Our Weekly Menu

For those getting into a whole foods, traditional diet; the preparations for meals can seem overwhelming. I have found that planning out a week at a time really does help me stay sane and spend less time in the kitchen. I make double or triple batches of things I can freeze and pull out for quick dinners, e.g. beans, brown rice, chicken stock. Having a day where I know I will be baking is helpful as well, since it requires a larger chunk of time and I want to be sure I have that afternoon “free” (whatever that means when you have 7 kids).  I use google docs to keep my menu updated, and I link up any recipes I find online to that meal.

Mind you, this is a plan and does not mean it is set in stone. I change meals around all the time, swap things in or out, or change our plans altogether. All the same, I like to plan for the everyday, not leave it up for the exceptions to govern.

About the Menu: The “Prep” section is for the night prior for any soaking or sprouting that must be done for the next day. I do soak, sprout, dry and mill my own grain for bread; so I like to schedule it in so I make sure it’s ready for a day of baking. The “To Do” section is for out of the ordinary routine type things I want to accomplish that particular day. Giving each day of the week a title like “Laundry Day” is something I picked up from Large Family Logistics; she had some great ideas and helps.

Breakfasts are just a rotation of smoothies, probiotic chocolate milk, sprouted grain toast, eggs, soaked oatmeal, and sometimes the occasional oatmeal breakfast cake. The older children mostly get their own breakfasts and lunches as they do their schooling. I prepare for the smaller ones. Lunches are usually veggie sandwiches, leftovers, salads, or whatever the older children want to prepare. Those two meals are very low key with lots of small snacking here and there, since that is the hub of our school time. It’s almost like we have several courses instead of two meals. ;)

Here is what we have for this week:

Prep:
Monday (Laundry Day)
TO DO: Bake cookies, soak spelt berries

Dinner: Tuna and Potato Bake

Prep:
Drain and rinse spelt berries to sprout

Tuesday (Co-op/Library)
To Do: Have kids pack lunch and books for park and library, rinse berries

Dinner: Salmon, Quinoa Pilaf, Broccoli

Prep: soak adzuki beans (Read up on why I soak legumes, nuts, and grains), soak tortillas

Wednesday
TO DO: Simmer beans in chicken stock in crockpot, cook tortillas, dry spelt sprouts in oven on lowest temperature

Dinner: Bean and Venison Tortillas, Fresh Quac, Raw Cheese, Raw Soured Cream, Salad

Prep: soak white wheat berries, freeze extra beans (leaving 3 cups out for chili), soak oats

Thursday 

TO DO: continue drying spelt, drain and rinse berries, put chicken in oven in the morning, cook oatmeal for breakfast, bake gluten and “sugar” free brownies

Dinner: Baked Chicken, Garlic/Heb Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans, Salad

Prep: rinse berries, continue drying spelt, put chicken bones in dutch oven, add water and apple cider vinegar – bake in oven at 250 overnight for chicken stock

Friday
TO DO: transfer wet wheat berries to fridge, put spelt berries in sealed container, start chili, have children tidy up house for play date, take stock out of oven and let cool

Dinner: Chili, Raw Soured Cream, Raw Smoked Cheddar Cheese, Salad

Prep: debone chicken and store chicken stock

Saturday
TO DO: Mill berries, Bake Sprouted Grain Bread and pizza crusts, work on garden plans for spring, do any extra cleaning

Breakfast: Sprouted Grain Pancakes, Eggs, Turkey Bacon

Dinner: Homemade Chicken Pizza, Salad

Prep:

Sunday
TO DO: Menu plan for next week

Breakfast: Oatmeal Breakfast Cake (using leftover oatmeal), Smoothies

Lunch/Dinner: Brown Rice Pasta with Marinara, Peas and Carrots, salad

Prep: soak spelt berries

Hope you find this helpful. Happy planning!

Nut/Seed Granola Chocolate Cookies

I love the no-grain granola recipe I found not too long ago. I have re-vamped it and played around with it (using raw honey, chai seasonings, real salt, coconut oil, varying nuts and seeds depending on what I have on hand, coconut, and soaking the nuts/bigger seeds overnight in salt water). For a good post on why NOT to eat oat based granola (even if it is sprouted or soaked), check this out.

Yet, during the colder months, I am finding I just don’t crave a “cold” cereal. Having this huge batch of the grain free granola on hand, I decided to throw some into a batch of cookies I was making. I love the results! I have a healthy cookie, that is full of good fats, fiber and protein. It’s always great to know that the treats we give our children are actually good for them.

