Category Archives: What’s Cookin’

Ghee! That was Good!

Have you heard of Ghee? This stuff: Ghee

It’s 100% organic butter from pastured / grass-fed cows milk. Ghee is a seasonal product. The milk is collected in the spring and fall only when the cows have been able to feed off of lush grasses most available that time of year. It’s made from non-homogenized milk through a process that separates the milk solids and water from the butter so that what you are left with is a pure butter fat. This form of fat has a very stable and high smoke point and can be stored with or without refrigeration. The difference between Ghee and clarified butter is that Ghee is cooked longer, then browned, giving the butterfat a more rich and nutty flavor. There is no salt, no flavor enhancers, & no preservatives added to Pure Indian Foods Ghee, just milk that has had the casein and lactose removed!

Where did Ghee come from?

Ghee is a food that dates back to 6,500 B.C. and has been in a 5,000 year old system of traditional medicine native to India called Ayurveda. Ayurveda considers ghee to be a rejuvenation food to optimize health and enhance vitality, as well as enhance fertility, mental function, voice, and complexion. Ghee is said to have a cooling energy and is used to reduce heat and inflammation. An obvious application is for cooking and flavoring foods, but it is also used as a carrier of herbs. It can be topically applied to heal small cuts and burns, clear and lubricate sinus passageways. And I’ve read that a small amount of ghee applied to the belly button nourishes the entire body and is especially helpful in healing dried lips.

Source

You can definitely make your own Ghee. But buying it from Pure Indian Foods is a quick and easy alternative where you can be certain the milk used and the process by which the Ghee is created is one of honor from this company that has been passed down through 5 generations.

How much does it cost?

A 7.8 ounce container of Ghee will run you about $11.95 which is $1.53 per ounce. If you go to the next size container of 14 ounces, that price per ounce goes down to $1.28. And if you are feeling really adventurous you can purchase their 28.8 ounce jar for $1.14 per ounce. They also offer discounts if you buy in bulk of 6 or 12 jars for 5% or 8 % off respectively. So go in on this with a friend or family member and reap the benefits of these great prices.

I received a jar of the 7.8 ounce container in the mail for review. One of the great things about this product review is that there was no stipulation on putting together a good review, bad review, or any review at all within a specified period of time. I knew I would write something about this new food, I was just waiting for the right time. I have seen other bloggers make Honey Caramelmashed cauliflower (it could also be used in mashed potatoes), and fried bananas with their Ghee but I wanted to keep it simple.

Roasting and sauteing is probably one of the my favorite ways I enjoy vegetables.  I’ve roasted them in coconut oil, sauteed them in bacon fat and olive oil. But honestly, until last year I didn’t really eat butter. I was of the impression, like most people of the 80’s and 90’s that butter was bad and margarine was good. I actually thought I didn’t like butter.  GASP!

Until I started buying organic grass fed butter after I had realized that a diet balanced with saturated fats is actually healthy and we watched He-Hillbilly’s cholesterol go from 225 in February 2012 to 156 in March of 2013. There are a lot of people that fear saturated fats and fats in general.  After all, that’s what was ingrained in us for over 20 years.  But we are now hearing that we need fat to lose fat.  That cholesterol and clogged arteries are not caused by too much of the right fat but rather too much of the wrong fat and SUGAR!  Yes, sugar.  Sugar and processed foods cause inflammation of the arteries.  Don’t take my word for it.  Check out Holistic Squid’s article on how her family went through 40 pounds of the real stuff in 3 months and why she wasn’t worried.  This is the real deal y’all and I am not kidding when I say PUT DOWN THE MARGARINE, PUT DOWN THE FAT FREE-NON FAT, PUT DOWN THE COOKING SPRAY AND EAT MORE FAT! 

The good fats are:

  • Pasture raised grass fed no hormones no antibiotic cows that make full fat butter.
  • Pasture raised forest foraging no hormones no antibiotic pigs for the best bacon rendering fat.
  • Organic cold pressed coconut oil.
  • Ghee!
  • And lard from pasture raised green grass fed no hormones no antibiotic cows, ducks, geese, chicken, and pigs.

 So last night I decided was the night.  I pulled out my jar of Ghee and opened it up.  Ghee Up Close

To my surprise it looked a little grainy but I went for it.  I wanted to keep things simple so I pulled out some fresh veggies that were waiting to be devoured and decided I would saute them in this golden delight.

ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 4 portabella mushroom caps, stemmed removed and black “gills” scrapped with a spoon and sliced
  • 1 spring onion
  • ~1.5 cups of fresh green beans ends removed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 teaspoons of Ghee
  • ~1 cup of sliced or shredded chicken (I had leftover chicken from a roasted chicken I did on the grill a few days ago but you could use any other meat or fish here)
  • ~1 teaspoon per serving of fresh goat cheese from the farm (optional)
  • ~1 teaspoon of capers (optional)
  • ~1 teaspoon of garlic chives (optional)
  • Celtic sea sat and pepper to taste

This made about 2.5 servings.  Enough for He-Hillbilly and I plus a little extra veggies leftover for lunch today.

  1. Melt about 1 teaspoon of Ghee in a skillet over medium heat. Add sliced portabella’s to the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until tender. Set aside and keep warm.
  2. Melt another teaspoon of Ghee in the skillet and add sliced spring onion, garlic, and green beans.  Add salt and pepper to taste, cook until tender, top with the zest of 1 lemon, and set aside to keep warm.
  3. Cook or reheat sliced chicken to add to top of veggies.
  4. Stack a portion of the portabella’s on the plate.
  5. Top with a stack of green beans and onions.
  6. Top with a portion of sliced chicken.
  7. Sprinkle with half the chives, half the capers, and top with ~1 teaspoon of soft farm fresh goat cheese.
  8. Garnish with a lemon.

