Easy Recipes · Home

Z’s Stuffy-Stuffed Peppers

Easy Peasy!

I started a low carb/no carb stint of two weeks today and as I was making my shopping list and weekly menu, I got a hankering to make something with green peppers. As I was thinking about what I could make with green bell peppers, I looked over on my stove and there was one of my homegrown (we slaughter our own cows) ground beef tubes on the stove-thawing out.

Yes! Stuffed peppers with ground peppers, mushrooms and zucchini! Not to mention the oh-so-gooey cheese!!!

These babies are so easy to make! I just whipped up all the stuffing in a big pan, sliced up the peppers and laid them out in the pan, put lots of cheese below and on top, and then stuck them in the oven! Then viola! –a yummy and easy low carb dinner!

I love easy and yummy. Sometimes that is a hard combo to get, but when you find a recipe that works for you and your family AND is easy to make…KEEP IT!

I called this dish “stuffy-stuffed” because I load my peppers up with meat mixture and cheese! My favorite kind of “stuffy”!

The Method

First, you start with your meat. I added about 2-3 TBS of butter to cook the meat in (because my beef is so lean). It also makes for a richer taste overall.

I added the veggies after the meat was almost done.

Then you add your mushrooms, zucchini and spices.

Saute together and mix up those spices really good!

Next, place all of the halved bell peppers in a greased pan (I used Pam), and then add one slice of provolone to each bell pepper half. Then Place the meat on top of the cheese.

Next, you’re gonna want to cheese the crap (pardon my French) out of them!!! Just load those suckers with that beautiful mozzarella!

Finally, stick those babies in the oven!

Simple is my kind of cookin’!

I really do prefer simple meals when it comes to my weekly dinner menu. With 4 kids and a hungry husband, it is very reassuring to know that there are simple meals that can be prepared very simply, yet having health benefits too. Simple is my kind of cookin’!

I served this dish with Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Noodles. They are basically a noodle made from Konjac. They are super low carb and have a very similar texture to real spaghetti noodles (you can buy them here http://www.trimhealthymama.com). I made my noodles with pizza sauce (way less less sugar than pasta sauce), and it was the perfect side for a stuffed pepper! Kind of felt like I was eating a cheat meal! 🙂

Anyways, there are many sides you could easily put with this dish for a healthy low-carb meal. Salads, sauteed veggies, konjac noodles, low carb noodles etc. The possibilities are endless!

I served my kids this dish with veggie noodles and pizza sauce, and they loved it!

For my growing kids, I like to add in extra carbs for them.
Notice the amount of sugar! I love pizza sauce because it tastes like pasta sauce, without all the sugar!

 

The Recipe

So if you have extra bell peppers and some ground beef (or turkey), this simple and easy dish is sure to please! My kids and husband loved it!

Low carb and full of nutrition!

Easy peasy to make!

A crowd pleaser!

Yummy!

Hope y’all enjoy it!

God Bless!

-Z

Yields 8 large portions

Z’s Stuffy-Stuffed Peppers

An easy and nutritious low carb dinner!

15 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 3-4 whole Green Bell peppers
  • 2-3 lbs of ground beef (ours is grass fed and very lean)
  • Sliced provolone cheese
  • 3 cups diced mushrooms
  • 1 Large zucchini
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1-2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease large baking dish(9x13)- I used butter or Pam Butter spray.
  3. In large sauce pan, melt butter and add ground beef.
  4. Cook ground beef until brown, add salt and pepper to season.
  5. When meat is almost done cooking, add in diced mushrooms and zucchini.
  6. Cook until softened.
  7. Meanwhile:
  8. Cut Bell peppers in half (de-seeded) and place in greased baking pan.
  9. Place one slice of provolone cheese into each bell pepper half.
  10. Once meat mixture is done, add about 1/2 cup mixture into bell peppers.
  11. Top with Mozzarella cheese, a little more salt and pepper.
  12. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  13. Enjoy hot, and serve with side dish of choice, or enjoy alone!
  14. NOTE: I had extra meat mixture. I added the leftover meat mixture to my baking pan and topped with cheese, and then I just baked it along with the belle peppers. It is great for adding to omelets for the next morning, or enjoying as a Low carb snack or meal :).
Recipe Type: Dinner
7.6.7
47
https://zhealthyhousewife.com/2018/07/10/zs-stuffy-stuffed-peppers/

Home · Sweets and Treats

Z’s Banana Creme Pie

With Chocolate Crust

No sugar added, Low carb

Bananas everywhere!!!

