Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Must Have Cookbook and Real Food Companion....Take A Look!

Hello friends,  I've got something great to share with you today!  Anyone who has been reading this blog or follows the Who's got the thyme? Facebook page, knows I'm a fan of the food blog known as 100 Days of Real Food.  Remember that super easy cook the whole chicken in the slow-cooker (genius)?  That was the blog creator, Lisa Leake's recipe.  So yesterday was a big day for Lisa as her very first (and likely not her last) cookbook was released.  I'm telling you, if you have any interest in making the shift (which I hope you all do if you haven't already) to REAL FOOD you need this book.  Processed foods are a detriment to the health of Americans.  They are largely to blame for the obesity epidemic and often the cause of so many chronic conditions.  Lisa's book is a fantastic reference for the person who is new to the real food scene (as crazy as that sounds).  She offers a wealth of information and real guidance to help you get away from processed foods.  I'm excited to have this in my arsenal as I try to eliminate processed foods from our home too.  Generally we do pretty well but some things (breads, condiments, crackers) are taking some time to navigate but we are getting there.  Of course this is not just a real food reference book, it's full of great recipes for beginners and seasoned cooks alike.

Today I'm going to show you her recipe for Veggie Corn Chowder (just in time for fall) which was simple, fast and really tasty.
The recipe calls for 3 cups of fresh or frozen corn.  Being that it's still corn season, I bought 3 ears and cur the kernels off (you can use frozen as well!).
The chowder is thickened with 2 Tbs flour, whole wheat if you're keeping it real.  We happen to have a 50 lb bag of it (you know how Nelsy likes to bake!).
Like I always say, get your prep done first so you're not scrambling around hoping something doesn't burn. It's a quick prep for this recipe, chop an onion, 3 carrots and 3 celery stalks.
Melt 3 Tbs butter in a large soup pot.
Add the flour to make a roux.  Cook until browned but not burned.  About 4 minutes.
Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook until they soften.  About 5 to 6 minutes.
While they were cooking, I thawed out some stock from my freezer.  The broth was another take away from 100 Days of Real Food.  After you cook that chicken in the slow-cooker you can turn the carcass into homemade chicken stock.  Last year I cooked two turkeys for Thanksgiving and made a ton of stock for the freezer.  It's cheap (since you bought the bird anyway) and easy and is way more flavorful than the canned broth (which usually contains at least a few questionables).
OK, where was I...Once the veggies have softened add the corn, 1 tsp of salt and some cayenne pepper (just a dash goes a long way). Let it cook for about 3 minutes.
Now you add 2 cups of stock and 2 cups of milk (I used whole milk).
Hopefully you've taken my advice and purchased one of these immersion blenders.  They are pretty inexpensive and make the job a snap (clean up too!).  So, I may have been a little caught up in getting my action shot and over blended a bit but the chowder was super tasty none the less!
You will want to leave a few more chunks (again, I got carried away with the camera) but if you don't it's just as good!  For the full recipe and many more, get your copy of 100 Days of Real Food, How we did it, what we learned and 100 easy, wholesome recipes your family will love!

Monday, August 11, 2014


So it seems I have a little blog post amnesia!  I was all prepared to share my favorite hummus recipe with you when I discovered that I already did...over a year ago.  Oops.  Well since I went to all the trouble of taking photos (again) and since this time I mad it in my snazzy new NutriBullet that I totally love, by the way, I'm just going to share it again.  Hummus is a great for snacking on.  Hayden ate more carrots in the past week than he does in months because he had homemade hummus for dipping.  Sure you can buy hummus in the store and sure many of them are free of creepy ingredients but this recipe is so good and you can make enough to freeze if you feel so inclined.  My friend Greta recently had my hummus and said it was the only hummus she's ever tried and liked.  That's a good enough reason to make it at home for me!
This is Ina Garten's recipe from the Food Network.  There are many variations but this one seems fool proof.  You just drain and rinse a can of chick peas.
Before you dump them in the colander, save about 2-3 Tbs of the liquid from the can.
The recipe calls for 2 cups, which is a little less than a full can.  I either save the extras for salads or just toss them in and add a titch more of the other ingredients so its not too dry.
Of course you need garlic, every great snack involves garlic, no?  Do you find it annoying to peel the garlic?  You know how it makes your fingers all sticky and those tissue paper thin skins are sticking to you and everything else?  Here's a tip for you:
One clove at a time, set it under the blade of a large kitchen knife...
then smash it with the heel of your hand.  In a controlled smashing fashion just apply heavy pressure to it.
See how the skins lift away?
It's peaceful, easy peelin' after that (wow, did I mention I have "first day back to work after vacation delirium"? I do).
OK, so measure your tahini (think of it as peanut butter made from sesame seeds).
Juice some lemons...
There she is! My new favorite kitchen gadget! Just dump all the ingredients in the large cup.
Don't forget the hot sauce!
Pulse it a few times in the bullet, it was a little thick at first (I used the whole can of chick peas) but it you need to loosen it, just add a tiny bit more of the liquid from the can or what I did, was add a tiny drizzle of olive oil to get things moving.  Another quick blast of the Bullet...
And there you have it!  This came out way creamier than when I make it in my (ooh la) La Machine circa 1985 food processor and the clean up was way easier and faster.
A good healthy snack, just like that.  Grab some carrots and dig in.  Here's the link to the full recipe in case you missed it above (or back in May 2013 when I posted this the first time).  Happy Healthy Snacking!