Thursday, October 24, 2013

Did you know?

Taken from the website ewg.orgCheck out Good Food on a Tight Budget on their website.

  • A pear a day keeps the pesticides away - more fiber, potassium and folate than an apple, and fewer pesticide residues.
  • Eat your garnish - parsley packs a punch as potent as kale for a quarter the price.
  • Not a carrot lover? Sweet potatoes pack twice the fiber, potassium and vitamin A of carrots.
  • Super okra? Okra beat out more than 100 other veggies to rise to the top of our lists.
  • One serving of filling oatmeal is about half the cost of a bowl of sugary cereal? For animal sources of protein, roast turkey tops the list. But to eat on the cheap, you can't beat pinto beans or lentils at one-fifth the cost.
Easy little things you can do!
This is important: wash your hands with soap and water, it is sufficient! 
No need to put anything else with harsh chemicals in it that will dry out your hands. Anytime you come back home from the stores, make it an habit and wash your hands right away, before spreading the germs!

Teach your children to sneeze/cough in their elbows rather than covering their mouth! I know, I have been told to cover my mouth too, but when you think of it, it is NOT the way to do it.

When washing thoroughly your vegetables, add a tablespoon of vinegar in the water. If there are little creatures, they won't like the sting and will detach. 

To neutralize cooking odors (like onions) in your house, boil a cup of water  or white vinegar with 5 cloves and add some cinnamon.

Use ice cube trays to freeze small portions of pesto, broth, applesauce and tomato sauce (or anything you can think of). Transfer the cubes to a Ziplock bag or other freezer-proof container and it will be easy to pull out exactly how much you need.

Did you know that if you store your potatoes in the fridge, they will go sweet on you? 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

More recipes

Adults may like all kind of vegetables, but it is not always the case for children. Talk to your kids about nutrition because they will listen. Try to get them involve in cooking with you. They will learn what a leek looks like, or how to peel and cut a carrot.

The great thing about cooking is that it does NOT have to be perfect. Kids can be creative and cut the vegetable in all sort of shapes. Make cooking fun! There is a big chance that if our children help making dinner, they will take pride in eating it! Introduce a wide variety of foods and don't make a big deal if they reject it. Try again another day and present it differently.

During the winter, a big bowl of homemade vegetable soup is one of the best ways to get a lot of the veggies you need all in one dish. Here is a link to a website with 25 recipes, each one better than the other:

Not very long ago, I read an article on CBS News that was disturbing. A study published in the "American Journal of Medicine" revealed that two nuggets from fast food chains in Jackson, Miss. contained only about half of what we would consider chicken meat. If you would like to know more, here is the link to this article:

This is an easy chicken nuggets recipe that your children will love to make with you at home, with real chicken meat!

Chicken nuggets:
You can either use chicken tenders or cut chicken breast in small pieces. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients:
1/2 cup of grated parmesan
1/2 bread crumbs
1 tablespoon of dry parsley
1 tablespoon of rosemary finely minced
salt and pepper

In a second bowl, whisk 2 eggs. In a third bowl, put 1 cup of all purpose flour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dredge each chicken piece in the flour first, until evenly coated, then dip in the egg mixture, and finally in the bread crumb mixture, pressing the crumbs gently against the chicken to thoroughly coat. Place the chicken on an oven-safe rack on a sheet pan, and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Smaller tenders will cook more quickly. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce.

And while your oven is on, why not make some zucchini Parmesan crisps? Very easy and fun to make!

zucchini Parmesan crisps:
2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (3/4-ounce)
1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 420 degrees. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil. Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini rounds with the oil. In another bowl, combine the parmesan, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Dip each round into the parmesan mixture until evenly coated, pressing the crumbs gently against each side. Place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove with spatula. Serve immediately.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Beauty recipes

Happy Friday!
Isn't this the perfect weekend to have your own spa day at home for little to no cost? 
The benefits of making your own beauty products and treatments are many. The first benefit I see is that homemade beauty products are chemical free, and the second benefit is that these products and treatments don't break my bank! 
It can be difficult to speak about the chemicals and additives in our foods and beauty products without becoming political, so I won't delve into this subject too deeply. However, I do encourage you to read as much as you can about this important topic.
Instead, I want to give you the opportunity to create your own chemical-free skincare recipes. 
Many websites offer DIY recipes for cosmetics and beauty products. I chose a few easy recipes for you to try and listed them below.  Always exercise caution if you think you might be allergic to ingredients like nuts, avocados and other common food ingredients.

Body scrub:
Mix in a bowl the following ingredients:
3 spoons of olive oil or sweet almond oil or coconut oil 2 spoons of fine sugar-organic is better
1 spoon of fine salt 
3 drops of essential lavender oil, lemon oil, or eucalyptus oil 
In the shower or bathtub, gently massage the mixture into your dry skin. It will scrub away the top layer of dead skin cells, leaving your skin super soft. Once your body is scrubbed well, rinse thoroughly. Just one word of caution: Rinse the shower carefully as the oil can make it very slippery!
Facial avocado mask:
This homemade avocado-based facial mask recipe will hydrate and calm dry or sensitive skin, while gently exfoliating, too.
Blend 1 ripe avocado together with 2 tablespoons of raw, organic honey and ¼-cup uncooked oatmeal flakes. Apply a medium layer of the mixture to your face and let sit for 10-15 minutes. The avocado and honey both will work to moisturize dry skin, while the oatmeal balances and calms reactive, red and sensitive skin.
Hair mask:
Combine one egg yolk together with one teaspoon of olive oil or coconut oil in a small bowl, and add one drop of cypress essential oil or lemon oil to the mixture. You can also add 1/2 of a ripened avocado. Apply the mixture to your hair for 20 minutes and rinse thoroughly with warm water. Add 1/4 cup of white or apple cider vinegar mixed with 2 cups of water to your final rinse.
Mango face mask:
Honey retains moisture so your skin feels hydrated and fresh all day. It also absorbs impurities from the pores in the skin, making it a very effective chemical-free remedy to clear skin blemishes like acne and pimples.
4 tablespoons finely chopped mango pulp1-2 teaspoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons almond oil
Place all ingredients in a bowl; mix well.
Apply mixture to your freshly cleaned face and neck. Leave the face mask on for 15-20 minutes, and rinse off thoroughly with lukewarm water.
Good for all skin types.
Lavender linen spray:
Combine the following in a dark glass spray bottle:
2 oz cheap vodka (can be replaced with 50 degrees alcohol as the alcohol serves as a preserver)
4 oz water
10-15 drops lavender essential oils.
My personal touch is that I add 8 drops of pure vanilla extract. Shake well before you spray on the pillows.

Enjoy, stay healthy and feel wonderful!