Merry Christmas! Just two weeks until Christmas day. Tis the season to bake, shop until you drop, send out Christmas cards and wrap up pretty presents to set gingerly under the Christmas tree. Be sure not to burn the candle at both ends by getting some extra rest so that you can enjoy spending quality time with family and friends. Take some time out as well to attend a Christmas service at your church. I love attending a candle light service on Christmas Eve and singing along to old familiar Christmas carols. Remember Jesus is the reason for the season!
I am looking forward to celebrating an early Christmas with my side of the family this weekend. I spent some time in my vintage kitchen preparing and baking three loaves of cranberry orange nut bread yesterday. One loaf is gluten free for family members who adhere to this type of food plan. Cranberry orange nut bread is familiar favorite family recipe that I remember enjoying this time of year since I was a child. My mother began her Christmas baking several weeks before Christmas. I have fond memories of my sister and I assisting her with the holiday baking. We greased up the cake pans, helped roll out and cut Christmas cookies and licked the beaters. Our Christmas Eve celebrations usually were over at my grandma’s house after we participated in the annual a Christmas play at our little Lutheran church in my hometown. Cut out Christmas cookies in the shapes of Santa Claus, reindeers, stars and Christmas trees were my favorite. Other foods on the menu included date and cranberry bread, fudge, open face sandwiches, pickles and herring. My family has a German heritage so I didn’t even try lefsa, a Scandinavian Minnesota favorite until I moved to southern Minnesota.
Fresh cranberries are very low in calorie content and are a good source of Vitamins C and K. They are also an excellent source of fiber and are beneficial for the kidneys, bladder, heart and immune system. They are a tasty addition to muffins, oatmeal and quick breads.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray to prevent sticking. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and flaxseed. Stir until well combined. add orange juice, orange peel, oil and egg and stir in well. stir in cranberries and nuts. spread the mixture evenly in a loaf pan. Bake for approximately 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool down completely before slicing. Makes one loaf. (16 slices0
You may count 1/16 of a loaf as 2 carbohydrate choices. You may reduce sugar to ¾ cup if desired.
This blog is not intended to provide medical advice. Please contact your personal health care provider for personal nutritional or medical advice.
With thanksgiving just two days away, holiday hostesses everywhere are busy with details including last minute trips to the grocery store, preparing that favorite cranberry orange salad that grandma used to make every year and last minute house cleaning. The day after Thanksgiving it seems that we always have lots of leftover turkey on hand. My husband grows tired of turkey sandwiches in no time at all and says where’s the beef? Turkey vegetable wild rice soup is the perfect solution to the leftover turkey dilemma in my house. Your family will love it on these cool November days. This soup is also a nutritional superstar since it is chock full of antioxidant rich vegetables, healthy spices, broth, leftover turkey and wild rice. Wild rice is harvested in northern Minnesota and is an excellent source of fiber and magnesium. It is also a very good source of zinc, folate, phosphorus and iron as well. Wild rice is also a gluten free grain so can be enjoyed by people who must avoid or limit gluten in their diets. Since I am a Minnesota girl at heart, I really enjoy wild rice, especially as a side dish over the holiday season or in soups that I prepare this time of year.
Turkey Vegetable Wild Rice Soup is very nutritious, filling and perfect for waist watchers. Soup fills you up not out! A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition surveyed 20000 adults and found that on average, the soup eaters weighed less and had smaller waists than those who didn’t consume soup several times in a week. Soup is very satiating so it is a healthy first course for your meals. You will likely eat much less at your meal after you have consumed a bowl of soup. Creamy or cheesy soups are much higher in fat and calorie content however so choosing broth based soups would be more beneficial. Canned soups are also very high in sodium content so make your own with low sodium broths or choose low sodium or sodium reduced versions if you prefer to use canned soups. Be a food detective also by checking your food labels. Avoid broths or soups containing monosodium glutamate which is an excitotoxin.
