You Can’t Take Miami Out Of The Girl

When I was a little girl, I went on an RV trip with my parents to the western US. It remains one of the best memories I have, and so, not surprisingly, I told my husband years ago that someday I would love to travel with our children and see the country.

At the time, we were living in Israel and had no plans to return to the US, so I thought it was one of those things that just wouldn’t happen. Little did I know that we would not only come back to this country, but also begin a life of traveling and teaching, living “on the road”….well, let’s just say that our God is an awesome one, and that He does in fact give us the desires of our hearts!

We have been back in the Miami area for about 6 months now and are heading out very soon for our second ministry road trip. (You can watch a video about our first one here). I’m trying to soak up as much of that Miami flavor as I can during these last few weeks, including trips to the beach (did you know how refreshing and energizing it can be to go first thing in the morning?) and lots of Latin American and Cuban food. One new addition is Picadillo.


Here’s my version. Adapted from the one on My Big Fat Cuban Family

Papi’s Favorite Picadillo Recipe

  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil (for sautéing)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, pressed
  • 1 ½ lbs. ground beef
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Pepper
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 4 Tbsp. olives, chopped. Original recipe called for green; I used Kalamata
  • 1 small box of dark raisins
  • ½ tsp. Cumin
  • ½ tsp. Oregano

1) Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, green pepper and garlic until the onion is transluscent.

2) Add the ground beef and brown over medium heat.

3) Add the rest of the ingredients and continue cooking until meat is tender and completely cooked through. About 25 minutes.

4) Serve with rice. And tostones. Or maduros. Or a fried egg for breakfast. Good with anything.

5) Makes 6 servings.


How do 8 people live full time on the road? Well, you can be sure there will be more posts about that coming up. I’m really excited about our upcoming travel,  but for now, I’m content to enjoy my Miami.


Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup Recipe

Dont’cha just love having dinner already simmering along waaaay ahead of time? I do. In order to accomplish that, I employ one of my favorite indentured servants, my crockpot. (Ironically, at the time of this posting, my crock pot is out of service. Good thing that this stew can also be made on the stove).
Using a slow cooker is extremely helpful for anyone who just doesn’t want to deal with prepping dinner at the time when that would normally be done. This can be wonderful for those of you who either work outside of the home, or are busy at that time taking children to or from activities. You can throw everything in at breakfast time, turn it on, and walk away. It’s that simple. During the summertime when you want to keep the house cooler, you can even put that cooker outside on your porch, and during the winter it sure helps warm things up. Yummm. I am craving it now.
And at some point when I begin making meal plans ahead of time again like I know is helpful to do, I will definitely plan this one in. Here it is.

The Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 oz.) pkg. dried green split peas, rinsed
  • 1 cup diced kosher salami or other smoked meat of your choice
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 ribs of celery plus leaves, chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tbsp. seasoned salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh pepper
  • 1 1/2 qts. hot water


Layer ingredients in slow cooker in the order given; pour in water. Do not stir ingredients. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 to 5 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours until peas are very soft and ham falls off bone. Remove bones and bay leaf. Mash peas to thicken more, if desired. Serve garnished with croutons. Skip the croutons and you can consider it gluten free!  Freezes well. Serves 8.

How and Why to Become a Member of Young Living

I am so thankful that I learned about Young Living Essential Oils. I use them literally every single day in our home, for my entire family, for a variety of things including cuts and scrapes, upset tummies and headaches, plus house cleaning and laundry!

Although I have been into a naturally health-focused lifestyle for a number of years, I never incorporated Essential Oils until recently. My first introduction (and then my second, and third, and fourth—by different people) was to the Young Living brand of oils, and although I did experiment slightly with inexpensive health food store labels, it was easy for me to choose Young Living when it was time for me to decide to use them as a regular part of health for my entire family.  Why? Well, I believe in Young Living’s integrity, and in their commitment to provide the best possible 100% therapeutic grade essential oils. I am very thankful that I have chosen this particular essential oil company for my family.

