Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pumpkin Cornbread in Skillet

Pumpkin is not just for Halloween, Thanksgiving, & the Christmas Holidays, I use canned pumpkin all year round, I use it for Pumpkin Soup in my Vitamix, Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Pancakes, Pumpkin Overnight Oatmeal, my Pumpkin Cornbread, as well as using Pumpkin to act as a binder in baking to replace oil or butter and sometimes even to replace eggs in a recipe. I love all things Corn and just about anything with Pumpkin so this combines my love of both.

I do not have a Cast Iron Skillet because I have Arthritis, Neuropathy, Neuritis & Carpal Tunnel Issues with my hands, as well dropping items on a regular basis due to the decreasing strength in my hands. I make mine is non stick skillet that is oven safe to 400 Degrees. But if you have a Cast Iron Pan by all means use it.

Since I went Gluten Free again I mainly use Gluten Free Flours and Non Dairy Milks in my recipes. You can use regular Cow's Milk and flours with Gluten but you will need to alter the portions using less or more of the milks and any wheat containing flours as well as egg whites and main stream sweeteners like honey, sugar, or brown sugar because I do not use those.

One 12 Inch Cast Iron or Non-Stick Oven Safe Skillet
Lodge Logic Skillet - 12" - Lodge Logic (Google Affiliate Ad)
Non Stick Cooking Spray or A Seasoned Cast Iron Pan
1 Cup Cornmeal
1 Cup to 1 1/2 Cups Rice Flour or All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
1 TBSP Baking Powder
1/8 TSP Sea Salt
1/4 -1/2 Cup Splenda
1 TBSP Ground Cinnamon
1 15 Ounce Can of Organic Pumpkin Puree and not Pumpkin Pie Filling
3 Egg Whites
1 TBSP Vanilla
1 Cup of Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk

Add All Dry Items to Mixing Bowl & Mix
Add All Wet Items to a Second Mixing Bowl & Mix
Pour Wet Items over Dry & Mix Together

Preheat Oven to 400
Bake 20-25 Minutes or Until A Wooden Pick Inserted in Center Come Out Dry

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Carrot Ginger Paprika Soup

When I don't feel like baking vegetables for a while in the oven, sauting them, or steaming in the Microwave I just make soup in my Vitamix with vegetables. This is one of easiest ways to get Whole Food Nutrients and quickest ways to make soup that is Healthy, Low In Fat, Sodium Sugar, etc, because you control the amounts you are using.

One Vitamix
One Ten Inch Skillet
2 Cups Small Baby Carrots or Large Ones Cut in Quarters
1/4 Small Onion
4 Garlic Gloves
2 TBSP Canola Oil for Soup, extra for Sauteing
1/8 TSP Sea Salt
1 TSP Smoked Paprika
1/8 TSP Ginger Peoples Organic Ginger Syrup
1 Cup Organic Non GMO Unsweetened Soy Milk ( U Can Substitute Tofu)
2 Cups Very Low Sodium Chicken Broth

You can either chop all items in Vitamix and then Saute in Separate Pan or Saute And then Add to Vitamix
Heat 1 TBSP Oil on Medium High
Add in Vegtables Diced or Cubed and Seasonings, Cook until Soft
Add All Items to Vitamix
Turn Machine on Variable and Speed One
Quickly Increase Speed to 10, then setting to High
Blend 3-4 Minutes

Just Blended

Almost Done

In Bowl Ready to Eat

Balsamic Carrots

Being on a fixed budget and relaying on support for groceries from relatives and food pantries makes it almost impossible for me to buy many organic foods or even buy anything anymore at a Farmer's Market. Earthbound Farms was running a promotion on Facebook to get a free reusable shopping bag and to print some of there coupons for their Organic Products. For some reason the links were not working to allow me to get either. I sent them an email message through Facebook and they mailed me one of their free reusable bags as well as $25 dollars in coupons for there products. I used two of the coupons they mailed me to get 2 one pound bags of their baby cut carrots for free and I used their other coupons to get more free produce for myself.

