Strawberry Oatmeal, almost as easy as instant!


Remember the days when making oatmeal was a matter of adding water to a package of flavored Instant Quaker Oatmeal  sticking it in the microwave for about a minute and voilà breakfast was made?

Thinking about my childhood, I remember all the flavor choices from the box and mixing two different packages together to make unique combinations – they were all so delicious! The only problem is they really aren’t all that nutritious.

When I changed the way I viewed food and started to pay more attention to the nutritional impact they had on my body, stuff like Instant Oatmeal were among the first to go.

But oatmeal, even instant, is good for you right?
Well the answer is both yes and no. While oatmeal is one of the healthiest grains you can eat, flavored instant oatmeal contains more bad than good.

Why? Unless it’s plain, it’s loaded with junk. Junk like sugar, sodium, and artificial flavors/coloring. Even if it does taste good, how does it benefit your body? Or better yet, how does it damage your body?

Without going into all the nitty-gritty of why flavored Instant Oatmeal isn’t good for you, let me talk about an oatmeal that IS good for you!

Steel-cut oatmeal is an amazing grain!  It’s hearty (both in lowering cholesterol and keeping you full) and beneficial (especially to your blood sugar and your immune system).

steelcut oatmeal

Unfortunately, it does take 30 minutes to make and for most people that’s not really in the “quick & easy” category like instant oatmeal. However, there is a way to make it quick & easy!!

When making steelcut oatmeal in our house, we usually make a big batch on the weekend for the week. That way we have a great breakfast that we can heat up (or eat cold) in the morning. (It’s great travel food too.)  This makes it not only easy but it’s also quicker than instant when it’s pre-made!! Wahoo!  This is especially helpful with a newborn in the house. 🙂

It’s also healthier, heartier, and believe it or not tastier than instant!

I thought I’d share a recipe that I made today that totally reminded me of that strawberry flavor from Quaker’s Instant Oatmeal–that I used to eat just straight out of the packet. 😉

Steelcut main with logo

Steel-cut oatmeal is a little tricky at first to make but once you get it down you can pretty much walk away and do other things for a half hour. (warning: before walking away for a half hour, make sure you stand near-by first round or else you might end up with an oatmeal explosion all over your stove!) There are several ways to make this, I’ll share the way I’ve found to be the least explosive! 🙂

Ingredients:

2 cups dry steel-cut oats (I use Bob’s Redmill Gluten Free version)
4 cups water
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
3-5 drops of liquid stevia

Directions:

Combine water and oats into a stainless steel pot, cover and turn heat to high.  Cook for 2 minutes on high heat, turn heat to low and cook for 30 minutes.
After 30 minute, turn off heat and remove lid.  Stir and add 3-5 drops of liquid stevia, then mix in the strawberries. Cover with lid and allow residual heat to soften strawberries for approx. 2 minutes.

steelcut up-close

Serve and enjoy and/or transfer to glass sealed container, refrigerate and enjoy throughout the week!

Instant Strawberry Oatmeal

Steelcut main with logo

Ingredients
  • 2 cups steel-cut oats
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries (or fresh strawberries)
  • 3-5 drops liquid stevia (or sweetener of choice)
Directions
  1. Fill a medium sized pot with 4 cups of warm water
  2. Add 2 cups of steel-cut oats
  3. Stir, cover, and heat on high for 2 minutes
  4. Reduce heat to lowest setting and allow to cook for 30 minutes
  5. Remove from heat, stir and mix in liquid stevia (add to taste of desired sweetness)
  6. Mix in frozen strawberries and cover for 2 minutes allowing strawberries to thaw and soften from residual heat.
  7. Serve hot or allow to cool before storing in fridge.
  8. Will keep for approximately 5 days, though it rarely lasts that long!!