As a Doctor of Chiropractic, I have a respect for the body and an understanding and belief that our bodies were made to be healthy, and that all we must do is give them what they need (and take away what might be interfering). Although I am not actively practicing chiropractic right now, I still have a love for sharing and talking about natural remedies and tips for keeping families healthy. In this way, essential oils fit right in, and I want to share them!

Young Living is different in that it is not sold in a store. You must purchase your oils through a “distributor”, AKA “wholesale member,” or you may become a wholesale member yourself. Why would anyone want to do that? Well….when you  join Young Living, you receive wholesale prices. There are no monthly order requirements or annual fees. Here are some frequently asked questions that may help clarify some things for you…

Young Living Wholesale Member FAQs

Why Should I Become A Wholesale Member/Distributor?

Great question! This is a fabulous option that provides you 24% off retail price! As you use the oils and you share your testimonials with friends and family, you have the OPTION (no pressure) of earning commissions when others join and purchase Young Living oils. Everybody wins. And, through the Essential Rewards program, you have the opportunity to earn FREE oils, pay reduced shipping, and get that optional commission check.

Is there a monthly order minimum?

NO. You can just order what you need when you need it.

What kit do you recommend that I get started with?

I highly recommend the Premium Kit (see the graphic below!) because it gets you the most bang for your buck! You receive the 10 Everyday OilsPLUS a 5ml Stress Away, PLUS a Roller Fitment which allows you to make any essential oil bottle a roll-on, PLUS 10 popular essential oils samples, PLUS 2 packs of Ningxia Red, PLUS a Home Diffuser!! That’s over $300 value for $150! Amazing! It’s the best deal of its kind.


I just really want to use oils myself. Do I have to sell Young Living products to be a distributor?

NO. There is NO obligation to sell oils when you join as a wholesale member/distributor. However, if you decide you enjoy the products too much to keep them a secret, you can jump right in and receive benefits when you decide to share.

Are there any monthly order requirements?

There are NO monthly minimum orders required. There is one 50 PV minimum order per year, just to keep your account active. If you miss that deadline, it is easy to reactivate your account by calling Young Living Customer care and placing an order with them. Simple.

If someone wants to join Young Living through me, what do I need to do?

When you join, you will be assigned your own member number to give to your friends and family who are interested in joining as well.

Is there a way to save even more money?

Yes! The Essential Rewards program offers reduced shipping, credit for free oils & more! Plus each month there are great promotions for free oils when you place an Essential Rewards order. I love free stuff!

What do I need to do to become a wholesale member of Young Living Essential Oils?

Just follow the directions below.

What happens after I join through you? How will I know what to do next, and what if I have questions?

One of the things I have enjoyed best about being a member of Young Living is that I have an incredible support group. When I have a question about what oil is recommended for (fill in the blank here), or if I just want to see how other people have been using their oils, I simply get onto the private Facebook group and ask around. There are archives to search, and a wealth of information there from caring people who all want to help me. When you join through me, I am there to guide you and to connect you to all of my resources as well. Our community is amazing, and I am sure that you would be glad to be a part of it!

Step by step instructions on how to join Young Living Essential Oils:

1. Click here to begin the enrollment process. It’s super easy!

2. Wholesale member will already be selected, and I strongly encourage you not to switch it over to Retail Customer. Again, this is the wholesale membership. You are NOT AGREEING TO SELL or distribute anything. I promise! If you select “Retail Customer” you will not receive wholesale pricing and will pay retail which is 24% more than wholesale.

3. Make sure my member number (1442019) is in the Sponsor ID and Enroller ID spots.

4. PLEASE be sure to include your email address. If you don’t, I have no way to invite you to the Shepard’s Gate Facebook support group (if you aren’t on Facebook, I strongly urge you to join now) and I can’t support you as you begin your journey with essential oils. This support is vital for empowering you to use the oils to the fullest.

5. Choose the kit you want. (I do recommend the Premium Kit.) Then proceed to check out. You can skip the Essential Rewards part for now unless you would like to join ER right away. I do recommend joining ER within a month or two at the latest, so that you can focus on replenishing and trying new oils regularly, and not needing to start all over again if you completely deplete your cabinet. The Premium Kit starts you off with a good foundation, you want to keep it strong!

