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eat at home

Eat at Home!

eat at home
wrap filled with hummus, quinoa, shredded carrots and shredded apples, quick sautéd kale and dash of balsamic

In our fast paced, hurry up, glued to our devices world, eating at home may seem like too much of a hassle. There is no food in the fridge, the cupboard is bare, so eating out seems like the best thing to do or maybe you just don’t want to eat at home. But eating out brings a lot of extra calories to most people’s plates, through extra large portions and saturated fat. Now don’t get me wrong, we all need some fat, but most of us are eating way, way, WAY too much and when it comes to restaurant food, the giant portions stack nicely against your middle and thighs.

Time seems of the essence always, however, when taken into consideration the time taken to buckle everyone in the car, drive to a restaurant, reverse the process, go in, be seated, order and eat, then load up and unload again, a meal could more than easily have been prepared at home in half the time and for a fraction of the cost and let’s face it, for a lot less hassle.

HOW?? you ask?

Just a little preparation one day a week can make eating at home the easiest and least costly means of filling the bellies of a hungry family. If junk food has been on the menu for many years, changing old habits is not going to happen overnight, but with a little planning and preparation, dinner can be on the table any night of the week in thirty minutes or less.

Here are some tips to make Eat at Home happen:

1. Plan ahead. Sit down one day a week and do some internet research for recipes that fall into the thirty minute category OR buy a cookbook of thirty minute recipes OR google certain ingredients until a recipe that sounds appealing pops up. Make a menu for the week. 

2. Look at the menus and list all ingredients needed. Don’t forget breakfast, the most important meal of the day, and items to pack a lunch. Once all ingredients are listed, make a shopping list and go forth and shop. 

3. Spend an hour or so cutting veggies, making salad dressing or sauces if so inclined, and organizing for easy access. 

4. Each evening, go over the next day’s menu and be sure everything is ready to go.

5. Involve the family by having those old enough make their own breakfast, prepare their lunch box, and in the evening, everyone gather in the kitchen to pull a meal together. Kids can set the table and clear it afterwards. When adults both work outside the home, both should be involved with dinner, by either preparing or clean up, but none of this should fall to one person. 

People who avoid processed foods, eat at home, and focus on healthy choices like lots of vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds, will lose weight and be healthier than those who eat in restaurants or rely heavily on fast foods, whether they be boxed items used at home, or eating out fast food. And don’t be fooled into believing eating out is cheaper. Yes, there are times one meal at a fast food restaurant might really be cheaper, but in the long run, to eat at home will be much more cost effective, not only to your wallet, but to your health as well.

Follow my instagram campaign, #eatathome for quick dish ideas. Check out my recipes here on the website too.

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Peace and Joy!

Friday-Foodie

Friday Foodie: Black Bean Soup

Friday Foodie: Black Bean Soup

This is one of my all time favorite soup recipes, adapted from the Vegan Piggy, a blogspot that has been inactive for several years now. I changed up the amount of broth, the tomatoes and spices a bit.  It is definitely a very tasty, easy to make, delicious soup.

One thing about my videos, I do them as they come. I don’t set a stage or anything like that. I’m cooking just like you are sometimes, in pajamas early in the morning (that would be in this video for sure), or in the evening, tired at the end of a long day. Life happens and taking time to cook, means you fit it in where you can. The great thing about soups, they are easy to do in the morning, as you can chop up everything, throw it in a pot and let it simmer while you dress for work. Ladle some up into a jar, throw the rest in the fridge for later, and you walk out the door with a great lunch. Add an apple and cut up veggies, and you are well fed. Then you have lunch for the week, or dinner the next night.

Here’s the video and the printable recipe is at the bottom.

If you like this video, please share it with your friends by clicking on the buttons below. Enjoy!

