Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Silent Killer in your Kitchen Cabinets?
This is beyond the scope of Feingold however, I think that it's an important fact. We do eat hidden MSG occasionally when we know it's there because it doesn't affect behavior in my kids. However, this article just reiterated the importance of eating real food.
Our taste buds are so used to that lovely MSG "flavor" that makes all food taste so good to our brain that we just don't appreciate good homemade cream of mushroom soup. Chicken broth tastes just plain blah. We need to retrain our brains to love whole foods; the kinds of foods that our Father in Heaven made for us to tend as stewards over this earth.
I encourage you all to start a garden, be it one pot or an acre, indoor or outdoor, and taste some real food this year. If you don't have any space, here's a great website for you. find 2 square feet and some concrete, grass, or dirt, and you're set!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My article is in a GREAT magazine

Hey all, I'm so proud to announce that my article has been published in a great magazine. Usually healthy magazines seem to be FULL of advertising and fake-o articles from people just trying to sell junk. I can't tell you how much I loved the premier issue of Harvest Source whole foods journal. Real articles, real people, and good all around healthy ideas.

It's normally $5.95 but if you go to the website you can subscribe for a whole year for free...and no junk of putting in your credit card number and charging you later to keep going. It's really free. I checked with them personally and they do not sell your email address either.

Happy reading and I hope you'll read my article on page 23 and 24.
Also, if you like inexpensive and healthy foods and suppliments check out the back page ad. For the first 49 NEW customers who place a $325 order Azure Standard is giving away $300 gas certificates. I wish I was a new customer. We order from Azure every month and buy almost exclusively from them.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pineapple Chicken in Foil Packet

Pineapple Chicken Foil Packet

1 cup slivered Carrots
1 can (8 oz.) Pineapple Slices (listing just pineapple and pineapple juice), drained
2 boneless chicken breast halves, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel (organic or something you know isn't dyed, otherwise leave it out)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 Green Onion, thinly sliced

Arrange 1/2 cup carrots in center of 12-inch square heavy aluminum foil, for each serving. For each serving layer 2 pineapple slices, 2 pieces chicken, one-half tarragon, lemon peel, lemon juice and green onion over carrots on aluminum foil. Fold foil to form packet. Place packets on baking sheet.

Bake at 450°F., 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove from oven. Let stand 5 minutes.

363 Calories, 6g Total Fat

Serve it with rice and salad.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tex-Mex Haystacks

MMMMMMMMMM, we made something different today that hit the spot! It was a snowy day in April and we were all feeling a little blah. So, we had to come up with a new food. Here it is...Tex-Mex haystacks

Cooked rice, white or brown
1-2 cans (or cooked at home) fat-free refried beans listing only beans, water, and salt
shredded whole milk monterey jack cheese or other approved cheese
guacamole made with a clove of garlic, squeeze of lemon or lime, and salt

extras can include...
whole cream sour cream with just cream listed as an ingredient or approved
homemade or approved salsa or hot sauce
chopped onions
canned, fresh, or frozen corn listing just corn and salt
cooked hamburger

Just start with the rice and layer the rest on top. The kids wanted theirs with just the main 4 ingredients, Russ and I added sour cream and salsa.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Have a great Easter

