Monthly Archives: May 2015

Eggs in a Bag

 

Camping season is coming up and it’s time to start planning your meals!  Breakfast can be messy and time consuming when all you want to do it get out and start enjoying your vacation.  It is very tempting to go extremely easy and buy some donuts or instant oatmeal for breakfast, but resist the urge.  Eggs in a bag is healthy, easy, fun, and almost no mess!2015-05-24 10.05.43

Eggs in a bag can be simplified even more if you prep before you go.  I highly recommend cutting up all your fixings before go.  And while we’re on the subject, I recommend buying a chopper like this  Vidalia Chopper or this one which has one more blade.  It will seriously save you soooooo much time and I use it ALL the time!

Ingredients can be anything that you would normally put in an omelet.  In my experience, they do not need to be pre-cooked (except if you’re adding meat).  If you prefer to cook the veggies first, that is totally fine too.

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Jaime’s mom, Debbie, making Eggs in a Bag while Horse Camping at Crowhassan Park

Here are some options for your eggs in a bag:
Eggs (2 or 3 per person)
chopped onions
chopped mushrooms
chopped bell peppers
sliced spinach
diced ham
chopped tomato (fresh or sun dried)

Sides to add after the eggs have cooked:
Salsa
Tobasco
Greek Yogurt (or sour cream)
Cheese (feta or manchego are great options)
Tortilla to wrap it in (optional – I prefer Ezekiel brand which is a sprouted grain tortilla shell)
Seasonings – salt, pepper, thyme, chives, parsely

Tools Needed:
Freezer Ziploc Baggies (sandwich or quart size)
Large pot for boiling water
Stove or fire to boil water
Tongs
Ove Glove
Sharpie

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, set up a buffet line with all the ingredients

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    Ready to put the bag in the boiling water!

  3. Choose all the ingredients you’d like in your “omelet” and put into the Ziploc bag, including the eggs.
  4. Close the bag and smoosh all the ingredients together (this is the fun part!)  Make SURE to get as much air out as possible or it will expand like a balloon.
  5. Label your baggie with your name or a fun drawing
  6. Drop the baggie into a pot of boiling water.  The eggs cook faster if you can lay your bag flat on it’s side. You can even stack a couple bags on top of each other.
  7. After a few minutes, flip the bag if not already fully submerged.
  8. Using a pair of tongs, grab the bag and check your eggs every few minutes for done-ness.  The time it takes to cook totally depends on how hot the water is and how much stuff you have in your bag.
  9. When you can squeeze the bag (with the Ove Glove) and there is no runny liquid, your eggs are done.  (If you are adding cheese, it is harder to tell if the eggs are done, so I recommend waiting to add cheese until after you are done cooking the egg baggie.)

At this point you are done.  Add the toppings of your choice and a tortilla if you’d like a burrito style breakfast.

 

Ginger Puree

I love to keep fresh ginger in the refrigerator  for use in teas, sautes, baking, and drinks (think liquid skittles).  I like to buy ginger root, but I don’t like the added work of chopping off a piece and processing it for each recipe; it just seems like too much work to me.  To remedy the situation, I came up with this win-win technique that allows me to have freshly prepared ginger available at a minutes’ notice.  I store this in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, that’s probably pushing it.  If you aren’t going to use it that fast, pour into ice cube trays and freeze!

Ingredients:

Ginger root

Water

Method:

  • Slice ginger into chip like pieces (I don’t mind the skin so I don’t peel it, just make sure you wash it first)
  • Toss ginger chips into blender (I use a NutriBullet) and add enough water to cover..
  • Puree until slightly chunky-smooth.
  • Done- if you are going to use right away storage in the refrigerator is fine. Otherwise, you can use an ice try to freeze small amounts.
Pureed ginger. I do this on a Sunday along with the rest of my weeks preparation.

Pureed ginger. I do this on Sundays along with the rest of my weeks food preparation.

By the way, ginger has many health benefits! Ginger can: calm an upset stomach, ease stomach cramps, reduce nausea, and reduce inflammation.

Simple Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe was modified from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking For Health (2009).  I love Mossewood Cookbooks/recipes, If you haven’t read any of these recipes, I highly encourage you do!!  All recipes are either vegetarian or vegan and created  using real ingredients that are nutrient rich and oh-so-good!

