Quick and Easy “Waterless Carrots”

IMG_8192

You’ve been there, right?  You look in your fridge and in your pantry and the pickins are slim.  You’re too tired to go to the store (and if you’re like me, by the end of the day your Hashimoto’s or other autoimmune disease has sucked the energy right out of you).  And, the dinner hour is close at hand.  Sometimes, the side dishes are the hardest dinner item to put together especially when energy levels are in the red.

One item I have in my fridge almost constantly is a big bag of carrots.  I buy the 5 lb bag of organic carrots at Sprouts and keep them on hand for dishes like pot roast, stew, chicken zoodle soup, bone broth and for snacking.

Carrots are very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. They are also a good source of Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Potassium.

If you’re like me, you probably keep carrots in your fridge as well.  And, if you’re like me, sometimes those carrots take up residence in your fridge for a very long time!  Time to put those nutritious root vegetables to work.

Make it Do (http://www.make-it-do.com/cook-it-bake-it/quick-and-easy-side-carrots/) has a great recipe for a quick and easy “waterless” carrot side dish recipe. I tried it the other day and not only was it easy and quick, but my family (even my picky eaters) loved it!  Now that’s a win-win for me!

IMG_8180

To begin with, I gently scrubbed the carrots under running water.  I did not peel my carrots as suggested in the original post.  Many of a carrot’s nutrients are found in the skin and immediately beneath it. Since my carrots were organic I felt safe in leaving the peel on.  Then I sliced them trying to keep all of the slices fairly even in thickness.

IMG_8182

Since I had around 8 carrots, I used 2 tablespoons of ghee.  Melt the ghee in a saucepan that has a tight fitting lid.  Toss in the carrots along with some salt and pepper to taste.

I had some fresh organic parsley on hand which I added.  You can also use dried parsley.  The green adds some eye appeal to this dish and gives it a wonderful flavor.

Cover the pan with the lid and cook over a medium heat until you see steam beginning to escape under the lid.  Turn down the medium low and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the carrots are all soft and tender.  Stir the carrots a couple of times during cooking to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan or turning brown.

IMG_8192

This recipe is perfect for those of us who follow a Paleo or Whole 30 diet.  The carrots are tender, naturally sweet and nutritious.  An added bonus for me is that cooked carrots are a wonderful healing food for gut permeability issues.

Quick, easy, nutritious and yummy!  I think this dish is a winner!

Here is the recipe taken from the Make it Do http://www.make-it-do.com/cook-it-bake-it/quick-and-easy-side-carrots/ blog and with a few tweaks:

Waterless Carrots

8 large organic carrots

2 tablespoons ghee

Fresh or dried parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Scrub carrots gently under running water.  Slice carrots in even slices.  Melt butter in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.  Add carrots, salt and pepper to taste.  Toss in some fresh or dried parsley.  Cover and cook over medium heat until you see steam escaping.  Turn down and cook 8-10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Serve hot.

 

 

 

 

Find the Root Cause of Your Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

51D+nOtqtLL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

I recently checked this book out at our public library.  I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis a little over two years ago, but have been suffering with low thyroid for nearly 20 years.  For so long, I was told by my doctors that the symptoms were “all in my head”, that I was depressed, or they attributed my symptoms to other issues.  Reading this book has really opened my eyes about what is really going on in Hashimoto’s.  I discovered that I had many “root causes” such as Epstein Barr Virus (which I contracted at age 19 — I was never the same after that), stress, hormonal imbalance and toxicity just to name a few.  I highly recommend this book if you are suffering from Hashimoto’s and want to discover what your root causes may be.

https://www.amazon.com/Hashimotos-Thyroiditis-Lifestyle-Interventions-Treating/dp/0615825796/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489251351&sr=8-1&keywords=hashimotos+root+cause

 

Laundry Nook Makeover

 

IMG_20160311_215549

We moved into our 1948 small home last March.  It is definitely a work in progress.  The one area, though, that was a major eye sore for me was the laundry nook situated in the dining area next to the kitchen.  It is the first thing that one sees upon entering the front door of our home.  Since we are on a very limited renovation budget, I decided to go with the adage, “If you can’t hide it, feature it!”  This picture is my initial attempt at hiding the laundry items like soap and such by hanging a short curtain over the wire shelf, and by adding more storage on top of the shelf with the use of fabric rectangular baskets from Walmart.

