How to Make Yogurt, Greek Yogurt, and Skyr

yogurt-small-jarsThere’s almost nothing easier than making your own yogurt! With the back to school and back-to-serious season now in swing, you may be tempted to stock up on the Go-gurt style tubes for kids or even some of those new, beautiful little artisan yogurt tubs for you, to appease your healthy-slash-convenient sensibilities.  But nay nay!  Here’s a fun project for your weekend.

You can make your very own super delicious and wholesome regular yogurt, Greek yogurt, and even Icelandic-style Skyr Scandinavian yogurt right at home.  It’s not only less expensive and more holistic, but good for the environment, too, producing far less waste.  Let me walk you through the traditional stovetop method for making your very own homemade yogurt.   Continue reading

Easy Peasy Cranberry Citrus Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp with Cranberries and OrangeThere’s almost nothing I like better than apple crisp.  It’s been a favorite since childhood, which I will happily eat any time of day or night, as a dessert, breakfast, or snack.  Plus – it’s so easy,  even the little chefs of the house can practically make it themselves!

Traditional apple crisp is OMmmazing, though I’m also  a big fan of tangy, so I try to work this flavor profile in wherever I can.

What better twist on an age-old classic than to toss in fresh cranberries, and even a little citrus?  Continue reading

Hearty Vegetarian Black-Eyed Pea Stew

Blackeyed Pea StewOn a chilly day (and most any day ;), I love a good, hearty soup.   Unless you’re from the South, you may come across black-eyed peas only around New Year’s, when it’s traditionally eaten for good luck.   For vegetarians and others looking to eat a healthier diet, even then, you may associate these fiber-rich, protein-packed beans with ham hocks and sausage, as they are typically served… so they may not be in your usual repertoire at all.

However, these beans are amazing little fellas with an earthy, savory flavor all their own, which taste great in a tomato-based, hearty stew.  This super-healthy recipe is vegan and gluten-free, though vegetarian sausage can be added to give that down-home flavor you may have in mind around this lucky legume. This soup reminds me of all the comforts and smells of my grandmother’s house, yet in a recipe I created for a more earth-friendly Aquarian lifestyle.  Grab yer okry and let’s get choppin’! Continue reading

Organic Girl Style: Cilantro Lime Agave Homemade Salad Dressing

Cilantro Lime Agave Dressing GiftOrganic Girl is a salad greens company that makes the most delicious salad dressings I have ever had in my whole entire life.  Yes – they’re THAT good.   The only problem is, when I went to the one and only store in my area that seems to carry this brand, a smallish 8 ounce bottle was priced at an astounding $8 US Dollars.

I gazed upon my favorite flavor with yearning in my heart and on my tongue.  There it stood – the tangy, tasty, and subtly sweet deliciousness that is Lemon Agave.  Oh-so-tempting as I salivated on the memory of its taste – though not  tempting enough to put it in my basket and exchange it for 800 pence of hard-earned cash.   Continue reading

The Time-Space Continuum and Savory Vegetarian 15-Bean Slow Cooker Soup

15 Bean Soup BowlWe eat whole foods as much as possible, in the European slow-cooking, slow-eating countryside style, preparing most meals from scratch with a minimum of packaged convenience items, and a sprinkling of favorite indulgences.  Dinner is when this really comes to bear, since we have a real chance to sit down, share, and *linger* – my main term for all things “slow living.”

I make heavy use of my slow cooker year-round in the process… so much so, I’m considering just keeping that gargantuan beast on my counter at all times as a practical measure. ;) Continue reading

Limited Edition! Homemade Chocolate Coffee Creamer

Chocolate Creamer hostess gift mugI did a double-take walking through the store the other day, as I happened across special limited editions of the usual Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk in the baking section. Nommmm… naturally flavored chocolate and caramel… Imagine the baking deliciousness to be had!

I immediately thought of what a delicious treat this would be in my Homemade Coffee Creamer.  And with house guests and holiday parties right around the corner, what a wonderful way to share homemade goodness with family and friends! Continue reading

Easy Like Sunday Morning: Gluten Free Cranberry Banana Oat Muffins

Cranberry Banana MuffinMuffins are the handiest treats around!  They’re quick and relatively fool-proof – and so easy to make healthy and wholesome without tons of sugar like you might find in packaged or bakery varieties.  I love to stock extra muffins in the freezer for quick grab-and-go breakfasts and snacks, too.

This cranberry banana oat recipe is mildly sweet, and makes a light-tasting muffin that’s gluten-free.  It’s also a great way to use overripe bananas, which are always in rotating stock at our house. I love using ingredients that are naturally abundant and in season, so I threw in some cranberries for Fall flair.   Continue reading

Busy Day Quick & Healthy Potato (Veggie) Soup

Potato Veggie SoupFall is in full swing now with crisp weather and falling leaves, and the soup is definitely on here at our house.  We just can’t get enough of it – whether light, hearty, creamy, or brothy…. We’ll take it any way, any day! ;)

This is a great recipe when you want something warm, savory, and nutritious, but you need it quick.  And it’s perfect for those in the family who may not typically go in for the veggies… they’re here in force, though blend seamlessly into the rich potato base to get around those picky eaters.  Mighty O asks for seconds and even sometimes thirds on this one!  Continue reading

Easiest Thing Ever: Homemade Coffee Creamer

Homemade Coffee Creamer Ball JarWhen I first heard about making your own coffee creamer (beyond plain ol’ half and half ;), I figured it would be complicated and possibly time-consuming. Turns out, it is literally one of the quickest, easiest things you can make at home – and one of the healthiest switches from an otherwise highly processed, preservative-laden product.   Not to mention, the homemade version is just SUPER delicious!!!  You’ll never go back to that store stuff once you try this.

So here goes- let’s do this thing. Continue reading

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Gluten Free Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bundt BreadBy the end of summer, we’ve had our fill of zucchini side dishes and add-ins to every soup, stir fry, and entree.  Time to get creative and indulge in some chocolate bliss…

This Gluten Free Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread is a sinfully delicious, yet not overly rich, recipe adapted from one I found on allrecipes.com.   This can be served as a breakfast bread or with afternoon tea, or as a scrumptious dessert.  We actually just served this up at Mighty O’s birthday party this past weekend, disguised as chocolate cupcakes.  I don’t think the kids realized this was a veggie dish at all!  ;)   Continue reading