Facial Moisturizing Serum

I put 2-3 drops of this on after I use astringent on my face in the morning and evening. It is the only facial moisturizer I use.

2 T jojoba oil
10 drops geranium essential oil
6 drops cedarwood essential oil
6 drops cypress essential oil
6 drops lavender essential oil
6 drops melaleuca essential oil

Geranium = wrinkle reducer and acne/infection fighter
Cedarwood = regularizes oil production (pregnant women should not use)
Cypress = tightens looses skin
Lavender = inhibits bacteria and regulates oil production
Melaleuca = kills bacteria, fights acne

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Scratch Vegan Spicy Bean Dip

1 lb dried pinto beans
1 can chopped green chilis
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup juice from a can of pickled jalapeños
1 T garlic powder
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
2 t red chili flakes
1 t salt

Rinse dry beans and put them in a large pot with 8 cups of water.
Bring the water to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.
Move the pot to a cold burner, cover the pot, and let sit 1 hour.
Drain liquid from beans and replace with enough new water to cover the beans.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer 25 minutes.
Drain beans.
Add beans and all other ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.

Double Batch Recipes for Hannah and Scott

These 7 recipes all make 2 meals, one to eat that day and one to freeze for the future (or you could freeze them all and have 14 meals in the freezer). They were chosen with Hannah and Scott’s ingredient preferences in mind. I recommend using disposable pans so you don’t lose your good ones into the depths of the freezer.

Pizza Casserole

Ingredients:

8 oz Rigatoni or Macaroni noodles

2 cups ham, chopped to bite-size pieces

1 clove garlic, minced

1 jar pasta sauce (26 oz)

8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Boil pasta 3 minutes LESS than package directions (it softens more as it bakes). Drain.

In a large bowl mix the ham, pasta sauce, 1 cup mozzarella.

Add the noodles to the bowl and mix until the sauce/cheese evenly coat the noodles.

Put 1/2 of mixture in each of 2 greased 8×8 (or 9×9 or 9 inch round) baking dishes.

Top each with 1/2 cup of mozzarella and 1/4 of Parmesan.

To serve immediately: Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

To freeze: Top with a layer of plastic wrap and 2 layers of foil. Label with name and cooking directions.

To reheat: Let thaw in refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Remove foil and plastic. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

*Note, this recipe can also make 1 large 9×13 inch casserole.

Ham and Potato Casserole

Ingredients:

1 pkg frozen diced potatoes (or hashbrowns)

1 1/2 cups ham, chopped to bite-size pieces

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup low-fat sour cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Put 1/2 of mixture in each of 2 greased 8×8 (or 9×9 or 9 inch round) baking dishes.

To serve immediately: Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

To freeze: Top with a layer of plastic wrap and 2 layers of foil. Label with name and cooking directions.

To reheat: Let thaw in refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Remove foil and plastic. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes.

*Note, this recipe can also make 1 large 9×13 inch casserole.

Tater Tot Casserole

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs ground beef

1 32 oz package tater tots

1 10 oz can cream of chicken soup

1 8 oz container low-fat sour cream

1 cup skim milk

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Brown hamburger with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Put 1/2 of cooked hamburger into each of 2 greased 8×8 (or 9×9 or 9 inch round) baking dishes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together soup, sour cream, and milk.

Spread 1/2 of soup mixture onto each casserole.

Cover each casserole with tater tots.

Top each with 1/2 of cheese.

To serve immediately: Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

To freeze: Top with a layer of plastic wrap and 2 layers of foil. Label with name and cooking directions.

To reheat: Let thaw in refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Remove foil and plastic, then recover with 1 layer of foil. Bake covered for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake 10 minutes more.

*Note, this recipe can also make 1 large 9×13 inch casserole.

Swedish Meatballs

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef

1 pkg. (6 oz.) stuffing mix (any variety)

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/4 cups water

1 jar (12 oz.) beef gravy

1/2 cup low fat sour cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large bowl mix raw meat, stuffing mix, eggs, and water. Shape into 32 meatballs, each about 1 inch in diameter. Place 16 meatballs on each of 2 pans sprayed with cooking spray.

To use immediately, bake 20 min.(one pan). To prepare to freeze, cook 10 minutes (the other pan).

While the meatballs bake, whisk together gravy and sour cream in large bowl. After mixing, place 1/2 of sauce in a labeled freezer-safe sandwich baggie. Place the other 1/2 of sauce in a sauce pan over medium low heat.

