Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Farm or Pharmacy

There is no way around the fact that healthy eating takes time and effort.  If I ever find a way around that, I'll let ya know.  But it is so worth it.  I figure that I will either be spending more time at the farm or the pharmacy.  When I was in school and college, I used to do the bare minimum to get a good grade.  Unfortunately, I applied that concept to my health too.  I used to eat mostly processed low-fat foods just because I believed that this would be my quick fix to great health.  The cheapest and quickest foods are usually very high in sugar and white-flour and they have a long shelf life.  They are far from the farm.  This was a health disaster for me.  So, I gained weight and an insatiable hunger for more junk.  Other symptoms included: foggy head, random sleeping anytime and anywhere, guilt and depression, chest pains, migraines, eczema, benign tumors, horrible digestive distress, constipation and diarreah, burned-out thyroid (and resulting inability to get pregnant while severely hypo-thyroid).  I gained 30 lbs. while in my senior year of high school and freshman year of college.  This started my 7 year addiction to compulsive over-eating.  I ended up having a love-hate relationship with food.  I loved the buzz of eating but I hated the feeling afterward.  I had no appreciation for real food from the earth and from the farm.  It annoyed me that people (especially women) would degrade themselves to a job in the kitchen when there was so much more to be experienced in life.  It took a strong man (my husband) who was very confident in his man-hood to show me his own love of growing and cooking real whole foods made by God.  It also took a few years to really appreciate what he was showing me.  But when my own physical health made a drastic improvement, one by one, over time, I realized that these ailments were disappearing and God's gifts to me in the form of vegetables, fruits, meats, whole grains, and raw dairy, etc. were not to be taken lightly.  It is hard work to prepare these foods every day.... and it is soooo worth it!  I love to be in the position of providing health for me and my family as best I can.  It's an ongoing journey.  And we are learning together.  There is so much to learn.  And I hope I never stop learning.  Thank you God, that there are farmers around here who respect the earth and who love to provide good foods for me to buy.  Being at the farm is much more fun than the pharmacy.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tomato Bisque

I just posted this recipe in (search for my cookbook entitled "Amy's"). Or just check it out, below.  You will love this healthy tomato bisque recipe (it's from my friend Wendy).  Thank you Wendy! If you want to make it a faster prep time, buy onions that are frozen and chopped (in the frozen food section of the grocery store with vegetables) and garlic that is minced and in a jar.  Enjoy!


1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. olive oil

4 cups diced fresh or canned tomatoes

½ tsp. dried basil

¼ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. salt

3 tbsp. tomato paste

2 cups broth (I use vegetable)

1 tsp. sugar

2 tbsp. flour

2 cups milk

 Saute onions and garlic in butter and oil in a soup pot.  Cook 4 minutes, add tomatoes and spices, stir, then add broth, tomato paste and sugar.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and puree in a blender or food processor and pour back into the saucepan.  Mix milk and flour in the blender and stir into the tomato mixture.  Simmer 10 minutes and serve.  Serves 6.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Whole foods snacks

Hi friends and family,
My friend Jenn just asked me for ideas for snacks that are good for you.  That is an area that I really struggled with when we switched over to a whole foods diet.  So, I made a list of things that helped me.  Here they are!
1.  Apples sprinkled with cinnamon/stevia (combine 1/2 c. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. stevia powder in your cinnamon shaker, and shake a bit onto apple slices).  My kids think it's funny to call them apples in cinnamon sand or dirt.  It's really tasty.
2.  Orange slices with cinnamon/stevia
3.  Chicken cubes w/healthy b-b-q sauce to dip.
4.  Frozen petite peas or frozen corn ...I don't know why my kids like this so much.  Ha!
5.  Fruit salad.  It's a big project for my kids to cut everything up and put into fancy cups, and they are proud.
6.  Whole grain tortilla (broiled on both sides) made into a pizza w/ an organic low-sugar spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese.  I like to add basil and fresh tomatos on top.  Broil.
7.  Dried mangos (unsulphured, unsweetened, organic)
8.  Nuts: almonds, cashews, peanuts, macademia nuts, pecans, walnuts, etc.  Always keep nuts refrigerated... they go rancid.  Bad, bad.
9.  Fresh really good-lookin' raw veggies and a healthy dip.  You can't go wrong with carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatos, broccoli, spinach, snap peas, etc... Just keep peelin'  Just keep washin'  Just keep choppin'... Think of the movie "Nemo" and sing to the tune of "Just keep swimmin'... just keep swimmin'... swimmin'..."

