Saturday, October 29, 2011

0 Home made ketchup vs Heinz ketchup

Why make home made ketchup? Because store bought ketchup is filled with sugars. By making it from scratch you can adjust the amount of sugar in your ketchup, or use honey instead. And it couldn't be easier!  By the way, I just saw today that Heinz is introducing a ketchup made with balsamic vinegar you could use balsamic vinegar in the recipe below and be a trendsetter.
Home made ketchup
¼ c water
2 Tbl brown sugar
3 Tbl vinegar
1 Tbl garlic powder
1 c tomato paste
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients together and store in a resealable container.


Price for home made ketchup: 6 oz = .90 cents
Price for Heinz Ketchup: About .19 cents an ounce, 6 oz = $1.14

Ingredients for home made ketchup: Tomato paste, water, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, pepper

Ingredients for Heinz Ketchup: Tomato concentrate, vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder, natural flavoring

Time to prepare: Less than 5 minutes
Time to prepare: None

So you save about .25 cents for 5 minutes worth of work, you don't eat high fructose corn syrup and you can adjust the sugar and salt content yourself. You can add other flavors too, like onion powder, cinnamon, allspice, etc.

I always make my own cocktail sauce – because it's super easy and cheap to make! It costs about .90 cents to make and would cost you about $1.35 to buy the same amount. And you're not eating high fructose corn syrup, xanthan gum, soybean oil, potassium sorbate or sodium benzoate.

Cocktail Sauce
½ c ketchup
3 Tbl horseradish
4-5 drops of worcestershire sauce

Mix all ingredients together and store in a resealable container.

You can adjust hotness yourself, I like mine spicy!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

0 10 essential nutrients for better health and what food they're found in

We all know that we should probably consume more vitamins, and a lot of people take vitamin supplements or eat processed food with “added vitamins” but did you know that your body doesn't absorb synthetic vitamins as well as natural ones? And when you're eating that processed food with “added vitamins, added fiber, low-fat”.... whatever.... you're also consuming a lot of corn and soy by-products, added sugar, and added salt. Just eat natural whole foods... Below is a list of 10 essential nutrients, what they do for your body and the foods that they are found in naturally.

Vitamin D for healthy bones, lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke and aids in loosing weight by making the body feel full sooner.
- Spending time outdoors in the sun, eating salmon, mackerel, tuna fish, mushrooms, milk & eggs

Magnesium for lowering your risk of heart disease.
- Eating halibut, navy beans, artichokes, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mushrooms, tomatoes, tofu, broccoli, spinach, pomegranate

Vitamin B-12 is good for the brain, nervous system and blood production.
- Eating liver, raw oysters, raw clams, king crab, swiss cheese, raw egg, cow milk, lamb and salmon

Potassium helps your body use glucose for energy, lowers blood pressure, it's good for muscles, your heat and cognitive abilities.
- Eating artichokes, brussel sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kiwi, mushrooms, prunes, sweet potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, avocados, bananas, potatoes, pomegranate, broccoli, and oysters

Iodine is good for your thyroid gland and helps you burn calories.
- Eating eggs, kelp, oysters, milk and yogurt

Iron helps your body store oxygen and for oxygen and electron transport.
- Eating bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, tofu, pomegranate, oysters

Zinc is found in the brain, muscles, bones, kidneys and liver.
- Eating beans, nuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, spinach, lentils, pomegranate, king crab, oysters

Copper is for oxygen and electron transport
- Eating brazil nuts, molasses, sunflower seeds, green olives, avocados, mushrooms, pineapples, prunes, tomatoes,sweet potatoes, tofu, oysters

Calcium keeps bones strong, is used for neurotansmitter release, helps muscles contract and electrical conduction for the heart.
- Eating kelp, seaweed, almonds, sesame seeds, molasses, beans, figs, quinoa, amaranth, collard greens, okra, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, leeks, spinach, pomegranate, tofu, oysters

Selenium is used by the thryroid gland.
 - Eating nuts, eggs, mushrooms, spinach, tofu, oysters

Hmmm, how about making a quiche or a frittata... the ingredients in them contain most of those nutrients!

Salmon Frittata
6 eggs
2 Tbl milk
1 Tbl butter
¼ c mushrooms, sliced
1 c fresh spinach, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
4 oz smoked salmon, chopped
2 oz cream cheese or farmer's cheese, cubed
¼ c sweet potato, sliced very thin
1 tsp dill weed
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

In a large oven proof skillet, melt butter and saute scallions, mushroom, sweet potato and spinach for about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl whisk together eggs and milk. Add salmon, cheese, dill, salt and pepper, combine well. Pour into skillet. Cook until egg mixture begins to set. Put skillet under broiler for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into pie shaped wedges and serve from skillet, or turn frittata upside down and put on a serving plate whole. Serves 6

Nutritional Data for Salmon Frittata
Calories 431
Total Fat 30 g
    Saturated Fat 11 g
    Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 1048 mg
Sodium 736 mg
Total Carbohydrates 5 g
    Dietary Fiber 1 g
    Sugars 3 g
Protein 35 g
Vitamin A 55%
Vitamin C 5%
Calcium 16%
Iron 28%

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0 Pink Quinceanera Cakes, Three-Tier Pink Pearl Flower Quinceanera Cakes, Colorful Quinceanera Cake with Cupcakes, Unique Quinceanera Cake Decorating

After the Quinceanera and her family are doing all the hard work in front of her important day, you may still have problems just before. Maria Garcia This is a story about her family and Quinceanera. Thought they had done all right for a special order cake birthday cake. The family had spent time checking out a variety of designs can be made for them to bakeries. They are filling and tasted various kinds. Experience was a lot of fun. However, cost and how much was when it came down. They cost much everyone was surprised was more than expected.

Colorful Quinceanera Cake with CupcakesColorful Quinceanera Cake with Cupcakes

They are sitting in a bakery, they had to make a change to what was decided on. Bread, asked a lot how much budget for the cake. Is the time to begin negotiations between the bread and Garcia families. Affect the price of the cake back and forth about the details. Bakers, cake design more complex, higher cost, we recommend them. Baker, if you were to add fresh flowers or a cake to celebrate who they are, they are encouraged to save money. Said they do not work for them. So everybody was happy they came up with very elaborate designs. They signed an agreement to give a 50% deposit on the cake. They paid extra for cake bakers to provide a party on the day of the reception hall. They also agreed to pay the balance due one week before the celebration.

Quinceanera Cake IdeasQuinceanera Cake Ideas

Maria and her family are very busy one week prior to her quince celebration. Not only had those last minute to take care of their families came from out of town. Maria and her family were trying to track the receipt different vendors. Stress was established. They did not have things organized. Mary felt overwhelmed just like her mother and father. All Maria, what I was going to go wrong, you can consider. When we got to the reception hall after the Mass everyone is beautiful, Mrs. Garcia, looked around the reception hall to check things out. Everything seemed to be OK. Until she realized she did not see a beautiful birthday cake. Banquet manager of a cake she asked. Banquet manager, who has never said he delivered the cake. To make matters worse, Mrs. Garcia did not have a copy of the contract with her to call the bakery.

