Colonial Beef Stew

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This isn’t a fancy recipe, but it needed a really cool name. Here over in the northeast, we see a lot of things that remind us of the colonial time period (my favorite by the way 🙂 ). So I thought, what better way to honor that period than with a gluten free dish!

Colonial Beef Stew (Serves 4)

1/2 lb beef cubes (I use grass fed )

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 chopped onion

1/2 head of cabbage shredded

1 small can of tomato paste

4 cups water

salt

garlic powder

pepper

Directions: Add all ingredients into your slow cooker. Add spices the way you see fit. Turn on low and cook for 8 hours. If you like a thicker stew like me, add less water. I find 4 cups works and then I turn off before serving and uncover. This will cause it to thicken up more. Serve with gluten free croutons or dinner rolls!

 

 

 

 

Bugs, Parties, and Natural Electrolyte Drinks

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So we got it. I got it. Zach got it. The 3 little ones got it. Even my poor oldest daughter who was ready to celebrate her birthday on Sunday got it. We got the dreaded stomach bug! I don’t remember sending an invitation to this unwanted guest. Let me tell you about a good party crasher.

This starts back about 2 years ago. My daughter Madeline was counting down to her decade birthday. It was all she could talk about and how excited she was. It was supposed to be huge!! Ok, well not “huge” like some parties, but in our family we take your birth-day very seriously. She even celebrates down to the time she was born. Yes, we could always celebrate it on a another day, but today is her special day picking out her favorite dinner and cake. Even this year she was going to make her cake from scratch the day before (check that off for homeschooling 😉 ). She had it all planned out. And then it happened.

It started Thursday night when Jackson was playing telling Daddy his tummy hurt. Sometimes he will say that ( he is my needs a band-aid for everything little man). So Zach just told him to go play and if it hurts some more to go into the bathroom. Well, he went in and redecorated my bathroom!! This was the down spiraling of events. It’s next victim was me, then Sarah, Madeline, and finally Zach. Solomon, who had a belly ache earlier in the week but bounced back rather quickly seemed to be the carrier. We were down for the count. We were so sick we had to call in the reserves. My father-in-law came to the rescue. He is the only one in the family that has this protective germ shield around him and never gets sick. He stayed with our family to help with the kids so we could rest. All. Night. Long. After him coming to the rescue, I will never make fun of his ” old man jokes” again! Well, maybe for awhile!!

Friday came. By then we had gotten a little better. The 3 youngest acted like nothing happened. But us parents and Madeline were having a hard time. My body hurt so bad that I hogged the water bottle all day. Madeline slept. Zach tended to the children. We spent most of Friday and Saturday sleeping the day away. That meant no cake for this birthday this year. Madeline didn’t care. The thought makes her turn green. So Zach mustered up some energy and ran to Walmart for some party supplies because my baby, the one who made me a mommy in the first place, was gonna get her party. We may have looked like zombies, but that little girls eyes lit up when she came down the stairs and saw we had decorated. And of course, got just want she wanted for her birthday (Seed starters, potting soil, and organic seeds)!! We spent the rest of the day passing off the baton for naps, but she will only be 10 once.

We use an amazing electrolyte drink to help put fluids back into our body. It’s made with natural ingredients and taste really good too! This would also be a great drink for the summer time since it almost tastes like orangeade. We used maple syrup in it this time around since I was out of raw honey. We also use our filtered water and pink Himalayan salt.  If you have kids, keep this one in your recipe box!!

I use her recipe  She has a wonderful blog and many natural ways to remedy things!!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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It was raining today. Little ones were under the weather, and I didn’t feel like cooking. So I knew I had broccoli in the fridge leftover from the night before and some cheese and milk. Put them all together and what do you get? Easy and delicious lunch in no time at all!!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

(This recipe would serve 2)

1 1/2 c. cooked broccoli

1/2 onion chopped fine

2 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp flour of choice (I use gluten free)

2 C. shredded cheddar cheese

2 C. milk

salt

pepper

garlic powder

Directions: Place chopped onion and butter in saucepan and cook until onions are transparent. Add flour and continue to stir until you create a rue (paste like consistancy). Add broccoli, cheddar cheese, and milk stirring on low until cheese is melted. Add spices and pull off the heat. Serve.

You can also add some dried mustard to add a little tang to the soup. That’s good too!! Took me about 15 minutes to make this start to finish. And for a busy mom, that’s a recipe for me!!

New Year, New Beginnings.

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So it has been since October since I wrote anything!! Sometimes life just gets in the way. But, with a new year comes new beginnings. New gardens, new recipes, new ideas with vlogging, new surprises. I’m excited for what the new year is going to bring.

