Organic dairy free fluffy hotcakes!

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Yum! Hot cakes! Pancakes! Fluffy golden discs! Most just get a box of bisquick but for us foodies its all natural baby and here’s the recipe I approve of that taste great too.

1 cup King Arthur self rising flour or organic flour

2 TBS cane sugar

1 TBS aluminum free baking powder

1 organic egg beaten

1 cup water

2 tsp organic vanilla extract

First mix the dry ingredients, flour, sugar, and baking powder into a medium size bowl with a pastery cutter if handy. Mix in the beaten egg with dry ingredients. Add the water and vanilla extract. Mix by hand with a large spoon until most clumps are gone.

Grease a fry pan with coconut oil or an organic GMO free oil of your choice. Pour slowly until desired shape of pancake on medium heat. You know the rest.

To keep it healthy you can add honey as syrup or make a fruit topping. For the strawberry topping use about 2 cups of strawberries and cut in half with 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup cane sugar in another fry pan. Keep stirring on medium heat till a nice strawberry like soup appears. Get creative with your topping in adding nuts or dairy free chocolate chips! This recipe makes about 8 small pancakes. It’s a keeper for me. Next I’m going to try and master pastries with coconut flour. Any ideas? Here’s to Keeping it Real!

Juicy spiced baked chicken and veggies.

I love to experiment with spices. They add flavor, health benefits, and replace harmful chemicals like MSG. My spice crack of choice is rosemary, because it goes well on almost anything to me. This recipe was made from my experiment with thyme. I didn’t know thyme went so well on chicken until I had a good friend make it for dinner at which decided thyme needed to be in my spice collection as soon as possible. This recipe is very easy for the days I want to keep my healthy living but have no energy to cook. The combination of the spices I chose to make this dish made it the kind you may burn your mouth with from impatience of eating it, yes it’s that good.

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Ingredients:

~Organic chicken breast w/ rib meat. I buy Publix’s Green wise two pack chicken.
~Organic olive oil
~Organic stew tomatoes ( 1 or 2)
~Organic or regular yellow onions (1 or 2)
~Organic fresh cilantro
~Organic dried basil
~Organic garlic granules
~Organic dried thyme
~Kosher salt
~1/4 cup water

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First simply find a dish like shown above and add olive oil to the bottom just enough to keep things from sticking. Diced up the onions and tomatoes to your desired size. Place the diced veggies around the edge of the pan leaving room in the middle. Dash your desired amount of salt, garlic, and basil on the veggies. Then spice both sides of the chicken with salt, garlic, and thyme. Place the chicken in the middle, then add some of the fresh cilantro as a finishing touch. Drizzle olive oil over the veggies and add about 1/4 cup of water to the pan. You just want enough to keep the chicken juicy but not an inch of water. Cover and cook 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Once cooked, add some fresh cilantro on top and Wha La! A healthy, easy meal that I promise you’ll make again.

Here’s to Upgrading your Food Game and Keeping it Real!

Make your house smell like Apple Strudel from scratch!

There is this café’ that serves apple strudel that I’ve made a tradition of getting every time I visit, but I want to have this more than once a month, without the processed ingredients. So I put on some Mumford and Sons ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST59IaiCUdA ~ and did some late night baking. The best thing about late night baking is the joy of having your baked treat for breakfast the next morning with your coffee or tea.

This recipe uses healthier alternative ingredients and its Vegan. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 min.

Ingredients for pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur GMO free)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

3 tablespoons sugar (Use unrefined cane sugar)

1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, diced (I use Earth Balance Vegan butter)

4 to 6 tablespoons ice water

Ingredients for Apple filling:

1 1/4 pound apples (such as Granny Smith or Macintosh), peeled and sliced
(I used two organic red delicious & one green apple) *Note I had enough apples left over that another batch of dough was needed so just two apples is plenty.

1/3 cup sugar (Unrefined cane sugar of course)

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (organic)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour (K.A.)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (simple organic brand)

Use a medium size bowl to mix flour, sugar, and salt in. Use a pastry cutter to mixed chopped cold butter into the mixed until it clumps together. I like how these turned out but truthfully I wanted a more flaky texture. To do this I would just use the whole block of butter which is only two more Tablespoons than required in the recipe. The key is to just lay off the water if the dough is moist and gathered together already. You should have a nice rough ball of dough to set aside on a floured surface.

For the Apple filing just add diced apples to a smaller bowl with sugar, flour, and vanilla extract. I just sprinkled the cinnamon around all the apple pieces until I was satisfied. Mix with a wooden spoon until most of the flour is sticking to the apples.

