Saturday, October 2, 2010

What's Cooking Today

Now that the demands of "The Maker's Diet" are over, cooking has been a little more sporadic in our home.  Between the chaos of work, school, an internship, senior projects, moving out, and so-forth, making time to cook elaborate meals has been a bit unrealistic.  Not to mention, waking up sick the other morning had me a bit out-of-sorts.  Nonetheless, as part of my mandatory resting today (Dr. Garrett's orders), I rented "Julie & Julia" and suddenly feel incredibly inspired to get cooking! 

Today's Menu:

Vegetable Bean Soup (with a heaping dose of heat, equivalent to Emerald's serving of spice, to kick this cold!)

Meat Spaghetti with garlic and mushrooms

Spiced Apple Muffins

And something fun for family visiting tomorrow:

Chocolate Raspberry Coconut Flour Cupcakes with a Chocolate Ganache Frosting (recipe courtesy of

Freezer/make ahead meals:

French Toast

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken with my homemade Asian marinade for stir-fry

Oh, and I can't forget to mention... the other day I made pancakes with coconut flour!  VERY delicious and fluffy!  An excellent gluten-free recipe.  The only downside: it required a ton of eggs and didn't produce that many servings. 

Anyhow, if you're interested in any of these recipes, or recipes from a previous post, leave a comment to let me know : )  I'm off to the kitchen....

Bon Appetit!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Something Sweet

Ever have those days where nothing seems quite as yummy as chocolate does?  Today was one of those days.  My remedy?  Semi-Homemade "Healthy" Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups : ) 

I say "healthy" because I used 85% cocoa extra dark chocolate, containing only 5 grams of sugar, but still, that's 5 more grams of sugar than what I would recommend.  Nonetheless, to make up my concoction, I also used sunflower seed butter, a tad bit of extra virgin coconut oil, about a teaspoon of honey,  and some chopped almonds.  TA-DA! 

I couldn't resist sneaking a few bites before taking the picture... : )

Making this simple, yet delicious treat got me curious.... What treats do you enjoy when your sweet tooth acts up?  Leave a comment below to share your secrets!  : )

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It is Finished!

We've done it!  Finished 40 days on "The Maker's Diet"! 

A brief recap:

Phase 1:  Terrible, awful, dreadful, so very hard! Yet, at the same time... worth it!

Phase 2:  AMAZING! Life-saver, tasty, delightful.  Still difficult, but SO worth it!

Phase 3:  A blur... seriously, this phase went by incredibly fast.  Partly because my last semester at college started up, and partly because we were out of town quite a bit.  Regardless, this phase was also tasty, wonderful, and again, SO WORTH IT!

I believe Phase 1 is so challenging because it is a detox and your body is naturally going to resist the changes. Your cravings are also at an all-time high, you will probably have headaches, and generally feel hungry at all times.  But, DON'T GIVE UP!!!

Phase 2 gets easier because you can finally incorporate foods that leave you feeling full.  You are also adding more foods which gives you the opportunity to have a better-balanced variety of meals.

Phase 3 is the fun part.  By this phase, you are a way better cook (from all the experience you gain cooking nearly every single meal the first two phases) and again, you have a greater variety of options. (YAY!) 

Garrett and I decided to do "The Maker's Diet" so we'd have an increase in energy, improve our overall health and eating habits, and I secretly wanted to become a better cook. ; )  AND... we are currently enjoying all those benefits AND more!  It has all been incredibly worth it!

What's really crazy is now that we've finished and have the freedom to eat out at a restaurant, or eat something with sugar in it... we end up feeling sick, and don't even desire those things anymore.  I think the same principle can apply to sin/temptation.  The more we starve our bodies from sin and its instant gratification, the less we will desire those things, and the less power they will have over us.  

Genesis 4:7 " out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you.  But you must subdue it and be its master."

Romans 6:12-14 "Do not let sin control the way you live, do not give in to sinful desires.  Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin.  Instead, give yourself completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life.  So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.  Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law.  Instead, you live under freedom of God's grace."

Amen for that!  So thankful for grace and what was accomplished on the Cross... amazed at how God can use the silliest of things to communicate His truth (ie: resisting "bad-for-you-foods" leads to less of a desire for them; similarly, resisting sin, results in less of a desire to sin).  God is good! : )

Monday, September 6, 2010

Big Mistake

Had a wonderful Labor Day weekend visiting friends and family!  We had anticipated adventuring off of our Phase 3 diet in order to eat whatever was served at a wedding Saturday evening.  Unfortunately, with that in view, we gave in a bit early and then continued after the wedding to eat whatever we wanted that was convenient.  One lunch, we were in such a rush that we ate at a local burger place!  The next night, we met up with some friends at an Applebee's, and the morning after went to breakfast with my family.  Though the omelet I ordered there used farm fresh eggs (and was delicious), the biscuit on the side was definitely not on our approved list.  You may be thinking, "OK... and? Big deal, you ate normal again".  Well... think again!  It was a big deal because now we are both sick!  Our body's were not very happy with us all weekend (stomach aches, head aches, and fatigued), and now our immune system is so rocked that we are both sick with sore throats.  Not to mention how exhausted we are still feeling!  I am utterly convinced that eating healthy makes a difference!  And stumbling off for even a few meals, can undo a lot of what your body had recovered from.  Stay strong and continue on the path to healthy eating!      