One Large Jelly Roll Pan ( They have an edge instead of flat as in a baking sheet)
One Pound of Baby Cuts Rinsed And Dried
Balsamic Vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Freeze Dried Italian Seasoning Chilled Overnight In a Cruet
I used my Good Seasons Cruet Bottle And Measured to the Water Line With Baslamic Vinegar
then I poured my EVOO to about an inch below the Oil Marking on the Cruet, then added in 1 TBSP of my Freeze Dried Italian Herb Blend Seasoning, shook the mixture and then chilled overnight in my fridge.
I always use Lighthouse or Frontier Freeze Dried Seasonings.
one mixing bowl

Preheat Oven to 425
Take Dressing from Fridge shake it and then pour over carrots and coat evenly in a bowl
Place carrots on pan
Bake for about 25 minutes

Baked Ginger Cinnamon Acorn Squash

This month on October 1, 2012 when I went for my 1 time a month trip for me to the food pantry a local farmer had just delivered a pallet of farm fresh sweet potatoes and some boxes of acorn squash. This is a consumer's choice food pantry where you get a shopping cart and get to pick out what you want based on your family size, which for me is just 1. I am now going to have to start going to a few other pantries 1 time a month and get some other  items, then buy what I can with gift cards from transferring my $$$ Medicines from one Pharmacy to another. Then every few weeks I can get some fresh vegetables/fruits because that is what is in the budget when your reliant on someone else paying for your food costs. I had my SSDI hearing this past week and now I have to wait for the Judges decision, I sure hope that she agrees with my doctors after 5 years that I am disabled. I have never made acorn squash before because it is so expensive in Illinois, not sold very often in stores here, and I was always afraid I would not like the taste. After making this 1 time I can now say I really like the way I made this, although I do not know if I would like this in a restaurant?
I only took 2 of them even though there was no limit on how many I was allowed to take and I took 12 of the sweet potatoes. Now I wish I would have taken a lot more of them because they last for weeks just sitting in your storage bin,

I scrubbed/rinsed all the dirt from my two acorn squash and then I cleaned and rinsed them with my produce wash spray. I used the largest knife I had to slice each of them on a cutting board and it was not easy to cut them. Once they were finally cut I used a serrated spoon to clean all the seeds and membrane out of them. I am allergic to Dairy so I always use Vegan Butter but you can use regular and I do not use Brown Sugar, Maple Syrup, or Honey due to allergies as well,  but you can use one of these if you prefer to instead of the Ginger Syrup.

One 3 Quart Oblong Casserole Dish or other 3 Quart Size
Corningware French White 3-Qt. Oblong Casserole Dish (Google Affiliate Ad)
1/4-1/2 Cup Water for Water Bath in Casserole Dish
Two Acorn Squash that have been Cleaned/Disinfected, Seeded, & Cut in Half
1/8 to 1/4 TSP Ginger People;s Organic Syrup Put Into Each Acorn Squash
1 TSP Vegan Butter Put Into Each Acorn Squash
Cinnamon For Sprinkling on Top

Preheat Oven to 400
Pour Water Into Casserole Dish
Place Acorn Squash Into Water in Casserole Dish
1/8 to 1/4 TSP Ginger People Organic Ginger Syrup Put Into Each Acorn Squash
1 TSP Vegan Butter Put Into Each Acorn Squash

Cinnamon For Sprinkling on Top of each Acorn Squash
Bake for 1 Hour to And Hour 15 Minutes
Scoop and Enjoy

Ready to Bake

Ready to Serve

Close Up Ready To Eat

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Broccoli Slaw Fajitas

 I do not like Mayonnaise so I do not use that at all, I do not use Miracle Whip because that it is made with Dairy and I am allergic to Dairy. Broccoli Slaw has many more uses then just making Cole slaw for people with allergies like me. I have used Broccoli Slaw in soup, stri-frys, egg white skillet meals, sauces, & other fajita recipe.