Friday Foodie: Black Bean Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This is a hearty, tasty, healthy soup. Easy to make, it provides you with the beans you need and a few other veggies.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb black beans, soaked, rinsed and cooked. OR 4 cans of black beans, rinsed
  • 3 C. Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Can Organic Diced Tomatoes with green chile (without chile is fine too)
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Medium yellow or white onion, diced
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 t. Cumin
  • ½ - 1 t. Chili Powder, depending on how hot you desire
  • 1 t. Smoked Paprika
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • ¼ - ½ C. cilantro
Instructions
  1. Place one third of beans and tomatoes in blender, and process until smooth.
  2. Heat a heavy frying pan on medium heat.
  3. Once hot, add water and chopped onions and carrots.
  4. Sauté for five minutes.
  5. Add garlic and sauté until an additional two minutes.
  6. Add broth, spices, bean puree and the rest of the beans to the mix.
  7. If you like a more brothy soup, add ½ - 1 cup more stock.
  8. If you like a thicker soup, reduce broth from 3 cups to 2 cups.
  9. Reduce to very low heat.
  10. Cover and simmer slowly about 20 minutes, stirring every once in a while to prevent the beans from burning at the bottom of the pan.
  11. Before serving, add fresh cilantro.
  12. This soup tastes great with a small scoop of brown rice.
  13. Serve with a small salad for a completely satisfying meal.

 

Banana Ice Cream Pie

Friday Foodie: Banana “Ice Cream” Pie

 

 

Since I don’t eat many sweets these days, usually just a square of 85% chocolate a day, I get a craving for a proper dessert now and then. I came up with this idea through experimenting with an uncooked chocolate oat ball that didn’t hold together as planned, and well, it evolved into a little frozen banana “ice cream” pie that is quite nice and fixed my sweet tooth right up!

crumbs, crust, dessert

(In the picture, the small bowl is the crumbs before baking, then the crust and the final dessert.)

I actually ate this for breakfast this morning, as I had to be sure my experiment was a success before I posted the recipe. Some one has to make these kinds of sacrifices! Bananas, oats, cocoa….pretty nutritious!

I started with 3/4 cup of old fashioned oats, 2 Tbs natural cocoa, 2 Tbs real maple syrup (I think raw honey would work too) and 1/4 cup of raw almond butter. Mix this together with a fork. It should be sticky enough to hold together in a ball, but crumble easily.

Divide among four ramekins. Press into layer that covers the bottom. Bake at 375 for ten minutes. Remove and cool.

While crust is baking, peel three bananas and place in food processor. Add 3 Tbs chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond, soy, hemp or coconut milk. If you don’t have the vanilla milk, add 1/2 tsp of real vanilla flavor to the mix. Process until smooth.

Banana Ice Cream Pie

Place banana mixture in freezer for thirty minutes while crust cools. Remove from freezer, stir and divide banana among the four ramekins with crust. Freeze until firm. Sprinkle with cocoa powder before serving. I froze mine overnight and had to let it set for 30 minutes before eating. If you make ahead, just pull out of the freezer when you sit down to dinner and they should be perfect by the end of the meal.

Friday Foodie: Banana "Ice Cream" Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A delicious healthy frozen dessert with bananas and oats.
Ingredients
  • ¾ c old fashioned oats
  • 2 Tbs natural cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • ¼ c raw almond butter
  • 3 bananas
  • 3 Tbs walnut pieces
  • ½ c unsweetened vanilla almond, soy, hemp or coconut milk
  • ½ tsp real vanilla flavor
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Mix oats, cocoa, syrup and almond butter together with a fork
  3. Divide between four ramekins
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes until crisp
  5. Set aside to cool
  6. While crust is baking, combine bananas, nuts, milk and flavor in food processor
  7. Process until smooth
  8. Pour into a shallow container and place in freezer for 30 mins
  9. Stir mixture
  10. Divide among four ramekins, freeze for 30 mins
  11. Serve
  12. If made ahead of time, allow to sit 30 mins before serving to soften the banana mixture

 

Friday-Foodie

Friday Foodie: Carrot and Jicama Salad

I feel like I’m cheating posting a recipe that is so simple I hardly think of it as a recipe. But it is delicious and a great way to top off a salad. I got the idea from a book I recently read, Tender at the Bone, by Ruth Reichl. She makes mention of going to Northern Africa and being served grated carrots that had been mixed with orange flower water.

carrot and jicama

I thought it sounded so refreshing, but I decided to add jicama (an edible tuber, grown in Central America. The ‘j’ is silent so it is pronounced ‘hicama’)

carrot, jicama and golden raisins

and golden raisins, though Thompson raisins would be fine too. Jicama (nutritional info here) has a sweet, light, refreshing flavor. If you’ve never tried one before, give it a go.

