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Friday, December 28, 2012

Dinner Recipes Simple and Flexible for Gluten and Dairy Free Families

So I am on a mission!  It has been on my heart to really dive deeply into my bag of tools and put together the best recipes that can be made gluten and dairy free, and that are flexible.  What do I mean by flexible?  I mean I can use them for dinner one night (and convert, if necessary, into something the children will eat) and then completely transform them into a new dinner later in the week.  One of the biggest objections I hear from people around being healthy is that it is expensive.  By choosing recipes that can be used in a variety of ways we can save so much time and money… and that makes any mommy happy.  I want to be the best steward of the money God has blessed me with, so this is a labor of love to create meal plans that can restore some peace of mind and help me save more so I can give more.  

Today I really feel I have stumbled upon one of those recipes.  This recipe comes out of The Healthy Edge Cookbook and is super easy and loaded with good stuff for the family.  Now moms, I strongly suggest getting a chopper that allows you to easily chop and dice vegetables, it will save you so much time.  I am speaking of a hand chopper that you just place the pepper on and then chop and it is done!  Now the best part isn’t the recipe, it is what you can do with it to make sure your whole family enjoys it!  Also, see below to learn how to turn this simple dinner, into multiple meals/ snacks throughout the week. I suggest making a double batch and freezing part of this so you can put it in a crock pot in a few weeks as an easy meal when you are feeling a little over loaded.  We need go to meals that are healthy, not just convenient.  

STEP #1:  Make Quick Southwestern Chili  
pg. 121 of The Healthy Edge Cookbook

What you'll need:
  • 1 lb organic, grass fed beef combined with 1 lb organic ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 3 cans low-sodium diced organic tomatoes* (14 oz each)
  • 1 can mild green chilies* (4-5 oz)
  • 1 organic green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 organic red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans low-sodium black beans* (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt 
  1.  In a medium or large stock pot, brown the ground turkey or gound beef with onions and garlic over medium-high heat
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir
  3. Bring mixture to just before boiling, cover and reduce heat to medium-low for 20 minutes
*Contact manufacture to ensure product is gluten-free

Step #2: Make Your Kids Love It!  Even the picky ones!

Do you have a toddler or a picky child that doesn’t like chunks of things?  Or maybe they just don’t like to look at onion and peppers and all that good stuff?  Here is a trick. 

Use a mini chopper to puree this up for young children to a very fine mixture that can easily be eaten, and to a texture that they will enjoy.

Secondly, I use the same mini chopper on the low setting by just pulsing it a few times until the vegetables are very small and it looks almost like a sloppy joe consistency.  I serve this to my 8 year old with some vegan cheese on top and she loves it!  She doesn’t like chunks of things but loves it this way (weird).  

 Now if they still do not like it you can puree it up more and serve over a gluten free spaghetti… it makes an amazing marinara sauce which is the second use I have for this recipe.

Step #3: Learn to Use the Flexibility of the Dish
Scramble eggs and add Quick Southwestern Chile to make an amazing filling for tortillas or seaweed wraps.  Add one egg per person. Perfect for lunch or dinner at the end of the week!
More ways to use include...
  •  Make a double patch and freeze half… pull out of freezer in a few weeks and pop in the crock pot on low to warm up throughout the day!
  •  Puree up and make a marinara sauce for spaghetti this week or freeze for later.
  • Add cumin and use a Vitamix or mini-chopper to make into taco meat and serve with corn tortillas and vegan cheese (I prefer Daiya brand)
  •  Serve leftovers on a bed of spinach with avocado and tomatoes for an adult lunch.
  •   Puree extra and keep for a week to feed toddlers a simple lunch… add a serving of fruit.
  •    Eat as leftover for lunch anytime!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

Anybody out there remember making cut-out sugar cookies when they were growing up?  Every year, my sisters and I looked forward to the day our mom would make her famous cut-out cookies. After they cooled down, the four of us would enjoy time together laughing and decorating them with colorful sprinkles and chocolate chips!  Oh the sugar buzz we would have going on that night!

Now that I have a family of my own, I want to start a tradition of my own.  But when I think about making these cookies I start to see my kids bouncing off the walls and I start to hear the constant begging to have just one more. No thank you!  

