Wednesday, April 13, 2011

hands of love #18...

Well, thanks to you, our sweet blog readers, after our last "hands of love" entry, we felt the love! It was so encouraging to hear from some of you who tried out & loved the recipes! woohoo! I know I'm NOWHERE near calling myself a "cook," but through our experiences last year, I've learned a few things about nutrition that have carried on even long after all of our "nutritional therapy" is over. (besides keeping hubby gluten free)

So your feedback helps me know there's at least a few of you out there that have been helped by these entries, and that gives me motivation to keep 'em coming!...

SO, made for my sweet family this week with hands of love... time to pick which one YOU'RE going to try.

First, a DELICIOUS gluten free taco salad. Instead of using a pre-packaged mexican seasoning on the beef with lots of extra preservatives, we used this easy recipe to make a homemade one. (it lasted for several meals, so just make it once & keep in a airtight container. Check it out. You know, I bet you already have the ingredients in your cabinet.) Just brown your beef, drain it, then throw a decent amount of this seasoning into the skillet. (to taste)

Then I layered:
Green lettuce
Organic blue corn tortilla chips (which are naturally gluten free and yummm)
Beef with the homemade mexican seasoning
mexican cheese
diced tomato
black beans
sour cream
fresh cilantro!!! (that's the key!! Come on-- it's only 69 cents at the grocery store for a whole bundle of it, so there's no excuse.)

Next, here's a way to make TWO meals in one and pack in the taste and nutrition. DO. THESE. THINGS. (I promise making this chicken & rice will become a regular in your house.)

1. Make this roasted chicken. (Don't be scared- you can do it! Easy as pie. One chicken will feed a small family like ours two meals, so you may want to do 2 chickens at once.) Serve with brown rice (see below) and a fresh, steamed veggie. Peel off the remainder of the pieces of chicken & put in a storage bag in the fridge. THEN,

2. Save all the bones from your chicken to make this extremely nutritious homemade chicken broth in the crockpot: (don't be put off that it looks a little gross)

In a crockpot, place the bones, fat, or any meat remaining on the bone.
Fill pot with water, enough to cover the bones and then some almost to the top.
Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (Braggs "with the mother" is the best kind if you can find it in your health food section of the grocery store or at a health food store.)
1 Tablespoons of sea salt.
Quarter an onion or two and throw in as well.
Toss in about 4-5 cloves of garlic and some celery heads or stalks, a few carrot tops or any veggie scraps available. (that's why it doesn't look all that pretty, but that's okay- you'll strain it out when it's done)
Cover the crock pot and cook on low about 6-8 hours.
Strain the liquid with a colander and put in freezer containers when cool.

One crockpot made about 5 quart-sized bags of broth to freeze! This broth can be used in soups, in other recipes, or you can heat it up and drink it warm when you feel sickness coming on.

3. So when you make rice, (brown rice is the best-- just regular rice, not instant) cook it with the homemade chicken broth from the freezer INSTEAD of water. Trust me! It tastes WAY better, is a TON more nutritious, and I think it even looks better. :) Always make double the amount of rice for another meal in the week...

In this case:

4. Chicken fried rice, using leftover rice and chicken. This was amazing! Make. it.

Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a large skillet (or wok). Add 2 cloves of garlic (minced) and two eggs (lightly beaten) and stir constantly until eggs are cooked. Add 4 cups of rice, your leftover chicken (cut up in pieces) 1 tomato (diced), some shredded carrots, some soy sauce to taste (a gluten free one for us!), 1 tsp. of sugar, and 1/2 tsp. of ground black pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 2-4 minutes to heat through. Sprinkle with green onions to serve. (or you can just cook them in the mixture like I did)

And last but not least-- looking for a super easy, yummy, comforting (and vegetarian) crockpot meal? Here's one that a friend of ours put together: Spinach penne rigate. Here's her recipe. Sooo easy. (We used gluten free penne noodles for our version, of course!)

Do YOU have any delicious, simple, & nutritious recipes for US to try? Send 'em our way.

Bon appetit!


  1. i love it! yes amy you are a cook! maybe you don't feel like a very experienced cook, but you ARE a cook! and i can't find apple cider vinegar w/the mother at my grocery store...i may need to head to whole all looks so yummy, i'm getting hungry reading your blog!

  2. I think you qualify as a cook and a good one too. Looking forward to eating some of those delicious meals. Love ya'll.