12 Inch Non-Stick Skillet
Cuisinart Chef'S Classic 12-In. Nonstick Hard-Anodized Skillet (Google Affiliate Ad)
1 TBSP Canola Oil
1 Package of Broccoli Cole Slaw
1 - 2 Red Bell Pepper Sliced (Depends on theire Size)
1 Diced Onion
1 TBSP Minced Garlic
1 TBSP Ground Cumin
1 TBSP Ground Corriander
1 TBSP Onion Powder
1 TBSP Garlic Powder
1 TBSP Smoked Paprika
1 TBSP Lemon or Lime Peel
1/8 TSP Cayenne Powder

Heat Oil in Skillet on medium High Heat
Add in All Veggies & Seasonings
Cook Until Veggies Are Soft

Smoked Salmon Patties

Last month my local Walgreen's had Chicken of the Sea 14.75 Ounce Cans of All Natural Wild Caught Alaskan Pink Salmon on Sale for $2.49 when they normally sell for 2-3x this amount everywhere, I also had 5 coupons to save $1.00 off the 5 cans I bought and I had $25 Gift Card that I received after transferring an RX from Super Target, so my cost out of pocket was nothing to me. This is a lot of canned salmon for a single person like me to use. The easiest thing for me to make is salmon patties or to use salmon in a salad, in tacos, fajitas, etc.

12 Inch Nonstick Skillet
Cuisinart Chef'S Classic 12-In. Nonstick Stainless Steel Skillet (Google Affiliate Ad)
Large Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl
Bobby Flay Extra Large Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl (Google Affiliate Ad)
Small Bowl for Removing Salmon Bones
Slant Votive Small Bowl (Google Affiliate Ad)
One 14.75 Ounce Can All Natural Wild Caught Alaskan Pink Salmon
1 Cup Cornmeal
1 TBSP Onion Powder
1/2 TSP Garlic Powder
2 TBSP Lemon Peel
1 TBSP Freeze Dried Chives (Freezed Dried Taste Just Like Fresh)
Frontier Herb 28418 Freeze-Dried Chives (Google Affiliate Ad)
1 TBSP Freeze Dried Parsley
1 TBSP Smoked Paprika
1 TBSP Freeze Dried Dill
1 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar
1 TSP Minced Garlic
1 Diced Onion
3 Egg Whites
1 TBSP Canola Oil for Patty Mixture
Non Stick Cooking Spray for Skillet
1 Flat Spatula
OXO Silicone Flexible Turners (Google Affiliate Ad)

Empty your canned Salmon into a small bowl and remove as many bones from the Salmon as you can, as well removing the skin from the Salmon.
Now add the salmon into your large stainless steel mixing bowl
Add in everything and mix together with a fork or your hands

Heat Oil in Skillet on Medium High Heat
Form Salmon Patties the Size of A Small Lemon
Place 4 Patties in Heated Skillet
Cook on each side until browned 3-5 minutes
Flip using wide angled solid spatula

Top With Salsa, Guacamole or Tartar Sauce or any topping you like
Serve on Corn Tortilla, Bread, & A Bun, etc.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Beans Broccoli Brown Rice

Instead of Meatless Mondays I try to make any day of the week meatless to save money and to help my health and weight loss quest. Beans dried or canned are pretty cheap, healthy, loads of fiber, and other important nutrients. Usually I use dried beans and make a lot and then make numerous meals, this time I caught a sale of Goya Low Sodium Canned Beans and printed coupons from Goya.Com For Beans.

Large Bowl
1 14.5 Ounce Can of Low Sodium Black Beans Tripple Rinsed
Add to Bowl
16 Ounces Brown Rice Steamed
Add to Bowl
12 Ounces Frozen Chopped Broccoli Steamed And Drained
Add to Bowl
Mix Beans, Broccoli, & Brown Rice
Pour All Items Above Over Balsamic Beefstewmeat Meal Using the Recipe Below

Black Beans, Broccoli, Brown Rice
Added to Large Bowl And Mixed

Pour All Items Above Over
Balsamic Recipe

Balsamic Garlic Onion Beef Stewmeat Saute

Being on a tight budget requires me to be always creative in my cooking and use less expensive cuts of meat to make meals more & more. Many people just go for one type/cut of meat and make the same dish over & over, I enjoy variety and I like experimenting with flavors. A less expensive cut of meat may require a marinade to tenderize/infuse flavors into the meat for a few hours or overnight or longing cooking time in the form of braising, a slow cooker, or some other way. I don't find that many major differences in some cuts of meat and enjoy it just as much.

