Monday, January 30, 2012

Tiny French bean and sausage Slow Cooker Recipes

This recipe is a favorite slow cooker recipe of mine, but it does require a Tbsp of thyme. If you are not used to using that much thyme make sure you have enough. I ran out much faster than I thought I would after I started making this recipe. I look for a few things when cooking now. One little are the ingredients processed, the fresher and more whole the better. Is this a hearty meal? Will is fill up my husband? This is very important. How expensive is it to put together. Beans in the dried form are not expensive, and they are filling, so it just has to taste good.

This is one of those meals that does not look all that amazing, but it tastes good. I've also started craving it every so often, it could be the hot sausage....  It's comfort food people, it's comfort food. That is all.
Here is the recipe: recipe tiny french beans with smoked sausage
For those of you doing Weight Watchers the points value is 10 per serving.

I wish you all well. I've joined the ranks of those on Pintrest, be patient with me I'm just learning how this thing works.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Increasing Barley in my diet

Previous post regarding this recipe French Onion Soup with Beef and Barley
I've learned that it's 9 WW points.  This is why I like Cooking Light's recipes more than Weight Watchers, there is still flavor and stuff in Cooking Light.  It's good to know though, so I can be respectful of the amount that I should be eating, and just take my time enjoying it.

Today I upset myself by reading a LiveStrong article.  You know the kind of article that says eat right & exercise and that is it, if you are not loosing weight you aren't working hard enough.  Not like there are other hormonal factors to consider, or the fact that health eating can be different for different people.  Almonds in high amounts are pro-inflammatory for me, and yet when I did Medifast they encouraged the consumption of almonds as a light snack since it had less fat. There are other higher fat nuts that are better for me, not so inflammatory and yet if you have PCOS and don't have nutrition information given to you by some one who knows you can be doing things that are considered 'healthy' that might sabotage you.  Right now I can feel that I have not had enough greens lately, and since I don't have fresh right now I will need to make a big bunch or broccoli to eat with dinner tonight.  These are things I never would have thought of last year.  Making these changes for my health may seem minor to some of you, but t makes a big difference in my day. 

I read the InCyst article about picking a trainer today, it was empowering.  There are things to know about yourself, that not all exercise and diet gurus are going to know.  Work with people who can adjust for your unique self. 

Did I tell you? My dad finally read up on PCOS. I know, it's a been a while and he's in the medical field but it was not something he dealt with on a daily basis so it was not priority number one.  My husband still does not want to know or read anything about it. Let me just say, "oh, the joy".  But here is the good part, he finally asked what I could eat, and how I was doing with it all. 

I keep it simple, it helps me.  The less processed the more okay I am with it, and if it's a choice between two evils I choose the lesser.  If I must snack and there are gooey chewy bars and almonds, I'll eat some almonds.  Then there are the days I loose all will power...I have begun not to lose hope when those days happen. I just get right back on track and continue on.  This is a journey towards health, I'm doing better little by little.

I've also learned that I will never be a coupon queen.  Dried beans are my ways of saving, bulk health foods, farmers markets.  I used to try even with non-edible items but I've learned that most of the items that have coupons are things that I really should be leaving alone.  There are times when I get to use a coupon or two, but nothing like the savings you'll see on the shows. These are things that I now plan around since I know I have to have a stock pile for the winter.  I know that dried beans and rice will keep if they are in air-tight sealed containers.  Costco became the big hero again for their huge bags of dried beans and rice.  I will find more brown rice, but right now I have to mix it in the jasmine stuff anyways since my hubby cringes at the thought of brown rice. 

All this to say, I like this recipe that includes Barley, and I will keep trying new things. There is another slow cooker one with black beans that looks good, burritos filling. yummy.

I cried today...Etta James has passed away...

Etta James is one of those powerhouse voices that just resonates with her audience.  Her version of "At last" became the version that everyone knows and loves.  That song was my introduction to her musical talent, but I found so many other songs that move me. "A Sunday Kind of Love, "  "I Just Wanna Make Love to You" these are others that I have found just as haunting and beautiful.

Other bloggers and Newspapers will have their write ups and her history.  I don't need to get into all that for you, but you should know that she changed blues.  She will leave her legacy behind and we are all better for it.

 I'm sorry it took my a bit to post this.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A story about popcorn

I have not liked popcorn since I had braces way back in junior high. The kernel's getting stuck in my teeth and trying to get them out was awful. Now it seems all the toxins and chemicals added to the microwave stuff is not worthy of ingesting.

