Cilantro & Lime Rice

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Today I’m sharing by mom’s secret to adding some zest to plain white rice.  Cilantro and lime go so well together and rice picks up the flavor nicely.  This is a great side for a Mexican cuisine and balances out the heavy tomato flavors of recipes for enchiladas and fajitas.  It doesn’t take any more time, and can turn a very basic staple into a pot-luck worthy dish.  On a side note, save those lime rinds to make citrus infused vinegar for a non-toxic household cleaner.  I hope you enjoy this dish as much as my family does!

Ingredients:

Rice – 4 cup cooked yield (I use Organic Basmati)

2 limes

Cilantro – a nice handful is fine

Sea Salt

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Prep:  Prepare your rice according to the directions, using sea salt rather than regular table salt really brings out the flavor of the dish.  Roll your limes firmly with the palm of your hand to get the juices going then slice into quarters.  Finely chop a handful (roughly a  ¼ cup) of cilantro.   Toss the limes and cilantro into the rice, after it is mixed well you will want to remove the limes (if they are left in too long, the rice can take on the bitter flavor of the rind).  Serve immediately.

If you like my recipes, please share them with your friends and follow me on Facebook! This post can be found on the following blog carnivals: Party Wave Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday,

Savory Stuffed Peppers

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These yummy stuffed peppers are a great way to add some variety to your meal plan without a bunch of extra work.  I love these because you can literally throw everything into the food processor, stuff the peppers, toss ‘em into a crock pot and forget them until dinner time.  The recipe that I made utilizes a pound of ground beef, and there is plenty to stuff 6 or 7 peppers.  My crock holds 5, and for a family of three that gives us dinner and a left over lunch for the hubby.  I did have some extra meat mixture left over; stay tuned to see what I did with that. I hope you enjoy this simple, flavorful recipe.  Feel free to make it your own and share how it turns out.  ~Carmen

Tools:

Food Processor or large bowl and knife for chopping

Ingredients:

½ cup basmati rice

6 oz. tomato paste

1 lb. ground beef

2 tsp. chili pepper

1 tsp. maple syrup

3 garlic cloves

¼ large white onions

1 egg

5 – 7 red peppers

1 tsp. sea salt

**All of these ingredients are uncooked, the rice will cook in the meat juices**

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Prep:

If you are using a food processor, toss the garlic cloves and onion in first to chop finely.  Next add your egg, tomato paste, maple syrup.  Lastly you mix in your ground beef and rice. If you are using a bowl and knife, finely chop your garlic and onion, whisk your egg and add it to the mixture.  Stir in tomato paste and maple syrup then add your rice and ground beef.  This step works well with your hands.

Once your mixture is prepared, cut the tops off of your peppers making sure that you cut off as little as possible.  I like to pull off the stems and keep the tops for “lids”, it just makes the dish look prettier I think.  Now you can stuff your peppers about ¾ full.  Leaving room at the top is important so that the rice can expand.

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Add your peppers to the crock pot along with a few tablespoons of water or beef bone broth if you have some on hand.  This will keep the peppers from sticking to your crock.  Set your crockpot on low if you want it to cook slower in about 7 hours or on high for 4 hours.  This dish is great with a side of sliced pineapple.

This post is linked to the following blog carnivals: Party Wave Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday,

Easy, Non-toxic Way To Scrub Pots & Pans

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Cooking real foods can sometimes result in real messes, especially where your pots and pans are concerned.  Here is a tip to get those stainless steel pans sparkly clean without harsh chemicals and cleaners.

You Need:

Dishcloth

Baking Soda

Castile Soap

Method:

Add a few teaspoons of baking soda directly to you pan along with a few drops of the castile soap.  Spread the mixture in the pan and let it sit for a few minutes.

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If you have lots of stuck on grime, you can leave this in your sink overnight.  Scrub the mixture in a circular motion then rinse with water.

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It’s that simple!  ~Carmen

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2 Step Applesauce

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Last weekend while my family and I were enjoying time at the lake, my mom discovered an apple tree on the property that we have been spending weekends on.  There were literally tons of ripe apples on the tree and of course that made us super excited.  We shook the tree, gathered apples and set out to make applesauce.  Since we weren’t prepared for making applesauce, we didn’t have any spices or sugar on hand but we did have some local peach preserves sweetened with grape juice so that served as our sweetener.  The results were excellent, and quite honestly the apples were so sweet already that the sauce was just fine unsweetened as well.  This post is dedicated to our apple find, and to easy peasy applesauce.  Enjoy! ~Carmen

Prep:

Wash your apples and slice thinly.  Don’t be afraid to leave the skin on, it adds some texture and the skins are a powerhouse of nutrients.  Add to a pan with a pinch of salt (not necessary if you don’t have it on hand).

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As the apples cook, they will begin to get soft and turn to sauce.  Gently stir and break up the mixture (I like mine chunky).  Give it a taste test and once the texture is to your preference, you are done.  At this point you can mix in whatever spices or sweetener you have on hand.  Voila!  Homemade applesauce in about 30 minutes.

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Chicken No-Pasta Salad

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Prior to my learning about eating healthier and ditching gluten for a more primal style diet. One of my absolute favorite dishes was pasta salad. My go-to in a pinch was, brace yourself, Suddenly Salad. I loved both the Italian and the Bacon & Ranch variety. Yup, I would throw in some canned chicken and chow down.  These days I know better than to even walk down the “dinner” isle at the grocery store because there is just nothing there to eat.

We spent our last weekend glamping at a lake in Eastern Washington and I was really missing some of the faves that I used to bring along. I made a mental note to myself to try and find some healthy alternatives.  Fast forward to today: As I was pondering what to make for dinner tonight I had a lightbulb moment while staring at some rather boring leftover roasted chicken breasts In my fridge.  Further exploration of my refrigerator and pantry yeilded enough ingredients for me to try to recreate a healthy version of my long forgotten fave. I did, and I am so glad. The result is a creamy, savory and satisfying chicken salad that is perfect for making in large batches for a quick lunch or potluck. Let me know if you try it, I certainly hope you enjoy!

Tools:

Food processor (not totally necessary but makes the job easier), large spoon, bowl

Ingredients:

4 chicken breast, cooked and shredded (this is where the food processor is nice)

6 strips cooked crisp bacon

2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves

1/4 large onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups cold peas

1cup finely shredded mozzarella (optional)

2 cups mayo ( I make my own, but if have regular store bought that’s fine)

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

Prep:

First shred or dice your chicken.  Alternatively you can use a food processor and this makes the process much easier.  In a large bowl add peas, onion, garlic, cheese and bacon. Mix to combine. Next, fold in the chopped chicken, mayo and tomatoes. You want the tomatoes last so they don’t get too beat up. Add your salt and pepper to taste. Presto! Done! Simple, easy and delicious. Enjoy! ~Carmen

This post is part of the following blog carnivals: Party Wave Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Weekend Whatever, Guten Free Fridays, Food On Friday, )  You can also find me on Facebook.