Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole

So, this is a new recipe for me to try. I was inspired to look for new meals since I am feeding Luke no carbs right now. So here is the first attempt, and I have to say it was AWESOME!!! It is also "Luke approved". He loved it!  I got the idea on the website and changed practically all of it, so it became my own!

1 Medium-Large Spaghetti Squash
1 lb ground beef (or meat of your choice)
1/2 pkg of Broccoli Florrets (or veggie of your choice)
1 Tbs minced garlic
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 tsp dried italion seasoning (McCormick's or                                                                                      whatever you have) 
1 Jar of Marinara of your choice
1 Pkg Mozzarella Cheese (I used rice cheese)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Squash Cooking instructions:
Preheat oven to 375. Cut the squash lengthwise, scrape out gunk.  Put meat face down in a pyrex, and fill about an inch up with water. Poke holes with a fork all over it. Stick it in the oven for about 45 minutes.

While that's cooking, chop your celery and onions. In a large skillet saute your onions, celery, minced garlic, italion seasoning, salt and pepper and ground beef together.  When the beef is almost done, just a little pink, put your vegetable in and cover your pan and cook it on medium for about 15 minutes or till the vegetables are soft.
Take your squash out, scraped out the inside with a fork and it will come out like the above picture. Reduce your oven heat to 350. Spread one half of the squash on the bottom of a well greased pyrex (I used an oval medium sized one).  Salt and pepper the squash to your liking, Then lay half of your meat mixture, half of your jar of marinara, and sprinkle your cheese all over, however much you want, cheesier the better to me! Then repeat all of that except the cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes, then take it out and sprinkle cheese all over the top for another five minutes! THEN you are ready for dinner! This would probably be a great meal to cook in the morning and refrigerate to put in that afternoon for dinner! ENJOY!

Changing Luke's eating habits.....

So, Luke hit the 3's in March and it has already been very shocking the behavior changes that have happened. Since he is bigger I have taken him to some art classes and even tried at home to do some sort of "learning time" at the table. All have been a failure and very discouraging to me. His tension span is non existent! He for some reason can't focus very much at all when anything is put in front of him. He goes somewhere else. So this has all caused me to look at his eating, because I truly believe EVERYTHING can be traced back to what we are putting in our bodies, even hyperactivity or focussing problems.  So, I really don't feed Luke bad either, I don't give him any sugar except on special occasions, and I don't do wheat or dairy. BUT, I do alternatives to the wheat or dairy, so I give him rice bread, rice noodles, and rice cheese! CARBS CARBS CARBS!!!! So, all this to say, wanted to share and be able to vent a little, this is going to be a not so fun experience at first, but I think with in a week or two he should be fine. I am going to take out all of his carbs, only give him meats, vegetables, fruits, and brown rice, no bread or noodles! He hasn't asked for them so far, it's only been a day, but so far he is doing pretty good, I just try to always offer as much veggies/meat as possible.  I think also since Eli is eating only vegetables right now this will be so easy, cause now I can just fix all their stuff together, and Luke has actually been wanting whatever Eli is eating lately! So let's pray this works, and there is a significant focus improvement!!! (Please excuse all the grammatical errors, as I am not an english major, and I am trying to be fast right now while the little ones are sleeping!) 

Tuna Rice Casserole (VERY QUICK!)

2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice or white rice
2 cans (6 oz.) tuna packed in water, drained
2 cups  frozen mixed vegetables
1 tsp purchased gluten-free mexican or southwest seasoning, McCormick, Spice Islands, or I just used Tony Chachere Original Creole Seasoning.
2 tsps dried minced onion
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or cheese of choice (about 4 oz.), divided (1  Cup & 1/2 Cup)
2 -8 oz. bottles gluten-free ranch dressing, Litehouse Foods, Newman's Own
1/2 cup crushed gluten-free potato chips, Barbara's baker, Lay's Deli Style
 *I use Rice Cheese for the cheese, and I have also found dairy-free ranch dressing by Organicville! (They have both of these at The Peach Basket, for my local followers!)

     1.  Preheat the oven to 375. Generously grease as 2-quart microwave-safe baking dish.
     2.  In the prepared baking dish, toss the cooked rice, tuna, veggies, seasoning, and onion until combined.  Add 1 cup of the cheese and the ranch dressing and toss until the ingredients are thoroughly coated. Sprinkle with the crushed chips and the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Microwave on high power while the oven preheats, usually about 5-8 minutes . Transfer the dish to the oven. 
    3.  Bake 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and the cheese is melted.  If you already heated the casserole in the microwave, the baking time will be shorter.
Serve Immediately!

*You will have to excuse the messy picture, we were so hungry we forgot to take a picture first, so I got a really messy shot! Gives you the idea though, right?