The recipe calls for broth which is the broth from which you roast your turkey in. I add a cup of water in the roaster pan when I roast my turkey so that I will have plenty of broth to make gravy with and save in the refrigerator for soup the next day. If you would like to you can make bone broth from the turkey carcass after you have removed the meat from the bones. Google a recipe for turkey or chicken bone broth for preparation instructions. Bone broth is an excellent source of collagen, which is the protein found in vertebrae animals-in their bones, skin, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and bone marrow. As we age, our own cartilage in our bodies diminishes. Collagen from the turkey or chicken bone broth when consumed as a part of your diet on a regular basis may actually help restore our own cartilage according to Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DMN, CNS. Bone broths also contain minerals such as sulphur. calcium, magnesium and phosphorus that your body easily absorbs. The collagen and minerals in bone broth may be very beneficial for our joint health. Bone broth may also improve our gut health and is immune supportive according to a research study from the University of Nebraska which discovered that the amino acids produced when preparing chicken stock helped reduce inflammation in the respiratory system and improved digestion. Of course, we have all heard that consuming chicken soup is good for us when we have a cold or the flu and science supports this. This soup freezes well so you can keep it on hand in your freezer and easily prepare during cold and flu season.
32 oz turkey or chicken broth or you may use chicken or turkey bone broth
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
¼ chopped green onions or fresh chives
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp turmeric
Melt the coconut or olive oil in a medium sized frying pan. Add chopped celery, green onions or chives and mushrooms. Saute until the vegetables are tender. Place these ingredients in a large pot or dutch oven on your stove. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well with a large spoon. cook on your stove until the soup boils and then simmer for at least one hour until all of the vegetables are tender. Serve immediately. You may also prepare this soup in a large crock pot. Place all of the ingredients in your crock pot and cook on the medium setting for three hours.
Information in this food blog is not intended to be taken as medical advice. Always consult with your personal health care practitioner for medical and/or nutritional advice.
Recipes and blog content are subject to copy right laws.
It’s late October already. Most of our beautiful fall leaves have fallen to the ground but there are still a few golden and red trees shimmering in the sunlight today in our neighborhood. With a chill in the air, I decided it was a great day to cook up some chili using some of my frozen cherry tomatoes and chives from the garden that we tended over the summer. This chili can be easily prepared in your crock pot before you dash off to work in the morning or outside to rake your last leaves of the season.
My husband and I are moving towards consuming more grass fed meat in our diet so the recipe calls for grass fed ground beef. I purchased the family three pack of grass fed ground beef at Aldi’s recently and it came out to four dollars a pound. Of course, you can use regular ground beef or ground turkey if you would like to. Grass fed beef mainly comes from cattle that are fed only grass and other foraged foods throughout their lives. On October 15, 2007, the USDA established a standard definition for the “grass fed” claim that requires continuous access to pasture and prevents animals from being fed grains or grain based products. Conventional beef cattle usually consume a diet that includes grains such as corn. Grass fed beef has the following benefits: lower in total fat, more heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids and higher levels of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) a type of fat that can help reduce heart disease and cancer and grass fed beef is higher in precursors for Vitamin C and E. Raising grass fed cattle is also environmentally friendly since it can hep decrease greenhouse gas emissions. I like the taste of grass fed beef better also.
1 cup Fruit Raspberry Salsa (may use another brand or flavor of salsa if desired)
1 14.5 oz can of Dell Monte Stewed tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
1 15.5 oz can of drained and rinsed kidney beans
1 15.5 oz can drained and rinsed black beans
½ cup finely chopped fresh chives or onion
1 clove garlic minced
2 cups water
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp each garlic and onion powder
1 tsp chili powder
Brown ground beef in a frying pan and drain off fat. Place ground beef in a large cooking pot or crock pot and add the other ingredients. Draining and rinsing the canned beans will reduce the sodium content. You could also purchase low sodium beans or pre-cook your own dried beans if sodium content is a concern.If preparing the chili on your stove top, bring to a boil and lower the heat, simmering for at least 30 minutes . If preparing in the crock pot, cook on the low setting for 3-4 hours. You can also cook on high heat and it will be done in approximately 2 hours.
Information presented in this food blog is not intended to provide medical advice. Please contact your personal health care provider for nutritional or medical advice.
When shopping for my chili ingredients, I came across Del Monte stewed tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic. They have sea salt added and are non-GMO so I used these in my recipe.