Super Target had a sale on Certified Angus Organic Beefstew Meat and a Target Coupon online and the item was on clearance because it had to be sold that day. I picked up a 1 pound package of Cubed Beefstew Meat for $1.00 and then froze it. Normally with Beefstew Meat I would braise it in my 5 Quart Stainless Steel Dutch Oven, but this time I decided to cook my Beefstew Meat quicker.

12 Inch Non Stick Skillet or Cast Iron
Cuisinart Chef's Classic 12-In. Stainless Steel Skillet (Google Affiliate Ad)
Lodge Logic Skillet - 12" - Lodge Logic (Google Affiliate Ad)
1 TBSP Canola Oil
1 Diced Onion
1 TBSP Minced Garlic
1/4 Cup Gluten Free Soy Sauce ( This link is just an example for GF Brands)
Bulk Savings 362316 Kari Out Low Sodium Soy Sauce Gluten Free- Case of 400 (Google Affiliate Ad)
1/8 TSP Sea Salt
1/4 TSP Ground Black Pepper
1/8 - 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

Meat Oil on Medium High Heat
Add in Everything and Cook Until Beef Stewmeat is Done to Your Liking
You Can Then Top Your Stewmeat Meal Over Rice or Noodles or Eat As Is.
I served this over a Rice, Bean & Broccoli Dish. I will link this to that recipe.

Almost Done

Green Onion Garlic Steak

In August when I still had my SNAP Benefits I found a $1.00 coupon for Laura's Lean Beef online and for the first time in 5 years I found Super Target having a sale on Laura's Lean Beef Steaks and Target had mailed me a coupon to save $4.00 off any fresh beef purchase.

A few summers ago Corningware came out with lighter weight casserole dishes in their classic French white design in various sizes, I found these on sale at my local Bed Bath & Beyond and bought some with my coupons & store credit. Dealing with Arthritis, Neuropathy and Fibromyalgia makes these much easier to use when I need to cook something.

Corningware French White 3 Quart Oval Casserole Dish (Mine is the Lightweight One)
1 TBSP Canola Oil
1/4 Cup Water 
2 Sirloin Steaks Room Temparature
5 Green Onions Cut Into Cubes
1/8 TSP Sea Salt
1 TPSP Minced Garlic
The Spice Hunter Salt Free Steak & Chop Grill & Broil Blend
1 TBSP Sesame Seeds

Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees
Add Water to Casserole Dish
Add 1/2 of Oil Amount to Dish
Spead Green Onions Over Bottom of Dish
Rub the 1/2 of the Oil Over Both Steaks
Mix Salt & Steak Blend Together & Rob Mixture Over Steaks
Spinkle Sesame Seeds & Garlic Over Both Steaks
Bake until Steak Reaches the way you like it done. (Rare, Medium, Medium Well, Well Done)

Ready to Bake

Ready to Eat

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Salmon Cabbage Fajitas

With my finances being very tight and my sometimes having to use a SNAP Card to get food or go to a Food Pantry, or Church to get food, it forces me to be really creative in order to still be able to eat & cook healthy food. The other thing that makes getting food from a Food Pantry or Church a Real Challenge is that they are stocked with Boxes, Packages, & Cans of Super Unhealthy Foods where 98% of the items contain Dairy, Gluten, MSG, Sodium Benzoate, Nitrates, Nitrites  all of which I am allergic to, along with ingredients I have no idea what it is. In September I went to one Food Pantry in my City for the 1st time which was better then most of the others I had been to back in 2011, this one is called a Consumers Choice Food Pantry in that you get a shopping cart with a box and get to pick out what you want, instead of getting stuck with some bags of stuff that you can't eat and then have to give away to someone else.