Ghee Port Green Chicken

This dish was delicious and very tasty. The Ghee gave a nice warming, non-greasy flavor to this simple and quickly prepared dish. Perfect for a spring day!  I am excited to keep trying this soft pure butter in other ways and as a staple to our cooking fat arsenal.

Ghee! That was good!

#TheRenewCleanse Day 3

It’s Day 3 of #TheRenewCleanse!  Hump Day!  Half way there and I’m feeling great!  Already eating “Hillbilly” definitely helps to minimize any detox symptoms.  Some people may find when detoxing that they have mild headaches, feel “foggy” headed, be a little tired or grumpy, or even have some mild body aches.  It depends on what your body is detoxing from.  If your diet has a lot of processed foods, fast foods, and are not surrounded by whole, organic, straight from the farmer foods you may have more toxins in your body to cleanse from.  The first cleanse I went through, even though I thought was eating pretty well I felt a lot of these symptoms.  But since that cleanse and the continued cleanup of my diet I don’t experience all that through this process.  I do it more to reset my taste buds and take a break from meat, dairy, and red wine.  (smile).  And although I don’t drink coffee every day anymore, in fact I *might* have it once a week, but his morning, walking by La Madeline (there is a La Madeline on the 1st floor of my building), their coffee had a wonderful aroma.  So I came upstairs and made me a cup of herbal tea instead!

Last nights dinner was posted on my Facebook Page pretty late so I’m not sure if you caught it.  We attended our nephews baseball game and so we didn’t eat until almost 8:30.  I made The Nutrition Mom’s Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce.  This sauce makes this recipe.  He-Hillbilly and I really enjoy it.  (The red sauce pictured below was an experiment that I’m not ready to share just yet.) After dinner I needed a little bite of something sweet so I ran downstairs and grabbed a date and spread some raw coconut butter on it…#thathitthespot!

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Here is a video of Stephanie putting together her version of the Spring Rolls to show you how easy it is.

This morning’s breakfast looked a lot like yesterday’s breakfast of chia seed pudding.  I am really loving the rich almond milk with the texture of the chia seeds and banana.  Don’t be surprised if you see this a few more times! This mornings rendition included raspberries, coconut flakes, and chopped almonds.  This really held me over all morning yesterday as I am sure it will today!

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Lunch today was spent with my beloved Administrative Assistants in honor of “their day”.  My day job is in the Petroleum Industry and I am lucky enough to be able to frequent the Dallas Petroleum Club for lunches and special events. They had a specialty buffet setup today for companies who wanted to take their Admins over to celebrate with a nice lunch.  So we took our 2 Admins over there for their celebration.  I must say, I was a little nervous as to how I would handle the Shrimp, Salmon, and Chicken that was provided along with the cheese, roasted potatoes, and delicious deserts, but in keeping it real for all you Hillbilly’s out there I didn’t buckle.  There was several items on the menu that I would have considered #Hillbilly but not for this weeks #therenewcleanse.  So I kept it real with assorted salads, raw veggies, and fruit.  The berries are really sweet right now!  I think we are on the edge of berry season!  YAY!

Day3 LunchDay3 desert

I had actually brought my lunch today in case I didn’t have enough to eat at the luncheon, but since I had plenty, I’ll be having my lunch for dinner!  Bonus! I had cut a few extra veggies last night when making spring rolls and tossed them in a bowl.  Prep-Once-Eat-Twice! This morning I topped them with The Nutrition Mom’s peanut dipping sauce so it is somewhat like a Pad Thai Raw Style!

Day 3 Dinner

And that my Hillbilly’s complete’s Day 3 of #TheRenewCleanse.  2 more days to go!!

#TheRenewCleanse Day 2

In case you missed the photo’s last night on Hillbilly Nutrition’s Facebook Page, for dinner we had a Tex-Mex Fiest!  Raw Taco’s and Tortilla Soup!  The Taco’s were collard green’s wrapped around squash, tomato, olives, green onion & avocado and I sprinkled some Jalapeno seasoning on top.  The soup is a recipe from The Nutrition Mom’s Cleanse Cookbook.  She provides you with something like 60 recipes to try during your raw week and going forward.  This soup was full of flavor.  He-Hillbilly even enjoyed it!

Day 1 Dinner Day 1 Dinner soup

I woke up this morning feeling great!  One of the many benefits of cleansing is that you sleep incredibly.  Although I tend to sleep long and hard most nights, when you are cleansing your body isn’t competing with your rest time to digest your food.  Eating raw allows you to never be hungry but also adds benefits of not being overly full and uncomfortable either.

Eating raw foods on this cleanse will also increase my energy, rid my body of toxins that are weighing me down, create a healthy digestive environment and provide fewer food cravings.  Each time I go in to this cleanse I realize when I come out how sweet certain things are and how little I actually crave the bad things.

This mornings breakfast included something a little different.  I had been finding recipes for Raw Chia Pudding. I even posted a few of them to my “Raw” Pinterest board.  Chia seeds… yes, from that commercial “Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia” are little seeds native to South America that have been consumed for centuries.  A very obvious affect of eating these little seeds is the satiety that you are granted for hours after consuming.  They are very high in both soluble and insoluble fiber.  Just 4 tablespoons of these little gems per day will give you 14 grams of fiber (compared to 4 grams in a packet of oatmeal).  They are also high in Omega 3’s, rich in antioxidants, & minerals.  They are a natural way to decrease insulin levels in the blood which is great for diabetics, they are gluten free, and are used to replace eggs for vegan or egg free recipes.  When combined with a liquid they absorb a lot and create a tapioca like gel bubble around the seed.  They can be sprinkled on yogurt or salads, blended in a smoothie or eaten with a spoon like I did this morning.  Day 2 Breakfast

When eating it with a spoon this way they remind me of eating tapioca pudding like my grandmother used to make.  I simply combined about 1 & 1/4 cup of freshly made almond milk with 3 tablespoons of chia seeds and 1 mashed up banana.  After stirring to combine I put a lid on the bowl and placed it in the fridge overnight.  This morning I added some fresh raspberry’s and walnuts and downed the whole bowl after my warm mug of lemon water.