Chili is not only tasty on a cool day but super nutritious also. It is a great source of vitamin C and potassium(from the tomatoes), Vitamins K and A (from the chives) fiber, iron, (from the beans and beef) Vitamin B12, B6, selenium, zinc, phosphorus (from the beef) as well as magnesium (from the beef and beans). Serve it along side a fresh fruit salad, whole grain (or gluten free) crackers and some sparkling water or cranberry juice and you have an easy and nutritious meal for your family.
We traveled through several small cities along the Mississippi River on a recent fall trip. We did spend the evening at the New Albin Inn in New Albin, Iowa and explored this quaint small town the next morning. We purchased several local items at the new Albin Meat Market. It reminded me of an old general store. I purchased this Spirit Valley Raspberry Fruit Salsa which I used in this chili recipe. They had a small wine section also and we bought a bottle of Cranberry Crush wine since it won the first prize at the Iowa state Fair in the wine division. The wine is made by the Winneshiek winery in Decorah, Iowa. It was a very sweet tasting wine that we both enjoyed. I mixed it with some cherry flavored mineral water to make a spritzer and it was very good. My husband snapped a picture of the old narrow lighted bridge below which is built over the Mississippi river in Lancing, Iowa.
I have included some pictures from our annual fall leaf tour. We traveled over to the river road along the Mississippi River and the colors were gorgeous!
I just love this time of year. The grass is green, my flower garden is in bloom and small tomatoes and tiny squash are on the vines in my vegetable garden. The boats and kayaks are floating by on the lake and my rhubarb is tall and ready to harvest. We just love rhubarb crisp at my home. I have a favorite recipe that my mother always made for our family when I was a kid. I love to experiment in my kitchen and have made a couple of minor changes to this recipe such as adding ground flaxseed to the oatmeal topping which will boost the fiber content of the recipe. Since I am using the sweeter strawberry rhubarb, I am also cutting back on the sugar in my recipe. Jim, my husband is my official recipe tester in my kitchen and he gave this recipe the green light and said go for it!
Topping: ¼ ground flaxseed, ½ cup packed brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ cup butter or coconut oil, ¼ cup all purpose flour, ½ cup old fashioned oatmeal
Combine beaten eggs, ½ cup of white sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and 2 TB flour together in a large bowl and beat well until combined. Fold in rhubarb. Place rhubarb mixture in a well greased 9 x 9 inch square pan. Add ground flaxseed, brown sugar, cinnamon, flour and oatmeal in a small bowl and stir together until combined. Add soft butter or coconut oil and cut in with a fork. Sprinkle the topping on the rhubarb mixture in the pan. Place in a preheated 350 degrees F. oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired.
You may count as 1.5 carbohydrate choices per serving on a carbohydrate controlled meal plan.
If desired, use a gluten free flour to make this recipe gluten free.
Information in this food blog is not intended to provide medical advice. Contact your personal health care provider for individual medical or nutritional recommendations.
We enjoyed the rhubarb crisp so much that I made another pan of it the following week I also like to bake rhubarb quick bread and muffins during rhubarb season. My sister baked a delicious gluten free rhubarb birthday cake for my niece Melissa recently and Melissa’s sister made a paleo rhubarb ice cream to top our cake with.
My favorite serving dishes are some of the beautiful china that I inherited from my mother and grandmother. Instead of letting them collect dust in my china cabinet, I get them out to use when entertaining and for my Vintage Nutrition Kitchen food blog photos.
Yah, my tulips are blooming and spring has arrived here in Minnesota. What better time to enjoy salads as a main course at meals. With the last blizzard just 3 weeks ago, I was beginning to wonder if spring would ever arrive this year! Soon we’ll be gardening, boating, swimming, fishing and hiking in area parks. Since short and swim suit weather is arriving soon, why not begin to eat healthier if you have slacked off in that area and cut a few calories in the meantime. That is one of the reasons I am swapping out calorie and fat laden mayonnaise and trimming down this salad with protein rich Greek yogurt. By substituting the Greek yogurt dressing in place of regular mayonnaise in this recipe, you are saving 315 calories, 40 grams of fat, 68 mg of cholesterol and 340 mg of sodium per serving. If you really like that mayonnaise or Miracle Whip taste in the salad and still want to save some calories and fat, you can substitute the reduced fat versions. I was very pleased with the taste of the yogurt and honey dressing in this salad however.