What a great Easter day we had! The kids were sane enough to enjoy the Easter readings, there were no problems, no fighting, just peace. We were able to visit family with no sneaking of their candy. They are all doing well now towards the end of the day.
I know it sounds a little hokey but thank heaven for the knowledge that the Lord presented us about how much diet affects our family. We are truly blessed to be able to live like we do now.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Great natural help
I had foster boys here for a while who had MRSA staph infection. After tons of research we came across what we felt were some of the best anti-viral, anti-biotic, immune stimulating natural helps around. While they were on these things the staph infections did not show up again. I do not know what happened when they went home. I thought I'd pass them on just in case any of you need to know.
I was reminded about these this morning when I got my Dr. Mercola video. (the link above) He talks about turmeric. For our 2 year old boy we used 1/4 tsp 3 times a day mixed in carob milk. When we are very sick we'll take turmeric in pills, about 3 pills 3 times a day. I ordered mine from mountain rose herbs online. They have great, organic herbs for a wonderful price. I either cook with it, put it in drinks, or capsulate it myself. Don't bother with turmeric in the average store. It's not potent enough.
We also love raw garlic and apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice. Many people use anti-plague but I can't gag down a mixture like that. I make guacamole with a few cloves of raw garlic squished in. Then separately I make a few cups of water with either apple cider vinegar (braggs) or fresh lemon juice plus some raw honey.
In addition to the garlic/lemon mixture we'll usually add some fenugreek tea or capsules or turmeric capsules.
The last final defense for us is Vitamin D. Have you ever noticed that we don't get sick so much when there's sunshine? In the winter or if we're stuck inside of an air conditioned home in dead summer we need Vitamin D and some air. We like to pick a decent weather day and open some windows to air out the house. We also take Vitamin D IU 2000 that we just get from Walmart. It is NOT on the FG list or always acceptable but through muscle testing and experience this year it's been fine for our family. We take one every other day in the non-sunshine times of the year. If we feel like something is coming on we'll take it every day.
You can also buy some fish oils with vitamin D added. If you take fish oil you need to use one from the FG list or do some huge research yourself cause any oil can easily have preservatives. The company we use also gets their fish from non-mercury sources.
I hope that can help a little bit. We have many other natural helps that we use but those are our mainstays.

Why do we need the Feingold list?

This was a great post by Molly on a list I frequent. It explains why we need the Feingold list or the always acceptable list and how manufacturers get away with hiding ingredients.

"Lets look at these crackers...Mr. Cheesey crackers have cheese added to the batter in the factory that actually makes/bakes the crackers. But the Mr. Cheesey company purchases their cheese pre-made from the XYZ Cheese Maker. The XYZ Cheese Maker adds yellow dye and cheddar flavor to the cheese in THIER OWN FACTORY...not in the Mr. Cheesey Cracker Factory. Mr. Cheesey Crackers do not have to tell you on the label that their crackers actually do contain the yellow dye and cheddar flavor from the cheese because Mr. Cheesey DID NOT ADD IT TO THE was inadvertently added to the CHEESE by the manufacturer of the cheese. Manufactures are only required to list the ingredients that they actually use to make their product...Not the ingredients used to make the ingredients that go into their products. Unless of course you are talking about an allergen like nuts, wheat, soy or eggs...then you can get a TON of information because they don't want someone to have an anaphylactic reaction and sue them. Sad really."

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ginger sweet potato bake

MMMMMM, Ginger sweet potato chicken bake from 5 dollar dinners...and it's all Feingold safe!

With the chicken breast and sweet potatoes on sale, there was no doubt this dish would come in under $5! It made a whole 9×13 pan with lots of leftovers!!! The Free Item coupon helped too :)


2 large chicken breasts, about 1.25 lb ($2.21) Recently on sale for $1.77/lb
2 large sweet potatoes, about 1.5 lb ($1.02) Recently on sale for $.68/lb
1 15 oz can of pineapple pieces, in 100% pineapple juice (FREE) Used Free Item Coupon!
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil ($.10)
1 tsp ground ginger ($.10)
1 tsp garlic powder ($.05)
1 tsp ground cinnamon ($.10)
1 cup brown rice ($.40) Purchased 2 lb bag with $1 off coupon


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Dice chicken breasts into 1/2 - 1 inch cubes. Helpful Hint: It’s easiest to cut chicken breasts while they are still partially frozen. I usually thaw mine about 75% of the way, making it much easier to cut. Cutting them while still completely frozen is really tough on the fingers. I don’t recommend that!
3. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes.
4. Drain pineapple juice, reserving about 1/2 cup to use when cooking the rice.
5. In large bowl, toss diced chicken breast, sweet potato pieces and pineapple piece. Add extra virgin olive oil, ground ginger, garlic powder, ground cinnamon and salt and pepper. Toss well. Transfer mixture to 9×13 baking dish.