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Grace and Granola (& Phase 3!)

I am overwhelmed by how good God truly is.  He takes care of every detail of our lives because He cares for us! How often do we take a moment to stop. be still. and think of His incomparable grace towards us?  The other day I was stressing over something and WHAM! The Holy Spirit reminded me...  His grace IS sufficient!  If He died for me... orchestrated all the prophecies to fall into place, gave up His Son to die an excruciating, humiliating, and undeserved death so that I can spend eternity in His presence, than I'm pretty sure He's more than able to work out whatever thing may be troubling me in this short little life.  Despite whatever the circumstances may be, I will choose to rejoice!  I will respond in gratitude for His grace. I will choose to trust Him.

Today we started Phase 3... the last phase of The Maker's Diet.  We ate some steel-cut oats (soaked for 24 hrs prior) with vanilla, cinnamon, and sliced banana.  Tasty. Filling. Healthy. And good for energy!  For lunch we ate chicken tacos with all-natural cactus tortillas and pepper-jack cheese.  But what I'm REALLY excited about is a granola recipe I'm making!!! Seriously, I wish there was a way I could post the aroma this mixture gave before, during, and after baking.  The smell was scrumptious! I had some of the mix before baking and... WOW!!!! When they are finished, they have almost a chewy cookie texture, but are way healthier and just as yummy (if not more)!  You have got to give this one a try! It was real simple, too.  I used soaked and dehydrated nuts, but I don't know if that's necessary since they get baked to 350 degrees for this recipe anyway.. Hmm..? 

I modified my recipe from these two:

Let me know how yours turn out!

Still too crumbly to take out of pan; but not too crumbly to enjoy! So delicious!!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I mean, really... where does the time go?

Regretfully, almost two weeks have passed since I posted something on here... and even longer since I've posted our meals for you to follow while on "The Maker's Diet".  Such a fact is regretful because now I'm not sure I can accurately post our previous menu since I doubt the capabilities of my memory... Although, this would be a great opportunity for you to be creative and put together some meal ideas of your own!  We'll just pretend that was my goal for you all along ; )  But, I will document the meals I have pictures of at the end of this post...

Anyhow, we are now ALMOST finished with Phase 2 and loving it!  Seriously, being able to incorporate nearly any fruit of choice has been a sweet new luxury and the "full" feeling after eating a meal with beans has been simply satisfying!  ...Looking forward to Phase 3, starting tomorrow! : )

Some meals we ate during the end of phase one and beginning of phase two: 

Pan Fired White Bean & Kale with a Sweet Potato (topped with sour cream and chives)
(Phase 2): A new FAVORITE! Yumm! This was my homemade healthy version of chicken parmigiana. : )

A DELICIOUS snack for Phase 2: Broiled orange (cherry) tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese.

Ok, so my presentation can use some work, but the flavor was outstanding!!! The poached eggs on a bed of sauteed spinach with red pepper coulis on top is a recipe from my sister-in-law Ashleigh (THANK YOU!!!).  I steamed up some asparagus and poured homemade hollandaise sauce on top.  The sausage is a homemade apple turkey sausage : )  If you'd like any recipes, just let me know in a comment. (Phase 2) 

I think it was a mushroom, goat cheese, spinach omelet with a variety of summer squash on the side. (Phase 1)

Poached eggs on a bed of sauteed spinach with red peppers on the side. (Phase 1)

(Phase 1) Mahi Mahi with sauteed squash and gold tomatoes (this dish was so flavorful)!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hallelujah for Phase 2!

Yep, that's right... today is the first day of Phase 2! We made it through 14 days of Phase 1, and man are we stoked to be done with that! I will post up our menu from Days 10-14 soon... yet at the moment, I am too excited over what we get to eat now! LOL.  Today I made a Three Bean Chili and I don't really have a recipe for it because I simply made my own!  Very exciting for me, as I have always been a recipe-dependent cook.  With the start of this new phase, I just felt like experimenting and it not only tastes great, it feels great!  We also had some basic scrambled eggs this morning, topped with some salsa.  I didn't snap a pic of the chili today, but I'll post a pic of it tomorrow, as we have plenty for left-overs.