Category Archives: Eating Well

Favorite Granola Recipe

Our Favorite Granola Recipe

Favorite Granola

We love this nutritious, healthy granola.  It is full of delicious fiber and sweetened with healthier sugars and fruits. sometimes I change up the nuts or raisins but usually we just love it most just like this recipe.  You can make it crispy or soft whichever you prefer.  So enjoy your very own homemade fresh granola.  Buy your oatmeal in bulk and the raisins and brown sugar for extra savings.  It is so easy to make and your kitchen will smell like cookies!

 My friend, Julie introduced me to this wonderful recipe.  When we lived in the same area we enjoyed it as a Christmas gift from her family to ours.  We looked forward to it every year.  I finally just had to ask for her recipe.  I have changed it only a little since then.  so enjoy it and share it.  it will be a hit!

Favorite Granola

5 cups quick oatmeal

5 cups regular oatmeal

2 cups Raw sunflower seeds not salted

3 cups chopped pecans

1 cup flaked coconut

1 cup wheat bran

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl

Mix in another separate bowl

1 ½ cups water

1 ½ cup brown sugar

½ cup honey

½ cup molasses

1 ½ cups vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon vanilla

1 Tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons salt

Mix together

Pour liquid over dry ingredients

spread in 2 or 3 cookie sheets and bake at 300 degrees about 25-30 minutes depending on how crisp you want it.

Add 3 cups raisins or other dried fruit after baking. And mix.

Makes enough to fill a large gallon canister.

Secrets to the BEST BAKED POTATO

Potatoes-What to buy, how to store and bake them. Do not store them in the refrigerator!   I will tell you why.

How to you buy and bake those beautiful light fluffy baked potatoes?  It is so simple but important to take these steps

1- The most important step is to buy #1 Russet BURBANK potatoes grown in Idaho.  Idaho because with higher altitudes and cooler nights the conditions are ideal to grow the best potatoes.
 Burbank potatoes are dryer and bake up light and fluffy not soggy.  They are also whiter.  They are a much different potato than the Russet Norkotah so do not mix them up.  Burbanks are harder to  find because that is what all the first rate restaurants buy for their baked potatoes.
Farmers like to raise Norkotahs because they are heavier and prettier so they make good money off of them by the pound.
2- Store your potatoes in a dark cool place. About 40 degrees is best.  Do not store them in  the refrigerator BECAUSE potatoes are a living organisms and need to breathe.  When they are stored in the big storage buildings they pump oxygen into them all the time.  If they are stored in the refrigerator with not enough oxygen to speak of they go into shock and turn the starch to sugar and then you have a much different potato. You are also getting too much light on your potatoes in the fridge as you open the door.   store them in a place like a cool garage or root cellar or in the coolest place you can 35 degrees or more .Do   Do not freeze them. They need humidity too, but not water.  They will rot in water. A cardboard box with holes in it or a mesh bag or racks are great but they must be dark.  If they are not kept dark then they will turn green and bitter and not good for you. If it is green you might as well throw the whole potato away.  sort them occasionally to throw out any rot if you keep them for long.  Some potatoes are treated so they won’t rot easily now.
3-Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Prepare your potato to bake by just simply washing it.  If you like a crisp skin then don’t oil it or salt it just keep it as it is.  Wash all the dirt off but not the skin.
4-Prick the potato with a fork.  You should give it three deep pricks.  If you forget to do this then it will explode in your oven (been there, done that a few times).  Some people cut the ends off but that spoils the looks and how it will open up when it is done.  Microwaving them will not give you the same effect but a Russet Burbank will be a lot better than the other types of potatoes for microwave baking.
5-Bake it at 400 degrees in the oven  for one hour.  That is long enough for a big #1 potato which is about 6″ long and   8 1/2″ around.  Your altitude may make a difference too as well as the size.  You can also buy Russet Burbank “bakers” they are about twice the size of the regular no.#1 potato.  Of course you would bake them longer and you will probably end up cutting them in half to serve them. they are impressive though.
Potatoes are great as a base for chili or broccoli cheese soup. there are so many different ways to do a “potato bar”  they are versatile and healthy and delicious.  The favorite is always butter and sour cream with some chives and bacon bits on top. Oh, and they are so good in soups and stews.  They are wonderful mashed  and served with gravy mmmmm.  You will always have the best results with a Russet Burbank with almost anything you serve but you especially want Burbanks if you are going to bake them.
Where did I learn so much about potatoes.  My husband and I both grew up on Idaho potato farms and ate them at almost every meal and loved it.   My husband is an expert on potato storage. He developed some great methods for lengthening the life of stored potatoes (ways to increase the air and the humidity.   He was one of the top potato storage builders (big steel buildings the size of a football field) in the Northwest and also built storage units in other states and countries.  He is a walking encyclopedia on potatoes.
Potatoes are good for you. I copied these facts from http://www.potatogoodness.com/nutrition/nutritional-facts/