In September when I went to this one for my 1st time, I was very happy & surprised that I was able to get packages of Broccoli Cole Slaw, Packages of Alaskan Wild Caught Smoked Salmon, California Canned Diced Tomatoes, Capers, Shitake Mushrooms, Grass Fed Beef, Gluten Free Crackers, Organic Gluten Free Oats, Frozen Wild Caught Salmon, 9 Cans of Organic Pumpkin. I was able to make some super healthy meals for the last few weeks with the items from this Food Pantry Visit and the Items I had Stockpiled during June & August with my SNAP Card, gift cards, & massive coupons. The reason I am not on SNAP anymore is that Governor Quinn has changed the regulations for the State of Illinois. The State now requires a single person to participate in a program called Earnfaire which means you have to work for free the requisite amount of hours at minimum wage to pay back the State for giving you your SNAP Benefits, this practice is not required for Single Mothers, or any Families. So the bottom line is that a single person would have to work for 24.75 hours for free in order to receive any SNAP food benefits while those not single do not have to work at all, I find this practice discriminatory to a single person. If I was able to work I would not be applying for SNAP Benefits at all, or fighting for the last 5 years to receive Social Security Disability Benefits. My final hearing is next week October 10, 2012, I am praying that the 4th time is the charm!

One 12 Inch Skillet
One TBSP Canola Oil
One Package of Shredded Broccoli Cole Slaw ( Used this instead of Peppers)
One TSP Minced Garlic
4 Ounces Alaskan Wild Caught Smoked Salmon Sliced Into Cubes
One 14.5 Ounce Can of Diced Tomatoes
One-Two TSP Capers
One TBSP Cumin
One TBSP Ground Corriander
1/4 TSP Ground Black Pepper
One TSP Onion Powder

Heat Oil on Medium High Heat
Add in Everything & Saute Till Vegetables Are Soft

Salmon Sardine Tuna Tofu Saute

Despite my losing over 40lbs, taking a Statin since 2003, taking Salmon Oil Supplements, increasing my Vitamin D with Supplements, increasing my Omega 3 with Flaxseed and eating more fish,  my lipid & triglyceride levels have not been were they should be. My Chiropractic Neurologist recommended last year for me to start taking Plant Sterol Supplements 1-2x a day. I started 1x a day and my numbers did not improve enough so I upped my dose to 2x a day. He previously recommended for me to take Chromium Picolinate which I did from Sept. 2009-Jan. 2011, I did not notice it was doing much for me, so I stopped taking it, although I do not recall what I was taking the chromium for back then? Recently he recommended that I start taking it again and I did, my Sept 22 blood tests for my Lipids & Triglycerides were very good so I need to continue with all these supplements and eating even more fish high in Omega 3's. I did not associate my increase in triglyceride levels to my being off Chromium for a year and a half. A very quick way to get Omega 3's is with Wild caught canned tuna, salmon, & sardines. It is very easy to just open a can or a pouch and eat any of these fish plain as is, in a salad, saute, soup, egg meal, in a wrap, etc. The best part is that these go on sale very often and there are great coupons which allows me to have quality fish that is within my limited budget.

I have often heard that Spring Onions, Green Onions,& Scallions were the same thing. In attending a presentation by a World Famous Chicago Chef Charlie Trotter, I quickly learned they are not. Here are the differences!