P.S. Even though my day is crammed to the max with taking care of the little one, I’ve really wanted to post a  recipe that’s not too complicated.  I thought, “why not blog about one I make all the time?” As simple as it may seem this easy oatmeal recipe is one that has kept me alive the past 2 months with a baby!  Not only is it healthy, it’s also excellent for boosting breast milk production AND it’s a quick grab out of the fridge when I’m like super-mega hungry-which is practically all the time!

p.p.s This “easy” blog post took a total of 9 hours from start to finish with baby interruptions. 😉

Lettuce Wrap Turkey Burger w/pan-seared pork belly (Gluten-free, Paleo, SCD, anti-candida, nut-free, dairy-free (all animals), soy-free)


Turkey-Wrap-Logo

This is one to NOM home about!  Seriously delicious!!

I had a mega craving lately for bacon BUT because I’m also healing my husband’s GAPS and following a very specific Anti-Candida type regimen to help with resetting his body as a whole bacon is on the no-no list.  I’m not a big pork person because I believe pork doesn’t really have any nutritional benefit plain and simple.  However, I do like the idea of enjoying eating some pork a few times a year because quite frankly it’s freakin’ delicious!

With all that said we haven’t really eaten much of any pork for a long time-especially bacon.  In fact, it’s cured which really isn’t great for the gut or the colon.  Do some research on colon cancer and you’ll find a long list of ‘fermented foods’ as well as ‘cured-meats’ as a big detriment to colon health.  Another added negative bonus to the beloved bacon is that it’s also made with sugar and additives.  If you’re fighting overgrowth of candida in your body or are on the SCD diet, you need to avoid cured/sugar/additive foods like bacon.  However, all is not lost!

I have found a way to make a type of ‘bacon’ that not only compares to bacon it tops it in my book!  When pan-seared it’s absolutely delicious!  Of course I have a few tricks up my sleeve to give it that sweet delectable flavor that makes bacon so addicting.  Here’s some tips for making your pan-seared pork belly:

First, make sure you get pork belly from your natural foods market or butcher.  Ask them to cut the pork belly into strips (that resemble a slightly thicker bacon).

Second, when pan-searing get your cast iron pan to a nice medium-high temperature.  Pan sear the ‘bacon’ on one side, flip and then add: coconut aminos (this will give it that slightly sweet flavor that compares to the sugar added to bacon during the curing process) and a dash of mineral salt.  Cook for about 2 minutes each side.  The mineral salt will give the pork belly that salty flavor.

That’s it.  I like to add the salt after I add the coconut aminos and once I flip the ‘bacon’ again I’ll sprinkle a little bit more salt on the other side.  The only salt I really use is Himalayan salt, it’s got that perfect salty flavor so I don’t have to add too much salt. (plus its loaded with minerals).

Alright, now lets take a look at the recipe!


Ingredients for Turkey Patties: (makes 6 medium turkey patties)

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey meat (pasture-raised white turkey meat)
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 1/2 minced serrano pepper (adds a mild spice, for more heat up it to a whole serrano pepper)
  • 1/3 cup minced yellow onion
  • 1/4 tsp. mineral salt (Himalayan salt)
  • 2 minced garlic cloves  (Add more if you love garlic)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil

Instructions for Turkey Patties:

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine all the turkey patties ingredients and mix well with a fork.
    Step-1_-Ground-turkey-Burger-Mixture-LOGO
  2. Form medium size patties with the ground turkey meat and set aside. (makes about 6 patties)
  3. Heat 2 tbsp. coconut oil in a large cast iron pan on high until oil has melted.
  4. Turn heat down to medium-high and add turkey patties
  5. Cook for 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown on each side.
    Step-2-Ground-Turkey-Burgers-pan-seared-LOGO

Ingredients for Lettuce Wrap Sandwiches: (makes 6 servings)

  • Home-made turkey burger patties (see above)
  • 1 large head of romaine lettuce or two small heads of romaine lettuce
  • 1-2 tomatoes (beef, on-the-vine, or Roma sliced thin)
  • Mayo (see recipe)
  • Sautéed red onions in coconut oil (see instructions below)
  • 6 slices of pan-seared pork belly (see instructions below)

