Monday, September 28, 2009


Yum - cheesy, creamy, warm and still somewhat healthy with lots of veggies!!! This is what we are eating tonight! Due to some dairy issues that I've found I have if I eat too much milk/ice cream, etc, I often will substitute COCONUT MILK for the regular milk. It actually gives it a really nice flavor!!!!

Here's a link to the GARDEN CHOWDER recipe that I "stole" from someone else's blog!!! *I also usually leave out the green pepper and before adding milk I often puree about 1/2 of the soup just to give it some different consistency.

I also make the HOMEMADE CROUTONS to put on top of it. She also talks about how to use stale bread for bread crumbs! SUPER idea. I often keep a ziplock bag in my freezer and when we have bread that is stale (or the ends of the loaf), I put them in the ziplock bag in the freezer until I'm ready to grind them up into bread crumbs!!!

*Note, since I am trying to be super frugal and not "waste" a lot of things, if I ever have extra broccoli or cauliflower that I cannot use before it spoils, I par-boil it (boil for like 2 minute), then freeze for later use. It works GREAT in this soup. I also peel and chop up the "softer" part of the broccoli stems (and freeze until I need it) because it works great in this soup too!!!

*This soup freezes well, so I often double and stick some in the freezer for a day when I don't feel like cooking!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is a FAVORITE soup of ours - its more like a stew....nice and hearty. And we often top it with diced avocados, shredded cheddar cheese and my favorite - crunchy tortilla strips!!! (I cut corn tortillas into strips and then fry them in coconut oil, scrunching them while they cook. Drain on paper towels and let cool). YUM!!!

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp coconut oil (or other oil)
1-2 Tbsp cumin (to taste)
chili powder - optional, to taste
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup whole corn kernels
1 cup white hominy (mexican style hominy)
1 can (4oz) green chiles
1 (15oz) can black beans (or equivalent of soaked beans, cooked)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pcs.

1. In med. stock pot heat oil over med. heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in cumin, chili powder, tomatoes, broth. Bring to a boil and simmer, 5-10 minutes.
2. Stir in corn, hominy, chiles, beans, cilatnro and chicken. Simmer 10 minutes.

Ladle soup into bowls and top with desired toppings!!! YUM!!!

Chili and Cornbread

I cannot remember who should have the credit for this yummy chili recipe, but it is REALLY good.

*IF YOU ARE USING DRY BEANS LIKE I DO, here's a link about how to use them, store them, cook them, soak them, etc.

1 cup kidney beans -* I use dried beans & soak overnight
1/2 cup pinto beans - *
1/2 cup black beans - *
1 lg. onion
1 Tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 lg bell pepper (any color), diced small
1 lb ground beef
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
2 5.5oz cans of tomato paste
3 large carrots, shredded
1/4-1/2 cup water

1 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes (optional)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh pepper
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1 Tbsp honey
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

* In a medium pot with lid, put in beans and add enough water so its several inches over beans. Soak over night.

1. The next day, carry on with chili with putting the pot of beans and water on stove, on high (add more water if needed). Bring to boil and skim foam if needed, then turn to low and simmer, covered, until tender - approx. 1 hr. Drain, rinse with cool water, set aside.
2. Add onions and oil to large stock pot on medium heat, and saute' until the onions start to soften. Add the peppers and continue to cook until onions are translucent.
3. Add ground beef and cook thoroughly.
4. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and shredded carrots, as well as the beans. Add 1/4-1/2 cup water to thin, if necessary. Bring to a low boil and then turn to low and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
5. Add seasons, simmer 10-15 minutes.

Serve with cheese/sour cream or any other desired toppings!!!

Goes well with soaked CORNBREAD!!!! I am sort of new to soaking grains, but if you want to learn more about benefits of soaking, read HERE.

Here's the recipe for that:

1 cup whole grain flour (wheat, spelt or kamut)
1 cup cornmeal
Either 1 cup buttermilk or 2/3 cup yogurt + 1/3 cup water

1. With a spatula, mix the cup of liquid with the flour & cornmeal in a small bowl until it is evenly moistened. Cover with a slightly damp kitchen towel and let sit overnight.