Nutritional Facts

potato nutrition labelHave you read http://www.potatogoodness.com/nutrition/nutritional-facts/e label lately?
One medium-size potato has just 110 calories and is absolutely fat-, sodium and cholesterol free, making them downright undeniable for any diet.  The power of the potato doesn’t stop there.
POTASSIUM
Potatoes are a good source of potassium…more potassium than a banana.
One medium potato with skin provides 620 milligrams or 18% of the recommended daily value (DV) per serving. Potatoes rank highest for potassium content among the top 20 most frequently consumed raw vegetables and fruits. Potassium is a mineral that is part of every body cell. It helps regulate fluids and mineral balance in and out of cells and in doing so, helps maintain normal blood pressure. Potassium is also vital for transmitting nerve impulses or signals, and in helping muscles contract.
Potassium is a powerful dietary factor that may help lower blood pressure. Unfortunately, few Americans are getting the recommended 4700 milligrams per day of potassium they need. (Potatoes make it easier!)
VITAMIN C
Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C (45% of the DV), which is more vitamin C than one medium tomato (40% DV) or sweet potato (30% DV
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant stabilizing free radicals, thus helping prevent cellular damage. It aids in collagen production; assists with iron absorption; and helps heal wounds and keep your gums healthy. Vitamin C may help support the body’s immune system.
FIBER
One medium potato with the skin contributes 2 grams of fiber or 8% of the daily value per serving.
Dietary fiber is a complex carbohydrate and is the part of the plant material that cannot be digested and absorbed in the bloodstream.  Soluble fiber may help with weight loss as it makes you feel full longer, and research has shown it also may help lower blood cholesterol.
B6
Potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6 with one medium potato providing 10% of the recommended daily value.
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays important roles in carbohydrate and protein metabolism. It helps the body make nonessential amino acids needed to make various body proteins; it is a cofactor for several co-enzymes involved in energy metabolism; and is required for the synthesis of hemoglobin – an essential component of red blood cells.
IRON
One medium potato provides 6% of the recommended daily value of iron.
Iron is a major component of hemoglobin that carries oxygen to all parts of the body. Iron also has a critical role within cells assisting in oxygen utilization, enzymatic systems, especially for neural development, and overall cell function everywhere in the body. Thus, iron deficiency affects all body functions, not only through anemia, which appears late in the process of tissue

CREAMY WHITE BEAN CHILI



Creamy White Bean Chili
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cook (fried or boiled) and cut into ½ inch cubes
2 Tablespoons dried onions
1 ½ teaspoon garlic salt or powder
3 cans (15 ½ oz each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 ½ oz chicken broth) or water you boiled the chicken in
2 cans chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
½ cup cream
Directions
In a large saucepan, saute the chicken (or boil it, )
Place 1 can of chicken broth or water in a large soup pot
add dried onions and garlic
add all ingredients except the sour cream and cream
Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat, stir in sour cream and cream.
Yields 6 or 7 servings.
This is a Chili Cook-off hit!

Freezer Meal Favorites

Seriously, it seems like everything made in the crockpot comes out the same to me.  I have become as picky as my children.  So I have narrowed it down.  Here is the list of my freezer meal favorites.

I’ll explain my method of crazy first.  I stock up on whichever meat is on sale, then I do the meals for that.  For example this time was chicken.  I only bought a little bit of hamburger to have cooked up for tacos and taco soup, and hamburger patties.  Honestly, lately chicken has been so much cheaper than beef we had chicken tacos and chicken taco soup.  But typically this would be the recipes I would choose.