Instructions for Pan-Seared Pork Belly and Caramelized Onions:

  1. In a separate pan, pan-sear 6 (4″ strips) of thinly sliced pork belly
  2. Pan-sear each side for about 2-3 minutes each side until pork belly has a nice seared color caramelized color.  (add coconut aminos for sweetness and mineral salt for a salty flavor, combined make a savory bacon flavor)
  3. Remove strips and set aside
  4. Drain pork fat from pan (optional) and sauté sliced red onions in small amount of coconut oil (or use a tbsp. of residual pork fat)

Lettuce wrap turkey burgers w/pan-seared pork belly

Combining the pieces to the lettuce wrap is easy!  I’ll demonstrate the steps with beautiful pictures!

  1. Take one lettuce leaf and add one turkey burger.Step-3_Fully-Cooked-on-Lettuce-Wrap-LOGO
  2. Add sliced tomatoes (I used on-the-vine tomatoes)
    Step-4--Add-Tomatoes-2-LOGO
  3. Add slice of pan-seared pork belly aka homemade bacon!
    Step-5--Add-Bacon-LOGO
  4. s
    Step-6-Add-Saute-onions-LOGO
  5. Drizzle some delicious home-made eggcellent mayo or Dijon mustard.
    Step-7-Add-Mayo-LOGO
  6. Fold and enjoy!  NOM!

I am in love with this sandwich!  I don’t need cheese and I don’t care about the bread, the flavors make up for whatever anyone can find it to be lacking!!

Hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as we did!!

JEM-Signature

Lettuce Wrap Turkey Burger w/Pan-Seared Pork Belly

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Ingredients for Turkey Patties: (makes 6 medium turkey patties)

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey meat (pasture-raised white turkey meat)
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 1/2 minced serrano pepper (adds a mild spice, for more heat up it to a whole serrano pepper)
  • 1/3 cup minced yellow onion
  • 1/4 tsp. mineral salt (Himalayan salt)
  • 2 minced garlic cloves  (Add more if you love garlic)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil

Instructions for Turkey Patties

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine all the turkey patties ingredients and mix well with a fork.
  2. Form medium size patties with the ground turkey meat and set aside. (makes about 6 patties)
  3. Heat 2 tbsp. coconut oil in a large cast iron pan on high until oil has melted.
  4. Turn heat down to medium-high and add turkey patties
  5. Cook for 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown on each side.

Ingredients for Lettuce Wrap Sandwiches: (makes 6 servings)

  • Home-made turkey burger patties (see above)
  • 1 large head of romaine lettuce or two small heads of romaine lettuce
  • 1-2 tomatoes (beef, on-the-vine, or Roma sliced thin)
  • Mayo (see recipe)
  • Sautéed red onions in coconut oil (see instructions below)
  • 6 slices of pan-seared pork belly (see instructions below)

Instructions for Pan-Seared Pork Belly and Caramelized Onions:

  1. In a separate pan, pan-sear 6 (4″ strips) of thinly sliced pork belly
  2. Pan-sear each side for about 2-3 minutes each side until pork belly has a nice seared color caramelized color.  (add coconut aminos for sweetness and mineral salt for a salty flavor, combined make a savory bacon flavor)
  3. Remove strips and set aside
  4. Drain pork fat from pan (optional) and sauté sliced red onions in small amount of coconut oil (or use a tbsp. of residual pork fat)

Putting the pieces together for the Lettuce Wrap: (Instructions)

  1. Take a piece of romaine lettuce and add one turkey burger
  2. Add toppings (tomatoes, pan-seared pork belly, caramelized onions, and mayo)
  3. Fold and enjoy!