I recently had bought a bunch of bananas because they were on sale. However, because of our home addition that we started last week (long story), the house has been “opened up” quite a bit…which has caused the house to be very warm during the days. Thus, turning all my newly bought bananas brown!

I usually make a banana bread (try my Banana Walnut bread here….https://zhealthyhousewife.com/2018/01/07/banana-walnut-bread/), which is good…but I wanted to make something yummy and sweet. I wanted to make a pie.

So, I was debating on what to make, when my husband came into the kitchen and suggested that I make a banana pie with chocolate crust. Thus started my brain wheels spinning!

I looked through my cupboards and gathered together what might taste good in a banana pie, and because I only had a couple of hours until my nephews party started, I needed to come up with something fast!

banana creme pie

My brother in law requested for me to bring some sugar-free desserts, so I decided to make this and my other popular recipe: Z’s Double Strawberry Cheesecake.

Here’s the recipe for that one…https://zhealthyhousewife.com/2018/06/19/zs-double-strawberry-cheesecake/.

So I made both of these bad boys, and brought them over! Needless to say, they were a hit! Everyone loved them both…but my husband said that his new favorite was the Banana Creme Pie!

Bananas for the win!

I am usually not a fan of banana anything, but I actually thoroughly enjoyed this pie! This pie was definitely win, win!

My favorite part was the chocolate crust!!! The crust was to die for! So chocolatey and perfectly thick!

Also, topping it with Lily’s dark chocolate chips was a perfect finish! (here’s a link where you can buy them…)

What I am not a big fan of though, is using products that are processed. I just have to say, straight up…I did use a box of Jello sugar-free vanilla pudding mix in this recipe! I know! BAD GIRL!

I am sure there are ways you can tweak it to not have that processed stuff in it, but because of my lack for time and no opportunity to go to the store for special ingredients, this is what I used.

I usually like to stick to healthier choices. But,I think it’s ok to indulge every once in a while! EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE GUYS!

After all, it’s always better to choose things foods that won’t spike your blood sugar…even if occasionally it is processed or contains Sucralose.

Note: Eating foods containing Sucralose on a daily basis can have major health detriments. I would not suggest eating it very often.

The Recipe

Again…this bad boy was made in my Vitamix Blender!!! So stinkin’ easy! I have been spoiled rotten with that machine, and frankly, I am in love with the ease that it allows for making pretty much anything! If anyone wants to buy one…check out my main page on the sidebar! (I’ll get a small commission if you buy from my site:).

This pie was a hit, and I know that it will grace our tables many times to come!!!

I hope that you will enjoy this pie as much as my family and I have!

God Bless! -Z

Z’s

Yields 8 large lices. 16 small slices.

Z’s Banana Creme Pie with Chocolate crust

No sugar added. A delicious and banana-y treat!

15 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

    Crust:
  • 4 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar substitute
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 cup golden flax meal
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • Filling:
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 box Jello sugar-free vanilla pudding mix (instant)
  • 20 drops vanilla creme stevia drops (or 1 tsp vanilla)
  • 1/3 cups Gentle Sweet
  • 1/8 tsp xantham gum
  • 4 medium ripe bananas