If you’re not as big of yogurt fan as me or are avoiding dairy products, you can easily use a vinaigrette dressing in place of the yogurt dressing or use one of the many varieties on dairy free yogurt on this salad. I had an extra turkey in my freezer from last Thanksgiving which I hadn’t yet prepared so we recently enjoyed a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for a few meals. I had plenty of white meat left over which I sliced and used in this salad. Chicken breast would work well also.
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt or nondairy yogurt such as coconut or almond milk plain yogurt
1 TB honey
1 medium avocado chopped
1 cup fresh or canned juice packed, drained pineapple chunks
1½ cup red grape, halved
1½ cups celery, chopped
⅔ cups pecan halves
Cut a fresh pineapple lengthwise and remove stem. Using a filet knife, carve out fresh pineapple and dice into chunks. Prepare the dressing for the salad by combining the Greek yogurt and honey in a bowl and whisk well. Place the remaining recipe ingredients in a large bowl and toss together. Next, fold in the yogurt dressing. Refrigerate until chilled. Place the pineapple salad mixture into hollowed out pineapple shells. (You will need two fresh pineapples, scooped out and halved for the four servings.) Serve immediately. If you prepare these in advance, be sure to refrigerate until serving time to prevent food borne illness.
Information in this food blog is not intended to provide medical advice. Please contact your personal health care provider for nutritional or medical advice.
Summer weddings are popular here in the north so if you are planning a bridal shower or even a baby shower luncheon this salad would be a hit due to it’s taste, appearance and ease of preparation. If you’d rather not take the extra time to cut, carve and chop fresh pineapple, use the canned pineapple chunks packed in juice and serve the salad on a bed of greens in a serving bowl or plate. A glass of sparkling grape juice or wine complement this main dish salad. Cheers and enjoy!
My food blog tends to feature some of my favorite recipes as well as vintage treasures in my home. I use my vintage singer sewing machine as a serving table prop in many of my food blog photos. My mother purchased this for me shortly after I was married years ago at a Mapleton, Minnesota antique store. Of course, I was wanting to decorate our home attractively and on a tight budget also. I purchased some material for fabric drapes for the windows above my dining room window seat and for cushions to match. Fabric drapes were all the rage in the eighties, mind you! I also purchased fabric for living room drapes on sale. With the help of my mom and mother in-law, I sewed the drapes, fabric shades and window seat cushions on this antique sewing machine pictured below with our puppy. Wow, was I ever proud of myself after that accomplishment and wish that I was equally that ambitious at the current time to take on another sewing project like that.
If you are looking for a new recipe that is delicious, nutritious and filling, Raspberry Chia pudding is all of these. It can easily be prepared in your blender, food processor or bullet, poured into a decorative small mason jar or even your fancy china, refrigerated and ready to serve in 3-4 hours.
When you have been shopping at the grocery store recently, you have most likely noticed that many food companies have added chia seeds to puddings, yogurts, smoothies and cereals. Why are they so popular as of late? Chia seeds are members of the mint family and grown mainly in Mexico and the United States Southwest. They are an excellent source of heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber as well as calcium, phosphorus and manganese content. Two tablespoons contain 138 calories, 10 grams of fiber, 9 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, 17% of your daily value (DV) of calcium, 12 % of your DV of iron and 23 % of your DV for magnesium. Ideally, you add chia seeds to liquid foods and as they soak up the liquid, they begin to thicken or gel these foods. As they do this, the soluble fiber in the seeds go to work to slow your digestive process and may keep you feeling full or satisfied much longer. Chia seeds are not necessarily low in calories so just using a small amount initially such as 1-2 tsp as an addition to your smoothie for example, is ideal if you are limiting your calorie intake. Chia seeds do not cause weight loss but may keep you feeling full for a longer period of time. Chia seeds can easily be added to smoothies and make delicious puddings and can be added to pancake and cooked cereals such as oatmeal. Refer to a recipe book or online recipes for further recipes.
Serve as a dessert, healthy snack or on the go breakfast in the morning.