Chunky Double Fudge Brownies (Raw//Vegan//Gluten-Free) *~Great for Valentine’s Day~*


Love is in the air tonight with these delicious…

Raw-Double

Enjoy

When you have a craving for chocolate and something easy, look NO further.  These are the MOST delicious, almost sinful, brownies ever! The only problem with them is.. they go too quickly! Good thing they are pretty darn healthy, low glycemic sugar and help with any type of chocolate cravings!  Another fabulous thing about these brownies are that they are also very easy to make.  They are raw so the health benefits and nutrients they provide are provided in the most beneficial state.

This recipe, makes about 24 2″x3″ squares:

24-pieces-(1-missing)

Picture shows 23… 1 of the 24 squares um… couldn’t fit on the cutting board… 😉

I thought I would make this recipe a print-friendly version to make it easier on you when it comes to make these guys!

Remember: 2 squares = 1 date.

Chunky Double Fudge Brownies

  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Chunky Brownie Ingredients (bottom layer):

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup hulled hempseeds
  • 1 tbsp. chia Seeds
  • 1 heaping cup of ‘de-pitted’ medjool dates (approximately 12 dates)
  • 1 tbsp. coconut nectar
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 cup cashews

Double Fudge Ingredients (top layer):

Kitchen Tools:

Directions (First half): prep-time approx. 5-7 minutes

  1. Prepare your glass baking dish, by lining it with parchment paper.  You can either cut it to fit exactly, or you can cross your parchment paper (one overlapping the other).  Make sure that the entire bottom of the glass dish is covered with parchment paper and there is paper sticking out above the dish so it’s easy to lift out.
  2. In your large food processer add the following: walnuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, salt and pitted dates.  Process until fine crumbs.
  3. Add cacao powder and process until well-incorporated.
  4. While food processor is off, add coconut nectar and pulse several times to mix.
  5. Turn food processor on and add vanilla extract (turn off when extract has been mixed in well)  this should only take a few seconds.
  6. While Food processor is off, add cashews and pulse 10 times. (The cashews should be crushed but still chunky.  This will add the ‘chunk’ to your brownies.)
  7. Take mixture and press evenly into baking dish (on top of the parchment paper).
  8. Freeze while you prepare the chocolate fudge.

Directions (second half): prep-time approx. 3-5 minutes, wait-to-enjoy time about 20 minutes.

  1. In small sauce pot, melt coconut oil on medium-high heat. (should only take about a minute)
  2. Remove sauce pot from heat, once oil is liquid and using a fork or whisk, stir in cacao powder until mixture becomes a chocolate glaze.
  3. Stir in coconut nectar or agave, cinnamon, vanilla extract and liquid stevia.
  4. Remove baking dish from freezer and pour chocolate glaze over top of the pressed brownies.
  5. Freeze for 3-5 minutes and sprinkle on the sea salt or Fleur de Sel.
  6. Return to freezer and freeze for about 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from freezer, pull up on parchment paper to remove the frozen block easily.
  8. Set on hard surface and cut squares ( for 24 squares about 2″x3″) or 23 if you eat one while cutting.
  9.  For storing: return to glass dish and store in freezer OR fridge.  Of course, feel free to eat some before you store them. 🙂

Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Husband-Approved

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe or if you had any questions.  Please feel free to post your feedback in the comments sections below!

Coconut Secret Teriyaki Sauce (Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, Low Glycemic, Organic, Non-Gmo)


Teriyake Sauce

A Teriyaki Sauce that’s pre-made, safe and GOOD for me?  No, it can’t be!  Yes.. yes it can and IS.

I recently stumbled upon this product while looking through the livesuperfoods.com website to replenish my stock of the liquid Fermented Cod Liver Oil-cinnamon flavored supplement.  I’ve found that this particular website has some of the best prices for ‘healthy alternatives, supplements’ and offers free shipping over $50.  Since the cod oil is $43 on this site, instead of the $60+ on amazon or the $44.50 +shipping on Green Pasture’s website, I figured it was definitely worth it to check around to see what new unique products are on the market.

