watermelon slush | austin food photographer

We had half of a small organic watermelon left over this week.  I rarely ever buy them and I wasn’t about to let it go to waste!  The kids and I chopped it up and fed it through our Breville Juicer.  Oh my goodness, just a small amount gave us a ton of juice!  We then added some ice to our fresh watermelon juice and made a slush with our Magic Bullet.  Just watermelon and ice, that’s it.  Oh my, so refreshing on a hot summer day.  And so much better than driving through Sonic like we used to.  Did you know that Sonic refuses to disclose the ingredients in the slushies?!  Not ok!  I think it’s pretty safe to assume that a homemade version is much healthier and better for us.  There are so many wonderful things about watermelon:

  • Rich in vitamins C, A, Magnesium and Potassium
  • Tackles the inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis.
  • Helps prevent macular degeneration
  • Exceptionally high in citrulline, an amino acid our bodies use to make another amino acid, arginine, which is used in the urea cycle to remove ammonia from the body, and by the cells lining our blood vessels to make nitric oxide. Nitric oxide not only relaxes blood vessels, lowering high blood pressure, it is the compound whose production is enhanced by Viagra to prevent erectile dysfunction. Arginine has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in obese type 2 diabetic patients with insulin resistance.
  • A source of the potent carotenoid antioxidant, lycopene. These powerful antioxidants travel through the body neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are substances in the body that can cause a great deal of damage. They are able to oxidize cholesterol, making it stick to blood vessel walls, where it can lead to heart attack or stroke. They can add to the severity of asthma attacks by causing airways to clamp down and close. They can increase the inflammation that occurs in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and cause most of the joint damage that occurs in these conditions, and they can damage cells lining the colon, turning them into cancer cells.  Teagan suffered a lot of free radical damage after his vaccine injury, it is so important to remove them from the body.
  • High intakes of vitamin C and beta-carotene have been shown in a number of scientific studies to reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce the airway spasm that occurs in asthma, reduce the risk of colon cancer, and alleviate some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.A cup of watermelon provides 21% of the daily value for vitamin C, and, through its carotenoids, 17% of the DV for vitamin A.
  • Watermelon is also a very concentrated source of the carotenoid, lycopene. Well known for being abundant in tomatoes and particularly well absorbed from cooked tomato products containing a little fat such as olive oil, lycopene is also present in high amounts in watermelon and mangoes. Lycopene has been extensively studied for its antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. In contrast to many other food phytonutrients, whose effects have only been studied in animals, lycopene has been repeatedly studied in humans and found to be protective against a growing list of cancers. These cancers now include prostate cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancers.
  • Watermelon is rich in the B vitamins necessary for energy production. Watermelon is a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of vitamin B1, magnesium, and potassium. This is due to the higher nutrient richness of watermelon. Because this food has a higher water content and lower calorie content than many other fruits (a whole cup of watermelon contains only 48 calories), it delivers more nutrients per calorie—an outstanding health benefit!

    Source:  World’s Healthiest Foods

2012-05-18T13:30:59-05:00May 18th, 2012|Client Work, Food Is Awesome, My Family, Recipes|

chicken, cashew cheese and veggie pasta | real food | iphoneography

This pregnancy has been hard in that it is making me crave foods I no longer eat.  Like Olive Garden.  You know how when you are pregnant and you see a food, you instantly want it.  No, neeeeed it.  It is all you can think about until that craving is satisfied.  Yeah, that is me right now.  The cravings have been for Olive Garden and waffles, both of which I don’t eat anymore.  It is soooo frustrating at times.  So I decided to throw something together the other night that might curb my Olive Garden craving for awhile.  It worked too!  Add in a big Olive Garden like salad complete with onions and olives and a vinaigrette and I’m good now, craving satisfied.  Well, actually, we have had two nights like this, this recipe turned out better so you get this one!  I posted this on facebook the other day and a few people requested the recipe.  There really isn’t one, I just threw it together.

Here is what I did…

I used this recipe to cook 4 chicken breasts (we use pastured, organic, chicken).  We cook the chicken in organic, grass fed ghee, which can handle high heat better than other oils.  This is our favorite way to cook chicken.  So easy, you don’t have to tend to it constantly and it comes out perfect and tender every single time.

Perfect Chicken Breasts

Wash and pat dry chicken.  Season one side with sea salt, pepper and garlic salt.
Heat ghee on high heat to get the skillet good and hot.
Turn temp down to medium (around 5) and add chicken seasoned side down.
Let sit for about 1 minute and season the side facing up.
After 1 minute, turn heat down to low, flip the chicken over and cover.
Let sit for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, turn temperature totally off.  Let it sit for 10 minutes, leave the lid on, don’t open it.
That’s it.  Easy peasy, tender every time.

