Gluten-Free Vegetable Broth

The last few days and weeks have been busy! We’ve enjoyed the many moods of  winter in the south with temperature swings from 21 degrees the other morning to 70+ degrees this week. We’ve had sunshine, wind, and now rain tonight.

My girl sent me this adorable picture of the little man the other day! He is just so squeezable!

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Several weeks ago I saw a clip come across my Facebook feed that showed what to do with vegetable scraps…other than tossing them out or composting them. I decided to give it a try…just to experiment, you know!

It is really very easy. Every time you cut up veggies or pare them, keep the scraps in a one-gallon freezer bag and toss it back into the freezer. My bag had everything from carrot peelings and broccoli to mushroom pieces and onion skins.  When the bag is full, empty it into a large stock pot and add water, just enough to cover the scraps. You can  also add some minced garlic if there is none in the scraps.

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Bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Once the veggie scraps are soft and tender,  strain the mixture and toss out the scraps!

At this point, you could add salt, pepper and other seasonings, but it is not necessary. Pour broth into jars or freezer bags to keep in the fridge or freezer. Be sure to note if you will need to add salt or other seasons before you use your broth. I went through my fridge for other leftovers and created a hearty stew for lunch!

Low-Carb, Gluten-Free “Tater” Tots

So here we are in the third week of January…already! In some ways January always goes slowly for me. Even though the days are getting longer, to me,  January seems like a dark and dreary month. Having cold, rainy, cloudy days lately hasn’t helped! It doesn’t matter if the temperatures have been reaching for 70…if it is rainy, it is dreary and depressing!

But in spite of the weather, I’ve had happy family moments. This happened the other day! I love how these pictures  turned out! Can’t wait to make some prints.

On Friday (another dreary, rainy day), the hubby walked in the door with these! Day was made!

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Ben had to leave yesterday for AF training, and he won’t be back until the end of May…saddness! However, he tends to make the best of things, and the other day he had fun with Little Miss Mia.

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I made this basket out of old t-shirts about 2 years ago. Mia uses it for some of her toys and books. Ben decided it would be a great pack for carrying Mia! She was thrilled! Yesterday afternoon when she and her parents arrived for Sunday dinner, Mia walked in the front door and announced, “Hello, Nemmie! I’m home!” I tell ya, my heart just melted!

Yesterday afternoon I got to FaceTime with the Little Man! He is so adorable! I can’t believe that he will be 6 months old soon! I didn’t take a picture of him while we were FaceTiming because I am not skilled at doing that. (Last time I tried it, I cut off the person I was FT with!) However, Barbi shared this picture of him a week or so ago. He is getting chunky!

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For dinner tonight I realized that I needed to use some cauliflower that I had in the fridge. I searched through some of my THM recipes and decided to create my own version of tater tots. If you follow THM or other low-carb eating styles, you already know that cauliflower can be used in place of potatoes. These made a great side dish for salmon and a green salad!

  • 1/2 large head of cauliflower
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 2-1/2 tbsp. almond flour (add more if mixture is too wet)
  • 3/4 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder (or to taste)
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese

Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and place in sauce pan with a small amount of water. Bring to a boil and gently cook until fork-tender. Drain the cauliflower, and then squeeze it to remove excess water. **Take the time to do this! You want to get rid of as much moisture as possible! I actually got an extra cup of water from mine after I had drained it! Use cheese cloth or a strainer…whichever works for you.

Chop the cauliflower into tiny pieces. You can mash it or put it into a food processor and gently grind it. DO NOT over-process!

Put the cauliflower into a mixing bowl and add all the other ingredients. Season to taste, adding more spices if needed.

Using an ice cream scoop, shape the mixture into balls. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet and fry balls until golden brown.

This makes about 10 “tater” tots

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Nutritional Yeast, Turmeric, and Integral Collagen

We’ve had almost 10,000 visitors to the blog!

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If you’ve been reading this blog for the last few years, you know that I have been eating the Trim Healthy Mama way for over 2 years now. I love the way that I feel when I eat according to the plan. I can fudge a bit for maybe a day or so, but if I go much longer than 2 days, I begin to have joint pain and feel sluggish and puffy.

