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I posted this recipe last year but it’s that time of year again!  I just fried a batch today and they were delicious! 🙂 
I love dandelion greens! It is probably my favorite part of spring. I probably should have shared this recipe earlier in the year but, here goes.

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Step 1: Find dandelions. A LOT of dandelions. I try to fill a large pot.

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Step 2: Using a knife, cut around the root system to lift the plant out of the ground.

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Thoroughly wash the plants. I prefer to cut off the hard bottom part.

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Step 4: I like to fill a large bowl with water and really swirl them around for an extra good rinse.

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Step 5: Fill the pot with water and bring to boil for a few minutes. You don’t want to over boil them. Just soften them a bit.

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Step 6: Meanwhile, fry some bacon in a large skillet

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Side note, the flowers taste so extra good. 🙂 My favorite.

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Step 7: Drain greens and add to frying pan. Fry for about 10 minutes, tossing around frequently.

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Step 8: Serve on your most fancy dinnerware. I suggest serving with a side of southern style cornbread and a protein.

There you have it! Healthy eating and weed control in one. Obviously, don’t pick dandelions that may potentially have been sprayed by weed killer or peed on by your dog etc.

Enjoy!! 🙂

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Because there aren’t already 10 billion yogurt recipes online, I thought I would jot down what I usually do. It is SO easy and cost effective. I am not a precise cooker. I cook with a pinch of this and a dash of that. DH bought me a food thermometer for Christmas a couple years ago and I do find that helpful for making yogurt. It is by no means necessary though and I’ve made yogurt successfully without it with no flops.

You can use any kind of milk including cow and goat milk, plant based milks and yes, even *breastmilk. I usually use 1% or whole cow’s milk. I have also started using organic soy milk for Levi since buying soy yogurt is outrageous! I haven’t yet tried Coconut milk but I plan to later this week.

For a starter, you don’t NEED a fancy culture but you can buy one if you want. You can just as easily and much more affordably use any kind of yogurt that has live and active cultures. I have used Yo Baby, different varieties of greek, and even used an uneaten bite from a tube of Go-Gurt before – to culture an entire gallon. It doesn’t have to be plain for your yogurt to turn out. I like to pick a yogurt with specific probiotic strains that I want my yogurt to have.

I also don’t have a yogurt maker. That might be a nice gadget but I use a cooler and it works perfectly every time.

Step one: Heat desired amount of milk to just before boiling. Or 180F for you precise people. This kills any bacteria that may be present in the milk.

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This is a batch of soy yogurt

Step two: Cool milk to lukewarm or 112F. I have cooled mine as low as 90F and had it turn out perfectly. It’s not a science. The milk does need to stay warm in order to incubate.

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Fancy thermometer 😉

Step three: Add a spoonful of yogurt. I usually throw in about a tablespoonish amount for a gallon of milk. Stir around a bit. It usually doesn’t dissolve in the milk. It’s all good.

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Has 6 strains of probiotics

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Also live and active cultures. You can use any kind of yogurt really. I'm just showing a few kinds I've used.

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I was thrilled to discover that the batch I tried to to culture using Kefir, turned out beautifully. I tried googling if I could use Kefir but didn't find anything. So I tried it and it works!!

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And this is why that is such exciting news!

Step four: Place the covered container of milk (sometimes I leave it in the pan with a lid) in a cooler with a microwave hot pack. Close the lid. This keeps it warm for incubating.

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Sometimes I make a few batches at once. Usually I do a gallon of milk at once. That fancy sock has dedicated it's life to being filled with rice and warmed in the microwave for use as a hot pack.

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Another picture of the fancy sock.

Leave overnight or for 10-12ish hours. Your yogurt is ready! I like to chill mine and mix it with some sugar and vanilla. You can also stir in jam or fruit to flavor. I mix it in a fruit smoothie for DH.

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Sorry for the poor picture quality. My camera ran out of space so I had to use my phone. But we all know what yogurt looks like anyway! 😉

You can also strain the yogurt through cheese cloth if you want greek texture yogurt. Some people add a thickener but my yogurt is already super thick once I strain it and plenty thick enough even before.

*I have tried multiple times with breastmilk but it’s never very thick at all. From my research, apparently some women don’t have much success with breastmilk due to the varying composition. Mine does get some yogurt formation and smells like yogurt. I haven’t tried a thickener in it yet but that would likely solve my problem. Either way, Tru still drinks it and he’s getting the value of breastmilk with added probiotics. Win, win.

Remember how I did the post-holiday diet clean up? Well, I continued it and stepped it up a notch. Does this mean we haven’t had Mc D’s or pizza since? Ha! Of course we have! EVERY day isn’t perfect… actually, most days aren’t perfect but better than they could be. Most days we do pretty well but there are plenty of exceptions which I don’t feel guilty for, too much.