Now comes the fun part of rolling out the dough and making your own pastry designs.

I made two rectangles and some circles from star like shapes.

Roll out the dough as thin as you can without it becoming too fragile and cut out a rectangle with added width for the top. On the extra side, slice out the tops of triangles to lap over the apple filling. Place some of the apple filling on the solid side and wrap the other side over pinching the dough together. Place on a cookie sheet with some type of oil (coconut oil) spread out. Another design is using a star shape to put a smaller amount of filling in. Just pull all the star points to the top pinching together. Lastly brush some butter on the tops of the dough, then place in the oven at 375 for 20 to 30 minutes. Keep on an eye on the Apple strudel until the tops start to turn brown but make sure the bottom doesn’t burn either. Finally enjoy! Comments of questions welcomed.

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Upgrade your Food Game!
~Love Miss Shawna~

Vegan Chocolate cupcakes with strawberry surprise!

Hello fellow vegans and those just trying to eat healthy! I made these for the 4th of July and had no complaints:) I’m not vegan, but baking vegan is ideal when your dairy free and want a healthier alternative to processed goods. I have the recipe posted with just a few tips….

Going down the ingredients list, I used King Author’s unbleached all purpose flour(GMO free). This could easily be turned Gluten free with the choice of flour too.
I used Ghirardelli Cocoa powder (GMO free) *You can check these companies sites to see their non GMO claims.
Unrefined sugar of course is needing, and I used light brown sugar since the recipe didn’t specify.
The choice of oil would probably make a difference in taste. I used coconut oil and the cupcakes didn’t even have a coconut flavor so not to be worried.
Now for the filling…I either like to stuff my cupcake with lots of filling or the recipe doesn’t give an accurate amount to use. I recommend having more than just 2 cups of strawberries. With this recipe I made 2 1/5 pans of full cupcakes and had to make the filling twice. The second time I added bananas to the mix. Yum! I also didn’t see the point of cornstarch as it just clumps up into white chunks in the mix. A simple simmer of organic strawberries with cane sugar added is perfect.

Finally cut out the middle of the cupcakes carefully and set the left overs aside for another creative dessert. You could even make cake balls with them! I ended up getting creative with my soul sister and making a mini peach cobbler. We simple mixed the cupcake crumbs in some water and honey then made a layer at the bottom of a baking pan. She then simmered peaches on the stove, could add cane sugar, cinnamon, or vanilla extract. We added the peaches on top of the chocolate layer and heated in the oven 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. It was donut good, and the crumbs weren’t wasted. Get creative!

Hope you enjoy this recipe! These are nice and rich. A little heavy without the egg but feel free to add one if your not vegan and let me know how it turns out.

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Vegan Chocolate cupcake recipe:

http://www.mnn.com/food/recipes/stories/chocolate-cupcakes-with-strawberry-filling-vegan

Upgrade your Food Game!

Anti-Inflammation smoothie that works with evidence!

This shake has saved me from having awful pain all day to hey I can bare this pain. Inflammation is the result of your body trying to heal itself and is part of the healing process, but its painful and annoying. I’m no stranger to inflammation, but after being hit at 60 MPH a new level of inflammation happens. I got this recipe from food babe and then found an article explaining why the ingredients will help with inflammation. At first I thought what so special about these ingredients? which is why I’m sharing this gem of smoothies because my daily levels of pain is the proof of its effectiveness. I now start my day after lemon in warm water of course with this smoothie! I make ginger root tea and let it set to cool. You can add honey if you want a sweet taste to the smoothie. Pour ginger tea in blender. I chop up a whole leaf of kale stalk and all into the blender. I add organic blueberries and strawberries. Add some chopped celery and blend well. Last add Hemp seeds as the recipe says. Only add later after everything is blended and use the pulse setting carefully to have less of a mess in your blender. We want all the ingredients in our glass not the sides of the blender.
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Hemps seeds after berries are blended with everything else.

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Here is the original recipe from food babe using ginger root instead of tea.

http://foodbabe.com/2013/09/30/anti-inflammatory-smoothie/

Much like food babe I didn’t want to turn to anti-inflammatory drugs, but not treating the inflammation wasn’t an option. I’ve found this smoothie to be very effective on days I can’t get out of bed from pain. Healing is a process. This smoothie helps ease the pain for me. Ginger root just by itself is helpful. Do your own research on anti-inflammation ingredients to help improve your health!

