Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mediterranean Shrimp Quinoa Salad

I took this tasty dinner to a pot luck last Friday, everyone ranted and raved about how tasty it was and wanted the recipe. Here it is. 

I made a large batch of this, so scale it to what you need, these are the amounts for a large batch. For a main course, it will serve about six, maybe eight hungry stomachs. 

What you need:
large lime, juice and zest
4-6 cloves of garlic, zested
1 large shallot, diced 
1 to 1 1/2 pounds of uncooked shrimp, peeled and detailed 
salt and pepper
Sweet peppers, I used the small ones, about 6/8 depending on size, chopped
1 medium red onion, diced
20 Kalamata olives, chopped
4-5 pepperconcini, plus 5 TBS of the juice
small jar of sun-dried tomatoes plus 3-4 TBS of the oil
crumbled feta cheese, I used a small block, optional, but very tasty 
Salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
2-3 TBS of oregano, dried, a good handful of fresh
2 tsp of rosemary 
2-3 tsp of thyme, or a handful of fresh 
2 cups of uncooked quinoa 

Marinade for the shrimp
In a large bowl, add salt and pepper, zest and juice of lime, garlic and shallot.

Add the shrimp. Mix well. You want to do this at least an hour or up to two. maybe three days before so it can soak up all those yummy juices. If it is sitting for some time, shake it up every so often to remix it all.

The salad 
Add all the diced veggies, peppers, red onion, pepperconcini, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, seasonings, salt and pepper, oregano, rosemary, thyme, juices from the pepperconicini and tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil. Use less olive oil because you can always add more later.
Mix it all in a large bowl and allow to sit while you cook the shrimp and quinoa.

Cooking the shrimp
Heat a pan on high heat and melt butter, about a TBS. Once the pan is really hot and the butter is all melted, dumped the bowl of shrimp and marinade into the pan. Quickly cook the shrimp until the outside is cooked, then turn down the heat and allow to finish cooking. Once the shrimp is cooked, turn off the heat and allow to cool some.
Cooking quinoa
Rinse the quinoa well in a strainer. Place in a pot to cook. You want double the amount of water as quinoa. So, if you have 2 cups of quinoa, you need four cups of water, 2:1 ration of water to quinoa. I do not fill my measuring cup for my water all the way, I leave some room. We do not like ours mushy, but more dry, less water does the trick. Put pot with water and quinoa on the stove. Cover and turn on the stove. Bring to a boil, it can happen quickly, so do not go too far and watch so it does not boil over. Once it begins to boil, I give it a good stir and bring any stray quinoa back into the water, place the lid half way on and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes., until all the water has come off. To dry it out some more, turn heat to low, take off the lid and cook until the quinoa no longer appears wet, Be sure to stir it every so often so it does not burn on the bottom. Take off the heat and allow to cool. 
For a variation to the quinoa, you can add broth instead of water.
Add some salt
Add any of the spices you are putting into your dish.
Add butter. 

Crumbled feta cheese 

Once everything is cooked and cooled some, add it all to the bowl of veggies, along with the feta, if using. Mix it well. If there is not enough oil, drizzle some more in. You can either serve it cooled in the fridge or warm, no wrong way.
Serve up this tasty dish, give thanks for being able to nourish yourself and family and dig in.

For a variation, you can use chicken or beef. Any of the proteins can also be done on the grill, do not have to heat the house during the summer. 
It can also be done as a vegetarian dish, or a side dish, leave out the protein. 

I hope you enjoy!
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Your Schedule and the Blow Up

I had all of these great plans for yesterday, then everything was thrown up in the air and changed, which has changed today as well. It is so frustrating when that happens.
How do you handle life when it throws you a curve ball?
Are you one who goes crazy and cannot handle a change of plans, you like to be in control?
Do you go with the flow and say whatever?
Does it depend on what your plans are and what the curve ball is for how you react?

Sometimes those curve balls are a wake up call to what is important in life. How many times have you thought I am too busy, I will do it later, I do not have time.... But, do you know if later is going to come? Why are you wasting your precious time doing "stuff" that is not important to you? Putting off what you really want to do or try, but do not have time because you are busy with meaningless tasks?
I understands, something have to be done. However, have you taken the time to write down what you do every day and see if you might be able to:
Delegate out.
Not do it.
See how you can be more efficient with your time.
Ask yourself what is really important and matters most to you?
After you have asked the hard questions, seen what does not matter and what is important, it is easier to make the changes to begin living your life to the fullest.

