-Striving to live a simple, healthy life one day at a time-

Turkey Veggie Soup with Apples

I just can't get enough of soup this past week.  Fall is my favorite season, and it feels so good to have a warm healthy bowl of soup on cool days.  The recipe for this soup was inspired by Tosca Reno's Harvest Soup recipe in her Eat-Clean Diet for Family & Kids book.  Though her version sounds delicious as it is, I made a few changes (some by mistake).  The first change is that the turkey was baked in the oven instead of preparing it in a pot to make stock (the mistake).  My husband cooked the turkey while I was away at school (so nice of him!), and I realized the next day that the recipe called for it to be prepped differently.  No big deal.  I had some chicken and vegetable broth in the cupboard that worked just as good.  The other changes consisted of a few vegetable additions that her recipe didn't include.  I also omitted the 1/2 cup of apple cider her recipe called for, only because I didn't have any on hand!  It's a shame because I know that cider would have made it even better.  I was pleased with the end result though.  The apples really add a special flavor.  Try it out, I'm betting you'll like it!

Turkey Veggie Soup with Apples

1 turkey breast (with bones or boneless could work too) baked according to directions
3 - 32 oz. cartons of Chicken or Vegetable broth or a mix of both
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 bag of baby carrots
4 ribs of celery, chopped
2 tart green apples or hard red apples, chopped, leave skin on
2 sweet potatoes, chopped
6 Brussels sprouts, remove hard end, chop or shred
1 summer squash
1-2 cups of fresh green and yellow beans, chopped
1 tsp. salt
Fresh ground pepper
4 bay leaves
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. fresh or dried parsley

Bake the turkey as directed (this can even be done a day or two ahead).  Before beginning cut the turkey up into cubes or shred it.  I didn't add in the entire turkey.  We had plenty left over to create another meal out of.  Grab a stock pot and pour the broth in.  Place pan on the stove over med/high heat.  Start adding in all the remaining ingredients and stir.  After the soup begins to boil, turn heat down to simmer, cover and wait about 30 minutes.  Soup is done when all veggies are soft.

Tropical Traditions

My Tropical Traditions order came in just the other day!  Yay!  It was like Christmas time here.  I was eating oatmeal at the time the Fed Ex man delivered, so I decided to rip into the shredded coconut and sprinkle some on top.  Oh it was soooo good!  Just the smell of coconut brings me a feeling of delight.  It reminds me of the tropics.

I couldn't resist opening the jar of honey either.  I immediately gobbed some on a spoon and scarfed it down.

No sulfites, organic, unsweetened, and from the Philippines.  What could be better than that?

That's not all!  Looky what I have!  This book is amazing so far.  It really makes me appreciate the Tropical Traditions company even more.  I never knew all the benefits of virgin coconut oil!  This company is brilliant.  I'm hooked on coconut and will continue to order these outstanding products from Tropical Traditions!

Make a purchase using the link below, and you'll get your very own Virgin Coconut Oil book for free!

2 jars - 32-oz. ea. - Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - BUY 1 GET 1 FREE!

Chunky Veggie Soup

It's been pretty cold here in IL this past week; the perfect time of year for soup.  I had plenty of vegetables sitting around (some from the CSA and others store bought) that needed to be used up.  I'm surprised at how tasty this turned out, as I really just threw any old thing in.  My family really enjoyed it.  It's super easy to make, and you could even make up your own version.  I think soups are so easy that way.  You can throw a bunch of ingredients together and somehow, it works.

Chunky Veggie Soup

3 - 32 ounce containers of chicken or vegetable broth (I mixed both kinds)
1 onion
4 stalks of celery
1-2 cups fresh green and yellow beans
2 bunches of broccoli
1-2 sweet potatoes
1 squash
1 bag of baby carrots
6 brussels sprouts
1/2 - 1 tsp. curry powder
2 bay leaves
basil (light sprinkle)
oregano (light sprinkle)

Directions:  Heat broth on medium to high heat.  Chop up the onion, celery, beans, broccoli, potatoes and squash.  Toss into the broth.  Add the baby carrots.  Peel or slice brussels sprouts and sprinkle on top.  Add remaining ingredients.  Stir; turn heat to low or simmer and cover.  Cook until all veggies are soft.

Tropical Traditions Coconut and Other Products

I'm sitting tight here in IL patiently waiting for my order from the Tropical Traditions company.  No really, I'm trying to be patient, yet I can't wait to try out their Coconut Cream Concentrate (CCC).