The article explaining anti-inflammation foods is from Mother Nature Network and have great posts on healthy living.

http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/5-anti-inflammatory-foods

According to MNN, One strawberry shake can balance the inflammation out caused by a Western style breakfast meal. This makes feel better when adding my strawberries. I love food science!  And as always….

Up Grade Your Food Game!

Easy Pasta Olive Garden style

Hi! Welcome to another easy healthy recipe that I made up while in the kitchen. Since on my health journey for real whole foods, I’ve keep some things, while tossed other ingredients out of my life forever! One ingredient that can go either way for me is wheat, but wait I love pasta! So I’m creating recipes with alternative pastas or ones with the main ingredient being something besides wheat. There are bean pastas I have tried and will hopefully be able to share later. I picked up some new items on my last Earth Fare trip. One was fettuccine with ingredients being: Unbleached flour, parsley, garlic, and water. Pretty simple and although I was afraid this wouldn’t taste anything like the Olive Garden fettuccine my taste buds imagined I was luckily wrong. The texture was perfect and cooked just like the stuff in the box. Most pasta’s main ingredient is semolina, which is wheat and actually healthy if your not going gluten free. Organic is ideal in that less preservatives are added. Unbleached flour isn’t gluten free, and is usually just a wheat that is ground more fine than wheat grains made for pasta. The desired texture and experience of trying new food products is the goal here. So here is a pic of the ingredients I used to make this recipe as seen below.
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Choose your favorite organic pasta sauce or get crazy and make your own, but I’m trying to keep this easy 😉 I like the garlic roasted version the best. Chop up some organic chicken tenders to cook in the pasta sauce with a little amount of olive oil to help keep the chicken and sauce from sticking. While that is cooking in a skillet have water already boiled to add your pasta.

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Simple pour chicken and sauce over pasta and your taste buds will thank you and so will your wallet on not spending money at Olive Garden.

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I enjoyed the flavors and taste so much that I made this recipe three days in a row.  Talk about needed a pasta fix.

Upgrade Your Food Game!

Pastries are like a piece of heaven to me so….Cinnamon roll time!

Hello! My name is Shawna and I have a pastry addiction. The smell and thought of a fresh baked good takes me back to some fairy tale land were there is endless turnovers, pies, and donuts. But wait! I’m a foodie now and bleached flour and refined sugar is no longer welcomed. That’s okay because there are plenty of healthy alternatives that contain the real stuff that makes a pastry, a pastry! It’s those little things you don’t notice until you become aware like the long list of ingredients on those store bought cinnamon rolls. I’m not condoning any company or person who chooses to eat the F.A.D. (failed American diet) I’m just sharing my experience for those who want to make a change, but feel overwhelmed at not being able to eat their favorite foods. Like I’m going to give up cinnamon rolls haha…No…So first option is to make your own in which I would just use organic ingredients and unrefined sugar. The other option is buying already made cinnamon rolls from a whole foods store. I just want to show the difference in making healthy choices to give awareness. When eating healthy you have to constantly check ingredients that you have listed as bad for your health and scan every list for those ingredients. The longer the list the better chance for me to just give up and put it down because a cinnamon roll should not have over 30 ingredients! The ones to look out for in pastries for example could be ADA, refined sugar, bleached flour, hydrogen oils, MSG(modified anything), and artificial flavors. Really is it that hard to just to use real cinnamon than artificial flavor!? Don’t forget the FDA is approving all this ingredients even though they are not used in the same brand of stuff in other countries. Research yourself to see what I mean. Anyways I take a healthy fresh baked cinnamon roll over a cold processed one any day.

Here is an example of a processed cinnamon roll ingredients list…..
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Can you read all that?! I know it is not the best picture but really why does a cinnamon roll need all those ingredients especially when half of them are not even real food? I can already spot the ADA listed. Start looking at ingredient lists to see what you can find the FDA trying to poison you with seriously I shouldn’t have to worry about these things when in another country those harmful ingredients are not allowed or used in the same exact brand name company products. Yet some how they are added into our food supply?!

Here is a real cinnamon roll compared to what is offered above….

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Do you see how big of a difference in length of ingredient lists that is? I’m giving props to this company for not using unnecessary ingredients.

You can research yourself to see the difference or just start reading labels.  Just like the can says, these were immaculately delicious!

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I’m glad to enjoy a healthy pastry that isn’t linked to disease later because that really is a piece of heaven and peace of mind.

Here’s to Keeping it real!

Your judging me for judging? Say what!?

