Sunday, November 8, 2015

Tuna Noodle Green Bean Casserole!

Fall is officially here now that we had our first snow, last week! From here on out, my house will have steamy windows, Christmas Spirit essential oil blend diffusing in my living room, and a hot oven almost always warming the kitchen ... when it is cold, that is. Colorado weather can be quite unpredictable all season with warm days sprinkled throughout the next 6 months. Thank goodness for that!!! 

Two of my favorite comfort food dishes to make during the cooler months are tuna noodle and green bean casseroles. I used to make the green bean casserole the "traditional" way by using Campbell's mushroom soup and French's French Fried onions. Well, that was before I knew anything about reading ingredient labels. ;) Thankfully, there are natural alternatives now!!

Today, I've created a delicious combination by marrying these two favorites into one casserole! It is a creamy, mushroomy (shhhh, my boys hate those things), tuna-y, green bean-y .... you get the idea - and oh so tasty! Why didn't I think of it sooner?

It would have been great to add more green beans but my boys can sometimes be picky about vegetables so, it's up to you on how much to add! Go with whatever you have on hand or your preference. And always buy organic when possible and read all labels before purchasing. Your dollars make a huge impact on what manufacturers put into the food on the grocery store shelves. Remember to support your health by choosing quality ingredients and know that God always provides! Enjoy!


11oz carton cream of mushroom condensed soup (natural brand)
1 cup milk of choice
8-16oz frozen green beans, cooked and drained or one 15 oz can, drained
2 cans tuna, drained
1/2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded or use your favorite cheese
1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup fried onions, divided (natural brand)
1 tsp. sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
2 cups of Pappardelle noodles or use egg noodles


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a 9x13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a medium mixing bowl combine the following: cream of mushroom soup, milk, green beans, tuna, Gruyere cheese, 1/2 cup french fried onions. Stir to mix well and pour into the casserole dish.

3. Bake casserole for 25 minutes. Stir well and then top with the remaining 1/2 cup french friend onions and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until it has browned a bit on the top. 


Recipe by: Elisha
Inspiration: "Traditional" Green Bean Casserole
Gratitude: Thank you for reading!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Alphabet Vegetable Soup

My bigs were little here, in 2011 ... oh my how the time goes by! They were so cute! 

This is a time I remember and cherish because they both loved almost all vegetables and would eat just about anything I put in front of them. Those were the days. Fast forward a few years and bear with me as I tell you the veggies they won't eat (because, whaaat?). Here is the list: zucchini, mushrooms, corn, and peas. And to top it off, the younger one here will not eat tomatoes. Just won't even look at them. I completely disagree with all of this nonsense but I have to choose my battles for for my own sanity and let them have a few dislikes but that's it! No more dislikes, I can't handle it! Of course, I'm somewhat joking because I do believe that it is important to listen to our bodies and if I sit around forcing them to eat peas and carrots, they will 1. go against their body's intuition and 2. hate me. Besides, there are more stressful things to deal with in a day ... like getting my three year old (their newest brother) dressed for the day or keeping him from running outside stark naked. Yea, that. Not for the faint at heart. 

I do however miss the tasty veggies sometimes and will sautee up some mushrooms all to myself. Or if I could have a big bowl of all those yummy vegetables combined, I'd eat them slightly steamed with bit of butter and a few squirts of Bragg's Liquid Aminos! Yum!

The bowls of vegetable soup sitting in front of them here were devoured at the time but if I made it today, they would frown and say, "Eww, corn and peas!" I found a similar recipe for Alphabet Vegetable Soup because I lost the old recipe. This one looks great and I will plan to make it again but will put the peas and corn on the side for the rest of the family to enjoy. :) 

I believe I served the dill muffins from a previous post. 

What are your kids' dislikes with food and how do you deal with it? 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Roasted Chestnut Cookies

I found this recipe on the Smitten Kitchen blog and fell in love with them ... they were so delicious!!! You can find the recipe here.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Recipe links because I'm too busy to post :)

Our Sweet Boys

Since my little guy was born 9 months ago and I am a breastfeeding mama again,  haven't been able to eat dairy products. It makes my little one scream in awful pain after a feeding and during which so, he gulps it down very uncomfortably. So, I have been eating an almost 100% vegan diet for about 7-8 months now with the exception of a taste of something here or there. It was kind of hard at first to transition but also a lot of fun because I love diving in to a new diet every now and again. I think a vegan-ish diet is best for me anyway ... before having kids, it's how I ate by choice. A couple months ago, my husband found out he has very high cholesterol and instead of getting on medication he is trying to lower it by diet. His doctor was a little skeptical at first but agreed to let him try. We will find out in a few weeks if his attempt is actually working. He has been trying to avoid saturated fats which is supposed to be the culprit of causing bad cholesterol but he is finding it hard to totally avoid them. Foods like red meat and dairy products are high in saturated fats and he has reduced it by a lot.