Unfortunately, life throws us curve balls, if we like it or not. Change happens. Change can be good. Change can be hard. Change can be ruff. Sometimes how we view change is our attitude towards change.

One of the best ways to learn to deal with change, is the small curve balls life throws our way. If we can learn to deal with the small stuff in a better manner, this will carry on to the big changes, a job lose, a sickness, a lose, whatever it is. So, when those small changes happen, take a deep breath, strive to see the good, put a smile on and go for it! You never know, that change might be the best thing that will ever happen to you.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,

Monday, March 17, 2014

Who Is Up for a Little Weight Lose?

Found this beautiful picture on Pinterest! 

Let's get one thing straight right out of the gate, this is not about a number, deprivation, fade diet, or being unhealthy, it is about being healthy and getting ready to enjoy a vacation in Hawaii!!!! We all want to look good when we go on vacation, or all the time, but even more so when you know you will be on the beach. We all need a little challenge once in awhile as well. This could be a great time to work on that New Year's Resolution of getting healthy as well.

In about six weeks I am going on vacation with my Mom to Hawaii, super excited. For me, part of getting ready for the trip is making sure I am in great shape, healthy and ready to play, along with research of what to do, places to see and things not to miss. So, I thought I would share what I am doing with all of you. 

First thing, increasing my healthy fat intake and decreasing my carb load. I know, the opposite of what we have been told and you would think. However, if you have been readying my blog for any time, you should expect this! Brief over view, it has to do with insulin levels, the more insulin, the more fat you store. Carbs look closer to sugar to your body which triggers weight gain.
For my food consumption, I will first focus on fat, then protein and then veggies. I will keep my fruit consumption low. 

Foods I will be eating more of:
Whole Raw Milk
Bone broth
Coconut oil
Beef, chicken, fish, pork
Lower carb veggies
Real, whole, nutrient dense food

Second thing, working out, hard. I will keep my workouts to about 20 minutes. Research has shown that after about 20 minutes of hard work, you begin to burn muscle instead of fat, not what we want. Especially if we are trying to put on some muscle. I will be doing HIIT, sprinting, more uphill sprinting, along with slow go cardio, walking and moving my body more frequently at a slow pace. 

Third, learning to love and accept my body. Most people do not know, I have really horrible body image issues, getting a little real with you. Body image issues is something I have struggled with for a long time and my feelings of unworthiness. Issues I have been working on extra hard for Lent. 
To make any lasting change to our outward appearance, we first need to change how we perceive ourselves. 

If you were to ask my Hublet, he would tell you this is already about how I eat and train, not a lot of difference. About the only difference is dropping my carb a little lower than normal, that is about it. When you eat like we do, you maintain your weight effortlessly. When you have the inclination to drop a few pounds for a legitimate reason, it is not difficult to do, just takes a little awareness. 

Why not try it with me and see how much better you feel and look in six weeks!
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Power of Oil of Oregano

Did you know oil of oregano is the most powerful antibiotic? Not only this, but like most natural antibiotics, it does not show resistance. We can use oil of oregano to treat antibiotic resistance bugs, pretty cool. There have been many studies done in medical journals about the amazing power of oil of oregano. In December of 2013, the Journal of Medicinal Food published a study looking at the benefits of oil of oregano against five different nasty bacteria, stuff you do not want to come in contact with. Oil of oregano showed significant fighting powers against all five bacteria, not something we hear every day.

Other benefits of oil of oregano:
Cleanses the body of bacteria, fungus, yeast, viral and parasite infections.
Helps with allergies
Reduce tumors
Effective help for respiratory problems
Insect replant
Keeps the digestive tract in great shape, shooing off the bad stuff to make room for the good stuff.
It is VERY powerful, you only need a drop with a carrier oil, a little goes a very long way.

You can use oil of oregano topically, taken internally or diffused in the air. Anytime you are putting it on your skin, be sure to use a carrier oil, such a coconut, to dilute it down. Placing it straight on the skin will burn. It does taste terrible. I put mine in a capsule and take along with lemon oil and others and then drink it with a glass of water.

It is not meant for long term use. You want to use it for about 2 weeks, or until you begin to see a change in your condition, and then once a month for maintenance.