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all crust ingredients in medium bowl until well mixed.
  3. Lightly grease a pie pan (I used Pam baking spray).
  4. Place crust mixture in pie pan and firm down with fingers.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.
  6. In blender:
  7. Whip up heavy whipping cream in blender until firm. Add the rest of the filling ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  8. Add filling to cooled pie pan and place in freezer until firm (about 3 hours).
  9. Garnish with bananas, whipped cream and Lily's dark chocolate chips.
Recipe Type: Dessert
7.6.7
46
https://zhealthyhousewife.com/2018/06/28/zs-banana-creme-pie/

 

Sweets and Treats

Z’s Double Strawberry Cheesecake

Sugar-Free, THM-S, Keto

Strawberry Obsession

I may or may not be a strawberry dessert obsessed person! Especially in the summer time! Strawberries are just so easy to make sweet and delicious desserts with. Not only are they easy to make yummy treats with, but they are beautiful!

This dessert was another one of my “accidental” creations. I needed something to use my cream cheese in and something that I could use all my strawberries in. Alas! This delicious and easy masterpiece was created!

It’s called “double strawberry” because, instead of just having strawberries on top, there are strawberries inside! Lot’s of them! So…you get double the strawberries! Yes please!

I made this cheesecake twice now, and both times, it was literally devoured before I could take any pretty pictures. So, this is officially my first recipe post that doesn’t have pretty pictures of all angles and with pretty lighting. Just the two hastily taken pictures before the cake was destroyed by my husband and kids.

double strawberry cheesecake

Needless to say, this cheesecake was a hit!

Nothing fancy, no pretty lighting…just raw and unfiltered cheesecake, in all of it’s glory! See, we all have messy kitchens and bad lighting! That’s ok! Just be happy to make delicious and healthy treats! That’s what I do.

11 Year Celebration

Two weeks ago was my husbands and my 11 year anniversary! Yay us! I made this cheesecake for the first time on that weekend, and my husband fell in love with it. He especially loved the tiny hint of cinnamon in the crust!

As he stuffed his happy face with the delicious cake, he nodded his approval and mumbled with his mouth full. Once he was done chewing (barely), I asked what he said. He told me, “I think this is your best one so far!”

He really loved it. Almost as much as I love him. 11 years with this stud is a blessing, and I pray that I get many more! He is my rock, and I could not do life without him!

We went to a wedding at the beach as part of our anniversary weekend getaway! Gotta love southern Cali!

The Myth, the Recipe…

Back to this little cheesecake recipe. Once more, it was made in my Vitamix Blender! I mean seriously, can it get any more easy to make delicious and decadent desserts??? I think not!

I actually made this before church on Sunday! I baked the crust first, and then added the creamy and delicious filling from my Vitamix, and then put in the freezer! That’s it! Easy Peasy!

Of course, later, I sliced up strawberries and added a little bit of sweetener and then added it to the top! Viola!

It’s really not a myth that you can make healthy, easy and super quick desserts! It’s the real deal, and it’s my jam!

I hope you enjoy this super simple dessert!

God Bless!

-Z

Yields 8 large pieces

Z’s Double Strawberry Cheesecake

Sugar-Free, THM-S, Keto. A quick and easy delicious summer dessert!

10 minPrep Time

12 minCook Time

22 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

    Crust:
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 stick butter (melted)
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 1/8 Gentle Sweet (or preferred sweetener)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Filling:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 8 oz. blocks of cream cheese
  • 20 strawberries
  • 1 Cup Gentle Sweet (or preferred sweetener)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 20 drops Vanilla Creme Stevia
  • Topping:
  • 3 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/8 cup Sweetener (I used xylitol to give it that course texture)
  • 2 tbs water

Instructions

  1. Bake Crust first. Let cool.
  2. Add heavy whipping cream to blender first.
  3. Whip up until fluffy (about 20 seconds on high speed).
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Blend until smooth and the cream mixture turns pinkish/red.
  6. Add to cooled crust.
  7. Freeze until firm.
  8. Garnish with the fresh sliced strawberries, water and sweetener mixed.
  9. Enjoy!
Recipe Type: Dessert
7.6.7
44
https://zhealthyhousewife.com/2018/06/19/zs-double-strawberry-cheesecake/

Sweets and Treats

Z’s Strawberry Gelato

Sugar-Free, Dairy free, THM, Keto

Frozen Strawberry Bliss!

