Anti-Diet Challenge 2014, Day 4: Baked Mashed Potatoes

Anti Diet Challenge 2014: Baked Mashed Potatoes | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

If you followed my Anti-Diet Challenge last year, you’ll remember that there were a lot of casseroles and a lot of potatoes.  Some of you may have even thought I was crazy.  I mean, I was eating to satiation, and sometimes even beyond, which I did consciously for the benefit of my metabolism.

Confused yet?

I know it’s counter-intuitive, but yes, I am telling you that my Anti-Diet Challenge (this year and last year) is based on the idea of eating more.  Or more specifically, enough.  Not restricting.  Not punishing.

And yes, even working out less (in some cases).   I spent most of 2012 and 2013 refeeding my body, gaining weight, sleeping, and getting my waking body temperature to a steady 98 degrees every morning.  Eventually my weight stopped climbing, and I reached a homeostasis at about 280 pounds.  As I slept more, I found that I had more energy to get myself to the gym, in spite of the fact that I felt really uncomfortable in my larger body.  I lifted a lot of weights.  I started walking and dancing again.  I continued to eat about 3,000 calories/day.  I started to lose weight.

Now we come to January 2014.  I am in the middle of a divorce, of forging a new life where I am a single parent.  This should be a stressful time.  It has been.  But have I gained weight?  Even though I haven’t been to the gym in over two months?  NO.

Surprised?  Even I have been, a little!

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Elderberry Syrup with Hibiscus and Royal Camu for Immunity

Elderberry Syrup with Hibiscus and Royal Camu | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

There’s nothing I love more than knowing enough about essential oils, herbs, tinctures, and homemade medicines to make something with my own two hands to tend to the people I love.  There is something about crafting a tincture, salve, or solution from high-quality natural ingredients that is so satisfying.  When I make my wintertime medicines, this is always first on my list.

I believe it helps me and my family keep our immune systems healthy.  And it doesn’t hurt that it’s delicious on pancakes!   [Read more…]

Rosemary Ham and Parmesan Panini with Whole Grain Honey Mustard

Rosemary Ham and Parmesan Panini with Whole Grain Honey Mustard | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

This post is a part of Panini Week!

This was something I threw together one day, and it was such a hit that I kept making it over and over.  I love whole grain mustard in particular, so I end up putting that on as many sandwiches and paninis as possible!

Whole grain mustard is one of my favorite types of mustard, and when you couple it with honey the spice is tempered into a beautifully complex flavor.  But the real star is the toscano pepper cheese, which is very similar to parmesan, but with a little kick!  If you can’t find it, just use a good parm and sprinkle a little pepper on the sandwich.  Yum! [Read more…]

Asiago Sourdough Roast Beef Panini with Raw Blue Cheese and Arugula

Asiago Sourdough Roast Beef Panini with Raw Blue Cheese and Arugula | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

This post is a part of Panini Week!

This sandwich always reminds me of Steve Martin whenever I make it.  “I haven’t had arugula in 6 weeks!”  If you know what that movie is based on the quote, withOUT clicking this link to cheat, then you get…bragging rights.

Or virtual brownies or something.  And I’ll think you’re really cool!

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Cocoa Almond Butter Sourdough Panini with Fresh Raspberries

Cocoa Almond Butter Panini with Fresh Raspberries | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

This post is a part of Panini Week!

This panini is a glorious creation that tastes like indulging in a bed and breakfast-esque spread.  It’s all my favorite things together: sourdough, whole cane sugar, honey, almonds, raspberries, vanilla, and cocoa.  Plus, it’s just plain pretty!

Couple it with this homemade cocoa almond spread, and the combination of the sour bite from the bread and raspberries with the sweet chocolate is wonderful.  And like most sweets I make, it’s not too sweet.

Make this for a weekend breakfast, or for a breakfast-for-dinner dinner party.  I think it will be an elegant hit!

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Cocoa Almond Butter Spread: Easy “Nutella” You Can Make Without a Food Processor!