As for orange flower water, this is a distillation of orange flower blossoms and adds just a flowery hint to a dish. It does not take much to be too much, so go easy!

carrot, jicama with orange flower water

I then piled this up on my salad for work! Delicious! I’ve also eaten this by itself, and it is just as tasty.

carrot and jicama salad

I generally top a green salad with a few drops of oil and a few teaspoons of a high quality balsamic. Give this topper a try. Enjoy!

Friday Foodie: Carrot and Jicama Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: Mixed
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
This is a light, healthy, salad topper made of carrots, jicama, golden raisins and orange flower water.
Ingredients
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 inch slice of jicama, peeled and grated
  • 3 Tbs. golden raisins, or Thompson raisins
  • ⅛ tsp orange blossom water
Instructions
  1. Mix grated carrot and jicama together
  2. Add raisins
  3. Toss with orange flower water

 

Buckwheat blueberry pancakes with strawberry compote

Friday Foodie: Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes with Strawberry Compote

 

Just in case you missed this last year, I’m running it again, as I think these are simply the most delicious pancakes I’ve ever come up with and are the perfect breakfast for Easter morning.

I LOVE pancakes and buckwheat has become my new favorite. Buckwheat has a distinctive nutty taste that is perfect for pancakes. This is a great recipe for the Easter weekend, especially since strawberries are starting to appear in the grocery and be worth eating.

I use oat flour and buckwheat in this recipe. To make oat flour, simply run oats through a blender until pulverized into flour. DO NOT use instant oatmeal. You can use old fashioned or quick oats.

       

Use a whole grain cereal such as this Nature’s Path Organic multi-grain flake.

Beat the egg whites until they are stiff and form peaks when the beaters are removed from the bowl. (The vegan variation is listed in the recipe.)

Fold the egg whites into the batter.

Fold in the blueberries.

Scoop batter up in a 1/3 cup measure and cook on a hot griddle or skillet, set at medium heat. Be sure and put griddle onto heat while preparing batter.

Make a delicious strawberry compote and serve warm over pancakes.

Use any high quality balsamic vinegar, but a fruity one, such as this Vanilla & Fig by the Temecula Olive Oil Company, is fantastic.

Sorry this is a bit blurry, but when you heat the strawberries, they will stick a bit to the pan. By adding the tablespoon of water, and stirring, the pan will be deglazed. Then pour this into the strawberry mixture to give it a bit more syrup.

Delicious!

My little Easter bunnies some 28 years ago! I love you boys!

Enjoy these delicious pancakes with someone you love. This recipe makes enough for 2 – 4 people depending on how hungry and whether or not an accompanying dish is served. Try spreading almond butter on pancakes instead of butter. This with the compote is incredible!

Enjoy and have a wonderful Easter!

Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes with Strawberry Compote
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
A healthy pancake made with buckwheat flour, seeds and grains served with a strawberry compote
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbs. raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbs. millet
  • 1¾ cups buttermilk (vegan use almond or coconut milk)
  • 2 eggs, separated (*for vegans, use 2 Tbs ground flax seed mixed with 6 Tbs. warm water. Allow to sit for ten minutes then add in place of eggs.)
  • 2 Tbs. frozen unsweetened apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 cup bran flakes cereal (one low in sugar, high in fiber)
  • ⅓ cup oat flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 ½ tsps. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup blueberries, optional OR 1 cup banana slices, optional
  • Ingredients for: Strawberry Compote
  • 1 pound of fresh strawberries
  • 1 or 2 tsps sugar (just enough to release juices from berries)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (a fruity balsamic, such as pomegranate or fig/vanilla, is excellent)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs water
Instructions
  1. Place a small non-stick skillet on medium/high heat.
  2. Add the sunflower seeds and stir occasionally for 2 mins or until lightly toasted and remove to cool.
  3. Add millet and stir for a minute or two until toasted. The millet will pop a bit as they open up.
  4. Remove to cool and set aside while assembling other ingredients.
  5. While preparing pancakes, place griddle or skillet on burner set to medium and allow to heat.
  6. Place egg yolks in a bowl and beat slightly.
  7. Add buttermilk, bran flakes, and juice concentrate.
  8. Mix.
  9. Beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside.
  10. In a large bowl, measure flours , baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  11. Add the millet and sunflower seeds.
  12. Pour in the buttermilk mixture and stir with a fork until blended and just moist.
  13. Do not over stir.
  14. Fold in egg whites.
  15. Fold in berries.
  16. Spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray or brush with canola oil.
  17. (If using spray, remove skillet from heat source and spray over kitchen sink.)
  18. Using a ⅓ cup measure, scoop out pancake batter and pour onto skillet.
  19. Allow to set until bubbles form, turn and cook other side.
  20. As pancakes are ready, place in warm oven on heat proof plate while preparing remaining pancakes.
  21. *Vegan variation: Add flax seed mixture to liquids and proceed. Though the batter will not be as fluffy as that lightened with egg whites, they are still delicious.
  22. Instructions for Strawberry Compote:
  23. Wash and hull 1 pound of strawberries
  24. Quarter the berries and sprinkle with sugar.
  25. Allow to set for 15 minutes so the berries will begin to release their juices.
  26. Place in skillet over medium heat and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
  27. Add vanilla and balsamic.
  28. Stir until strawberries are heated through.
  29. Remove from heat and pour berries into a bowl.
  30. Add water, return to heat and stir to release anything that stuck to pan.
  31. Add this mixture to berries.
  32. Keep warm and serve over pancakes.

