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Easy Fresh Herb Marinade

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Easy Fresh Herb Marinade

This marinade is super easy and versatile.  It can be adapted using whatever you have on hand or growing in your garden.  Using fresh herbs makes this really colorful and pretty to top whatever you are using it with.  This marinade is my favorite to use on a roast or steak.    I used it on a roast for Easter instead of marinating the meat in it I topped it after searing and before putting it in the oven.  It made a crispy herbed crust on the meat.  It was a hit!!

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Herb Marinade

3 cloves of garlic minced

1 Tablespoon fresh Rosemary removed from stems and roughly chopped

1 Tablespoon Thyme removed from stems

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

In a small bowl mix all ingredients.

Set half of the marinade aside to top meat before or after cooking.

Marinade the meat for 2o minutes at room temperate.

Making your own marinades takes the guess work out of whats in it. The garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper is a great base and you can add in whatever herbs you like.  This recipe can easily be adaptable to whatever you have on hand.  I have made this same recipe with parsley, oregano, and sage.  This version is also good with chicken thighs.  I use this frequently when I can’t think of anything to make for dinner or am wanting something a little different.  It dresses up any dinner with little effort.

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All Natural Egg Dying

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All Natural Egg Dying

Ditch the dye tabs and try dying your Easter eggs with all natural ingredients that you probably already have in the kitchen. This has been something I have wanted to try for a few years and I finally did!  It took some trial and error but I think the final product turned out well.  I got three colors to turn out the way I wanted.

Beets– The beets will give you a pink to red hue.  In a saucepan add 4 cups chopped beets, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 2 cups water, and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes.  An option is to boil the eggs in the beet water or put in a jar until you achieve the color you want.

Turmeric–  Turmeric will make a dark yellow color.  In a saucepan add 4 tablespoons or turmeric, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 2 cups water, and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.  Once cool dip eggs or put in a jar until the color is what you want.

Purple Cabbage– Purple cabbage actually gives you a blue tone.  In a saucepan add 4 cups cabbage chopped, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 2 cups water, and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.  Let cool dip or put in jar until the color you get the color you want.

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A few tips: My house did not smell amazing after this project especially after the turmeric.  I left the eggs in for about 24 hours.  Put them in something that seals like a mason jar and put them in the refrigerator after they have cooled enough to put a lid on.  After many tries the jar is what gave me the colors I wanted. If using the jars make sure to stir eggs once in awhile to they color evenly.  These recipes are easily adjusted for how many eggs or hues you want to achieve.

Easter Brunch

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Easter Brunch

Easter is popular day for brunch.  I am sharing some of my favorite brunch ideas and recipes with you today.  These are easy and quick recipes so you won’t spend all of your time in the kitchen!

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Smoked Salmon Frittata

Preheat oven to 350.  In a bowl whisk 8 eggs and 2 tablespoons of milk of choice.

Add in 5 ounces of smoked salmon and 1/4 cup of roughly chopped fresh dill and salt and pepper.

In an oven safe skillet heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil pour in egg mixture.

Make sure the salmon is evenly distributed.

Once the sides start to set put in the oven checking after 12 minutes.

 

Roasted Potatoes

Preheat oven to 375.

I use 1 pound of red potatoes and leave the skin on.

Cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces.

In a ziplock bag add  3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder, dried parsley, salt and pepper.

Add in potatoes, coating evenly.

On a baking sheet evenly spread the potatoes.

Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes stirring half way through.

 

Oven Baked Bacon

Preheat oven to 400.

Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

Lay bacon spacing evenly.

Bake for 15-18 minutes turning pan half way through so bacon browns evenly.

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A few more ideas.

Have a mimosa or Bloody Mary bar.  Or both! You can make these ahead of time or have a station for everyone to make their own.  Get creative with the garnishes.  Frozen fruit on small skewers for the mimosas.  Bacon or something pickled for the Bloody Mary.

Serve the frittata with an arugula salad with a lemon vinaigrette or a light dressing or some roasted asparagus. For something sweet have a fruit salad.  Make it your own and have fun doing it!

 

Instant Pot Freezer Stock

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Instant Pot Freezer Stock

I got my mom an Instant Pot for Christmas and oh my word its the best thing ever! We have been using this amazing pot to stock our freezers with foods we use often.  This time we did chicken breasts, ground beef, beans, and tomato sauce.  All of this took us a total of about 2.5 hours total including clean up and bagging.

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Chicken

We used 4 pounds of chicken breasts to make about 3 freezer bags of shredded chicken.  You could measure out the shredded chicken into the bags we just eye ball it. Next put the breast into the pot with salt and pepper and about 1 cup of broth or water.  By not seasoning this a lot we can use it in anything.  It usually takes about 25 minutes to cook.  Once done cooking and the pressure has normalized take the chicken out and let cool.  Shred.

