Monthly Archives: January 2013

Kung Pao Chick’n

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Another slow cooker specialty. All you have to do when you get some is cook some rice and your dinner is ready. Who doesn’t like that after a long day at work?

Ingredients

For the sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 teaspoons Better than Bouillon vegetable paste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Ingredients

1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
5 ounces of mushrooms chopped
1 can water chestnuts, drained
4 Gardein chick’n scallopini patties, chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sesame oil

Directions

Make the sauce in a small bowl. Chop the bell pepper, mushrooms and chick’n. Combine with water chestnuts and sauce. Stir to combine and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Make a thickener by mixing the cornstarch with some of the sauce from the slow cooker in a small cup, then add it back to the slow cooker. Right before serving stir in the sesame oil. Serve over cooked brown rice.

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Sweet Potato and White Bean Soup

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I am still at it with my slow cooker. Seriously, I use it so often I worry about it giving out but so far it is still going strong. Since this recipe calls for two canned items, make sure to watch the sodium content. I have discovered that organic canned goods have less sodium than big brands.

Ingredients

1 medium sweet potato, pealed and cubed
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can white beans
5 cups of water
2 teaspoons Better than Bouillon vegetable paste
2 cups chopped swiss chard
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
2 springs of parsley or 1 tablespoon dried
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cut up vegetables and combine sweet potato, garlic, celery, diced tomatoes, beans, water and bouillon paste in the slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. About 20 minutes before serving, add the swiss chard, thyme and parsley. Cook until the swiss chard is tender. Add salt and better to taste and enjoy.

Split Pea and Apple Soup

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I love crockpot soups. Especially in the winter. I tend to work long hours and who really wants to cook all night after working all day. I love the feeling of putting together dinner in the morning. It gives me one less thing to worry about.
Split pea soup is one of my favorites and this recipe is especially great.

Ingredients

2 stalks of celery
2 medium carrots
1 medium sized apple
6 cups of water
2 teaspoons Better than Bouillon vegetable base
2 cups split peas
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, plus extra for drizzling

Directions

Cut up celery, carrots and apple. Combine them, water, bouillon, split peas, bay leaf, thyme, coriander, nutmeg and salt in your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Remove and discard the bay leaf. Add balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. Drizzle a few drops of balsamic on each serving and enjoy.

All natural hair care

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It has been a while since I have made any blog posts. Things have been crazy busy but I think everything is starting to slow down and my posts should be more regular in the future.

I love green products.  Most if not all cleaning supplies, etc in my house are green. But I do have two issues with green products. The chemical names are long and nearly unpronounceable, which makes me wonder what exactly the product is. And of course, green washing. You have to do your research into green products, many companies know how to word things to make you think you are buying green items when in fact, you are not.

Because of those two things, I try to add all natural products into my daily life as well. I was using a vegan pomegranate facial moisturizer. My face apparently did not like this product and ended up breaking out with pimples. So I started researching how to clear it up and I discovered baking soda. I make a soft paste, apply it to my wet face, let it sit for about a minute then rinse. While I was trying to clear up my face I used this wash daily. Now that my face is clear I do it weekly. I have also found a vegan facial moisturizer that my face likes.

My baking soda facial wash discovery had me researching everything else baking soda can do. I already knew about how well it cleans and was using it in showers and toilets, etc. But I discovered other uses as well. My favorite is shampoo. My hair is long so I have discovered two tablespoons in a cup of water works well for me. I mix it with water and pour it over my hair, especially my scalp and massage it in. Then I rinse it out. For conditioner, I discovered about a quarter cup of distilled white vinegar in a cup of water, again I pour it over my hair, let it sit for about two minutes, then rinse. A tip I quickly discovered, bring your cups of baking soda and vinegar into the shower and make your mixture with your warm bath water. The first time I tried this, I pre made my mixtures without thinking about temperature and the ice cold water was quite a surprise.

I am in love with my new hair care regime. I do not use product in my hair but I still felt my hair was cleaner, it was also much lighter and fluffier and so so soft. My hair also stayed cleaner longer. I wash my hair as little as possible, as over washing is very bad for hair, but I also will not walk around with a greasy head, so I was pleased my hair seemed to stay cleaner longer. It was also very shiny. What girl doesn’t love soft, shiny hair? Obviously, this left my hair scent free. I have no issue with this. Heavy perfumes are not good for our hair anyway. My hair smelled fresh and clean and that is good enough for me. But I did decide to see if I could add a scent. So I placed two drops of pure lavender essential oil into my vinegar conditioner mix. My hair, days later, still has a soft lavender smell.

I am sold. I love my new hair care regime. It is chemical free, all natural and works so well.