6. That’s it! Your oils will be on their way to your doorstep!

If you have any concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at DrKimberlyG {at}gmail{dot}com

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Have you ever noticed how EXPENSIVE laundry detergent is? I mean, really. It is. And it’s not like you can just decide to save money by not washing your clothes….I HATE being trapped like that.

Besides the cost, laundry detergent has some toxic stuff in it.

Four of the worst offenders are:

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)/sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
NPE (nonylphenol ethoxylate)

A few years ago I was introduced to the idea of making some household cleaning products at home.  I was uncomfortable with the idea of breathing in chemicals used for cleaning the house, and certainly did not want my children doing so. So when I learned that plain old white vinegar could be used as a cleaner, I was excited. And we switched to doing almost all household cleaning with plain old (and inexpensive) vinegar with water.  It works, it does not smell at all like vinegar once it dries, and I can even let the children help spray and wipe because it’s NON-TOXIC!

Speaking of Toxicity, it’s real, and most commercial cleaning products have high levels of toxins.

Here is a non toxic and extremely inexpensive laundry detergent that you can make easily at home.

Did I mention it was easy? And inexpensive? I mean REALLY inexpensive! These ingredients go a LONG way.

2  Cups – hot tap water

1  cup grated Zote bar (a little less than 1/3 of a 14 oz bar) OR 1 full bar of fels naphtha  (grated)

1/2 Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*

½ Cup Borax

– Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket 1/4 full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to halfway point with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 5 gallons. (total, after adding additional water to bottles. 2 ½ gallons concentrate.)

Here are my thoughts on this recipe:

I found it to be too watery when I diluted it this much, and therefore ended up using more. So I decided to use it full strength and have continued to use it that way  since. At the time of this posting, I have used this as my only detergent for more than a year and recently upped the concentration by using almost 1 full cup of each of the powders, and have been satisfied with the results. I have tried it with both types of soap and both work fine. My only complaint is the chunkiness…it is not smooth but that dissolves in the machine. It would be helpful to use an immersion blend for this; I might use my vitamix to blend it in batches but am not sure it’s worth the effort.

I also put some in an empty stain treatment spray bottle for pretreating stains. Of course, it will only spray out if it is smooth and diluted slightly.

When I have anything extremely stinky in a load to wash, I will add some vinegar and also some Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner and that certainly does the job!

The BEST Garbage Disposal

I’m into natural things, yes. But hey- I’m civilized.

There are some natural things that have always been just a little too “crunchy” for me. Things that I thought that the other people who did them were sort of, well, either “off the deep end” in this area. And, I suppose, some of these things I wanted to do someday but just absolutely could NOT fathom finding the time to do them.

Here’s my list of some of these things:

  • Growing my own vegetables in a garden
  • Making my own clothes (or really, sewing anything at all that I can use at home instead of buying)
  • Using cloth diapers
  • Having a compost bin
  • Making bread for the family as a rule, and not just for fun
  • Using scented essential oils and herbs and acting as if I believe they actually do something other than smell good
  • Giving birth at home, unassisted
  • Making my own cheese
  • Raising chickens for eggs or having any other farm type animal at all
  • Making my own bath soap, laundry soap, or any other type of cleanser
  • Using cloth anything instead of paper anything simply for the environmental and practical reasons and not only because I enjoy doing so

There’s a joke I heard one time at a comedy show in Jerusalem. You know how there are different types of practicing Jews out there, and the ones who are more strict or observant than you, you might think of as “fanatics” and the ones who do less than you do “aren’t really Jewish”…? (Said tongue in cheek, it’s a joke, please don’t write me blasting my political incorrectness)

The same joke can apply to just about any practice that you do which can be measured in comparison to others. In this case, How Crunchy Am I?

Whatever the answer, of course, realize that anyone who does more than I do MUST be an off-the-deep-end fanatic, and anyone who does less than I do isn’t really into natural health….

A while back I wrote a post describing the things I do and don’t do in the area of natural living AKA crunchiness.