Last night I was busy!  I prepped dinner, made almond milk, prepped my chia pudding for breakfast this morning, and I assembled my salad for lunch today!  This salad is KILLER!  I love lemon on my greens.  It just makes everything so bright and vibrant!  It’s like a party in my mouth… yes, I just said that.

This salad is packed with punch with the addition of red pepper flakes.  I simply chopped up some kale, carrots, and broccoli into bite sized pieces.  Mixed in fresh chopped parsley, basil, green onion, and garlic chives.  After I zested 1 lemon and juiced it over the bowl, I drizzled olive oil, sprinkled some salt and gave it a couple dashes of red pepper flakes.  I also threw in some capers and banana peppers for some extra zing.  I am totally making this again….

Day 2 Lemony Kale Salad

Like I said, I made this last night and let it sit in the fridge until lunch today.  It held over very well.  I think you could possibly get 1 more day out of it, but that might be pushing it.  Letting it marinate overnight allowed the carrots and broccoli to soften a bit.

I brought a bag of dehydrated strawberries that I made in my dehydrator last week to snack on this afternoon.Dried strawberries

Dinner tonight will be veggie spring rolls with a nutty ginger dipping sauce.  This is one of my favorite recipes from The Renew Cleanse it tastes like something you would order in a restaurant!  Stay tuned Hillbilly’s!…

#TheRenewCleanse Day 1

Today was Day 1 of The Renew Cleanse with The Nutrition Mom.  This is my 3rd cleanse with her and I can’t tell you how excited I am to reset my taste buds and my body!  This experience each time is different for me, but I am looking forward to this journey to ready my body and taste buds for a healthy spring.

This week I will be eating a plant based raw food diet.  All fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds.  Nothing will be cooked, steamed, sauteed, or grilled.  Foods consumed in their raw form allow you to nourish your body while absorbing the maximum amount of nutrients.  I promise you I won’t be hungry!  All of the foods I will be eating will be organic and local if possible.  I’ll enjoy smoothies and fruits, salads, soups & entrees as you’ll see in this food diary this week.  As a typical Hillbilly diet already excludes fast food, processed, canned, & boxed foods, I think the hardest part for me will be eating the foods in their raw form.  I love something warm at the end of the day.  But this is 5 days that will Renew my mind and my body to be more in tune with what it needs right now.

Other Hillbilly foods I’ll be avoiding are dairy, alcohol, dark chocolate, meat, seafood & eggs.  I already drink minimal coffee or tea but those will be unavailable to me this week as well unless it’s herbal tea.  Gluten and grains are things I avoid already and will continue that this week.  No soy, no corn, no rice or beans.  Are you wondering what I WILL be eating yet?  That’s what this food diary is for!  I’ll be giving you a glimpse of what this journey will look like to encourage and inspire you.

Day 1 of The Renew Cleanse

I started my morning off with a warm cup of lemon water and a smoothie.  Warm lemon water is made by heating a cup of warm filtered water and squeezing one-half of a lemon in it.  Yes, it’s that easy! The benefits of breaking your fast (where the term break-fast comes from), with this soothing beverage are many.  Lemon is antiviral and antibacterial.  It has immune boosting powers that aid in digestion and cleanses your liver.  The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I will be attending for the next year in efforts to become a Certified Holistic Health Coach, says “The simple combination of warm water with fresh lemon can boost your immune system, alkalize and kickstart your digestion, improve skin health, and hydrate you.”

Breakfast Day 1

This mornings smoothie was a banana, 1/2 an apple, 1 carrot, a knob of ginger, a handful of kale, 1 date, cinnamon and coconut water.  I prepped it Sunday night and put it in the fridge so that this morning I could just add the ice and blend.  It was very tasty, a little spicy from the ginger, and really got me going this morning.

Smoothie Prep 1

Yesterday afternoon I also bottled my Kombucha for this week and had it sitting on the counter with my fresh fruit that needed a few more days to ripen.

Kombucha and fruit

I also prepared some trail mix with an assortment of “raw” nuts.  These are not roasted or salted in any way.  This combination included almonds, pepitas, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, & dried, no sugar added currants.  My *just in case* I get hungry snack.

Trail Mix

Additionally, I soaked my almonds overnight to make Almond Milk tomorrow evening.  I love adding raw almond milk to my smoothies for a slightly creamier consistency.  You can read how I made coconut milk a few months ago and I describe in this post how to make nut milk as well.

Soaking Almonds for Almond Milk

For lunch today I had a salad.  I brought greens, tomatoes, olives, slivered almonds, carrot salad, shredded beets, and a little mustard, lemon, and honey to drizzle on top.  I even had a few dried figs for desert!

Day 1 Lunch

The Crazy Water pictured above is from Mineral Wells, Texas.  If you caught this video that I posted on the blog last week.  It gives you a little insight into the alkalizing effects of mineral water.  They have 4 different levels with No. 4 being the most intense.  My favorites are the No. 2 & No. 3.  We picked some of these up at Whole Foods for the week.

I’ll be posting pictures of my dinner this evening over on my Facebook page.

Are you having a Rawonderful Monday?