It was still an eye sore to me.  I didn’t like looking at the plumbing behind the washer and dryer and I felt like there was a lot of wasted space above the wire shelf.  Pinterest is my best friend!  I spent time looking at what others have done to create an inviting laundry nook and developed my own plan of action with what limited resources we had on hand and with what could be purchased cheaply.

 

IMG_7898

Now isn’t this much more inviting?!  My husband installed a wide shelf up above the existing wire shelf.  I store canning jars in the bushel basket on the right and various canning supplies in the large basket on the left.  In the middle of that shelf is my large canner.

He also made a small shelf to go over the dryer.  I found a large “canning” jar at Walmart for my homemade laundry soap.  I put this on the shelf along with a garage sale find basket with clothes pins.  I also found a cute industrial-style wax warmer at Walmart.

Walmart had these cute red lantern Christmas lights last December.  If you’ve read my “About Me” page, you will know that I have a passion for red!  These lights were perfect!  My husband bought a white tension rod and using clear zip ties, he attached the lantern lights to the tension rod.  He even attached an on/off push button on the side of the washer so I can turn the lights on when doing laundry.

IMG_7899

Here is a close-up view of the zip ties holding the lantern wires in place.  The tension rod has a groove along the back side which he pushed the wires into as well.  I made a new curtain from some leftover fabric I had on hand.  This fabric is more neutral and helps the darling little lantern lights stand out.

IMG_7900To hide the plumbing behind the washer, my husband helped me make a wall hanging from some pieces of pallet boards we had on hand.  I bought the tin letters at Hobby Lobby and clothes-pinned them to a piece of jute string that we attached to the sides.  I wish there was a way to hide the outlet.  Maybe I’ll come up with something some day that won’t make plugging things in a real pain.

Once we are able to afford a new washer and dryer, we are planning to get front loading.  My husband will then make a permanent shelf right above the washer and dryer to be a folding table.

Thanks for stopping by to see my laundry nook makeover!  Doing laundry is now a joy!

 

Paleo Ranch Dressing – I’m in Heaven!

ranch1-edits

Now if you are like me, Ranch dressing is a must have when eating those healthy carrots and celery sticks.  It also is my favorite dressing on salads.  When I went Paleo over two years ago, one thing I thought I had to give up was Ranch dressing.  I tried lots of homemade vinaigrettes, but none of them ever took the place of my beloved Ranch.

Last month, lo and behold, I discovered an amazing Paleo Ranch Dressing recipe from Follow the Rules (http://followtheruels.com/2016/05/paleo-ranch-dressing/).  It was amazing!  I went on a Ranch Dressing binge and consumed more carrot and celery sticks and fresh green salad in one day than I normally do in two weeks!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Paleo mayonnaise (I’ve used Spectrum’s Gluten Free – Expeller Pressed Canola Mayonnaise and I’ve made my own Paleo Mayo.  Both work fine.)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp chive finely chopped
  • 1 tsp parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dill finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a jar, then shake.

Notes

Add more mayo or less coconut milk for a thicker dressing.

Welcome!

Hope.  What does that word mean to you?  It is described in the dictionary as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen”.  It is referred to as a longing, an anticipation and an optimistic attitude that is based on the expectation of positive outcomes in one’s life and in the world.

As I look out of my kitchen window, I see beautiful bright red birds (cardinals) coming in pairs to feed at the feeders that have been strategically placed for my viewing pleasure.  I never tire of watching.  In the dead of winter when everything is brown and dry, those bright red splashes of color cheer me up.  They feed my longing for spring and the newness of life it brings.

What do you hope for?  What are your dreams?  What are your deepest longings?  Life certainly is full of challenges and obstacles and I find myself often times rolled up tightly in those hard times, unable to open myself to possibilities and healing. It is easy in those moments to lose sight of my dreams and my aspirations and to feel sorry for myself.

In this blog, I hope to share with you, dear reader, my struggles and the gifts they present to me.  I hope to share with you my hopes, my dreams and my sometimes small yet always powerful victories.  I’ll share with you recipes, gardening ideas, growing herbs, tea parties, repurposing projects, books I am reading, homeschooling teenagers, my healing journey, and my love for God, my family and the wonderful people that are part of my “flock”.

Thank you for dropping in, sweet Chickadee!  Come back soon and we’ll have tea while we begin sharing our journey together.

Hope that is put off makes one sick at heart, but a longing fulfilled, it is a tree of life.  Proverbs 13:12