To serve immediately: Add fully-cooked meatballs to heated sauce in sauce pan.

To freeze: Cool the 10-minute meatballs and then place in a gallon freezer-safe bag. Place baggie of sauce inside baggie of meatballs.

To reheat: Let thaw in refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Bake meatballs at 350 for 15 minutes. Heat sauce in saucepan over medium heat. Place cooked meatballs in sauce.

*recipe adapted from http://fabulesslyfrugal.com/swedish-meatballs-freezer-meal-recipe/

Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole

Ingredients:

3 fully-cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped or shredded

1 pkg frozen diced potatoes (or hashbrowns

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tablespoon pepper

6 tablespoons buffalo wing sauce

2 cups shredded cheese (your choice)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

Put 1/2 of potatoes in each of 2 greased 8×8 (or 9×9 or 9 inch round) baking dishes.

In a medium bowl mix together olive oil, salt, pepper, and buffalo sauce. Stir chicken pieces into the sauce.

Spoon 1/2 of chicken on top of the potatoes in each baking dish.

Top each dish with 1 cup cheese.

To serve immediately: Bake 30 minutes at 325.

To freeze: Top with a layer of plastic wrap and 2 layers of foil. Label with name and cooking directions.

To reheat: Let thaw in refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Remove foil and plastic. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes.

*Note, this recipe can also make 1 large 9×13 inch casserole.

Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients:

4 fully cooked chicken breasts cut up or shredded

1 Tablespoon vinegar

1/3 cup chicken broth

1 cup low-fat sour cream

1/2 cup nonfat milk

1 can cream of chicken soup

3 cups cheddar cheese

4 ounce can of green chilies (optional)

12 small flour tortillas

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix together cream soup, vinegar, sour cream, 1 1/2 cups cheese, chilies and chicken broth.

Set aside 1 cup of sauce to put on top of the enchiladas.

Add milk and shredded or chopped chicken to the remaining sauce.

Fill tortillas with chicken filling and arrange 6 each into both of 2 8×8 (or 9×9) pans. Cover with sauce that was set aside and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

To serve immediately: Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

To freeze: Top with a layer of plastic wrap and 2 layers of foil. Label with name and cooking directions.

To reheat: Let thaw in refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Remove foil and plastic, then recover with 1 layer of foil. Bake covered for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake 10 minutes more.

*Note, this recipe can also make 1 large 9×13 inch casserole.

* recipe adapted from http://fabulesslyfrugal.com/fabuless-freezer-cooking-chicken-enchiladas/

Crockpot Fiesta Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

4 raw boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 clove garlic, minced

2 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups salsa

4 cups chicken broth

2 cup frozen or fresh corn

Juice from 1 lime

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)

1 teaspoon black pepper

3 teaspoons salt

Directions:

Place 1/2 of each ingredient into a labeled freezer bag and the other 1/2 into a crockpot.

To serve immediately: Cook in crockpot on low for 6-8 hours.

To freeze: Lay well-sealed labeled freezer bag flat in freezer.

To reheat: Let thaw in refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Empty bag into crockpot. Cook in crockpot on low for 6-8 hours.

Whole Wheat Apple Chia Muffins

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 T teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T chia seeds
6 T water
2 shredded apples, skin on
¾ c almond milk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix together chia seeds and water. Let set to gel (about 5 minutes).

Shred the apples into a bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and the oil until combined. Stir in the chia gel and shredded apples.

Whisk in the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the almond. Whisk just until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center of one of the muffins comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Yellow Squash Casserole

The first recipe from my summer garden!

Ingredients:
Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 5.37.46 PM
2 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice – I used roasted red pepper jack that I picked up on vacation
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1/4 sleeve buttery crackers, crushed

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 5.38.59 PMDirections:

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Sauté the squash and onion in butter until soft. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the cheeses and yogurt.

Place in the prepared pie plate or casserole dish and sprinkle the cracker crumbs evenly over the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden.

Makes 6 servings. Nutrition information per serving:

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 5.06.37 PM

Whole Wheat Lemon Chia Seed Breakfast Muffins

Ingredients:

2 T chia seeds
6 T water
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
½ cup almond milk
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup honey
½ cup olive oil

Directions:

– Preheat oven to 350

– In a small bowl, mix chia seeds and water. Let stand while you prepare the rest of the batter.