 

Chimichurri Shrimp

Chimichurri is an Argentinean sauce or condiment that is traditionally used as a marinade and served with grilled steak but it is EXCELLENT on fish and chicken as well. You could use this sauce for anything! Traditionally it’s made with Parsley and Oregano but since my garden is overflowing with Cilantro and Parsley I made my own Hillbilly Version. (For those Cilantro haters out there, I have provided substitutions for the herb selection in the recipe below)

Hillbilly Chimichurri

This Chimichurri is great on salads, tacos, meat or even with some crusty bread!  It’s so easy to make and really livens up your taste buds!  Both parsley and cilantro have some incredible health benefits as well. From antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory, vitamin C & vitamin K this herb is not just a garnish anymore! It’s light flavors brighten up any dish so I try and keep it on hand all year round! Parsley is a natural breath freshener but if you are pregnant, you may want to hold back a little. Parsley has some oils in it that can cause uterine contractions as well as pass through the placenta and increase the baby’s heart rate. Otherwise, don’t shy away from this underestimated herb.

Now I know MANY people who don’t like cilantro. Especially people from Texas which just doesn’t make sense to me.  We see cilantro in salsa and Mexican food which is typical Texas fare down here. But never-the-less, if you can get your hands on some or grow your own, the opportunities and benefits of this herb are endless. Cilantro contains no cholesterol but is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber and has shown to lower the “bad cholesterol” LDL and increase the “good cholesterol” HDL.

Okay, enough of all the talk, let’s get to the Chimichurri y’all!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) fresh cilantro (substitute parsley here for alternate recipe)
  • 1/2 cup (packed) fresh parsley (substitute fresh oregano here for alternate recipe)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon gray salt
  • ~4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (~2 limes)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Chimichurri Ingredients

Place all ingredients except for olive oil in a food processor and pulse until chopped and well combined. With food processor in the “on” position, stream olive oil until incorporated. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

Chimichurri chimichurri

This stuff will wake up that boring salad or grilled fish y’all!  Seriously.  Get you some!

Now I decided to pair this green sauce with some shrimp. I love making my version of a Gambos  Ajillo. A Spanish dish of shrimp and garlic. It is one of my favorite ways to serve shrimp in a quick way that is full of flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (I used 1 and thought they were not hot at all, but if you are really sensitive to heat, tone it back to 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound wild caught shrimp.  (this was about 10 large shrimp enough for 2 people)

Combine all your ingredients except for the shrimp in a small bowl.

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Add your shrimp, toss well to coat, and let them marinate for about 10 minutes. Preheat your skillet to medium heat and when ready, add your shrimp to the pan. Turning once after about 1 1/2 minutes. Total cook time for your shrimp may vary, but usually about 4 minutes tops is all you need. You know when your shrimps are done when they curl up in a “C” shape.

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I like to get everything else ready first and cook these little guys last so they are still warm when it’s time to eat them. So if you are going to put them on a salad or in a taco, get everything ready so all you have to do is add your Gambas to your dish.

Top these guys with my Chimichurri sauce and you are going to have a party of flavor in your mouth! He Hillbilly wanted taco’s and I wanted a salad, so we assembled our dishes as we wished and chowed down! I hope that I’ve inspired you to try these flavors out.  otal time for this meal, Chimichurri and all was about 30 minutes. Take that Rachel Ray!

Gambas Ajillo with Chimichurri sauce

Chimichurri Shrimp

Eat Like a Hillbilly!

Thai Coconut Curry (grain free, gluten free, Paleo)

You know how sometimes you get that craving for a certain flavor? Yesterday I was craving those sweet and spicy Thai flavors that most would usually head out to the restaurant for. But this Hillbilly decided she could make it with the ingredients at home!  Introducing….Thai Coconut Curry, with Sea Scallops:

Thai Coconut Curry with Sea Scallops

Stir fry or curry dishes can use any veggies or protein you have!  It is UNLIMITED! If you don’t like mushrooms, leave them out!  If you have a red bell pepper instead of a green, go for it! If you have other veggies in your fridge that you want to throw in, by all means!

I used scallops in this Coconut Curry but you could use shrimp or chicken very easily. I get these scallops from a fisherman that comes to our farmers market. He sells all kinds of fish and shrimp that are wild caught in the Gulf of Mexico. But his brother is in the same line of work in Maine. So they trade… Maine Sea Scallops for large-jumbo blue tailed shrimp caught in the Gulf! Both are DEVINE!!! I didn’t serve this with anything other than veggies and the scallops but could have easily served it over a piece of blue or sweet potato, mashed butternut squash or cauliflower, or even “riced” cauliflower. Again, whatever you have in your kitchen! The sauce makes quite a bit so since I wasn’t serving it over anything, I decided to reserve about half of it for round 2 sometime in the future. I just poured it into a mason jar and popped it in the freezer until next time.

The spices in this ingredient list may seem long but each of them play their role. But seriously… if you don’t have Turmeric or Nutmeg, I think you’ll be okay! I wouldn’t skip any of the others though, this sauce was YUMMY!

Okay, enough chatter… here it is:

Ingredients:

  • 2 T olive oil or sesame oil
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup sliced bell pepper
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 T curry
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger (about 2 inch piece peeled)
  • 2 dried dates, seeds removed
  • 1 can coconut milk (full fat) This is different than the coconut milk you can make at home
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce (I use Red Boat)
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid aminos, coconut aminos, or soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons of grass fed butter (I use Kerry Gold)
  • 2-3 Scallops per person (or you could substitute 3-4 jumbo shrimp per person)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro (optional)
  • Garnish with a squeeze of lime (optional)

Directions:

Chop all of your veggies.

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In a blender, combine your spices (coriander through curry), can of coconut milk, ginger, dates, fish sauce and liquid aminos. Pulse on high until ginger and dates are chopped and spices are well incorporated. Taste for salt and pepper needs, if any. Set aside.

