Roasted Garlic Soup

Well, I’m sure you weren’t expecting to be home on a Wednesday but here you are. How about a nice Roasted Garlic soup recipe that will help boost your immune system & your mood! Keep everyone healthy & happy with this tasty soup!

Roasted Garlic Soup

Five entire bulbs of garlic roasted to perfection and incorporated in a creamy soup. You can stop at the puree stage, and refrigerate for up to one day before adding the cream and lemon juice.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: garlic, Gluten Free, vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Grandma Antionette

Ingredients

  • 5 bulbs garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee
  • 4 leeks chopped
  • 2 medium onion chopped
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour or Gluten free to make it GF
  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth for vegetarian version
  • cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives Optional

Instructions

  • Cut off top 1/4 inch of each garlic head. Place in a small, shallow baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Press individual garlic cloves between thumb and finger to release. Chop garlic.
  • Melt butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, leeks, and onion; saute until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add flour and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in hot broth and sherry and oregano. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
  • Puree soup in batches in a blender or food processor.
  • Return soup to saucepan, and add cream. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and white pepper. Garnish with chives.

Crockpot Fajitas

Fajitas

We have a little recipe to put a smile on your face – Crockpot Fajitas! You can go meatless or meat them up with anything you like. The base stays the same, just add the protein of your choice set it, forget it and eat!

Hot delish fajitas will be awaiting your return!

Crockpot Fajitas

This Crockpot fajita recipe is super easy and can include whatever protein you like. Some prefer meatless with mushrooms, some like fish beef or chicken. The base recipe is the same but you can make this recipe yours.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time6 hrs 10 mins
Total Time6 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: crockpot, fajitas, low calorie, slowcooker, vegetarian
Servings: 6
Author: Grandma Antoinette

Equipment

  • Crockpot

Ingredients

  • 1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 3 bell peppers ideally 1 red, 1 yellow and 1 green cored and sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion halved and sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander*
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Protein options:

  • 2 lb chicken breast cut into strips
  • 2 cup portobello mushrooms sliced and peeled with the stems removed
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can garbanzo beans

Instructions

  • Pour half of the canned tomatoes into the bottom of a slow cooker and spread into an even layer. Top with half of the peppers and half of the onions. Sprinkle garlic in. Top with your choice of protein.
  • In a bowl whisk together chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt and pepper. Evenly sprinkle the seasoning over protein. Top with remaining half of the tomatoes, then layer in remaining peppers and onions.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH heat about 2 1/2 – 3 hours or low heat 4 – 6 hours.
  • In a small bowl whisk together lime juice and honey and add to slow cooker along with the protein and season with additional salt to taste if desired (I sometimes like to add 1/4 cup chopped cilantro too here but this is optional). Gently toss. Serve warm in warmed tortillas optional toppings.

Notes

Optional Toppings
Cilantro, sour cream, salsa, guacamole or sliced avocados, shredded Mexican cheese (optional)

Instant Pot Chicken Marsala

Instant Pot Chicken Marsala

Incredibly juicy chicken cutlets cooked in mushroom and Marsala wine sauce. This flavorful dish comes together in your pressure cooker in less than 30 minutes! Fast & Fabulous!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Chicken, comfort food, high protein, Instant Pot, instapot
Servings: 4
Calories: 329kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 2 medium chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

The Sauce

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 8 oz. white or baby Bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/4 cup Heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  • Make sure that your stainless steel insert is in your Instant Pot. Press “saute” setting and wait 2 minutes.
  • Add oil and butter to your Instant Pot and let it melt.
  • Cut each chicken breast lengthwise, to make two cutlets. Season with salt and pepper and dredge in flour.
  • Brown each chicken cutlet on each side. Remove onto a plate.
  • Add more butter to the Instant Pot. Add garlic, onion and mushrooms and saute until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  • Press “cancel/off” button. Add chicken stock and wine to vegetables. Stir well.
  • Place chicken in the sauce. Close the lid, set valve to “sealing” positions (the newer IP models do it on their own).
  • Make sure the IP is set to cook at HIGH pressure. Set timer to 7 minutes.
  • The IP will beep and it will start coming to pressure. That can take about 5 minutes.
  • Once the timer is done, press “cancel/off” button and let the Instant Pot release pressure naturally.
  • Once the pressure pin drops, carefully open the lid away from your face.
  • Remove the chicken and set on a plate.
  • Mix cornstarch with water, heavy cream and add to the sauce in the pot. Stir and let it sit for a few minutes to thicken.
  • Serve chicken with sauce over mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, rice or noodles.

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash in your Instant Pot yields a perfectly cooked squash—not mushy, but tender and holding its shape. Spaghetti squash is also a perfect base for so many sauces or just a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese as a side dish. At the market, look for squash that are about 3 lbs.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
Cuisine: American
Keyword: diabetic, Gluten Free, heart healthy, Instant Pot, instapot, low carb, low fat, one dish meal, soy free, spaghetti squash, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 109kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 1 3 lb spaghetti squash halved
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions

  • Cut the squash in half lengthwise; scoop out and discard seeds.
  • Pour 1 cup water in the Instant Pot. Place a wire metal steam rack in pot. Arrange cut halves of squash on top of the steam rack. Put minced garlic on the inside center of the halved spaghetti squash.
  • Cover Instant Pot, and fasten the lid. Lock and seal the steam valve.
  • Set to HIGH pressure for 7 minutes. (The pot will take about 15 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
  • Allow pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then carefully release pressure by turning valve to VENT.
  • Remove lid, and, using tongs, drain accumulated liquid from squash halves. Using a fork, scrape out flesh into spaghetti-like strands in a bowl (should have 4 to 6 cups)
  • Add olive oil, thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper, to squash and toss to coat. Serve hot.

Instant Pot Parmesan Chicken & Potatoes

Instant Pot Parmesan Chicken & Red potatoes

This Instant Pot Parmesan Chicken and Potatoes recipe is an easy one-pot meal that the whole family will love. This is healthy comfort food at its finest and most delicious. Parmesan cheese over the chicken and potatoes on your plate is the final, delectable touch.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Chicken, Instant Pot, Potatoes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast Cubed
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or more if desired
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds baby red potatoes halved
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 clove garlic minced or chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Instructions

  • Season chicken with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Select “sauté on high heat” on the Instant Pot and add the butter. Once hot, add the chicken and sauté for about 2 minutes on each side (will not be completely cooked).
  • Add the potatoes to the pot and season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in chicken broth, garlic and thyme or rosemary. Secure the lid.
  • Select “Manual” and cook for 20 minutes on high pressure.
  • When cooking is complete, slow-release for about 10 minutes before releasing the rest of the pressure.
  • Transfer the chicken and potatoes to a platter. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan and garnished with parsley, if desired.