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup nonfat Greek plain or vanilla flavored yogurt (may substitute nondairy yogurt)
2 tsp (or packets) of Stevia
2 TB chia seeds
¼ cup 1% milk or nondairy milk such as almond or cashew milk
½ tsp pure almond extract
Combine all ingredients in your blender, food processor or bullet. Add the frozen fruit and chia seeds last for better blending. Blend or process until mixture is smooth and berries are completely processed. Pour into small mason jars (6-8 oz each) or serving dishes .Stir mixture together with a small spoon. Add the cover to mason jars or saran wrap to serving dishes. Refrigerate at least 3-4 hours or overnight to allow the pudding to thicken. Serve cold. Add whipped topping if desired and garnish with fresh raspberries.
The recipe has been calculated using the plain nonfat unsweetened Greek yogurt. Information in this food blog is not intended to provide medical advice. Please contact your health care provider for individual medical and nutritional advice and information.
Raspberries are one of my favorite fruits and we grow these in our garden in the summer. Raspberries are not only delicious but are also an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C. The combination of raspberries, chia seeds and smooth and creamy greek yogurt is sure to satisfy. Raspberry Chia Pudding can be served as a delicious dessert, filling and tasty between meal snack or as a quick and nutritious breakfast in the morning. If you plan to eat this for breakfast, whip up the recipe in your blender in the evening, pour into your serving dish, refrigerate overnight and enjoy in the morning.
The north wind is a howling on this cold blustery evening. A foot of fresh snow blows around during yet another January blizzard here in Minnesota. It was the perfect weather to cook up a crock pot of hot soup to enjoy on this cold day. I made a pre-blizzard grocery run to pick up my soup ingredients on Sunday. As I glanced out of my kitchen window to watch the big fluffy snowflakes fall, I chopped up my vegetables and boiled my chicken and sweet potatoes on my stove. I let my mind wander and thought of palm trees blowing in a gentle breeze by a beautiful blue ocean and heard the waves crashing into shore. Reality check, I heard the snow plow drive by and realized that I was back in my warm cozy kitchen preparing soup. A girl can dream can’t she.
I love sweet potatoes so I wanted to include these in my chicken soup. I usually add egg noodles to my chicken vegetable soup but I decided to swap those out in favor of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes have enjoyed a superfood status due to their abundant supply of nutrients which include Vitamin B6, folate, Vitamin C, potassium and manganese. They are especially high in beta-carotene which is the pigment responsible for giving them their vibrant orange color. These nutrients in the sweet potato promote good vision, enhance immunity and help boost brain function. The high fiber content also has a very filling effect and increases satiey. The other vegetables in this soup are equally nutritious as well. People who frequently consume healthy soups containing lean protein sources such as chicken breast as an example, low sodium broths and a variety of vegetables tend to be leaner as well as consume more nutrients when the soups are served as a main dish or as a first course to a meal. Plan to serve a green salad and some fresh fruit with your soup and you have yourself a very healthy and easy meal.
I enjoy collecting vintage china, tea pots, antiques and bird houses which add a decorative touch to our home.
1.5 pounds chicken breast or thighs, skinned, cooked and diced
3 large sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced
1.5 cups chopped cabbage
1 cup diced red peppers
12 oz bag of frozen stir fry vegetables
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped celery
1 medium sliced onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic and herb flavored Mrs. Dash
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground sea salt
½ tsp pepper
1 TB olive oil
2 cups water from boiled sweet potatoes
3 cups chicken broth from cooking chicken in or low sodium brand
Remove all of the skin and fat from the chicken breasts or thighs. Boil chicken in water in a large pan on the stove until tender. Drain chicken, reserving 3 cups of broth. Refrigerate the broth and wait for the fat to harden on the top and skim all fat from the reserved broth. Boil the sweet potatoes in water and cook until tender. Peel the sweet potatoes. Reserve 2 cups of this broth for the soup. Add chicken broth, sweet potato broth and chicken to a large crock pot and turn on high setting. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and saute the chopped cabbage, onion, celery, garlic, peppers and mushrooms until tender. Place this mixture along with the bag of frozen stir fry vegetables and all of the seasonings in the crock pot. Cook on the high setting for at least 2 hours until all the vegetables are tender and serve.