Coconut Curry

Heat your oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once heated, add your onion and sliced garlic to the pan.  Saute about 3-5 minutes. Add your harder veggies like carrots, celery, & bell pepper.  Saute another 3-5 minutes. Add your broccoli and mushrooms and continue to saute until broccoli is bright green.

sauteed veggies

Turn your heat down to low and add your sauce. Remember, if you are serving over cauliflower, butternut squash, or potato you could add all of it to the pan at this time. If you are bypassing that addition, I would just use half and reserve the other half in the freezer to use another time.

Coconut Curry Vegetables

While your curry begins to bubble. Heat another skillet over medium/medium-high and add your butter until it has melted. Make sure your scallops (or shrimp) are patted dry salt and pepper them.  Once your skillet is hot and your butter is bubbly, add your scallops to the pan.

sea scallops

You want your skillet to be hot enough to give them a nice little crust but not scald them. They need a little time to cook to the level of done-ness that you prefer. Once you can see that they are turning white around the bottom edge, they lift up with no tugging, and they have that nice caramelized underside, give them a flip.

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Your butter will start to brown a bit… and that’s okay. Once these guys are done, serve them over top your curried veggies that have been hanging out on the stove while all this action takes place.

If you want to garnish with a little lime and cilantro, here’s your chance!  Now dive in and enjoy Hillbilly’s! This is what it’s all about. Real Food, prepared at home, with the people you love #eatlikeahillbilly.

Thai Coconut Curry with Sea Scallops

 

Under the Covers

He-Hillbilly has been under the weather under the covers for a few days.  He started coming down with a little fever/achy/sinus congestion on Monday….& yes, even Hillbilly’s get sick!  I know I know…I’m baffled myself!

sick under covers

So I’ve put together a list of #hillbillyapproved Top 10 Natural & Home Remedies for battling that cold/flu/sinus/allergy attack.

  1. Fermented Cod Liver Oil – we *just* started taking this but I’m taking it up a notch for the sick Hillbilly.  Now before you turn your nose up at the thought of it.  Think about this: Cod liver oil has more Vitamin A & D per unit weight than any other food, it’s a huge fighter of heart disease & cancer, it’s high in Omega 3’s & DHA, which all helps play an important role in mineral absorption & brain power, it’s a big player in insulin resistance, diabetes and stroke, and has been shown to improve memory function, stress & immune response, allergies, asthma, and even depression!  It’s pretty much a cure-all and I’ll be writing a post more on why I decided to start taking it soon!  For more information about it, check out the Weston A. Price Foundation’s website for a more thorough description.  We order ours from Green Pasture.FCLO
  2. Kombucha – Last week I talked about how we make our own Kombucha.  There are many reasons to drink kombucha but especially when you are under the covers, it stimulates the immune system, detoxifying your body helping the liver along to push all the junk out of your body.  It’s also great for headaches and dehydration.  If you drink Kombucha on a regular basis there are gut healing properties about probiotics that can help you fight off infection later. IMG_1423
  3. Lemon/Ginger/Honey “Tea” – Honey, specifically local honey combats allergies.  Ginger is anti-bacterial and the heat from this spicy root will warm you up.  Lemon is detoxifying and with the ginger helps to clear your sinus’.  This tasty tea also helps to sooth your throat if it’s sore or scratchy.  If you are just at the beginning phases of any illness this could really help it from progressing any further.
  4. Green Smoothie’s – Smoothies can pack quite the punch depending on what you put in them.  This week, I’ve been loading He-Hillbilly up with banana’s, pineapple, pear, green apples, cucumbers, ginger, blueberries & greens.  If you don’t think they are really doing the trick, try placing all the fruit and vegetables you are putting in your smoothie on a plate.  It might give you a different perspective as to how nourishing these can be.Green Smoothie
  5. Fresh Squeezed Citrus Juice – we all know Vitamin C immune boosting, but did you know it also helps fight a fever and fatigue?  We try to load up this time of year as oranges and grapefruits are in season for a reason!  
  6. Chicken Stock or Bone Broth - I’m talking about the good, homemade stuff (if you can manage).  The kind that forms a little gel on the top when it’s refrigerated   That stuff is going to help lubricate your joints, boost your collagen, heal your gut, and detoxify your liver.  There is a reason why mom always gave us chicken noodle soup when we were sick.  But i’m telling ya, you’re missing out if you haven’t tried the homemade stuff yet. (source) And here is a recipe if you want to get started making some this weekend! (I keep mine on hand in the freezer).
  7. Coconut Water – to prevent dehydration a lot of people reach for sports drinks, but let’s compare shall we?  We drink Coco Libre Organic Coconut Water at our house.  And as they state on their website, coconut water contains 5 electrolytes: Potassium (K), Sodium (NA), Magnesium (Mg), Calcium (CA), & Phosphate (P) and has more potassium than a banana!  The electrolytes in Gatorade don’t compare to those in Coconut Water. Taking out the fact that they mention no magnesium or phosphate, their potassium in Gatorade is 6.6% of that in Coconut Water!  Both Gatorade and Pedialyte include “Artificial & Natural Flavors”…whatever the means.  Pedialyte lists the electrolytes on their website as Sodium 45, Potassium 20, Chloride 35, Zinc 7.8, & Dextrose 25.  You do the math.Eletrolyte comparison
  8. Elderberry Syrup – known to help prevent and cure colds, flew, mucus and sore throats caused by allergies, and contains a large amount of antioxidants.  It boosts the immune system, can help calm upper respiratory infections, and improve your symptoms overall when you are under the weather.  It comes from a shrub that produces small berries.  You can make it yourself or buy it at your local health food store.  elderberry1
  9. Oscillococcinum – Oscillococcinum or OSC for short is a line of Homeopathic medicines.   “Homeopathic medicines are therapeutically active micro-doses of mineral, botanical and biological substances. Used to treat many acute health conditions, these medicines are safe, natural, and have no side effects.”  This company makes a wide range of remedies for whatever ales you.  I bought some specific to target He-Hillbilly’s mild fever, green mucous, and sinus pressure in his head.  You can read more about OSC here.
  10. Rest – nothing beats a cold or the flu more than rest.  It’s your bodies way of slowing down and using all it’s energy to beat whatever has taken over your body.