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Beef

We cooked the beef from frozen.  I always forget to take meat out.  This might be the coolest thing about this pot you can cook from frozen.  3 pounds frozen beef.  Use the trivet so it cooks evenly.  Add 1 cup water.  This is important use the manual setting and set for 25 minutes.  After the time quick release the steam carefully.  Check meat if its still frozen or red add reseal and set for 5 minutes.  We had to do this twice. Once done remove from pot and break up using a wooden spoon.   I forgot to take a picture of the beef but its beef its not pretty.

Beans

My mom and I both like using dry beans but soaking and cooking them is time consuming and they don’t always turn out.  Enter the Instant Pot you don’t have to soak the beans.  Add the dried beans to the pot cover with water.  Set for 20 minutes.  After the steam has released you can drain the beans or keep them in some liquid whatever you prefer.  Remember is that dried beans double in size so only fill about half full including water. They smell so good and turn out perfect.

Tomato Sauce

We got about 4 bags of sauce to freeze out of this batch. We used  4) 28 ounces cans of crushed tomatoes, 2 onions diced, 5 cloves of garlic minced ( we like garlic use what you want), salt and about 2 cups of vegetable broth.  Saute the onions and garlic in the Instant Pot (there is a setting for it) add in the tomatoes and broth.  Cook on high for about 13 minutes. Once the sauce has cooled you can immersion blend or keep it chunkier.  I double bag the sauce its heavier then the rest.  My house smelled like sauce had been simmering all day it was amazing!  Again I forgot to take a picture.

We keep these pretty generic so we can add whatever seasonings we want when we are using it.  The chicken and beef will probably be used of tacos, added to the tomato sauce for spaghetti, or to top salads.  The beans will be used in similar ways salads, tacos, or soups.  The sauce can be made into enchilada sauce, spaghetti sauce, or used as a base for soup.  Its great to have food on hand in the freezer that could finish a meal in no time or when things just get busy.

Lastly, a few tips and tricks. Remember to label your freezer bags with names and dates. Freeze bags lying on their side so they are flat.  This will take up less room in your freezer.

St. Patrick’s Day: Food and Drink Ideas

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Irish or not St. Patrick’s Day is fun to celebrate!  These are not traditionally Irish but they are fun and simple ways to celebrate all day! The first recipe is great for breakfast.  Eggs fried in a “shamrock”.  Super easy and a fun way to start the day!

St. Patricks Day falls on a Friday this year.  Enjoy your Friday Night Pizza night with shamrock personal pizzas.  The dough is super easy to make and you will know exactly whats in it.  No time for making your own dough?  Most grocery stores have fresh made dough available in the deli section.    Sliced bell peppers are the shamrocks on these pizzas.  You could add any green toppings you want.  Anything! Have fun!   Finish the night with Lime Sherbet Floats.  A fun twist on a root beer float with sherbet and Sprite.

A few other healthy, fun ideas:  Greens and eggs.  Scramble eggs with greens like spinach.  Pesto.  Great on a pizza.  Green smoothies.  Eat the rainbow. Place veggies in the order they appear in the rainbow.

Shamrock Eggs

1 bell pepper remove the ends, ribs, and seeds. Slice the bell pepper into thin slices.  They will look like shamrocks.  Heat a pan over medium heat with coconut oil or butter whatever you prefer.  Place pepper slices in pan break egg into the middle of the pepper. Cook to preference.

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Shamrock Personal Pizzas

Pizza Dough

In 3/4 Cup warm water disolve 1 packet active dry yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes

In a bowl mix 1 Cup all purpose flour, 1 Cup Whole Wheat flour, 1 teaspoon salt.  (This recipe is super easy to make gluten free by using 1:1 gluten free flour.  My favorite it Bob’s Red Mill).

Make a well in the dry ingredients.  Add 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Then add in the wet ingredients and mix.

Next, on a floured surface knead for about 10 minutes.

Oil a bowl place dough in cover.  Let rise for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut dough into four pieces.  Roll out into small circles.  Add sauce and cheese.  Slice the bell pepper into thin slices using one for stem pieces.

Bake checking after 15 minutes.   The dough should be golden and cheese should be bubbly.

*If you made this with gluten free flour you will need to add about a 1/4 cup more water.

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Come on how cute are these?!

And for dessert these lime sherbet floats will be a hit! Great for the kids and adults.  Who doesn’t love a float?!

Lime Sherbet Floats

In a glass place 2 scoops lime sherbet, top with Sprite.  Serve with a fun straw!

 

These recipes were a lot of fun to make and were a hit in my house! Have a Happy St. Patricks Day!