Three-Tier Pink Pearl Flower Quinceanera CakesThree-Tier Pink Pearl Flower Quinceanera Cakes

Garcia's family has been welcoming guests Instead, they were trying to straighten the problem. After getting the baker Mrs. Garcia on the phone, told her that they were trying to provide the cake, signing the name for a cake for someone did not. Therefore, the driver returned to the cake shop. Quinceanera cake was delivered to the end of time for a re-cut the cake and photography.

Unique Quinceanera Cake DecoratingUnique Quinceanera Cake Decorating

If you have performed the following families are able to avoid all stress.

1. Use a planner and organizer, the event continued all the paperwork in one place. They must have time and name of the person signing the contract for the delivery of the cake.

2. They must then call for help from someone you trust to have a copy of the contract with planners and all the necessary vendors for the day of the event.

Pink Quinceanera CakesPink Quinceanera Cakes

3. Written out in a few days before the day before the day of celebration events, including a list of all items required to follow-up review should have been given by helpers, schedule of events. This is a helper, check out the delivery of the cake, we had confirmed that there was no other no-show or other issues needed to care for. Helper, would have had all the necessary contact information for follow up if needed.

4. Including those responsible for each task is completed, check the event list must include all the details of all items required to follow up with representation at the event. By using this method, you can host and hostess to become Princess Quinceanera party in the sphere of her own family Quinceaneras.

More information about quinceanera

Sunday, October 23, 2011

0 Home made beef and macaroni vs Hamburger Helper Chili Macaroni

An American Stir Fry?...A Casserole?... What exactly is Hamburger Helper?...

A friend of mine, Danny, mentioned that he couldn't understand why people used Shake 'N Bake or Hamburger Helper – well I had to agree with him and it gave me the idea to do this article. I've never made Hamburger Helper in my life – and I'm not going to either... I'll just make my own dish that's similar and give you the ingredients to compare to Hamburger Helper.  

Just looking at all the different “flavors” of Hamburger Helper made me sick to my stomach – never mind the list of ingredients. Somehow a package of Hamburger Helper makes 5 servings, I can't figure that out so my recipe may give you a little more actual food and I think 4 realistic servings.

Beef and Macaroni
8 oz macaroni (get whole grain, if possible)
4 cups water
1 lb 85% lean (or better) ground beef
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (get low-sodium, remember to read the label - no “extra” ingredients)
1 Tbl parsley
2 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbl olive oil

In a medium pot, bring water to boil, add macaroni, turn down heat and cook for 12 minutes, drain. Heat oil in frying pan, add garlic and onion, saute for 1 minute, add beef, cook, stirring occasionally until brown. Add tomatoes, and spices. Cook for 5 minutes. Add macaroni, mix well, turn off heat, cover for 2 minutes, stir and serve.  

According to Betty Crocker – a serving size is 1 cup prepared. Somehow that's how they get 5 servings out of their meal. I think that this should make 8 - 1 cup servings, and more if you add vegetables to it.

Price of home made Beef and Macaroni: $1.80 + ground beef for 8 servings, 23 cents per serving
Price of Hamburger Helper Chili Macaroni: $2.19 + ground beef for 5 servings, 43 cents per serving

Ingredients in home made: Beef, macaroni, garlic, onion, tomato, parsley, chili powder,salt, olive oil

Ingredients in Hamburger Helper Chili Macaroni: Beef, macaroni, flour, cornstarch, sugar, salt, dried onion, dried chili pepper, dried tomato, paprika, monosodium glutamate, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, natural flavor, citric acid, spices, silicon dioxide, malic acid, monoglycerides, caramel color, yellow lakes 5 & 6 color, yellows 5 & 6 color, dried garlic, sunflower oil, gum arabic, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, yeast extract, nonfat milk, egg, soy flour.

Time to prepare home made Beef and Macaroni: About 15 minutes
Time to prepare Hamburger Helper Chili Macaroni: About 25 minutes

Well you may wonder why Hamburger Helper takes longer to cook – it's because you use only one pot, so you can't cook the macaroni while you're browning the meat. I don't know about you, but it doesn't take me 10 minutes to wash one pot. Really, processed foods aren't always quicker to cook – they just tell you it is! Also by making it from scratch, you save .20 cents per serving. You're also not eating all those unpronounceable ingredients and food colorings (and yes, there really were two different kinds of yellow 5 & 6).

Now, with this recipe I was just comparing to Hamburger Helper. If I actually made this meal (and I do make something similar) I would have added a green or red bell pepper, mushrooms, green beans and maybe a carrot. You could also add some yellow squash, zucchini or eggplant. You might even be able to hide some spinach in there.  If you like "cheesy" dishes you could add some grated parmesan or cheddar cheese.

Nutritional Data for Beef and Macaroni     Nutritional Data for Hamburger Helper Chili Mac
Calories 272                                                  Calories 270
Total Fat 12 g                                                Total Fat 12 g
    Saturated Fat 4 g                                            Saturated Fat 4 g
    Trans Fat 1 g                                                  Trans Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 38 mg                                         Cholesterol 55 mg
Sodium 133 mg                                             Sodium 590 mg
Total Carbohydrates 25 g                              Total Carbohydrates 22 g
    Dietary Fiber 2 g                                            Dietary Fiber 1 g
    Sugar 2 g                                                        Sugar 2 g
Protein 15 g                                                   Protein 20 g*
Vitamin A 8%                                                 Vitamin A 8%
Vitamin C 11%                                               Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 5%                                                   Calcium 2%
Iron 17%                                                         Iron 15%

* I don't know what kind of ground beef they think people are using that they are getting 5 g more protein, I suspect that most of the people that are buying hamburger helper are actually buying 70% lean - so in fact they are actually getting more fat and less protein than Betty Crocker's nutritional label states.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

0 Home made whole grain cereal

As I've mentioned before I usually have yogurt for breakfast, unless I have company and I make something like pancakes, or sometimes if the mood hits me I'll have cereal. Like everything else, processed cereals are really bad for you. Even the “healthy” ones have corn by-products, sugar and HFCS in them. So I make my own cereal by mixing whole grains, nuts and dried fruit from the bulk bins in the organic section of the supermarket. Sometimes I also add just a little bit of some organic flake cereal or some granola from the bins too – the organic cereals have sweeteners in them, so between them and the dried fruit, I don't have to add sugar to my cereal. The nice thing about this recipe, besides that it's good for you, is that you can pop it in the microwave for a minute or a minute and a half (after you've added milk) and you have a nice warm breakfast – believe it or not the winter mornings can be cold here in Arizona and I don't have central heat so a nice hot breakfast is especially enjoyable on a cold winter morning.

Home made whole grain cereal
1 c kasha (roasted buckwheat/groats)
2 c rolled oats
2 c rolled barley
2 c 9 grain (whole grain) cereal
2 c wheat flakes
½ c sunflower seeds
½ c chopped almonds
½ c pumpkin seeds
½ c dried raisins or cranberries (make sure there's no sugar added)

Mix together in a large resealable container. Serving size is 3/4 cup.