Nut/Seed Granola Chocolate Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen or more

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic butter, from grass-fed cows
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum free baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon real salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sucanat
  • 1 1/2 cups palm sugar
  • 1-2 droppers of NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia (or regular stevia and 1 TB of Vanilla extract)
  • 4 pastured, organic eggs
  • 3 cups almond flour (not meal, flour is from blanched almonds – without the skin)
  • 2 cups sprouted flour (or could substitute brown rice flour/tapioca flour mix)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup organic cocoa
  • 2-3 cups grain free granola
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Mix the softened butter and oil. Add soda, salt, and sugars.
  2. Blend well and add each egg individually.
  3. Add almond flour and cocoa and mix well.
  4. Add coconut flour while mixer is on low, then the sprouted flour.
  5. With mixer on low, add granola and chocolate chips.
  6. Bake cookies in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.
  7. Enjoy with a cup of tea or some fresh, raw milk.

Wonderful Resource to Encourage Mothers

This past weekend I had the privilege of hearing Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies speak at our church. It was such a blessing to hear this wonderful, godly woman. She has such pearls of wisdom and solid Biblical understanding of what a true Christian culture looks like.

I bought several resources while I was there. Daily Light on the Daily Path was one I  look forward to looking at twice a day, as we try to rebuild the family devotion (or altar as it was called in Biblical days) here at home. It has a short Bible passage and discussion for morning and evening on every day of the year. So  nice to have it all prepared ahead of time!

I also am looking forward to reading Nancy’s How to Encourage Your Children (and its companion, How to Encourage Your Husband). Not growing up in an encouraging environment, I know I lack in that department. But the future of my family does not have to be written by my past.

Desiring to get back into my own daily devotions, I bought her 100 Days of Blessings as well. Hopefully it will spark my love of the Scriptures once again. I know I look forward to her upcoming book “Cheer Up!” Definitely need to choose joy every day during the day to day stresses of life as a mother.

My dear friend who organized the event also bought 2 of the DVDs that I really would like to see: IndoctriNation and Agenda. Incredibly insightful documentaries of what’s going on in our schools and in our culture today. I am excited to watch these at our next movie night get-together.

Head over to the Above Rubies’ website and read their inspiring, life-giving articles or subscribe to their free (or by donation) publication. May you be blessed and encouraged!

Pregnancy Herbs Tincture Recipe

Nourishing your body during the time when it is building a new person can be an overwhelming task. Keeping a clean, toxin free diet that is nutrient dense is the main part of the battle. However, it is vital to nourish those organs that are working over-time for those 40 precious weeks. Getting a good pregnancy tea with 5 cups in every single day can be a bit challenging at times. I decided to condense this process and put the herbs I know to be essential for a healthy body and baby into a tincture so all I would need is a tablespoon each day.

Check out some material about using herbs while pregnant. God placed these green plants here for a reason.

Pregnancy Tea Tincture

Makes about 1 half gallon of tincture 

Ingredients:

  • 3 parts red raspberry leaf
  • 3 parts red clover tops
  • 2 parts stinging nettle leaf
  • 1.5 parts blessed thistle
  • 1.5 parts alfalfa
  • 1 part fennel seed
  • 1 gallon steam distilled water
  • 1 cup vegetable glycerin
  • 1 cup brandy

Method:

  1. Measure out ingredients using the same measuring cup – for me I used 1 cup as 1 part. Put them all into a large crockpot.
  2. Add about 1 gallon of steam distilled water (the “dead” water will soak up the minerals and such from the herbs better then a mineral full water, like filtered from a Berkey where the minerals are all intact).
  3. Set crockpot on “Warm” with the lid on.
  4. When crockpot is warmed up, mix the herbs well so that they are all wet. Leave the lid off.
  5. Leave crockpot overnight or for about 13 hours.
  6. The next day, strain the herbs with a fine strainer into a bowl. Make sure to press down on the herbs as you go to get all the liquid out. Toss out the herbs in the compost as the strainer gets full and repeat until all the herbs are out of the crockpot and have been well strained.
  7. Let herbal concentrate cool to room temperature.
  8. Pour concentrate into a half gallon jar. You should have about 1 quart of liquid.
  9. Add your glycerin and brandy. Put a lid on and shake well.
  10. If you want to bottle the tincture into smaller, dark bottles you can at this point. Make sure to label and date them. I just pour enough into a 4 oz bottle to keep on the counter for daily use and put the rest into the back of a cabinet.
  11. Store your tincture in a cool, dark place for optimal potency.
  12. While pregnant, take 1 tablespoon a day.