The summer time is a perfect time for frozen treats! And what better treat than a sweet strawberry dessert? This dessert cannot, and I repeat, CANNOT get any easier! It literally takes about 2 minutes to whip together!

Thank the kitchen gods for high powered blenders! They make whipping up desserts a breeze!

There is just something about frozen strawberries that has that ability to just melt in your mouth and bring about feelings of pure bliss! At least for me anyway…lol.

Most Gelato recipes for me have turned out chunky. All the other recipes I have tried, just cannot compare to the creamy and irresistible consistency of this recipe!

The Secret Ingredient

Have you ever tried to make a frozen dessert in your blender, only to get a chunky and dissapointing consistency? Or, when you put it in the freezer and then go to take a bite the next day, it is literally frozen solid? Well, I have had that experience, and I have to tell ya…It aint fun! I get so frustrated, that I usually have to throw it away!

This bad boy has a secret ingredient that I think you will be surprised about.

Rasberry Vodka!

Yup…VODKA! Don’t worry though…it is not enough to even get a buzz on. There is only a minimal amount. But, the effect that the vodka has on the consistency is heavenly! And I dare say, I like the flavor better when the vodka is part of the mix!

I use raspberry Vodka, but you can use any flavor you want. I like the raspberry because it gives the strawberry flavor a bit of a twist.

I like how my backdrop is hanging off the table. Lol.

Note for Trim Healthy Mama’s: Because this has the vodka in it, I am not entirely sure what this dessert would technically land on in a Trim Healthy Mama category. I would say that if you use a nut milk, that it could be a Fuel Pull (FP), but if you use the half and half, then it would definitely fall in to the Satisfying (S) category. I will have to check into it and see what it technically on THM.

 Go make It!

Because this is so dang easy… it is perfect for those last minute desserts that you need to make in a pinch. Maybe your in-laws dropped by un-announced and you need something quick and easy. Whip out the good stuff! It will be sure to please!

If you have an uncontrollable urge for a frozen strawberry treat with a twist… This recipe is perfect! It is also so much better than binge eating a pint of ice-cream, that you will FOR SURE regret later! Go with this healthy and deliciously creamy alternative!

Now that your mouth is watering…Go make it!

Enjoy!

-Z

Z’s Strawberry Gelato

Sugar-Free, THM, Keto. A delicious and simple frozen treat!

1 minPrep Time

2 minCook Time

3 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 12 oz package of frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 cup raspberry vodka (any brand is fine).
  • 1/2-3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla nut milk (cashew, almond), or half and half
  • 1/4 cup Gentle Sweet

Instructions

  1. In high powered blender:
  2. Add all ingredients.
  3. Blend on high (or frozen treat setting).
  4. With the smasher (the black thing that comes with your blender to push food down into the blender), Push down on the strawberries until everything becomes thick and creamy.
  5. Serve immediately.
  6. Enjoy!
7.6.7
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https://zhealthyhousewife.com/2018/06/07/zs-strawberry-gelato/

Sweets and Treats

Z’s Lemon Cream Cheesecake

Sugar-free, THM-S, Keto

Like a Drink of Lemonade

This cheesecake is divine! So refreshing and yummy, like a summer afternoon drink of lemonade!  to be honest, I am not much of a lemon fan. I usually pass up lemony desserts. I actually made this for my husband because I had a bunch of extra lemons.

You see, I had done the Master Cleanse, and ended up stopping a day early. So needless to say, I had a ton of extra lemons to use up. I hate to waste food, so I ended up thinking, “I should make something for my husband!”. This is the recipe that came to mind!

I have to admit that I really didn’t think I would like it, but I tried it always. Boy am I glad I did! It seriously is one of the most refreshing desserts I have ever had!

It is delicious!!!