Meatless Monday – Crockpot Black Bean Soup

Crockpot Black Bean Soup

This Crockpot Black Bean Soup recipe is super easy to make, packed with protein, and it's super delicious! It also just so happens to be naturally vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. Woo Hooo
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal, Soup
Cuisine: Comfort, Mexican
Keyword: comfort food, Gluten Free, heart healthy, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 8

Equipment

  • Crockpot

Ingredients

Main Ingredients

  • 1 large onion (yellow) chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers cored and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper cored and chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz cans)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Additional Garnish (Optional)

    Instructions

    • Combine all main ingredients in the bowl of a slow cooker, and stir to combine.
    • Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours, until all of the vegetables are cooked and tender.
    • Remove the bay leaf.
    • Serve the soup warm, garnished with your desired toppings. Or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze in a sealed container for up to 3 months.

    Additional Options

    • use a blender or food processor to puree the soup completely (thick and smooth)
    • use a blender or food processor to puree about half of the soup (thick and smooth but still has texture)

    Week 10 – Crockpot Apple Cider

    Crockpot Apple Cider From Scratch

    Today’s recipe for homemade slow cooker apple cider might seem like a lot of work but it's super easy. It’s made 100% from scratch and has been one of my favorite entertaining recipes over the past few years. Don’t believe me, try it for yourself!
    Prep Time20 mins
    Cook Time6 hrs
    Total Time6 hrs 20 mins
    Course: Drinks
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: apple cider, apples, crockpot, slow cooker
    Servings: 10 Cups
    Calories: 125kcal

    Equipment

    • Slow Cooker

    Ingredients

    • 8 gala apples quartered or any apples you have on hand Remove the core
    • 1 orange sliced leave the rind on
    • 4 sticks cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
    • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
    • 10 cups water
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar

    Instructions

    • Place your quartered apples into a slow cooker.
    • Add in cinnamon sticks, orange, whole cloves, and allspice in there and pour in the 10 cups of water.
    • Cook on high for 3 hours.
    • After 3 hours, mash the apples with a potato masher.
    • Add in brown sugar and cook an additional 1-3 hours on low.
    • Using a cheesecloth, strain the solids from the liquids.
    • Discard solids and store liquids in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for later use.
    • Enjoy!

    This Not That Thursday – Skip the Bread, Veggie Stuffing recipe

    Skip the Bread, Veggie Stuffing recipe

    If the group you're feeding on Thanksgiving Day has someone who is vegetarian, gluten-free or following a low-carb special diet, this is the stuffing recipe you’ll need to make the day perfect!
    Skip the carb-filled stuffing and have extra turkey 😉
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time40 mins
    Total Time1 hr
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American, Thanksgiving
    Keyword: comfort food, Gluten Free, low calorie, low carb, low fat, stuffing
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 90kcal

    Equipment

    • large skillet

    Ingredients

    • 4 tbsp. butter
    • 2 meduim onion chopped
    • 2 large carrots peeled and chopped
    • 2 stalks celery chopped or thinly sliced
    • 1 medium head cauliflower chopped
    • 1 cup 8-oz. package baby bella mushrooms chopped
    • 1 tsp Kosher salt add more to your tase
    • 1 tbsp Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
    • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped rosemary
    • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped sage or 1 tsp. ground sage
    • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

    Instructions

    • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until soft, 7 to 8 minutes.
    • Add cauliflower and mushrooms and then season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes more.
    • Add parsley, rosemary, and sage and stir until combined. Pour over broth and cook until totally tender and liquid is absorbed, 10 minutes.
    • Serve hot and enjoy!

    Week 8 – Crockpot Maple Pork Ribs

    Crock Pot Maple Pork Ribs

    Skip the same old boring barbecue sauce and opt for a maple dijon syrup glaze to slick up these pork ribs. These tender ribs are slow-cooked in a luscious maple-mustard sauce.
    Easy peasy and finger lickin good!!!
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time5 hrs
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: crockpot, maple, ribs, slow cooker, slowcooker
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 428kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Equipment

    • Crock Pot

    Ingredients

    • 2 pound boneless country-style pork ribs trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
    • 4 teaspoons canola oil
    • 2 medium onion sliced and separated into rings
    • 4 cups maple syrup
    • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard or spicy brown if you prefer

    Instructions

    • In a large skillet, brown ribs in oil on all sides; drain.
    • Place ribs and onion in a 1-1/2-qt. slow cooker.
    • Combine syrup and mustard; pour over ribs.
    • Cover and cook on low until meat is tender, 5-6 hours.

    Week 7 – Crockpot Chicken and Vegetables

    Crockpot Chicken with Vegetables

    Even a beginner cook could make this crockpot chicken and have it turn out perfectly. This recipe could not be easier. A few minutes of prep and you’ll come home to a deliciously cooked chicken with veggies on the side.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time7 hrs
    Total Time7 hrs 15 mins
    Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Chicken, comfort food, crockpot, Gluten Free, one dish meal, slowcooker
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 329kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Equipment

    • Crockpot, Slow-cooker

    Ingredients

    • 3 Medium Carrots peeled, and cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 2 Ribs Celery and cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 2 Medium Onions halve 1 and slice the other
    • 8 Small Red Potatoes quartered
    • 1 Teaspoon Salt divided
    • 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper divided
    • 1 Medium Lemon halved
    • 6 Cloves Garlic (I leave them whole since my kids don’t eat them)
    • 1 3/4 Lb broiler/fryer chicken
    • 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary crushed
    • 1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
    • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
    • 2 Teaspoons Paprika

    Instructions

    • Place carrots, celery, 3 cloves of garlic, sliced onions, and potatoes in a 6-qt. slow cooker; sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
    • Place lemon halves, onion halves and 3 garlic cloves in the chicken cavity.
    • Tuck wings under the chicken and tie drumsticks together. Place the chicken over the vegetables in the slow-cooker, breast side up.
    • Mix together rosemary, lemon juice, oil, paprika and remaining salt in small bowl; rub all over the chicken.
    • Cook, covered, on low until a thermometer inserted in thigh reads at least 170° and vegetables are tender, 6-8 hours.
    • Let stand 15 minutes before carving. Serve with the vegetables.

    Week 5 – Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

    Love chicken dinners? Love slow cooker meals? Love Italian food? Then you will LOVE our slow cooker chicken cacciatore recipe! This amazing chicken cacciatore is packed with protein and vegetables that are slowly cooked for maximum flavor and minimal work. Set it & forget it!

    Set it, forget it, then serve it up hot!

    Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

    Love chicken dinners? Love slow cooker meals? Love Italian food? Then you will LOVE this slow cooker chicken cacciatore recipe! This amazing chicken cacciatore is packed with protein and vegetables that are slowly cooked for maximum flavor and minimal work.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time7 hrs
    Total Time7 hrs 15 mins
    Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
    Cuisine: Italian
    Keyword: Chicken, crockpot, Gluten Free, high protein, low calorie, slowcooker
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 207kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Equipment

    • Slow Cooker

    Ingredients

    • 2 Medium Yellow onions thinly sliced
    • 1 3/4 Lbs broiler/fryer chicken cut up and skin removed
    • 3 Cloves Garlic minced
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 can 14-1/2 ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 can 8 ounces tomato sauce
    • 1 can 4 ounces mushroom stems and pieces, drained, or 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
    • 1/3 cup white wine or water

    Options

    • Serve with Pasta or Gluten Free Pasta for a GF version.

    Instructions

    • Place onions in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Add the chicken, seasonings, tomatoes, tomato sauce, mushrooms, and wine.
    • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until chicken is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve chicken with sauce over your pasta choice.