 

Healthy New Years Eve Cocktail Recipes

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Healthy New Years Cocktails

Tis the season for celebrations that usually involve a cocktail or two.  By making a few easy swaps you can enjoy a drink that will also have some health benefits.  Need an idea for an appetizer to go with your healthy cocktails? Try this veggie and cheeseboard appetizer.

Coconut water contains electrolytes potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, and phosphorus making it naturally hydrating.  It also contains as much potassium as a banana.  Enjoy the hydrating benefits while enjoying a delicious cocktail!

Coconut Water Margarita

In a shaker with ice add

1 shot of Tequila

Juice of 2 limes

1/4 Cup Coconut Water

Agave

Shake pour over ice and serve

Gin and Tonic and Coconut Water

Fill glass with ice

1 shot of Gin

1/4 Cup Coconut Water

1/4 Cup Tonic (add more of either according to preference)

Stir

Garnish with lime wedge and serve.

Looking for more drink recipes? Check out our Ginger Kombucha Moscow Mule drink recipe.

Thanksgiving Veggie and Cheeseboard Appetizer

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Thanksgiving Veggie and Cheeseboard Appetizer

Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  I only make one meal on Thanksgiving so having a spread of snacks for guests and yourself to enjoy is important.  One easy and healthy way to this is with a giant crudite/ cheese plate combination.  First step is decide what you want to display your food on.  There are a couple options HERE.   Have fun with it!  You will also need cheese knives to slice your cheese.

Now to choose what to put on your platter.  You will easily be able to put together something that will impress your guests without a lot of effort.  Crudite does not have to just be vegetables and a dip and a cheese plate doesn’t just have to be cheese and crackers.

Crudite- Think not only raw veggies, but steamed and roasted to keep it interesting.  Broccoli, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, green beans, snap peas to name a few options.

You can for-go the ranch and do a vinaigrette, green goddess dip, hummus, salsa, or a guacamole.

Cheese- Choose about 3 cheeses so you have a good variety.  For soft look for brie, camembert, or a goat cheese.  Firm options manchego, gouda, and gruyere.  Aged options asiago, cheddar, pecorino or parmesan.  A blue like gorgonzola is an option also.  Pick a meat prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, other cured meats.  Add in olives, nuts, dried fruits, pickles, and grapes.  Fig jam and stone ground mustard are spreads that go well with a variety of these flavors.  Lastly choose what you want to put these ingredients on or with crackers, sliced baguette, or bread sticks.

Tying this altogether is easy. Garnish with some fresh herbs like parsley or rosemary.  Mix the crudite and cheese together on whatever you decide to put all of this on and spread it out if you are including other small bites.  Remember to include small plates and napkins so your guests can pick and choose.

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This was our spread last night and it ended up being our dinner.

Green Goddess Dip

2 Avocados

4 Tablespoons sour cream or greek yogurt

2 Teaspoons Parsley

2 Teaspoons Dill

2 Teaspoons Chives

2 cloves garlic

juice of half a lemon

salt+peppers

Mix ingredients in a food processor until blended. Happy Thanksgiving from the Life Naturally family! Don’t forget to visit the Life Naturally Shop for the best health food and supplements.

Ginger Kombucha Moscow Mule Thanksgiving Cocktail Recipe

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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  I like to keep Thanksgiving special  but laid back at the same time.  One way to achieve this is with a special cocktail for your guests to enjoy before of after dinner. Everybody knows how to make a Moscow Mule, so I decided to give this classic cocktail a healthy twist. One of my favorite drinks is GTS Kombucha and I love finding unique ways incorporate it into my recipes. Kombucha is a fermented tea using a culture of bacteria and yeast. I think it tastes great, but for many it can be an acquired taste. If you have never tried this healthy drink before I would start with the berry flavored versions until you grow accustomed to it.

Here are two ideas for your Thanksgiving get together or any other holiday get together you might be having this year.

Ginger Kombucha Moscow Mule

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In a shaker with ice add

6 ounces Ginger Kombucha (I used GTs)

4 ounces Cranberry juice

Juice of one lime

1 ounce vodka

Shake.  Pour into an ice filled glass.  Garnish with cranberries and a lime wedge.

These have a slight bite to them.  Add agave for more sweetness or more cranberry juice.

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If Kombucha isn’t your thing then try these delicious Apple Cider Mimosa’s. Let’s face it, everyone loves mimosa’s, so if your looking for a sure winner with your house guests, this is it!

Apple Cider Mimosa

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Fill a champagne flute about 2/3 full.  I like a drier champagne because the apple cider is pretty sweet.

Top with apple cider.  Garnish with an apple slice.

Easy, festive, and a different take on the regular mimosa. From my family to yours, have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!