The funny thing is, I guess I’m changing. Or growing. Or just moving along on my journey, because I’m starting to do some of these things.

I used to think that compost was yucky, smelly, gross, and just TOO MUCH for me to do. I was not interested  in carting my garbage anywhere for the sake of making it rot so that I can put it in my garden….especially because I had no garden!

However, the times they are a-changing.  I began my first compost pile about a year ago now, and it’s been a good experience. I’ll let you know what I’ve learned so far.

Why compost? Well, a few reasons.

Environmentally, According to ,”Composting is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden. It’s easy to make and use.”

I have wanted to begin a Square Foot Garden for a very long time. I finally live in a place that has the space I need to be able to do it, and adding compost is a very important element of he garden. It’s expensive and possibly inferior to buy, and so it would be so much easier if I already had it. All gardeners seem to say that it’s just SO necessary. And most sources say how easy it is to do it….well, it was worth a try, I figured.

I started with a heap or pile, and turned it regularly. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it did not stink, which was my biggest concern. The problem was that when the weather turned rainy I ignored the pile, and because of a lack of walls to build it up, it never really grew and sort of seemed to disappear. By the time the weather turned cold, I stopped bothering with the turning and just threw the stuff on there. So as a result, I never really got the compost. I did, however, make many earthworms happy and help out the water treatment system just a tad by not throwing it down the garbage disposal, so I still felt good about it.

About two months ago we finally began that garden, and I knew it was time to get serious about this composting thing. So I got some chicken wire and bent it to make a cylinder about 4 feet across and 4 feet high, and started again. I raked up all my old compost from whatever I had and began with that. I add all of our kitchen produce scraps, eggshells, and occasionally dryer lint. And I turn it 2-3 times a week. This takes about 15 minutes, but I enjoy the outside time. I turn it by simply lifting the cylinder and moving it to an empty spot, and then shoveling everything back in.

It’s not compost yet, but getting close. Soon it will be time to start another one so that this one can finish ‘cooking’ without having new stuff added all the time.

Yep, I’m becoming a regular homesteading gal. 🙂

Challah Recipe

Here it is…one of my most frequently-asked-for recipes. Republished just for you!

When I was growing up, we used to buy our challah from the Publix bakery. (Publix is a supermarket in Florida; I don’t know if they’re around the country)Publix makes a GOOD challah. (They also make great sheet cake)

Yes! I made this beautiful looking challah. Freshly ground whole wheat and delicious!
The name of this bread, “challah” is so due to the word “separate.” A challah has a small amount separated and offered to G-d. I never knew this until I moved to Israel; I always thought that challah was just a yummy egg bread.
Here is the Bible reference:
Numbers 15:17-21 The LORD instructed Moses: 18 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: After you enter the land where I am bringing you, 19 you are to offer a contribution to the LORD when you eat from the food of the land. 20 You are to offer a loaf from your first batch of dough as a contribution; offer it just like a contribution from the threshing floor. 21 Throughout your generations, you are to give the LORD a contribution from the first batch of your dough.

When I learned the importance of using freshly ground flour and started making my own bread, I needed a good challah recipe. I tried variations, but this one has been the best so far.
1 3/4 c water
1/3 c oil
2/3 c honey
1 1/2 tbsp yeast
2 1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, plus another beaten egg set aside for brushing on later (4 eggs total)
7-8 c freshly ground whole wheat flour
1/4-1/2 raisins (optional. But I always use them.)

Combine water, oil, honey and yeast, and 3 eggs. Add half the flour and salt, mix. Add the rest of the flour and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10-15 mins by hand or about 5-6 mins in KitchenAid stand mixer). Let rise till double. Shape, adding raisins if desired. Brush with beaten egg, let rise till double again. Bake at 325F for about 25 mins. Brush again with beaten egg for the last 5 mins of baking.

This recipe makes 2 small loaves (usually a regular 3 braid) or one large (4 or 6 braid).
I have better luck getting it to rise and be big and puffy if I do a large loaf, with a braid using 4 strands. Below is a video showing one way to braid with 6; there are many ways. Do whatever you like and enjoy!
If you want to know more about challah, here is another article and recipe: Challah: The Divine Dough
Shabbat Shalom!