That’s when I stumbled upon this secret!  I religiously use the other coconut secret products, especially the raw secret coconut vinegar.  They taste good and they are really healthy for you.  In the teriyaki sauce there are no preservatives, no additives, and the ingredients are sound: organic Coconut Sap, sea salt, organic ginger, organic onion, organic garlic, organic cayenne pepper.  You can’t really ‘organify’ sea salt just like you can’t ‘organify’ honey since Mother Nature is completely in control and all.   Organify = certify as organic by USDA standards.  (and really how can they charge mother nature $10,000/year for making it?  Uh.. yo nature, pay up to certify/prove this is organic.)  If only mother nature could talk…  then again, the things she’d say to the human race… “you b*tches petroleum was MY fossil fuel!”  Okay bad jokes aside.

The company has already proved to me that they have good intentions and the ingredients gave me confidence that I could give it a try.  Really happy I did too! It’s DELICIOUS!  I do love teriyaki but because so many sauces on the market are just really unhealthy and contain a lot of crap.  I don’t buy them.  (Crap like: wheat, processed soy, additives, high amounts of sugar, high amounts of sodium, non-organic, etc..etc..)  I usually make my own.  I haven’t made my own ‘teriyaki’ yet, but I have made sweet sauces similar to this.  I also love to buy products so I can get a taste for it and then make my own recipe from it.  It’s not necessarily the exact flavor but it inspires me!  Something you benefit from when you buy my cookbook.  🙂

Note to the Teriyaki enthusiast: If you are a teriyaki snob… it probably won’t do it for you.  First of all, it’s far less salty than your typical teriyaki sauce.  Second, it doesn’t have the crap (explained above) you’re most likely addicted to.  You don’t give Teeccino to a coffee lover and say “it tastes just like coffee”.  No, no you don’t.  That caffeine addiction is like no other!  😉

Note to the allergy sufferer: If you’ve been ostracized from enjoying some good teriyaki, this will do it for you.  Some of us have been going years without teriyaki in our bellies.  We’ve practically lost hope that anyone will just make a wholesome healthy teriyaki!  Well my friend, this product will quench your teriyaki thirst! You will know that it’s not the real teriyaki… but you won’t care.  It’s damn close enough.


Quick Rating:  Quality: 5/5, Healthiness: 5/5, Taste: 4.5/5

Quality: Meets USDA standards as certified organic.  They do NOT add additives, preservatives and other crap.  It’s wholesome basic ingredients. 

Healthiness:  Compared to other teriyaki sauces the sodium is SIGNIFICANTLY less/serving and the sugar is from a low-glycemic sugar (also a low number).  The health benefits of coconut sap contain minerals and vitamins that are also very good for the health of your body.

Taste: While it does taste amazingly delicious, there are a few things that I would have added to make it taste even better.  This is where I say, look for my cookbook (when it releases) to see for yourself. Hey, give me credit…I gotta give myself some hype before the cookbook releases! 😉

Snack Recipe: Sweet Curry Cashews


~Secret Recipe preview from the soon-to-be released BestFood4Life cookbook~

Yummy yummy snacks in my tummy!
These cashew snacks are sure to beat your cravings, whether it be sweet or salty, enjoy this savory treat!

Sweet-Curry-Cashew-REVEAL-Photo

Let’s get started!

Ingredients:
2 cups of cashews
2 Tbsp. yellow curry powder
1 Tbsp. unrefined coconut sugar
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground chipotle (optional)
1/2 tsp. of Real Salt or Himalayan Salt (I used Real Salt)
1/3 cup of coconut oil (room temperature or melted)
Ingredients

Real Salt ingredients
Tools:
Metal Mixing bowl
Mixing Spoon (preferably metal or glass)
Baking Tray
Measuring spoons
Measuring cups
Parchment Paper
Oven