I love this recipe for two reasons 1) it is super easy and 2) because everyone I have shared these with drools over them!  This recipe makes 18-24 tablespoon size cookies.  I like to freeze them to retain freshness, each batch lasts our family of two about 2 weeks.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup coconut sugar (you could probably substitute dark brown sugar)

1/3 cup honey

2 tsp vanilla

2 large eggs

1 cup spelt flour (you can find this in the natural foods section at your grocer or at a food coop; any type  of flour would probably work- whole wheat would be a good substitute)

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of sea salt

3 cups rolled oats (not the instant or quick cooking kind)

1 cup Ghiradelli Dark chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts (I prefer to use  raw walnuts)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I like to warm the coconut oil in the oven or microwave for a few seconds just to make it easier to mix with the other ingredients.  Add all of the wet ingredients and stir until combined.  Add flour, baking soda and salt and again stir until combined.  Next, add oats, walnuts and chocolate chips- keep stirring, you will get your workout in!  The mixture might seem too dry at first but keep going….it will be a chunky mix.

Next:  For ease of cleaning, you may want to line your baking sheet with parchment paper (I don’t).  Use a tablespoon to scoop small balls onto a baking sheet.  Drop anywhere from a 12-18 per sheet, evenly spaced.  You may need to use your fingers to clump the dough together.  Bake approximately 10-15 minutes, until the cookies are light brown around the edges. Let the cookies rest on the sheet about 3 minutes before removing them and letting cool completely.  I find that a thin metal spatula is the best way to remove the cookies from the baking sheet.

Tiff’s side note:  I like to use a tablespoon to portion all of my cookies- this may seem odd but it tricks my brain:) I eat four cookies per serving; it makes me feel like I am over indulging while in reality this serving size is equal 2 regular size cookies.  I like to trick myself like that!

 

 

Shepard’s Casserole

Annie: This casserole is an adaptation from a couple of different Shepard’s Pie recipes that I have. You can use a deep dish pie plate too, but a casserole dish works fine. This is perfect comfort food dish, very satisfying and filling. My husband loves it!

Ingredients:

1 Russet potato

5 cups cauliflower florets

½ cup sour cream or plain unsweetened yogurt

Salt, to taste

1 lb. ground beef or venison

1 parsnip, peeled and finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

½ cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 oz. tomato paste

¼ cup parsley leaves, chopped

1 tsp. rosemary

½ tsp. thyme

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/8 tsp. paprika

½ cup corn (frozen or fresh)

½ cup peas (frozen or fresh)

Cooking spray

Directions:

Wash potato and cut into ½ inch dice. Fill large pot with water up to the height of your steamer basket, cover and bring to boil. Once boiling, uncover and put potato in the water, put in steamer basket and add cauliflower florets to the basket. Cover pot and steam until very tender, about 15 minutes. When cooked, drain out water and put potato and cauliflower in food processer. Add sour cream or yogurt and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Brown beef in medium skillet until cooked through. Transfer to plate or bowl. To the same skillet, add parsnip, carrot, onion and garlic and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Return beef to skillet; add tomato paste, parsley, rosemary and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 3 minutes.

Coat 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Put beef and vegetable mixture into dish. Add potato-cauliflower mixture on top and smooth out with spoon. Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake on top oven rack until hot and potato mixture is lightly browned, about 30 minutes. 6-8 servings.

Coconut Cashew Ice Cream

So maybe you’ve caught on – my theme for the week is treats made with coconut and cashews(:

Who doesn’t love it?  Ice cream that is.  I have always loved ice cream and in my clean eating quest have tried to go without it.  Tried.  Then I started buying a fabulous organic ice cream made by Alden’s.  Delicious, but very expensive and still loaded with refined sugar.  I wanted to do better.  As of Christmas I could!  I was blessed with an ice cream maker and I haven’t bought ice cream since (I have also eaten just about everyday).  So – could it be true!?  A dense, creamy, sweet, frozen concoction that is better than the sugar laden dairy scoops we grew up on!?  It could and it is! (ask my 8-year old)

8-year old Luke approves of this healthy alternative to dairy ice cream!

8-year old Luke approves of this healthy alternative to dairy ice cream!

Equipment: Blender and Ice Cream Maker

Notes: Plan ahead for this recipe – cashews are best soaked overnight and then chilled.  This recipe can be doubled.

