Beef Stew – THM-Style

Have you ever thought of eating a radish, like it was a potato? No, me either. That is… until a few weeks ago, when I heard from a friend that it turned out really good. So… I tried it myself.  Of course, I didn't follow the exact rules of THM (Trim Healthy Mama), because I added regular beef gravy, instead of making my own with an approved thickener.  I'm kinda lazy like that and I've never had a good experience with Xanthan Gum yet.  I'm also slow on the "let's experiment with this new product", because I'm always afraid I'll mess it up and then, well… there goes that meal.  Ha!

Regardless… here's my beef stew which not only surprised me, but my family.  They loved it.  Well… everyone except my daughter who won't eat anything I make unless its mac n' cheese or rice.  crying

Beef Stew – THM-Style, Mostly

1 onion chopped

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1 large scoop minced garlic, out of jar (or 3 cloves freshly minced)

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2 carrots, sliced (or more if you like carrots.  My family doesn't like cooked carrots much.)

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2 pkgs beef stew meat, browned

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3 large pkgs radishes, cleaned and trimmed of whiskers (image shows only one pkg)

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To this, add garlic powder, onion powder, beef soup base and water (or beef stock), salt and pepper.  Of course, you can also add any other veggies you like.  I happened to have some cauliflower that needed to be used up, so I threw it in.

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Boil stew for about 2 hours over medium heat, until radishes have become light pink or almost white.  Turn down heat to low, add 2 jars of premade beef gravy, powdered gravy that's been lightly mixed with water or a THM approved gravy slurry.  Simmer another 15 minutes.

Serve!

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12 Delicious Passover Recipes

Paste Magazine Flourless Choc Cake

Celebrating Passover week with good food is a fun, adventurous delight.  Here are 12 delicious passover recipes that look so inviting, I can't imagine spending all my meals focused on the same ol' matzah pizza.  wink

12 Delicious Passover Recipes

  1. Chocolate Covered Matzo Bark
  2. Kohlrabi Carrot Fritters w/ Avocado Cream Sauce – an excellent latke replacement, if you can't eat potatoes.
  3. Sephardic Chicken Soup with Sofrito and Herbed Matzo Balls – Wait til you get a load of this recipe!  YUM!
  4. Passover Crepes w/ Cream Cheese and Smoked Salmon
  5. Matzo Brittle S'mores
  6. Sweet Sesame Matzah Bars – I love sesame candies and sesame sticks.  This looks fantastic!
  7. Braised Brisket with 36 Cloves Garlic – Because… its got garlic!!!  Oh yeah baby!
  8. Charoset Ice Cream – In Israel, apparently you can buy Ben & Jerry's Charoset Ice Cream.  But why not make your own?
  9. Cauliflower Pizza Bites
  10. Lemon Garlic Chicken – need I say more?
  11. Boeuf Bourguignon
  12. Flourless Chocolate Cake – Exactly what Goldie Locks would have wanted if porridge wasn't on the table.

I'm ready to try them all!  Meet me in the kitchen?

Berry Bliss

berry bliss

Berry Bliss

  • 1 cup organic strawberries, halved
  • 1 cup organic blueberries
  • 20 raw, organic cashews
  • 10 raw, organic almonds and/or walnuts
  • 1/2 T. raw, organic sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup organic, unsweetened coconut milk

Mix all fruit and nuts/seeds in your favorite bowl and pour milk over just before serving (or drink the milk on the side!).

Laundry Soap Making 101

wash day

Learning to make laundry soap

I made my first laundry soap over Thanksgiving weekend a few years back.  I still can't believe it took me so long to try it!  The process was so easy!!! 

The soap smells nice, has a thin pudding-like consistency and rinses clean even in cold water.  The recipe is below.

  • 1/2 c. Borax (found @ Kroger, but I've purchased this before @ Walmart also)  $3.89* / 76 oz. = $0.20
  • 1/2 c. washing soda (Arm & Hammer brand purchased from Walmart)  $2.99* / 55 oz. = $0.22
  • 1/2 bar Fels-Naphtha bar soap (purchased @ Family Dollar Store) $5.00* / 4 bars = $0.63

Putting it all together

First I put on a 2 qt pot of water to boil.  While this was heating up, I shredded the soap until it was fine crumbles, in a large bowl.  You could also put it directly in the container you are going to store the soap in, but I wasn't thinking ahead.  I then, dumped the two powders into the bowl and lightly mixed everything together.  Once the water was boiling, I poured it over my dry mix and stirred until everything was melted thoroughly.

Then, I poured the entire mix into the old 100 oz. laundry detergent bottle I had kept.  I took the spout out of the center of the bottle opening, so that it has a wider mouth.  After all is inside the container, I added more water (cold is fine) to fill the bottle completely.  Shake the whole thing vigorously, cap and put it aside.  After a couple of hours, the soap should be cool enough to start to use.

To make the whole thing stretch even further, after the first three or four loads, add more water and shake thoroughly again.  This barely affects the consistency at all!

  • Use 1/2 c. per load.

Adding it up

Total soap cost for over 100 oz. = $1.05 or $0.04 per load.  Compare that to the cost of the original soap I purchased @ Walmart.  Purex Natural Ultra 2x 100 oz. = $6.50 or $.026 per load.  That's a significant difference over time.  Just like $0.10 per gallon of gasoline adds up.  I'm happy to put in a little bit of effort to make this easy little recipe.

* Prices vary

The Importance of Hydration

drink-water

Water, its what we’re made of… well… approximately 60% of an adult body is water.  We expend water in various ways, like sweat and urination.  If we are not resupplying ourselves with this life-giving liquid, we will not simply become dehydrated, but will quickly die.  As quickly as a few days.

But, there is also something I will refer to as “chronic dehydration”.  Its where a person stays on the fence, with just enough water in their diet, to keep from dying, but not to keep from suffering from many symptoms of dehydration they didn’t know were symptoms.

Some mild symptoms, those experienced when you have an approximately 2%  loss, are as follows:

  • Thirst
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Fatigue or Weakness
  • Chills
  • Dry Skin
  • Skin Flushing
  • Dark Colored Urine
  • Dry Mouth
  • Head Rushes

When you reach about a 5% loss you can experience:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased respiration
  • Decreased sweating
  • Decreased urination
  • Increased body temperature
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Tingling of the limbs

(Both lists are adapted from Symptoms of Dehydration.)

Anything higher than this limit can lead to serious complications and ultimately, death.

Its interesting that when I decided to write this article, I didn’t realize that one of my coworkers, who got sick at work last night, was dehydrated.  She suddenly starting losing her leg strength.  It kept reoccurring, almost like a person having dizzy spells or seizures.  So she went to the emergency room.  She returned to work today having been diagnosed with dehydration.  Its so important to keep our bodies in balance.

Hydration is also a component of weight loss.  Not simply because the more water you take in, the more your body releases (so less swelling and water retention), but also because water lubricates the entire digestive tract and keep everything moving freely.

You may experience some side effects of increasing your water intake, like more frequent trips to the potty, but these side effects are temporary and your body’s way of adjusting to its new regimen.  Don’t get frustrated and give up.  It takes time for a body to adjust.

Here’s a video regarding making water fun and more hydrating for the tongue and the body.  Enjoy!

Jordan’s tip of the day: wear a diaper on an airplane!  You’ll get that reference, if you watch the whole video.  🙂