One Less Packaged Food in Your Pantry- Make Your Own Taco Seasoning!

Did you know you can make your own taco seasoning instead of buying it in a packet?  Yep, you can throw out another packaged food from your pantry and take pride in making it yourself with quality ingredients like organic spices and himalayan salt or sea salt.

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Homemade Taco Seasoning
Originally from Food Renegade
1/4 cup chili powder
2 T. cumin
4 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp black pepper

Mix and store in an airtight container.

Use 2 T of seasoning per 1 lb of meat. 
Add the seasoning before browning the meat. 
After the meat has cooked, we like to add about 1/2 cup of tomato sauce for extra flavor and sauce.

Now make yourself some nacho cheese to go with the taco meat!  https://www.glorygarden.org/blog/2018/3/21/nacho-cheese

Leave a comment if you make this!  

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"Healthified" Nacho Cheese

One thing that makes me really happy is being able to "healthify" a junk food for my family by making it from scratch with wholesome ingredients.  This nacho cheese is one of those recipes.

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A few notes about this recipe:
~Don't use pre-shredded cheese for this recipe, because it will make it grainy.   Buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself for best results.
~The cheese we buy is white, so I like to add turmeric for color.  If your cheese is already orange, you can leave out the turmeric.

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Homemade Nacho Cheese
1 T. butter
1 T. minced jalapenos (I used jalapenos from Glory Garden that we froze last summer)
1/2 T. flour
1/2 cup milk (I used raw milk from Happy Grazing Dairy)
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
3 oz freshly grated jack or cheddar cheese

Melt the butter in a small pot. 
Add the jalapenos and saute until tender.
Add the flour and whisk to combine.  Cook for about 1 minute.
Add the milk gradually, whisking to combine. 
Add the spices and salt.  Cook until thickened. 
Remove from heat and add the cheese.  Whisk until the cheese is melted.  
Devour.

Serves 3-5.

If you happen to have leftovers, (you won't), this nacho cheese makes a great quesadilla filling.

Leave a comment if you make this!

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Edited to add:  

Here is the nacho cheese that Amy made with this recipe- looks amazing!

Easy Ground Beef Sausage- A Staple at Our House

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We found this recipe for sausage seasoning several years ago and it has been a staple of ours ever since.  We keep it in a jelly jar in our cupboard and simply add 2 T. to 1 lb. of ground beef to make a flavorful (pork free!) sausage.  You could use this seasoning on any other kind of meat as well.

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Sausage Seasoning
(Originally from Heavenly Homemakers)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp marjoram
2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp black pepper
4 tsp basil
4 tsp sage
4 tsp thyme
4 tsp salt

Mix and store in an airtight container.

Use 2 T of seasoning per 1 lb of meat.  Add the seasoning before browning the meat. 
We usually make extra sausage to freeze.  It's great to have on hand frozen and ready to use.

We like to use this sausage in:
Scrambled eggs
Quiches
Spaghetti
Lasagna
Quesadillas
Biscuits and Gravy (recipe below)

Sausage Gravy
(To be served over biscuits- or waffles as I did below)
2 cups sausage
2 T. flour
2 cups milk
Heat the sausage in a pan.  Add the flour and cook for several minutes.  Stir in 1 cup milk and stir till thickened.  Add the other 1 cup of milk and continue to cook until thickened.  Enjoy!

Leave a comment if you mix up the seasoning and let me know how you used the sausage!

 One of my recent creations was to make biscuits and gravy over a fried egg and waffles- oh yum!

One of my recent creations was to make biscuits and gravy over a fried egg and waffles- oh yum!

Money-Saving Tip- Cook Your Own Beans!

Looking for ways to save money on organic food?  One suggestion I have for you is to cook your own beans, rather than buying them in a can.  I did some geeking out on the price and calculated that buying beans in a can costs 4x as much as cooking them yourself!

Follow the instructions below to cook any kind of beans- navy, black, pinto, etc.  It's simple and mostly hands-off!

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How To Cook Beans
Before going to bed, place 3 cups beans (any kind) in a large bowl.
Cover with about 8 cups of water.
Let them soak overnight.
The next morning, drain the beans, place in a large stock pot and cover with about 6 cups fresh water.  Cover with a lid.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, about 3-4 hours.
After cooking, drain the beans and let them sit out until they are completely cool and somewhat dry (this will keep them from sticking together when frozen).
Place in a gallon size ziploc bag and freeze. 
If they do stick together in the freezer, you can drop the bag on the floor and they will break up.  That way you can take out exactly the amount you need.

