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Monday, February 27, 2012

Mediterranean Chicken-Quinoa Salad

In case you're not following my adventures and interesting article shares on Facebook, I wanted to let you know what Dave and I are up to for Lent.  We have helped launch a 40 day renewal series at our church focusing on renewing the temple God gave you -- your body!  We're already in to the second week, hard to believe!  That link takes you to the website/blog for the 40 day series, and we're also doing in-depth workshops weekly at church.  I invite you to follow along online and make some commitments and sacrifices for yourself (together with your family) this Lenten season.  By tightening your focus, you will grow closer to Him.

In case you missed it, here is the post where I shared the recipes I made for the kick-off workshop the Sunday before Ash Wednesday.  I threw together a few new recipes for the event, and all are listed in that post, so don't miss out!!!

And I just can't help but share one of those new recipes right here, mostly because I am so so satisfied at how it turned out, but also because I literally threw ingredients into a bowl at 3am, stirred it, put it in the fridge and rolled in to bed.  Didn't even taste test along the way, I was so dang tired.  Well this new on-a-whim salad turned heads and wowed even the kiddos!  Can you say "show stopper!?!"  Lunch, dinner, snack...it's perfect!

Mediterranean Chicken-Quinoa Salad
Makes 4 Servings

1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups sodium-free vegetable stock
3 cups cooked chicken, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
3/4 cup cucumber, diced
1/2 cup artichoke hearts, diced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper

1.)  Bring vegetable stock to a boil in a large pot.  Under cold running water, rinse quinoa until water runs clear.  Add to boiling stock.  Lower heat and cover at a simmer.  Let cook for about 20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.

2.)  Remove from heat.  Fluff with a fork.  In a large bowl, add quinoa, chicken, onion, cucumber, and artichoke.  (Is also great with added capers, tomatoes or garbanzo beans.)

3.)  In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, parsley, sea salt, and pepper.  Pour over quinoa mixture and toss to coat.  Serve warm or cold.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

After emails from a few different folks requesting and almond flour chocolate chip cookie that used eggs, I'm finally satisfied with the way this following recipe turned out.  It took a few tries to get it right, so the cookie wasn't too hard, too soft, too puffy, too crumbly, etc.  To get the same results I suggest following *exactly* how I write it out below.  I still like my first Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe better (doesn't use eggs).  But for those who asked, I hope this satiates your cravings!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 16 Cookies

1/2 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup xylitol, powdered
2 free range eggs
3 cups almond flour, sifted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup 73+% dark chocolate chips / chunks

1.)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.  In your mixer bowl, cream the butter and xylitol together on Medium-Low.  Add vanilla and eggs one at a time, until smooth.

2.)  Mix in almond flour, baking soda, and sea salt until just blended.  Stir in chocolate chips last.

3.)  Scoop out cookies in about 1 1/2" sized balls onto cookie sheet.  Flatten each out with your fingers to the thickness you prefer (they will only rise slightly from the baking soda, but won't spread on their own while baking.  They need your help.).  Move to oven and bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown.

4.)  Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Guest Post & How To from 'Goofy Mama'

Today we have a *guest post* to share from "Goofy Mama" blogger, Allison Kuznia.  Today she is sharing her family's sweet and simple all natural (and extremely affordable) recipe for homemade whitening toothpaste.  We're enjoying it mint flavor right now with pure food grade peppermint essential oil, and I think I'll be trying orange or lemon flavor next!

Visit Allison's blog for humorous real life stories mixed with natural living tips and recipes.  You're guaranteed to at least crack a smile by visiting!

Guest Post - by Goofy Mama:

My family has been making our own toothpaste for over a year now, and, let me tell you, it is wonderful!  It saves us money, it's COMPLETELY natural, and I just went to the dentist and he told me that my teeth are extraordinary!  (He also told me to use fluoridated toothpaste, but that part I chose to ignore.)

So, anyway, without further ado, here is the recipe:

Homemade Toothpaste
Makes 1/3 cup

2 Tbsp coconut oil
3 Tbsp baking soda
Peppermint extract, to taste
Stevia, to taste (we don't use it at all in the toothpaste anymore, but you can do whatever)

Mix together with a fork.  Bada bing, bada boom, there's your toothpaste!

Allison Kuznia is a charmingly honest person who runs a charmingly honest blog which can be found at http://www.goofymama.blogspot.com.  She has three children, one husband, and zero cats.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Product Review & GIVEAWAY: SKIN Lip Balm WINNER

We had a lot of entries for the SKIN Organic Body Care "Lemon Lips" lip balm!  Thanks for all the entries over Facebook and Twitter, as well on the blog!  Random.org has narrowed it down to one winner.  And it goes to AshleyMae23!!  Congrats, girl!  Send me your mailing address via email: elise@healingcuisinebyelise.com.