What Eli has been eating lately

Many of you know the strange way I feed myself and my children. I nurse my kids for a year exclusively, no food! Yeah I know! Well, it is feeding time for Eli and when you wait as long as I do to start and then add in a big brother eating french fries right next to him, you get a baby who just really doesn't like pureed food, so I am challenged with what to feed my son who just now got his bottom two teeth and is about to turn 1!! I start my kids out with vegetables only, then after a few months fruit, then meats, and last grains, I know kind of backwards of what doctors say...... It has worked fantastic with my first, so I am going to continue.  Anyways, I would love some ideas on how to make very soft finger foods, so far this is what I have come up with and Eli is liking it pretty well.  I am hopeful this might help or encourage those of you in the same stage as me with a baby who wants to eat and a Mom who wants them to eat healthy!!
Tonight I fed Eli steamed broccoli and squash.......... cut into mutilated pieces! =)
Note: It's a good idea just to go ahead and do a bath after this meal!
 This is the squash I used, it is diced into cubes already and is so easy to prepare! I got it from Central Market, very worth any distance to get! 
I just used Central Market organic broccoli also, it is the best of all the broccoli's to me and it's all florets, making it much mushier!

I Heart paper plate dinners!

Many Mom's have those night's where you didn't plan anything for dinner and it's already dinner time.  Most the time I would suppose it is Corn dogs, or hot dogs, something like that for the kiddos right? I very well could be wrong! Maybe it's Spaghetti O's! HAHA! Anyways, this is my "corn dog" meal, only it's not, it's Hamburger Patties minus the buns, with green beans and sweet potato fries! Not really a recipe, kind of weird I know, but just an idea for those who might want to know what to cook last minute and not have to eat unhealthy while doing so! Oh and of course paper plates are a bonus! 

(I used HEB SELECT Frozen Green Beans, not that it matters!)

I slice up some onions with the green beans and saute them together! YUMMY!

Salmon Croquettes

So, I had the in-laws over and fixed these for everyone.  I did one batch in my stainless steel pan (bad mistake) and the other batch in my non-stick pan (better choice).  My mom used to make these when I was little, we really had no idea with the fancy name that it was made out of fish, so I got this recipe from one of my mom's old cookbooks, so old in fact that I want to quote something from it, because I love the time that this signifies.  It is about a recipe for Jo's green beans that she has and she says, "Jo Decker gave me this recipe. It is always a hit with men-who else do you really cook for?"  It made me smile, what a long time ago huh? Times have changed! Anyways, I am going to just put the recipe down like she has it, she writes her recipes really cool.

Drain and mash well........................................1 lb can SALMON
Blend in............................................................1 C. POTATOES, mashed
Add...................................................................1/2 C. Cracker Crumbs (I used Brown Rice Bread crumbs)
                                                                          1 Tsp. SALT
                                                                          1 EGG, beaten
                                                                          1 Tbsp. PARSLEY, chopped (I used dried)
                                                                          1 small onion, cut very fine (I used like barely 1/2 cup)
                                                                          1 Tsp. LEE & PERRIN worchestershire sauce
Mix well and form mixture into croquettes-any
size or shape you prefer-and roll in..................1/2 C. Cracker Crumbs (or Brown Rice Bread Crumbs)
Fry in hot...........................................................Oil (of your choice, I used grape seed, it's best at high temps)

*Bread meat or fish for dinner in the morning. The coating will stay on better after a few hours in the refrigerator.  (I did this and it's true!)

*I doubled the recipe since I had company over.

*Wanted to give credit to where it's due: this is an older cookbook my mom uses called, "Mother Jane's Prescription For Hunger". You can find it on amazon but that is about it and it's almost $200!!! I guess because it is out of print now and you can't find them anywhere, so I will try to share lots of recipe's out of this one!!!

I'm still here! This week......

I have completely abandoned my fellow cookers! I do apologize! I haven't resigned from cooking, just blogging about it has come in last place lately with two babies! It is hard getting on here and blogging everyday, but I will try much harder to keep more recipes coming! I have a great week planned ahead, so get ready, I am also going to post some older recipes from a few weeks ago that I never got around to putting up!!! 
This week coming up: 

Last night-Salmon Croquettes
Tonight-Fried Deer Steaks
Thursday-Tuna Rice Casserole
Friday- Hamburger Patties with Sweet Potato Fries 

Dessert: Carob Chip Cookies, and Carob Blondies! 

Hamburger Parmesan!

 This is just like Chicken parmesan, but with hamburger patties instead. The recipe recommended putting it on hamburger patties, but I chose to keep it italian with some noodles instead! You can use fresh or frozen patties, I had frozen so I just defrosted them for about 5 minutes.