Nutritional Data for Whole Grain Cereal (this nutritional data uses sweetened cranberries, the program didn't have unsweetened as an option)
Calories 325
Total Fat 10 g
     Saturated Fat 1 g
     Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 g
Sodium 64 mg
Total Carbohydrates 50 g
     Dietary Fiber 10 g
     Sugars 3 g
Protein 12 g
Vitamin A 3%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 4%
Iron 36%

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

0 Delicious Halloween Birthday Cakes, Special Halloween Birthday Cakes, Halloween Birthday Cakes Pictures

When the birthday cake decorating, the most important thing is to note how many likes and dislikes. Decorative type, age and date of birth of people may be appropriate depending on the time of the year on. There are birthday cake decoration ideas for some great for all ages here. The first concept, which involves a theme based on the time on a birthday. One of the main ingredients needed to decorate all is food coloring. It can find any kind of white icing used to decorate and color you is easy. These are different for the holidays can give you inspiration to me, some cake decorating ideas that are used in the past is as follows.

Halloween Birthday Cakes PicturesHalloween Birthday Cakes Pictures

Easter-themed birthday cake: this kind of cake, it can use a bag of coconut for grass is easy to simulate. You need to be, put the desired amount of coconut in the Ziploc bag, just add a few drops of green food coloring. After shaking it, sprinkle on the cake. From here, you can add pastel M & Ms as some Easter eggs. If you can find what you are, it is also recommended that you add a picture of a small Easter bunny cake.

Halloween Birthday Cakes ImageHalloween Birthday Cakes Image

Halloween Birthday Cake: This includes many different kinds of candy like this cake. It is to you, some Oreo cookies, Gumiwamu some other parts are required, and a variety of candy. Using a dark layer of icing on the cake with Oreo cookies into the mixture and grind fine, and more. Add the worms and their sticky sprinkle it on top of the cake. This creates the eerie effect and taste delicious. If you need a more colorful cake you can also add a variety of small pieces of candy on the cake.

Picture of Halloween Birthday CakesPicture of Halloween Birthday Cakes

The second theme for a birthday cake decorating ideas are based on the interests that people have. For children it is a regular television character is a good idea. Since most of the cartoon character, drawing instead of doing it yourself, have a bakery that will make it easy. One example of a birthday cake with the theme here is as follows.

Special Halloween Birthday CakesSpecial Halloween Birthday Cakes

Ninja Turtle Birthday Cake: This cake is all you need is icing, and decoration tips, food coloring. Starting with some of the icing dyed bright green ninja turtle head outline. It should be about the same size as the cake. After explaining, please use the contour of the mask color of your choice. Enter the area of ​​the face and green icing, please use the white icing to draw a mouth. After this, please enter the mask in the color of your choice. Please use white icing to make eyes the next. Since this is a cartoon character, because it has already drawn in two dimensions, the shape should be simple.

Delicious Halloween Birthday CakesDelicious Halloween Birthday Cakes

Please note that can be used to decorate the birthday cake of any kind is always something of a theme. Figurines, candy and even a toy, you can give your cake to pop it that little extra something. Even if it is not known perfectly, the best part of the birthday cake, because you get to eat it and always, always fun with your decorations!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

0 You are what you eat and what you eat, eats too...

Commercial egg vs Free range egg
Whether this statement sounds confusing to you or not, it is a true statement – and especially important today. It's always been generally accepted that you are what you eat – the nutrients, vitamins, fats, sugars, etc. that you eat make you physically the way you are. Well, the same goes for the meat, milk grain, fruits and vegetables that you consume – if they get poor nutrients then when you consume them you consume poor nutrients.

It's a proven fact that chickens that are fed grain instead of greens, grasses and worms produce eggs that are lower in nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, and that cows that aren't fed grass and that are given low doses of antibiotics produce milk with discernible levels of antibiotics and a lower vitamin content. You can see the difference if you compare factory farmed egg yolks to eggs from chickens that were pasture raised – the yolks of the pastured eggs are significantly darker, almost orange in color.   And they taste so much better!

Soil that is artificially fertilized with chemicals is not as nutrient rich as soil that is fertilized with manure and compost, thereby producing plants that have less nutrients. In fact, the USDA has been keeping track of vitamin content in 43 different crops since the 1950's and have tracked a decline in nutrient content. Vitamin C has declined 20%, iron by 15%, riboflavin by 38% and calcium by 16%. So, for example, to get the same amount of iron that was in a 1940's apple, you would need to eat 3 apples today.

Why does our food have less nutrients today, even the “whole” non-processed foods? Because of factory farming methods in place today. Farms today feed animals grains instead of plants, because animals grow faster and produce more milk and eggs on a high-energy diet of grain. But some animals, such as cows, are ruminants and can't digest grains well so they are given antibiotics to keep them from getting sick on their feed. When animals grow too quickly and are given nutrient poor foods, they aren't as nutritious to us.

The same goes for the soils that grow our plants, soils that are chemically fertilized grow plants faster, giving them less time to accumulate nutrients. Also, because the plants are given easy access to nutrients, they develop shallow root systems, giving them less access to soil minerals. Biologically active soil also has a wider range of nutrients, and mycorrhizae, a soil fungus that trades plants minerals for sugar in their root systems.

So not only do you want to cut out processed foods, which have less nutritional value than whole foods, but you want to eat meat, milk, eggs and produce from farms that don't feed animals grains and use chemical fertilizers. Grow your own fruits and vegetables if you can, buy from your local farmers, farmers markets or organic from the supermarkets (if you can afford it).

I know it's getting late in the season for cucumbers, but I had promised to give this recipe to a reader, who was counting Weight Watcher points. I'm pretty sure you can eat as much of this as you want to, if I use rice vinegar then I usually don't add the sugar at all.

Pickled Cucumbers
2 medium size cucumbers, sliced thin (peeled if you want to, I usually don't)
1-2 Tbl salt
½ small onion, sliced thin
¼ tsp parsley
¼ cup vinegar (apple cider, wine or rice – they each add a different flavor to the dish)
¼ tsp sugar

Put sliced cucumbers into a large bowl, sprinkle layers with salt. Put another bowl on top, put a weight of some kind in the second bowl (I usually use a pot of water), let sit for an hour, drain liquid, rinse, drain again. Get as much water out of them as possible. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well and refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve cold. Serves 4

Nutritional Data for Pickled Cucumbers
Calories – 30
Total Fat – 0 g
Cholesterol – 0 g
Sodium – 28 mg
Total Carbohydrates – 7 g
     Dietary Fibers – 1 g
     Sugar – 3 g
Protein – 1 g
Vitamin A – 3%
Vitamin C – 8%
Calcium – 3%
Iron – 3%

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

0 Yummy Meatloaf...

I know a lot of people don't like meatloaf and I used to be one of them but a friend turned me on to this unique recipe. Try it, you'll be surprised how good it is. This delicious recipe comes from Ann Gittleman's book “The Fat Flush Plan”, it's very tasty and it a good way to incorporate spinach into a meal that kids (and adults) that don't like spinach won't notice!

This recipe makes one serving, so what I like to do is quadruple it – then you can either have a dinner party or freeze for leftovers. I use a baking pan that has 4 mini-loaf pans in it, so that each one comes out the same size.