That said, I am finding it really hard to post recipes on this blog.... Not because of what I'm eating but because I find it hard to post here with a new baby around. It's not the most user friendly blog, in my opinion. It has to be really easy for me to do so, otherwise I won't do it. I have so many dishes I want to post, especially on our new "diets." A lot of my previous posts call for butter and or cream and cheese ... I am in the works to alternate or provide alternatives to those recipes but in the mean time, here are some delicious recipes that I have made recently that I think you might enjoy! I hope you are still out there and are enjoying food in a healthful way!

Love always!

Vegan Tortilla Soup by Oh She Glows

Peanut Sesame Noodles from Smitten Kitchen

Spicy Tofu with Peas by Williams-Sonoma

Sesame Quinoa with Tofu from My Recipes

That's a lot of tofu which I don't eat a whole lot of ... maybe only once a week.

Creamy Roasted Tomato, Onion and Garlic Coconut Soup  by Oh She Glows

Cashew Vegetable Korma by The PPK

These are all delicious!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bomb Veggie Sandwich

"Orbit" prepping a scrumptious salad!
At the ripe 'ol age of 16, I decided to go "vegetarian." I honestly didn't know much about it except that I loved fruits and vegetables and very nearly hated meat. During the precious, fruitful years of public school and eating that delightful public school lunch everyday, I wouldn't be surprised if most of my peers thought I was a total freak! I may have been the only kid in school who traded out hamburgers and salisbury stakes for canned (no less) spinach, salad, or those awful green beans. So, it just made sense to be a vegetarian. And, why not? 

My mom and dad were vegetarians living on a commune in Sacramento, Cali during my conception ... and when they returned home to the midwest, they continued their veggie-lovers addiction until I was about 4 years old. Since then, I can't remember a day that I didn't gripe about a single piece of meat on my plate. I usually picked it to death (as if that were possible) to find those few perfect bites (white meat only, please) ... and still, I was frowning. I frowned a lot! There were only a few types of meat that I liked ... salami, pepperoni, white chicken meat (boneless), and fish were at the top of my list. That's about it. However, being the daughter of a fisherman, gardener, and adventurer but inspite of growing up in a small, isolated town in the midwest, I have tried many different types of unusual meat. For example: I've eaten alligator, shark, snake, squirrel, deer, turtle, and frog legs, just to name a few. Now, you may say, "Pssssh, whatever ... I've eaten (blah, blah, blah - you fill in your long list here)." But, you must remember that I was really stretching myself there. So, there you have it. At least I tried it. Fish is just about the only meat that stuck to this day but (surprise) I am very particular with it. So, I suppose I should call myself a "pescatarian" but whatever.

Anyway, back to my story ... One of my best friends and I used to make these sandwiches that were to-die-for! They were revolutionary at the time because who would'a thought something so simple could be so delicious!?! Our ingredients of choice were any veggies good to be eaten raw like, lettuce, tomato, green pepper, onion, cucumber, avocado, cabbage, kale, carrots, etc. etc. You name it! ... AND ... (drum roll please) RAW GARLIC! Yes, raw garlic (which we bought by the shopping bag-full). 

Now, can you imagine a couple of confident yet dirty hippy teenagers strutting around the grocery store (who forced themselves to put on a pair of shoes just so they wouldn't get thrown out) packing their cart full to the brim with only fruits and veggies!?!?! HA! Unheard of around those parts but that's how it was. And to top it off, we always brought in our reusable grocery bags ... Let me tell you, no one did such a thing where we are from back in "them days." We pretty much got the stare of death like we were really doing something wrong ... It's oh, so wrong to be weird (different). Go figure.
Something so great is in something this simple .... 

So, home we did trot with canvas bags full of deliciousness (non-organic but that was totally unavailable). Those were the days. We never followed a recipe and I knew next to nothing about cooking and we rarely turned on the stove (except to make tea). Everything went into a bowl with some homemade vinaigrette or on a couple slices of whole grain bread for our "orgasmic" gourmet sandwiches!!! A meal for two royal hippy chicks. ;) This is where it all started - my love for food - and sharing it with friends. Food is good when it is closest to its natural state. I mean so good that you can get kind of high just eating it ... not to mention all the energy that can be produced from it!