    Notes

    Nutrition Facts
    1 serving (calculated without pasta): 207 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 73mg cholesterol, 787mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 27g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 2 vegetable.

    Week 4 – Heavenly Crockpot Potato Soup

    Slow Cooker Heavenly Potato Soup

    Grandma Antoinette's Potato Soup loaded with chunks of tender, hearty potatoes and made with a rich and creamy soup base. This soup is a family favorite and for good reason – it’s easy to make and absolutely delicious! Top it with cheese and bacon and no one will be able to resist.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time8 hrs 30 mins
    0 mins
    Total Time9 hrs
    Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: comfort food, crockpot, low calorie, one dish meal, slowcooker
    Servings: 12
    Calories: 179kcal
    Author: Grandma Antionette

    Equipment

    • Slow Cooker

    Ingredients

    Main Ingredients

    • 8 Cups Diced Russet potatoes
    • 48 Ounces Chicken broth or vegetable broth for vegetarian version
    • 1 10oz Can Condensed Cream of Chicken soup, undiluted or Cream of Celery soup for vegetarian version
    • 1/2 Cup Chopped yellow onion
    • 1 Large Carrot diced
    • 1 Stalk Celery diced
    • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
    • ¼ Teaspoon Pepper
    • 1 8oz Package of cream cheese – Cubed

    OPTIONAL

    • ½ Lb Sliced bacon cooked and crumbled (Omit for vegetarian version)
    • Minced chives
    • Shredded Cheddar cheese

    Instructions

    • In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine all the main ingredients EXCEPT the Cream Cheese.
      Cover and cook on LOW for 8-9 hours or until potatoes are tender.
    • Add cream cheese; stir until blended. Serve immediately & enjoy.
    • Garnish with bacon, cheese & chives if desired.

    Notes

    Nutrition Facts
    1 cup (calculated without bacon): 179 calories,
    9g fat (5g saturated fat),
    25mg cholesterol,
    787mg sodium,
    21g carbohydrate
    (2g sugars, 2g fiber),
    4g protein.

    Week 3 – Crockpot Rosemary Chicken & Mushroom Risotto

    Crockpot Rosemary Chicken & Mushroom Risotto

    This is one of my weekend favorites. 2-3 hrs in the slow cooker and before you know it, a superbly delicious, soul-warming meal. I use this when I have leftover chicken handy, usually grilled chicken or leftover rotisserie minus the skin. Skip the chicken and rosemary and you've got yourself a wonderful vegetarian mushroom risotto! Either way, enjoy 😉
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time2 hrs 45 mins
    Total Time3 hrs
    Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal, Side Dish
    Cuisine: American, Comfort, Italian
    Keyword: crockpot, one dish meal, risotto, slowcooker
    Servings: 8
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Equipment

    • Crockpot

    Ingredients

    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 cups precooked chicken skinless
    • 3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms about 8 oz
    • 1/3 cup chopped onion
    • 2 cloves garlic minced
    • 1 3/4 cups uncooked Arborio rice
    • 4 cups chicken broth
    • 3/4 cup dry white wine or additional chicken broth
    • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon Rosemary or a few fresh sprigs
    • Asiago or parmesan cheese shreds optional
    • Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves optional

    Instructions

    • In a large skillet saute mushrooms, onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat . Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until mushrooms are lightly browned and liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally.
    • Add in rice, stirring to coat for 2 minutes.
    • Dump the rice mixture to a 4-quart crockpot. Stir in broth, chicken, wine, and pepper.
    • Cover and cook – low-heat setting about 2 hours and 45 minutes or until rice is tender.
    • Top with cheese and/or parsley. Serve immediately.

    Notes

    Cooking times may vary a little depending on slow cooker brands. Some run  hotter than others. For this recipe, I used Crock-Pot.

    Week 2 – Crockpot Sweet & Sour Pot Roast

    In honor of Rosh Hashanah, this week’s Crockpot recipe is a flavorful pot roast for a delightful family dinner. (Brisket can be used if you prefer).

    The rules are simple: Get a good piece of meat from your butcher, season it, cover it with liquid or sauce, and cook a long time over low heat. You’ll need to have this on for about 7-8 hours but it will be worth it!
    L’shana tova umetukah

    Crockpot Sweet & Sour Pot Roast

    The rules are simple: Get a good piece of meat from your butcher, season it, cover it with liquid, and cook a long time over low heat.
    Prep Time30 mins
    Cook Time8 hrs
    Total Time8 hrs 30 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American, Jewish
    Keyword: Gluten Free, nut free
    Servings: 8

    Equipment

    • Crockpot

    Ingredients

    • 3 pound pot roast
    • 2 large onions
    • 6 large carrots cut thin
    • 5 stalks celery chopped
    • 8 cloves garlic chopped
    • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
    • 6 Tbsp of cider vinegar
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup ketchup
    • 3/4 cup beef stock
    • 3/4 cup red wine
    • A handful of fresh cut herbs – parsley and tarragon

    Instructions

    • Heat up a large skillet and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle all sides of your pot roast with a couple of pinches of salt and pepper. Add pot roast to the sauté pan and brown on both sides (about 5 minutes per side). When pot roast is browned, add to crockpot.
    • In same skillet, add a touch more oil and sauté onions, celery, carrots, and garlic for about 5-10 minutes, cooking the vegetables just a touch.
    • Meanwhile in a measuring cup add wine, stock, brown sugar, ketchup, and vinegar. Whisk and set aside.
    • When vegetables are done add cranberries and cook for another minute. Pour in the wine mixture and add herbs, bring to a boil.
    • Carefully pour vegetables and sauce over pot roast, cook high 4-6 hours or on low 8-10 hours.
    • When done, take out the meat, let it cool for 5 minutes or until it’s easy to handle, cut, plate and spoon some vegetables over with a touch of gravy.

    Notes

    Side note: This pot roast can be cooked a day in advance; let the meat and vegetables cool in the crockpot in their juices, and then cover and refrigerate. Reheat, covered on high, about 30 minutes.

    -Dr. P
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    This, Not That, Thursday – Using Apple Peels & Cores

    Apples! Did someone say apples? This week “This, Not That Thursday” is all about saving those apple peels and cores.

    Every fall we take at least one trip to an apple orchard near us. They have family-friendly activities, wonderful local canned goods for sale, and of course, apples. So many apples! Plain apples, apples to make applesauce, pies, crisps and the “mother” of them all… Apple Cider Vinegar

    When making any of the above you will probably peel & core some of those apples but did you know you can use the peels and the cores to make apple cider vinegar? This way you have virtually no waste! WINNER!

    It is also totally possible to make apple cider vinegar from the whole apple so don’t worry if you don’t have leftover peels and cores from anything.

    There are several more elaborate ways to make apple cider vinegar at home, but today I’m gonna show you how to make it from apple scraps. I especially like this method since it allows me to use the apples for other stuff while still making a valuable product from the “waste”.

    HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time5 d
    Total Time5 d 10 mins
    Course: Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: dairy free, Gluten Free, heart healthy, low calorie, low carb, low fat, low sodium, nut free, soy free, vegan, vegetarian
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Equipment

    • One quart jar
    • One canning lid ring OR a rubber band
    • Coffee filter OR paper towel

    Ingredients

    • 5-6 Large apples Apple peels & cores any browning/discolored flesh from organic apples
    • 2-2 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar I like Turbinado raw sugar
    • 2-2 1/2 cups water boiled and allowed to cool

    Instructions

    • Cover the bottom of your jar with apple scraps, filling no more than 3/4 full. The apples need room to expand and stay submerged.
    • Add 2 Tbsp of granulated sugar and 2 cups of filtered water to the jar. The apples should be completely submerged. Mold can grow on any portions of apples that are not covered and ruin your batch of vinegar. If your scraps float to the top of the jar add a smaller jar on top to keep them submerged.
    • 3.Stir the apples, sugar, and water and cover with a coffee filter. Secure with a canning band, or a rubber band.
    • Allow apples to sit in a warm, dark place for 2 weeks. Above the refrigerator or on the top shelf of a cupboard are great places. Just don’t forget you put it there!
    • After 2 weeks, you might notice some fizz or bubbles. That’s good news! Strain out the apple pieces and compost. Cover the apple cider vinegar again with a coffee filter and canning band. Allow continuing to sit at room temperature for another 2-4 weeks.
    • The vinegar may become cloudy or a SCOBY could form on the top, both of which are normal. Taste test the vinegar once a week until it’s to your liking. You can stop the fermentation process by replacing the coffee filter with a canning lid and storing it in the refrigerator.
    • Use your homemade vinegar just like you would store-bought vinegar– for cooking, cleaning and everything in between

    Notes

    Tip: You don’t HAVE to use a quart-sized jar, but it’s what I readily have available. Feel free to use whatever size jar you have on hand. If you use a different size jar, the ratio is 1 Tbsp sugar per 1 cup water.
    NOTE: About preserving and pickling with homemade vinegar: It’s generally recommended that you do NOT use homemade vinegar for any sort of preservation. In order to ensure the safety of your home canned products, you need a vinegar with an acetic acid level of 5%. Since most of us don’t have a way to check the levels of our homemade vinegar, it’s best just to skip using it for canning or preserving– better safe than sorry!
    NOTE: You want the peels to be from apples that have been scrubbed very, very well. Organic apples are preferred, but simply buy the best you can afford and wash them very well. Secondly, it’s okay to use brown or bruised apples. However, it is NOT okay to use moldy or rotten apples.


    This, Not That, Thursday – DIY Aloe Vera Gel

    It is easy to make aloe vera gel at home. All you need is a few healthy leaves of the aloe vera plant. If you have an aloe vera plant at home or in your garden, then you are lucky! Aloe vera gel is an excellent all-natural healer for skin issues such as sunburn, rashes, acne, among others. Aloe vera gel is also known to promote healthy hair growth. You can even preserve the gel for a month by adding natural preservatives.

    How to make Aloe Vera Gel

    Make your very own natural healer and skin cleanser!

    Prep Time 30 mins – Total Time 30 mins

    Appliance Needed: Blender, Refrigerator Serving size: 1 cup

    Ingredients

    • 2 aloe vera leaves
    • 500 mg vitamin C (optional)
    • 400 IU vitamin E (optional)

    Instructions

    1. If you have access to an aloe vera plant, take a sharp knife and cut off a leaf from the outside of the plant, close to its base. They are usually more mature and contain plenty of gel. If your plant is too young, make sure you do not cut off too many leaves at once. Aloe vera leaves are also available in supermarkets in the produce section. You can usually get 1/2 a cup of gel from 1 mature aloe vera leaf.
    2. Wash the leaves under cold running water to remove any dirt on the skin.
    3. Place the leaves upright in a bowl to let any white or yellow resin to drain off. This can cause irritation to the skin.
    4. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the skin of the aloe vera leaf on one side. You will see the sticky gel underneath.
    5. Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the gel. Collect the gel in a clean glass container and make sure you do not get any pieces of the leaf skin in it.
    6. If you have collected a lot of gel and want to preserve it, you can mix it with natural preservatives. In a blender, add aloe vera gel and vitamin C or vitamin E capsules. For every 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel, you can either add 500 mg of vitamin C or 400 IU vitamin E. The foamy gel should be put in a clean, airtight glass jar. It will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 months.
    7. You can also use fresh aloe vera gel to make a nourishing aloe vera juice or add it to smoothies.

    Notes

    Consider growing an aloe vera plant in your home as they are low-maintenance plants and grow easily. Aloe is generally safe for most people, but if you have an underlying health condition or take medicines or use herbs, talk to your doctor before using aloe as it could react with other medications and substances.

    -Dr. P
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    Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

    Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

    "This is a creamy variation of a family classic. The Cream cheese addition takes it to the next level. Serve over hot, cooked egg noodles to complete this easy peasy dinner ."
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time8 hrs
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: high protein, nut free, soy free
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 376kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Equipment

    • Slow Cooker

    Ingredients

    • 1 pound cubed beef stew meat
    • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
    • 1/2 cup chopped onion
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 4 ounces cream cheese

    Instructions

    • In a slow cooker, combine the meat, soup, onion, Worcestershire sauce and water.
    • Cook on Low setting for 8 hours, or on High setting for about 5 hours.
    • Stir in cream cheese just before serving.

    Notes

    Nutrition Facts
    Per Serving: 376 calories;
    27.3 g fat;
    9.5 g carbohydrates;
    22 g protein;
    97 mg cholesterol;
    711 mg sodium

    Grandma Antionette’s Dutch Oven Pot Roast

    Grandma Antionette’s Dutch Oven Pot Roast

    It’s getting a bit cooler here today and that makes me crave comfort foods. One of my favorite comfort meals of all time is my Grandmother’s pot roast. I remember sitting at her table with my siblings and cousins, inhaling plate after plate. One bite could make your whole week. Fork tender and juicy right from her dutch oven, this Grandma Anionette classic is a meal in one pan and perfect for your next Sunday supper.
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time3 hrs 30 mins
    Total Time3 hrs 40 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: dairy free, Gluten Free, nut free, soy free
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 500kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Equipment

    • Dutch Oven

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
    • 2 medium onions sliced
    • 2- pound chuck roast
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 4 cups beef broth
    • 4 large russet potatoes peeled and sliced into 1-inch wedges
    • 4 large carrots peeled and sliced into ½ -inch thick pieces
    • 2 celery stalks sliced into ½ -inch thick pieces
    • 1-2 cloves of garlic
    • ½ cup red wine

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 375.
    • Put your dutch oven on the stove and heat it over high heat 5 to 6 minutes to sear the meat. Add the oil and season the meat with salt and pepper on both sides. Add it to the pan. It should sizzle immediately.
    • Reduce the heat to medium-high, and let the meat sear on one side 5 minutes, then flip. Add the onions, and garlic then cook 5 minutes more. Deglaze the pot by adding wine.
    • Add the beef broth to the pot–it should come about halfway up the side of the meat.
    • Cover and bake 2 hours, then check the liquid in the pot. Add a cup or so of extra water if needed.
    • Reduce the heat to 300 and bake an additional hour, and then add the carrots, celery, and potatoes. Bake covered 1 hour longer or until the meat is tender and the potatoes and carrots are soft.