I am so glad that I tried it! I am learning that you always have to at least try things! You may have written foods off when you were younger, like I have, but you never know if your taste buds have changed! Mine have for sure!

Easy as Pie!

This recipe cannot get any easier! I made it in my Vitamix! I seriously cannot say enough about how easy it is to make things when you have a good blender!

Yes please!

I just added the whipping cream and whipped it up (seriously in a matter of 5 seconds!), and then added my cream cheese, sweetners and vanilla’s to it, and blended! It seriously only took a minute!

I say “vanilla’s” because I added in a “secret ingredient”, that in my opinion, made this amazing!

Any of ya’ll ever heard of the Vanilla Creme stevia drops? If you haven’t used this before, it will change your world! Such a creamy vanilla taste, with none of the aftertaste that I have come to hate about stevia! I even love to add a couple drops to my coffee in the mornings!

You can buy them here (click link above). If you click the link above, I will get a tiny commission. Thanks!

This is a little slice of heaven right here!

I originally wanted to make a pie, but it turned out so simple, creamy and delicious that I felt it would be wrong to try to make it anything but this yummy and refreshing cheesecake! Maybe one of these days I will make this cheesecake into a pie too! We’ll see. 😉

The Recipe

This was such an easy cheesecake to make! If you ever want a pretty and decadent dessert that makes you look like a genius dessert maker, but takes all of 20 minutes total to make…this here is your ticket!

You can even dress it up with some whipped cream, more lemon slices or just eat it plain! It’s so easy…why not?!?!?

Hope y’all enjoy it as much as my family and I did!

God Bless!

-Z

Serves 1

Z’s Lemon Cream Cheesecake

Sugar-Free, THM-S, Keto. A super easy decadent dessert! Refreshing and delicious!

10 minPrep Time

3 hr, 12 Cook Time

3 hr, 22 Total Time

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Ingredients

  • "!For the crust:"
  • In medium bowl add:
  • 2 cups almond four (I used finely sifted)
  • 2 tbs brown sugar substitute
  • 1 tbs Super Sweet blend
  • 1/8 flax meal
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • "!For the Filling:"
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 8oz bricks of cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla cream stevia drops
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Juice of 3 fresh lemons (I just cut mine in half and squeezed into the blender with the other ingredients)
  • 2 tbs Super Sweet blend
  • 3/4 cup Gentle Sweet

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In Medium bowl, mix all the ingredients for the crust (I use my hands, but you can use a spoon or spatula).
  3. Place in greased (I used Pam Baking Spray) Springform pan.
  4. Press down with your hands until spread out evenly and firm.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
  6. Let cool completely.
  7. "!For the Filling:"
  8. Whip the heavy whipping cream first, in your high speed blender (or a stand mixer).
  9. Add in the softened cream cheese and remaining ingredients.
  10. Blend or mix until smooth.
  11. Spread mixture evenly over the cooled crust.
  12. Place in freezer for 3 hours or until firm.
  13. Garnish with sliced lemons or whipped cream. Or leave plain!
  14. Enjoy!

Notes

The longest part about this baking process is the waiting for it to firm up in the freezer! It is so easy to make!

7.6.7
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https://zhealthyhousewife.com/2018/05/17/zs-lemon-cream-cheesecake/

 

Grandma Josie's Kitchen

Panocha

This recipe is one of my dad’s favorite desserts! My grandma Josie used to make it for him all the time! Even when my dad left home to go into the Navy back in the early 60’s, he would come home to visit and she would whip up a pot of it for him!

You might be thinking, “what the heck is Panocha?”. That is a perfectly normal reaction when people hear about this dish. Heck, when I first heard about it being my dad’s favorite, I said the same thing!

 

Panocha is a traditional Native American dish that came from my ancestors centuries ago. Panocha, in New Mexico and southern Colorado, is a pudding made from ground sprouted wheat and piloncillo (sugar). It is traditionally eaten during Lent. The sprouted-wheat flour is called “panocha flour” or simply “panocha”, as well.