So what has been happening on our little homestead these past few months? Well, we have downsized a lot in the house. It feels so cleansing to donate or sell off things you are not using. We have also added things that were “wants” to our home. For example, Zach bought me a Kitchen Aid mixer to help with our food prep. Let me tell you what a time saver this has been. I keep it right on my counter and use it often. We also got new appliances. I have washed dishes by hand for 6 people for a year and I must say, I will NEVER take a dishwasher for granted again!! We also got a new stove and refrigerator. We moved our fridge that was in our kitchen downstairs for extra storage because someone got membership to Costco!! Yes, this girl! I never realized how inefficient our stove was until we got a new one. Plus, it’s finally nice to have all 4 burners working!

Our journey to going completely gluten free became real about a month ago. Zach was the first to show signs of having issues years ago. I fed him gluten free, but the rest ate wheat. I wasn’t ready to give it up because it’s convenient. Then it was me with the issues with my foot which radiated up into my leg. So I quit gluten, but honestly would cheat every now and then. But when it started to effect my two daughters, I knew I needed to make a change. We started to notice my daughter was having bowel problems and would daily find herself in the bathroom sick. She also was tired all the time (probably because she wasn’t absorbing enough vitamins and minerals from her food). Our other daughter started to experience itching after she would eat gluten. It would get so bad she would cry and scratch her skin open. So we cut out gluten and you know what happened? The bowel problems went away and the itching stopped. They were more alert and active. So, was it gluten that was doing that to my girls? Well, to see if it as really the gluten, I gave them gluten again to see. Sure enough, the bowel problems came back, and the itching came back. But this time, my daughter was not only itchy but she actually broke out in a rash! I told my husband that was the straw that broke the camels back. We cut out wheat that day from everyone’s diet and haven’t looked back. After a good cry on how the heck I was going to do this with 6 people, let along with children who I swear invented the goldfish cracker, I wiped the tears and began baking. Because as a mother who wants what is best for my family and their health, I knew gluten was not one of them.

So that leads me to our garden. We got the new Baker’s Creek Seed Catalog. We will be placing our order within the next week. Our oldest daughter has shown a huge interest in saving and growing seeds. So this year she will be in charge of that.

The chickens are well and we will be adding a few more to our laying hens this spring. We have meat birds we are raising in the garage right now as we speak. Some may say that it is cruel to raise them in the garage and not on pasture. Trust me, if we had the means  we would do the same. But with limited space, this is the best we can do. They have a lot of room to run around and two huge windows that give them light. We keep heat lamps in there to keep them warm. They are happy! We also added to rabbits to the mix. We are excited for the compost for the garden!

As for surprises this year? Well, we will have to wait and see……

Sausage Zucchini Boats

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Everything from this meal came from our garden except the sausage. And what an amazing meal it was!! I’ve been really trying to utilize what we have in our garden to feed our family as well as our livestock (by that I mean our rabbit and chickens). I figured why not give this a try….and well, I’m glad I did!! Here it is:

Sausage Zucchini Boats

1 Lb of sausage

1 Green pepper chopped

1 Onion chopped

1 Jalapeno pepper chopped fine

1 Medium tomato chopped

Real salt

Pepper

Granulated garlic

Olive oil

Directions: Slice zucchini in half and scoop out the seeds. Rub with olive oil and spices. Take sausage out of its casing and brown with the pepper, onion, jalapeno pepper, and tomato. Add spices, stir, and add to zucchini. Bake at 350 uncovered for 25 min. Let cool 5 min and serve. AMAZING!!!

You could add so many things to this.I’m going to try this as a breakfast dish with egg too!!  I love zucchini for this reason. It has such a mild flavor that you can pair it with just about anything!!

Tuna Cakes with Avocado and Quinoa

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Tonight I had no meal plan. I have been running around today, and forgot to thaw something out so I needed think fast. The kids had the usual gluten free pasta and sauce, but I decided to give this a try for us grown ups. The tuna with the horseradish sauce topped with the creamy avocado makes for an explosion of flavor in your mouth!  I came up with this and honestly, I will definitely be making this again!! Here’s how to make it:

Tuna Cakes with Avocado and Quinoa

2 Large cans of tuna (drained)

1 Egg

1/2 Small onion diced

A few sprigs of flat leaf parsley (minced)(reserve some for garnish)

Onion powder

Celery salt

Pepper

Garlic powder

1 Avocado sliced

Horseradish sauce (mayo and horseradish mixed together)

Quinoa (prepare according to package)

Red beets (for garnish)

Olive oil

Directions: In a bowl, add drained tuna, spices, onion, egg, and parsley. Mix. Heat olive oil in cast iron skillet. Form tuna into balls the size of your hand and flatten to make a patty. When oil is heated, place into skillet. Cook until browned and crispy on both sides (approx 5 min). Cook quinoa and plate. Place cakes on top. Drizzle with horseradish sauce and top with avocado and parsley. Add cooked red beets for a beautiful finish.