Tossing the Ginger Sweet Potato Chicken Bake

6. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes uncovered. Remove and cover with foil, and then bake another 30-40 minutes. (This will prevent the sweet potatoes from drying out. I like them soft and moist!)
6. In saucepan, cook brown rice as directed on packaging. I subsituted 1/2 cup of the liquid suggested on the package with the reserved pineapple juice. Brown rice takes longer to cook, so be sure to start this at the same time you put the chicken bake into the oven and they’ll both be ready at about the same time!
7. Serve Ginger Sweet Potato Chicken Bake with side of brown rice.

Cost $3.98

Chicken and tostones

A recipe from 5 dollar dinners, mmmmmm (notes from Danika...use coconut oil or approved oil. When we couldn't find plantains we used bananas which give a whole other taste but they're still good. Plantains are much more starchy and really need to cook more than bananas, almost like a banana flavored potato. If you use bananas make sure they're greenish and don't cook them as long. Also, use a minimally processed chicken, not one with "solution added")

One of my favorite foods in the Dominican Republic were Tostones. And not just any tostones, the tostones from Giberto’s chicken stand! He used perfectly ripe plantains, fried them at the perfect temperature, mashed them to perfection and fried them again for just the right amount time…

What to Do with a Whole Chicken Tutorial coming tomorrow…


1 whole chicken ($4.40) On sale last week for $.88/lb. Will use the meat for 3 different meals, so will divide cost by 3…$1.47!
1-2 tsp garlic powder ($.05)
2 plantains ($.66) Rolled back to $.33 each this week
1 cup white rice ($.20)
Ketchup ($.20)

UPDATE: 2-3 cups of oil (I used canola) $1 or less depending on the oil!


1. Place whole chicken in crockpot with 1-2 cups of water. Season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook on low for 8 or 10 hours.
2. Prepare tostones as described below.

Peeling the Plantain

Peel the skin from the plantains.

Cutting the Plantains

Cut the plantains into 1.5 inch chunks.

Frying the Plantains

Add plantains to hot oil (I set mine on #7 on the burner’s dial). Fry for about 5 minutes. Remove from oil with slotted spoon and place back on cutting board.

Smashing the Plantains

Smash plantains with potato masher or large rolling pin. Once smash, return to hot oil and fry again for 4-5 minutes. Remove from oil with slotted spoon and set on paper towel to rid of excess oil.

3. Bring 2.5 cups of water to boil. Add 1 cup of white rice. Return water to boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Once chicken is cooked, let it cool for about 10 minutes before handling. Cut off as much chicken meat as you can. Save juices and bones/carcass to make broth.
5. Serve Chicken pieces with White Rice and Tostones and Ketchup.

Cost $3.58

(It really doesn’t get much cheaper than this y’all!)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Easter Eggs

From kid's craft weekly...

See the above link for pictures of these cute crafts.

Hello and welcome to this 'eggs' issue of Kids Craft Weekly which, in case you hadn't guessed, is really an Easter issue in disguise. If you don't celebrate Easter please don't stop reading – there are still plenty of great ideas that you can take away and apply to other occasions.

It's been a busy few weeks at our place – I am disapointed that we didn't have a chance to try making 'cascarones' which I'd never heard about until subscriber Abigael wrote to me last week. In case you've not heard of them either here are her great instructions:

Image of Cascarones (c) Holly Chase

I saw a version of this in Guatemala and I thought you might enjoy making these. On Easter week the ladies have these huge flat baskets full of bright eggs that have been hollowed out and filled with glitter and flour. They sell them for a few cents each and EVERYONE is gleefully armed with eggs. All are either smashing them on someones head or covered with glitter and flour! The streets are full of kids and adults young and old covered in eggshell and bling!

I make them for my kids to play with in the yard. Here is how.