One of the greatest gifts in life is food made from the heart. The kind that is made with love and then shared. We could not survive without it - especially love. Maybe this is why Jesus compares himself to bread saying, "I am the bread of life." John 6:48 His bread was made from the greatest love ever known to us. His love is so deep and rich, that nothing on earth could ever live up ... not even to its shadow. Jesus' bread is food for our soul. True soul food. The "chicken soup" to the soul but better (like, even better than non GMO tofu and organic kale!). Not to mention how he died for us... that is like some complex nutrition that gives eternal life! I'm actually being serious in a humorous way, I guess. Think about it. I say I love food and rightfully so because in a way, it gives me life, right? But without His love there is no life at all. You can thank Jesus for that! I do.

Bomb Veggie Sandwich
Try it if you dare but please share!
Serves 2

4 Slices of whole-grain bread
Vegenaise or mayo
Mustard - dijon or brown
2-3 Garlic cloves, minced
Lettuce leaves
Tomato, sliced
Cucumber, sliced
Avocado, sliced
Red onion, sliced

1. Spread the mayo on two slices of the bread and mustard on the remaining two. 
2. Spread the raw minced garlic over the mayo. 
3. Layer remaining ingredients to your taste and make it a sandwich! 

Savor and thank your Savior by remembering Jesus who gave you life. With love and peace! 


Cooking Brown Rice ~ unconventionally

I love brown rice ... but I despise cooking it. I find it daunting and irritating that I can never remember how many cups of water per cup of rice to use or the amount of cooking time. I usually find myself wasting precious time looking up the correct conversions when the rice should be cooking already! And to top it off, when I do have the right measurements, and the timer is set, it somehow turns out too sticky, hard, or burnt. SIGH. I just want a bowl of rice!

After realizing there could be another way of cooking perfect brown rice, I decided to search the web. Lo and behold, I found exactly what I needed!!! Check it out here: Pinch My Salt and Saveur.

This is what I call a brilliant, unconventional method of cooking brown rice! I love it! This is the only way I cook brown rice now. I like the suggestion from Pinch My Salt to reduce the amount of water vs. the Saveur recipe. It totally works!!

Perfect Brown Rice      
brown rice
water (use about four cups of water for every one cup of rice)
Rinse rice in a strainer under cold running water for 30 seconds. 
Bring water to a boil in a large pot over high heat.  When water boils, add the rice, stir it once.  
Turn heat to medium and boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  
After 30 minutes, remove from heat and pour the rice into a strainer over the sink.  
Let the rice drain for 10 seconds, then return it to the pot.  
Immediately cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid to allow the rice to steam for 10 minutes (if your pot lid isn’t extremely tight, place a dish towel over pot then place the lid on top of the towel for a tighter seal). 
After ten minutes, uncover rice, fluff with a fork, and season with salt to taste.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sesame Balsamic Vinaigrette

We have a beautiful variety of kales growing in our garden that are just mature enough to harvest. Yesterday, I picked my first bunch and felt the urge to eat them my favorite way ... macerated in a balsamic vinaigrette but I didn't have any on hand so I used a homemade honey mustard (which is a favorite of mine but not quite what I was craving.)

Then, my Dad called this morning ironically asking for my favorite way to eat kale (we are on the same page here with our growing kales) so I decided I had better hop to it and mix up a batch of balsamic vinaigrette and share. Since I didn't have anything written up, I made a small batch, recorded it on paper, and ate a massive bowl of kale and vinaigrette in the process! So glad I did because oh how wonderful those flavors combine - especially right now in the early garden season. My desire for fresh foods is in a wild frenzy with the warmer weather but my taste buds and cravings are extra heightened due to being seven months pregnant. You could feed me stuff like this all day long!

Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Add ingredients to a jar with a lid and shake, shake, shake!

If you want to make a kale salad, this is the way I like it -- Chop up the following and add to a large bowl: 1 bunch of mixed kale, 1/2 bunch of radishes, 1/2 small onion, 1/4 head of any cabbage, handful of sugar snap peas. Pour some of the vinaigrette over the salad until lightly coated. Let sit for 20 minutes or for a few hours. When ready to serve, put desired amount into your eating bowl and top with avocado and cucumber. Eat slowly and chew well.