First, I will say, I was paid in no way to mention this company or their products.

It just so happens that I was online searching (one of my favorite things to do) for a good smoothie recipe that included powdered cacao, when I came across a video on youtube.  This video introduced me to this amazing product: Coconut Cream Concentrate.  I checked out the Tropical Traditions website, 'liked' them on Facebook, and soon placed an order.  Along with the CCC, I purchased the shredded unsweetened coconut and some raw honey.

I'm looking forward to getting my hands on these products and trying them in smoothies or other things.  I think I'll even try and make the smoothie from the youtube video!

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar

Have you heard about the amazing benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar?  I'm not talking just any apple cider vinegar either.  The kind I'm talking about has . . . "the mother" in it.  Whenever I hear that, I have to laugh.  I picture some monstrous thing for some odd reason.  

You can see the mother when you hold the raw cider up to the light.  Look for the cloudy chunks floating in it.  Don't panic if you see this!  It's completely normal.  As the vinegar ferments, you may see more cloudiness and chunks, which is a good thing.

So what exactly is the mother?  That's a good question.  I decided to search about the web to find the answer. 

The best answers I could find said that the mother is a bacterial foam.  It's what makes the raw, unfiltered cider so beneficial to our health.  It also contains various enzymes and minerals.  The kinds you buy at the store are usually clear because they filter out all the mother.  So what are the benefits of raw vinegar?  Apparently there are a ton.  I've just recently been reading up on all the different ailments people have claimed to be cured of.  Several things I've learned is that apple cider vinegar can:

  • reduce cholesterol
  • lower blood sugar
  • aid in weight loss
  • clear acne
  • help with digestion - constipation - removes toxic waste from the body
  • relieve joint pain
  • soothe sore throats

This list is quite minimal.  There are those out there who claim this to be an almost cure all.  It's enough to get me to jump on the cider bandwagon.  I decided to try it regularly for one week just to see if I notice a difference.  I'll update and let you all know how it goes.  If you have any cider stories or ways that it has been of benefit to you, I would love to hear from you!  Please leave a comment, and share your story! 

Home Remedies Web
Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
Global Healing Center

Green Kefir Smoothie with a Kick


Some Like it HOT!
I came across a video earlier this week where a girl was talking about chewing your smoothie because it aids in digestion.  This totally makes sense, since digestion first occurs in the mouth.  The enzyme amylase helps with this process.  In order to keep you from gulping down that smoothie too fast, she recommended cayenne pepper.  I gave it a try, and have to say, I'm quite pleased with the flavor and spice it adds.  
First I gathered most of my supplies...

 Chia Seeds are my new favorite addition.  Thanks to Georgia, one of my knowledgeable, health conscious friends (she is one of the gals in our summer book club).  I never knew those chia pet seeds were edible! ;-)

 Just look at all those omegas too! 

I threw in a peach for some fruity sweetness.  

 Mix that up good; then add spinach....lots!  You might want to add an ounce or two of water.

I sprinkled a little cinnamon on it, and made sure I chewed it really good before swallowing. 

I really liked the texture.  It's a thicker smoothie.  The glass is 12 ounces, and I still had maybe 3 ounces left in the blender.  I still considered it all one serving.

Green Kefir Smoothie with a Kick

8 oz. plain kefir
1 tbsp ground flax
1/2 scoop of chia seeds
1 peach
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1/8 tsp. - 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (you decide how hot to make it)
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
A handful or two of spinach

Directions:  Mix everything but the spinach up first; add the spinach and mix.  Pour into a glass and enjoy!

FRESH the Movie - This IS Where it's at!

This is the next MUST see documentary! I'm so excited to see this! Does the name Joel Salatin ring a bell? For those of you who have read The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, you know who I'm talking about. I didn't know who Joel was until I read the book, but I do remember seeing him in the FOOD INC. documentary too. What makes it so exciting? Well, imagine a community that comes together and plants crops, raising them organically, and that community can feed it's own people without relying on big Monsanto. I think we may get there some day. It's pretty amazing!

Peanuty Veggie Melon Roll-Up

I was having one of those days where I had no clue what I felt hungry for.  Nothing sounded good, and the food supply in our house was starting to dwindle.  So what did I do?  Threw some stuff on a tortilla and called it a day of course. ;-)

I used peanut butter, cantaloupe, cucumber, squash, and feta cheese.  I was quite surprised by the taste...it was actually good!  My husband even liked it!

A perfect mixture of salty and sweet!