Daring Greatly

A few days ago, I wrote a post on Finally Loving Myself. It was difficult to write, difficult to admit how very to the end of my end I’d gotten, how much I needed to really focus on me. And then, it was encouraging to myself as I listed some things I’d do to get myself back to where I need to be.

The only thing is, it was sort of a lie.

I forced myself to push “publish” , knowing that otherwise I might chicken out and not do so. (I did chicken out promoting it on Facebook until a few days later though, and it seems that nobody knows about it unless I announce it, but hey, it was still Out There.)

It wasn’t really a lie, per say, but it was way more optimistic than I really felt. Let’s just say I put on a good front.

I recently watched an interview by Oprah of Dr. Brené Brown. I was blown away by her ability to give words to describe, or rather to explain, things I’ve been struggling with. I definitely want to read her book, Daring Greatly, in which she goes into more detail about her findings as a researcher who has studied some very hard topics: vulnerability and shame.

I was captivated. I watched her TedX talk that went viral with over eight million views.  (Ok, I’ve been trying to add the player here so that you can watch it here, but have had difficulties. So. Two days have gone by, still no publish, enough is enough. Follow the above link to watch it if you’d like, and I’m publishing now.  See, isn’t that daring….;))

And then I began my breakdown spiritual re-awakening.

When I say I’m ready to Finally Love Myself, it’s true. But it’s not only to do that fun optimistic stuff I mentioned before, like getting alone time, exercise time, or taking time to jump in puddles.

You know how when there’s some kind of emergency that you need to snap into action for, you just do what needs to be done until it’s over, and only then can you really take a deep breath (and perhaps have a good cry)?

Well, I think that it’s time for me to do that, only on a larger scale. In order to give myself the time and attention that I need, I actually need to give myself permission to Become Unglued.

My ability to love others stems from my ability to love myself. And my ability to love myself stems from my worthiness. And my worthiness comes from God.  Because He knows me and He loves me and there ain’t nothing I can do about it.

I’ll be meditating on that.

Theodore Roosevelt said:

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.

FINALLY Loving Myself

Eleven years ago, I married my wonderful husband.  I was a professional, a Doctor of Chiropractic, with my whole career ahead of me. But getting married and the hope of adding children to our family was only one aspect of this change….I was about to embark on an amazing adventure. Marrying my husband meant I was moving to Israel.

Why was that part so significant?

Yes, it meant a new culture, new language, very different lifestyle.  It was exciting and wonderful and stressful and not-so-wonderful sometimes.  I birthed five exceptional children there.  I swam in the Dead Sea, prayed at the Kotel, got to see the Temple Mount, vacationed at the Sea of Galilee, and experienced walking down the middle of what would normally be a busy city street in Jerusalem but was absolutely dead silent on Yom Kippur. Memorable.

I gave up my chiropractic career because of this move. And, while there are aspects to that that sadden me slightly, I have no regrets. I would change NOTHING. I am incredibly blessed to have six children now, all healthy. I had wonderful home births, enjoyed teaching people about health whenever I could, and then one day I started and had an outlet for my creativity in writing. I loved writing this blog and although I would stray when things got too crazy, I always came back to it.

Then, one day, after living in Israel for nine and a half years and taking that long to finally get to the point where I didn’t miss the States so much and could honestly say I was glad we lived there and not the US, we moved back.

Yes, it was a surprise to me. And yes, I was glad. And sad. And glad. And looking forward to all the opportunities available here in the US for homeschooling, and friends, and easy shopping, and so on…

EXCEPT, it was another move, across the world, leaving many of our belongings behind. At the location which was supposed to be a “stop over while we figured out where we would stay”, we stayed almost two years. It was an apartment in a beautiful area, on the beach. But it was on the TENTH floor. We had FIVE children. On the TENTH floor. No back yard, no outside play time, no exercise, no space to spread out unless I took us all out for a walk, which despite my best intentions did not happen more than three times a week and sometimes it didn’t happen at all.  (remember, we homeschool)

And then we were blessed with another child, this time a difficult pregnancy. Still on the tenth floor, still away from our Israel friends and many complications kept us from spending much time with our American friends.

