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Recipe Remixxxx

Yes, I finally made Kelly’s Salmon cakes, and they were delicious and simple!  Seriously, what took me so long?  Canned salmon is going to become one of my pantry staples so I can easily whip these up any time.  After forming the cakes, I did bake most of them (like Kelly’s instructions), however, I set a few aside to pan fry for those who are looking for a little extra fat in their diet.  Like I’ve said before, I try to make everyone happy =]

Have you ever switched up a recipe?  I do it all the time.  Do you remember my almond butter cookies?  Lately, they’ve turned into sunflower butter cookies with either pumpkin seeds, or peanuts (whatever I have on hand).  So I thought I would remix, and repost my recipe.

Nut Butter Cookies

Makes 18 cookies 

1/2 cup Nut or seed butter

1/2 cup Maple Syrup

3 Tbs Canola Oil

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour or Regular Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 cup Chopped Nuts or Seeds

1/4 cup Chocolate Chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combined nut/seed butter, maple syrup, canola oil, and the vanilla extract in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, combined the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Mix in the chopped nut/seeds and (optional) chocolate chips.  Let the dough sit for five minutes.

Roll tablespoons of the dough into a balls, and flatten to around 1/3 of an inch.  Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.  <- Another change that I made, making them a little bit crispier.

After letting these cool, I layer them in a zip lock bag using wax paper, and send them right into my freezer.  I like divide my baked goods (cookies and breads), and freeze a portion of them.  This way I don’t eat them all at once, and they stay fresher for longer!  It also comes in handy for when we have company, there is no need to worry about dessert!

Have you remixed any recipes lately?

Stay Natural ♥ C

busy working bee, with a ton of recipes!

Yes I am!  In fact, I even bought a planner.  The ultimate sign of a hectic schedule.  Besides organizing my work day, it has helped me plan out the meals that I want to make.

One of the recipes that I have recently made, and really enjoyed, was featured on a Dr. Oz episode (of course) about ovarian cancer.  The recipe Dr. Oz and Dr. William Li made was Sea Bass with a Mediterranean Sauce.  Because of the price of Sea Bass, I  made this recipe with Tilapia, another tasty white fish.  If you don’t eat fish, I would just try the sauce, it’s amazing!  I have used it on top of brown rice, and sauted greens (kale, collards, chard).  It really adds nice flavor.

Besides my Dr. Oz recipe (maybe I can be nominated as his biggest fan?), my time in the kitchen has been limited.  Which is a real bummer because I have a ton of recipes to try!  Check these out, make them, and then tell me how they are =]

  • I found a recipe on Yum Sugar for Cream of Tomato Soup.  I LOVE tomato soup, but find the canned version too salty, and too sweet.
  • This healthy Pumpkin Cheesecake  is made with greek yogurt.  Endless Beauty posted a video for this recipe on youtube almost a year ago.  So i’m more then just a little behind on this one.
  • I may be a little bias, but Whole Foods never fails me when I’m searching for a new recipe.  I can’t wait to try this Curried Cauliflower Soup.
  • If you haven’t read Kelly’s Blog (Meals for Miles), check it out.  Currently earning her masters in nutrition/dietetics, she one of my favorite blogs to read for nutrition and health information.  Plus, she is my running inspiration, she is crazy dedicated!  Anyway Kelly, why haven’t I made the salmon cakes that you posted forever ago?!!?  The can of salmon has literally been in my pantry for that long.
  • Speaking of blogs that I love, Emily (Daily Garnish) is a vegetarian culinary goddess!!  After attending Johnson and Whales, Emily (also a momma to be!) lives in beautiful Seattle, Washington.  Two places that I dream of going to.  (You are a lucky girl!)  Emily very recently posted a recipe for Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies made with pumpkin.  And if I am not totally exhausted after this post, I will go make them!
  • My love for white fish always has me searching for new recipes, and I can not wait to try this one I found on the Food Network for Baked Costa Rican-Style Tilapia with Pineapples, Black Beans and Rice.  yummm

So my next day off, I’ve got some big plans

Stay Natural ♥ C

When counting sheep doesn’t work

A high quality “whole foods” diet and exercise have always been what I rely on in order to feel my best.  But this summer I needed something more.  Feeling lethargic and unmotivated to do anything, I knew there was something missing.  That is when I discovered it, the life changing solution to all of my problems was found.  And the miracle cure is?  A really goodnight’s sleep

I have always considered myself a morning person, and that is still true!  I am much better at getting things done in the morning then I am later.  However, these last couple of years I would deprive myself of an hour or two of sleep in order to work out, and squeeze some extra time into my day.  Because I was feeling so tired, I decided to investigate and figure out how to get not only more sleep, but a higher quality of sleep.