 

 

candle light

Yes, We Are All Going to Die

Lilies on tombstone

 

There is no doubt, we will all die at some point, but how do you want to go out? My friend, who chooses to live a vegan lifestyle, recently went home to visit family. She recounted how they gave her such a hard time about how she eats and lives her life, chiding her that we’re all going to die anyway, so might as well eat whatever you want. She went on to tell me how her overweight mother suffers from Type II Diabetes which gravely affected her when she received a gash to her leg and landed her in the hospital after almost dying. My friend just turned 40, but looks 30. She does CrossFit, bikes, hikes and walks to work most days. She feels great and looks great. Her quality of life is great. Yes, she someday will eventually die, but she won’t be fighting for her life in a hospital due to Type II Diabetes, or huffing and puffing walking up a flight of stairs since she’s not overweight. She won’t spend countless hours in doctor offices or time each day swallowing pills. She will be out enjoying her life.

I know from my own experience, eating well and exercise make all the difference. Being a little over 50, I do suffer some aches and pains occasionally. I am a little stiff at times, but when I slack off on living healthy, as I did a bit over the holidays, my body starts screaming at me to get moving and quit feeding me junk. As we age, working out might hurt a little, but not working out hurts a lot more. I want to go out strong, no matter what age that might be. What about you? Are you ready to make a commitment to live healthy and strong? Yes, you are going to die someday, but why not enjoy every minute until you do?

Need some help to change your lifestyle? Contact me at Jane@janeannthompson.com, and let’s talk about how you can live strong and healthy!

Peace and joy!

Immune System Boost!

With colder weather upon us, we find ourselves staying indoors more often. This means more exposure to germs that others might be carrying and the greater likelihood of catching a cold or worse. The best ways to prevent illness are the plain old fashioned ways, like washing your hands frequently, covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze, as well as getting lots of rest and eating healthy. However, boosting your immune system is a plus as well. Two things I take to keep my immune system healthy are garlic soft gels and Olive Leaf capsules. Don’t worry, the garlic is odorless! Both are easy to find at a health food market, but garlic can also be found in any drug department that carries vitamin supplements. Other immune building supplements are available from many sources, but Purium carries some great products that can really help keep you at your healthiest. Check out My Purium by going to the Just Jane drop down menu. Let me know if you have questions and let’s all stay healthy this fall and winter.

Peace and Joy!

SP biscuits

Friday Foodie: Sweet Potato Biscuits

I love biscuits, but they have not been on my radar for awhile. Traditional biscuits, full of fat and flour, are just not a healthy choice. But then came Appetite for Reduction, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, with her sweet potato biscuits, and my radar started pumping out some love again! These are easy peasey and equally delicious. Hope you’ll give them a try and look for my review of Isa’s book next week.