I have heard that next to death of a loved one, moving is the most stressful experience a person can encounter.  And moving to a foreign country is even more stressful. How about pregnancy? Childbirth? Homeschooling? Another pregnancy, another childbirth, times six? Moving three times in Israel and then moving back here? Try flying overseas with five children….

I have basically been under stress nonstop for eleven years. It’s been TOUGH.

But that’s not my point. I’m not writing this to complain, or even to vent. I realized something very important.

When I stopped practicing chiropractic, I began to neglect a very important part of myself. The ME part. The creative part.

Yes, I am a homeschool mom, and I love it. Yes, I have taught and written and learned to bake and sort of to sew and when I’ve made time for it, I exercised and had alone time weekly. My loving husband would sometimes send me on a relaxing “mommy day out” .  And although I knew it wasn’t really enough, I thought it was all I could do, and since this is “only a season in my life”, I went along with it as the professional martyr I had learned to be.

Flylady helped me learn to take charge of my home and my life, and when I get disorganized all over again, I realize it’s time to get back to the basics I learned from her. They really do work, and I don’t know why I ever stop. It’s good to know that I know how to get on top of things again. But there is one part, one MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT that I always sort of glossed over, ignored, didn’t think applied to me, UNTIL NOW.

Finally Loving Yourself.

FLY stands for Finally Loving Yourself.

Just like you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first during an emergency on an airplane so that you can then help others, you must take care of yourself first.


I didn’t really realize that I haven’t been. I mean, REALLY haven’t been. I have finally come to the end of my rope. I am empty. I need to be filled. I need some TLC. I need to make sure that I get what I need, and stop putting everyone else before me.

It is time. Finally.

Making time to exercise (regularly), not only because I “should”, not only because I want to change my body look or increase my strength, but because I want to feel good, I need to feel good, and I need to be ready to serve my Creator with all that He has given me stewardship over.

Making time to get alone (regularly) so that I can think, so that I can pray, so that I can just listen and BE. Not only so that I can “have a break” from my children, but so that I can be the mom and the wife I was created to be because I will not be consistently wound up so tightly that every moment I feel like I’m about to burst or snap or scream.

Making time to express myself, creatively. Writing here on, because I love to do it, because I can help and teach people, using the gifts I’ve been given. Because I am not alone, and reaching out to others through sharing my experiences helps.

Making time to PLAY with my CHILDREN. I will learn to have fun with them and not either a) feel guilty because I’m not getting something done that needs doing or b)running away and hiding while they are occupied and I can “sneak” some alone time in. I will have fun with them because it will be scheduled and so will my alone time be scheduled and so I won’t feel like I’m giving something else up to do this.  By doing so, we will all enjoy each other more, and I won’t feel like it’s “me” and “them”, but more like it’s “us.”

Making time to learn something new, plant a garden, dance, sing, draw, and splash in the puddles.

I’m not sure what else it will be, but I am going to find out.

FINALLY loving myself. I am going to be exploring what that means, what that’s going to look like. Feel free to join me.


The BEST (non-dairy) Creamy Tomato Soup

Do you like cream of tomato soup? I do! Of course, the best way to make it taste great is by adding lots of CREAM. However, most of us don’t want all those calories, and those of us who want to avoid dairy products also would probably decide to just go ahead and…..skip the creamy-ness.


Never Fear, I Have The Solution.

Here it is: A fantastic creamy tomato soup that is basically dairy free!

Here’s the recipe (for a huge batch, halve it for a normal size family)

2 large onions + about 4 cloves garlic, chopped, sauteed in olive oil + 1/2 stick butter till soft and sweet

add 1 large can crushed tomatoes + 1 can tomato paste plus water (dunno how much)

2 cans coconut milk

2 potatoes peeled & cubed

curry powder (amt?)


molasses + some sugar (= brown sugar)

dash of vodka

juice of 2 lemons (added at the end with final seasoning)

Cook till potatoes are soft, then blend solids. Voila! A creamy, delicious tomato soup w/o dairy (other than the butter)

Serve with chopped cilantro sprinkled on top.