Listening to our bodies before it get’s too bad is important.  If you can have some of these on hand at the first site of mucous, headaches, or sneezing you can boost your immune fighting skills.  By incorporating some these into your daily and routine, you might start finding that your frequency of getting under the covers is a little less and less.

Feel better Hillbillys!

Nut Butter

Have you switched from your traditional Peanut Butter yet?  Have you ventured into the “Natural” Nut Butters yet?  Have you looked at the ingredients?  Really there should be 1 ingredient.

Peanuts. (for Peanut Butter)

Almonds. (for Almond Butter)

Coconuts. (for Coconut Butter)

You get the idea right?

So many of us are consuming more sugar and additives in our Nut Butters.  I personally look for NonGMO and/or Organic grade butters but they can be so expensive.  Recently I’ve moved towards buying my own Organic nuts and then making my own butters and milks from them.  Yes.  You can make your own nut milk :) I talked about that here.

But back to my Almond Butter.  It is so Delicious   I love how it takes about 10 minutes and it’s kind of warm when it’s done processing.  I needed 1 cup of Almond Butter to cook this chocolate chip cookie recipe. Seriously.  It’s AMAZING.  I can’t take any of the credit for this yumminess but I am SO GLAD I FOUND IT!

For 1 cup of Almond Butter I started with 2 cups of Raw Organic Almonds and placed them in the food processor.  After about 1 minute my almonds had turned into “meal” and looked like this:

Almond Meal

After another 2 minutes or so it looked like this:

Almond Butter 1

After another 4-5 minutes we were starting to clump:

Almond Butter 2

And finally, after about 10 minutes total we had creamy goodness.

Almond Butter 3

I had all my ingredients ready in a bowl:

Cookie Ingredients

And whisked in my almond butter.

Cookies

Finally added my chips:

Cookies

And ended up with this!  (Sorry for the terrible iPhone pic but it was a last attempt before I devoured it!) Hillbilly’s, I would not lie to you, these are seriously good cookies. #eatlikeahillbilly

The Best Softest Cookies

 

Cajun Cauliflower & Pork Stuffed Bell Peppers

Last week I posted some pictures of our Trailer Chow while we had Gone Glampin’.  I made a really tasty dish that I’m calling Cajun Cauliflower & Pork Stuffed Bell Peppers.  All I got was a photo of the ingredients, but it was delish!  I took leftovers to work and after my friend tried a bite, she insisted I write down the recipe… So here it is Hillbilly’s!

Here is the photo I got of the ingredients #eatlikeahillbilly

@HillbillyNutrition

Cajun Cauliflower and Pork Stuffed Bell Peppers

bell peppers –halved and seeded (enough for each person to have ½)

1 onion – chopped

3 ribs of celery – chopped

4 cloves of garlic – minced (or 4 tsp pre-minced garlic)

1 lb. pasture raised ground pork (or other ground meat of your choice)

1 head of cauliflower – processed in food processor until “rice-like” consistency

2 medium tomatoes – chopped

1 cup organic/free range chicken broth

1 cup crushed tomatoes (preferably sold in glass not a can)

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp cumin

1-2 jalapenos chopped with some seeds depending on desired heat (optional)

Olive oil

Preheat oven 350

Place bell peppers on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Turnover and bake for another 10 additional minutes.  Keep warm.

Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet.  Sauté onion, garlic, celery about 5 minutes or until the onions just start to turn translucent.  Add ground pork and crumble until brown and fully cooked.  Add “riced” cauliflower, tomatoes, broth, and crushed tomatoes to skillet.  Add seasoning and jalapenos.  Cook until liquid is fully absorbed.  Serve in cooked bell pepper half.

Enjoy Hillbilly’s!

Bring on the ‘Booch

Kombucha

I posted this picture of our first batch of homemade kombucha a few weeks ago on our FaceBook page and had a lot of inquiries from some friends to bring on the booch!  There are lots of questions behind this mysterious beverage.

It all started one day when I was brave enough to grab a bottle and try it from our local healthfood store.  I loved the bubbles and the flavor and although it was different I didn’t find it bad or sour tasting at all.  This is probably because I had been off of soft drinks and diet drinks for some time so my taste buds weren’t squealing when I put something not as sweet on top of them.  I started with picking one up here and there but then the more I read about the benefits of Kombucha I kept wanting more.  I found that when my tummy was upset, it made it feel better.  So I started “keeping some on hand” for those occasions   Then when He-Hillbilly and I learned about what probiotics could do for us, we realized we really needed (and wanted) to be able to drink one daily.  We shared one as a “mock-tail” while we cooked dinner usually.  It was kind of a fun little ritual…except for the fact that it can really add up!

This fun little ritual was costing our grocery bill about $25 per week.  So when I learned we could make it ourselves, I decided to give it a shot!  I started out with a dehydrated scoby that is “supposed” to re-hydrate and be the proper and dignified living scoby that it should be.  But after about 2 months and 2 attempts of waiting for it to re-hydrate ..and $200 later continuing to buy the bottled stuff off the shelf I decided to buy a “live scoby” as they seemed to get going better with more success.  So even though the live scoby and setup was a slightly bigger investment, I ended up spending more money in the long run while “waited for other one to re-hydrate.”  SO lesson learned.  Buy a live one or get one from a friend!

I bought our second “Mother” from Kombucha Kamp.  She has a pretty informative website but purchasing from her got me some how-to videos and a book for reference later.  We also went ahead and bought a crock from her (pictured below).  It has enabled us to continuously brew our booch so that we are always working on the next batch while we are drinking the previous one.  It’s genius really.  And has proved itself to keep us all booch-a-fied for a fraction of the cost.