10.  Smoothies!  Try any fruit combination.  Here's a recipe for an awesome smoothie called "The Green Machine."

Green Machine Smoothie

 ½ c. plain yogurt (raw is best)

1 c. fresh spinach (washed, no need to dry, pressed down)

1/2 c. fresh pineapple (or frozen)

1 frozen banana (or fresh)

3 ice cubes

 Mix it all up in a blender, making sure that the yogurt is at the bottom of the blender for best mixing.  Refreshing!'s-cookbook/recipe/5/Green-Machine-Smoothie

11.  Here's my Peanut butter granola bars recipe (this is more like a dessert-ish kind of thing):

Peanut butter granola bars                       

 Mix wet ingredients:

1 c. natural peanut butter, unsweetened (or any nut butter like almond or cashew)

½ c. agave nectar (or honey)

¼ c. coconut oil or butter, melted

¼ c. warm water

 Mix dry ingredients:

½ c. shredded coconut, unsweetened and unsulphured

3 c. rolled oats

½ tsp.  salt

3/4 c. mini dark chocolate chips

 Combine everything and stir it up well with a big spoon.  Spread into small greased (w/butter or coconut oil) pan.  Score pan of bars into pretty small squares, because these bars are rich.  Refrigerate overnight for nutritional soaking benefits to the oats.  No baking.

 I like to pry each one out of the pan when they are good and cold, and place into an airtight Tupperware kind of container so that I can store them in the freezer (or frig.) and just grab ‘em and go as needed rather than cutting each one along the way.   

You can also find this recipe and more in my online cookbook at:'s-cookbook/recipe/6/Peanut-butter-granola-bars

I hope you love 'em!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Great bread!

I just updated my recipe for "Challah" (this is a Jewish braided egg bread)... and I made it into a soaked whole-grain bread.  You want to try this one!  I'm tellin' ya.  Don't fear the bread.  If I can do it, you can do it.  Go to's-cookbook/recipe/3/Challah 
And if you don't have time to make homemade bread, but you want the benefits of good ingredients, there are quite a few options (like Ezekiel 4:9 bread found in the freezer section of most health food stores and some regular grocery stores).  But for fresh, just out of the oven, organic sourdough soaked whole grain loaves of bread, you might have to do a little searching.  If you live in Lancaster County, your search is over when you pull into the parking lot at "A Loaf of Bread."  Here's some inside information about this week's menu from their weekly email I receive.  It is located across from the train station in Lancaster and also at Eastern Market on King St. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Check out their website at:
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "A Loaf of Bread Bakery"
Sent: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 5:37:20 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Bread, Market, Lunch . . .

Hello all,
It's been a beautiful week, and we were so glad to have you share it with us.  A lot of you stopped at the store to try the new breads, and we also enjoyed seeing some of you at opening day of Eastern Market on Saturday.  Market was a fun, busy day.  There were plenty of new vendors to make the Eastern Market experience more exciting than ever.  Also music and a big crowd.  If you couldn't make it on Saturday, we'd love to see you there Wednesday 4-7pm. 
This week we will start our extended Friday hours.  We will stay open until 5:30 pm Fridays, starting this week, so come on in to get your bread and goodies for the weekend.  Look for another e-mail later this week with special offers for the new Friday hours.
I'm attaching a new bread schedule so you'll know when to find the new breads as well as the old favorites.
For lunch this week, we will have:
Tuesday - Asparagus Mushroom Soup, Tuna Salad
Wednesday - Split Pea Soup, Egg & Olive Sandwiches
Thursday - Zucchini Soup, Roasted Vegetable Bread Salad
Friday - Lentil Soup, Hummus & fresh vegetable lunch
Have a great week!