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Tasty recipes, healthy cooking tips, naughty treats, and other delicious answers to your delectable questions.

Recipe - Cashew “Queso”

I don’t have a picture for this one, yet. I keep eating it too fast! (It’s also not that photogenic.)

Comfort foods are hard to come by when you’re on an elimination diet, and while this stuff should never be referred to as “cheese,” it scratches a certain itch for something savory, hot, and gooey. It’s delicious spooned into the mouth with homemade sweet potato crisps.

This recipe is from the dim recollection of what I did last time I made the queso. Following this recipe is going to get you 95% there, but please follow your heart and your tastebuds to get it just the way you like it. :)


Cashew “Queso”
1 cup raw cashews (I always soak for a few hours, then rinse and drain)
2 cups water...Continue reading

Snippets: The end of the WLC

As we were entering week 4 of the Whole Life Challenge, Leslie and I decided to call it off.

It wasn’t doing anything for us. No amazing energy boosts, no weight loss, no change in body composition, nada. Nothing as promised.

It’s possible that because we already eat so similarly to the WLC dietary restrictions, that our bodies didn’t even notice a difference. (I also am so strung out on sleep deprivation and nursing, that the hormones aren’t letting my body let go of anything.) I certainly didn’t experience any of the “withdrawal” symptoms that the WLC literature warns about. Leslie had a couple days of cravings, but nothing huge. He said he actually just felt hungry and unfulfilled...

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Meal Plan: January 20-24

Week two of the Whole Life Challenge! Week one was interesting. The first half of the week, I felt like I was barely treading water, getting food prepared for my hungry people. My kiddos were eating full meals almost every 90 minutes! And since Leslie was still learning the ropes of all the dietary restrictions, I was prepping a lot more meals for him as well; he didn’t have much to scrounge from since peanut butter and honey sandwiches are not allowed!

I feel like I hit my stride by Wednesday, and things will be easier this week.

I’m not going to even try to put these recipes into a daily order; that didn’t happen at all last week. Rather, I’m going to list out the ones I’m going to try...

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Whole Life Challenge Meal Plan: January 13-17

My husband is embarking on a Whole Life Challenge for the next 8 weeks, that involves a rather strict dietary component. Crazy dietary restrictions are nothing new to me, but I’ve never cooked for the whole household with the rules. This time, the whole family is going to go along. I will bend the rules for the kids - allowing some gluten free grains and honey - but for the next 8 weeks, we are all going to be eating super duper clean!

Here’s what the rules look like:

No Grains or Starchy Carbohydrates. Only sweet potatoes are allowed. No wheat, rice, corn, barley, quinoa, even white potatoes and soy. And of course the more obvious… no bread, pasta, bagels, cereal, pastry, baked...

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Hey Laura, what’s a good quality but inexpensive kitchen knife?

A friend asked me to find her “a decent santoku knife that will not cost me an arm and a leg?  A knife that will do the job but not a knife that will impress knife lovers.”

A good, sharp chef’s knife is a kitchen essential, but it amazes me how many people don’t invest in their tools! If you are serious about cooking, you will save yourself so much time, energy, and frustration if you invest in a good knife. You don’t need an entire block of high-end knives. Ideally, you should have three: A 8-10” chef’s or santoku knife, a 5-10” serrated bread (or “utility”) knife, and a 3” paring knife. You can get away with just the chef’s or santoku knife, though.

So here are my...

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Recipe - ACV Health Tonic

If you’re a hippie-health type person, you probably already suffer through your daily dose of apple cider vinegar. If you’re a parent, you’ve probably tried unsuccessfully to make your gagging kiddos quaff it down as well.

Why?

Well, there’s this whole thing about your body’s pH level. You want it to be alkaline, because that’s correlated with better immune function and overall general health. (Low alkaline levels were connected to inflammatory bowel disease, in this study, and immune function was impaired by acid pH levels in this study.)

You can read a bigger overview of the “Whys” as well as a list of acid-forming and alkaline-forming foods right here.

Your body maintains a...

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Hey Laura, how can I afford to eat in Brooklyn, NY?

My friend, Ben, just moved to Brooklyn and is experiencing NYC sticker shock at the price of groceries. Ben is cooking for two “vegetarian-types” on a budget. Not only does he need to find cheap sources for quality food, he needs some recipes for the daily come-home-from-work-and-make-supper-every-day grind. He’s asked about what kind of staples (like beans) can be made easily from scratch to avoid the higher price of canned convenience.

I’ve been working on this post for a while now, and it’s started to get too unwieldy. I’m just going to toss it out there as a starting point for Ben, because at this point, he needs the information more than he needs it to be perfectly presented.

Here...

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