Kombucha Crock

So the “Mother” or “Scoby” when you first get it is kind of like a thick round jelly disc.  It’s hard to explain but Scoby stands for: Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.  Basically you feed the culture sweet tea and the yeast consumes the sugar and ferments the tea into a fizzy beverage that is drinkable and is WONDERFUL for your gut.  Here are some other reasons to drink the ‘booch.

Okay, so fast forward.  We got our first batch going, bottled, did a second fermentation to get the flavors we wanted to try out and now I’m on my 3rd batch I think.  We’ve tried Mango, Strawberry, Ginger, Blueberry, Apple Ginger, Cherry, & Ginger Lemongrass.  I’m waiting to try Apple Cinnamon & Fig.  I CAN NOT WAIT to try peach, pear, pineapple.  All coming up soon!

So after you drain the crock pot and fill your bottles, the scoby stays on top and lowers with the liquid as seen here:

Scoby

Now don’t freak out.  It’s not poisonous or slimy and it won’t jump out and bite you!  Promise.

But once you bottle, and it’s about half way down the crock, you need to add more “food” to it by brewing some more sweet tea.  I use an organic tea and organic cane sugar.  So far what’s been working for me is I brew 4 quarts of tea and sweeten it with 2 cups of sugar.  I then cut it in half with cold water and pour half of it (2 quarts) into the brewer and save the other 2 quarts for the next refill.  You still with me?

4 Quarts of Tea:

Tea

2 cups of sugar:

sugar

Cut half of it with 2 quarts of cold water and reserve the same (2 quarts tea, 2 quarts cold water) for the next refill in the fridge.

IMG_1582

After you dump in the first half of tea, the scoby is back to the top of the vessel.

IMG_1583

We have a heating element to keep the yeast active in the winter.  I’m not sure if we’ll need one for the summer but as long as the liquid is between 70-80 degrees we’ll be good.  I like to leave the heating pad kind of half way on/half way off so it doesn’t get too hot.  I also put my bottles up next to it to keep the yeast active in there and give me more fiz.

IMG_1575

When the PH has reached around 2.5-3 you’ll want to bottle.  For us that usually takes about 3-4 days.  And then we let it sit in the bottles for a second fermentation for another 3-4 days. We’ve had bottles rotating constantly and the time they take to get fizzy varies depending on the fruit you add to the bottle.  Some fruits give off more sugar than others so the yeast activity and fiz “grow” at different paces.

Our first batch we bottled blueberry, apple ginger, ginger & mango.

IMG_1423

Pictured below is our 3rd batch where we have blueberry, fig, apple ginger, and apple cinnamon.  

IMG_1588

You can throw whatever fresh, frozen or dried fruit you have on hand.  We have yet to try any herbs.  I am curious to know how that cinnamon is going to taste! :)

Have you had any komucha yet?  From the store is quick and easy to grab.  But if you really want to consume it for health benefits, you might be better off brewin’ the ‘booch at home like #thesehillbillys!

 

 

Gone Glampin’

Last week-weekend He-Hillbilly and I went for a little getaway in the Glamper.  Here’s some fun tales and trailer chow talk while we were gone glampin’.

(p.s. Glamper/Glampin’ = Camping in the Camper…it’s a little more “Glamerous” than tent camping, so we call it “Glamping”)

Wednesday night He-Hillbilly packed up the Glamper and headed NorthEast to the Beavers Bend State Resort Park in Oklahoma.  There are actually 2 state parks there just north of Broken Bow; Beavers Bend is situated along the river that is let out from Broken Bow Lake, and Hochatown State Park located about 10 miles north on the lake.  The “Resort Park” is just that.  They have Fly Fishing, Canoe’s, Kayak’s, Paddle Boats, a Spa, a Lodge, Hiking Trails, Cabins for rent, Tent camping, RV camping and swimming in the warmer months.  It’s a great spot for trout fishing as they stock every 2 weeks!  It does cost money to fish there.  A (minimum 6 day) fishing licenses will cost you $35 per person.

IMG_1485

He-Hillbilly and I brought our trailer Glamper to a first come first serve sight around 10:30 Wednesday night.  We got all setup and woke up to a foggy and misty morning, but we knew we wouldn’t have sunshine until Friday.

Glamper

Beavers Bend

Lake Broken Bow:

Broken Bow Lake

Hounders waiting for the sunshine…

Hounds

One reason why we call it the “Glamper” is because She-Hillbilly can cook with all the comforts of home.  We usually eat just as good as we do at home when we are on the road which saves us money and our health :)

Here are some Trailer Chow Prep Pics:

Cajun Stuffed Peppers (a GREAT way to stretch that farm raised meat!  I used about 1/2 pound of ground pork and that WHOLE head of Cauli (ground up in the food processor to be “rice-like”)

Cajun Stuffed Peppers

 

Smoked Salmon Frittata

 

 

IMG_1516

Check out the color on those Egg Yolks!  YUM!
Pasture Raised Eggs

I was so happy on Friday we got to have Happy Hour by the fire!  It’s been all to common that there is a fire ban and we can’t enjoy an evening next to the camp fire.  I marinated some anchovies in lemon, garlic, olive oil & capers.  They were DELISH!

Happy Hour

Lemon Garlic Anchovies

We got to take the Hounds on a walk/hike/free run, we played games when it got dark and cold, and we got to totally disconnect!  The only way we could check emails/voice mails was to drive up to the damn.  It was kind of quiet, but so needed, and soooo nice!

I missed interacting with all you Hillbilly’s while we were Gone Glampin’!  What were you all up to over the weekend?

Crazy for Coconut

Last weekend I posted this picture on my facebook page demonstrating how #thishillbilly went Crazy for Coconut!