4 Hamburger Patties
1 Jar of Marinara Sauce (I use Prego Tradional 26 oz.)
1 Cup of Rice Flour
2 Eggs
3 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Tbs Organic Butter (Or other butter alternative)
1 Tsp Garlic Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
1 TBS of Rice Milk
Shredded Rice Mozzerella Cheese
Rice Parmesan Cheese
16 oz pkg of Rice Spaghetti Noodles

Preheat the oven to 400 F, Start boiling your water for your noodles.  Get two small plastic containers to put the flour and egg mixture in.  Beat 2 eggs with a TBS of Milk in one of the containers.  Put the cup of flour in the other container with 1 tsp garlic salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper, or you can do with out the pepper.  Heat your olive oil and butter in a skillet on medium to medium high.  Once your skillet is heated up, stick your hamburger patty in the egg mixture, then dip it in your flour mixture and place it in the skillet, do the same for all of the hamburger patties.  By now your water will be boiling and you can stick your noodles in the water according to the pkg directions.  You'll just want to brown your hamburger patties on both sides, not cook them all the way.  Once they are browned on both sides stick them in a greased 9x9 pyrex dish.  Cover the patties with half the marinara, this should just barely cover your hamburger patties, not all the way though.  Cover your patties with parmesan cheese, and then the mozz cheese.  Then pour the rest of the jar of marinara on top of that.  Cook for about 20-25 minutes and serve it over noodles!

Black Bean Chalupas!

I am sure many people have these for one of their meal rotations. I just thought I would post it anyway just in case, and this is to share what I eat everyday and give ideas maybe some people hadn't thought of to cook! So here you go! I usually have meat at every meal since the majority of the family are blood type O's, but this one was a no meat Type A Blood friendly meal. I know some people had asked for some vegetarian dishes, so here you go as well!

Corn Tostadas
Refried Black Beans
Shredded Rice Cheese (flavor of your choice)
Avocado/Tomato Salsa
Chopped Romaine Lettuce

Avocado/Tomato Salsa: This is something my mother in law got me hooked on, it's just diced tomatoes (or halved baby tomatoes) and sliced avocado with bit of lemon juice and garlic salt to taste.... YUM!

*Nice thing about this meal, small clean up, not to mention it's super cheap!

Danielle's Rice Cake Pizza

I am always looking for new ideas for snacks! I eat snacks in between breakfast, lunch, and dinner and one before bed sometimes too.  It is very hard trying to find something that quenches my "snack fix". Fruit and Veggies is great, but every now in then I need something sweet and salty!  So, my sister in law came up with this idea, hence the name Danielle! One day she told me to try this and I thought, eeewww! It is VERY good! You have to try it! You can try different things besides what I have here too.  She has also put bananas on hers, which is pretty good as well! I also just do raisins, no carob.  This was an extra special day! HAHA! 

Basic ingredients: 

Lundberg Lightly salted Brown Rice Cakes
Smooth and creamy almond butter
Organic Raisins 
Chattfield's Carob Chips

** If you don't know what Carob is, it is a no caffeine alternative to Chocolate Chips! There is no refined sugar in them either!!! 

Egg in a Hole for Breakfast!

This is what Luke eats every morning, he loves it, I cut it up and he calls them egg sticks! I also like this because it takes out quite a bit of the bread, so you are not eating so many carbs!  I use Brown Rice Bread for my bread, I have also used Ezekiel bread before, but my body seems to do better on Brown Rice Bread. I try to do no bread at all on most days, but when I am feeling really hungry and wanting some extra energy I will eat this! I also am aware this is sometimes called Egg in a Nest, my mom showed me this and called it Egg in a hole and it stuck! 

Egg in a Hole:
Get a circle cookie cutter or I use an avocado slicer to make a hole in the center of the bread.  
Heat up the skillet with a tad bit of oil, place the bread with the hole in it on the skillet.  
Sometimes I put a little sliver of organic butter in the hole before I put the egg in. Carefully crack an egg into the hole and cook the egg in between medium low and medium, you don't want it to cook too fast because then you will have a burnt side.  When you look at the egg in a hole and see the egg whites are cooked about half way up, flip it.  I would put times but it really varies with every skillet! And also some people might like their yellow more done than others! Enjoy! 

Chicken Salad Wraps for Lunch!

I really really like this Chicken Salad recipe, I make a big batch at the beginning of the week and then have it for lunch everyday, usually on lettuce in tortilla's or just on a bed of lettuce.  I got it from a recipe book called, "Gluten-Free Quick & Easy", by Carol Fenster, Ph.D. I will probably post quite a few recipe's from her cookbook, they are really good! I use either ezekiel tortilla's or brown rice tortilla's.  Romaine lettuce hearts are nice and crunchy and highly beneficial for O blood type, which is what I am! 

Chicken Salad:
2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, or 2 Cups cooked diced chicken
1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
1 tablespoon dried minced onions
2 tablespoons cashews or pecans (I use walnuts)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon ( i use a whole teaspoon because this stuff makes it YUMMY)
1/4 teaspoon table salt (might have to adjust to your taste of course) 
2 tablespoons mayonnaise or salad dressing 

*For the mayo I use Safflower mayonnaise, nothing bad in it and it's really good.  

