat anything you want as long as you make it. Here is a wonderful recipe for that old fashioned cookie with none of the new fangled hydrogenated vegetable oil filling that is just plain poison. (Also from An Organic Wife) Which flavor will you try first? I am going for peanut butter!



Dressings are one thing I never, ever buy in a grocery store. I have yet to find even one that does not contain soybean oil. Yuck! No thanks. Here is my favorite Ranch Dressing. Add a little salsa and avocado for a delicious south of the border salad.



How many bagels do you buy a month? Did you know it is so easy to make your own? Try this bagel recipe from Natural Chow! Sure would be delicious to throw in a few dehydrated blueberries! I know what is for breakfast this week!

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Time to get rid of the box when making cake, and avoid that stuff they call frosting in a can too! Home made cakes are so tasty and so easy. Chocolate is of course my favorite and growing up, it was not a birthday at our house without one. Five Spot Green Living has shared the most delectable chocolate cake ever. And it is family night at my house, so let us eat cake!!

chocolate cake recipe

Well folks, I could go on and on and on. Hopefully this post has inspired you to cook outside the box. There are so many real food chefs out there who graciously share recipes and inspirations. Come back each Friday to read more inspiring real foods at our Real Food Friday link up. And if you are a blogger, share yours too!  So, which one are you going to try first?  I am off to make chocolate cake!!

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3/10/14

Simple Tomato Soup

One downside of avoiding meals from a box, can or drive-thru is what to make when you need dinner fast and have little energy. It is important to have a few recipes in mind for those busy or exhausting days. Or days when it is just too cold to move. Here is a simple recipe for a cold day. Fast, easy and delicious. No need to reach for a can of rancid soybean oil with "natural flavor," kick the can and make a tomato soup where you can control the ingredients. Of course, canning your own tomatoes, and sauce would be best.  But even if all you have on hand are canned tomatoes, at least you know that no thyroid killing soybean oil is in the mix.


15 Minute Tomato Basil Soup
1 15 oz can tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 6 oz can tomato paste
3 cloves garlic
1 T onion powder
1 T sugar (optional)
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp pepper
3-4 fresh basil leaves or 1 tsp dried basil

Throw all of it in a blender and let it whirl. Heat on the stove for 15 minutes, or put in a crock pot on low all day. Before serving, add 3 cups of milk, half and half or heavy cream to the soup. If your gut will allow it (and blessedly, mine will!), serve with toasted cheese sandwiches made with freshly baked whole wheat bread! (click for my recipe)

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3/3/14

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Quinoa

Ready for a hearty salad, bursting with flavor?  This one does not disappoint. It is sweet from the strawberries, tart from the apples, savory from the caramelized onion, and hearty from the quinoa. Finally it has a nice crunch from the pecans. Vitamin packed and absolutely delicious. For this recipe, I would suggest all organic produce as these in particular are highly sprayed with pesticides conventionally.


For the salad:
4 cups baby spinach
1 cup sliced strawberries
1  sweet onion, sliced
1  green apple, diced
1/2 cup raw pecans
1 cup quinoa
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup water
2 T butter

For the dressing:
Juice from 2 oranges (about 1/2 cup)
2 T fractionated coconut oil or olive oil
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 clove grated garlic
zest from one organic orange
1 T coconut sugar, honey, or coconut nectar (optional)
Whisk well to combine.

Assembly:

Slice the onion in thin strips. Add the butter to a fry pan and let the onions work out their wonderful sweet sugars for 20 min covered, on low. While the scent of frying onions are making everyone hungry, combine the the quinoa, coconut milk, and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low and let simmer for 12 min.

Add all the fruits veggies to a large bowl and toss. Add the onion and quinoa once they have cooled to room temp. Smother in the citrus lime dressing and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

 
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