1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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August 18, 2022

Mr. Non-Compliant vs. Mr. Corn

It’s that time of year when my dear cousin, Roger, aka Mr. Corn, and his wife Barb, come to Indiana for a visit. They now live in Florida, where swe

August 11, 2022

An Herb that Helps Reduce Anxiety, Induce Sleep, and More

I find it fascinating when one single food, or in this case, an herb, can contribute so much to our health. Cilantro is one such herb. While it’s no

August 4, 2022

Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day may inspire some baking… While preparations have begun for those going back to school, there’s still lots of su

July 28, 2022

A Summer Meal with a Kick

While many of us would like to add more vegetables to our diet, it can be challenging to come up with new ideas. Discovering main dishes that are vege

July 27, 2022

Spicy Mushroom Tacos

These vegan tacos have a kick, so if you’re not a fan of spicy foods, cut back on the cayenne or omit.  Serves 4 Ingredients 1 lb. mixed mushrooms

July 21, 2022

Are They Eggs or Just Eggs?

In an effort to help those who are allergic or choose not to eat chicken eggs, this blog’s for you. And if you love chicken eggs, biscuits and gravy

July 13, 2022

Lipstick on a Pig

For any of my new blog followers, cauliflower is one of the few vegetables that I’m not fond of.  I’ve tried it all sorts of ways. Readers have s

July 13, 2022

Super Simple Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

After rinsing the head of cauliflower, cut it into florets, remove the thick stem portions, and slice it very thin. Arrange in a single layer on a sto

July 7, 2022

Vidalia Onions, Salsa, and Qigong

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s still possible to find Vidalia onions in local stores. I’m not sure how long they will last, so now is the tim

June 30, 2022

Navigating the Holiday Weekend Deliciously

Happy almost 4th of July weekend! The celebrations are about to begin. Parades, barbecues, picnics, watermelon, fireworks, adult beverages, and probab

Unstuffed Pepper Soup

It’s soup weather. It’s almost Christmas. It’s crunch time.

You need to eat nutritious food and you’ve get presents to buy, decorating to do, and cookies to bake. What’s for dinner?

Here’s a recipe that’s simple, quick, and delicious. Makes about 6 servings in under an hour.  

Unstuffed Pepper Soup

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (organic, grass-fed, preferred)
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped (or any color combination of bell peppers)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans petite diced tomatoes (may use fire roasted)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups beef bone broth (or beef broth)
  • ½ tsp. dried basil
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup (or so) Cabernet Sauvignon or other red wine (optional)
  • 1 cup uncooked organic white or brown rice

In a large pot, heat 1 Tbsp. avocado oil over medium heat, then add beef, salt and pepper. Brown the beef, stirring occasionally and breaking it up. Drain beef by using a slotted spoon to put it onto a plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess fat. Set aside. Remove any fat from pan.

Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in pot and add onions and peppers. Sauté about 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté about 30 seconds longer.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef bone broth, basil, oregano, wine, and cooked beef. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a light boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

While soup simmers, cook rice according to package directions. I like to cook the rice in beef bone broth for added protein and nutrition.

When soup is done, serve in individual bowls, adding desired amount of rice to each bowl. By storing the soup and rice in separate containers, and adding rice upon serving, it doesn’t get mushy when you have leftovers.

Note: If you have leftover wine from the holidays, freeze in ice cube trays and add to soups, stews, or other recipes, for added flavor.

Merry Christmas!

Much love,
Carol

“No man is a failure who has friends.” — It’s a Wonderful Life

The Buzz on Bone Broth

Lately I’ve been using more bone broth, whether it’s Carol-made or a store-bought variety.

When comparing bone broth to basic broth or bouillon, bone broth comes out far ahead in the nutritional column, and is interchangeable in most recipes.

For example, here are a few highlights when comparing one 8oz. serving of Swanson chicken bone broth vs. Swanson basic chicken broth:

  • Bone broth has 8 grams of protein 1 gram of protein in basic broth
  • Bone broth has 350mg of sodium 860mg of sodium in basic broth
  • Bone broth has 35 calories 10 calories in basic broth
  • Bone broth has <1 gram of sugar 1 gram of sugar in basic broth

Bone broth is technically stock, since it requires the addition of bones. It is made by simmering bones, herbs, and vegetables for about 16-24 hours. This long simmering process produces a higher content of vitamins and minerals.  

Basic broth is lighter, and more flavorful, as it is cooked for a much shorter amount of time. The flavor comes from the meat, vegetables, and herbs.

They can be used interchangeably, although broth is better suited when the dish depends on the flavor of the liquid. Stock, or bone broth, is a bit thicker, and makes a good base for soups, stews, gravy, and cooking grains and legumes.