I cook from scratch. Basically 97% of the time. So I get very tired of planning meal ideas. Usually I am ok planning the main course but when it gets to the sides, it’s just too hard to come up with something new every night. Therefore, I decided to implement the daily side salad so that I can take that one less step out of dinner prep. It’s a no-brainer and we can personalize it with tasty toppings as much as we want to keep from getting bored. It doesn’t hurt my efforts to get in shape either! Post on that coming soon Lord willing.

So generally it goes something like this: protein+carb+salad=dinner. Sometimes we make such an incredibly filling salad that we just have that.

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I like to start with an organic spring mix.

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Add a light drizzle of dressing.

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A seasoned chicken breast, boiled egg, nuts and other toppers + corn on the cob made this salad a main course.

Salad topping ideas include:
•boiled eggs (I prefer pickled)
•shoestring beets
•green onions
•sliced almonds
•sliced red, orange, yellow peppers
•chicken, beef etc
•pecans
•walnuts
•avocado
•sunflower seeds
•fried jalapeños
•grapes
•craisins
•bacon (turkey for lower fat)
•wonton strips
•of course, croutons

There are tons more toppings but those are some of our favorites. 🙂 I try to stick to things that add protein and healthy fat. Initially, DH had his doubts that he could eat salad almost every day, but a few weeks later, we are still going strong! 🙂 

What do you like to dress up your salad with? Could you eat salad every day? Would you like to try?

Actually, we didn’t eat all that badly during Christmas or New Years. All the dinners we had at Christmas were VERY good although it was more the stick-to-your-ribs kind of food. DH and I are both really good at skipping deserts in favor of loading up on the “real” food (Mashed potatoes and gravy anyone? Seconds? Thirds?). But I will admit that this year, I snuck a few extra cookies… We actually missed out on the New Years pig-outs since we were home with our sick little baby. BUT, you know how it is. Your busy, on the road, out shopping – let’s grab something fast and easy.

So I went grocery shopping a few days after Christmas and LOADED my cart with fresh fruit and vegetables.

My first shopping trip. Don't worry - we have lots of frozen meat from DH's deer to add to our meals. We do try to eat plenty of meat for iron and protein.

My first shopping trip. Don’t worry – we have lots of frozen meat from DH’s deer to add to our meals. We do try to eat plenty of meat for iron and protein.

Vegis go fast around here and a few days later, I was back for round 2 and completely filled my fridge again. I LOVE seeing all the colors in there and all the variety. Vegis go wayyyy beyond carrots and celery (although celery is pretty hard to beat for me) and I have had fun cooking them up in new ways.

My fridge after my second shopping trip.

My fridge after my second shopping trip.

This recipe for Eggplant is one I started making awhile back and DH and I LOVE it. Tru loves eating the eggplant too and it just does my heart good to see him eating it. This tastes something like the eggplant parm from Olive Garden. Thanks to my very cool non stick pans, I really can make this without using ANY oil for frying but this time I did use a little oil. If you want to make it healthier, try using coconut oil for frying. 🙂

I am now going to use big words and have an intimidatingly clean kitchen. You have been warned. 

Step 1: Wash, peel and slice your eggplant. I usually cut it about 1/4 inch thick.

Sliced eggplant.

Sliced eggplant.

Step 2: Assemble all your breading ingredients on super fancy paper plates. Makes clean up easy and fast. You will need: flour, at least 2 eggs for a large eggplant and bread crumbs. I have used italian flavored crumbs in the past but I actually prefer just the traditional. Feel free to experiment. 🙂 Dredge the slices of eggplant in flour, send them for a dip in the eggs, and plop them into the bread crumbs for an even coating. Also admire my super clean counter.

Flour, egg, and bread crumbs.

Flour, egg, and bread crumbs.

Step 4: Drop those yummies into a frying pan at around medium heat and fry until lightly browned on both sides.

The happily frying eggplant.

The happily frying eggplant.

Step 5: Set them on a paper towel to drain.

Finished and draining the oil off. Like I said, you could use a healthy oil like coconut or, if you have good quality non-stick pans, you could just forgo the oil entirely.

Finished and draining the oil off. Like I said, you could use a healthy oil like coconut or, if you have good quality non-stick pans, you could just forgo the oil entirely.

Step 6: Maybe I should have mentioned sooner that you need to have spaghetti noodles boiling and sauce heating up during this time. ….. I like to put the eggplant on top of spaghetti and top with sauce, mozzarella cheese and of course, parmesan.

The finished product on my super fancy paper plates. Normally I would sprinkle with parmesan cheese but I was out the day I made it.

The finished product on my super fancy paper plates. Normally I would sprinkle with parmesan cheese but I was out the day I made it. Admire DH’s handsome feet.

So, that sums up my recipe for the day. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. I suggest serving with a side salad and garlic bread. 🙂 YUM!!

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