2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 beaten eggs
1/4 cup butter

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and grease either a 9x13 or 8x8 pan
2. In small sauce pan, melt butter & honey.
3. To the flour/cornmeal/yogurt from night before, add the baking powder, salt and eggs and mix thoroughly. Pour in the butter/honey mixture and stir until just mixed.
4. Pour batter into pan (bake 25 min for 9x13 pan or 30min for 8x8 pan), until toothpick comes out clean.

Yellow Split Pea, Kale & Italian Sausage Soup

A yummy, different sort of soup that we've enjoyed!
If you have younger kids, be sure you get the least
spicy Italian Sausage - otherwise its an instant
turn-off for them!

2 cups yellow split peas, soaked overnight & rinsed
1 onion, peeled/chopped into about 1/4 inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, pressed
3 Tbsp. Coconut Oil (or other oil)
2 tsp. dried basil
1 bunch of kale, washed, tough stems cut off
and coarsely chopped
2 lg. tomatoes, washed & chopped into lg. chunks
3/4 lb. mild Italian sausage (either ground or links
with casings removed)
8 cups water
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt
fresh pepper
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1. Heat oil in lg. soup pot over med. heat. When hot, add onion and cook until just starting to soften (stir often).
2. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Then add yellow split peas, 8 cups water and the basil & cumin. Bring to a simmer and cook covered for about 30-40 minutes, until peas are soft (but not mushy).
3. Add kale and tomatoes and cook 10-15 minutes until the kale is soft. Meanwhile, fry sausage in saucepan over medium heat, stirring and breaking up large pieces. Drain fat.
4. Add sausage and vinegar and add about 2 tsp salt and pepper.


I love soups. I am going to post some soup recipes
because its getting to be that time of year!

Here's a quick and easy recipe for a yummy soup.....


coconut oil (or other oil)
1/2 lg sweet red pepper
1/2 cup diced baby carrots
4 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
a 9oz package of cheese tortellini
3 cups baby spinach - stems removed
diced tomatoes - optional

1. In Large pot or Dutch oven coated with oil, saute' chopped pepper and carrots over med-high heat for 5 minutes, or until tender.
2. Add broth and garlic powder, raise heat and boil about 5 min. Add tortellini. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 7 min. or until tender.
3. Add spinach, stir until wilted.


Friday, September 25, 2009


Here's one of my favorite foods - tomato soup....of course this is best served with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches! Good comfort food I found this recipe on the Passionate Homemaking site and its REALLY good. You HAVE to try it. When you do, you will never want to eat canned tomato soup again!!!! Its the time of year when I lot of us have a LOT of tomatoes and this is a great way to use them. Although I've never tried, I'm sure this could be frozen very easily and pulled out during those winter months when you just CRAVE a fresh veggie taste!!!

Homemade Tomato Soup
4 cups tomatoes, diced
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced (or garlic powder)
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp sea salt or garlic salt
1 Tbsp. dry basil (FRESH basil is best if you have it - add to taste)
dash of pepper
2-3 tsp. rapadura or other natural sweetener

1. Saute garlic and onions in a little coconut oil (or other oil) until tender or translucent.
2. Add tomatoes and chicken broth and cook over medium heat for approximately 15 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and puree completely with a blender. Return to pot and add remaining ingredients to your taste.

Serve with a dallop of sour cream and/or grilled cheese sandwiches for a perfect lunch!!! ENJOY!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Here is what you’ve all been waiting for!

Remember, find recipes that you and your family like. I will be linking the actual recipes to this as I have time as well as adding breakfast and lunch ideas. But for now, here’s the next 30 days of dinners at the Boersma home (highlighted in red are things I do before going to bed in order to be prepared for the next day):

Sunday: Lunch at friends’, leftovers for dinner - soak beans, get grd. beef from freezer

Monday: Beef & Bean Casserole, raw carrots - soak black beans

Tuesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup with toppings

Wednesday: Church Dinner night! YAY! - take salmon out of freezer, soak quinoa

Thursday: Salmon, veggies, quinoa

Friday: Neighborhood dinner

Saturday: Homemade Pizza

Sunday: Homegroup for lunch/potluck - take veggies out of freezer, if needed

Monday: Cheesy Vegetable soup w/ homemade croutons, fruit - take chicken out of freezer

Tuesday: Chicken Pot Pie, fruit or applesauce

Wednesday: Church Dinner Night!

