How to Make a Ginger Bug–How to Make a Lacto-Starter

How to make a Ginger Bug--How to make a Lacto Starter

How to make a Ginger Bug–How to make a Lacto -Starter

So you’re probably wondering what a ginger bug is, and why on earth would I make it!  The short answer is that it’s a culture of good bacteria that is used as a base for homemade lacto fermented sodas.  Much like kefir, kombacha, yogurt, and  other fermented foods like pickles, kimchi, and sauerkraut, the bacteria in lacto fermented sodas provides beneficial bacteria to our guts. I’m not a fan of conventional soda’s for obvious reasons, and I’m so glad to have this as an alternative.  The recipe I used for making this lacto soda starter comes from the book Bar Tartine Techniques & Recipes, get a copy, it’s a great book.  You can use any type of sugar that you like in this recipe, and don’t worry about the sugar, it’s not for you, it’s for the bacteria, and they need it to thrive.   They eat it, and what’s left over is a thing of pure beauty.  One thing you should know about this recipe, is that you have to use organic ginger.  Commercial ginger is radiated, and because of that will not make a successful starter.

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Ingredients

4 cups of filtered water

5 teaspoons of grated  organic ginger

5 teaspoons of organic sugar

Directions: Add the water,

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1 teaspoon of ginger,

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and one teaspoon of sugar, to a large canning jar, or a bowl, stir well,

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cover with cheesecloth and place in a dark corner.

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The next day add one teaspoon of ginger, and one teaspoon of sugar, stir well, cover with the cheesecloth and return to the corner.  Continue to do this for another 3 days.  By the 5th day your ginger bug should be bubbling with action.  By bubbling I mean this:

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The bubbles are not boiling, just a few here and there, but when I moved it with spoon it sizzled.

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Once you get that, your ginger bug is ready to use. If you’re not ready to use it right away, transfer it to a mason jar, cover it, and refrigerate it.  Make sure to feed it once a week with 1 teaspoon of ginger and 1 teaspoon of sugar.  When you’re ready to make soda bring the starter to room temp, feed it with 1 teaspoon of ginger and 1 teaspoon of sugar until it bubbles again, about 3 days.  Stay tuned tomorrow I’ll share my recipe for strawberry soda using this starter–it’s soooooooooooooooo good!

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DIY Onion Soup Mix–Copy Cat Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix

 

DIY Onion soup mix

DIY Onion soup mix

There are three seasonings that I can rely on my mom to have in her cupboards at all times: Lawry’s seasoning salt, Lemon pepper, and Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix.  In fact while writing this, I was tempted to call her, and have her take a picture of what is inside her cupboards, just so that you guys could see, but she’s not that technologically savvy.  She barely knows how to get the pictures that I send her of Page through text.  When I was growing up my mom would rent  4-5  movies and make a bunch of snacks for us watch over the course of the weekend.  One of those snacks was a sour cream and onion dip.  She’d take a container of sour cream and mix in a package of the Lipton Onion Soup mix–simple but delicious.  We’d happily nosh on potato chips, celery, and carrot sticks dipped in the onion dip while we watched the latest movie release from Blockbuster video–yes I just dated myself!  Oh the memories!  I haven’t had that dip in years!  I’d say a good 10-12 years, maybe longer.  It’s not something my mom makes any more.  I wanted to make it for me and my hubby, but I didn’t want to buy the Lipton’s seasoning. I had an idea of what was in the seasoning–or at least I thought I did– dried minced onion, onion powder, dried green onion–but to be sure I called my mom and asked her what was on the ingredient list.  Sure enough she had a box in her cupboard and  the ingredient list she read to me was anything but simple. Besides the MSG, onion powder, and cornstarch, there were a list of ingredients that had  nothing to do with onions. So I set out to do what I do best and made my own–without all the added preservatives and coloring.  I used the organic onion powder that I made myself, and added minced onion and a few herbs.  A perfect match! Tastes just like I remember it! Delicious!!

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Makes the equivalent of 1 package of Lipton Onion soup mix

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons of organic dried minced onion flakes

3 teaspoons of organic onion powder

1 teaspoon of organic dried chives

1 teaspoon of sea salt

1/4 teaspoon of celery salt

Directions: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, if you don’t plan on using this right away, transfer it to an air tight container for later use.

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Pineapple Rings–How to make dehydrated Pineapple Rings

Dehydrated Pineapple Rings

Dehydrated Pineapple Rings

One of my go to snacks is dehydrated fruit.  I’m a particular fan of pineapple rings.  But, if you’ve ever purchased organic dehydrated pineapple rings, then you probably know that pineapple rings are a snack that can be out right expensive! I mean outlandishly expensive! On top of the expense, it’s pretty hard to find pineapple rings that haven’t been soaked in baths of sugar.  I’m not a fan of adding sugar to dehydrated fruit.  It’s sort of an oxymoron to me that sugar is added to dehydrated fruit at all, because if you know anything about dehydration–then you know that the sugar in fruits concentrate when dehydrated, so there really isn’t a need to add sugar–unless you’re dehydrating something really tart like cranberries then I could see the purpose of adding sugar. Last week I purchased a pineapple, I fully intended to eat it fresh. However,when I cut, and tasted it– it was pretty tasteless. Disappointing for sure. The pineapple clearly needed to ferment more.  Rather than chuck it, I sliced it and put it in the dehydrator and made pineapple rings. The resulting pineapple rings were not only flavorful, but they were sweet–everything you want would want in a fresh bite of pineapple–minus the juice of course.  The pineapple rings lasted all of 2 minutes, my sister in-law, my niece and Page, gobbled them right up–I’m pretty sure they would’ve passed on the fresh slices.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time 6-8 hrs 10-12hr for thicker slices

Ingredients:

2 whole fair trade organic pineapple

Directions: Remove the stem from the pineapple, then slice off the top and bottom.  Slice off the skin, making sure to remove all the eyelets.