Start by mashing up a baked sweet potato. I used one large and had more than a cup’s worth of potato. No potato masher? A fork will work just fine, but might take a little more time.

mashing sweet potato

The recipe calls for canola oil, but I used coconut oil instead. If pure maple syrup is not available, try honey. Isn’t this mountain of orange beautiful?

sweet potato, oil, and syrup

Use a fine mesh strainer as a sifter. No sifter? strainer? No worries, your biscuits will turn out fine.

Biscuits will become tough if over mixed. I kneaded dough four or five times after mixing together with a fork.

sweet potato dough

This two tablespoons scoop worked great for making the right size biscuits.

dropping biscuits

The recipe made a dozen biscuits. Hmmm….someone has eaten a couple!

SP biscuits

Here’s the recipe. As I said earlier, I changed the canola oil to coconut oil and I reduced it by one tablespoon, from 3 to 2. I also used hard apple cider instead of water. Beer would also be a good alternative, but water is fine too. Give these a try and let me know what you think! Have a great weekend!

Peace and joy!

Friday Foodie: Sweet Potato Biscuits
Author: 
Recipe type: Biscuits
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
These are a great way to have a biscuit that is healthier than the norm.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
  • 2 Tbs. coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsps. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2-3 Tbs. hard apple cider, beer or water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix together potato, oil, syrup and vinegar.
  3. Add flour, salt, baking powder and nutmeg to sifter and sift into potato mixture.
  4. Fold the flour mixture into the potato mixture until the dry ingredients are moist.
  5. Add 2 Tbs. cider and knead five times into dough.
  6. Add a little more cider if needed.
  7. Be careful not to over work the dough to avoid the biscuits becoming tough.
  8. Drop into golf ball size mounds on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tops are lightly browned and firm to touch.

 

 

aspen mountain side

Just a Walk in the Woods

aspen covered road

The mountains are incredibly beautiful this time of year. The aspens are golden, the air is crisp, the temperatures just right, ah, I love the fall. I hiked the Aspen Vista trail yesterday, though really an old forest road, it is a great trek through an aspen grove. Staying active is important for everyone.

Being healthy requires activity. Haven’t worked out in awhile? Start easy, but working up to thirty minutes a day is essential. Once you can handle that, don’t be fooled into thinking a thirty minute stroll is going to be a workout. Getting the heart rate up is important and that requires effort. Put some speed into that walk. Take a jump rope and skip rope in intervals throughout. Bored with walking? Try running. Can’t run? Try cycling. No bike? Try swimming. No pool nearby? Join a gym. Try yoga. Zumba. Nia. And if you really want to kick some booty, join CrossFit! DO ANYTHING!!! But get moving!!! Our bodies need movement to stay supple and strong. As we age, stiffness can set in, but much of that can be alleviated just by moving and the aches and pains can be lessened by staying active. So turn off the television, open the door and get out there!

Here’s a few more pics of the glorious fall beauty in the Sangre de Cristo mountains:

up through the aspens

aspen mountain side

coins of leaves on the stream

Peace and Joy!

Travels with the Friday Foodie

Veggie Lasagna Oslo

This is one of my last meals in Oslo, a vegetable lasagna. The noodles were homemade and very thin. Full of veggies and just a little cheese it was incredibly delicious. The sauce was a hollandaise for the asparagus that was so delicious I wanted to lick the bowl clean, but I didn’t. Notice how small the portions. In Europe, meals are always small portions. And vegetables are always served along side any dish. Our friends in Denmark and in France all commented that in their trips to the USA they go home sick from too much food, too many burgers, and no vegetables. We told them that is why we do not eat out much here as it is difficult to get a right sized meal or vegetables.

Here’s a few more pics from different places:

Vegetable tart Oslo

A mushroom tart that was more like a very thin crust pizza. Arugula is often piled onto this kind of dish.

Chevre and tomato tart Dublin

This was a favorite in Dublin, a tomato tart with salad and coleslaw, all delicious!

Guinness in Wicklow

And what would a visit to Ireland be without a Guinness? Though I concentrated on the ciders more often than the beer, I had to have a Guinness or two along the way. Cheers!

Market in Oslo

One of the best ways to eat healthy on a trip to Europe or in the USA is take advantage of fresh produce in the grocery or market. This is the fruits and vegetables of a small grocery in Oslo. Picking up some healthy choices for a picnic or a snack can help keep you on the right track no matter where you travel. I’ll share some more pics through out the week. Bon appetite!

Peace and joy!