Top Menu

Author Archive | Ami

Shepherd’s Pie Baked Potatoes

Tonight on the menu in our house was shepherd’s pie. I always try to make dinner as easy as possible, but sometimes even that’s more effort than I feel like giving after a day of being a mom.. The idea of using a pan to cook the meat, two more to cook potatoes (we have to make sweet and regular potatoes in our house because everyone likes something different), and two pans to bake the pies (again for different potatoes) made me want to order a pizza.

Then I thought, “what if I just put the meat on top of a baked potato? Wouldn’t that taste the same?” The answer: YES! It does. I made the potatoes on one foil-lined pan that didn’t need to be washed. I didn’t have to wash a potato masher, and I didn’t have to wash the pans I’d have to use to bake the pies. I ended up washing one skillet. SUCCESS!

I used a lot of vegetables in this dish because I’m always trying to cram in more vegetables. This dish is a perfect way to add vegetables because once it all simmers in the sauce, your kids won’t even notice all the veggies. Mine didn’t!

I had to take a picture of this because it’s so beautiful! When they say, “eat all the colors of the rainbow everyday,” this is a great start.

I topped my husband’s and daughter’s servings with some grass-fed, grated cheese. My daughter hasn’t eaten dinner that fast in a long time. We cook our sweet potatoes using this method from empowered sustenance (click here for link). I always add a russet potato to the pan for my husband and it comes out just as perfectly as the sweet potatoes.


Continue Reading 0

Easy Salmon Bowls

I have a confession that may get me kicked out of the healthy community. I do not particularly enjoy eating fish. I am okay with white fish, but I don’t love salmon (one of the healthiest fish due to its higher fat content). Fish provides Omega-3 Fats, which help our heart and reduce overall inflammation. A word about buying fish. ALWAYS buy fish labeled “wild-caught.” This means the fish was taken from its natural habitat after eating its natural diet. “Farm-raised” fish was raised in large groups and fed using grain by-products. This makes farm-raised fish richer in Omega-6 fats which we already get way too much of in the standard American diet.

Because I realize how much I need fish in my diet, I’m always looking for a way I can eat salmon and enjoy it. One thing I do love is Asian food. I decided the best way to eat salmon was to give it some Asian flavor. These salmon bowls are DELICIOUS! They come together really fast and are easy to customize. I love meals like this because I don’t have to try to please everyone. I put out the toppings and everyone can just add what they like. These are also great for company for that exact reason. When I eat these bowls I can honestly say I love salmon.

If you’re going to use rice, start it cooking first.

Then start working on the salmon. I’m not willing to spend a lot of time cooking dinner so I love to cook fish in the oven. I don’t want to have to watch a pan. After it cooks, the salmon easily flakes away from the skin in bite-size pieces. If you REALLY don’t like salmon, you can make this with any fish. Shrimp would be DELICIOUS (a fish I actually do love to eat). Just remember to look for that “wild-caught” label.

 

While the salmon cooks, prep all your toppings. There is really no wrong way to do this. We use cucumber, carrot, red pepper, spinach, cilantro and avocado but if you want to use something different, go for it.

Then make the sauce. I love this sauce because it only requires one bowl and no cooking. Make and store extra for salad dressing. I like to use tahini, my husband likes peanut butter. Either is delicious. You can also use almond butter or really any nut butter you have on hand. Don’t go out and buy something if you have ingredients that work.

Now just build your bowl how you like it. I like to add a scoop of rice a huge handful of spinach, one whole flaked salmon fillet and then top it with my veggie strips. Then I just drizzle the whole thing with the sauce. My family members pick the veggies they like so there’s not complaining about not liking certain ingredients.

And that’s it! Dinner is ready! Enjoy your fish!!

Continue Reading 0

5 Ingredient Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding

We do dessert every Sunday night because it just makes life better. A few weeks ago I made some grain-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free cookies. They were DELICIOUS, but I wanted something more. I didn’t have much time so I decided to whip up some extremely easy, creamy, sweet chocolate peanut butter pudding. Dipping the cookies in the pudding was basically heaven!

It all starts with coconut cream. Coconut cream is the solid portion of canned coconut milk. Getting it is super simple. Just stick a can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge for a few hours (I usually stick mine in the night before). I really like to use the Thai Kitchen brand. I prefer the taste and consistency to other coconut milks. Then using a spoon, gently scoop the solid cream into a bowl. You’ll be left with a clear liquid. Save this for smoothies or to thin out your pudding a bit.

Coconut cream is so stable, you can add it the honey, cocoa powder and vanilla all at the same time.