To Make Chicken or Turkey Bone Broth

  • Take the leftover chicken/turkey carcass, bones, neck, etc., and put it all in your crock pot.
  • Add a couple roughly chopped carrots, celery stalks, onions, and whole garlic cloves.
  • Thyme, rosemary and/or parsley may be added if desired.
  • Cover with water to within an inch or two from the top.
  • Add 2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar. (This helps more nutrients to seep out of the bones and you won’t taste it.)
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 18-24 hours.
  • Remove the solids with a slotted spoon, allowing any stock to drain in another bowl. (There may be quite a bit of stock that collects in the vegetables.)
  • Discard the overcooked vegetables and bones. Run the remaining broth through a small strainer or cheesecloth to remove any leftover solids.

You now have delicious healthy bone broth to sip anytime, use as a soup base, or freeze for future use. This process works for all types of bones. If you get soup bones from your butcher, I read that if you roast the bones before making bone broth, the final product has a richer flavor.  

Note: When making broth from bones, you want to try and use bones that come from well sourced, organically raised, pastured or grass-fed animals, to avoid added hormones and antibiotics, and other nasty additives.

I like to cook my rice in bone broth for added protein and nutrition. A cup of bone broth tastes great as a snack on a cold afternoon, or with lunch.

Thanksgiving day, I tossed my turkey carcass and neck into my crock pot and made the stock. I used the stock the next day in my turkey pot pie. Yes, it was truly amazing!

Consider how making small changes like this, over time, lead to increased vitality and improved overall health.

If you’d like to learn more, contact me today!

Much love,
Carol

“Bone broth delivers a slew of healthy compounds like collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, plus a whopping 19 amino acids — all of which have been associated with several health benefits, such as improved gut health, joint function, skin elasticity, and a stronger immune system.”—Dr. Josh Axe

The Peaceful Way to Christmas

The countdown to Christmas has begun. In fact, it started well before we ate the turkey.

There are no Christmas decorations adorning our house, although the boxes made it into the family room. We polished off the turkey leftovers yesterday, so I can officially move forward into the Christmas festivities.  

In my mind, there is plenty of time to prepare. Stressing out about the long list of “Must Get Done” is not a good idea.

Here are some tips to help get us through the next few weeks in a calm and peaceful manner:

  • Focus on the reason for this beautiful season. For Christians, the birth of Jesus Christ. For those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
  • Have a discussion about what is most important for you and your family. Sometimes what we THINK is important to others, is not a big deal. “We’ve always done it this way” is not a valid reason to continue.
  • In order to prepare for those busy shopping days when you don’t seem to get a break, make the intention NOW to pack your water and some healthy snacks. Planning ahead will help you maintain your energy—and your weight.
  • Remember the breathing technique of exhaling twice as long as you inhale. For example, inhale for four counts, hold for four counts, and exhale for eight counts. Doing this for several cycles is a way to find peace in the moment.  
  • Schedule some exercise into your week. Begin your resolution today to live your healthy life. By doing this, you will feel really good January 1, when most people will be just thinking about it.
  • Write down your list of the really important stuff that needs to happen, and prioritize. On any given day, when everything is a priority, do the thing you most feel like doing. Getting away from the “should” mentality is awesome. You’ll have more fun.
  • Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and protein, saving the sugary treats for when they are truly AMAZING. Most of the time those store-bought goodies look much better than they taste. Don’t cave and eat them because everyone else is. They probably don’t read my blogs. (Hint: Share my blog with them. Thanks!)
  • Set aside some time each day to pray/meditate on your reasons for celebrating.

I hope your Thanksgiving was fabulous. Our family enjoyed the feast and being together, and the time went by much too quickly. I’m looking forward to repeating the fun in just a few weeks.

Peace,
Carol

“For Christmas this year, try giving less. Start with less attitude. There’s more than enough of that in the world as it is — and people will usually just give it back anyway!”— Anne Bristow

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is a day my family looks forward to for weeks. We enjoy hanging out, relaxing, cooking, and of course, eating.

We typically fry our turkey. This year, we’re changing things up a bit. The bird is going on the charcoal grill.  

Also on the menu:

  • Mashed potatoes (dairy free)
  • Maple glazed sweet potatoes
  • Sautéed green beans
  • Amish stuffing (filled with gluten, for the family)
  • Cranberry sauce with apples (for me)
  • Cranberry jelly out of the can (Mr. Non-Compliant won’t eat real cranberries)
  • Pumpkin pie with CocoWhip (gluten free and dairy free)

I’m going to try my hand at making gravy, since I discovered turkey stock in the freezer.

Sometimes naps happen. It’s a great day, and I’m very thankful.

Whatever Thanksgiving holds for you, I wish you a beautiful, blessed, and gratitude-filled day.

Thank you for reading my Thursday morning blog posts. I appreciate you.

Much love,
Carol