Following THM is very easy and doesn’t require a lot of extra foods that I need to purchase. I seriously don’t think that I’ve spent a lot of extra money on special ingredients! I do try to be more careful in what I purchase and read labels for certain ingredients that I don’t want in my diet any more.

There are however, 3 items that I have begun using in my diet on a regular basis. These are nutritional yeast, turmeric, and integral collagen. I have found these ingredients to be very helpful in helping me to feel better. Over the last months of adding these to my daily diet, I have noticed that my joints don’t hurt nearly as much as they used to…especially after physical activity. I have little to no inflamation in my ankles and fingers, and my lower back pain has all but disappeared.

Nutritional yeast is an ingredient often used in vegan diets. We do not eat vegan in the Gardner household!! However, nutritional yeast is high in the B vitamins. It is also gluten-free; sugar-free, and low in fat and sodium. Nutritional yeast can be added to a wide variety of foods. I enjoy adding it to scrambled eggs, quiches, and other egg dishes. For more information, visit here.

Turmeric is another ingredient that I have added into my diet. I always add it to my lemon drink. I also add it to scrambled eggs, pasta dishes, and chicken salad. Turmeric has many good health benefits, one of which is that it is anti-inflamatory. You can read more about it here.

The third ingredient is integral collagen. I began adding this to my hot tea each morning about a year ago. It took about 6 months before I began noticing a difference…mainly in my hair health and my fingernails! I actually have new hair growth at my hairline! And my fingernails are much stronger than they used to be. This page has more information.

I hope you find this information helpful, and that you research these items for yourself.

**Disclaimer** The links that I have used here are just ones I found on the internet that help explain more about these ingredients. I do not support these websites in anyway!

 

A Little Bit of Random Thoughts

OK, so it’s been over 2 weeks since I’ve shared anything at all here on the blog. Sorry about that! But, life does get busy….

I recently returned from spending 10 days with my girl and her little man. I loved getting to hold, cuddle, and love up on this little guy!

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You’d think that my girl and I would have cooked up some recipes while I was there, but no such thing happened…at all. Baby Sammy and painting took most of my time! I was able to help Barbi finish painting her dining room; the trim in her living room, and the downstairs half-bath!

Last week I discovered another blog here on WordPress. It caught my attention since it is not only for the military, but also for those of us who knit or crochet. Since I have 2 of my 4 Blue Stars deployed right now, this sort of thing is very close to my heart. Take a peek here, and then get out your yarn and hooks or needles, and make some scarves for our service men and women! I plan to start this project this weekend!

I actually do have a few blog post ideas floating around in my head. Once I get these thoughts organized, I will share them here.

Thanks for being patient with me!

Zucchini Pizza Slices

We always eat our main meal on Sunday after our morning worship service. And we always have the same foods! There is something comforting to having the same big Sunday dinner each week. Our kids grew up with beef roast, gravy, rice or mashed potatoes, and broccoli with cheese sauce each week. It was something they looked forward to! They still do if they happen to be home on the weekend! I mean, really! Sunday dinner is just not the same without them!

Having the main meal in the middle of the day means that I don’t cook anything fancy after our evening church service. Often, I make flat bread pizza for the hubby and myself. Yesterday, though, I wanted to try something different. And I did have a zucchini in the fridge that needed to be used!

This is based on a recipe that I saw on a cooking video over on Face Book. Unfortunately, I can’t remember which group shared it! I thought it was from Tasty, but when I did a search on their page, it did not come up. I really do want to give credit to the creator of this amazing dish, but, alas, I can not!

We’ve been eating a lot from our garden in recent weeks…fresh tomatoes, hot peppers, figs, peaches, basil, green onions, and garlic…to name just a few items! I even got some tomatoes canned this afternoon! The zucchini has not been as prolific this summer as it usually is, but we did get a few. The most recent one was rather large! It was about 2 inches in diameter and about 10 inches long! Usually, the large ones don’t taste as tender and delicious as the smaller ones, but this one was fine for the pizza slices!  I had my doubts as to whether the hubby would like this recipe, but he loved it! I had no leftovers!

As usual, I don’t have actual amounts for the ingredients. I just created the pizza slices with the pizza toppings that I had on hand. Use your own creativity to make yours! I love that it is THM-friendly!