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Now slice the pineapple thinly.

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Keep in mind that the thicker you slice it, the longer it will take to dry.  If it’s too thin your pineapple rings will turn out crisp, if they are a bit thicker, they’ll be more leathery, so it’ just a matter of what you’re seeking in consistency.  After slicing, cut out the center core by carving a circular cut in the middle of the pineapple.

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Remove the core and discard it.

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Place the pineapple rings on your dehydrator sheet,

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Set the dehydrator to 135F.  If you’re doing this in the oven, set the oven to 150F or the lowest possible setting.  Dehydrate for 6-8 hours, 10-12hrs if you cut thicker slices.

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Once dry let cool, then enjoy!

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Page could not wait for me to take a picture, she loves these so much!

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if you like this recipe, try the recipe for my pineapple fruit roll-ups!

Rosemary, Garlic, & Lemon Pototoes

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Rosemary, Garlic, and Lemon Potatoes

 

One of my husbands favorite side dishes.  He is a lover of all things potato, so I’m constantly trying to switch up the way that I cook them. The easiest way for me to do that is to switch up the herbs.  In this case fresh is best! The fresh rosemary really makes these potatoes sing! The pungent and earthy flavor of fresh rosemary paired with the lemon and garlic, make for a delicious potato dish!

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients:

4 medium organic potatoes (cubed skin on)

1 Tablespoon of fresh organic rosemary finely chopped

1 teaspoon of garlic finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon of lemon powder (can sub the zest of one small lemon)

4-5 Tablespoons of grape seed oil

Sea salt to taste

Directions: Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Place cubed potatoes in,

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Cook potatoes until they start to brown, tip, cook for 5 minutes on one side, brown and then flip to the other side to brown.  Once potatoes are brown and fork tender, add the rosemary, lemon powder, and garlic, toss for ten to twenty seconds, just until you can smell the garlic, turn the fire off.

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Transfer to a plate season with sea salt toss and enjoy!

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If you like these potatoes then you’ll love my recipe for Lemon and Garlic Potatoes! You might also like these Ranch Potatoes!

Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Cider Herb Vinaigrette

Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Cider Herb Vinaigrette

Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Cider Herb Vinaigrette

One of my favorite winter vegetables is cabbage.  I love it in a hearty soup, braised in a crock on the stove, or roasted in the oven. Cabbage seems to be one of those vegetables for me that not matter how I cook it, it’s comforting in every way! This recipe is a favorite of mine, the roasted cabbage alone is awesome, but the vinaigrette really takes it to another level!

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1 small head of cabbage quartered with core intact, so it doesn’t fall apart

3-4 tablespoons of oil

4 cloves of garlic sliced thinly

sea salt and black pepper to taste

Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons of Apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon of mustard oil

1 tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro

sea salt to taste

 

Directions: Add the ingredients for the vinaigrette to a bowl, mix well and set aside.

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Pre-heat the oven to 425F.

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Add the cabbage to a foil lined bake sheet, then drizzle with oil  and season with sea salt and black pepper on both sides. Lastly top with sliced garlic, and place in the oven.

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Cook  for 10-15 and cabbage takes on some color.  Remove from oven, drizzle each wedge with some of the vinaigrette, serve and enjoy!

 

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If you like this recipe check out my recipes for Indian Spiced Cabbage and Ground Chicken and Cabbage Curry!

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DIY BBQ Rub–Lazy Girl All Purpose Barbecue Seasoning

Lazy Girl BBQ Spice Rub

Lazy Girl BBQ Spice Rub

By now you know that I love to make my own dry rubs and seasonings. I am a particular fan of the Trader Joe’s brand BBQ rub, but it’s not organic, and it contains sugar.  So of course I had to make my own version–without the sugar. I find that most things that call for sugar, either need less than the recipe calls for, or  don’t need it at all.  If you want to add sugar to this, then by all means add it, 1 teaspoon of maple sugar won’t kill you, but it really isn’t necessary for this recipe, this seasoning is fantastic all own its own. Also a bit of spice is nice in the recipe but I have made it optional.  My daughter isn’t a fan of spicy foods, so I often leave the spice as a later addition for the grown ups.  This truly is an all purpose seasoning, it taste great on chicken, pork, tofu, or steak.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: none

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons of smoked paprika

1 teaspoon of onion flakes (can sub onion powder)

1 teaspoon of satsuma powder (can sub 2 teaspoons of orange zest)

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of ground coffee

1 teaspoon of himilayan sea salt

1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)

 

Directions: Add all ingredients to a small bowl,

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Mix well:

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This is such a great seasoning, and it’s not just something to use on grilled meats.  I used it to make oven roasted barbecue chicken the other night, and it was a huge hit!

 

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Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary

Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Rosemary

Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Rosemary

 

Do you like sweet potatoes?  I love them!  My husband–not so much!  Enter this recipe and he is a convert!  I just love a recipe that can convert someone, don’t you? The best part of this recipe? Three ingredients AND it’s super easy!

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

3 cups of cubed organic sweet potato

1 tablespoon of fresh or dried rosemary

2 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil

sea salt to taste

Directions: Pre-heat your oven to 425F.  In a large bowl toss together the sweet potato cubes, rosemary, sea salt, and oil–making sure that all of the potatoes get coated in oil.

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Add the potatoes to a foil lined bake sheet and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes take on some color.  Remove from the oven, serve and enjoy!

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