Just came online to deliver the good news this morning.  Now Austin and I are heading to the kitchen to bake daddy some chocolate cookies dipped in caramel for Valentine's Day.  I can trust you to keep that a secret til he gets home from work tonight, right?  :)

Give your loved ones an extra hug today!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Smoked Turkey Pea Soup

Happy Monday!  Hope your weekend was relaxing and fun.  Mine was both of those, with a little bit of work mixed in.  But the work was fun, of course, otherwise I wouldn't put the time in (lol).  Dave and I are helping to plan and deliver a seminar titled "Rebuilding the Temple" at our church, CLC.  The kickoff is next Sunday, and it will be a "40 day renewal of body-mind-spirit" over Lent.  We're getting very excited as the big seminar day approaches.  The entire church will be involved, and it will be led by our pastors and a few other speakers, as well as Dave and me.  I'm working on the menu for Sunday's luncheon among a few other things.  I just get so happy to help people strengthen their faith thru the 5 Essentials!

Congrats to this past weekend's 5 winners who won a copy of my Valentine's Day Menu Planner e-book.  Thanks to everyone who entered!  And, there is still time to enter the SKIN Organic Body Care giveaway.  But today is the final day, so be sure to register before midnight!!  There are multiple ways to enter, too, so check out the list and see if you can enter more than once.  Good luck!

Also among my weekend projects was mass pea soup stewing.  Ohhhh how I love pea soup.  We haven't eaten it in so long though, because I couldn't bring myself to make it without a ham bone (how Dave and I grew up eating it).  We're strictly a no pork family now, after learning a bit about the pork industry and the animals in general.  Thinking back, I would guess it's been at least seven years, maybe even longer, since I last had a bowl of pea soup.  I would get the cravings for pea soup every now and again, especially on chilly days where a nice warm bowl of the salty sweet goodness seemed so perfect.  Dave had the idea to use a smoked turkey leg in place of the ham.  I have no idea why we didn't think of this sooner!

You can find smoked turkey legs at the meat counter at the grocery store, but we got ours from our free-range farmer.  Wherever you can find it, give this a try.  It turned out so so yummy!!  I'm completely satisfied with the overall taste of the soup and texture of the turkey.  It's almost like we used a ham bone, the taste is almost spot on!  I made a huge pot of it, so if following my ratios you'll need a really big stock pot.  I like to double or triple soups and stews so I can save a batch in the freezer for a month down the road.  Cut the recipe below in half for a standard 6 quart size stock pot.

Smoked Turkey Pea Soup
Makes 24 servings

2 large smoked turkey drumsticks
32 cups filtered water (8 quarts)
2 whole onions, rinsed
6 whole carrots, rinsed
6 stalks celery, rinsed (I use the center of the celery for this and save the outer stalks to chop into the soup)
20 whole peppercorns, tied off in cheesecloth
3 bay leaves

4 lbs split green peas (about 9 cups), rinsed and picked thru for stones
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
6 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup diced onion
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 Tbsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried sage
about 30 cracks fresh black pepper (more/less to taste)
2 big pinches of Himalayan sea salt (more/less to taste)

1.)   Add all Stock Ingredients to your pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to Low or Medium-Low to keep it at a simmer.  Let simmer uncovered for 5-6 hours.  By the 5th or 6th hour of simmering, the meat on the turkey legs should pull away from the bone on its own.  Your stock is ready at that point.

2.)  Remove from heat.  With a slotted spoon or long tongs, remove the turkey legs from the stock and let cool on a plate.  Also remove the boiled veggies, bay leaves and peppercorns from the stock and discard.

3.)  Return stock to a boil.  Add in sliced carrot, celery, onion and garlic.  Stir in the dried herbs.  Reduce heat to simmer for about 20 mins.  Meanwhile, shred the meat from the turkey legs, pulling out bones or tendons.

4.)  Add the rinsed split peas and shredded smoked turkey to the simmering stock.  Stir well, making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.  Cover loosely and continue to simmer for 2 hours, stirring often, again making sure nothing sticks to bottom of pot.  The peas will absorb all of the stock and become soft, that's when it's ready.  Season with sea salt and black pepper (to taste) and serve.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine Menu Planner GIVEAWAY WINNERS!

Thank you to everyone who commented as an entry in the Valentine Menu Planner giveaway!  You are all too sweet with your words!  I thought I'd get a lot of "hellos" from y'all, but you shared so much more!  I am honored to be able to help each one of you and your families reach a greater health potential!  Thank you for all the love, especially fitting of the Valentine's theme! :)

I randomly selected our five winners!!!!  Here we go..  If you are a winner, please send me your email address that I should email the Valentine Menu Planner e-book to: elise@healingcuisinebyelise.com.  (It'll be PDF format!)  Our winners:

        1)  Rosa
        2)  Dawna
        3)  Sue
        4)  Roe
        5)  Dr. Marisa M.