Crazy for coconut

Crazy for coconut

We had Coconut pancakes, coconut milk, I made some coconut cranberry muffins and some granola LOADED with coconut!  I will say since the dawn of coconut oil, I have been rather pleased with the effervescence of coconut bliss at every corner.

For years I shamelessly unknowingly drank Soy Milk from the carton.  I loved the stuff.  I couldn’t get enough.  I stopped drinking Cow Milk as I had stopped eating Cow Meat when I was bout 19 and didn’t think twice about it.  What little I had heard was that Soy was good for you!  That’s all I needed to hear, and alI I did hear.  I then learned about organics and GMO’s and was thankful that my favorite brand was certified Non-GMO… Even Better!  I thought I was still making the right decision!  Afterall, dairy can cause sinus and allergy congestion and I was drinking this stuff that my insurance company, my doctor, and the media all said was good for me!

2012 was the year that changed my life.  It all finally started to change for me.  I began reading and watching others around me that were involved in this grass roots movement toward better health and a sustainable culture.  That’s when I realized I needed to stop drinking soy.  So I switched to their other “nut milks”.  They had a delicious Almond Milk as well as a Coconut Milk.  And if you could find the Almond/Coconut you scored!  But there was still something more I had to learn.

There are more than just Almond or Coconut in those cartons.  There.  I said it.  There are stabilizers and sugars and “natural flavors” and this one weird ingredient that I didn’t know much about….Carrageenan.  Basically, it causes inflammation and too much inflammation over time causes cancer (specifically in the colon), heart disease, Parkinsons, and Alzheimers. (source)

So basically, there was crap in my milk!  So I started learning how to make my own “nut milk”.  It couldn’t be that hard! It’s not like I needed a cow!  I just wanted organic raw nuts or coconut that hadn’t been sprayed with chemicals or blanched to prevent some outbreak. Easy!

How hard could it be!?!  So I decided to give it a go.  I started with a nut milk or two using brazil nuts or almonds.  SO tasty.  The greatest thing about buying these nuts and milking them is that once you have pulverized them, you can dehydrate the pulp and you have nut meal or flour!  How cool is that!  It’s like a two-fer!

Nut Milk

  • 1 cup raw organic nuts
  • 3-4 cups of filtered water
  • (optional) organic vanilla to taste
  • (optional) organic raw local honey to taste ~OR~ 2-3 dates pitted
  • Powerful blender

Soak the nuts overnight in a cup or 2 of filtered water.  The next morning drain them and refil your blender with 3-4 cups of filtered water.  Blend until milky white, strain through a fine mesh “nut milk bag” or colander.  Pour it in a pitcher and drink!  (usually good for 4-5 days).

Coconut Milk is a little different as the fats solidify and separate as they are chilled.  But either way, it’s such a tasty change!  I hope you’ll give it a go and try it out sometime.  You *might* find that you save a little money while enjoying the benefits of milk on demand!

Coconut Milk

  • 1 cup organic unsweetened coconut shavings
  • 3-4 cups filtered water – heated
  • (optional) organic vanilla to taste
  • (optional) organic raw local honey to taste ~OR~ 2-3 dates pitted
  • Powerful blender

Heat the water just until right before it boils.Hillbilly Nutrition

 

Hillbilly Nutrition

Pour 1 cup of coconut flakes in blender.

Hillbilly Nutrition

Add heated water to blender.

Hillbilly Nutrition

Blend coconut, water, and optional ingredients on high until milky white.

Hillbilly Nutrition

Pour nut milk through fine mesh bag or colander into a pitcher.  Squeeze the bag or press the remnants with a gentle force to press the liquids through leaving only the solids in the bag and the bright white milk in your pitcher.  Once you are done, transfer your milk into your jar that you are going to keep it in. I’ve used mason jars, juice pitchers, or even the glass bottles with a flip top lid.  Store your coconut or almond milk in the refrigerator for 4-5 days… if it lasts that long!

Hillbilly NutritionHillbilly Nutrition

I am crazy for coconut milk… are you?

#eatlikeahillbilly

 

 

 

 

Sardine Salad Please!

Now wait a minute… don’t freak out.  Yes, SheHillbilly likes Sardines… Especially in Sardine Salad.  I remember being a kid and eating them with my dad on a saltine cracker.  I stayed away from them until a few years ago and now I have learned to enjoy them a little differently.

Sardines are part of the Herring family.  In fact, when they are young and small they are considered a Sardine.

And when they are older and bigger they are then called a Herring.
Aren’t they cute?

Sardines are PACKED with vitamins B12 & D, Selenium, Omega 3’s, & Protein.  They are very low in Mercury and one of the *Highest Sources* of calcium outside of dairy.  How awesome is that???

Source

So, you might wonder which ones I buy and how I prepare them.  Well, a blogger turned me on to them a few years back.  She posts all the foods she eats throughout the day, and everyone once in a while she would make “Sardine Salad”.  At first I thought… no way… but then I got brave enough to give it a try.

Sardines can be very salty and served in an assortment of oils.  Hillbilly’s prefer those served in Olive Oil as well as those that are Wild Caught.  This brand has been my go-to.  They have one that is served in olive oil with lemon and they are really tasty!

 

I like to prepare them with some chopped veggies (carrots, celery, pickles) with some homemade mayo and some deli/dijon mustard kind of like it is pictured here:Kath Eats 2

 

via

I also like to mix it in a salad or some sort of greens like here:

Kath Eats

via

Sardines are really a healthy way to get your Omega’s, vitamin D and Calcium in a Low Mercury way.  Of course if you can get them fresh, on the grill they are amazing.  Or marinated like ceviche in garlic and LOTS of lemon and Olive oil, they are DIVINE! Sardines really pack a punch in flavor and they make my mouth water just thinking about them!