GMO Free~ Baked Chicken Nuggets

Hello all!

Let me start by saying that I love… yes love chicken nuggets and fries, I am that girl. But after all this GMO hullabaloo, and desire to eat healthier.. I had to make it good, and better!

So here’s what I do, instead of frying in oil.

Chicken Nuggets

I used two large organic chicken breasts that I already had, cut them up long ways into somewhat thin strips then cut those strips into meaty “nugget” type pieces. This was for 3 people, so if you have a larger family.. use more!

20130623_172602

You need one beaten egg (organic) and a little milk.

And this..

20130625_231207

I also by hand added a little kosher salt and garlic powder. Of course.. I didn’t measure. Just beat your egg and milk in one bowl, and add your panko, salt and garlic powder to another.. and you’re ready.

20130623_172704

Take your fork and add nugget pieces to egg. I added half all at once and let them soak for a minute, then dipped them in the panko as shown above. Then added the other half of the chicken. Does that make sense? It’s like an assembly line. Half the chicken in the egg mixture, take them out one by one and dip them in the panko then onto the baking sheet. Then do the other half the same way. There.. hope that clarified things.

20130623_173027

Put them in an individual layer on a cookie sheet.

20130623_173624Bake 30 Minutes at 350 degrees!

20130623_181532

There you have it! They were super yummy! I (the salt addict that I am) added a little too much salt.. so like I said, add very little. The panko I believe is either salt free or SUPER low sodium.. hence why I added more.

You can make your own bread crumbs for this.. gluten free if you so desire. My thought is to take your gluten free bread and toast it in the toaster, cut it up and add to food processor along with some spices and whatever else you may want and pulse. Presto! Bread crumbs! But they also sell gluten free bread crumbs now.. Very cool. I decided to go with this. I liked them a lot. And they were in high competition with Chik fil A, a large crunch on the outside of the nugget. Ughh love that place and miss it. But I’ve said my goodbyes and hello to this!

I made sweet potato fries and petite peas along side this dish, again for that healthier alternative. I will post the fries tomorrow!

But for now…

Happy Eating!!

JESSICA

Ditching the Microwave Oven and Staying Healthy

Caution-Signs-00483-baSo I’m sure you’ve all heard at some point or another that microwaves are bad… they hurt you, they hurt the food… etc. etc.

I haven’t used a microwave since 2008 or before. And even then I rarely used it.

How often do you find yourself using it?

In this article it says, ” The price on convenience is to compromise your health.” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/18/microwave-hazards.aspx

It is so true.. Imagine the cement in the middle of the day, it’s already been under the heat of the morning sun and the afternoon is getting hotter. You know that trick of frying an egg on the cement because it’s so HOT?

That’s what your microwave does in 5 seconds, not only does it do it in very little time by re-arranging the molecular structure of your food, but microwaving your food in plastic causes toxins to be released into your food.. then you eat it..

There is no nutrients left in the food whatsoever. mmmm Sounds tasty!

I won’t keep going on about the dangers, because they’re very real and very true. Take a second to reflect on your food habits and what brought you to them, what are you going to do to change it?

A healthier alternative is reheating your food on the stove, or buying a toaster oven. It doesn’t have to be fancy and huge (although a larger one, you could easily cook a chicken in, and save money on electric!)

I do a little of both.. mostly on the stove top. It is the fastest way to reheat my leftovers in a sufficient time manner, and have it coming out still delicious. NOT rubbery as you sometimes get with your microwave.

White Chili

Looks delicious right? White Chili reheated… always so yummy and MUCH more fresh!

That probably would have looked like sewage had it come out of the microwave and have “hot spots and cold spots” as microwaves never heat thoroughly unless microwaved for a really long time.. I think I’m going to switch to MW whenever I refer to the microwave so I don’t have to type it out. O.K… Moving on!

The trick with reheating on the stove is adding a little water or olive oil let it heat up for a second then add your food and stir the water and food up. Presto.. you’re done! And it doesn’t require that much effort. 