Of course, add salad and fresh homemade whole wheat bread, and you’ve got yourself a first class meal!

Yes WHEY!!!!

Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet (A footstool or low seat), eating her curds (like cottage cheese) and WHEY.

Why whey? What IS whey?

Whey is the cloudy, yellowish liquid that is leftover after milk is curdled. It’s packed full of protein, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.

It’s really good for you and a total shame that it’s basically seen as a waste (byproduct) from making cheese; most people who have it just throw it away. Too bad.

Although I haven’t made my own cheese yet, I hope to someday (yes, I have dreams of having a goat…or at least access to fresh, raw, cow’s milk), and have heard about this stuff you end up with.  And when we began to enjoy the wonderful products from Beyond Organic, we experienced drinking flavored whey drinks as sports drinks (wonderfully refreshing and replenishing).  Now Beyond Organic has come out with Suero Gold, which is a pure whey beverage, and I did a little research to figure out what I could do with it (besides, of course, drinking it).

I saw this article called 16 Ways to Use Your Whey, which inspired me.

So far, Hubby has used it to make some yummy fermented sour craut, and some soaked almonds which were then seasoned and dehydrated to make crunchy again.

And tonight seemed like a good night for a pancake dinner. Although I usually make these whole wheat pancakes, I figured it was time to try some made with whey. They were great!

I found this recipe for pancakes with whey when I was looking for things to make with my Beyond Organic Suero Gold.

It came from King Arthur brand flour’s website, and here is their article on whey along with the recipe.

Brinna Sands reports that in Iceland whey, known as “mysa,” is sold in quart containers as a thirst quencher. It is actually very refreshing, similar to buttermilk but thinner; if it has been drained from a sweetened skyr, the whey is slightly sweet as well.
In this country, whey has generally been considered a “waste product” of cheese making. Large amounts of it have been “dumped” in waterways, creating general havoc with their ecosystems. But people here have missed the boat with whey, since it has several nutritional benefits that are quite substantial. It contains almost all the calcium found in milk (1 cup contains 1/3 of the calcium you need daily). The flip side of this is that once the whey has been drained from milk, the resulting products, whether yogurt cheese or cottage cheese or other cheese, contain only about 15% of the calcium found in a whole milk product. This doesn’t mean they are nutritionally empty but it does mean that these particular products are not good sources of calcium.

One cup of whey also contains 1/6 of the potassium you need on a daily basis (almost as much as in a banana). This is another reason it functions well as a thirst quencher, particularly for athletes who have an increased need for potassium. And finally, it contains about 25% of the protein, and is fat-free, as well.

The flavor of whey takes a bit of getting used to. If you like buttermilk, you’ll probably find it very pleasant. But it you’re a bit more tentative about it, you can mix it with juice, or flavored carbonated water… or use it in recipes.

Once you use whey in baking, your mind will start spinning with all the places you can substitute it. Its benefits in baking are two-fold. Wherever you might ordinarily have used water, whey is a nutritional plus. And its natural acidity reacts perfectly with baking soda to produce all the leavening (carbon dioxide bubbles) you need.

The reaction of baking soda with whey creates pancakes that are extremely light.

I doubled this recipe for my family of 7.

2 cups  Whole Wheat Flour

1 to 2 tablespoons sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc.
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups whey
2 large eggs
2 to 4 tablespoon vegetable oil

Mix the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

In a smaller bowl, beat together the whey, eggs and vegetable oil.

Blend the liquid ingredients with the dry taking about 20 seconds. (Don’t overdo it. Pan-cake batter is like muffin batter; a light hand in mixing means a light pancake on the plate.)

Cook on a cast iron skillet, if you have one. (Cast iron is the original non-stick cookware. Once it’s seasoned, you need only to grease it very lightly for the first batch of pancakes. It also maintains an even heat so you’re less likely to lose a batch of pancakes through scorching.)