Information in this food blog is not intended to to provide medical advice. Please contact your personal health care professional for medical and nutritional advice.
This makes a large batch of soup so you can enjoy eating this for a few days or freeze the leftover soup and reheat again when you are in the mood for a hearty soup. If you prefer, you can omit the meat and you will have a vegetarian meal. For a vegan meal, use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth in your recipe. Enjoy and stay warm out there!
Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes. I love to spend time out on the lake canoeing and boating each summer. I prefer to sit by the warm fireplace with a mug of hot cider and look out at the frozen lake watching the snow mobilers and ice fisherman in the winter months.
Green bean casserole is my go to recipe for a quick side dish at meal time. You can easily prepare this at the last minute after work or even prepare this in advance before you go to work and place in your casserole dish. Refrigerate it and bake in the oven or microwave the prepared casserole after you get home from work. It is an easy dish to bring to those potlucks as well. I remember that my aunt used to bring this casserole to our family holiday celebrations.
1 10.5 oz can reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup
1½ cups whole walnuts
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper or Garlic and Herb Seasoning Mix
Saute the sliced fresh mushrooms in the olive oil in a small frying pan. Oil or spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Add the 2 packages of frozen green beans, mushrooms, water chestnuts, Mrs. Dash and reduced sodium cream soup or 1½ cups of the cashew white sauce (see recipe below in my blog) to a large bowl. Stir all the ingredients together and place this mixture in a casserole dish. Top the green bean casserole with the whole walnuts. Bake in a preheated oven uncovered at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or microwave in a glass covered casserole dish for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve immediately.
Recipe nutritional information per serving has been calculated using the reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup.
This food blog is not intended to provided medical advice. Contact your personal health care provider for medical and/or nutritional advice.
The original version of this recipe calls for a can of french fried onion rings as a topping but I wanted to change it up a bit so I used whole walnuts as an appealing and healthy alternative to top it off. I also wanted to add some crunch for a different texture so I added some water chestnuts to the recipe.If you would like to make a main dish out of this casserole, add 1 1/2 cups of cooked sliced chicken, turkey breast or angus beef. This casserole is a good source of dietary fiber, copper, magnesium and manganese.
Last but not least, I added some sauteed mushrooms since they are a favorite vegetable at our house. I use a homemade white sauce or reduced sodium version of cream soups when my recipes call for a cream soup of some kind. In order to add some extra flair and flavor when reducing sodium in your recipes you can add other sodium free seasonings such as Mrs. Dash or experiment with garlic powder, cumin, Italian seasoning, turmeric or curry powder in your recipes. If you prefer to use a white sauce in place of the reduced sodium canned soup, refer to your cookbook or google a recipe online. The typical recipe usually calls for milk, flour and butter. If you would prefer a non-dairy vegan white sauce, I found a recipe for five minute cashew sauce at A Pinch of Yum food blog which looks very good. Recipe for Five Minute Cashew Sauce: 2 cups cashews, 1 1/4 cup water or broth, 1-2 cloves garlic 1 tsp salt (use less if desired) Directions: Place cashews in a bowl. Cover with water or broth and soak for about 2 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Place soaked cashews in a food processor or blender with the 1 1/4 cups broth or water, garlic and salt. Puree until very smooth in consistency. Makes approximately 2 cups. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of this to the casserole mixture in place of the canned cream soup.
I did prepare this casserole for one of my family Christmas celebrations as the picture above shows.
