Living the Natural Life
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Southwest Salad

I have been on a southwest kick in the kitchen lately, beans and hot peppers have been a staple.   I enjoy making a large salad at the beginning of the week so that I can eat on it throughout the week and this is my third week throwing together a southwest salad.  I have …
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I have been making homemade blackened seasoning for over eight years now.  I guess this would be the first homemade spice blend that I ever made.  I started making this because I couldn’t find a blackened seasoning that had a nice kick without all of the salt.  I was making this prior to my quest for healthier …
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Refrigerator Dill Pickles

I think the first food that any of my kids ever tasted was a pickle.  They absolutely love them.  Their favorite beverage to have with their pickles is lemonade, odd I know!  Seriously, these kids love pickles. This week I had an abundance of organic cucumbers and decided that it was time to make homemade …
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Homemade Cream Of Broccoli Soup

I am eliminating processed foods from our home.  I try to avoid the canned food aisle at the grocery store.  I am still buying canned tomatoes on occasion, I hope to start canning this summer so I will no longer need them.  One thing I have been adamant about is not buying condensed soup.  They are …
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Cilantro Lime Vinagrette

One of my favorite local restaurants serves a cilantro lime vinagrette salad dressing.  I love it on my chicken fajita salad and decided to recreate it at home. This is really easy to make and it is delicious!  This cilantro-lime dressing is great served over a garden salad, fajita salad, or on a cabbage slaw.  I love to pair …
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This is something that I was very happy to stop spending money on.  I make most of our bread and often have pieces that do not get eaten before it goes stale.  Making your own breadcrumbs is a delicious and cost-effective use for your stale bread!  Here is what you need:  Stale bread, any kind of bread …
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Homemade Enchilada Sauce

I love to make enchiladas but find myself disappointed in the enchilada sauces that I buy at the store.  In my quest to eat only real unprocessed food I decided that it was time to tackle homemade enchilada sauce. I really like to cook in bulk so I can save time in the future.  I …
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I am replacing all of my packaged foods with homemade versions.   Homemade taco seasoning is so good and easy.  It is also much cheaper than the store-bought package.  You can spice it up easily to fit your families preference. Ingredients:  2 tablespoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper …
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Homemade Ketchup

Store-bought ketchup is typically high in high fructose corn syrup.  My family is on a journey to eliminate processed foods in our house so I am anxious to eliminate anything with corn syrup in the ingredient list.  We made the switch to store-bought organic ketchup a while back and now I was ready to take …
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I love this homemade gravy.  I use my homemade chicken stock, it turns out delicious every time.  I often catch my daughter, Ava, eating it by the spoonful. Here is what you need:  1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 4 cups chicken stock, 1/3 cup heavy cream, salt and pepper to taste Here is what …
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Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing: SO Good!

Last week I made a homemade low-fat blue cheese dressing.  My husband told me he liked it and he ate it with no complaints.  My husband is awesome, he eats what I make and rarely complains.  I knew that he liked the dressing but he was not in love with the dressing.   Don’t get me …
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I love making homemade stock.  The house smells so warm and inviting while it is simmering.  I cook my stock at night.  On these nights my kids always sleep very well while the aroma from the simmering stock drifts through our home.  I keep a large supply of homemade stock in our freezer.  I use it even …
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Homemade Ranch Dressing

I am slowly replacing the store-bought items in my house with homemade alternatives.  Last night I made a wonderful blue cheese dressing using tofu and cottage cheese.  Today I replaced Ava’s favorite dipping sauce…ranch dressing.  As I typed she is munching on carrots dipped in my new creation! Here is what you need:  1/4 cup …
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I am slowly replacing the store-bought items in my house with homemade alternatives.  Yesterday it was blue cheese salad dressing.  My husband loves his blue cheese dressing so I was a little nervous with how this recipe would go over. I served it last night with our salads and he really liked it! Here is …
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After chilling all night...Voila! Veltvetta

I am slowly replacing many processed items that fill my cabinets and fridge.  My cabinets are emptying out of the many boxes of convienence  foods that were once a staple at our table. I used the last of our velveeta 3 weeks ago.  Velveeta was always around in this house.  One of my favorites is velveeta and rotel…yummmm.  Velveeta was also …
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