Cashew Cheese (recipe from Edible Austin)  The only changes I made were that I eliminated the lime for this recipe and I didn’t let it sit for 24 hours.  I like my cashews to soak longer than 2 hours, it makes for a creamier cheese.

Other ingredients:

Quinoa Pasta
Coconut Milk
1 Tub Cherry Tomatoes cut in half
1 Jar Artichoke Hearts (with juice)
1 Red Onion
6-8 Cloves Garlic
Fresh Basil

I cooked 2 boxes of organic quinoa pasta then mixed it with a splash of organic coconut milk and mixed in the cashew cheese and chicken.  I sprinkled sea salt and herbamare (my absolute favorite seasoning) over the top.  If you don’t have a dairy allergy, I would recommend covering the top with yummy raw, organic, cheese. You could also sprinkle a little rice cheese over it.  I placed it in the oven and let it sit under the low broil setting for just a few minutes.

While in the oven, I sauteed 1 tub of organic cherry tomatoes cut in half, 1 glass jar of organic artichoke hearts cut up in large chunks, one organic red onion, a handful (6-8) of fermented whole organic garlic cloves (you can use regular garlic but I would chop it up some as it won’t be as soft if not fermented) and a big handful of fresh basil leaves.  My family loves eating whole garlic cloves, if yours does not, I recommend chopping them up.  I sauteed everything in the juice from the artichoke hearts jar.  This gave it a wonderful flavor, especially the tomatoes, they soaked it right up.  Once hot, I spooned it over the cheese and chicken casserole dish and served it hot.  The house smelled divine and it was beyond delicious!  We reheated leftovers for lunch the next day and I needed to add a bit more coconut milk to get it creamy again but it was just as good the second time around.

2012-04-27T20:04:26-05:00April 27th, 2012|Recipes, Uncategorized|

gooey walnut apple side dish | real food | iphoneography

I’ve been posting some iphone photos of food we eat on my facebook and a few people asked for recipes.  A lot of what we eat I just throw together, so I thought I would come share a bit about what we eat every now and then.  We are gluten, dairy (most of us – a few of us consume raw dairy only) and soy free.  We eat organic food, avoid GMO’s and juice fresh foods regularly.  We try to eat a wide variety of nutrient dense foods daily.  Last night, Jase was off at a political rally and since I can’t handle touching raw meat while pregnant, Ty made us grass fed, organic beef meatballs with marinara and I made a big salad.  At the last minute I decided we needed another side and it needed to be something quick.  Apples won!

Gooey Walnut Apple Side Dish

4 Red Apples, cored and sliced
Several dashes of cinnamon (great detoxifier)
Dash of nutmeg
Handful of walnuts (pecans would work well too)
Teaspoon or two of organic Maple Syrup (low glycemic index – you can also use honey)
Spoonful of grass fed organic ghee (if you are not dairy free, raw butter or coconut oil also works)

Saute over medium heat in a pan until warm and gooey.  Enjoy!

2012-04-27T20:01:05-05:00April 27th, 2012|Recipes|

you must make these

My house smells heavenly right now. Hea-ven-ly. I’ve promised a bunch of recipes for food we made over the holiday to those who were with us…and I’ll start here.  Not my recipe but one of another Austin momma.

Katie’s “Killer” Chicken Taco’s

Note:  I added the killer part because it’s killing me to a) stir and b) wait until dinner time

-Take 1 chicken taco seasoning packet (you can use a reg. taco seasoning packet, but it really doesn’t taste nearly as good), and cover the bottom of the crockpot.

-Lay 6 frozen tenderloins or 3 frozen breasts on top of the seasoning.

-Take one container of fresh pico (use H.E.B.’s hot variety for kick) and cover the chicken. You can use a can of rotel, but the fresh tastes better.

-Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup water over the top of everything. Do not stir. (killing me I tell ya)

Simmer in crockpot for 4 to 6 hours on low. If you’re home, flip it halfway through, but not necessary. Remove chicken and shred with a fork. Stir back in, mixing everything up, and let cook/simmer for at least 30 more minutes.

We throw it on tortillas with a shredded mexican cheese blend. Great for leftovers, too.

Ok, back to proofing a birth and counting the seconds until dinner….

2010-01-02T16:11:05-06:00January 2nd, 2010|My Family, Recipes, Uncategorized|
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