Blog Spotlight ~ 100 Days of Real Food

In my quest of finding healthy but tasty food, my friend got me hooked on this blog about using the freshest and sometimes organic ingredients in their cooking.  I only buy organic if it’s a similar price as the regular produce.  Jesse and I haven’t been convinced that organic foods are the way to go, but I do adore my organic, non-homogenized, cream top whole milk from Trader Joe’s.  As a kid, I used to drink raw milk, so we had to shake the milk bottle to get the cream to mix in with the milk.

So far I’ve tried these recipes with great success:

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

You can’t screw this one up.  Slice up some onions and dump in the meat then the rest is easy.  I’ve made it with raw sugar because I didn’t have any honey and it turned out just fine.  I always improvise my cooking if I don’t have everything the recipe calls for.  Growing up, I never used recipes unless I was baking because cooking calls for a certain improvisational flair.  Make some cornbread or rolls and some kind of cooked greens and this is an awesome dinner.  Costco usually sells 6 or 9 pounds of pork shoulder at a time and it freezes well.  Just be sure to allocate some extra cooking time if the meat is frozen.  I dump it in regardless and it still turns out fine.

Slow Cooker Chicken Stock

I was curious about making chicken stock because I have frozen wontons that need to be prepared in a different way than being fried.  I love fried wontons, but it gets old after awhile and it isn’t the most healthy dinner option.  So I took my rotisserie chicken bones from Costco and tried out this method of making chicken stock.  It worked out really well and I even used Jesse’s obscure herbs from the yard (Pineapple sage, lemon verbena, and lovage).  The only normal veggies I used were the onions and Italian parsley.  Worked great and I filled up 4 Pyrex glass containers (4-cup capacity, I believe).  For me, that translates into 4 batches of wonton soup.  Whoo hoo!

Sour Cream and Onion Chicken Salad

This is the best chicken salad recipe, hands down.  I do add cranberries and lovage for some extra flavor (Hui.1 and I love the cranberries and the lovage tastes like celery but without the crunch).  It’s not gummy or slimy because you’re using sour cream instead of mayo.  Personally, I’ve never been a fan of mayo so I never keep it in the house.  Since chicken salad is one of the few things I can eat while pregnant (hello, gestational diabetes), I’ve been itching to make some at home instead of constantly buying it at the store or down the street.  This is a great snack or light meal with crackers and fresh fruit.  The last 2 batches I’ve made have been from Trader Joe’s frozen chicken tenderloins, which is a 2.5 pound bag.  I bake in the oven with a hint of olive oil so it doesn’t dry out, then I mash it and start mixing the ingredients together.  Once mixed, it has to be chilled in the fridge before optimal flavor sets in.  I have no idea why, but it tastes best cold.

These are the recipes I’ve been itching try out after I have the baby:

Alfredo Sauce

Mac and Cheese (not baked)


Spaghetti and Meatballs

Once I can start eating more carbs again, I really want to limit them as best I can and supplement it with fresh veggies and some hearty protein.  So tossing in some broccoli and chicken in with the Mac and Cheese and Alfredo sauce seems to be the best idea so far.  The Mac and Cheese seems really easy because it’s just heavy cream and cheese.  How hard is that?  And it’s a great excuse for me to go to the Italian market to get my favorite 4 cheese blend (I don’t remember what 4 cheeses are, but it’s all white cheese).  The cornbread will go great with Jesse’s salsa soup (tons of veggies, beans, and chicken).  And I’m always looking for a good recipe for spaghetti and meatballs.  I haven’t tried making my own Italian meatballs before, but it would be fun to try.  I already make my own sauce from fresh tomatoes and herbs stewed on the stove (store bought sauces have too much salt for my liking).  With 3 tomato plants in the yard, we may have an abundance of tomatoes this summer, so I see lots of salsa and pasta being made.


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