It was Dr. Oz (of course) that taught me about Melatonin, a hormone that is made by the pineal gland (in the brain) that controls your sleep and wake cycles.  When exposed to light, the amount of Melatonin is reduced, causing us to wake up.  This light can be natural, or artificial.  But let’s start with natural.

Step 1: Darkening my Room

It was then that I noticed that when I woke up in the morning, the small amount of light that was sneaking through my window shades and under my door was distracting, keeping me away from that extra hour or two of snooze time.  What did I do?

  • Bought long, dark, brown window drapes.
  • It may sound cheep and ‘tacky’, but I use sticky tack to secure down the sides of my shades.
  • Using a blanket or towel block the bottom of my door, where light was pouring through.
  • Channeling my inner Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffanys) , I use a sleep mask.
Step 2: Limiting Artificial Light 
This one is tough for me, because I love using my laptop and watching my favorite tv shows and movies to relax at night.  But knowing that it can deplete my Melatonin, and effect my sleep, is motivation for me to limit my exposure, and pick up a good book.
Step 3: Drinking my Melatonin 
Did you know that Tart Cherry Juice contains a natural source of Melatonin?  I will drink to that!  That is why I recently started drinking a glass dinner, allowing time for the Melatonin to kick in!
Step 4: Magnesium
For myself, I find that taking a magnesium supplement before bed has improved my quality of sleep tremendously.  This is one step that I would do some research on.  I can tell you that I love this powdered form of magnesium called calm that you mix into warm water.  My favorite is the raspberry lemonade flavor =]
And the benefits to a good night’s sleep?  They are endless.  Just check out these Links.  They offer great articles on giving more tips on how to get a goodnight’s sleep, and the multiple benefits of catching some zzzzz’s.
Time to recharge
you with me?
stay natural & sleep well
♥ C

Set it and forget it! until later

I may be working like crazy these days, but that doesn’t keep me out of the kitchen!  As long as I have my crock pot, dinner will still be homemade, and on the table.  Whether I am actually there or not!

This recipe for Slow-Cooker Creamy Chicken with Biscuits was featured in Real Simple magazine a few months ago.  It is similar to chicken pot pie, the perfect ending to a fall day.  Milk or half and half can be substituted for the heavy cream.  I have also used frozen chicken breast, and they did defrost and cook completely in the crock pot.  Can dinner be any easier?

Naturally Cassie’s version of Real Simple’s Slow-Cooker Cremay Chicken with Biscuits

serves about 3-4

add more chicken to increase the servings

Ingredients

  • 4 carrots, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 pieces of chicken breast
  • black pepper
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or use an additional 1/2 cup of broth)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/2 and 1/2, or milk

Directions

  1. In a  crock pot, combined the carrots, celery, onion, and flour. Place the chicken on top and season with the poultry seasoning, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Pour in the wine and broth.
  2. Cover and cook until the chicken and vegetables are tender, on low for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 2 1⁄2 to 3 hours.
  3. Thirty minutes before serving, prepare Real Simple’s Easy Drop Biscuits (if using).  You can also serve this with regular bread, or over brown rice.
  4. Ten minutes before serving, add the peas, and cream or milk, and stir.  Cover and cook until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes more.
  5. To serve, place biscuits, bread, or rice in shallow bowls, then top with the chicken mixture.
Links?  just one!
This is a short, but eye opening article on the regular use of otc painkillers
Until next time
Stay Natural ♥ C

build me up, butternut

Even though it was hard for me to see summer go, the produce that fall brings makes the transition a little bit easier.  After a few tweaks, I am really excited to share my recipe with you for Butternut Squash Soup.  The perfect comfort food after a long day.  For extra creaminess, you can add milk or half and half.  But try it out first!  I found that I enjoyed this soup without the milk, or any additional seasoning.  After pureeing  the soup, I split the it in two separate pots, adding milk to one, and not the other.  Hey, I try to make everyone  happy =]

Butternut Squash Soup

serves 4

2-4 Tablespoons oil (canola, butter, or refined coconut oil-which does not taste like coconut)

1 small to medium butter nut squash, skinned and largely diced

1 carrot, skinned and diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1 cup Apple, peeled and chopped