Just a few more days until Christmas is here! I celebrated Christmas with family members two weeks ago and have another family Christmas celebration this weekend. I really do enjoy preparing favorite old family Christmas recipes this time of year as well as trying new recipes. Some family members as well as friends follow a Paleo food plan so I decided to experiment in my kitchen recently and prepare a Chocolate Avocado Truffle recipe that I found on Dr. Mercola’s website. In order to make the recipe go farther, I added an extra half of an avocado and swapped out the vanilla extract that his recipe called for and decided to use almond extract since I like the flavor of the almond extract with chocolate. In order to thicken up this recipe, I added some ground flaxseed, crushed walnuts and chia seeds. Everyone needs some dark chocolate to keep them going this time of year. This recipe calls for raw cacao powder. This was not available at my local grocery store. It can be purchased or ordered at most food coops. I was running behind on my Christmas food preparation so I decided to opt to use the next best thing, the Hershey’s dark cacao powder. Raw cacao powder is made by cold pressing unroasted cocoa beans which keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa but removes the fat. The dark chocolate 100% dark cocao powder may be beneficial in lowering LDL cholesterol, reduce the risk of blood clots, increase blood flow to the arteries, help reduce blood pressure and improve cognitive function if consumed on a consistent basis according to some research studies. The avocado in the recipe is an excellent source of monounsaturated fat as well as a good source of folate, vitamins B6, E and C, potassium and fiber. Coconut oil which this recipe contains as well, may also play a role in improving cognitive function according to some new research on this fat.
1 cup Hersheys 100% cacao special dark dry cocoa, (unsweetened powder) or 1 cup raw (dry)organic cacao powder
2 tsp almond extract
2 TB melted coconut oil
3 TB regular or organic honey
2 drops liquid stevia or 2 packets dry stevia
2 TB chia seeds
2 Tb ground flaxseed
⅓ cup crushed walnuts (pecans or almonds may be substituted)
Peel and scoop avocado out of its shell and place in a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat the avocado until it is smooth in consistency. Melt the coconut oil in a small pan over low heat on your stove or microwave. Add the melted coconut oil, almond extract,honey and stevia to the avocado mixture. Next, add the cocoa powder gradually ¼ cup at a time to the mixture and stir or beat in well with a hand mixer on low speed. Add the chia seeds and ground flaxseed to this mixture and stir in until well combined. Add the crushed walnuts to the mixture and mix thoroughly. Place the mixture into the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove from freezer and using a small cookie dough scoop, scoop the mixture out and roll into balls. if desired dust with powdered sugar. Refrigerate or freeze until serving time. If you freeze them, take the truffles out of the freezer, 10 minutes prior to serving time.
One serving ( one truffle) counts as 1 carbohydrate choice on a diabetes carbohydrate counting meal plan. If you would like to lower the carbohydrate content further in this recipe, experiment with reducing the amount of honey in the recipe and adding some additional stevia.
This food blog is not intended to provide medical advice to people. Please contact your own health care professional for personal medical and nutritional advice.
We really enjoy taking some evening car cruises to view all of the beautiful Christmas lights displayed on houses, churches and in parks this time of year. We took a trip to the Kiwanis Holiday Lights display in Mankato, Minnesota a few weeks ago. I am including some pictures of this fun and fabulous lights display. You can drive through the park or park your car and walk through the display on lighted trails at the park. Santa also visits the park. Hot chocolate as well as horse drawn sleigh rides are offered too.
Well aside from all the health benefits, my family and friends found this chocolate truffle to be delicious. Joining together with family and friends around the Christmas tree enjoying favorite traditional family holiday foods and and trying new foods as well is what this season is all about. This is the time of year that the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated as well. Our church and many others offer Christmas services where we sing along to favorite Christmas carols. There always seems to be hot apple cider and holiday goodies after the services. Enjoy your family traditions this time of year, eat your favorite foods in moderation, bring along a healthy dish to pass such as a fresh fruit basket or veggie platter. Plan to go for a walk in the mall or around your neighborhood as a family to stay healthy this time of year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Remember Jesus is the reason for the season! Below are some favorite family photos of our Christmas celebration.
I can certainly feel a chill in the air here in Minnesota. Most of my fall gardening projects are done now and my rosebushes are covered to protect them in anticipation for those long winter months ahead. This is the time of year that I love to spend time in my warm cozy kitchen preparing recipes using the squash that I harvested from my garden that we planted last summer. Squash tend to keep very well long after they have been harvested so we can enjoy them in the cold months ahead of us.
Wild rice is also grown and harvested in northern Minnesota. I recently decided to prepare a delicious main meal that incorporates both the wild rice and acorn squash. I served the Acorn Squash with Wild Rice for lunch recently on one of those cool days and we really enjoyed the taste and texture of this meal. My husband and I are also very nutrition conscious and we enjoyed the meal for it’s awesome health benefits as well.