I will probably post a nursing tincture recipe as this little’s arrival gets closer. In the meanwhile, enjoy your nourishing herbs!

 

Dr. Christopher’s Plague Remedy

My mom was telling me about this amazing formula that the late naturopath, Dr. John Christopher created. She is taking an herbalist course with his institution and listening to his tapes. The story he gave was quite remarkable. What would you do if you couldn’t go to a hospital or a doctor for a life-threatening illness? This is a serious question one must ask themselves. It has sparked my desire to learn all I can about how to heal diseases, illnesses, and health problems naturally with ingredients I can have on hand.

Dr. Christopher was asked during a conference to come up with a formula that would save one from a plague, should one come about again. His answer was that though he was a renowned herbalist, he is not able to come up with everything. He prayed and asked God to give him the herbs and formula to make it. His prayer was answered almost instantly, as he gave out the inspired formula to the people in the conference. Years later, this formula was used during a plague like break out. The hospitals were full of infected people and were dying. Someone brought in the remedy to one of the hospitals. Those that were in that hospital survived the plague, where the most of the others did not. This is not an uncommon occurrence, and unfortunately, one scenario that will repeat itself as times get tougher.

I believe it always imperative to be prudent with the tools God gives us now and save them for a time when we will have to use them or help others. The great thing about this remedy is that it will keep in a dark, cool place almost indefinitely. So, if you make it up this week, theoretically, you could still use it years down the road.

Here is a good video tutorial with the ratios that I found online. May God inspire you on your journey of health!

Chocolate Cake

Today is my fourth child’s seventh birthday. Each child is allowed to pick his/her birthday dinner and also flavor of cake. Now that Micaiah (my eldest) is into cake decorating, she also asks what colors they would like. She received a cake decorating kit for her birthday along with these completely natural dyes for her frostings. Nathaniel picked chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, with blue and yellow decor. I will definitely post some pictures later if my 3 year old doesn’t smear his fingers all over the cake like he did for my birthday cake. :)

I love Elana’s Pantry for dessert recipes. However, I am not a fan of grapeseed oil or agave nectar. So, I do make slight changes on her overall excellent recipes. Here is one I adapted from her German Chocolate Cake:

Chocolate Cake – with coconut flour

serves our family twice

  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups sucanat, rapadura, or coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon real salt
  • 2/3 cup palm shortening
  • 10 pastured eggs
  • 1/3 cup cream, preferably raw and grass-fed
  • 1 dropper vanilla stevia

Method:

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients first in the mixing bowl.
  2. Add shortening and let mix well.
  3. Add each egg individually, while mixer is running on low.
  4. Add stevia and cream last.
  5. Let mix on medium speed for several minutes.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven in a 9x 13 greased pan, or 2 circle pans at 350 for about 25-30 minutes.
  7. A knife should come out clean when it is done.
  8. Let cool completely before decorating.
  9. Enjoy with some real butter frosting, or just lightly dusted with homemade powdered sugar.

 

Red Raspberry Citrus Pregnancy Tea

I have been using a blend of red raspberry in a mother to be tea for the last four pregnancies. After reading and researching the benefits of this amazing herb during pregnancy and afterwards, I have found it imperative to have each day. But I must say I tire of the typical blend of herbs found in a the pregnancy teas. Since the main herb that I want in the blend is red raspberry, I have decided to just throw it into whatever blend I decide to make up that day. Recently on our date night, my husband and I happened into Teavana. You know, the uber-expensive-all-about-tea store? After smelling just about everything I could imagine would be lovely, I took home one of their pamphlets that contained a list of their teas and their ingredients (along with my cup of tea I tried out). I was going to try to copy some of their delicious concoctions. Here is one of the blends I have made that I truly enjoy, even with the red raspberry leaf in it:

Red Raspberry Citrus Pregnancy Tea

makes about 2.5 strong cups or 4-5 not so strong cups

  • 2 parts red raspberry leaf
  • 2 parts red roobios tea
  • pinch of hibiscus
  • 1 part dried organic orange peel
  • 1 part dried organic lemon peel
  • 1 part dried figs, chopped
  1. I usually measure out about a teaspoon as my “part”. So, add each of the ingredients with into your tea pot (or other loose leaf holding tool).
  2. Pour in boiling, filtered water.
  3. Let steep for about 7-12 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!