    Insta Pot Beefy Gyros

    These Instant Pot Beef Gyros are a quick meal filled with healthy, clean ingredients and veggies that will make your mouth water! Ready in 25 min what could be better?

    Beef Gyros with the Insta Pot

    These Instant Pot Beef Gyros are a quick meal filled with healthy, clean ingredients and veggies that will make your mouth water! Ready in 25 min what could be better?
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time15 mins
    Total Time25 mins
    Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
    Cuisine: Mediterranean
    Keyword: low carb, soy free
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 395kcal

    Equipment

    • Insta Pot

    Ingredients

    • 2 lbs beef roast thinly sliced *I've also used loin flap meat and it's so easy to slice and cook
    • 4 cloves garlic minced
    • 1 tbsp parsley dried
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup vegetable or beef broth
    • 1 red onion thinly sliced
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 4 tbsp oil olive, coconut, avocado, etc
    • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar optional
    • 1 tsp olive oil optional

    Toppings

    • Pitas or Naan bread
    • carrots sliced
    • onions sliced
    • grape tomatoes quartered
    • cucumbers sliced
    • Lettuce
    • Feta or goat cheese optional, use container to measure

    Tzatziki Sauce:

    • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
    • 1/2 cup cucumber peeled seeded, and chopped finely
    • 1 clove garlic minced
    • 1 tsp salt and pepper
    • 2 tbsp fresh dill

    Instructions

    • Turn Instant Pot on saute and let the pot warn up. When it’s warm, add oil to the bottom of the pot and let it get hot.
    • Add meat, seasoning, garlic, and onion to Instant Pot. Sear and let onions soften for 3-5 minutes.
    • Pour lemon juice and broth over the meat. Give the meat a quick stir, then lock lid into place. Turn the steam valve to sealing. Using the Meat/Stew preset, cook the gyro meat for 9 minutes.
    • Let the pressure naturally release for 3 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure using the quick release method.
    • While the gyro meat is cooking mix together the Tzatziki sauce and slice your vegetable toppings. For added flavor, drizzle apple cider vinegar and olive oil over vegetables.

    Notes

    Note: To make your gyro, layer the lettuce at the bottom of the pita or naan bread. Then add your meat, toppings, and sauce. This will keep the pita
    or naan from getting soggy.
    Nutrition
    Calories: 395 cal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 989mg | Potassium: 596mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2.5% | Vitamin C: 5% | Calcium: 6.9% | Iron: 18.1%

    -Dr. P

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    This, Not That, Thursday – Natural oven cleaner

    When cleaning your oven, you think of a giant chore & super harsh chemicals. 

    Well, we’re here with this week’s installment of “This, Not That, Thursday” to offer you a better way. You don’t even have to clean your oven in a day. By getting started the night before, you’ll save yourself time and aggravation. Thanks to white vinegar and baking soda, you won’t need to use harsh chemicals. They are environmentally friendly, remove hardened stains and eliminate germs and odors.

    Natural Oven cleaner

    Tools:

    • Dish gloves
    • Baking soda
    • Vinegar
    • Water
    • A spray bottle
    • A sponge or cleaning cloth
    • A scraper or spatula
    • Paper towels
    • Bucket or bowl

    Steps

    1. Remove the racks from your oven and wash them in warm, soapy water. Some oven racks are dishwasher-safe, but check your oven manual first to make sure they won’t be damaged in the dishwasher. Dry the racks and set them aside.

    2. Remove any loose food particles from your oven. Use a scraper to get all the burnt bits out.

    3. Make a paste using three parts baking soda and one part water. 

    4. Spread the paste around the inside of your oven. If there are really tough, burnt-on spots, put a little extra baking soda paste on them. Avoid putting the paste on heating elements inside the oven.

    5. Close your oven, and let the paste sit overnight.

    6. When you’re ready, moisten your sponge or cleaning cloth with warm water and wipe away the baking soda paste. Use a bucket or bowl full of warm water to rinse the sponge or cleaning cloth as you’re removing the baking soda paste. For any stubborn messes, use a scraper or spatula.

    7. Fill a spray bottle with one part vinegar and one part water. Spray down the oven and wipe away leftover baking soda paste with paper towels or another cleaning cloth. 

    8. Replace the oven racks.

    Your oven is going to be so spotless, the next time your mother-in-law stops by, you’ll make up excuses for her to open it up.

    -Dr. P
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    Summertime Grecian Flounder

    “Flounder baked with fresh tomatoes, kalamata olives, capers, onion, and white wine. Serve with basmati rice and any green vegetable will do but asparagus is my favorite!”

    Summertime Grecian flounder

    “Flounder baked with fresh tomatoes, kalamata olives, capers, onion, and white wine. Serve with basmati rice and any green vegetable will do but asparagus is my favorite!”
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time30 mins
    Total Time45 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Mediterranean
    Keyword: Gluten Free, heart healthy, low calorie, low carb, low fat
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 282kcal

    Ingredients

    • 5 Plum (Romtomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 onion chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic chopped
    • 1 pinch Italian seasoning
    • 24 kalamata olives pitted and chopped
    • 1/4 cup white wine
    • 1/4 cup capers
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 6 leaves fresh basil chopped
    • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese freshly grated is best
    • 1 pound flounder fillets
    • 6 leaves fresh basil torn

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
    • Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Plunge tomatoes into the boiling water and immediately remove to a medium bowl of ice water; drain. Remove and discard skins from tomatoes. Chop tomatoes and set aside.
    • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; saute onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic and Italian seasoning; cook until tomatoes are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in olives, wine, capers, lemon juice, and 1/2 the basil. Reduce heat, blend in Parmesan cheese, and cook until the mixture is reduced to a thick sauce, about 15 minutes.
    • Place flounder in a shallow baking dish. Pour sauce over the fillets and top with remaining basil leaves.
    • Bake 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until fish is easily flaked with a fork.

    Red, White and Blue Summer Salad

    Red, White and Blue Summer Salad

    In this salad, we combine traditional Caprese flavors with summer blueberries, peaches and added prosciutto for saltiness, creating a balanced and flavor-packed dish. Caprese and fresh fruit always remind me of summer.
    Prep Time20 mins
    Total Time25 mins
    Course: Salad, Side Dish, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Gluten Free, heart healthy, low calorie, low carb
    Servings: 12
    Calories: 233kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Ingredients

    • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 cup fresh basil julienned
    • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
    • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves julienned
    • 2 garlic cloves minced
    • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
    • 8 cups fresh arugula
    • 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese pearls drained
    • 2 medium peaches sliced
    • 2 cups fresh blueberries
    • 6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto julienned

    Instructions

    • In a small bowl, whisk the first 9 ingredients. Add tomatoes; let stand while preparing salad.
    • In a large bowl, combine arugula, mozzarella, peach slices, blueberries, and prosciutto. Pour tomato mixture over top; toss to coat. Garnish with additional mint leaves. Serve immediately.

    Notes

    Nutrition Facts
    1 cup: 233 calories, 18g fat (5g saturated fat), 27mg cholesterol, 486mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 2g fiber), 8g protein.