My personal experience with oil of oregano: One of our dogs, Mungo has had a yeast over growth for years. He will scratch and itch and lick himself until he bleeds, his hair falls out and his tummy is rubbery. After getting my doTerra oils, I began putting oregano, lemon and coconut on his tummy and paws. After a few days, the patches of hair that were missing on his back, that were bleeding and looked terrible, were healing up and the hair began to re-grow! Out about 2 months, all of his hair has come back and grown in thick and shinny. He is happier, has more energy and enthusiasm for life, loves to play, he even went for a three mile run the other day with me. He is becoming his happy frisky self again, not miserable and in pain. I am finally getting on top of his health issues. Not all the way there yet, but closer than we have ever been and getting better, not worse.
For the first two weeks or so, I put a drop of both lemon and oregano oil with about 1 tsp of coconut oil on his tummy and paws. Then I did it every couple of days, then once a week. I am about to once a month now. Amazing results very quickly!

If you would like more information about doTerra oils, be sure to check out my web page:

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,

Monday, March 10, 2014

Whipping Butter

Ever since posting a pic on my Face Book page about whipping butter, I have had many people ask me how do I make butter! I think we have this idea that it is difficult, like in the olden days, pull out the butter churn and churn butter for hours of labor. Well, thank the Good Lord, we have electricity! Making butter is simple. It takes about 10-15 minutes.

What you need: full fat, heavy whipping cream. This is a 32 oz bottle of cream I pick up from the dairy farm where I get my raw milk, the Best Cream Ever!

You also need a blender, but not a Vita-mix, this will heat the butter and you do not want it heated.
Containers for the butter and butter milk 

Allow cream to sit on the counter for an hour or so. If you have raw cream you can let it sit for 24 hours and culture some, makes the better taste even better. No need to worry about allowing your cream to sit for an hour or 24, it will be fine. You want it to warm up some so it goes faster!

Pour cream into blender and blend. If you have a smaller blender, do this in two or more batches, with mine being large, I can do it all at once. The cream is going to expand first, think of whipped cream, that is why you need room in the blender, so it can expand. 

Expanded cream

After a few minutes of blending, it will begin to chunk up and separate, hard to tell in the pic, but there are butter chunks. Continue to blend for several more minutes until it is really chunky.

Like this!
There is butter and butter milk

Then, pour and dump butter and butter milk out through a strainer. I have done it where I pour out the butter milk and then press the butter inside the blender and poured out the butter milk while I was going. Worked well, but so does a strainer.

Butter milk

Continue pressing through the strainer and scrapping the bottom of the strainer and placing butter back on top. It will go through the strainer and fall into the butter milk if you are not careful. This is why I have done it in the blender and pressed as much milk out as I could and then put it through the strainer.

Once you have gotten as much milk as you can, the more the better, you need to wash your butter. Pain in the butt, but you need to do it anyway. This is important to clean it. Place it back into the blender with some water, measure how much water you put in. Blend it again well and then strain again. Try to get as much water out, if not more than what you put in to wash the butter. If you want, you can do this with your fingers, nice oil manicure, or a cheese clothe to press out the water. 

This is what I was left with, about half a quart jar of butter milk, more like 1% or skim milk, I mixed it with my raw milk to drink it, and two containers of butter. The larger one, I put in the fridge and the small one in the freezer. These two containers lasted us about a week. We go through butter! I have heard it should last about a week in the fridge, the more liquid you get off, the longer it will last. It will last for some time in the freezer. 

After you have made the butter, you can flavor your butter if you would like:
Sea Salt
Garlic and onion
Whip it with honey
Blend with raspberries
Spicy butter
Really, the possibilities are left to your imagination. 

Quick and easy and everyone will think you are amazing because you make your own butter!
Saving the world one stick, or batch, of butter at a time.
God bless,

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Chance to Change

I know not everyone is Catholic, but Lent seems to be growing popularity to make a change in our lives. It has been said to make a change, it takes 21-30 days to change and make a new habit. Lent is 40 days, more than enough time to change and create a new habit.

This is not a time to change everything, pick one thing to work on.
It can be anything you want to change or create a new habit in.
If you slip up, begin again.

Some ideas you can think about:

  • Choose to be happy, happiness is a choice and we have to make it.
  • Stop drinking soda.
  • Go for a walk every evening, by yourself or with your family.
  • Do no eat out.
  • Work out three times a week.
  • Turn off the TV and keep it off.
  • Read a book.
  • Practice being alone in the quite. find yourself deep with in yourself.
  • Eliminate sugar.
  • Think about the good that come from a situation.
  • Have a conversation with your spouse every evening, without the kids, TV, any distractions.
  • Donate your time or money to a cause you believe, see the needs of others.

You know what your habit is, what you want to change about yourself to become a better person. Take these 40 days and work on it. What better time to do this than when you know you have the support of so many others.

Wishing you a happy and fruitful Lent.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,