Whip this up with a hand mixer and then add in the peanut butter. I call it good there. But this pudding is extremely thick. So thick this could even double for a frosting. If you like a thinner pudding, just keep whipping in the liquid from the coconut milk until you’re satisfied.

I highly recommend this with a cookie… or three…


Continue Reading 0

Gluten-Free Brownie Pudding Cake

When I was a kid, my mom would make brownie pudding cake on cold, wet days. It was so comforting topped with a big scoop of whipped cream that melted into the gooey chocolate. It really doesn’t get more comforting than that. One bowl of that and every problem would disappear. It was basically unicorn tears topped with whipped unicorn tears. Tears of joy that is. There’s no room for sadness here. Best. Thing. Ever.

A few weeks ago we got one of those miserable spring snow storms. Snow in winter is expected, but snow when I’ve spent the last week in skirts and flip flops? Not cool. I needed some warm gooey comfort. But I didn’t want the next day sugar/gluten hangover I get. So I set out to make a grain-free, low sugar version. I was so pleased with the results, the unicorns and I cried together.

This brownie pudding cake is super rich and dark. If you don’t like it that dark, up the sugar and down the cocoa powder. But I can’t image finding comfort from chocolate that isn’t dark chocolate. That’s just me though…

The reason this is so good is that it’s a moist rich cake with a gooey, smooth inside. I topped it with whipped coconut cream that melted into the warm cake just like the version from my childhood. It was so nostalgic I felt like putting on my rainbow bright leg warmers.

This cake comes together in three layers that all come together to make a gooey bowl of joy.

The cake layer:

The topping layer:

The boiling water which makes a crispy top and a gooey middle:

You can’t look at this without smiling.

 

Continue Reading 0
natural deodorant copy

Does Natural Deodorant Really Work?

About a year ago I decided I wanted to switch to an all-natural deodorant. I’d been reading a lot about the toxins contained in heavy metals and how they can affect our health and it kind of freaked me out. Since then, I’ve gone through 7 different natural deodorants. Lucky for all of you, I’ve […]

Continue Reading
Cage Free Chickens

The Truth About Egg Labels

I’ve always bought “cage-free” eggs. I was so proud picturing my eggs being laid by chickens roaming around a field of grass and flowers listening to Simon and Garfunkel. Then I learned that “cage-free” may not mean what I thought it meant. What about Organic? Free Range? Pasture Raised? What does it all mean?!

Continue Reading

Grain-Free Chicken Parmesan

My daughter has eczema. She comes by it honestly. She inherited it from me. I inherited it from my mom. My mom from her mom; her mom from her mom, etc, etc, etc. We may be able to trace this back to Eve. Two years ago I gave up grains because my joints are awful and I found a grain-free diet helped a lot. I also noticed that after over 30 years, my eczema cleared up significantly. YAY!!

So when my daughter was on the ground sobbing because her legs were bleeding I decided she should try to go gluten free. A month later, her legs looked completely different. I was shocked at the improvement. I think they’d clear up even more if she gave up dairy, but I want it to be her choice and she said she’d stick with giving up gluten for now.

The point is, with her dietary restrictions and mine, we’ve had to get creative. A few weeks ago she and I were watching The Pioneer Woman (one of our favorite bonding activities) and drooling over her chicken Parmesan. My daughter asked, “Can we please make that?!” I couldn’t let her down so we gave it a try. I wanted to make a grain-free but delicious version of this classic comfort food. We were all pleased with the results.

The process was similar to classic chicken Parmesan. The only difference was the mixture.

Rather than use bread crumbs, I made a mixture of almond flour, tapioca flour, Parmesan cheese and spices.

After I coated the chicken in eggs, I dipped it in the “breading” and fried it in a skillet with a little coconut oil. I used chicken thighs because I like them better than breasts, but use what works for you. The process is the same.

Here is where you have to make a decision. If you like your chicken Parmesan crispy, remove it from the skillet top it with hot marinara sauce and sprinkle the cheese on top.  If you want it softer, pour the marinara over the chicken and sprinkle the cheese on top while the chicken is still in the pan. Let this heat until the cheese melts.

My husband and daughter prefer this over gluten-free spaghetti noodles. I serve mine over a huge handful of spinach. The heat from the chicken wilts the spinach a bit but it gives it great flavor and crunch. Plus it’s a great way to add in some extra vegetables.

A word about marinara sauce. I’m happy to report that it’s becoming much easier to find a marinara sauce without sugar. But be sure to read your labels! The cheapest I’ve found is the Trader Joe’s brand that comes in a can. No sugar, low price and delicious. If you want to save even more money, make my No-Sugar Marinara Sauce.

Continue Reading 0