  • Pizza Sauce
  • Pepperoni slices
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Onion and garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • 1 large zucchini

Wash and slice the zucchini. I cut mine about 1/4 inch thick. Lightly spray a cookie sheet and place the zucchini slices on the pan. Spread about 1 tbsp. of pizza sauce on each piece of zucchini. Place one slice of pepperoni on top of the sauce. *The video showed the pepperoni being cut into tiny circles. That seemed like too much work for me! One large slice of pepperoni one each zucchini slice works well! Sprinkle each slice with the cheeses and the spices.

Bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Wow! It’s been several days since I’ve been here on the blog! I just checked the views and we are at 20,998! Almost to 21,000. I know that is just small stuff to those who are really into the blogging world. But for little old me, that is amazing!

Last weekend we had all the family together again!!!! I was so glad that it worked out for my girl and her man to come as well as son #2 and his favorite lady friend. It has been since last Labor Day that we were all together, and with one of my Blue Stars heading overseas for several months, and another one of my Blue Stars also leaving soon, it will be a while before we can all be together again. I cherish the times we can all be under my roof and around my supper table!

We decided to have our 4th of July celebration on Saturday since my girl and her hubby would have to travel home on the 4th. Saturday was such a fun day!! While some of the guys went for a run, the girls and I  went shopping! Seriously, what else would we do, right?  In the afternoon  and evening we played some bocci out in the yard, played several very loud rounds of Scattergories, ate some amazing food, set off some fireworks, and laughed–a lot!

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In addition to grilled steaks, we had potato salad, baked beans, tomatoes, hummus and salsa with chips, watermelon, etc. You know, all the good stuff that goes along with 4th of July! For dessert I had gotten a birthday cake for Barbi, but she decided that it would be better to celebrate all the July birthdays instead of just hers. Our combined ages equal 106!

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On the spur of the moment I decided to put together some jalapeno poppers to add to the meal. These are very easy to make, and all the guys loved them! I really don’t have a recipe that I follow, but I will try to give close estimates on the amounts. They are THM-friendly, too!

The jalapeno peppers that I used were huge! Our local Aldi had them in a package of 5 for less than 75 cents! The bigger peppers are much easier to work with than smaller ones.

5 jalapeno peppers

2-3 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 wedge of garlic and herb cheese (got mine at Aldi)

Sprinkles of onion powder, garlic powder, salt (to taste)

5 slices of bacon

Cut the peppers in half length-wise and remove the seeds. Combine the cheeses and spices and mix well. Spoon the cheese mixture into each pepper half, using all of it.

Wrap each stuffed pepper half with a slice of bacon and place on a jelly roll pan.

Bake in 350* oven for about 15-20 minutes. The bacon should be getting crispy. Enjoy!

 

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Banana Cake

The last few weeks have been crazy busy for me, but I loved every minute of them! We had my sister, brother-in-law, and their youngest son here for a week!! I love getting to spend time with my sister! Although the majority of the week was filled with church meetings and fellowship suppers, we did manage to snag some time to ourselves and do a little shopping before they had to leave at the end of the week.

I did quite a bit of grocery shopping before they got here and totally forgot that Barb would be bringing a cooler of things with her. Believe me, my fridge was packed once everything was put away! By the end of the week, it was rather empty! Still is, by the way! Just haven’t gotten to the store yet to restock!

We had 2 lone bananas left which were rapidly ripening, so I knew it was time to bake something using those ‘nanas!   There is a great recipe in the new THM cookbook for a banana cake. I took the basic recipe and added a twist…cocoa powder and peanut butter powder…for a fabulous flavor!  I used a 9×9 square baking pan and cut the cake into 9 pieces. By my calculations, it comes to only 31 carbs per piece, which makes it a great E snack. Topped with a bit of low-fat whipped topping, it makes a delicious snack…or breakfast…or lunch…

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2 ripe bananas

2 droppers of liquid Stevia

1 c. plain Greek yogurt

1 c. egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. butter flavoring

2 c. oat flour

1/2 c. old-fashioned oats

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 c. sweetener (I use Pyure)

2 heaping tbsp. cocoa powder

2 tbsp. peanut butter powder

Lightly coat a 9×9 pan with coconut spray oil.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl. Add the liquid Stevia, yogurt, egg whites, vanilla, and butter flavoring. Mix well.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Add to the liquid ingredients and stir well. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Let cool in the pan.

Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream!