Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Workshops

It's that time of year...time to break out the slow cooker. If you want to come home to a house filled with the smells of a soulful meal that only took minutes to prep, then you must invest in a slow cooker. To make life even easier, sign up for my November or December Freezer Meal Workshop (or both) in Culver City, where every meal will be ready for your Crockpot! If you do not own a slow cooker, don't worry - just let me know and we will adjust your recipes. And if you cannot attend - just place your order and the meals will be assembled for you for pick up! November 10th's Menu (almost filled up!) Garlic Galore Chicken Lemon Rosemary Chicken Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Coconut Rice Apricot Chicken Citrus Rotisserie Chicken Bolognese Sauce Korean Style Beef Harvest Pork Roast Caribbean Pork Cowboy Style Chili
December 7th's Menu...so far! Butternut Squash Soup Sweet Mustard Roast Sweet & Sour Meatballs Szechuan Chicken French Dip Sandwiches
Provencal Chicken Supper
Crockpot Lasagna

Sloppy Joe Stuffed Bell Peppers

Simple, delicious and oh so healthy! Sloppy Joe Stuffed Bell Peppers 1 lb Extra Lean Ground Turkey 3 TBSP Sloppy Joe Blend 1 1/4 cup water 1 can tomato paste Brown the turkey; add water, Sloppy Joe Blend, and tomato paste. Mix together and simmer 10 minutes. Serve on a bun, over pasta or stuffed in a bell pepper. If you stuff in a bell pepper, cut the top off, remove seeds and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

What to do with all that Halloween Candy?

I love this time of year and it is especially exciting to experience it through the eyes of my 6 year old son, Oliver. He has been putting on his astronaut costume everyday and would eat, sleep and go to school in it if he could! We decorated our house for Halloween early on as Oliver could not wait. We still need to carve the pumpkins, but Oliver is filling in for one right now since he has lost 4 teeth and looks like a Jack-o-Lantern himself!

I happen to love any combination of chocolate, caramel, crunchy rice crisps and peanut butter, but sadly I have recently been enlightened to some really scary stuff found in common candy. Please check out this wonderful website called Out of the Box Food ~ Fresh Alternatives to Processed 'Kid Food'. There is a great article called Trick or Treat that explains these scary ingredients a but more. In an ideal world, Oliver would collect homemade popcorn balls, organic candy made without food dyes, HFCS or TBHQ, but I know that is not reality. Here are some suggestions for how to handle the Halloween Candy!

Employ the Switch Witch
Whether you are the Switch Witch or there is a magical one who comes to your house, have your children put their candy out for the Switch Witch to collect and leave a toy for them to enjoy instead. I told Oliver about this and he LOVED the idea. He's excited to eat some of his candy that night, and leave the rest of it for the candy-loving witch to take home to Hallow Heights with her black cat, Corn.  
Share the Candy
Our school collects candy for children who are not able to enjoy a night of Trick-or-Treating. They have bins at school to collect candy that they bring to a local hospital. We actually don't share the Halloween candy we collect as I just cannot feed something so unhealthful to a child with a fragile immune system. Instead, we bought some Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops which are a delicious and more body-friendly treat. Candy Experiments
Here are some great ideas to have fun with Halloween Candy that will not promote tooth decay.

Color Separation
 • Cut out a rectangle of coffee filter paper. • Wet an M&M or Skittle. • Dab color onto paper, 1 inch from the bottom. • Stand up in ½ inch of water. • Watch the colors separate.

Test Candy for Acid
• Dissolve candy in water. • Add a spoon of baking soda. • If it bubbles, the candy contains acid.

Floating Letters
• Drop M&M’s or Skittles in water. • Wait a few minutes. • The m’s and s’s will float to the top.

Test Candy for Oil
• Microwave the candy until it melts. • Let candy cool. • Look for waxy oil spots.

For more experiments, please visit http://www.candyexperiments.com/.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tangy, Spicy Chicken in the Crockpot

Here's a real simple recipe for your slow cooker!

Tangy, Spicy Chicken in the Crockpot
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/4 cup Wildtree's Pacific Fusion Sauce***
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
Mix all ingredients and pour over 8 - 10 chicken thighs or 3 - 4 leg/thigh quarters in the crockpot. Cook on low for about 6 hours depending on how fast/slow your crockpot cooks.

***You can substitute any of Wildtree's Asian sauces such as Teriyaki, Outrageous Orange or Kickin' Asian.

To order any Wildtree groceries, please go to www.jenwarr.mywildtree.com.

Kelly's Potatoes

This is a super simple, very yummy recipe from one of my Wildtree customers.
Rub your baking potatoes with a little Grapeseed Oil - Garlic or Hickory Smoked would be delicious and then sprinkle with Rancher Steak Rub or CA Garlic Pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until they are nice and tender. Cut open, add a pat of butter and a sprinkling more of the seasoning and eat it all up!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

October’s Freezer Meal Bundle

Can’t make it to the Freezer Meal Workshop but still want to save time, money & stress? Then purchase a discounted bundle and receive all the recipes, cooking directions, side dish suggestions & a free bottle of Wildtree’s Grapeseed Oil and a Recipe Booklet filled with 25 different pizza, calzone & bruschetta ideas. When you purchase a Freezer Meal Bundle you will receive recipes for Chicken Parmesan, Buffalo Chicken Tacos, Thai Red Curry Chicken & Veggies, Baked Adobo Chicken & Rice, Rotisserie Chicken, Salsa Chicken, Rodeo Rub Pork Chops, Red Bell Pepper & Garlic Tilapia, Pacific Skirt Steak and Old Fashioned Meatloaf. You will also receive your choice of a bottle of Grapeseed Oil (Natural or Garlic) and the guest special of the month. The 10 Meal Bundle allows you to make all the recipes multiple times as well as many others!
10 Meal Bundle Buffalo Wing Marinade Thai Red Curry Paste Butter GSO Adobo Rotisserie Chicken Blend Taco Blend Rodeo Rub Red Bell Pepper & Garlic Pacific Fusion Ketchup Honey Mustard Garlic Galore Teriyaki CA Garlic Pepper Italian Salad Dressing Mix Grapeseed Oil of choice ($13 value) FREE October Gift - Hearty Spaghetti Blend & Pizza Dough ($13.50 value) FREE Bundle valued at… $153 Only pay… $126.50 My Culinary Club Price… $101.20

Smashed Potatoes and Cream Cheese

These potatoes are a perfect accompaniment to one of my freezer meals this month... Old Fashioned Meatloaf!
Smashed Potatoes and Cream Cheese (adapted from Rachel Ray)
Ingredients: 2 1/2 pounds small red potatoes or baby Yukon gold potatoes 1/2 cup half-and-half or whole milk 8 ounces plain cream cheese or veggie cream cheese, cut into pieces 1 TBSP Wildtree's Onion & Chive Blend (add more to suit your taste) Salt and pepper
Directions: Boil potatoes until tender, 15 minutes. When the potatoes are tender, drain them and return them to the hot pot to let them dry out a bit. Mash potatoes with half-and-half or milk using a potato masher. Add in the cream cheese and Onion & Chive Blend and smash until the cheese melts into the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, to your taste.

Candy Cane Radish...um, I mean Beet!

I was misinformed...these vegetables were beets, NOT radishes! Equally as healthful, just as delicious, read the post below as it has great information about radishes. Just note that we actually made our snack with beets!

Oliver's class went on a recent field trip to a farm as they are studying how food gets to your table. He was really excited about all the root vegetables he picked and asked me to cook them up. One of the veggies was a candy cane radish - an absolutely beautiful and healthful piece of food! You may not know this, but radishes are part of the mustard family,explaining their spicy taste. They are also related to broccoli and watercress. Even though they are more than 90% water, they pack as much potassium as bananas, half the ascorbic acid of oranges, are an excellent source of vitamin c and folate and a good source of magnesium. Radishes come in all shapes and sizes and keep forever in your fridge. They are excellent in salads or cooked til just soft with butter and salt. You can also add them to vegetable juice to spice it up a bit and help clear out your sinuses and soothe you a sore throat. My all time favorite way to eat them, though, is on a piece of buttered toast (for us that means a yeast-free, sourdough starter, zucchini onion bread) with pink Himalayan salt, a drizzle of olive oil (Oliver's addition after watching a recent Jamie Oliver episode) and thinly sliced radishes.

I wasn't expecting it...but he ate the whole thing!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Discontinued List of Wildtree Products

I love this time of year...but I am always nervous about the Discontinued List from Wildtree. I know they need to make room for new and delicious products - which I can tell you are great as I taste-tested them! But do they need to include some of my family's favorites???? Remember the Ponzu? I bought multiple bottles when it was being discontinued as we use it at least once a week. Looks like I'll have a few more 'golden stashes' soon! Here's the list of items to be Discontinued on January 1, 2011. The ones in red are a staple in our family. The ones bolded in black are just plain yummy! Zippy Cocktail Sauce Vanilla Frosting Rustic Eggplant Caponata Chocolate Frosting Yellow Cake Mix Korma Curry Rub Chimichurri Blend Spicy Dry Rub Peachy Keen BBQ Focaccia Bread Buffalo Wing Marinade Sun-Dried Tomato & Horseradish Blend Spanish Rice Seasoning Raspberry Peach Sauce Toni’s Over the Top Honey Mustard Vinaigrette Parmesan Rice Seasoning Blasted Bloody Mary Mix Banana BBQ Sauce Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Cilantro Lime Rice Seasoning Seasonal Items to go out in January and back in Fall 2011. Whole Grain Pancakes Gingerbread Pumpkin Pancakes Mulling Spice Orange Cranberry Bread Apple Cranberry Jam Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Rich Dark Chocolate Fudge Sauce Cranberry Spice Blend Pumpkin Bread If you would like to place an order or Host a Tasting and earn these products and more for free, contact me today through my website at www.jenwarr.mywildtree.com

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What's For Dinner?

Oliver devouring lobster!

There are a lot of things in life we cannot control, but one thing that we can control is what we make for dinner. I have been making a lot of effort to serve multiple veggies for dinner as well as more wholesome grain choices such as brown rice and quinoa. It's a work in progress, but one that gives me great satisfaction.

The old saying, "We are what we eat." couldn't be more true.

The New York Times recently reported, "For the first time in two centuries, the current generation of children in America may have shorter life expectancies than their parents." This saddens and frightens me. The chemicals and preservatives that extend the shelf life of food, or food dyes and additives used to make them more appealing and tastier are shortening the life of the people eating it. Chemically laden food choices might make our lives easier due to their convenience and saving time, but ironically, they are cutting time OUT of today's children's lives. It's a contradiction totally beyond words. If we as consumers take a stand and STOP buying those jarred, boxed, canned, freeze dried, frozen, microwaveable 'convenience foods' in the "middle" of the grocery store, and insist on HEALTHIER CHOICES, these food manufacturers will eventually have to listen.

Wildtree's founder created our products because she had children with juvenile diabetes, ADHD, Kawasaki's Disease, intolerance of any dyes, chemicals, and preservatives, as well as peanut allergies. She took all the "junk" out of their food and still made it easy, economical, and delicious!

Wildtree can give you the same 10-15 minute meals, with 2-3 ingredients, just like your current 'time saving' convenience foods, but with one HUGE difference....QUALITY! Low to no salt and sugar content, lower calories, no dyes, preservatives, trans-fats. Food the way it was meant to be - flavorful and natural!

Check out a few examples:

Dinty Moore beef stew has 222 calories, 28% saturated fat, and 970 mg sodium (41%). And that is only for 1/3 of a can. Why not pick up a package of stew beef, a package of baby carrots, a package of small round potatoes, and a bag of frozen peeled pearl onions, and dump it all in a crockpot with a jar of Wildtree's Home Style Beef Stew sauce. When you come home from work, there is no need to open that can of Dinty Moore, because a hot, fresh, HOME MADE beef stew is ready for you! This stew has just 40 calories, NO saturated fat, and 8% sodium.

Do your kids love Sloppy Joes? One can of Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce will give them 410 mg of sodium (17%), 6 grams of sugar, and 40 calories (PROVIDED you make 12 sandwiches with that one can since that's how many servings those numbers are based on, and I'll bet yours are bigger than that, which increases the salt, sugar, and calories accordingly!) OR, you can buy a jar of Wildtree's Sloppy Joe seasoning. You will get multiple batches from each jar. Just add some to a can of tomato sauce. The result? Just 8% sodium, NO fat, NO sugar, 5 calories, and just 9-cents per serving! Not one minute longer in the kitchen!

Even so-called "diet foods" aren't as healthy as you might think.

Case in point, Lean Cuisine Chicken Marsala. This 'healthy' dinner gives you 620 mg SODIUM (36%), 9 fat grams, and 250 calories. Yes, you just have to open the box and press the button on the microwave. But honestly, is it so much more difficult to saute a chicken breast in a pan that takes 5 minutes? Open a bottle of Wildtree's Marsala or Piccata sauce, pour some in the pan, wait a minute for it to warm, and then you are ready to eat. Fresh and flavorful. With NO sodium, NO fat, 10 calories, and just 75-cents per serving plus a chicken breast.

Remember, your children don't choose what they eat for dinner. YOU DO!
The decision is yours. I vote for simplicity and a longer life. How about you?
To order any Wildtree groceries, please go to www.jenwarr.mywildtree.com.

October's Freezer Meal Workshop

It's time to sign up for October's Freezer Meal Workshops. Stock your freezer with quick, delicious and healthful meals! Tame Dinnertime Chaos Save Time ~ Save Money ~ Have Fun Upcoming Workshop Dates & Menus Thursday October 21 @ 10 am or 6 pm in CULVER CITY The cost is $40 ($35 if you are one of my Culinary Club Members). For an added $20 fee, I will prepare these meals for you to pick up. Chicken Parmesan Buffalo Chicken Tacos Red Curry Chicken & Veggies Baked Adobo Chicken & Rice Rotisserie Chicken Salsa Chicken Rodeo Rub Pork Chops Red Bell Pepper & Garlic Tilapia Pacific Skirt Steak Old Fashioned Meatloaf Couple more things... if you do not live nearby and cannot attend these workshops, don't worry! You can still participate by using the recipes and creating them yourselves! Check out October's Freezer Meal Bundle. Contact me directly to order them!