It’s time for some spiritual and mental discussion as I promised in starting this blog. This issue could go in so many ways but I hope it speaks to you in one way or another in making a change with daily thoughts and judgments. I am not perfect and need daily correction but having an eternal mind set does help. I’m mainly speaking to those of us professing to follow after Jesus. Religion isn’t going to save me only Jesus paid that price, its all about the relationship for me. I am also speaking to those who have been judged by other religions because they can be the most judgmental of all. I think the problem is people are mixing judgment for accountability. Holding a person to their actions is not judging, but accountability which is what Godly people should do when each other fall under sin.

This does not mean gossiping behind each others back about each others sins. If you actually read the bible, then you know it says to talk to your fellow friend in Christ about their struggles in offering prayer and accountability towards them in overcoming that sin, not shouting it to the world! Now I haven’t had much problems with people spreading rumors about me because truth is there’s not much to say. Live a life where the preacher doesn’t have to tell lies at your funeral. But this behavior is a pet peeve of mine and the constant correction I have to do to people who are professing believers is becoming redundant.

Try seeing if these examples apply to you or a situation you were once in. I was talking to a friend one day over a couple who just starting dating. I knew nothing about the boy or girl’s behavior towards a relationship, but had nothing bad to say about them and only wished them the best. My friend on the other hand voiced how the girl was a wild child and needed a boy to ground her. Now in my head if you are able to make statements like that, then you must know this person on a different level with facts to back up your statement. This is usually not the case. I ask “why do you say she is a wild child?” The response was a long pause then a “I can just tell by looking at her.” SMH This then states anyone who looks different than you with colored hair, cloths, or make up is always a wild child…please just stop before I put you in your place.

Try giving people the benefit of the doubt, they may surprise you. My friend’s reaction to holding accountability on her words was that I was judging her for judging. No I was holding you accountable for your words, there is a difference. We have to remember what we perceive in life is not always truth. If you spread a rumor about a person and find out its not true then retract your statement to those you told so then the lie doesn’t grow. This kind of negative mind set is killing the Christian culture by making them out to break the own rules they profess to follow. I’m not about the Christian culture but the Jesus culture. Christian culture says you can go to church and only speak with other Christians in getting your free pass to heaven. This is false and without the Holy spirit working through you in making daily accountability changes to your life then you become an empty vessel allowing the world to fill you up instead.

Another situation I found myself in was with two ladies who were taking pictures for prom. There were several girls dressed up and waiting to take pictures. I was in a conversation were one parent and their child were looking at another girl’s dress and the mother voiced how her daughter’s dress is way prettier. What the? I step in and voiced to these people that I condemn any death spoken over that girl. I spoke life over the girl as having a pretty dress and every girl’s dress was lovely in its own way. I explained that there are no winners in comparing. If you compare yourself to a person as you are better than them, then you are putting them down and being creating un-humble thoughts of one self. If you compare yourself to a person as being better than you, then you creative negativity thoughts about one self. There are no winners we are all on different life journeys and should stick on our own paths instead of following others, otherwise you’ll end up as someone or somewhere your not meant to be. I could write many examples like these but I think you get the point.

My goal is to change the way people think about their roles as a Christian in judging as it was intended and how it’s being done. We are not the Judge, God is, we are only to guide and hold people accountable. Jesus said to go and sin no more. He challenged the religious on their beliefs but he didn’t beg them to follow him. Either you choose to be in the kingdom or not, but judging others will not make you closer to God. Realizing how much you have sinned and accepting God’s grace while sharing your new freedom will lead others to Christ. Once you have that accountability in your life with people you trust, then you know when they correct you out of love and their intentions are for you to grow spiritually not bring you down with judgment.

I love learning about different cultures and feel cultured in some respects. Learning about others can silence the voices of negativity that form over the unknown. I have many places to visit and conversations to have before I can be considered cultured but I go with this definition for right now. Being cultured means you have an open mind in that you make no facts in your head about a person who is different than you until you actually have a relationship with that person. All Christians do not act the same, all Muslims do not act the same, all Jews do not act the same and so on. This kind of thinking changes everyday decision for some people on how they live based on how others see fit instead of doing what they think is right. I for instance, like to wear a head wrap. My cultured fashion does not equal I’m a terrorist but that it was raining that day and nobody has time for that. There are many cultures that wear turbans for beliefs such as Sikhs. The key to building the kingdom is speaking life over each other and encouraging each other through life struggles while being accountable were it is due.

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Peace!