    My word, today is just perfect. Too perfect in fact, to be inside slaving in front of the stove for dinner tonight. In just 20 minutes this delightfully fresh dish is on the table without the need of an oven heating up the whole house. 
    Let Grandma Antoinette help you with dinner <3

    -Dr. P
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    This, Not That, Thursday – Natural Rabbit Repellent

    Hey all! We’re back with another installment of “This, Not That, Thursday.”
    If you need a way to deter rabbits from eating your flowers, try this organic rabbit repellent recipe. It uses garlic and red peppers to repel the rabbits naturally without damaging your plants. And don’t worry–those cute little critters won’t be harmed at all.

    You just need a couple of items to make this Natural rabbit repellent: garlic, peppers, dish soap, and an empty milk jug.

    Natural Rabbit Repellent Recipe
    Items needed:
    empty milk/water jug
    7 garlic cloves
    2 teaspoon crushed red peppers
    1-gallon water
    1 tablespoon dish soap (see our other posts for a Natural Dish Soap)
    Directions:
    To make the repellent fill an old jug with water, add 7 crushed garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons of crushed red peppers (you can save a packet from the pizza delivery for this) and 1 tablespoon of dish soap.
    Shake well. Then let it sit in the sun for a day or two to make sure the water is saturated with the flavors and smells.
    Shake well. Then spray or pour on the plants that you don’t want the rabbits to eat.
    I had to reapply the rabbit repellent once a week for a couple of weeks to convince the rabbits that my tulips were never going to taste good again. With my other bulbs, I sprayed them with the natural rabbit repellent as soon as they started to poke through the ground and then reapplied the repellent once a week and after it rains.
    Good luck 

    -Dr. P
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    This, Not That, Thursday – Natural Dish Soap

    We’re here with this week’s installment of “this, Not That, Thursday” – Natural Dish Soap.
    Here we go….

    Every single recipe I’ve tried just kept falling short. It didn’t suds enough or it wasn’t soapy or slippery enough, or worse – it left a nasty film on my dishes. There are lots of factors at play of course (type of soap, water hardness, etc.) so I’m not saying that those recipes didn’t work – just that they didn’t work for me. THIS ONE DID!

    Homemade Dish Soap: A Natural Recipe
    Ingredients
    1 ¾ cups boiling water
    1 Tbsp borax
    1 Tbsp grated bar soap (use homemade soap, castile bar soap, Ivory, or whichever natural bar you prefer)
    15-20 drops essential oils, optional
    Instructions
    Heat water to boiling.
    Combine borax and grated bar soap in a medium bowl. Pour hot water over the mixture. Whisk until the grated soap is completely melted.
    Allow mixture to cool on the countertop for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally. Dish soap will gel upon standing.
    Transfer to a squirt bottle, and add essential oils (if using). Shake well to combine.

    *do not use vinegar – As per Dr. Bronners daughter Lisa “In great part, it’s due to the fact that vinegar is an acid and the castile soap is a base. They will directly react with each other and cancel each other out. So, instead of getting the best of both (the scum cutting ability of the vinegar and the dirt transporting ability of the soap), you’ll be getting the worst of something entirely new. The vinegar “unsaponifies” the soap, by which I mean that the vinegar takes the soap and reduces it back out to its original oils. So you end up with an oily, curdled, whitish mess. And this would be all over whatever it was you were trying to clean – your laundry or counters or dishes or whatever.”

    -Dr. P
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    This, Not That, Thursday – Natural Gardening Tips

    In this week’s installment of “This, Not That, Thursday” we bring you some Natural Gardening tips. Gardening is tough enough, but to do it without chemicals is well worth the effort for you & the family.

    Fertilizer
    Although you can use ready-made organic fertilizers, it is best to learn how to create your own organic fertilizers. Not only will it be better for the soil and the environment in the long-term, but it also helps you gain valuable insight into the world of gardening.

    Homemade Fertilizer
    Adding compost to your garden is an excellent way to improve the quality of your soil with natural fertilization. However, not everyone has the space or time for composting.
    We’ve got you covered! There are some other easy ways to fertilize your garden naturally. For one thing, instead of a huge compost pile, you can simply save some of the stuff from your kitchen you’d normally throw away.
    Three things that can benefit your garden:
    Coffee Grounds – adds nitrogen to the soil and is ideal for acid-loving plants like tomatoes
    Banana Peels – decompose quickly, replenishing potassium and other minerals to the soil
    Egg Shells – can add calcium carbonate and help avoid blossom rot in peppers and tomatoes
    Another common kitchen ingredient to help fertilize your garden is molasses. Just mix a few tablespoons of molasses with a gallon of water and then water your plants with it. The molasses acts sort of like a probiotic. It helps increase beneficial microbes.

    Garden Pest Control
    Every vegetable gardener faces pest issues from time to time, and learning how to manage the little leaf-munching menaces without using synthetic chemical pesticides is an essential step in growing a healthy, productive garden. To help you with this task, we’ve put together tips for keeping those pesky critters out of your garden.

    Orange Peels
    Orange peels can be placed around plants or attached directly to the stem to ward off and eliminate some pests. That’s because orange peels contain a natural chemical known as d-Limonene, which can kill off ants and aphids. The chemical destroys the waxy substance around the bugs, causing them to suffocate.
    Even the scent of orange peels, as well as other citrus peels, can keep those plant-destroying aphids and ants away.

    Plant Marigolds Around the Perimeter of the Garden
    Many gardeners put marigolds in their vegetable gardens. It’s believed the pungent smell potentially repels pests while attracting beneficial insects. Some say that the aroma of marigolds might even help keep rabbits and other rodents away from your vegetables too.
    However, not everyone is a believer in the marigold theory. In fact, there are some gardeners who say marigolds may actually attract harmful spider mites. Regardless of whether it works or not – marigolds will at least add a splash of color to your vegetable garden.

    Cayenne pepper
    Sprinkling cayenne pepper, pepper flakes, and/or garlic pepper on and around your plants when they are ready to bloom is an excellent deterrent. Squirrels won’t eat anything with cayenne—which you can often buy in bulk.

    -Dr. P
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    This, Not That, Thursday – Natural Cleaners

    On this week’s “This, Not That, Thursday” segment, we’re looking at all natural cleaning tips. Switching to homemade DIY cleaners might sound like a lot more work, but it’s actually quite simple. The ingredients are easy to come by and last a long time.

    The natural cleaning ingredients we like to keep on hand are:
    * white vinegar
    * liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronners)
    * natural salt
    * baking soda
    * borax
    * washing soda
    * hydrogen peroxide
    * lemons
    * microfiber cloths
    * essential oils (optional)
    * a spray bottle or two (preferably glass)

    Our 3 top recipes!

    All-Purpose Cleaner Ingredients
    * 1 tsp borax
    * 1/2 tsp washing soda
    * 1 tsp liquid castile soap
    * Essential oils of choice – I use 4 drops lemon, 4 drops lavender, and 10 drops orange
    * Glass spray bottle for storage
    All-Purpose Cleaner Instructions
    1. Place borax, washing soda, and soap in a spray bottle (preferably glass).
    2. Add 2 cups of warm water. Distilled is best, but any water that has been boiled will work.
    3. Add essential oils of choice.
    4. Cover bottle and shake well. Use as needed. I use as bathroom cleaner, floor pre-treater, kitchen cleaner and on toys.