Yummy Meatloaf
¼ lb ground meat
¼ c spinach, chopped
¼ c onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbl tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 400. Place the meat, spinach, onion, garlic, cayenne and parsley in the bowl of a food processor and blend (I just put it all into a bowl and mix well with my hands). Press into a mini loaf pan and glaze the top with the tomato sauce. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Serves 1

I just found a website that analyzes recipes and give nutritional data.  Now I'll start using it for all my recipe and comparison articles, I'll give information for calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, protein, vitamin A & C, calcium and iron. When I get time I'll go back and analyze some of the previous articles, when there's a comparison I'll give you nutritional data for home made vs. prepared as well.

Nutritional Data for Yummy Meatloaf
Calories - 267
Total Fat – 17 g
     Saturated Fat – 7 g
     Trans Fat – 1 g
Cholesterol – 76 mg
Sodium – 85 mg (using salt free tomato sauce)
Total Carbohydrates – 6 g
     Dietary Fiber – 1g
     Sugar – 2 g
Protein – 22 g
Vitamin A – 23%
Vitamin C – 20%
Calcium – 4%
Iron – 16%

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Friday, October 14, 2011

0 My dog Raider and Home Made Dog Food vs Beneful Beef Stew

Raider at 91 pounds
Raider at 65 Pounds
A few months ago my “new” dog, Raider, was diagnosed with diabetes and thyroid disease. I say “new” because she is relatively new to me, at the point in time when she was diagnosed I had only had her for about two months, she's actually about four years old.

Since I have a very tight budget I couldn't afford to buy “diabetic” dog food. I used to make my own dog food years ago (when I had a little more free time), as well as dog treats, so I thought I would go that route. To insure I didn't feed her anything that she shouldn't have I did some research online and found that the food recipes that I used in the past to make my dog's food was fine for a diabetic dog.

While doing this research I discovered that those expensive “diabetic” dog foods that the veterinarians want to sell you aren't all that good for diabetic dogs, they are high in carbs and often contain corn by-products. I also discovered that a lot of people think they are doing well for their diabetic dogs by making their own food but they are putting in too many high carb ingredients and their dog's glucose levels are still relatively high. I wish there was a way to reach those people, maybe one of them will read this article and revise their dog food recipe.

In just over 3 1/2 months of being on thyroid medication and home made dog food Raider lost 34 pounds (she now weighs 57 pounds), her mid day glucose level went from over 400 to 80 and her insulin shots went from 15 units twice a day to 3 units twice a day. It's really easy to make (as long as you have a food processor) and only takes about 20 minutes.

Home made dog food
½ c barley
1 c water
1 carrot
2 c cabbage*
1 zucchini*
1 yellow squash*
2 c green beans*
2 c broccoli*
3 lbs 85% lean (or better) ground beef
2 Tbl vegetable oil
1 c yogurt
3 Tbl flax seeds
3 Tbl sunflower seeds

*Amounts and vegetable type are approximate, you want to end up with about 7 cups of chopped vegetables to 6 cups of beef and about 1 ½ cup barley.

In a small pot over medium heat put the water and barley. Cook for about 20 minutes – watch that the pot doesn't boil over.

In a large pot brown the ground beef.

A little at a time chop all of the vegetables in the food processor – you don't want any of the pieces to be bigger than the size of a pea, but you don't want them chopped so small that they're liquified either. I usually try to do about 2 cups chopped each time.

When the beef and the barley are done cooking, mix them together, add the flax & sunflower seeds. Add the yogurt, stir, add the chopped veggies and mix well. Store in resealable containers. I usually store about 3 cups in each container. This recipe makes about 13-14 cups.

I know it sounds a little gross, but the idea is to simulate what a wild dog would eat if they killed an animal like a rabbit and ate it (with the exception that we cook the meat). The beef in our recipe is a substitute for the rabbit, the grain and vegetables being what would be in the rabbits stomach.

You can also use boneless chicken breasts or thighs, and organ meats like liver, kidneys and heart (but don't use them every week, eating too much organ meat is not good for the dog).  You can vary the vegetables to what's in season or on sale, some other vegetables/fruits you can use are spinach, turnip greens, acorn squash, brussels sprouts, pumpkin or an apple.  You can also add a hard boiled egg (or two) and you can use brown rice instead of barley.

If your dog is diabetic, don't decrease the ratio of vegetables/meat to barley and don't use more than one carrot.

Most people know not to feed dogs chocolate, but you also shouldn't give them grapes, onions, tomatoes, potatoes or raw garlic (it's fine to put a little garlic in with the meat and cook it).

If your dog is having a problem with loose bowels, try giving them a mixture of cooked (or canned) pumpkin or cooked acorn squash and yogurt – about 1 cup of pumpkin to ½ yogurt.  Give them about ½ cup of the mixture at a time. I add a squash or can of pumpkin to my regular recipe about once a month just for a little variety.

Raider (she's a pretty big dog) gets about 1 c of this food twice a day – that's it, nothing more. Well, if she wants or deserves a treat, I give her a frozen green bean, and she loves them! My other dogs get about 2 Tbl of this food on top of about ½ c of dry dog food twice a day, so that they don't feel left out. I originally wasn't going to do a comparison on this, but I'll compare it to a high end processed wet dog food instead of a diabetic dog food.

Price of home made dog food: About .77 cents per 6 oz cup, or .13 cents an ounce
Price of Beneful Beef Stew Prepared Meals: $2.39 per 10 oz., or .24 cents an ounce

Ingredients in home made dog food: Ground beef, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, yellow squash, zucchini, carrot, yogurt, barley, flax seed, water, vegetable oil

Ingredients in Beneful Beef Stew Prepared Meal: Water, beef, wheat gluten, liver, meat by-products, corn starch, peas, carrots, rice, pearled barley, artificial and natural flavors, salt, tricalcium phosphate, soy flour, potassium chloride, added color, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, calcium phosphate, choline chloride, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, vitamin A supplement, manganese sulfate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B-12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D-3 supplement, potassium iodide, folic acid, sodium selenite, biotin.

Time to prepare home made dog food: About 20-25 minutes
Time to prepare Beneful Beef Stew Prepared Meal: None

Okay, so Beneful is almost twice as expensive as home made! And it's got bad fillers in it that the company tries to make you think are good for your dog like, meat by-products and rice (assuming that it's white rice). As for vegetables, it has two of the vegetables with the most sugar content, peas and carrots (yes, I use 1 carrot in my food but that's not a lot in 13 cups of food). Maybe if they put some healthier vegetables, flax and sunflower seeds in they wouldn't need to add all of those vitamins... And why is there wheat gluten, cornstarch, salt and soy flour in there?

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

0 23 “super” fruits and vegetables to eat for good health...

We all know vegetables are good for us, yet we don't eat enough of them. Half of what you eat at any meal should be fruits or vegetables. Below is a list of fruits and vegetables that are highest in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – and how they can help your body. Eat as many of these, as often as you can.
When deciding on what vegetables you're going to have with a meal, if you are trying to keep a balanced diet and/or trying to lose weight, please, please, please do not consider peas or corn as a vegetable. While we consider them vegetables (as we do potatoes), they are not vegetables. Corn is a grain and peas are legumes, both are very high in sugar and starch, you really shouldn't eat them as your primary vegetables – is it any wonder that when you buy frozen or canned “mixed vegetables” these are the ones that they usually put together, along with carrots which are also high in sugar content? The processed food industry does not have your health in mind when they make products. Peas, corn and carrots are all good for you just don't eat them at the same time.  