You could definitely use crab meat instead and that would taste amazing!! In fact, that is now on my list!! You could also try out different sauces. Tuna really can go with anything. Plus, it’s cheap. And when you’re on a budget, I welcome that!! Enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

Fire Roasted Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa.

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With an abundance of peppers coming into the garden, I wanted to make something for dinner with them. Traditionally, I usually make stuffed peppers with brown rice but I wanted to try something a little different. The meal itself is simple, just a few things here and there, but the taste packs a punch. Here is how I made them.

Fire Roasted Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa

1 Can of organic fire roasted tomatoes

1 Lb grass fed hamburger

4 Cups of cooked quinoa

3 Peppers sliced in half

Garlic

Real salt

Onion powder

Celery Salt

Pepper

Olive oil

Directions: Cooked hamburger in a little olive oil and spices until brown. Set aside. Cook quinoa using package instructions (double). Slice pepper and place into a pot of boiling water for 3 minutes. Place in baking dish. When quinoa is cooked, add ground hamburger and mix. Stuff peppers with quinoa mixture. Spoon roasted tomatoes on top. Bake uncovered at 350 for 20 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes and serve. Enjoy!!

Guacamole Chicken with Cucumbers.


Need a way to use up all those cucumbers in your graden? Here is a really easy recipe that is a staple in the summer! This recipe is gluten free, healthy, filling, and would be great for entertaining. Here’s how to make it.

Guacamole Chicken with Cucumbers

1 Cucumber sliced

2 Avacados mashed

2 Small chicken breasts grilled and diced

Granulated garlic

Real salt

Lime juice

Red onion for garnish

Directions: Slice cucumber while grilling chicken. Pull chicken off grill and let cool. Mash avacados in bowl adding spices and lime juice. When chicken cools, dice into small pieces. Add to guacamole. Mix. Place sliced cucumbers on platter and add chicken/guacamole. Garnish with red onion. Enjoy!

This is an amazing recipe. Definitely one to add to your recipe box!

Cucumber Salad


Summer would not be complete without this dish. This is a great way to find something quick and easy as a side for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! They have many recipes out there, but I make mine super easy because sometimes you just don’t have time! Here is how I make mine:

Cucumber Salad

3 Cucumbers peeled and sliced thin

2 Tomatoes seeded and chopped

1 Small red onion sliced thin

1/2 Bottle of Italian dressing

Directions: Wash your cucumbers and tomatoes. Peel off some of the peel so it makes strips of green. Slice thin and place in bowl. Cut tomatoes. Take as many seeds out as you can. Chop and put in bowl. Slice onion thin and add to bowl. Pour dressing on top. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve and enjoy!

You can also use white vinegar and honey instead of dressing. I have made them both ways. Honestly, I just mix vinegar and honey together until it tastes good! No recipe for that!! I didn’t want to use up all my honey since the budget only allowed for a little jar of honey this week.

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Fried Zucchini 


If your garden is like ours, you probably have more zucchini then you know what to do with!

We love fried zucchini, but we try to avoid gluten at all costs. So I needed to get creative so we could have one of our favorite sides for dinner.

I bought cassava flour about a month ago and tried it out. It was perfect. I love this flour. It is four from the yucca root. It’s light and doesn’t feel heavy on your stomach, and well you wouldn’t even have know the difference! Want to try fried zucchini? Check out my gluten free version:

Gluten Free Fried Zucchini 

1 Large zucchini ( fed all 6 of us)

2 Cups cassava flour

Real salt

Granulated garlic

2 Eggs

Oil for frying (I used organic olive oil)

Horseradish sauce- A mayo of your liking mixed with horseradish.

Directions: Start by heating oil up in cast iron skillet. Get out two plates. Add eggs to one and beat until smooth. Add flour, salt, garlic to the other and mix (use to your liking). Slice zucchini thin. Add zucchini to flour first, then egg, the flour and place in skillet. Cook about 2-3 min each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. Serve immediately!

This is picky eater approved. In fact, I needed to tell her she was cut off!!

A tip on seeing if your oil is ready…use the handle of a wooden spoon. Dip it down into the oil. If bubble start forming around it, it’s ready!!

You can add all different spices. Chili powder is a good one. And add some horseradish sauce for a great added flavor! Enjoy!