Thursday: Spaghetti w/ homemade sauce, veggie, bread

Friday: Out for dinner or leftovers

Saturday: Homemade pizza night, fruit/veggies - soak quinoa

Sunday: Crockpot Chicken Quinoa, spelt rolls - take grd beef out of freezer, soak beans

Monday: Tacos, pinto beans, veggies/fruit

Tuesday: Tortellini Soup, veggies/fruit

Wednesday: Church Dinner night! - chicken out of freezer

Thursday: Stir-fry with chicken/veggies, brown rice

Friday: Spaghetti Pie

Saturday: Hotdogs, veggies, chips

Sunday: Homegroup Potluck - soak split peas, take sausage out of freezer

Monday: Split Pea/Kale/Sausage Soup, spelt rolls, applesauce - chicken out of freezer

Tuesday: Chicken Divan

Wednesday: Church Dinner Night - soak cornbread and beans, beef out of freezer

Thursday: Chili/Cornbread

Friday: Date night! (kids get “natural chicken nuggets”, veggies, fruit)


Sunday, September 20, 2009


So, due to popular demand, I am going to attempt to post my monthly meal-planning (in the next post). The reason I plan one month at a time is because I HATE thinking about what to make for dinner and this way I really only have to think about it once a month! LOVE IT! I also prefer to cook healthy, nutritious, whole foods (as much as possible) with very minimal (if any) processed foods. I TRY to use what's in season and get it as "locally" as possible.

First, let me tell you how I put my menu plans together. First, I come up with a list of "categories" - mine are Beef, Chicken, Vegetarian, Soup or Salad, Fish and Fun Foods. Then I come up with about 5 recipes in each category, which I rotate until we get sick of them!!! HA! I try to do fish once a week and at least one or 2 "meatless" meals (to cut down on costs and to try to get more nutrients and vitamins in!). You can then pick certain days to correspond with your categories - for instance, Sundays = crockpot meals, Mondays = soup or salad night, Tuesdays = vegetarian, etc. Our Saturday nights are "fun food nights" so we often have homemade pizza and occasionally we alternate it with hamburgers on the grill or hotdogs in our fireplace!

IF you can connect with a food co-op near you, you will likely be assured good, quality food that is as unprocessed as possible. Using local farms is great too!! BUT IF NOT, no worries - try to start with one category below and find a local, natural source to get it from! Just start with one at a time otherwise it is overwhelming! At the very least, planning your meals will help save money as you will go to the store and ONLY buy what you NEED!!! It also prevents eating fast-food or eating out a lot (both costly physically and financially!)

Here's where I get my food from (I try NOT to go to the grocery store very much - save that for quick runs when we need things in between ordering from our co-op, or for things like Pull-ups, etc):

*We usually purchase a 1/4 of a cow twice a year for our beef so that we get the good grass-fed kind. I'm sure I will blog on the importance of using this kind of meat at some point.

THEN, I am part of a group of families who purchase through a co-op that we have together. The woman in charge has been doing this for a long time. She has a schedule and we are generally there to pick up food from various "vendors" once or twice a month. So, another good reason to plan meals a month at a time.

Our co-op orders from:

*From Costco ( I get our chicken (skinless/boneless chicken breasts) as well as Fryer Chickens once in a while, toilet paper, paper towels/napkins, nuts (they are the cheapest here!) and my one weakness, Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate chips!

*From Azure Standard ( I purchase dried beans (SO much more economical) and soak them overnight before I use them. Along with my beans I purchase grains, flour and pantry items (such as baking items, canned goods, frozen items, etc), as well as some dairy. There are some local dairies that provide milk and cheese too, that I often use. I think you can order individually from it as well, but there is likely a minimum order amount.

*From Peterson Cheese Company I purchase my mozzarella and cheddar cheese (I usually try to purchase RAW cheese) as well as some great raw, natural italian sausage that I buy in bulk and freeze in approx. 1-lb balls in my freezer! They often have a great selection of natural/fancy cheeses, too that we often try - their Parmesan-Reggiano is the BEST!!

*Charlie's Produce out of Seattle - My produce is all organic and I get that through our co-op as well. Sometimes I end up with more than I need, so sometimes if the produce is freeze-able, I par-boil (boil for like 1 or 2 minutes) and then freeze, to pull out for soups, etc.

* We also get our coffee from Coffee Bean International ( They have some great organic, shade-grown varieties).