Use carrots sparingly and in the case of corn and peas, remember to use them as your starch instead of potatoes, beans, pasta, or rice. Unless you are a vegetarian and then use them in combinations such as beans/corn, peas/rice or beans/rice as your protein.

I often hear people say they are trying to lose weight and they say that they had something like roast beef, mashed potatoes, corn and peas for dinner....WHAT?....Beef is higher in fat than chicken, pork or seafood! Potatoes, corn and peas are all starches! Mashed potatoes even have added fat (milk and butter)! And where's the fiber? Okay, next time try something like – baked chicken breast, baked sweet potato, steamed brussels sprouts and sliced tomatoes. Low fat, high fiber, one starch, lots of vitamins...

Apples: Contains polyphenols, flavonols, quercetin, catechins, anthocyanins, and vitamin C – helps level blood sugars, reduces the risk of allergies, heart attack, asthma, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, prostate and lung cancers.

Artichokes: Contains magnesium, potassium, flavonoids, polyphenols and vitamin C – helps build bones and muscles, cuts the risk of stroke and helps maintain the immune system.

Bananas: Contains tryptophan and potassium – calms nervousness, builds bones and boosts the immune system and helps the body metabolize protein.

Bing Cherries: Lowers the risk of tendinitis, bursitis, arthritis and gout.

Blueberries: Contains more antioxidants than any other fruit, vitamins C & E and maganese – helps fight cancer and heart disease, good for the immune system.

Bok Choy: Contains calcium, vitamins A & C, folic acid, iron, beta-carotine and potassium – lowers blood pressure, builds bones, good for muscles and nerves, helps reduce the risk of lung and bladder cancer and macular degeneration.

Broccoli: Contains calcium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, sulforaphane, vitamins A, C & K – good for bones & muscles, reduces your risk of cancer and reduces estrogen levels.

Brussels Sprouts: Contains calcium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, sulforaphane, vitamins A, C & K – good for bones & muscles, reduces your risk of cancer and reduces estrogen levels.

Cabbage: Contains calcium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, sulforaphane, vitamins A, C & K – good for bones & muscles, reduces your risk of cancer and reduces estrogen levels.

Cauliflower: Contains calcium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, sulforaphane, vitamins A, C & K – good for bones & muscles, reduces your risk of cancer and reduces estrogen levels.

Figs: Contains protein, potassium, manganese, antioxidants – helps support proper pH levels in the body, lowers insulin and blood sugar levels, helps fight diabetes and is good for the immune system.

Kale: Contains calcium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, sulforaphane, vitamins A, C & K – good for bones & muscles, reduces your risk of cancer and reduces estrogen levels.

Kiwi: Contains potassium, lutein, vitamin C – good for bones and lowering your risk of heart disease.

Leeks: Contains thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, folic acid, vitamin B – builds bones, helps keep arteries healthy, reduce prostate cancer, helps sexual functioning.

Mushrooms: Contains ergothioneine, B vitamins, vitamin D, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc, protein and magnesium – helps the immune system and reduces the risk of cancer.

Olive Oil: Contains monounsaturated fat, fatty acids, polyphenols – helps reduce inflammation.

Pineapples: Contains manganese, B vitamins, vitamin C, copper, antioxidants and enzymes – anti-inflammatory, protects against colon cancer, arthritis and macular degeneration.

Pomegranates: Contains B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, ellagitannins – reduces the risk of most cancers and helps fight prostate cancer.

Prunes: Contains vitamin A, potassium, copper and boron – builds bones and helps prevent osteoporosis

Spinach: Contains calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, beta-carotene, neoxanthin and vitamin K – helps build bones & muscles, protects the liver, helps ward off Alzheimer's and fights colon and prostate cancer.

Sweet Potatoes: Contains vitamins, A, C, B6, manganese, copper, iron, potassium, glutathione – helps counter the effects of second hand smoke, helps prevent diabetes, good for the immune system and helps protect against, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, liver disease, cystic fibrosis, cancer, heart attacks and strokes.  I often substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes as they have a lower glycemic index, are better for you and add a different flavor.

Tomatoes: Contains B vitamins, vitamins A, C & K, molybdenum, potassium, manganese, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, protein, lycopene – helps protect the immune system and degenerative diseases.

Tofu (while not technically a vegetable as it is made from soybeans which are legumes – I wanted to put them here since they are a super food): Contains protein, tryptophan, manganese, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, copper, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, amino acids and isoflavone – good for muscles.

Vegetable Soup
6 c vegetarian dashi stock(see Miso Soup – Sept 26)
4 c water
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
½ onion, chopped
½ bell pepper, chopped
½ c green beans, cut into 1/2” pieces
½ c spinach, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
2 Tbl wakame seaweed, chopped
4 shitake mushrooms, sliced (from making the stock)
4 white or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
½ block tofu, cubed
½ c lentils
½ c barley
2-3 slices ginger, or ½ tsp ginger powder
3 cloves garlic, crushed

Add all ingredients to a large pot and simmer for about 30 minutes. You may need to add more water. You also may want to add salt. I don't use a lot of salt when I cook, people can always add what they want to a meal when they eat it.

Substitute or add as many vegetables as you like – use this only as a guide. I just use whatever I have available. Serves about 6. Enjoy!

Nutritional Data for Vegetable Soup
Calories – 204
Total Fat – 3 g
     Saturated Fat – 0 g
     Trans Fat – 0 g
Cholesterol – 0 mg
Sodium – 47 mg
Total Carbohydrates – 34 g
     Dietary Fiber – 11 g
     Sugars – 4 g
Protein – 12 g
Vitamin A – 60%
Vitamin C – 47%
Calcium – 24%
Iron – 18%

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

0 Halloween Cake Ideas, Halloween Cakes Pictures, Halloween Cakes Ideas, Spooky Halloween Cake Ideas

Halloween Spooky CakesHalloween Spooky Cakes

Halloween make a delicious cake is easy. In fact, many will find recipes and scary Halloween cake for a great taste.Normally, yellow and black frosting, decorated in a special way by, you can turn a simple cake for Halloween cake. You'll find many great ideas for Halloween decorations online and offline recipe books and guidelines.

Halloween Cakes PicturesHalloween Cakes Pictures

One of the most popular Halloween cake, "spider web cake" is. Place on plate and frost with your favorite cupcake bake just for you. Halloween cupcakes using black licorice and weaving, ready to be offered a spider web services and frosting. Similarly, the "Vampire" and "Frankenstein," you can prepare the cake. "Uncanny" There are several websites that provide information on preparing the cake.

Halloween Cakes ImagesHalloween Cakes Images

One is not just a cake for Halloween, you must remember that the relaxation of the order of how they look because of its taste. This appearance must be unique. Single rule there is no need to be followed. One gives a unique look into the Halloween cake and innovative, but classic is that you need to look creepy cake. Some fun ideas for Halloween decorations for cakes, black licorice center with a stupid look like eyes spooky eyes made of marshmallows and raisins for eyeballs, worms, gumdrops along like a marshmallow is.

Halloween Cakes IdeasHalloween Cakes Ideas

There are several companies that provide ready-made Halloween cake. Some, after you buy it, the cake "paint" By providing a specific image can be, help you choose the creepiest cake. These cakes can also be ordered online.