Teriyaki Chicken (we eat this with rice) recipe from Six Sisters Stuff. Here
Cilantro Lime chicken (we like this with tortillas) recipe from Six sisters Stuff. Here
Breakfast skillet   –  recipe Below
fajitas  (with tortillas)  recipe Below
Loaded baked potato soup – recipe Below
black bean burritosThis recipe is great, Brunch time Baker.  Freeze them, then bake later.
Sweet and sour, pork or chicken (with rice) Recipe, Save at home mommy. Here
Tacos – meat and onions browned and prepped for taco night.
Hamburgers – made into patty’s for Burger night.

Breakfast Skillet   by Becky

4 potatoes, baked till almost done then diced
1/2 lb of bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 onion  chopped
1 green or red pepper. chopped
salt and pepper
Eggs to add later (do not freeze eggs)

Put all ingredients in the bag.  When your ready to eat it, throw it in the skillet and when its almost done add  eggs if desired ( we use about 6, because there are 6 of us).  Super quick, and frugal meal.

Fajitas

I use the fajita seasoning packet that I stock up on when they are on sale.
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 onion
approx, 3 chicken breasts.  (use beef if you got it, I actually use deer meet)

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

1 pound bacon, roughly chopped, 1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 medium sized carrots, chopped, 3 stalks diced celery,  5 large Russet potatoes, diced,1 can corn
Not in bag…. to be added later :  1/4 cup flour, 3 cups chicken stock (broth works fine too)   3 cups heavy whipping cream, salt and pepper, to taste.
  1. Slightly bake potatoes, then chop well,  cook and drain fat off bacon as well
  2. Whisk flour into liquids right before cooking stir constantly over low heat until the flour is cooked and the mixture has thickened slightly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add ingredients from the freezer bag.
  3. Over medium-high heat, bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Mash some of the potatoes for thicker, creamier texture.  Can also be put in crock pot on low.   Mashing some of the potatoes near the end.  
  4. Season and garnish as desired.



Here is Your grocery list

16 boneless skinless chicken breast, (I slice these in half to make them thinner, so they’re easier to cook and to stretch farther)

3 lb hamburger
1 lb bacon
6 onions
9 potatoes
3 green peppers
1 red pepper
2 limes
garlic
a few carrots
a smal bunch of celery
2 cans corn
2 cans black beans
1 can pineapple
fajita seasoning
soy sauce.
2 cans chicken stock
3 c. heavy cream

Tortillas for each of these,   Burritos (I use burrito size for the cilantro lime chicken also), Fajitas (small), tacos (small), 

Spanish Rice soup

More meals from Food storage, I am working on my goal of keeping food rotated and preventing things from expiring. You can use any meat you have in this soup. I just love soup, and I am grateful my kids like it too. 

 YAY! for soup season.


chicken bouillon, onion, crushed tomatoes, two cans of beans of choice, and the meat of your choice.  One packet of Knorr Spanish rice.

This can be altered to what you have on hand of course.  Drain the cans and put it in the crock pot and cook it all day, or put it in your pot and its ready in less than 30 minutes.

As with other soups, it is great with sour cream, cheese etc. but, Definitely don’t forget the chips!!

Chicken Enchilada soup

I love finding ways to use my food storage, (rotating it is really a challenge for me, so I decided to make a series for using food from our food storage) Wouldn’t this even make a cool gift, wrap it up in a giftbag and there is dinner for someone who had a baby, or a wedding gift or any holiday really.

I used One can of each of the folowing
Chicken
Black beans-drained
refired beans
whole kernal corn-drained
stewed tomatoes and 
packet of enchilada seasoning.
Add – 3 boulion and 1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes

I like to throw it in the crock pot for an evening when I will be out,  because this is something that I know all my kids will love.

YAY for winter and soup season,  What is your favorite soup?

Brown Rice Salad

Brown Rice Salad
serves 2 or 3
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can of corn, drained
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 avocado chopped
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
Cracked pepper to taste
1/4 cup home-toasted walnuts or pecans
toss all ingredients except pepper and nuts together in a large bowl.

Season with the pepper. Sprinkle walnuts over the salad before serving.  

Baked Corn Chips

It is soooo simple. Saves a lot of money and is much more healthy for you. 0 Fat! No Gluten.

1- Stack 3 corn tortillas in a pile and cut into approximately 1″ squares.
2-Repeat until you have the desired amount. 9-12 works on a cookie sheet. 
3- Sprinkle with salt if desired.  
4-Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.