– In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

– In a medium bowl, mix together yogurt, milk, lemon juice, and honey.

– Once chia seeds are slightly congealed (this takes about 5 minutes) whisk in to the wet ingredients.

– Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Whisk together just until combined.

– Scoop into greased muffin tins with a ¼ cup measure. Makes 18 muffins.

– Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until toothpick in center comes out clear.

Nutrition Information for 1 muffin:
Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 4.14.59 PM

Spring Break Freezer Cooking

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 3.58.03 PMThis batch of freezer meals should last us until school is out! It is 22 meals – really only 18 for a family of 4. Our kids don’t like Maple Mustard chicken, so I freeze it in 2-serving portions instead of 4.

Shopping list:

6 whole carrots
1 large onion
2 heads garlic
4 limes
1 lb fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
20 eggs
4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 C cheddar cheese, shredded
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
10 cups milk (I use cashew milk)
4 bags seasoned croutons
4 cups bread crumbs
2 jars spaghetti sauce (approximately 28 oz. each)
1 jar Alfredo sauce (about 15 oz)
4 cans chopped green chilies
24 8-in flour tortillas
4 cans green enchilada sauce
2 cups chicken stock
French dressing
1 C whole grain mustard
1 C brown mustard
1 C maple syrup
1 cup soy sauce
3 lbs ground beef
2 lb sausage
20 chicken breasts
3 packages (25 oz. each) fresh or frozen cheese ravioli
12 gallon freezer bags
4 9 in. round disposable baking pans
8 8 in square disposable baking pans

Pantry items:

salt
ground mustard
pepper
honey
garlic powder
cumin
red wine vinegar
dried rosemary
cornstarch
brown sugar

Recipes

Healthier Meatballs with Veggies (60 meatballs)

Ingredients:

4 medium carrots
1 large onion
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 egg
4 cups bread crumbs
3/4 cup French dressing
3 lbs ground beef
1 lb sausage

Directions:

– Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
– In your food processor, puree carrots, onion, and garlic into a paste.
– In a very large bowl, combine the carrot, onion, garlic, Parmesan, egg, bread crumbs, and French dressing.
– Mix in the ground beef and sausage with your hands.
– Roll the meat mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs.
– Place on a broiler pan pan so some grease can escape while cooking.
– Bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked through.

To freeze:
– Cool on counter until room temp.
– Freeze in a freezer bag (I use 4 bags and freeze 4 portions).

To reheat:
When ready to cook, thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then warm up over low to medium-low heat on the stove in any sauce (bbq, alfredo, marinara, etc.)

Lazy Lasagna makes 4 casseroles

Ingredients:

1 lb sausage
2 jars spaghetti sauce (approximately 28 oz. each)
1 jar Alfredo sauce (about 15 oz)
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
3 packages (25 oz. each) fresh or frozen cheese ravioli, cooked about 1 minute LESS than package directions

Directons:

– In large skillet over medium heat brown sausage. Drain grease, then stir in all 3 jars of sauce.
– Spread a thin layer of meat sauce into bottom of each of 4, 9 in. round baking dishes.
– Arrange a layer of cooked ravioli over the sauce.
– Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese over the ravioli.
– Repeat layers, ending with the last of the sauce on top.

To Freeze:

– Let cool, then cover with a layer of plastic wrap and 2 layers of foil.
– Label and freeze.

To reheat:
– Thaw completely (24-48 hours). Preheat oven to 375.
– Bake 45 minutes covered with foil only.
– Remove foil and cook 15 minutes more.

Green Chile, Egg, and Cheese Bake (makes 4 casseroles)

Ingredients:

9 cups (about 4 bags) seasoned croutons
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 cans chopped green chilies
16 eggs
8 cups milk (I use cashew milk)
2 t salt
2 t ground mustard
1/4 t pepper

Directions:

– Sprinkle croutons, cheese, and chilies into 4 greased 8×8 inch pans.
– In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt, mustard, and pepper.
– Pour 1/4 of mixtures over each pan of croutons, cheese, and chiles.

To freeze:

– Cover each pan with plastic wrap and heavy duty foil. Freeze.

To reheat:

– Thaw in refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
– Thaw on counter for 30 minutes.
– Remove plastic wrap and replace foil.
– Bake, covered with foil, at 350 for 60 minutes.

