In my house, food presentation doesn’t mean squat; as long as it tastes good, it doesn’t matter what it looks like. With my husband’s gluten-free diet and my own dairy-free needs, it can be tricky sometimes. But I’ve played around with some foods that are easy to throw together and have dubbed them “food piles.” Essentially, tasty foods thrown together sort-of like a casserole, but better.
Last night we had Potato Pile and it usually goes something like this:
- baked potatoes, chopped open and dobbed with oil spread
Then topped with any assortment of the following:
- ground beef, turkey
- meat chunks like ham, sausage
- steamed vegetables like broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, parsnips, green beans etc.
- other toppings like olives, chives
- cheese, if dairy’s not an issue
Then a cream sauce poured over. It’s more specific:
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup flour (we use GF)
- 3 – 5 Tablespoons of oil spread
- pepper to taste
You can play with the quantities a little to get a thicker or thinner sauce. I hardly ever measure them at all but just eye-ball it and it works fine. Then whisk over medium heat until it thickens. Immediately pour it over your potato pile and enjoy!
I never make a “pile” or casserole and then bake it further if everything is already hot or freshly cooked, seems a waste of time.
Sometimes I serve this with chicken or fish and just leave out the meat topping. So it’s easy to mix and match what you want, but I think the sauce is the key.
Pesticides in agriculture are terrible for the human body. I found a website that lists the types of chemicals on many types of food and their KNOWN negative affects upon the body. I only looked at one type of food – apples – and didn’t need to look at anything else. I’ve always tried to buy certain things organic, but certainly can’t afford everything organic.
I found a list that organizes most common fruits and vegetables into their order of pesticide levels. And when I grocery shop each week I keep the list with me so that I always know what’s what. So I always buy organic of the top 12 or so worst foods on the list, especially if I’m making baby food. I’ve arranged it below.
It can be difficult, knowing that there are so many things out in our environment that negatively affect us and that money controls everything. But we do the best we can with the blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us. I hope this knowledge will influence your food decisions for the better so that you and your loves ones can lead a healthier life. PREVENTION is key.
Lower Numbers = More Pesticides
- nectarines – imported
- grapes – imported
- sweet bell peppers
- blueberries – domestic
- kale/collard greens
Scripture reading is so important for us to daily refocus our mindset on the eternal perspective driving our actions. But if you’re like me and you wake up at 5 am in order to hash out a day’s work, it can be difficult to get in that scripture study.
May I recommend a solution? I get daily emails from Latter-Day Light on a daily basis with a short little devotional. They include a scripture and a matching prophetic quote.
Now, I do not suggest this as a complete substitution of your true scripture study or daily reading with family; those are still far more important. However, getting started on a spiritual thought each day helps us to keep that eternal focus throughout the day. Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stated:
“The discipline of following a scripture-study plan of learning the gospel [is] a wonderful, rewarding experience. The knowledge of the teachings of the scriptures [will] unfold in a glorious way through individual study. . . . Our minds [are] sharpened as we followed the daily practice of individual and companion study. The practice [brings] us closer together as companions and increase[s] our understanding of the doctrines of the kingdom.”
Have you seen that analogy with the mason jar, the apples, and the popcorn? I remember seeing it in Sunday school. The mason jar is the time in your day. The apples are the things we have been admonished to do daily and that are the most important things for ourselves and our families. The popcorn represent all the other little things that we want and like to do, but aren’t necessities. Well, if we fill our mason jar with all the popcorn before the apples, we can’t fit the apples into the jar. But if we put in the apples first, then all the popcorn can fit in around them.
This applies to more than just scripture study, I know. But it’s a good start for someone who’s only “eating” popcorn.
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So while I was looking for a nice image for this post, I came across the most fantastic idea: apple pies in jars! This is the most creative thing! I saw that and thought: I have all these baby food jars at home now, sitting empty, taking up space in my cupboard……and my husband always wants some sorts of sweets available…I’m gonna try this. Then I thought about trying little mini cobblers in there too because they’re much easier to make. So I found these little recipe ideas here.
Try it and have fun.
So this is probably the only recipe I make that my husband actually likes, even for his gluten-free needs. But I like it just fine with normal flour too. It’s even BETTER reheated, believe it or not! The flavors just sink in somehow over time and you never have to worry about the reheated taste. Enjoy!
- 1 1/2 lbs beef, cubed or ground (I’ve also used ground turkey which works well too)
- 1/2 cup cheese (I’ve left this out many times and simply kept in the egg whites and it still works great)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 2 uncooked pie shells
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Fry the beef until very rare, lightly browned but still pink in the center.
3. Mix with all other ingredients and pour in pie shell. Cover with top pie shell and poke some holes in the top.
4. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, till the shell is golden brown. Can freeze and reheat easy.