So this Christmas we bought an air popper, my husband loves popcorn! The first batch he was so-so about, but after that he's not popped one bag in the microwave. Our newest addiction has me craving popcorn too, cinnamon sugar. I know, it has sugar. But it's less than in cookies and muffins or brownies so it still helps us snack lightly and deliciously.

Here is proof that if you are open to change you can develop new loves, even if previously you had not liked a particular item.  I've learned this with mushrooms, onions, cauliflower and now with popcorn.  I'm going to continue being open to embracing new vegetables and bringing health and balance back into my life. I hope you remain open to change as well.

a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law, I love it!
final version
Cinnamon sugar mixture.

Friday, January 13, 2012

On the quest for Bok Choy recipes

These three cook books have one recipe for Bok Choy. I've done better talking with my co-worker about how she prepares it.

So, I decided to just stir fry the Bok Choy, and use a basic vegetable stir fry sauce.
Basics of Stir Fry: Techniques cooking class stir frying

Stir Fry Sauce:

3 Cups Chicken or Beef stock (I'm sure any stock that you have would work)
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
3 Tbsp Light Sodium Soy Sauce
1/4 Tsp pepper
1 Tsp Sugar

Add to stir fry when vegetables are close to being done, and let cook until  bubbling and thick. Continue stirring constantly until sauce is thickened up a bit.

This was my second Stir Fry this week - there are carrots in there somewhere

This was the first Stir Fry this week
 This week I needed to use up a whole lot of veggies, and this is how I did it.  Yep, and these were finished by the next day's lunch.

So this week we increased our vegetable intake increased, and we have been enjoying every minute of it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Health Care - insurance rates going up

I've been mulling this post over for about a year now.

I've been trying to find the right words to express what I'd like to say regarding the health care system, because it is broken. I also don't feel Obama Care is a fix to the problem, neither is a completely socialized health care approach.
Giving things away to people who don't work for it make the ones who do work less motivated.
There is a story...Henny Penny, do you all remember it?  She did all the work everyone else was to busy to plant and water and weed or even cook, but when the final product was finished everyone was hungry and they all wanted to share.  She did not offer them any since they had not helped.  I think this is a good story to remind ourselves that hard work produces results, and those who do the hard work should be the ones benefiting from those hours of labor. Not the free loaders.

But there is a high cost to think of, and we all have to have insurance.  Reading the Guest Post on InCyst today brought up my thoughts in Health Care again. Read here: Guest Blog in 2012 Resolve To Not...

Yesterday they brought around the changes to my insurance coverage, and you  know...they didn't ask me before making changes, they never do.  I have friends with Autistic children that need more help with Health care than I do, and I hear about their battles with insurance not covering things all the time.  Insurance companies do not care about your health, that is the bottom line. They are concerned about making money, as all companies are.  Maybe a pay as you go would help Dr's and patients alike, they could reduce their fees for a direct pay system, and we could get the help we need rather than the help that insurance allows.

Health Map 2011 Insurance Chief Jones Urges Blue.

Womens Health Pay As You Go Managing Your Healthcare - Is a cash only or direct pay medical practice for you

So here it is, be healthy, find the things that bring you health, whether they are covered by insurance or not. Weight loss plans, work out routines, gyms, vitamins, supplements, diet, acupuncture etc these things can help your health and do not require pills and medicine opt to take care of you first and not have to fix damage caused by not taking care of yourself.  For the rest of it, those health issues that require health professionals keep at it, get the help you need.
Benefits of yoga - Help heal yourself yoga - ages and stages
Benefits of Tai Chi - health newsletters: Harvard Womens Health Watch 2009 May The health benefits of tai chi

By the way, if you  are not currently Leverage fans, this fight against the insurance company is the catalyst to the clever team of thieves who might be just be the good guys. 

Season 1, Episode 1: The Nigerian Job

Original Air Date—7 December 2008
When Nathan Ford, a former insurance company investigator, is approached by a man asking him to help retrieve some stolen property, he is dubious. When he finds out that the job requires him to supervise and maintain control of three known thieves that he himself caught in the course of his insurance investigations, he's more than dubious. However, the job offers him the opportunity to get some of his own back from the insurance company that allowed his son to die, so he takes it despite his misgivings. When his doubts prove to be well-founded, he persuades his reluctant colleagues to unite once more to reach a more "equitable" settlement.
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