Acorn squash is an excellent source of immune supportive Vitamins A and C. It is also a good dietary source of potassium, manganese, copper, niacin, folate, thiamine and Vitamin B6. Just a 1/2 cup of cooked acorn squash provides 20% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) or daily value(DV) of Vitamin C for healthy adults as well as 4 grams of fiber. The B vitamins which include niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 help to maintain a healthy metabolism, nerve function, adrenal function, liver function and are also valuable to skin and eye health. The B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose) which is used to produce energy in our bodies. The B vitamins also help the body metabolize fats and protein.
3 medium acorn squash, (approximately 1½ pounds each) halved lengthwise with the seeds removed
3 TB olive oil or melted coconut oil
2 TB pure maple syrup
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 cup celery stalks, finely chopped
¾ cup finely chopped mushrooms
1 tsp thyme seasoning
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cooked wild rice (prepare on your stove or in a rice cooker)
¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
⅓ cup chopped dried cranberries,
Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet. Brush the squash with 1 TB melted coconut oil or olive oil on the inside of the squash halves .Add 1 tsp of pure maple syrup to each squash half. Sprinkle ground cinnamon on each squash half. Roast squash in the oven or approximately 50-60minutes or until the squash is tender. If desired, you may microwave the squash until tender, ( approximately 18-20 minutes per 2 squash halves).
Place 2 TB of melted coconut or olive oil in a large frying pan and saute the chopped onions, garlic, mushrooms and celery until they are softened which may take about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and black pepper to this mixture and stir well. Add the cooked wild rice, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts to the vegetable mixture in the frying pan and gently fold in. Continue heating until the mixture is warmed through, approximately 3-5 minutes .Remove the frying pan from heat source.
After you have removed your cooked squash from the oven, add the wild rice filling mixture to each squash half. Serve immediately
Acorn squash and wild rice are also very good sources of dietary fiber. One half cup of cooked accorn squash provides 4.5 grams of fiber. One cup of cooked wild rice provides 3 grams of fiber. According to Web MD, the average American consumes 15 grams of fiber per day. The Institute of Medicine recommends that healthy women consume 25 grams of fiber per day and healthy men consume 38 grams per day. Some people may need to limit dietary fiber for certain medical conditions so please consult your family physician or your personal registered dietitian for guidelines concerning this.
Wild rice is a good source of protein, folate, manganese, zinc, phosphorous, niacin, Vitamin B6 and magnesium. Most Americans tend to fall short of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) or daily value (DV) for magnesium. One cup of cooked wild rice supplies 13% of the daily value or ( RDA) for magnesium , 7% of the daily value or (RDA) for iron and 6.5 grams of protein. I love the taste and texture of wild rice, not to mention all of the nutritional benefits of this grain.
This recipe would be a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving menu.
My food blog Vintage Nutrition Kitchen is inspired by many of the vintage china and serving bowls, platters, glassware and goblets that were passed on to me by my mother, grandmother and great aunt. I found that I was letting these unique and beautiful items sit in my china cabinet admired, but unused. When I began writing this food blog, I wanted to use these precious family treasures as serving dishes for my food blog creations. I also love to collect and display vintage kitchen gadgets in my cozy country themed kitchen. My mother was exploring the attic of our century old home when I was a child and she found the vintage food cans pictured above. She cleaned them off and she shellaced the cans to preserve the finish on them. I have them proudly displayed in a china cabinet in my living room. She certainly had a knack for finding old things. She was digging in our garden of the home that I grew up in and ended up finding a century old nickel that time. As I grow older, I am finding that I appreciate those memories more and more.
Fall is certainly one of my favorite seasons here in the midwest. Although it gets very cold here during the winter months, we are blessed to be able to enjoy four different and colorful seasons. My husband, mother in law and myself took a fall leaf tour near Mankato, Minnesota a few weeks ago and I am including some of the beautiful pictures that I snapped that day.
I admit that I took a little break from my food blog and plan to publish my food blog Vintage Nutrition Kitchen monthly in the future. So far this has been a very enjoyable and relaxing hobby for me. I may end up changing and shortening my food blog domain slightly so that it is compatible with Twitter. I will keep my readers posted of any changes. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!