Step ONE: Start off by adding 2 cups of cashews into a mixing bowl a metal mixing bowl heats easier than a glass mixing bowl and typically I only use safe plastic mixing bowls if I know I’m not using any heat at all as I don’t trust that the plastic won’t leach out somehow, no matter what FDA regulations are verified (or not).  It’s a personal preference overall, but if you are using plastic pre-melt your coconut oil.
Coconut Oil In Cashew Bowl

Step TWO: Add 1/3 cup of coconut oil. (room temperature or melted)
At this time, you can start the process of pre-heating your oven to 350degrees F.
Oven Temperature
What I do is stick my bowl into the oven, for 10 seconds while it’s beginning to pre-heat.  That way the coconut oil melts just right.  I also don’t believe in microwaves as they completely destroy foods, the other option is to melt the oil on the stovetop which can be a little bit inconvenient and add a couple minutes and extra cleanup to your ‘simple’ snack.  If you don’t mind doing that, feel free to add the extra steps to melt your oil.  Sticking the bowl is by no means a difficult or dangerous task and if you can outsmart the system, why not? 🙂
Warm in oven

Now, the oil is melted JUST perfectly!
Melted Coconut Oil mixed

Alright, now the fun part.
STEP THREE: Add the 2 tbsp. of yellow curry to your mixing bowl once you have fully mixed the coconut oil.
2 tbsp yellow curry powder

Mix the curry in, until well incorporated. Yellow Curry Added and mixed

STEP FOUR: Add 1 Tbsp. unrefined coconut sugar
1 tbsp coconut sugar

Mix into cashew mixture.
Coconut Sugar Added to the mix

STEP FIVE: Add 1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika

Mix into cashew mixture.
Smoked paprika added to the mix

Step SIX: add 1 tsp. of granulated garlic
1 tsp granulated garlic

Mix into cashew mixture.
Granulated garlic added to the mix

Step SEVEN: (optional) add 1/2 tsp. ground chipotle
(Feel free to add more if you like it REALLY spicy or use cayenne pepper)
half a tsp of chipotle

Mix really well into cashew mixture, that way the heat is evenly distributed. (NOM!)Chipotle added to the mix

These are lookin’ really good and you’ll be tempted to try one, go for it!
I like to add the salt at this point, you may find that you like this to be more sweet than savory.  If so, skip the salt.  No one is judging you. 🙂

Now, if you’re adding the salt.  Let’s move to the next easy step.
Step EIGHT: add 1/4 tsp. of Real Salt
half tsp of real salt

and you guessed it, mix it in nice and good.  Same with the chipotle, you don’t want a bite that’s SUPER salty either.
Cashews with salt added

Now’s the time when you’ll really be tempted to eat them, feel free to taste away, but trust me when I say they taste even better after they’ve baked for 20 minutes.

So far these are easy steps right?  I broke them down because I like how the nuts get lathered up with spices when you mix it as you go.  You could be lazy and just dump all the ingredients in one simple step, but trust me the flavor gets really layered when you take the time to do it this way.  It takes about 1 minute extra to take the time to mix between adding ingredients. 🙂

Step NINE: add the cashew mixture to a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
(Tip: Spread out the cashews so they evenly roast.  If you dump them in a big pile, they won’t cook evenly and some will be soft while others are over-roasted.  Give em’ room and watch them turn to masterpieces!)

Parchment paper on tray

STEP TEN: place the tray in the oven once your oven has reached 350degrees  and wait for 20 minutes. (don’t forget to start that timer!)
20 minutes time

I use this time to tidy up the kitchen and today I made my lunch and ate it! 🙂 Kitchen’s clean, husband will be happy and I got to eat a delicious meal WIN WIN!

Ooooh 20 minutes is up… let’s check the cashews!
After cooking

NOM!  PERFECTION!
Allow to rest for a few minutes before snacking on a few.
Then decide if you want to eat some warm….
Cup and Jar
or store away for when the snack monster attacks! 🙂
Which for me… is right about now.
Jar and bowl of cashews

Hope you enjoyed this recipe!  I’d love to hear your experiences and feedback!!

<3Jem