Zucchini Soup

Zucchini Soup I know kids can be hard to get veggies into, much less GREEN veggies but this soft and creamy soup had my kids licking their bowls and asking for seconds. I sometimes let them drink their soup through a straw, which 1. makes it more FUN and 2. gets them to actually eat the soup without making a huge mess.  Even though zucchini can seem like a bland veggie, this soup is full of flavor and is one of my personal favorites! Stock up by making lots of double batches in the summer and you can enjoy this tasty soup into the winter, long after the zucchini harvest is gone.       Save Print Zucchini Soup Author: Emilie Toups   Ingredients 1 large onion chopped 5-6 carrots chopped 3 stalks celery chopped 6 zucchini chopped (more if you have tiny ones) 6 cloves of garlic chopped 5-6 tbs butter or refined coconut oil a quart of good chicken stock Good sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste 2 tsp cajun seasoning Instructions In a ... [read more]

Nourishing Chocolate Shake

  My family occasionally request sweets. We usually have lack of sweet goodness in our house because the bulk of my cooking time is spent preparing nutrient dense meals (and most of the time I’m out of time for a dessert!). Now don’t get me wrong… I love dessert, especially a chocolaty one. I mean who doesn’t? But with EVERYTHING and I mean almost all desserts contain HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup) and the recipes for homemade ones usually contain a load white sugar. Solution – think  nourishing chocolate shake! It can be tasty while at the same time nourishing and caring for our kids body. Yep, you heard me right. A chocolate shake can be nourishing and healthy! Thick, rich and just the right amount of sweetness, with NO sugar. Nope…..just naturally occurring sweetness from bananas and dates. Dates pack a punch of potassium, calcium, magnesium and other essential minerals as well as dietary fiber, amino acids and vitamins. They are naturally sweet and are ... [read more]

Homemade Cream of Wheat

    So somehow when I blinked yesterday, my daughter went and grew up. Yep that's right. It literally happened in a blink of my eyes. Poof, grown up and ready for ballet class. I swear she was just a baby yesterday.   The saying "The days are long but the years are short" is resonating heavy on me today. Life keeps on moving on, no matter how many times I tell it to slow down, the sun keep sinking daily at an alarming rate. It's a fast-forward world we are living in, man.  As much as I try to drink it all in, savor the moments, love the right-now, it seems so fleeting. Can you tell the mama hormones are raging today? I blame it on the nursing hormones. Dang you nursing hormones! But really some-days I forget to bask in the moments and get caught up in cooking, cleaning messes and feeding animals (and children too). Fellow mamas don't forget to stop!  So this morning I'm here making cream of wheat....that's what you came here ... [read more]

Homemade Vanilla Granola

My little sister is visiting this week and she's requesting cereal! Hmmm...we don't normally eat cereal and my kids aren't yet old enough to ask for it (I don't even think they know what it is.) But it got me thinking is there was something I could make that would be similar. Granola....of course. It's crispy crunchy and great in a bowl covered in raw milk or dolloped with fresh vanilla yogurt. She totally approved and it was so good that we went through the first batch in under two days! This recipe is just sweet enough, delightfully crunchy and pretty frugal too. Most of you will already have most of these ingredients in your pantry and this recipe is so easy, you can play with the ingredients and add in other flavors, nuts etc. Granola doesn't have to be boring. So ditch the over-priced, sugar-laden store bought granola cereal! Seriously, that stuff has more sugar in it than a candy bar. With homemade granola, you have complete control over the healthy ... [read more]

Homemade Farmhouse Waffles

Summer has already started to be crazy around here...plenty of things on the to-do list and not enough time to do them all. I've started to streamline breakfast - summer's breakfast = easier and quicker than a full hearty winter breakfast. Since a popular box of store-bought breakfast waffles contain rancid genetically-modified vegetable oils, and artificial yellow 5 and yellow 6 which are BANNED in Norway and Sweden for being related to thyroid tumors, allergies, chromosomal damage, and hyperactivity among others, we make our own whole-food waffles at home. (10) These waffles are easy to make and even easier to eat! I always make a double batch and stock up the freezer for mornings when we are short on time and running out of the door, late to VBS. Ok, first up are the dry ingredients. Flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Whisk them together in a bowl to ensure no lumps. Next up are the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk milk, egg yolks and ... [read more]

How to Render Tallow (the easy way)