So on my search to find a "New Tradition" I found these Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments.  What a great idea!  With 4 inexpensive ingredients, you can follow the same steps as sugar cookies which means all the fun without the sugar high at the end!  And my favorite part, they fill the house with the wonderful aroma of Cinnamon.

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments


3/4 cup cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup warm applesauce
2 tablespoons of white glue


Step One: Mix all in a bowl. Knead to stiff dough. (I used my hands for this part to make sure that it was well blended.) If the cinnamon is not all mixed into the dough, add a little bit more applesauce until it is well blended and your dough has formed.
Step Two: Flatten the dough out with the palm of your hand and your fingers until 1/4 thick.  I then used my fingers to smooth out the surface of the dough.
Step Three:  Using cookie cutters, cut out your ornaments and then place on a piece of foil.
Step Four:  Make a whole at the top of the ornament.  I used a wooden shish kabob stick.  You can also use a straw or anything that is small and round.  Be sure to gently flip over and poke through the back side as well.
Step Five:  Leave to dry.  (Some sites that I looked at baked these in the oven on a very low temp but I just let mine air dry.)  Mine took a day and a half to dry.  I flipped them over ever eight hours or so.
Step Six:  Decorate!  Be creative!  We used glitter gel to decorate.  You can also use paint, glitter and glue, sequence, beads, whatever you like!  Once your decorations are dry, put a ribbon or piece of yarn through the hole at the top and enjoy these delicious smelling ornaments or give them away as gifts.

  I am going to let the kids put their name and the year on the back and we are going to attach them to our Christmas gifts this year.  Who doesn't like handmade gifts from the special children in their lives?  

This is such a good idea, not only for Christmas time, but ANY time!  I am going to make these in the shape of balloons for my daughters birthday party and set up all the decorating tools and let her and her friends make there own and take them home. What a way to incorporate health into the holiday without the kiddos even knowing it!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Teenagers Don't Want to Be Healthy?

It is amazing to see what our teenagers today are eating!  With pop and pizza available to them constantly it is no wonder that they choose to lead such unhealthy lifestyles and never think about how much better they could feel if they would make a few changes and incorporate some healthier choices into their daily habits!  While at my step-son's wrestling tournament this weekend, I looked around and while kids were waiting for their match to come up, they were snacking on Doritos and Skittles and washing it down with Mountain Dew! Wow.  If only they knew how good they could feel and how much more energy they could have.  Not just a twenty minute sugar buzz, but actual natural energy.

We would like to share with you, the journey of an amazing 17 year old who as most teenagers and adults do, struggled with a an addiction to unhealthy choices such as energy drinks, pizza and Starbucks.  At such a young age, Brooke realized her unhealthy lifestyle choices and decided to do something about it!  Please take a minute to read Brooke's Journey to a healthier lifestyle.

If you are interested in finding out more about The Healthy Edge Journey please contact support@getthehealthyedge.com or visit www.getthehealthyedge.com and join our online community for FREE for 14 days!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Breakfast Quinoa!

I came across this idea for Quinoa while looking for new breakfast ideas.  I get so tired of making the same things over and over again and this idea defiantly caught my eye, and I just had to try it.

I was a little nervous about it because my kids are not a big fan of Quinoa but decided to try it anyways.  I thought that by making it in a sweet way, they might forget, or not know that it was Quinoa.

Breakfast Quinoa


1/4 cup chopped raw almonds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup quinoa
2 cups organic milk or milk substitute of your choice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup raisins chopped (or a dried fruit of your choice such as dates or apricots)

  1. Toast the almonds in a skillet over medium heat until just golden, 3 to 5 minutes.  Set aside.
  2. Heat the cinnamon and quinoa together in a saucepan over medium heat until warmed through.  Add the milk to saucepan and stir.  Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover.  Allow to simmer for 15 minutes.  ( be sure to keep an eye on it at this stage.  I noticed mine wanted to boil over so I tipped the lid a tiny bit and this kept it under control.)
  3.  When done simmering, stir in the vanilla, honey, raisins and half of the almonds.   When serving, top with remaining almonds.

I was surprised at how the taste of this resembled oatmeal!  
My kids loved it and I enjoyed it as well.  
My son asked if I could cut up a banana for him 
to put in it and this made it even better!  

Hope you enjoy
Let us know what you think below.

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