Popcorn Lover? This is the thing I LOVE about un-MW-ed popcorn… IT TASTES SOOO MUCH BETTER!!! Its light and fluffy.. and you don’t even need butter.. just a little kosher salt. And you’re getting less caloric intake from stove top popped corn because its not pre-packaged with whatever that butter stuff is that’s in the MW popcorn bags. Ditch it, you’ll never go back. If you REALLY want butter.. heat some up on a low setting in a small sauce pan. I find that it makes the popcorn too greasy for my personal taste in popcorn.. but to each his own!

popcornMaybe I’ll do a tutorial on making this amazing popcorn, without a lot of fuss soon..

Baby items…

Heating up baby bottles in the microwave is just THE most ludicrous thing I have ever heard of. Don’t do it. Your breast milk isn’t suppose to be MW-ed in the first place because it kills all nutritional value, but if you are formula feeding.. just don’t do it. All you have to do is fill up a sauce pot with water about 1/3 the way up and set the heat to medium or low. Insert your bottle (glass preferably) and the milk will be warm in no time. I did this same trick ( with smaller amounts of water) to glass jarred baby food like peas or sweet potato.

I know it may feel like an eternity when it’s the middle of the night. But you are Mommy.. and providing the most healthy nutrition for your baby is your responsibility. So be responsible and take the extra time. You can’t go back and unmicrowave it, and certainly can’t take back what nutrition or crap you’ve fed your baby in the first years.

Some people add hot water from the tap… which I thoroughly disagree with. Tap water contains unfiltered organisms, minerals (some not good) and lets not forget about the awful taste. If you so choose.. you can pre-boil water to add to your formula for your baby. Or boil water every time you need to mix formula. Pour in the boiled, hot water and then add some ice cubes. I did that personally many times.

Lets talk about frozen foods for a moment, and why they are bad.

Salt (sodium) content is usually through the roof to aide in preserving the food through the making, freezing, and making again process to keep its original flavor. But honestly why would you want to ingest all that salt content plus all the other junk they put in it just for a quick fix. Frozen foods are prepackaged and truly a dietary nightmare. Then imagine heating it in the microwave WITH the plastic on top which releases MORE toxins into the food which particularly have been linked to cancer. Sigh..

All around.. not healthy.

Including but not limited to the “Steam in the Bag” options. Vegetables and rice.. among other things. I commend you for trying, but it is not the right path to “cook” anything in the MW, it’s more like zapping your food with a nuclear bomb and having  fall-out for dinner!

Steamers

Switching to a raw, more conservative diet is always a plus and it doesn’t have to be over complicated!! But you can always look for natural foods, and vegetables if so desired, that can be reheated on the stove or in the toaster oven. (Plus Green Giant is associated with… Monsanto). Yuck.

I know the more conventional way takes more time. But what’s bad about spending a little more time on our food to create something better? I will post my GO-TO meal for whenever I just don’t feel like going all out in the food department. It’s simple, fresh, and fast!

I hope you are inspired to try a little harder when it comes to food. And it has enlightened you to learn more. Thanks for the read!

Happy Eating.. And Keep Smiling!

JESSICA

Simple Guacamole

I haven’t ever liked Guacamole too much, it was never on my list of “must haves”. But recently I was craving it.. and needed some!!

I know there are a million and one ways to make Guacamole just the way you like it, but this turns out fabulous every time I make it and takes less than 10 minutes, and is uber fresh and healthy!

Here are some benefits to avacados before I begin: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=5

20130619_164119

Ingredients: 

3 Organic Avacados

1 freshly juiced Organic lemon

1 shallot roughly chopped

1 garlic clove finely chopped

Kosher salt

Fresh ground pepper

Paprika

How to:

Cut avacados in half take out the seed. Take a spoon and run along skin to dig out the meat. Dice and place in food processor.

Juice the lemon and pour into processor.

Chop Shallot

Chop Garlic – Add both to processor

Salt, Pepper, and Paprika to taste. ( I used about 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/4 tsp fresh pepper, and 1/8-1/4 tsp of paprika)

Here’s what mine looked like:

20130619_165019

Sorry about that picture.. it’s horrid and I tried several times.. at least you get the idea!

Once in the processor, pulse at short intervals until well blended. ( If you do not have a processor, you can mash the avacado up with a fork really well.. I mean really well! And you’ll have to chop the shallot and garlic up to almost mincing them).