Congrats top 5!  Everyone else, PLEASE don't forget that the SKIN Organic Body Care giveaway is currently taking place, thru February 13th.  Winner will be announced on Valentine's Day.  Get entered, then send it out to your friends, too.  Anyone and everyone is welcome to enter!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine Menu Planner GIVEAWAY

Keeping this brief as I am typing one handed.  Austin has decided the only place he is happy this morning is in my arms.  I won't object of course :), but wanted to share this fun Valentine's Day giveaway with you!

I am giving away FIVE copies of my Valentine's Day Menu Planner e-Book at the end of the day tomorrow (February 11th, 2012)!!!  It's simple, all you need to do is comment at the bottom of this post.  That's it!  Comment anything you'd like.  I'll randomly select 5 winners after dinner tomorrow and announce it here at Healing Cuisine.  Your e-book will be emailed to you if you are a winner!

Read more about the Valentine's Day Menu Planner here (and check out all of my e-books while you're at it!).  Inside you will find Valentine themed recipes that are exclusive to the e-book (you can't find them on my website!).  Also, if you have ideas or requests for a certain menu planner you'd like to see, please email me or comment below with the idea.  Always looking for fresh ideas!

Now get commenting!  And don't forget to enter the Lemon Lips glossy lip balm giveaway from SKIN!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Product Review & Valentine's Day Giveaway from SKIN!!

Ladies, listen up!  A kissable Valentine giveaway is here...  Stephanie has outdone herself this time, and you'll want to hear about it.

Last month, Stephanie, owner of SKIN organic body care, sent me a jar of her Lemon Lips lip balm to test out.  If you missed my previous logs of SKIN's amazing all-natural organic products, you'll want to check them out (here and here).  You'll learn that the product line is truly topnotch, and I bet you'll even find a favorite of your own among the selection of pampering options.

I've been wearing the Lemon Lips lip balm almost every day since I received it in the mail a few weeks ago.  Surprise, surprise that I fell in love with it the moment I applied my first lemony glossy dab with my fingertip.  I've got to be honest... This is possibly the best truly natural lip balm I have ever used.  That is my honest and unbiased opinion.  You can check out the complete ingredients list here (as well as order yourself a jar), but it basically uses natural oils, honey, and beeswax to create a perfect blend in my opinion.  And, ladies, get this -- it's a glossy lip balm, the first ever that I have found in the natural world!!  We all love our gloss, and Lemon Lips delivers without all the glycerin, parabens, and whatever other junk you commonly find in synthetic lip glosses.  It's fun to wear stand alone, but also jazzes up your look over a natural lipstick shade.

I've been tracking the gloss power of this natural balm, and it does pretty well considering it only contains five simple ingredients.  I get about 3 hours of shine with normal wear, and 2 additional hours of moisture before needing to reapply (excluding after a meal or with frequent drinking).  And the taste is wonderful!  It's like eating a lemon drop each time, a yummy fresh taste and scent!

I've got great news -- Stephanie has graciously given me a second jar of Lemon Lips to raffle off in a giveaway!!  And in case you can't wait, and want to honor yourself or a friend with a kiss-friendly gift in time for Valentine's Day, SKIN is running a special on the Lemon Lips lip balm.  With any $30 purchase on CarenOnline now thru February 14th, you will receive a complimentary jar of SKIN's Lemon Lips super shiny lip balm.  Just enter coupon code "freelips" at checkout.  It's that simple!

I'll be picking out a bottle or two of SKIN's "Naked" face wash and taking advantage of the freebie!  :)  In the meantime, enter the giveaway below for a chance to win the jar of Lemon Lips shiny lip balm!!


The Giveaway Contest will run from Wednesday February 8th until Monday February 13th at 11:59pm.  I will use Random.org to select the winner and announce it here at Healing Cuisine at 9:00am on Tuesday February 14th (Valentine's Day!!)One lucky winner (open to U.S. and Canada residents only) will receive a full size jar of SKIN's Lemon Lips.


Leave a comment below for each of these you do.*  (If you have already done one of these in the past, it still counts - e.g. "I'm already a follower of Healing Cuisine on Twitter."  Simply leave me a comment below stating it and your entry still counts!)

        -  (1 entry)  'Like' Skin, Organic Body Care on FaceBook and tell Stephanie which product of SKIN's you love most on her Wall

        -  (1 entry) Follow Healing Cuisine on Twitter  (my handle: @EliseJSchwartz)

        -  (1 entry)  Follow Healing Cuisine via Google Friend Connect, leave the name/username you subscribed as in your entry

        -  (2 entries)  Subscribe to this blog via email (located on right column), leave the email address you subscribed as in your entry

        -  (2 entries)  'Like' this post on Facebook

        -  (2 entries per day)  Tweet this daily:  “Healing Cuisine is giving away SKIN's #organic #natural Lemon Lips glossy balm! Enter today! http://www.healingcuisinebyelise.com/2012/02/product-review-valentines-day-giveaway.html @EliseJSchwartz #giveaway"

*All winners entries will be verified.

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