Posted in Gluten Free, healthy diet, recipe, saving money

Post-Easter Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup

I bought my Instant Pot  in Nov. 2016…I have used it about every day, multiple times a day, and can’t imagine my gluten-free life without it!!  It reduces my stress levels involving food prep significantly, especially since my diet has had to evolve so greatly.

This is one of my son’s favorite soups, which he calls “camping soup” ever since we read about what cowboys ate back in the day.  Recently I became aware that onions and garlic really upset my stomach (possibly due to chronic SIBO issues) and I had to start removing that from my cooking.  While beans are not Low FODMAP in general, they do not bother my stomach when I’ve soaked them overnight.

(We’ve also been using these digestive enzyme capsules for myself and my husband, and for the kids chewable digestive enzymes , and nobody felt bad or gassy after eating.  With chronic fatigue and high stress overall in our family, I felt it necessary to use digestive enzymes for a time until we’re seeing improvement.  After all, the saying “You are what you eat” is not so accurate; it’s more like, “You are what you absorb.”  Malabsorption issues (leaky gut) can do a number on your health no matter what organic, healthy stuff you’re eating.  If you’re not digesting well, nothing else goes well, at least in my experience.)

I keep shredded or sliced celery and carrots in the freezer for easy meal prep. This turned out so tasty that my son, who is learning a lot of new vocabulary, told me “Congratulations for how well this turned out.” hahaa

IP Ham and Bean Camping Soup

1 lb.  soaked beans (I used red beans, white beans or other are good too)
1 lb ham or ham bone with meat
2 c. shredded carrots
1/2 c. diced celery/celery leaves
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. smoked paprika (optional, but adds depth of flavor)
2 qt.s broth or filtered water, up to the fill line on the IP
3/4 c sliced fresh chives (or 1 Tbsp dried)
shake or two of cherrywood smoked sea salt
pepper to taste

1. Combine the above ingredients in the instant pot.
2.  Set IP to manual for 25 minutes, and release pressure naturally, or 30 minutes and release when it beeps.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Food Processor Frenzy!!!!

Today I am in a food-processor frenzy, and it all started when…

I bought a bunch of celery, which seemed like a good snack filled with peanut butter.  Problem is, I’m lazy and did not ever get it out, cut off some stalks, wash and snack on it.  It was looking kind of sad in the fridge. BUT THEN, just when I should have been vacuuming, I got a “use my cool stuff” urge (also influenced by beautiful basil plants waving in the wind outside my window–which might need [to be] cleaned, again). 

First, I thin-sliced BRRRRRRzzz-OH-SO-FAST!!! the whole bunch of celery, freezing some (flat- to bag later, so it easily un-chunks to use in stuff like soup) and reserving some to go into STIR FRY later.  Yes, I am using too much capitalization in this post, but that’s because I had a coffee, and now it’s fun to say things more loudly, even if it’s typing it loudly.  >:}

NEXT, I got out some carrots (the cute “baby” carrots which were 29cents a lb. last week at Aldi, my fav. food store) and thin sliced them too!  Bwahahaa. No freezing, this time, but I did reserve some for stir-fry as well.  Speedy chopping is good.  I do love my very sharp knife, but this is better.  Plus, I can still use it to cut out bad spots and tomatoe stems, etc… I chopped up some more, plus tomatoes (from mom’s garden, as mine are slow to ripen), which I added to . . . (wait for it) . . .

the mix I am concocting for VEGGIE BURGERS!!!   Ok, so they’re not gonna be completely veggie…I admit there might be a grilled hotdog in there that I did not feel like eating. (“Hot dog” and “healthy” are oxymorons, I know…but I didn’t wanna waste it.)

Then, whilst tasting this concoction, I realized that the cumin and chili and garlic spices added in with basil really make the veggie puree taste like hummus, without the garbanzo beans. So I am making me (Tim won’t eat the stuff) some pseudo-hummus spread.  

Next, the rest of my basil will go into PESTO!  Bwahahaa. >:}  Pasta, anyone???

*This is a side-note: I bought extra-virgin olive oil, cuz I guess it’s s’posta be good for you, or at least, better than the veggie stuff, and figured though the bottle didn’t say, maybe I should refrigerate it?  Well, it turned milky-looking and cloudy.  Then when I poured some into my “hummus” it seemed less flow-y-like. I looked up how to store this type of oil (which I should have done first, duh) and apparently, the cloudiness is fine, unless there is internal condensation which might mess up the flavor. The web site recommended keeping a small amount in a cool, dark place as a ready-use supply, because the other stuff gets a little lumpy.  Learn sumthin new every day!  


But I am maybe just a little more pleased with myself about an earlier kitchen-concoction: The Impatient Amy Creamer-Cubes!!!!!

 You see, I do not like to wait to drink a drink I make.  I put ice cubes in my hot tea so I can immediately sip its loveliness and not burn my tongue (which is a most unpleasant experience.)

Thus, as I was whipping up Tim’s creamer (1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1 TBS vanilla, 1 TBS maple syrup –which you can omit–, and regular milk all shaken up in a 1 qt [or 32 oz] bottle [which is why I did not specify the amount of milk–I estimate, just filling up the container])

I realized that I did not want to use all the creamer, and the expy date for the milk is in 6 days.  However, I’d already opened the can of SCM.  This led me to think of freezing much of it, which led me to think of the ice cube trays my mom just gave me, which led me to think of creamer-cubes.  Genius, I know.  >:}  Hahaa.  So I can have not-scalding coffee whenever I want it.  YAY!