Sunday, November 7, 2010

hands of love #12...

Through all of the challenges that this past year has brought into our life, one of the greatest benefits has been learning about foods and about nutrition in a way I (Amy) never even CARED about before. I used to go to a grocery store, look at the food, & just bought whatever was the cheapest at the time, as opposed to now buying what is the best for our bodies, even when the organic cucumber is $2.97... (grrrr....) This really has been life changing for our family. A year ago, my sister offered me some kind of kitchen gadget in which you could make homemade salad dressing, and I remember telling her, "I don't need that! Why would I make a salad dressing when I can just go buy a bottle of it?"

My. How times have changed. :)

Caroline, I hope that you not only see these pictures of food as evidences of MY deep love and commitment to you, but as evidences of God's AMAZING grace and transformation in your mommy's heart. He is guiding us each step of the way. Of that I am sure.

Prepared for you with hands of love...

A roasted chicken. (I never knew it was soooo easy to do. I also never knew how important it was to eat organic chicken until slight levels of arsenic(!) showed up in my daughter's bloodwork)

  • Take out the "bag" of stuff from inside the chicken's cavity. (I don't even know what that stuff is, but thankfully it's in a bag & I don't have to touch it or deal with it. Gross.)
  • Chop up a lemon into quarters. Chop up 1/2 an onion into quarters. Chop several cloves of garlic in half. Throw all of that into the cavity of the chicken with some sea salt, pepper, and any fresh or dried herb you want. (rosemary, basil, etc.)
  • Rub the entire outside of the chicken with extra virgin olive oil & put salt & pepper on the outside as well.
  • That's it! Put it on a pan into a 375 degree oven for about an hour & waa-lah! Comfort food.
(You can pull off any leftover pieces of chicken & use in another dish for later... curry, quesadillas, soup, salad, etc. Also save the bones to make some super nutritious homemade broth!)

Kale chips. (thanks for the idea, Ames!) They were surprisingly YUMMY-- crunchy & salty. Google "kale chip recipes" and you can figure out how to make 'em.

Steak tacos on corn tortillas.

Then we used the leftover steak on top of a delicious salad. Caroline, you gobbled this all up and asked for more!

And here's something HUGE I've learned lately. Apparently our bodies don't digest grains all that well....breads, pastas, etc. And they especially aren't digesting the grains that we are eating today in our American diet. (which are different from the grains used in past generations) I had no idea about any of this before, but all grains are covered in something called phytic acid which prevents good digestion. (It also binds to vitamins, too, so if you're like me & are taking your vitamins with your breakfast cereal, it probably isn't absorbing because the phytic acid in the cereal will soak it up first!) The way to break up that phytic acid is to soak your grains (oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat groats, millet, etc.) for several hours (usually 7 or overnight) and that releases the bond of the phytic acid from the grain you're eating. (the exception to this is rice b/c it doesn't have as much phytic acid as the others.) Soaking your grains also makes the enzymes in the grain come "alive" and begin sprouting, which not only makes the grain extremely easier to digest, but SO much better for your body to get some nutrition from it, too.

So this is wierd to most of you-- I get that. But hey- if it could possibly help any of you out there, I'm just gonna put myself out there and risk being labeled a freak. Here I've got a cup of quinoa soaking in a cup of warm, filtered water overnight. (here I was also soaking some raw nuts with salt water, as this soaking/sprouting stuff also applies to raw nuts--- after they've soaked, you put them in a warm oven at 150 degrees for 12 hours to make them dry & crispy. They'll keep in an airtight container for months.)

The next morning... take a look...

If you look close or click on this picture, you'll see my quinoa grains literally sprouted! (kinda wierd, but cool, isn't it?!) Then I drained and rinsed them under cold running water, and then cooked them just as I normally would on the stovetop. (they actually take a little less time to cook with this process) Now the food is working FOR you and is prepared like it would've been in generations past.

Soaking your grains isn't hard. It just requires planning. (which also never happened in my house before until all of this hit, so I understand...)

Here's another crazy one to try (if you dare), especially with your young kids to sneak in another veggie...

Flourless, Chocolate-less Peanut Butter Squash "Brownies"!! (Caroline calls this her "cake") :)

  • 1 cup of almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup cooked, pureed butternut squash or beets
  • nuts (optional)
Mix all ingredients. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

And is it any wonder why you, my sweet girl, are now showing quite the interest in cooking and serving your own food?? Really? Is this MY kid??? :) What can I say-- God is good.
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  1. Love your description of what's inside the chicken.

  2. Everything is so good. Amy, you do a great job! Caroline you are so blessed.
    Love y'all

  3. Yay for recipes! I'm going to try ALL of these!

  4. I wish my mom would make yummy kale chips for me!

    Amy this all looks wonderful, keep up the good work!