To substitute for a 15 oz. can of beans, use 1 1/2 cups of your home-cooked beans.

Now here is the cost breakdown:
I cooked up 1 lb 4 oz black beans. 
Organic dried black beans at The Co-op are $1.79 per lb. 
Therefore 1 lb 4 oz of beans cost $2.24 and yielded 7 cups of beans, which is the equivalent of over 4 cans of beans.
Figuring a can of organic black beans costs around $2, and our homemade equivalent costs 48 cents, that means home-cooked beans cost 1/4 the price of canned!

The Motivation You Need to Make Healthy Choices

I don't know about you, but sometimes I struggle with staying motivated to make healthy choices.  I know I SHOULD, but it's hard to stay enthusiastic and it's easy to forget how important each decision is.  Since I've started going to Inspired Chiropractic, I've been so encouraged and inspired by what Dr. Neil has taught me and I wanted him to share that with you!

Here is what's in the video (I've given the minute : second mark for quick reference):
1:40-  The #1 cause of death doctors don't want you to know.  (Book referenced: Death by Medicine).
2:53-  How to find the motivation you need to make healthy choices.
4:00-  How to resist the temptation of fast food.
4:44-  How many days does the damaged fat from french fries stay in your body?

After watching the video, I'd love to hear your "WHY"- the reason you want to be healthy.  Leave a comment if you care to share!

P.S. If you are looking for a chiropractor, I highly recommend Inspired Chiropractic.  His practice does a great job of integrating and teaching about whole lifestyle, rather than just focusing on adjustments.

Trying to Explain a Health Article That You Just Read and You're Like....

I can't tell you the number of times I've read a really informative health article and then when I tried to explain it to someone else... it comes out like what our friend Jacob says in the video below.  I'm guessing you can relate!  I just thought this video was too funny not to share.

Backstory- I spent the weekend with my newlywed friends in Minneapolis and this was just one of the hilarious moments we had.  I pulled out my phone to capture this "enlightening" conversation we had while washing dishes. 

OK- so is there a topic that you understood when someone explained it to you, but you can't quite explain it to someone else?  Leave a comment!

I'm curious to see what kind of health topics you are interested in or have learned about recently.  For us, it's canola oil.  We just learned that even in organic products like chips and mayonnaise, canola oil is an ingredient that disqualifies a product from a home on our shelf!

Keep learning and be healthy-
Anna

3 Things You Should Never Do to Your Hardworking Cast Iron Pans

Last weekend was my friend Joanna's wedding.  For her present, I stalked Ebay to find her some vintage cast iron skillets.  I switched to cast iron myself a few years ago after finding out about the nasty dangers of non-stick cookware.  I made this video for her and decided you might find it helpful, too!

#1- Never soak your cast iron pan while you eat dinner.  Instead wash it immediately or wait until after eating.

#2- Never use soap.  Just use straight water.

#3- Never leave cast iron wet to air dry (it will rust).  Instead, dry it with a paper towel and then rub with oil.

Leave a comment if you have any questions and I will respond!

Healthy Vanilla Ice Cream- with local milk and no refined sugar!

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If you are ever a guest here at the Maifeld house, it is likely there will be ice cream involved.  Ever since borrowing a friend's Cuisinart ice cream maker and then buying our own, ice cream has been a frequent occurrence at our house.  And since we now know that saturated fats do NOT cause weight gain, heart disease, etc. (in fact, high-quality saturated fats are an essential part of our diet), we can enjoy our ice cream guilt-free, knowing that we are benefiting from the nutrition in the raw, organic, full-fat dairy.

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 Our dedicated milkman Andre braves the weather to bring us our milk!

Our dedicated milkman Andre braves the weather to bring us our milk!

Notes:

~I recommend getting the milk and cream from Happy Grazing Dairy.  Their dairy is raw, organic, and grass-fed. To begin getting their milk delivered to your door, contact Tim Eisenbeis at ateisen@gwtc.net or 605-925-4661 (you will probably need to leave a message).

~Instead of white sugar, we use an equal amount of both honey and maple syrup rather than using just one or the other so that neither flavor is overpowering.

Maifeld's Everyday Vanilla Ice Cream

3 cups raw cream
1 1/2 cups raw milk
1/4 cup raw local honey
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 1/2 T. real vanilla extract

Mix all the ingredients together and churn according to your ice cream maker's instructions.

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 My favorite topping lately has been this granola from Costco.

My favorite topping lately has been this granola from Costco.

 Mom's preferred topping is homemade fudge sauce and peanuts.

Mom's preferred topping is homemade fudge sauce and peanuts.