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.

( These are affiliate links. I hope to save you time searching for something I mention that you may find helpful, too.  If you make a purchase there is no extra cost to you, but it provides me with a small commission as an Amazon Associates member that helps me as I continue providing content for you! Thanks for your support!)

Posted in DIY, Gluten Free, recipe, saving money, Uncategorized

Recipe for DIY Corn-Free Baking Powder

If you have intolerances or food allergies, you know it can get tiring trying to read all the ingredients and look for “safe” consumable goods!  When I started my hormone recovery journey, I went gluten-free and soy-free.  That was a lot of effort, and I guess I was well-prepared for eliminating an even longer list.  When I had some IGG blood testing to find out what else my body couldn’t handle, though, I was in disbelief.  Actually, I laughed when the lady read me the results because the first thing she said was chocolate.  Are you kidding me? *Sigh.* My morning treat had been frothy hot chocolate (cacao, maple syrup or honey, and milk).

Then there was dairy. (Oh cheese, how I miss you.) And yeast. (Well…I guess no GF pizza for me at MOD anymore…but what’s pizza without cheese anyhow?).  Coffee (well, I’d already ditched that a few years ago, though occasionally I would swipe a sample at Trader Joe’s).  Eggs (I’d been having one each morning with salad.  Ugh).  Peanuts. Tomatoes. Some other stuff I probably have forgotten and need to look up.  And corn.  Which is in a rather lot of gluten-free things–have you noticed? So my already limited fare got even more narrow of a selection.  (On the bright side, my symptoms of chronic tiredness and achiness in the morning have improved! So I guess it’s all worth it.)

While I generally read food labels for ingredients, as someone who is constantly baking, I actually had never noticed that BAKING POWDER contained corn! I would never have thought to check because I just sort of figured it was its own ingredient, like baking soda.

Thankfully, a friend mentioned her nephews have corn allergy and can’t even having baking powder in things.  Enlightened, I was on a hunt for corn-free baking powder.  Almost impossible to find and very expensive, I decided to make my own replacement to refill my old baking powder container using 2 TBSP baking soda plus 1/4 cup cream of tartar (while cream of tartar usually comes in tiny spice containers, I bought mine in a big bulk container because it’s handy for cleaning powder as well).  It works!  I do smash each teaspoon it in my palm before adding it to recipes because it can clump a bit.  (FYI, If you are not corn free and do not have cream of tartar, you can still make your own baking powder if you need some in a pinch with the same ratio of baking soda to corn starch.)

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!


Posted in Uncategorized

That one Lasagna recipe I was gonna post…

There has been a little voice nagging me from deep within the twists of my grey matter, going “You saiiiid you’d post a lasaaaaagna reciiiiipe.”  Oh yeah.  Right. Um.  Actually, I’m not going to post that one.  I’ll post a lasagna recipe, yes, but not the one my G’ma uses.  Whyyyyy?  But, but…it’s so “delishus,” as Ramona Q would say! Well, because, it uses stuff I don’t really buy (like cottage cheese–kinda spendy; and Tim doesn’t like black olives–sad thing).  Plus, my mom shared with me an easier, just as yummy recipe for lasagna, even though *gasp* it doesn’t use tomatoe sauce.** I suppose occasionally I’ll go back to the Grandma recipe; but, for now, we like this, and I REALLY like how it cuts out some steps.

Easy Lasagna

*Brown a lb. or so of hamburger (lately I get turkey burger because I’m wary of the frozen hamburger’s quality).

You can add onions and garlic if you want.

*After that’s thoroughly cooked, add 1 can of cream of mushroom soup.  I guess cream of celery or cream of chicken would work fine, too.  

*Swish 1/4 c. milk around in the can to get any remaining soup out, and mix everything up. 

*Put enough of the meat sauce to cover the bottom of a lasagna pan (maybe 1/3), then spread uncooked lasagna noodles on top (so the edges just overlap).

*Spoon 1/3 of meat sauce on top of the noodles, layer 1/3 c. mozzarella cheese, add another layer of noodles, and repeat, ending with the last of the cheese.


Bake at 350 degrees 45 minutes-1 hr, covering with foil if necessary to keep the cheese from burning. Let set 10 minutes to cool and firm before serving.

It’s Mmmmazing. Enjoy!

 **These days I use a can of tomatoe sauce with it, as well.  




Posted in Edible Awesome

Aim’s Food Channel…The Salivation Station!

Hey people…I constantly have the urge to write about what I’ve been cooking, baking or eating on my regular blog, but that would clutter it up too much; I’ll probably post a bunch of recipes for you to try for yourself.  The first one is a quick and easy treat….


ECK!  What is that nasty looking thing?  It’s delicious, that’s what.

Mom’s No-Bake Cookies:

1. In saucepan combine    2 cups sugar, 1/2 c cocoa (4 Tbsp),  1/2 c milk, 1/2 c butter

2. Mix well, bring to a boil and maintain for 1 min.

3.  Then add  1/2 c pb and 1 tsp vanilla.

4. When dissolved, add  4 c oats.

5. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper and let harden.