Cocoa Almond Butter Spread: Easy "Nutella" You Can Make WITHOUT a Food Processor | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

Sometimes I just cannot be bothered to bust out my food processor, as much as I love this one, and make hazelnut butter, you know?

So I cheat.  Yep, I admit it!

I cheat and I make this quick, simple, yummy version of “nutella” that satisfies my chocolate craving just as well as the original ever did.  Plus it doesn’t make me want to restrain myself from reading the label and lamenting the fact that they are using vanillin instead of vanilla, among other things.

I mean look, at the ingredient label for it these days: [Read more…]

Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Whole Grains

Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Whole Grains | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are a staple every fall at my house.  There are a million recipes for them, and none are all that different from each other, really.  But to make mine a little extra special, I like to use my homemade pumpkin pie spice.  I add cardamom and cloves to mine, and I really like the complex flavor it brings to recipes like these.

But pumpkin pie spice is small potatoes, compared to what my sister discovered about making these cookies really something special.  For some reason, they taste quite different when baked with mini chocolate chips and in smaller-sized cookies.  The flavors come together better, and the cookies bake more evenly.

Then couple that with my need to real foodify everything, and you have yourself THE perfect mini pumpkin chocolate chip cookie.  I can die happy now, because I have reached the pinnacle of pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipes!

Equipment Needed:

Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Whole Grains

2 cups freshly ground whole grain flour (find whole grains here, how to make sprouted flour here)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (find aluminum free baking soda here)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (find aluminum free baking powder here)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (how to make homemade pumpkin pie spice with cardamom here)
1/4 teaspoon salt (find unrefined sea salt here)
1/2 cup butter, softened (find grass-fed butter here)
1 cup whole cane sugar (find whole cane sugar here)
1 egg
2 cups (or 1 15-oz. can) pumpkin puree (find organic canned pumpkin here)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (get chocolate chips here, make your own here)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line the cookie sheets with parchment and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.  Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer, blend the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the egg, mixing to combine.
  6. Add half the dry mixture, then all the pumpkin puree, and then the rest of the dry mixture, waiting until each is mostly incorporated before moving to the next step.
  7. Add the chocolate chips and stir until just combined.  Don’t overmix!
  8. Scoop onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them apart by only 2 inches or so (they don’t spread much).
  9. Bake two cookie sheets at a time on racks set in the upper and lower third of the oven, for 12-14 minutes, rotating halfway through the cooking time to get an even browning.  Bake until slightly browned and set in the center.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Quick Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice (with Cardamom!)

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice with Cardamom | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

Pumpkin pie spice is a handy blend to have on hand in the kitchen, especially if you mean to make any pies, cookies, or fall-themed treats this autumn.  You can buy pre-made spice blends at the grocery store, but since I buy my spices in bulk already, I find that it’s easier to blend up a quick jar myself.

Plus, most pumpkin pie spice blends are only cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.  But I really like to add more spices to my blend to round it out a little more, like cloves and cardamom.  Especially cardamom!   [Read more…]

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

As I have gotten older, with my children are now in grade school, I tend to have less patience for “busy work”.  Dropping cookie dough onto sheets over and over?  Please!

Let’s streamline this process and cook the dough all at once.  You can do that in a glass or ceramic casserole pan, but I find that my cast iron skillet is a little more fun.  Cookie wedges, amirite?  Plus, when you make one big cookie your house doesn’t get so hot in the summer.  You’re welcome. [Read more…]

Spelt Banana Bread Brownies with Brown Butter Icing

Banana Bread Brownies with Brown Butter Icing

This recipe is perfect for when you have some ultra-ripe, black-spotted bananas looking meaningfully at you from your kitchen counter.  Instead of turning them into the same banana bread as last time (as tasty as that is!), try these beautiful, warming brownies topped with the most delicious ingredient of all time: browned butter.

I mean, seriously.  Is there anything better than browned butter?  The answer is NO.  No there is not.  Browned butter is heavenly.

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