For the sake of time, I'm just going to focus on dinners first - I will put this in my next post, but at least wanted to get this much up tonight so you all can start working on assembling your recipes....if you need ideas, check back soon and you can use the menu I use!!! I will add some of our favorite breakfasts and lunches later!

Friday, September 18, 2009


So, since I'm really in to "good, quality, whole and natural foods", I came across this article in Time Magazine that tells about some of our food woes here in the United States. I think the article will open your eyes about how a lot of our "cheap, processed" food is made/grown, it is:,8599,1917458-1,00.html

AND here's another recipe. This one I can only give credit to Bryan for. He took a few recipes and combined them to make pancakes that aren't too fluffy, messy, and actually taste good! We've tried to make them as "healthy" as possible, but they still use a little white flour. We just make sure we get the UNBLEACHED white flour for the times when something really just needs to be made using white flour.
We haven't experimented TOO much with this, but I'm thinking you could substitute other flours for the cup of white flour without too much trouble. *since this recipe is adapted from others, if the consistency isn't quite right you can add more of whatever you think would work!

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 T. Buckwheat Flour
2 T. Flaxseed Meal
3 T. sugar (we use xylitol)
1 1/2 T. Baking Powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum

Wet Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs (preferably free-range, organic!)
3 T butter, melted (preferably organic!)
1 tsp vanilla

MIX dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients together in a separate bowl, then combine with dry ingredients. Use a well-heated griddle for best results. Top with yummy maple syrup.

Monday, September 14, 2009

WHAT's for DINNER! Here's what the Boersma's are having for dinner tonight! Thought I'd share this recipe because its pretty easy and really yummy! I usually do 2 smaller pans and freeze one to take out out on a night I don't feel like cooking!!! This recipe is found at this link as well.

Chicken Divan

2 or more cups cooked brown rice
2 bunches fresh broccoli, lightly stemmed & chopped
2-3 cups cooked chicken, cubed
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (see recipe below)
½ cup mayonnaise
1-2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp curry
½ cup grated cheese
½-3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp melted butter, optional
Since canned soups often contain MSG, I have learned how to make it from scratch, see below. It is also a lot healthier this way, because you can use whole wheat flour and raw milk, if you like. Use one recipe of the soup to replace these cans.
Combine soup (whether canned or homemade) with mayo, lemon and curry. Keep the mixture relatively thin by adding further milk or water. Additional salt may be necessary. Gently steam broccoli until tender.
Grease a 13×9 pan. Layer rice, followed by broccoli and then the chicken. Pour creamed soup mixture over the broccoli. Sprinkle cheese on top. Combine crumbs and butter, sprinkle over all. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. For freezer cooking, leave unbaked and cover to freeze. If frozen, you may have to cook 1 hr or longer.

Condensed Creamed Soup Substitute

2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt or more to taste
12 fresh mushrooms, chopped
2 cups of milk (less for a thicker soup)
Heat butter and oil then add flour and salt, stirring to make a roux. Add mushrooms and cook about a minute, just to soften. Add milk and stir until thickened. This is a substitute (and a great one at that!) for two 10 oz. cans cream of mushroom soup. To make cream of chicken, simply omit mushrooms, add 1 tsp. chicken base (a paste, like bouillon but without the MSG) and substitute half the milk with chicken broth or stock. To make cream of celery, substitute celery for the mushrooms and proceed as listed above.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Blog world....

So, I am apparently a terrible blogger. I just cannot 1) remember to blog, or 2) find anything interesting to blog about. SO, I made a decision....I will blog about exciting things that happen in the life of the Boersma family, but I will also blog about FOOD! I LOVE food - I love cooking food, eating food, trying new things ---but most of all I love learning more about eating healthy and eating whole, natural foods.

I think this all started a few years back when we found out Levi might have an intolerance to wheat/gluten. We cut it out for several months and he seemed to do really well off of it (no more tummy aches, gastric problems or skin issues). Then we gradually added it back in. I have found if he has too much that those same problems flare up - but a little is okay. All of this had me on a quest to learn about different foods and ways of cooking.

So, to start things off, I will share a few of the websites that I've really been loving (especially their recipe sections):

I love their recipe sections, but also love the fact that they all TEACH me something (the reason behind eating/cooking what they do).

So, browse away on them. I will share some of the "new" foods I've been using in my kitchen lately!