1. Save up about a dozen egg shells – the more the better. I do it this way – break them open as close to the end as possible, rinse, and store upside down in a crate until dry.

2. Fill the eggs with glitter (skip the flour!), stickers, little tiny chicks, confetti,etc

3. Top with a glued on bit of tissue paper and decorate the outside with paint, markers, etc.

4. When they're dry you can smash them on heads on easter morning – or open them in a more civilized manner to get a gift.

Thanks for writing Abigael and thanks Holly for letting me use your lovely photo. If you'd like some more visuals you can see more wonderful pictures of cascarones on Flickr.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Kids Craft Weekly. If your appetite for Easter crafts still isn't sated you might also want to check out the ideas in this Easter issue from a few years ago.

Happy crafting and I'll see you next time!

Amber Carvan

PS. A few weeks ago I removed all the newsletter archives from the website. This created a fair bit of angst from regular visitors so I've put them back up for now :)

Buy the Kids Craft Weekly book

2. Painted foil eggs

These painted foil eggs are great fun for all ages. If you're not into the idea of making egg shapes you can cut the cardboard into any shape you dream of. For a super no-fuss version of this craft just wrap some foil around a paper plate.

You will need

• card
• aluminium foil
• scissors
• paint and brushes
• cotton buds (q-tips), matchsticks and/or wooden skewers


1. Cut some egg shapes from card.

2. Wrap cardboard egg shapes in pieces of aluminium foil.

3. Paint over the top using regular acrylic/tempera paint.

4. While the paint is still wet, scratch out some designs into the paint using a cotton bud or matchstick. If these aren't available simply turn your paintbrush upside down and use that!

5. Allow to dry.

3. Confetti eggs

I find the process of sitting down to make confetti very therapeutic – but then again, I also enjoy colouring-in! If you don't have the patience to make your own you can always buy a fancy ready-made batch from your local newsagent or craft supply shop.

You will need

• colourful paper and hole punch
• coloured card
• scissors
• white glue
• paint brush
• glitter
• string


1. Make confetti by punching holes into colourful paper – it's time consuming but fun!

2. Cut egg shapes from firm and colourful card, then smother with white glue.

3. Sprinkle on some confetti...

4. ...and add some glitter for good measure, and more glitter, and more glitter! My kids *really* like glitter, much more than confetti it turns out.

5. When one side is dry, confetti/glitter the other and punch a hole in the top. Then hang from a window (or wrist) or leave one side blank so that you can use it as an easter gift tag.

4. Paper mache eggs / simple egg picture /

Now here's a craft that tells a story, the moral of which is 'keep it simple'. The premise was sound – paper mache over an egg-shaped piece of foil – but while my six year old enjoyed this craft it was well beyond the capabilities of her three year old brother and it seriously tested the patience of her 35 year old mother! In the end though we found a solution for everyone.

You will need

• aluminium foil
• ribbon
• white glue
• water
• brush
• coloured tissue paper
• tape
• blank paper and marker pen (for the picture)


1. Take a sheet of kitchen foil and scrunch it up into a ball. Once it's scrunched - take some time to press it into a smooth egg shape. Then tie a knot in a length of ribbon and tape it to the top of your foil egg.

2. Take another piece of foil and scrunch it over the top of your first egg, taking care to conceal the sticky tape and the end of the ribbon. Once your foil ball is looking suitably egg-shaped, tear up some pieces of coloured tissue paper and prepare a glue mix from equal parts white glue and water.

3. Start to stick the tissue paper over the foil egg – holding onto the ribbon to keep it from getting stuck down too. Yes, it's quite tricky and very messy!

4. They take a long time to dry but they look very pretty when they do. We spinkled glitter over one of our eggs and we're thinking about painting dots or stripes on the others.

5. When we'd finally finished with the paper mache I presented the disgruntled three year old with the leftover scraps of tissue paper, foil and the watered down glue and gave him a piece of paper with an egg shape drawn on to decorate.

Now *that* was a good idea!