Ingredients:

1 can organic full fat coconut milk (chilled)

1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight and then chilled)

1/4 cup honey

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean

Soaked Cashews, chilled; ready to drain and add to blender

Soaked Cashews, chilled; ready to drain and add to blender

Method:

Drain soaked, chilled cashews and put in blender.  Add water from the coconut milk can (scoop out some of the solid milk portion to expose the water and pour it into the blender with the cashews).

Puree the cashews and coconut water until the mixture is silky smooth.  This can take a few minutes (for these jobs I like to use hearing protection – I might look like a dork – but it sure is nice to cut the noise!)

Once the mixture is smooth, add solid portion of coconut milk, honey and vanilla extract.  If using a whole vanilla bean; slit lengthwise and scrape the seeds with a sharp knife tips then add to the blender.

Puree or liquefy until mixture is smooth and thoroughly combined.

Set up your ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions.

Pour cashew, coconut, honey, vanilla mixture into ice cream maker

Pour cashew, coconut, honey, vanilla mixture into ice cream maker

My ice cream maker gets the freezing job done in about 20 minutes.  During the last 5 minutes I check it frequently so it doesn’t get too stiff.  The right consistency is key to it freezing nicely.

Finished consistency

Finished consistency

Now you can transfer the batch into a freezer safe container for several days of enjoyment!  If you like your ice cream a little softer – allow this to sit out for about 20 minutes before enjoying.

 

 

 

 

Raw Date Coconut Oat Bars

Certainly you have had it! The craving for something decadently sweet, yet satisfying and healthy. I get that craving daily – ok multiple times per day! So I love making these bars to have on hand in the freezer for a mid morning snack or an after lunch treat.  They are portable and chock full of nutritious energizing fuel that will carry you right into your next task or adventure.  These are definitely kid friendly too – my 8 year old gave them a thumbs up!  Added bonues: gluten free, & vegan.

Makes 8 large energy bars or 16 sweet after lunch treats.

Ingredients:

16 Medjool Dates (these are wonderful moist yummy natural treats – a great replacement for refined sugar in many recipes)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons raw coconut oil (melted)

1/3 cup raw cashews

2 cups raw rolled oats (use certified gluten free if you are gluten intolerant)

1/3 raw coconut flakes or shreds (I prefer the organic coconut flakes for the texture)

2 Tablespoons raw cocoa nibs (these add just the right bitter crunch provide contrasting flavor and texture)

Sprinkle of cinnamon

ingredients for raw date, cashew bars

Medjool Dates, vanilla extract, raw cashews, cocoa nibs, oats, cinnamon and coconut flakes

Method:

You will need a food processor for this.  I have never tried to make these any other way.

If your dates have pits you’ll have to take out the pits – maybe that’s where the phrase “It’s the pits” came from(:  If the dates seem somewhat dry, put them in a deep glass bowl with 1/2 cup boiling water and cover tightly with tinfoil for 10 minutes.  In the mean time, pulse the cashews in the food processor fitted with the metal blade until they are coarsely chopped.

Pulse cashews to coarsely chop

Pulse cashews to coarsely chop

Line an 8″ X 8″ cake pan with parchment paper.  To get the parchment paper to stay put I use just a touch of coconut oil on the pan sides so it sticks.

Set your coarsely chopped cashews in the prepared pan for the time being.  Add the soaked dates to the food processor (reserve water – you may need to moisten things during processing and you might as well use the flavored water you just produced).  Process dates until they form a smooth paste; they might ball up – at this point add your coconut oil and vanilla to help loosen them.

Add oats, cinnamon, coconut flakes and pulse to combine.  If mixture seems dry and not willing to come together add some of your date water, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Test the stickability by pinching with your fingers – if it holds together you are doing great!  Now pulse in the cashews and cocoa nibs until just combined.

Dates, coconut, oats, cashews are happy together!

Dates, coconut, oats, cashews are happy together!

Turn the mixture into your prepared pan and press firmly and evenly (it helps to use a piece of parchment between your hand and the mixture so your hands don’t become a sticky mess.

Transfer the pan to the fridge to chill before cutting into bars.

Cut into desired size bars and wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for ready to grab snacks and treats!

Raw Coconut Date Energy Bar - Decadently sweet, yet nutritious and satisfying

Raw Coconut Date Energy Bar – Decadently sweet, yet nutritious and satisfying