Spooky Halloween Cake IdeasSpooky Halloween Cake Ideas

More information about halloween cake ideas

Monday, October 10, 2011

0 Home Made Cheese vs Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Okay, well it's not exactly like you're going to make cream cheese but it is cheese and the texture and taste is a lot like cream cheese. This recipe is really, really easy and it's really, really cheap. It's often called Farmer's Cheese. Again, just like the yogurt I use raw goat milk but you don't have to. I'm not sure whether or not you can do this with soy milk, or low fat milk – someone give it a try and let me know, ok?

Home made Farmer's Cheese
½ gallon milk
1/3 c vinegar
1 tsp salt

Heat milk in a large pot, stirring continually. When the milk reaches about 165 degrees (just before boiling), turn off the burner and add the vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes. You will see the curds and whey separate. Put a cheesecloth (doubled), a dish cloth/towel or other loosely woven cloth into a colander/strainer*. Ladle the curds into the cloth, when all of the curds are in the cloth, add salt and stir gently. Pinch the cloth together above the curds, tie a piece of string around the cloth just above the curds (it will look like a sack), put it into a bowl to drain, hang it in the refrigerator with the bowl below it to catch the excess whey as it drains out. Let it drain for at least 6 hours – remove the cloth and wrap the cheese in plastic wrap. Serve cold.

* You can put a bowl under the colander and save the whey to use in soup or bread.

Price for Home made Farmer's Cheese: $1.96 for about 12-14 oz
Price for Philadelphia Cream Cheese: $2.99 per 8 oz package, or about $5.23 for 14 oz

Ingredients: Milk, vinegar** and salt.

Ingredients Philadelphia Cream Cheese: Nonfat milk and milk fat, cheese culture, salt, xanthan and/or carob bean and/or guar gums.

** I believe that you pour off all of the vinegar since it just separates the milk into curds and whey – but in the interest of fair play I'm including it in the ingredients list.

Preparation time: About 15 minutes to bring the milk up to temperature, 10 minutes to sit, 5 minutes to ladle it off, 2 minutes to hang it up – approximately 30 minutes

Preparation time: None

So, a 30 minute investment in time saves you $3.27 – that's not too bad... You can add herbs or spices to the cheese when you're adding the salt if you want to. Some ideas of things you can add are: extra salt, oregano, basil, dill, garlic, chives, crushed red peppers, etc. Extra salt will make it taste a little more like feta, garlic & chives will make it taste more like boursin. Make one plain to make sure you've got it right and after that experiment...

You can also use it to make something like cottage cheese. Don't hang & drain it, just ladle the curds into the cloth, when you're through – don't tie it off and hang it - just pour it into a resealable container, add salt, stir and you have a cheese product that looks and tastes like cottage cheese.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

0 Fondue, it's not just for cheese...

Fondue is a fun and easy dinner. You can fondue meats and vegetables in oil or broth, instead of chunks of bread in cheese sauce. If you use broth, you can season it, add vegetables to it,add wine to it, etc. and have it as a soup after your done cooking the meat in it. This is a very versatile meal.

Cut up all meats (beef, chicken, pork or shrimp, etc.) and vegetables (mushrooms, squash, zucchini, asparagus, brussel sprouts, etc.) that you're going to cook into small pieces. Put them onto individual cooking forks and dip into the hot liquid in your fondue pot (Heat the liquid on the stove first, then put on the fondue burner to save time). You can also use sliced sausage or meatballs, or cut your meats into slices, put cut onions, garlic, spices, etc. on them and roll them up and cook them. When your meat or vegetables are done “cooking” remove them from the cooking forks (forks will be hot, so be careful) and dip them into different sauces. (Put sauces into individual small bowls for each person).

Serve with plates of sliced bread, cheeses, sliced fruits and vegetables, pickles, etc.  

Get creative with your dipping sauces – here are a few ideas...

Curry Sauce
8 oz cottage cheese
2 tsp curry powder
1 Tbl applesauce
saffron or turmeric

Mix all ingredients together, serve in individual bowls.

Ketchup Dip
6 oz ketchup
2 tsp paprika
2 Tbl sour cream
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp vinegar

Mix all ingredients together, serve in individual bowls.

Mustard Sauce
2 ½ oz mustard
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 c oil
2 tsp chopped parsley
12 capers

Mix mustard and lemon juice, beat gradually into oil, stir in parsley, add capers last. Serve in individual bowls.

Roquefort Sauce
5 oz Roquefort cheese
½ c oil
¼ c wine vinegar

Mash the cheese with a fork, mix with the oil to form a paste, add vinegar, season to taste with salt. Put into individual bowls and grind pepper on top.

Teriyaki Sauce
2 Tbl Soy Sauce
2 Tbl water
1 tsp Mirin or sherry
¼ tsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp ginger

Mix together, put into individual bowls.

You can also use dips such as guacamole, onion dip, salsa, etc.

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Friday, October 7, 2011

0 Unique Wedding Dessert Trends, Chocolate Cake Pops Cookie Pops, Chocolate Cake Pops With White Chocolate Drizzle

They are a unique husband and wife if something can be done with their wedding party to impress their guests are asking me all the time. One of the easiest way to do this, with both food and desserts and I about how to impress them, have something even better! There are many different ways can a dessert to impress your guests.

Chocolate Cake Pops Cookie PopsChocolate Cake Pops Cookie Pops

1. Macaroon
The latest trends, fashion and whether you want to cook, often starts in the big cities. New York and Paris, now dessert is all about the macaroons. It's chocolate ganache, butter cream or flavored like, flavorful, soft layers of holding something, rich and chewy candy with airy. Macaroons are the best combination of all of the trend - it is a lot of flavor, a little bite to it, but it is rare enough to special occasion desserts.

Chocolate Cake Pops With White Chocolate DrizzleChocolate Cake Pops With White Chocolate Drizzle

2. Ice Cream Float
It brings the inner child in all of your guests! Choose your favorite flavor of ice cream for everyone, even soda can be mixed with beer and wine! You mix and match options for so many, everyone will be happy.

Delicious Chocolate Cake PopsDelicious Chocolate Cake Pops

3. Strawberry injected
This is a very interesting twist on your typical bar strawberry! Guests are another liqueur (orange brandy, Baileys, Kahlua, Raspberry Vodka, etc.) then you can choose from, they are injected by syringe into strawberries are dipped in rich white and dark chocolate. To this end the already tasty treat, different choices of toppings to round off their goodies (nuts, coconut, sprinkles), you can choose from. Delicious!

4. Pop cake
Pop cake is the latest trendy and desserts around! Pop cake is covered with a coating of rich chocolate sticks and a little decadent cake on can be dressed up or down for any occasion.

Double Chocolate Cake PopsDouble Chocolate Cake Pops

5. Mochi Ice Cream
Many people have heard it, and desserts that the end will be talking about it is not for everyone! Mochi mochi ice cream is filled with ice cream (pounded rice sticks) made from sweets. Many flavors to choose from (strawberry and mango, green tea, chocolate, vanilla), this small your guests, you'll still love the refreshing treat.