So what do you call young onions? Spring onions, green onions, or scallions? Here we go!
Depending upon the maturity of the onion and where you live, you will pick up a bunch of young onions and say, “I’ll take these….”
Are they spring onions, green onions, or scallions?
Here are the differences:
Scallions. Scallions are the youngest or least mature of onions with very thin white bases no wider than their long, straight green stalks. Scallions offer no hint at the development of a bulb-like base. Pulled from the ground a scallion resembles a large chive. Scallions are very mild flavored. Both the white base and the green stalk of the scallion are easily eaten raw. You can slice or chop scallions and add them raw to green salads. You can also serve them on the raw vegetable tray or sprinkle them raw as a topping for sauces.
Scallions can be cooked whole or chopped, but they will require no more than a couple of minutes of cooking. (Sauté or pan steam them on low heat in butter or water.) Scallions can be used as a substitute for chives in many recipes. Scallions are sometimes called green onions or bunching onions, but for onion lovers and growers there is a difference. A green onion or bunching onion has gained the hint of a bulb with maturity; a scallion has not.
Green onions. Green onions have long, green, delicate stalks and small, very, very slender, white bulbs. The bulb of a green onion is slightly defined. Green onions come out of the ground early in their lives, usually in spring. They are mild tasting having not been alive long enough to gain much pungency. Green onions can be used sliced or chopped raw in greensalads or creamy salads like potato salad, pasta salads, or atop baked potatoes.
Green onions are sometimes called bunching onions. When onion seeds are planted densely they grow so close or bunched together that the bulbs have little chance of fully maturing and rounding out. Green onions are green onions in the United States; in England and Australia the green onion is also called a spring onion. Green onions are sometimes also called scallions. (But, now, you know there is a difference even if ever so slight.)
Spring onions. Spring onions have slightly rounded bulbs that are more defined and just a bit larger than the more slender green onions. Spring onions are the most pungent tasting of young onions with a bit more bite than green onions. Remember, most onions gain their sharp taste as they mature. Spring onions can be used raw or cooked. Because raw spring onions are pungent, taste to make sure their flavor does not overpower more delicate flavors. You can slice raw spring onions thinly onto green salads.
Cooked spring onions—usually sautéed—will be more delicately flavored as a result of the cooking process and are a good combination with other spring and summer vegetables. The spring onion is distinctly different than a green onion to many growers and onion lovers in the United States. In England and Australia, a spring onion and a green onion are most often considered the same bird.

One 12 Inch Skillet
1 TBSP Canola Oil
1 Diced Red Bell Pepper
4 Green Onions Diced (These are not the same as a Scallion or a Spring Onion)
1 TBSP Minced Garlic
1 Can of Wild Caught Boneless & Skinless Sardines in Water
2.5 Ounces Wild Caught Salmon from a Pouch or Can
2.5 Ounces Wild Caught Canned Light Tuna in Water
1 Box Frozen Chopped Spinach Steamed, Drained, & Patted Dry
One Container Nasoya Organic Cube super Firm Tofu Rinsed, Drained, or Other Brand
1-2 TBSP Capers
1/4 TSP Ground Black Pepper
1/8 TSP Sea Salt
A Few Splashes of Tabasco Chitpotle Sauce (Optional)
Juice of 1/2 of One Fresh Lemon When All Done

Heat Oil on Medium High in Skillet
Add in Peppers, Garlic, Green Onions
Cook Until Soft
Add in Everything Else and Cook for 3-5 Minutes to Blend Flavors
Squeeze Fresh Lemon Over Everything When Your Ready to Serve

Mussel Soup

With all the recalls lately due to people getting food poisoning, dying, and suffering kidney failure from eating Red Meat, Chicken, Cantelopes, Mangoes  Lettuce, etc, it makes one almost afraid to eat anything. The food today has become downright scary to eat, I do not recall 30 years ago so many outbreaks of people getting sick and dying from eating food. Now Consumer Reports has said that Brown Rice has to much Arsenic in it. Has Modern Consumerism contributed to this issue? Is it the loss of so many small family farms, or the take over by large commercial companies and there innovations with modern manufacturing and the additional chemicals, pesticides, etc.? Each side seems to have there own answers for the breakdowns. It appears, that we need to try to eat more local products, be vigilant with how we prepare and cook our food,  pay attention to where our products come from and eat foods with 5 ingredients or less.

1 Dutch Oven
1 TBSP Canola Oil
1 Diced Onion
1 Diced Red Pepper
1 TBSP Minced Garlic
1 Box (4 Cups) Very Low Sodium Chicken
1 Container of Nasoya Organic Firm Cubed Tofu Rinsed & Drained or other Brand
1 Box of Frozen Chopped Spinach Steamed, Drained & Patted Dry
8 Ounces of Steamed Brown Rice
1 2LB Package of Flash Frozen Mussels Steamed in Microwave And Then Removed From Shells

Heat Oil on Medium High
Add in Onion, Garlic, & Peppers
Cook Until Soft
Add in Everything Else and Cook For 5-10 Minutes To Blend Flavors