Chicken & Rice!

Ok, now everyone has me all nervous, I hope that you like these recipes! They are really really simple, nothing fancy, but very yummy and healthy!!! So, this is what we had tonight!
 Chicken & Rice-
2-2 1/2 lbs. Chicken Thighs
1/2 a bag of mixed vegetables (or just modge podge some frozen veggies that you have on hand)
2 Cups of Brown Rice (real, not the instant)
3 Cups of Chicken Broth (about 3/4 of one of those boxes)
1 Cup of Water
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Tad bit of Tony Chachere's (I like to use this, no msg)

Preheat oven to 375.  Place chicken thighs on the bottom of the biggest pirex you have! (This makes a lot!)
Salt and Pepper your chicken, I put quite a bit of salt on mine.... Disperse the vegetables over the chicken.  Pour the rice all over.  Pour the broth and water over all of that, make sure there is not any rice that is with out liquid.  Cover the dish with foil and stick it in the oven for about 2 hours.  Just check on it to see if the rice is done, since everyone's oven is different!

*This serves 6 easily, we are a family of 3 eaters (Eli not quite yet), so we eat half of this and then have it for left overs the next night, it's a great one for left overs! If you are mom this is nice because you get a break the next day!

*I got some of this from my Aunt Nelda and some from my mother in law, combined their ideas and came up with this!

*Just wanted to say also, that this is a great one to put on while the kids are napping and then it is ready for dinner with out the stress! One dish BONUS!

Reason for the Name

The Name comes from John 10:10 a verse in the bible which says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly." Another name I could have called my blog was, "Abundant Life Recipes", because I believe that just like Jesus came to give us abundant life, God created whole and wonderful foods to give us abundant life! I don't think that God wants us to just live, but to live well! That is what I try to do in my daily diet, is to eat things that make up good fuel for my body so that it functions to the absolute best. Nope, I am not perfect and I "cheat" here and there, but since I started this way of eating and felt how good it feels, I can't go back to my past eating lifestyle ever again!  The same as with the Christian life, once you feel the fullness of God's love after you have accepted Jesus in your heart, you can't go back, it just doesn't feel right!
        I am going to share a bit of my testimony of what lead me to eating this way.  Almost five years ago I had 2 miscarriages, seperately, we had the first one and then tried again about 5 or 6 months later I believe. It was really hard on me and Kelby after the second one, we couldn't believe that we had 2 of them! After that we moved to Corpus Christi, for job reasons and for a "change of scenery". When we moved there I started feeling a horrible ache I had never felt before, so much so that it had me laying on the couch not able to hardly move, sort of like you feel when you have the flu, but only the achy part. Wanting to find out why I felt that way and also why I had 2 miscarriages, I decided to go to a natural doctor, he is specifically geared toward health and wellness. I went to him and he opened my eyes up to a whole new world (yes, just like on Aladdin, hehe)!!!  He told me how much our diet can effect our body, that specifically for me, my body was so full of yeast that I was dealing with Chronic Fatigue, and if I didn't address it that it would lead to fibromyalgia.  He told me not much would want to live in a yeast infested body, and could have been the reason for the miscarriages. All I know was when he said that fibromyalgia could lead to death, I woke up and decided ok I will do anything for that not to happen, and to not feel so crappy right now! He told me a ton of more stuff, but it would take up far to much space and anyways, he is in houston and has a website if you want to check it out....
    So, one of the main things that Dr. Mark Hopkins helped me do was get my body back to a fresh start, cleaning out the bad stuff and putting in only good stuff! A 21 one day cleanse, and totally different way of eating has absolutely done that.  I feel so much better now! I no longer have any allergies, yeah many of the allergies which I thought were from things in the air were most definitely coming from foods that were causing inflamation in my body, like milk! Ok, I better stop there or this is going to become a different blog than I intended.
    I wanted to start this blog to post recipes of what I cook everyday.  I do not eat wheat, dairy, or refined sugar. I don't eat soy either really. So, I wanted to show people what it looks like for a busy mom to be able to cook, and eat quick healthy meals!!! So, I will start with that for now.  I will post some recipes from some cookbooks I have and then some of it is stuff I have made up over the years, I will give credit where credit is due for sure!
    One last thing, most of the way I eat and what my doctor has told me to get my eating habits from is the book shown to the left, called Eat Right For Your Blood Type, by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo.  It is a really great book and I highly recommend it! It is really crazy how right on he is about your blood type and how it matches your personality and all kinds of stuff.  So, there you go! I hope that having these recipes on here will help and encourage you to be healthy and eat to LIVE ABUNDANTLY!!!