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas (makes 4 casseroles)

Ingredients:

8 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup plus 2 T honey
juice of 4 limes
2 t garlic powder
4 t cumin
24 8-in flour tortillas
4 C cheddar cheese, shredded
4 cans green enchilada sauce
2 c milk

Directions:

– In a large bowl, whisk together honey, lime juice, garlic, and cumin.
– Add cooked chicken and stir together.
– Stir the cheese into the chicken mixture.
– Place 1/2 can of enchilada sauce in the bottom of each of 4 disposable 8×8 pans.
– Place about 1/3 cup of chicken/cheese mixture into each tortilla, roll, and place seam-side down into pan (6 in each pan).
– Combine the remaining enchilada sauce with the milk and pour over the enchiladas.

To Freeze:

Cover tightly with plastic wrap, then heavy duty foil. Freeze.

To reheat:

– Remove to the refrigerator to thaw for 24 hours.
– When completely thawed, remove foil and plastic wrap and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Top with extra cheese, if desired.

Maple Mustard Chicken (4, 2 chicken breast portions)

Ingredients:

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup whole grain mustard
1 cup brown mustard
1 C maple syrup
2 T red wine vinegar
4 T dried rosemary

Directions:

– Whisk together mustards, maple syrup, vinegar, and rosemary.
– Place 2 raw chicken breasts in a freezer bag and pour 1/4 mustard mixture over chicken.
– Ensure the sauce mixture covers chicken.

To freeze:

– Lay flat in freezer.

To reheat:

– Remove chicken to refrigerator to thaw 24 hours before serving.
– Preheat oven to 425.
– Place chicken and sauce in a baking pan and bake for about 40 minutes.
– Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.

“Chinese” Chicken and Green beans (makes 2 batches)

2 lb chicken breast
¼ cup cornstarch
1 lb fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
2 whole carrots cut into match sticks
2 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup soy sauce
2 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar

Directions:

– Cut chicken breast into 1 in. cubes
– In a freezer bag, toss chicken in corn starch and set aside.
– In a large pot, dissolve brown sugar in soy sauce and chicken stock.
– Heat mixture to boiling, then turn off burner.
– Place green beans and carrots into hot liquid and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

To freezer:

– Keep the chicken and sauce separate in the freezer!
– Put 1/2 of chicken in each of 2 freezer bags.
– Put 1/2 of sauce and veggies into each of 2 other freezer bags.
– Attach a bag of chick to a bag of veggies and sauce and lay flat to freeze.

To reheat:
– Thaw chicken and sauce for 24 hours.
– Heat sauce in a sauce pan on the stovetop.
– Brown chicken in olive oil in a separate pan on the stovetop.
– Add the cooked chicken to the warm sauce.
– Serve over rice.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

I tried homemade powdered laundry soap, but unless I always washed in very hot water, I often found powder residue on my clothes, especially dress pants for some reason. I much prefer this liquid soap.

Ingredients:

10 cups very warm water
3/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup salt
3/4 cup liquid Castile soap (I use citrus and omit the essential oil)
at least 1 tablespoon of essential oil (or use pre-scented Castile soap)

Directions:

Dissolve the baking soda and salt in the warm water — it talks a few minutes. I stirred it around with my hand until I couldn’t feel any salt in the bottom of the container.

Add the liquid Castile. Stir. Pour into a recycled laundry detergent container. This is the perfect amount for a 100 oz liquid detergent bottle.

Use 1/4 of a cup per load. Shake before each use.

High Protein Vegan Banana Breakfast Muffins

Ingredients:

1 T chia seeds
3 T water
3 large, ripe bananas
1/2 cup agave syrup (or honey for non-vegan)
1teaspoon baking soda
1teaspoon baking powder
1 cups spelt flour
½ C all purpose flour
1⁄3cup olive oil
1⁄2teaspoon salt

Directions:

Mix chia seeds and water and set aside for 10 minutes.
Mash bananas, add syrup and the slightly beaten egg.
Stir in olive oil.
Stir in dry ingredients.
Spoon into greased muffin tins.
Bake 20 minutes at 360 degrees.

Essential Oil Cough Stopper

I’ve found this to be more effective than commercial cough rubs.

Ingredients:

7 T coconut oil
1 T olive oil
10 drops tea tree (melaleuca) essential oil
10 drops rosemary essential oil
10 drops eucalyptus essential oil

Instructions:

In a small pan, melt the coconut oil and olive oil.
Stir until melted.
Add the essential oils and stir to combine.
Let solidify.
Rub on chest to relieve cough.