Chocolate Cake Pops Picture

Many couples become it's dessert are choosing the option. From the traditional to have a cake instead, but some of the dessert table has been selected. The dessert table can be custom made with a specific theme that you'd think. Or not interested in the traditional cake for your wedding you want your wedding cake with 5 being spoken about what is okay to me whether it contains a "unique" dessert, dessert tray for your guests as well might be able to help incorporate the theme.
More information about chocolate cake pops

Thursday, October 6, 2011

0 The Quickest and Easiest Meals - Stir Frys!

Stir frys are the epitome of quick, easy to make food. Stir frys are some of my favorite meals and they don't have to be Asian inspired either. Although anyone that knows me, knows that I LOVE Asian food! There is so much versatility in stir frys – really, it's nearly endless... the vegetables that you can use, the sauces, the spices....Mmmm.

Another great thing about stir frys is that they makes it very easy to increase your vegetable consumption. One of the reasons (besides eating processed foods) that we're getting fat and sick in this country is because we don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. With stir frys you can just load them up with veggies, as a matter of fact depending on the veggies you use and what you eat with the stir fry with you don't even need to have meat in there (lowering your fat intake and raising your vitamin and fiber intake)! And you won't miss it either.

Since I do love Asian food so much, most of the time I do make stir frys that have more of an Asian flavor to them. However, last night I made a shrimp scampi type stir fry that was really good. When you decide to make a stir fry all you really have to do is look in the fridge and see what you've got, decide on a flavor you want to have and go for it!

You don't have to use oil when making a stir fry either, you can make it a healthier choice by using a vegetable or meat stock – make your own or if you buy one, be sure to choose a low sodium stock without a lot of extra ingredients.

First, I decide on what kind of flavor I want, sweet, salty, hot, garlicky, spicy, etc. Next, I usually start with either garlic or onions or both. Then I'll see if I have carrots, mushrooms, peppers, shelled edamame, squash, zucchini, green beans, snow peas, jicama, bean sprouts, broccoli, spinach, seaweed, etc. After that I'll try to decide if I want meat, seafood or tofu in it – you don't need to eat any of them either and you can still get enough protein just put it on top of quinoa or brown rice or add some black beans to your stir fry. Finally, I decide what kind of starch I want to have with it soba noodles, those delicious no carb shiratake noodles, white rice, brown rice or quinoa (notice that quinoa is both a complete protein source and a carb!) – and do I want to put it on top of those, or do I want them stirred in. If you add the noodles or rice to the stir fry, don't add it until you are nearly done (with the exception of the shirataki noodles which can go in at any time) - so that they don't overcook or disintegrate.  See, I told you the possibilities are nearly endless...

So, last nights stir fry - 

Shrimp & Garlic Stir Fry
8 large shrimp cut into thirds
4 cloves chopped garlic
½ c sliced onion
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 c shredded cabbage
2 carrots, sliced
6 broccoli florets, about ¾ cup or spinach
½ c shelled edamame
4 baby portabello mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl butter
soba noodles (buckwheat) - these are usually wrapped inside the package, use one wrapped portion

Cut up all the shrimp and veggies, set aside. Boil water in a medium size pot, add soba noodles, cook for about 8-10 minutes, drain and set aside. While the water is heating and the noodles are cooking, add oil, butter, garlic and onion to a large frying pan or wok, cook over low heat for about 2-3 minutes. When making stir fry, remember to stir all the ingredients often while cooking. Raise heat to about medium low, add bell peppers, carrots and broccoli, cook for about another minute. Add shrimp, cook for about another 3-4 minutes. Add edamame, mushrooms and cabbage, turn the heat up again to about medium to medium high, cook for about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the cooked noodles into the dish and turn off heat. Let sit about a minute and serve hot over noodles. Serves 2.

Nutritional Data for Shrimp & Garlic Stir Fry
Calories – 418
Total Fat – 22 g
     Saturated Fat – 6 g
     Trans Fat – 0 g
Cholesterol – 52 mg
Sodium – 370 mg
Total Carbohydrates – 45 g
     Dietary Fiber – 7 g
     Sugars – 10 g
Protein – 16 g
Vitamin A – 250%
Vitamin C – 217%
Calcium – 12%
Iron – 18%

Mmmm good and done in about 18 minutes, start to finish. Other sauce ideas besides butter/oil and garlic are: 1) soy, a little bit of brown sugar, fresh or dried ginger, mirin or sherry, 2) soy, water, hot sauce, fermented red pepper paste, or cayenne pepper, 3) just soy and water, 4) a little miso paste, water and vinegar, 5) olive oil, vinegar, garlic and oregano 6) olive oil, garlic, white wine. You can just stir fry your ingredients in oil or broth and about half way through add spices, you don't need to make a sauce.  You can also add different spices like cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, chili powder, curry powder, etc. Just try different things and see what you like!

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

0 25 spices, herbs and seeds/nuts that are especially good for your health

Did you know that some spices, herbs and nuts are high in antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory properties and can even raise your metabolism to help you loose weight? They can also help fight diabetes, lower cholesterol, fight macular degeneration and cancer. Try these spices, get creative and add them to your meals. Have a small handful of nuts as a mid morning or mid afternoon snack.

Allspice: An aromatic stimulant that helps to relieve indigestion and gas.

Almonds: Contains plant sterols, amino acids, vitamin E – lowers bad cholesterol, lowers blood sugar, bolsters testosterone levels, builds muscles and may help loose weight.

Brazil Nuts: Contains more than 100% recommended daily value of selenium. May help prevent, bone, prostate and breast cancer. Don't overdo these, a serving is 5-6 nuts – too much selenium is not a good thing.

Cashews: Contain iron and zinc. Helps prevent anemia, and promotes healthy immune system, vision and helps with memory loss.

Cayenne Pepper: Contains beta-carotene, capsaicin, vitamin A – helps stimulate the metabolism, acts as a natural blood thinner, helps release endorphins, helps the immune system, fights inflammation and may help fight prostate cancer.

Crushed Chili Peppers: Contains beta-carotene, capsaicin, vitamin A – helps stimulate the metabolism, acts as a natural blood thinner, helps release endorphins, helps the immune system, fights inflammation and may help fight prostate cancer.

Cinnamon: Rich in antioxidants – inhibits blood clotting and bacteria growth (bad breath), helps stabilize blood sugar, helps reduce cholesterol, is good for the immune system and can be used as an antidote for diarrhea and stomach upset.

Flax Seeds: Contains protein, alpha linolenic omega-3's – heart healthy and anti-inflammatory. You can sprinkle these on a salad, in your stir fry or put them in your pancake batter.

Garlic: Aids in digestion and relieve flatulence, can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. May also help treat diabetes.

Ginger: Contains gingerol – improves health and helps fight cancer, aids digestion (anti-nausea), reduces pain and is good for the immune system.

Green Tea: Contains the antioxidant EGCG, phytonutrients – helps reduce the risk of cancer, supports the health of good intestinal bacteria while prohibiting the growth of bad bacteria like, E.Coli, Clostridium and Salmonella and is good for the immune system.

Hazelnuts: High in monounsaturated fats, and vitamin E. Can improve cardiovascular health, help manage diabetes, prevent cataracts and macular degeneration, maintain healthy skin and reduce risk of dementia.

Horseradish: Is related to mustard and is also a digestive stimulant.

Macadamia: Lowers LDL, triglyceride and total cholesterol levels as well as blood pressure.