    Glass Cleaner Ingredients
    * 2 cups of water (distilled or filtered is best so it doesn’t leave residue)
    * 2 tablespoons vinegar
    * 10 drops essential oil of choice- I use lemon (optional- but it helps cut the vinegar smell)
    Glass Cleaner Instructions
    Combine ingredients in a spray bottle (preferably glass) and use as needed to clean window. I like to use a microfiber cloth to wipe windows clean with this recipe.

    How to Make Washing Soda
    If you have an oven and are feeling crafty, try this simple method of making washing soda. Another bonus is that baking soda is typically even less expensive (especially at big box stores) and making this at home can help further reduce the cost of budget-friendly cleaning recipes.
    Washing Soda Ingredients
    * Baking Soda
    * A large baking dish or baking sheet (I use these stainless steel restaurant pans for this and all of my baking and cooking)
    * An Oven

    Washing Soda Instructions
    1. Turn oven on 400 degrees F.
    2. Pour a thick (1/2 inch or so) layer of baking soda on the bottom of the baking dish.
    3. Bake for 1 hour, stirring 1-2 times in the middle, or until it has changed in look and feel. Baking soda has a silky/powdery feel and washing soda is more grainy and not silky. The baking soda will need to reach the full 400 degrees for this reaction to take place, so be patient.
    4. Let cool and store in an air-tight jar.
    Use this homemade washing soda as you would store-bought in natural cleaning recipes and laundry soaps.

    -Dr. P
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    This, Not, That Thursday – Natural Ant Repellent

    There’s nothing like walking into your kitchen first thing in the morning, bleary-eyed and ready for your morning cup of coffee only to find that your home has been invaded by ants. Below are some of the best natural remedies you can try to get rid of the ants infesting your space.

    Cinnamon
    Cinnamon is an effective household ant repellent. Its smell discourages ants from entering your house and scrounging in your kitchen.
    According to a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, cinnamon essential oil yields positive results in both repellency and insecticidal activity.
    * Add 1 ¼ to 1 ½ teaspoon of cinnamon essential oil in a cup of water. Soak a cotton ball in this solution and wipe down the areas where ants may enter and dwell. Repeat once daily until all the ants are gone.
    * You can also put ground cinnamon and whole cloves near entry points.
    Note: Use the cinnamon oil spray strategically in places of ant infestation; do not put it all over the place.

    White Vinegar
    White vinegar will also send an eviction notice to ants on your premises. They cannot bear its strong smell. In addition, the smell masks their scent trails, making them lose their direction.
    1. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water.
    2. Pour the solution into a spray bottle.
    3. Add a few drops of any essential oil and shake the bottle thoroughly.
    4. Spray this solution around baseboards and other entry points.
    5. After an hour, wipe up the ants using a damp paper towel and discard them.
    6. Repeat once daily until the ants are completely gone.
    You can also use this vinegar solution to clean floors, windowsills and countertops to prevent ants from crawling over these surfaces.

    Peppermint
    Peppermint is a natural insect repellent that can effectively keep ants away. Ants hate its strong smell, which also disrupts their smelling capabilities so they cannot detect food sources.
    * Add 10 drops of peppermint essential oil to 1 cup of water. Spray the solution on all areas where ants are present. Repeat twice daily, until the ants are gone completely.
    * Sprinkle some dried peppermint around your doors, entryways and garbage areas to repel ants.
    * You can even grow peppermint plants in your kitchen garden.

    Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
    Food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) also works well as an ant repellent. This powder is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton.
    The microscopic razor sharp edges of DE can cut through the ant’s exoskeletons, gradually causing their body to dry out.
    1. Gently sprinkle a thin layer of DE on windowsills, beneath the fridge, under cabinets, in and around garbage cans and any other places where you see ants.
    2. Repeat once daily until all the ants are gone.
    Note: Do not wet the DE or it will not work.

    -Dr. P
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    Grandma Antoinette’s Fried Zucchini Flowers

    Grandma Antoinette’s Fried Zucchini Flowers

    “This recipe has been our family favorite. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.”
    Prep Time20 mins
    Cook Time10 mins
    Total Time30 mins
    Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
    Cuisine: Italian
    Keyword: soy free
    Servings: 4
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Ingredients

    • 18-24 male zucchini flowers (with stems)
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • vegetable oil for frying
    • salt to taste

    Instructions

    • Clean flowers and dry with a paper towel.
    • Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Whisk eggs, milk, and olive oil together in a separate bowl; stir in flour mixture until batter is smooth.
    • Heat vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium heat.
    • Dip flowers in the batter and fry in the hot oil until golden and crispy, 2 to 5 minutes, working in batches as needed. Transfer fried flowers to a paper towel-lined plate; sprinkle salt over each.

    Snazzy Quick Roasted Chicken

    Snazzy Quick Roast Chicken

    Ingredients
    1 h 30 m
    229 cals
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time1 hr
    Total Time1 hr 30 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Keyword: low carb, low fat
    Servings: 8 People
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Ingredients

    • 1 3 pound whole chicken
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
    • Rinse chicken thoroughly inside and out under cold running water and remove all fat. Pat dry with paper towels.
    • Put chicken into a small baking pan. Rub with olive oil. Mix the salt, pepper, oregano, basil, paprika and cayenne pepper together and sprinkle over chicken.
    • Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Lower the oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and continue roasting to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), about 40 minutes more. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

    Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli

    Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli

    In this low-carb spaghetti squash lasagna recipe, garlicky broccoli, spaghetti squash and cheese are combined for a healthy take on a favorite casserole. This bakes right in the squash shells for a fun presentation.
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time30 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Gluten Free, low calorie, low carb, low fat, soy free, vegetarian
    Servings: 2 people
    Calories: 194kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Ingredients

    • 1 2 - 3lb Spaghetti Squash
    • 1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive oil
    • 1 Bunch Broccoli ( or Broccolini) Chopped
    • 4 Cloves Garlic
    • 1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
    • 2 Tablespoons Water
    • 1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella cheese (part-skim)
    • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
    • 3/4 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
    • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
    • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Pepper

    Instructions

    • Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 450°F.
    • Place squash cut-side down in a microwave-safe dish; add 2 tablespoons water. Microwave, uncovered, on High until the flesh is tender, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, place squash halves cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 400°F oven until the squash is tender, 40 to 50 minutes.)
    • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add broccolini, garlic and red pepper (if using); cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add water and cook, stirring, until the broccolini is tender, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl.
    • Use a fork to scrape the squash from the shells into the bowl. Place the shells in a broiler-safe baking pan or on a baking sheet. Stir ¾ cup mozzarella, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper into the squash mixture. Divide it between the shells; top with the remaining ¼ cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
    • Bake on the lower rack for 10 minutes. Move to the upper rack, turn the broiler to high and broil, watching carefully, until the cheese starts to brown, about 2 minutes.
    • Easy cleanup: To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you bake.

    Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew

    Chicken & Sweet Potato stew

    This skillet recipe is a colorful and healthy main dish that can be on the table in just over an hour. The subtle, sweet-spicy flavor is a nice surprise.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time40 mins
    Total Time55 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: dairy free, diabetic, Gluten Free, heart healthy, low carb, low fat, soy free
    Servings: 4

    Ingredients

    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 1 small red onion chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic minced
    • 2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves cut into cubes
    • 2 sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
    • ½ pound white button mushrooms thinly sliced
    • 1 cup fresh spinach
    • 1 pinch crushed red pepper or more to taste
    • 1 pinch paprika or more to taste
    • 1 pinch sea salt or more to taste
    • 3/4 cup chicken broth

    Instructions

    • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute onion, garlic and mushrooms in hot oil until softened, about 5 minutes.
    • Stir chicken, sweet potatoes, spinach, crushed red pepper, paprika, and sea salt with the onion and garlic in the saucepan. Pour as much chicken broth into the saucepan to make the mixture as soup-like or stew-like as you’d like it.
    • Bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle and the sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

    Summertime Shrimp Salad

    Summertime Shrimp Salad

    “Use an array of colorful veggies to make this healthy shrimp salad pop. Cooking the shrimp with fresh herbs and garlic infuses them with flavor without coming off too strong for a light dinner salad that’s perfect for summer entertaining.”
    Prep Time5 mins
    Cook Time35 mins
    Total Time40 mins
    Course: Salad
    Keyword: dairy free, diabetic, Gluten Free, low carb, low fat
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 290kcal

    Ingredients

    • pounds raw shrimp 21-25 count, peeled and deveined
    • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 4 cloves garlic crushed
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
    • ¼ cup lemon juice
    • 1 medium cucumber diced
    • 3 large heirloom tomatoes chopped
    • ½ cup chopped fresh basil plus more for garnish

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350°F.
    • Toss shrimp with oil, thyme and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until the shrimp are pink and firm, 8 to 10 minutes.
    • Transfer the shrimp to a large bowl (discard thyme and garlic). Add lemon juice and stir to coat. Gently stir in cucumber, tomatoes and basil. Arrange the shrimp and vegetables in a serving bowl. Serve drizzled with any dressing left in the bowl and garnish with more basil, if desired.

    Romanesco Broccoli Soup

    Romanesco Broccoli Soup

    The Romanesco broccoli is technically an edible flower and is easily recognized by its eye-catching fractal appearance. It is grown in the region of Lazio, home to Rome and hence its name. In Italy, you find it typically consumed raw, steamed, boiled, roasted or sauteed. It has a delicate nutty flavor making it easily adaptable to various preparations and is a favorite ingredient in Italian soups just like this one.
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time40 mins
    Total Time50 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Italian
    Keyword: low fat
    Servings: 4
    Author: Grandma Antointte

    Ingredients

    • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 small carrot finely chopped
    • 1 onion finely chopped
    • 1 rib celery finely chopped
    • 7 ounces Romanesco broccoli (a large head) tough parts discarded, chopped
    • 4 small potatoes peeled and chopped
    • 8 cups hot water
    • salt and ground black pepper to taste

    Instructions

    • Step 1
    • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add carrot, shallot, and celery; cook and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add Romanesco broccoli and potatoes.
    • Step 2
    • Pour hot water into the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, covered, until broccoli and potatoes are soft, about 40 minutes. Puree soup with an immersion blender until smooth.

    Vegan Watermelon Fruit Pizza

    Vegan Watermelon Fruit Pizza

    These wedges of juicy watermelon are topped with nondairy coconut yogurt and berries that make for a crisp and refreshing dessert. For kids snacks, leave the wedges blank and let everyone add their own toppings to the yogurt.
    Prep Time10 mins
    Total Time10 mins
    Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: dairy free, diabetic, Gluten Free, heart healthy, soy free, vegan, vegetarian
    Servings: 8
    Calories: 70kcal
    Author: Dr. Polcino

    Ingredients

    • ½ cup unsweetened coconut-milk yogurt alternative
    • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
    • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 large round slices watermelon 1 inch thick, cut from the center of the melon
    • cup sliced strawberries
    • ½ cup halved blueberries
    • 1/2 cup halved blackberries
    • 2 tablespoons toasted unsweetened coconut flakes

    Instructions

    • Combine yogurt alternative, maple syrup and vanilla in a small bowl.
    • Spread ¼ cup of the yogurt mixture over each watermelon round. Cut each round into 8 wedges. Top with strawberries and blueberries and blackberries.
      Sprinkle with coconut. Enjoy!

    Notes

    Per serving: 70 calories; 2 g fat(1 g sat); 1 g fiber; 15 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 8 mcg folate; 0cholesterol; 11 g sugars; 1 g added sugars; 813 IU vitamin A; 20 mg vitamin C; 47 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 5 mg sodium; 196 mg potassium
    Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (33% daily value)
    Carbohydrate Servings: 1
    Exchanges: 1 fruit

    Grandma Antoinette’s Pepper steak

    Grandma Antoinette’s Pepper steak

    "My favorite recipes are ones with few ingredients that I normally have on hand, you'll love it too!
    Prep Time20 mins
    Cook Time30 mins
    Total Time50 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Keyword: dairy free, Gluten Free
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 388kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 medium onion chopped
    • 2 large bell peppers sliced into thin strips
    • 3 cloves garlic minced
    • 1/3 cup soy sauce
    • 1/3 cup honey
    • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak cut into thin strips

    Instructions

    • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, bell peppers, and garlic in oil until tender-crisp, stirring frequently. Set aside.
    • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour soy sauce, honey, and red wine vinegar in pan, then add beef. Cook beef, stirring frequently, until done, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in cooked vegetables, and cook another 10 to 15 minutes.

    Grandma Antionette’s Baked Eggplant Parmesan

    Grandma Antionette’s Baked Eggplant Parmesan

    Grandma’s lighter take on eggplant parmesan maintains all the flavors of the classic dish but is baked instead of fried. This is a household favorite here & is bound to be in your house too. Besides being delicious, there are 11 grams of filling protein in this hearty vegetarian dish.
    Prep Time45 mins
    Cook Time45 mins
    Total Time1 hr 30 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Italian
    Keyword: low fat, soy free, vegetarian
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 204kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Ingredients

    • 2 eggplants (about 2 pounds total)
    • 3 egg whites
    • 3 tablespoons water
    • 1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs (gluten free can be used)
    • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce), divided
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • ¼ cup slivered fresh basil leaves
    • cups tomato sauce
    • ¾ cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese (3 ounces)

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 400°Coat two baking sheets and an 8-by-11½-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
    • Cut eggplants crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices. Whisk egg whites and water in a shallow dish until frothy. Combine breadcrumbs, ¼ cup of the Parmesan, salt and pepper in another shallow dish. Dip the eggplant slices into the egg-white mixture, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. (Discard any leftover breadcrumbs and egg white.) Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, turn the eggplant slices over, and bake until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.
    • Stir basil into tomato sauce. Spread about ½ cup of the sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange half of the eggplant slices over the sauce, overlapping slightly. Spoon 1 cup of the remaining sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese. Add a layer of the remaining eggplant slices and top with the remaining sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, 15 to 20 minutes