Tallow.....what the heck is tallow anyways?   Tallow is rendered beef fat (suet). It is similar to lard except from cows instead of pigs. No, you probably aren't hearing about your friends rendering their beef fat last week. Tallow is a traditional fat  used by your grand and great-grandparents. From grass-fed cows, it's a much MUCH healthier - rich in Vitamins A and D -  option than Crisco shortening and vegetable oils.  Unfortunately with the introduction of highly processed plant based oils, tallow has become somewhat hard to find. Unless you render you own or buy it (here), it can be nearly impossible to obtain. Tallow is rich in several components that are great for our health -  Omega 3 fatty acids –  These are essential for good health. Since our bodies cannot make them, they must come from food. "they also lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve blood vessel function, and, at higher doses, lower triglycerides and may ease ... [read more]

10 Kitchen Hacks: Saving time in the kichen

  We all want to feed our kids and family good and nutritious meals, but sometime there just isn't enough time in the day. Follow these kitchen hacks to have dinner on the table every night in no time. 1. Meal Plan This is number one for a BIG reason. I could NOT get a homecooked meal on the table every night without a plan. And planning....it should take 30 min a week. Set aside some time and plan this weeks menu. 2. Don't forget your grocery list Number two is a big one as well. Write down the ingredients you need to make everything on your week's meal plan. This saves time by having to only grocery shop once a week. (Some people meal plan and shop for 2 weeks!) 3. Meal Prep Set aside one day a week to chop all the veggies and prep meats (cut and marinade etc). That way dinner can go a whole lot faster and smoother. 4. One-Pot Meals These are amazing! They can be throw-it-all-in-the-crockpot kind of meals or just easier meals like stir-fry that are quick and easy ... [read more]

Mexican Quinoa

To think that just over a year ago, I didn't even know what quinoa was. Amazing little seeds of goodness, packed with protein...but more to come about that later. Today I really needed something quick for lunch.....the kids were getting hungry and I was busy watching the dump trucks come in and out of my back yard.....while making sure none of the littles went out. Always crazy things going on at the farm but LUNCH....LUNCH must go on! I let the kids out to play while the truck drivers took a lunch break and I started on something in the kitchen that came out so delicious.....Mexican Quinoa! Chopped up some onion, celery, carrot and garlic and sauteed in butter for 5 min at the bottom of my pot. Once the onions were clear and the carrots semi-soft, I added cooked black beans, diced tomatoes, QUINOA, and poured the broth on top. Stir it all up and add your seasonings. I used my favorite for mexican dishes, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt and ... [read more]

Sautéed Collard Greens with Garlic

Bright, green and fresh from the garden... winter greens are so beautifully welcome in my kitchen in the cold winter months. Collard greens seem to sometimes be the odd man out, taking a backseat to the highly popular kale. But they are sweet, tender and saute up easily for a delicious side to any meal. I shall declare it comfort food. Especially when your 7 months pregnant and inside with two toddlers because it's cold and rainy out. Something about bright fresh greens brings me to Spring.....which I am desperately waiting for! Spring will be a whole lot different at the Toups' house this year. We will have a baby calf from Belle, lambs from our sheep Merida and a garden I hope I can be PROUD of. Oh yea, and a beautiful new baby boy that I am very impatiently waiting for.   For now, though, I shall be patient with Belle, Merida, Spring and our sweet growing baby. And I will make sautéed collards, one of my favorite winter veggies.   Sautéed ... [read more]

Scratch-Made Cream of Soup

Good food, family, holidays........MSG?   Well, Fall is upon us. That means more casseroles, soups and slow cooker recipes. That also means tons of recipes calling for a can of "Cream of Something" soup. But, before you grab that can of Campbell's lets take a good look at the ingredients... WATER, MUSHROOMS, VEGETABLE OIL (CORN, COTTONSEED, CANOLA, AND/OR SOYBEAN), MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, WHEAT FLOUR, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF: SALT, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, DEHYDRATED CREAM (CREAM [MILK], SOY LECITHIN), YEAST EXTRACT, FLAVORING, DEHYDRATED GARLIC. With highly processed vegetable oils like corn, cottonseed, canola or soybean, they are ALL likely GMO. Top that off with some good MSG, soy protein (GMO) and the all elusive *flavoring* this is a can of NO WAY, JOSE! For you and your family's sake, lets keep this off the menu shall we?   Scratch-Made Cream of Soup 2-3 cloves of garlic 1 small onion finely diced 1-2 green ... [read more]