1 cup yellow onion, diced

1 Tablespoon curry powder

1 Tablespoon whole wheat flour

3 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup milk or half and half  (optional)   

Salt and pepper

Instructions:

Melt your choice of butter or oil in pot set over medium high heat.  Saute the squash, carrot, celery, apple, onion, and curry powder for 5 minutes, frequently stirring.  Add in the whole wheat flour and continue to cook for 2 minutes.  Pour in the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, and simmer (uncovered) for 3o minutes.  Puree the soup using a blender, food processor, or and immersion blender (a hand blender, which I love!  Mine is a cuisinart).  Pour the soup back into the pot, and add milk or half and half (optional).  Heat the soup until it reaches your desired serving temperature.  DO NOT bring to a boil.  Add salt and pepper if needed.

Links!

High sodium foods, will you be shocked?

Choosing your favorite tunes will definitely improve you workout

Increasing my love for greek yogurt- 10 greek yogurt recipes

Stay Natural ♥ C

First day of school

No matter how old you are, September feels like a new school year.  A time for change and new beginnings.  And trust me, I am ready it.

I am happy to announce that in a few days I will be starting my new job working in the prepared foods section at a popular health food store in a local area, which I adore.  This is a huge step for me.  Not only is this going to be a  learning opportunity, but who knows where it will take me.  The best part?  New recipe ideas =]

My job isn’t the only new thing happening this September, it also seems that we are making some progress on our home gym!  It has been over a year now that we have been trying to clean out our storage room to create a home gym.  Working out at home and ditching my gym membership would be a great way to save some cash, plus I wouldn’t have to drive anywhere.  Currently, we are on a search for a treadmill.  Because of my history of foot issues and shin splints, I want to find a treadmill that has great shock absorption, but doesn’t cost a fortune.  The F63   and F65 Sole Treadmills are the two that we have been looking at lately.  If anyone has any suggestions or experience buying a treadmill, PLEASE SHARE!!!

What is new in the kitchen?  Well this Monday will include some Labor, but trust me, it is welcomed!  We will be celebrating a Birthday for someone.  Trust me, they don’t want me to write their name, in fact, they won’t even like that I am blogging about it.  (But hey, thanks for reading!!)  The reason that I am mentioning it is because it will be a major foodie kind of day.  On the menu:  I am going to attempt fresh salsa.  We have a ton of tomatoes so I figured why not?  If you read my previous post, you know that I will be making Bison burgers, as well as turkey burgers.  K is in charge of the baked beans, as usual.  A green salad, and I am thinking of trying Bobby Flay’s recipe for German Potato Salad.  Dessert?  Someone is requesting a carvel cake, and it is rumored that Fudgie the Whale could possibly make an appearance =]

Even though I am sad to see summer end, there are a lot of new and exciting beginnings that are on the way.

What are your ‘new beginnings’ this September?

Links! 

Want to try a spin class?  Read these tips before you go

Greek Yogurt sales have risen 2500% in just five years!

Want to avoid the freshman 15?

More news confirming the down side to diet soda and artificial sweeteners

Stay NaturalC

I basically do whatever dr. oz tells me too.

Well, not necessarily.  However, I do believe he is an incredibly smart doctor that focuses and promotes the power of nutrition and natural supplements.  After catching a show the other day that talked about papaya, K has been obsessed with it!

The show we saw talked about papaya as an anti-cancer superfood, but it has also been featured on Dr. Oz’s show as a secret to Longevity.  All the information talked about on the show can be found through these links that will direct you to his show’s page.

Papaya is an interesting fruit.  I would say it is a cross between a cantaloupe and a mango, definitely a ‘tropical’ flavor.

Since it is not a popular fruit, I thought I would show you what it looks like!

After cutting it in half lengthwise, you will find a ton of little black seeds that can be easily scooped out.

The seeds are edible., but I wouldn’t recommend eating them straight.  They have a peppery taste, and are best used ground up in salad dressings.

As long as the seeds are gone, you can easily remove the skin, and cut the papaya any way that you would like!

Try papaya in your smoothie, or a fruit based salsa!

Link time!!

I really came across sooo many interesting articles this week!

This feature on Bison (Buffalo) meat was my favorite.  It is probably the best meat out there.  Lower in calories, fat, and cholesterol than beef, pork, or skinless chicken, but higher in iron and B12!  PLEASE check out this article!

It is interesting to know how much exercise you really need.

Look at those nails and find out what they are saying about your health.

Still feeling sore after your workout?  Check out these tips.

Stay Natural ♥ C

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