You can add anything you want to this… peppers, fresh tomato salad on top (diced tomato, onion and chopped cilantro)  would add some real flavor!! Yum!! But I like it simple, so this can be your base to let your imagination run wild or just make it as I have it here for a great snack.. or spread on a burger.. OH MY!

20130619_165352

I like pairing this with the blue organic corn chips, they are amazing and have a much more robust flavor to them.

This yields about enough for 2, maybe 3 people, it goes in a flash  ( my husband devoured all of it within 5 minutes, I had like 3 bites) . Make more if needed!!

If you try this, tell me what you think!! This is a non-GMO, Organic solution to buying pre-made, frozen guacamole, or the pre-packaged spice mix to add to it.

Happy Eating!!

JESSICA

Pineapple Coconut Smoothie

I’ve never been a pro at smoothies. Seriously I am not good, they always come out strange and not smooth. The whole point is smooth and creamy, right? It was all bad… until recently when I bought a new processor/ blender. Let the games begin!

Ok, this one is super citrusy! I was happy with the outcome, and so was my family because it was GONE in no time flat. I didn’t measure anything.. but from my baking days I can pretty much estimate what I used, here it goes!

Ingredients Needed:

Fresh Pineapple– Maybe 1- 1 1/2 cup chopped. I placed in a small food processor and blended it until smooth. If you don’t have a processor try placing it in whole, I’m sure the blender will take care of things, I just went an extra step to make sure it was smooth.

1 Banana sliced

1  cup of Pineapple/ Coconut juice

1/2 cup orange juice

2 cups ice. I have no ice maker, but I used one entire tray… what is that? 18 cubes? That.

Place pulverized pineapple, banana, pineapple coconut juice, orange juice and ice into blender and pulse until well blended, then liquefy. Done!

Here is what I used:

20130615_191130

 

And…

20130615_191056

 

This was the outcome:

20130615_190906This came out super smooth, and just how a smoothie should be!

If you would like a stronger coconut flavor, you could skip the orange juice and opt for some pure coconut water or juice.

You could also do a carrot juice substitute for the orange juice.. that would add some earthy flavor.

Or if you like that citrus punch, you can juice your own oranges. I tend to lean towards quick and easy, and this was done in 10 minutes or less.

This will definitely have the sunshine beaming from your face, and you’ll be happy to say Good  Morning!!

Let me know how you like it and what flavor combo you used!

Happy Eating!

JESSICA

(Even Better) Broccoli Salad

Hello friends!

On upon moving here I loved the selection of healthy foods and did my best to make this recipe yummy and satisfying to the taste buds yet healthier. Its so versatile for BBQs and lunches and helps stay cool.

First, everyone knows mayonnaise and sugar are in broccoli salad, but I didn’t want to use mayo with soy lecithin (Most soy products in today’s ingredients are GMO) in it or regular sugar. So I found a natural non-gmo mayo, and organic sugar. Lets get started!

Ingredients of salad:
3-4 heads of broccoli
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 medium onion chopped (or I used one shallot, chopped)
4 large strips of bacon, crispy, dried on a paper towel then crumbled( I used a local brand, applewood smoked, with no nitrates or preservatives)

Dressing ingredients:
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 cup or so of organic sugar

Make the dressing and whisk together in a separate bowl. Set aside.

Cut florets off broccoli, make them small and bite size.

Measure out the rest of your ingredients and throw in with the broccoli.

Pour dressing over broccoli mixture, mix well, chill in fridge for at least 2 hours before serving and voila! So easy and simple! Will definitely be a hit at your next get together or make it and have left overs for snacking!

Servings: about 8

Broccoli Salad

I loved the flavor of this mayonnaise, the ingredients are so simple! It is very rich, you can find it here:

http://shoppe.sirkensingtons.com/jar-of-classic-mayonnaise/

Side Note: A lot of people don’t like raw broccoli, and honestly neither do I very much! But once the dressing saturates the ingredients and broccoli it turns much softer and is great with sandwiches or plain ole’ munchin!

If you decide to make this let me know how it turns out for you or if you add or take away anything… Happy Eating!

JESSICA