Cheesy Corn and Tomato Dip

Prep time- 10 mins
Cook time- 25 mins
ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups corn (I used canned and drained)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1½ cup Tex Mex cheese (or cheddar cheese or Monterey jack cheese)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional – hot pepper (serrano, poblane, depending on the heat level you want – full list here chilli pepper madness)
instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat; add onion and cook until onion is soft and translucent. Add corn and hot pepper and cook until corn starts to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, add cheese, parsley, sour cream and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Add corn mixture and chopped tomatoes and stir until it’s well mixed. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and top with additional cheese.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and the top is golden.

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

IngredientsTotal time 3.5 hours(plus overnight soaking for dry beans) 8 servings 630 calories per serving

  • 1 pound dry kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 pound andouille sausage
  • 2 cups long grain white rice

Directions

  1. Rinse beans, and then soak in a large pot of water overnight.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in skillet. Cook onion, bell pepper, garlic, and celery in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Rinse soaked beans, and transfer to a large pot with 6 cups water. Stir cooked vegetables into beans. Season with bay leaves, cayenne pepper, thyme, sage, parsley, and Cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
  4. Slice sausage and place into beans, and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the white rice in rice maker.
  6. Place beans over rice and enjoy 🙂

Parmesan garlic potatoes

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
 Serves: 6
These potatoes have such a great Parmesan garlic flavor and will be the perfect side to any meal!
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl add the olive oil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and oregano. Toss with the potatoes until coated and lay in a single layer on your baking sheet. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Roast for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

Mexican Salad with Guacamole

Turn your favorite dip into a healthy and hearty salad.

 

PREP TIME: 0:10
LEVEL: EASY
SERVES: 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1/2 c. black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1/2 c. corn
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (optional)
  • 2 ripe avocados, cubed
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped

guacsalad2

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make dressing in small bowl: Whisk together olive oil, lime juice, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Toss with dressing until well combined.

Organic Gardening – What to do?

Gardening is basically about growing and it doesn’t matter if you’re trying to grow a tree or tomatoes. You’re still a gardener if you’re growing plant life. If you garden at all and want some tips on how you can do it organically, take a look at these gardening tips.

garden-dirt

Be sure that you have a good spot that has the right amount of sun as well as earthworms in your soil. Earthworms are vital to good organic gardening, because they aerate the soil. Also, the by-products of earthworm digestion are actually great plant food. Earthworms encourage soil bacteria that provide needed nutrients to your plants while competing with harmful insect pests, reducing the need for chemical pesticides and fertilizers.

Start your organic garden with a good strategic plan. How much space does each plant need, how big will they get? This helps you know exactly where each plant will go in your garden so that you can maximize the few hours you have to garden each day. As part of your plan, take notes on what plants you will use to replace short-lived crops such as spinach and lettuce.

While Mother Nature will eventually do the work needed to create compost from a backyard pile, even if it is not actively tended, you can give her a helping hand by adding compost starter to the mix. Compost starters, available from the garden centers, add microorganisms to the soil that help speed up the decay process.

Use mulch to fertilize your beds. You have to make sure you spread mulch evenly, as you need a certain quantity and do not want to waste any of it. Sprinkle mulch as best as you can and use a rack to spread it flatly and evenly. Make sure you cover all the areas that need it.

It’s always good if you can have some tips to assist you in whatever you’re trying to do, so I hope this helps! As I build out my garden will be posting pictures and taking notes and posting them online for you to soon. Happy Gardening! 🙂

Watermelon Feta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cups sliced red onions
  • 4 cups cubed watermelon
  • 1 cup cubed cucumber
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • Cilantro, salt, and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Marinate sliced red onions in lime juice while you assemble the rest of the salad.
  2. Mix cubed watermelon and cubed cucumber.
  3. Toss in the marinated red onions and a crumbled feta cheese.
  4. Top with fresh chopped cilantro, salt, and pepper.

A Little Advice And Information On Nutrition And Your Health

Proper nutrition is essential for a high quality of life and an overall sense of well being. Many Americans, however, struggle with knowing what foods are healthy to eat, and what foods are best consumed in very small doses, and so levels of obesity and weight-related disorders and diseases continue to rise.

Hard boiled eggs are a healthy and easily portable protein source. Boil a bunch and keep them in your fridge to take with you when on the go, or packing a lunch. They are economical and is a quick fix for when you are hungry. Protein keeps us feeling full and energetic.

To help you make the best nutritional choices, always read the labels before buying pre-packaged foods. These labels clearly lay out the positives and negatives of the item you’re about to eat, including such important factors as calorie content, saturated fats, sodium, and vitamins. The ingredients can also be helpful if there’s a specific food item you need to avoid.

Healthy Foods

Smoothies are a great diet drink that can also act as a meal or desert. All you need to make it is a blender, along with any ingredients necessary for the smoothie of your choice. Fresh fruit, yogurt, and milk are the main ingredients and all of those are exceptionally healthy foods.

Healthy Recipes Your Way!

Write down and collect healthy recipes. Cook books are expensive and seldom have all recipes that you love. Make your own instead. Buy a pack of index cards and use them to copy down any healthy recipes you try and enjoy. Print and keep in a binder. Or make a word doc, or build a website to house them all. Replace all those high calorie, unhealthy recipes you had been saving with the new ones.

It can be difficult, if not downright impossible, to fully enjoy life on a daily basis if your overall nutrition leaves much to be desired. Improving your nutrition, however, need not take days – by implementing the tips and suggestions listed, you can begin to feel the benefits virtually overnight!

Healthy Eating – Salt and Vinegar Chips

Instead of buying that next bag of salt and vinegar chips try and indulge in a protein packed bowl of salt and vinegar chick peas.

Just a bit more labor intensive than popping open a bag of chips, I promise they’re just as satisfying and you will feel better overall eating a healthier version.

Ingredients:

1 can rinsed and drained chickpeas

2 cups white vinegar

sea salt

olive oil

Method:

Put chickpeas, vinegar and a dash of salt into a pot and bring to a boil. Remove immediately, once it starts boiling, and let legumes soak for 40 minutes in the warm vinegar.

Preheat oven to 400°F. After 40 minutes, drain chickpeas of excess vinegar.

Place chickpeas on oven safe baking pan. Coat with 3 tablespoons olive oil and more salt (to taste).

(Can also add some pepper, chili powder or garlic powder for an extra kick.)

Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes, checking every 10 minutes to stir them around and make sure they’re turning golden brown (not black).

Remove once they’re nice and toasted, and let sit for 10 minutes before munching. Should be crunchy on the outside and a bit soft on the inside.

Refrigerate leftovers – if there are any left!

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

Delish chocolate cupcakes from the famous Betty Rocker!

This  dessert is so easy, and so delish –  all you need are measuring cups,  measuring spoons, a blender, a cupcake pan,  and a love for chocolate! I found this recipe on Betty Rocker’s site of healthy recipes, follow the link below for her video.

Gluten Free, Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: 10-12 cupcakes
Items needed: blender, measuring cups, measuring spoons, cooking oil spray

Ingredients:

  • 1-15 oz can black beans, drained
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 6 T cacao powder
  • 6 T coconut oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

How to prepare:

1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Add allingredients into blender.
3. Blend until well mixed.
4. Prepare cupcake tins. These work best without paper liners, as they tend to stick. Spritz cupcake/muffin tins with a little cooking spray.
5. Fill cups about 1/3-1/2 way full of batter.
6. Bake for 15-20 min, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.