Mustard: Is a stimulant and can help with respiratory complaints.

Oregano: Contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any herb.

Paprika: Contains beta-carotene, capsaicin, vitamin A – helps stimulate the metabolism, acts as a natural blood thinner, helps release endorphins, helps the immune system, fights inflammation and may help fight prostate cancer.

Pecans: Helps lower LDL cholesterol and fights plaque build-up in your arteries.

Peppermint: Helps with digestion and gastric disorders, it also helps reduce tension and insomnia.

Pistachio: Rich in antioxidants, vitamins E & B6 and potassium. May help reduce respiratory stress and lung cancer. Helps build a healthy nervous system and muscles, can lift your mood and fortify your immune system.

Rosemary: Helps reduce inflammation and may help fight heart disease

Sunflower Seeds: Contains dietary fiber, vitamin E, B vitamins, copper, manganese, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, selenium, calcium and zinc – may help lower cholesterol.

Thyme: Contains antioxidants, and may help with respiratory problems.

Turmeric: Contains curcumin (a polyphenol) – anti-tumor, anti-arthritis, anti-inflammatory, helps with heart disease and also inhibits the growth of plaques associated with Alzheimer's.

Walnuts: Contains the most antioxidants of all nuts and the richest in omega-3 fatty acids. Helps fight cancer, heart disease and premature aging.

Party/Trail Mix – eat sparingly
1 ½ c Wheat Chex cereal
½ c almonds
½ c pecans
½ c walnuts
½ c hazelnuts
½ c brazil nuts, chopped
¼ c sunflower seeds
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp paprika
2 pinches of cayenne pepper
2 Tbl butter

Preheat oven to 400. Melt butter in a small sauce pan, stir in salt and spices. Toss dry ingredients in a large bowl, mix well, pour butter mixture over nut mixture, stir gently. Pour mixture onto a large baking sheet, bake for about 5 minutes. Let cool* and store in an airtight container. A serving would be about a ¼ cup – unless you're really hiking or doing heavy exercise.

*Once cooled, you can add raisins, dried cranberries or other dried fruit.

Nutritional Data for Party/Trail Mix
Calories – 163
Total Fat – 14 g
     Saturated Fat – 2 g
     Trans Fat – 0 g
Cholesterol – 4 mg
Sodium – 90 mg
Total Carbohydrates – 8 g
     Dietary Fiber – 3 g
     Sugars – 1 g
Protein – 4 g
Vitamin A – 2%
Vitamin C – 2%
Calcium – 4%
Iron – 13%

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

0 Listeria? Wires? E Coli? Foreign Materials? Salmonella? This is Food?

In the past 10 days there have been at least 9 food recalls, nearly one per day!  In your great-grandmother's day, things like Listeria and Salmonella in your whole fruits and vegetables, wires in your breadsticks or macaroni and cheese and E Coli in your ground beef, top round and beef tips just didn't happen. This is real and it's scary!

If your great-grandmother were alive today and walked into a supermarket she wouldn't recognize most of the food that she would see on the shelves. And even that food that she recognized such as fruits and vegetables are treated with pesticides, picked early, shipped around the world, treated with chemicals to ripen it and has very little flavor or nutritional value compared to the fruits and vegetables that she either grew or bought herself.

Forget about hounding your representatives about more safety inspections. Don't get me wrong, that would be great. But really, if you're going to hound them about anything let it be about ending these huge factory farms and food processors that are causing these problems to begin with. Not only are these people being irresponsible and killing us, but they get huge subsidies from our government to do it. Meanwhile the little farmer gets put out of business. This needs to change, the government needs to support the little guy, the sustainable farmer.

You might hear that organic, sustainable farming can't feed the masses. This is a lie told and spread by big business.  Average farmers using natural farming methods can produce just as much food as the big guys, and it's more nutritious too! Think about the HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of POUNDS of food that's thrown away because it's been recalled and may kill you! We also need to pressure the government to stop subsidizing soy and corn production, this is food that is grown to feed animals (animals that are not meant to eat that kind of food either), instead of people. Farmers need to grow food for people!

Remember that processed foods aren't good for you either, they contain too much sugar, salt and chemicals - even when they don't contain bacteria and metal fragments... They are typically high in fats and carbohydrates, and don't contain enough fruits and vegetables. Save money and save a life. Buy local, eat natural whole foods and cook your own meals.

Here's a list of recalled food from the last 10 days alone!

September 22 – Pepperidge Farms breadsticks – 13,000 cases – Metal Wires

September 23 - Carol's Cuts recalls fruit – part of the 4.5 million pieces of cantaloupe from Jensen Farms – Listeria

September 23 – Palo Duro Meat recalls ground beef – 40,000 pounds – E. Coli

September 26 – K Heeps recalls pureed pork products – 5,550 pounds – Metal Fragments

September 27 – Cargill Meat recalls ground turkey – 185,000 pounds – Salmonella

September 27 – Tyson Meat recalls ground beef – 131,300 pounds – E. Coli

September 30 – Manning Beef recalls whole and ground beef products – 80,000 pounds – E. Coli

September 30 – Kraft recalls shell macaroni and cheese products – 137,000 cases – Metal Wires

October 1 – Greencore recalls packaged salads because of tomatoes – 57 pounds – Salmonella

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

0 Home Made Brownies vs Betty Crocker Brownie Mix

I wasn't sure I was going to share any of my “secret” recipes, but this recipe is a favorite of lots of friends of mine, especially Gareth and since he shared his recipe for lettuce wraps, I'll spill the beans....on this one...  The secret to my brownie recipe is that I use 1 oz of unsweetened chocolate and 1 oz of semi-sweet chocolate, and also that I use butter.  Butter is a must if you want the taste and texture of my brownie recipe which is kind of like a dense floury fudge rather than a cake or cupcake texture.

Brownies are a quick and tasty treat – they only take a few minutes to mix up and bake within 30 minutes.

Brownie Recipe
½ c butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 1oz square semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 1oz square unsweetened (or bitter) baking chocolate
1 tsp vanilla
½ c flour
½ c chopped walnuts or pecans

Melt the chocolate squares in a microwaveable bowl (about 1 minute). Thoroughly cream butter and sugar, add eggs and beat well. Blend in melted chocolate, vanilla and flour. Add nuts to batter, pour into greased 8x8 pan. Bake for about 30 minutes at 320 degrees.

According to Betty Crocker, this recipe would make 16 servings.

Price for home made brownies: $3.05
Price for Betty Crocker Brownies: $3.95 for the mix, .16 cents for an egg, .05 cents for oil - $4.16 total

Ingredients in home made: Butter, sugar, eggs, chocolate, vanilla, flour walnuts

Ingredients in Betty Crocker: Sugar, flour, walnut pieces, cocoa processed with alkali, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, corn starch, salt, carob powder, artificial flavor, corn oil, BHT.

Time to prepare home made: About 5 minutes to mix and about 30 minutes to bake.
Time to prepare Betty Crocker: About 2 minutes to mix and 40 minutes to bake.

Okay, it's actually a few minutes quicker to make your own and you save $1.11 or if you add two eggs to the Betty Crocker mix instead of the one that it calls for, you save $1.27 and I think you'll agree the home made taste better. Also you're not consuming corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, artificial flavors or BHT!

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