Fermented Carrots (Easy and Beginning Fermenter Friendly!)

March 4, 2017

Yesterday, I whipped up a batch of traditionally fermented carrots. I have been missing my cultured foods lately. Tasks abound in a real food kitchen and sometimes, I get overwhelmed. Little Bean motivated me to get back in the swing of things, though. Earlier this week, he was asking for “cayots with the salt.” ūüôā This kid LOVES carrots, and especially the fermented kind! So, I am lucky! Because fermented foods are SO good for us.


The traditional fermentation process¬†significantly¬†increases the food’s nutrient density and bioavailability!¬†In other words, eating fermented carrots is WAY better for you than even just eating regular carrots. So, it is a huge health win! You might be wondering if you need to eat a lot of fermented veggies to benefit, but you really don’t! ¬†Ideally, adding just a couple of tablespoons of fermented veggies to your diet, a couple of times each day, can make a big difference in overall health, digestion, and even mood! I like to add these carrots in to a big salad, or serve them to Little Bean as a snack paired with a string cheese or handful of cashews.


The even-better news is that this ferment is SUPER easy to prepare, especially for people who have never fermented vegetables before! And I am going to show you how you can have a jar of these put up in less than 30 minutes. (That even includes the 20 minutes of hands-free time.) It is a great way to start out with traditional ferments if they seem intimidating. (And in my opinion, it is one of the tastiest options.)¬†One more reason I love this ferment is that good carrots are so easy to find, all year long. So, if you get hooked, the good news is that carrot season never ends. ūüôā

Green Goddess Sauce (Mrs. Bean’s version)

January 5, 2017

Green Goddess dressing comes in many varieties. Today I’m going to tell you about mine. But first, the back story. It is January, and I am doing another Whole30. Me and the Whole30, we have some unfinished business to attend to. Namely, that whole “reintroduction” phase that I more-or-less skated out on at the conclusion of my last round. Perhaps more on that later. But for now, I am in the zone once again, and it feels so good!


In this second round, I am working to improve some things from my first round. Experience is helping! In particular, I am working much harder on my meal planning and prep game. While I did stay “compliant” (Whole30-speak for obeying all of the rules) for the full thirty days of my last round, there were times in which my food enjoyment dwindled substantially. Low enjoyment of compliant foods is the perfect storm for going off program. You definitely want to avoid food boredom as much as you are able to! And I certainly don’t want to start this second round over! So to keep things tasty and satisfying this time around, I’m working to stay stocked up on compliant eats that really make me happy. Enter, Green Goddess sauce.


One thing that makes me happier than all other things, culinarily speaking, is condiments. I apply them in heavy doses to most things that I eat. (Coincidentally, so does Little Bean.) ūüėȬ†We are enjoying this version of Green Goddess sauce in a variety of ways. It is wonderful on a salad, of course. But it can also be used as a versatile dip or condiment on things ranging from scrambled eggs to baked potatoes. It is highly adaptable to whatever “greens” you prefer. Personally, I love cilantro and abhor parsley! But everyone is different. So if you wish to tweak the herbs used, it will still be great! Enjoy!


Homemade Refried Beans – Instant Pot (or not!)

December 24, 2016

Tonight, December 23rd, has been declared Taco Night at the Bean household. What Taco Night would be complete without a good batch of refried beans on the side?! I’ll be honest: I love Christmas, but I am exhausted from all of the preparation and activity of this month! I have made all the lists, bought all the gifts, and attended all the activities. Tacos were a quick and easy dinner to give me a little bit of a break¬†tonight.¬†


Between the BPA in so many of the canned varieties, and the unhealthy fats used in their production, canned refried beans are not the most optimal nutritional decision. (Not to mention that homemade refried beans taste SO much better than canned.) By making your own refried beans, you can also skip all of the nasty oils, and gain a good dose of healthy fats to boot. Lastly, by making your own refried beans, you can significantly improve the digestibility of the beans by soaking them in advance. (In my case, I was in a hurry, so I fast-forwarded the process using my Instant Pot.) 


If you are not using an Instant Pot, the process is very similar. Instead of cooking the beans in your Instant Pot for 30 minutes, boil them in a large pot on the stove. Depending on how long you have soaked them in advance, you may need to vigorously boil them anywhere from 1-4 hours. Keep a close watch on them while boiling, and add more water as the pot gets low. (The beans will soak up quite a bit, and if you’ve ever burned beans in your house, you can attest to the fact that this is not a smell you want to deal with in your house.) You can then follow the remainder of the steps in the same pot!

Easy Sweet Potato Bisque (Vegan/Paleo/Whole30 Options)

November 3, 2016
immersion blender

When the weather cools down, we love soups! Eating soup is a great way to get lots of nourishing bone broth and veggies down the hatch. It is also super budget-friendly, because in some cases you can use up the last of your leftovers by putting them in your soup. A soup recipe also usually makes a lot, so we have some good leftovers in the fridge for upcoming lunches.


Our local Costco recently had Costco-sized bags of organic sweet potatoes, and I couldn’t help myself. In addition to being DELICIOUS, sweet potatoes are chock-full of beta carotene! We love to roast them, mash them, put them in casseroles, and now we love them in soup, too! I made this recipe using some dairy, but it would also be great without! So I’ve given some options in my recipe.