Main ingredients: Ground sprouted wheat flour, piloncillo (sugar), and butter.
Region or state: New Mexico and southern Colorado

My Grandma passed this recipe down to my aunts, and now it has been passed down to me!

panocha

Although I usually try to bake and cook in a healthy and mostly THM (trim healthy mama) way, there are just some recipes (especially traditional family recipes) that just shouldn’t be changed! This is one of them.

(Don’t get me wrong, I will probably try to THMify this eventually, just so I can eat it all the time! It’s that good!).

Traditionally, this recipe is more of a pudding consistency, but ours came out a little thick…which I actually liked. My Aunt Naomi taught me how to make this last week, and it was so much fun seeing the process. It is a little time consuming, but it is so cool to be able to make something that my ancestors from centuries ago actually made all the time. There is just something cool about thinking of how Native Americans from so long ago used to go about making this, without modern kitchen tools.

The Process

First, you need to get a large bowl and sift the flour. We used a mix of whole wheat flour and sprouted whole wheat flour. If you go to a Mexican market, they will probably have panocha flour (which is basically just sprouted whole wheat flour).

Sift the two flours together.

Boil a kettle full of water (about 4 1/2 cups).

Meanwhile, brown the sugar (we used regular dark brown sugar and white sugar) in a large pan. It’s a delicate process because you don’t want to burn it. Make sure to keep mixing! The “browning” of the sugar gives it that unique taste.

making panocha

Be sure to continue mixing the sugars until it caramelizes. Add some of the boiling water (about 2 cups) to the sugar mix and turn down heat to low. Cover and let sit on low for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the rest of the boiling water (about 2 1/2 cups) to the flour mix. Stir until well dissolved. Add the flour mix to the sugar mix and stir until well mixed. Add the butter and mix until fully melted.

After everything is mixed together well, our mixture into buttered baking dish (that has a lid). Place in oven and bake 300 degrees for about 3 hours, stirring every 45 minutes to an hour.

Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream or milk.

Note: Contemporary additions to panocha include a teaspoon or so of cinnamon and or vanilla. A tablespoon or two of butter gives extra richness. Any of these additions should be made at the conclusion of the panocha’s cooking time on the stove, just prior to baking.

This dessert/breakfast is so rich in history and is chock full of flavor! I love the creaminess of this dish, and my kids especially loved eating it. It is a hearty and delicious dessert/breakfast; perfect for growing kids!

I hope that when I make this dish, my grandma Josie will be looking down from heaven smiling at me.

Love you Grandma Josie!

God Bless!

-Z

Serves 1

Grandma Josie’s Panocha

A rich and decadent dessert or breakfast! A traditional Native American dish.

15 minPrep Time

3 hrCook Time

3 hr, 15 Total Time

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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups sprouted whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • Optional: Cream, whipped cream, cinnamon or butter for toppings.

Instructions

  1. In large bowl: Sift the two flours together, making sure to get any chunks of flour out.
  2. Turn stove on to medium/high heat.
  3. On stove in Medium pan or dutch oven, Brown the sugar.
  4. Add in boiling water (2 cups). Mix well until dissolved, and then turn stove down to low.
  5. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the rest of boiling water to the flours, mix well.
  7. Add flour and water mixture to the sugar mixture.
  8. Mix all well until well mixed.
  9. Add to buttered baking dish.
  10. Cover and bake for 3 hours.
  11. Mix every 45 minutes or 1 hour.
  12. Once baked, should have a thick pudding consistency.
  13. Seve warm with optional toppings.
  14. Enjoy!
Cuisine: Traditional Native American |
7.6.7
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https://zhealthyhousewife.com/2018/05/15/grandma-josies-panocha/

 

 

Z's Book Reviews

The Hidden Enemy by Michael Youssef

Aggressive secularism, radical islam, and the fight for our future.

A book review, by Zaneta Francis.

Reality Check

This book has been an eye opener and a reality check for me personally. So often, I get into the “daily grind” of life, and stick my “head in the sand” when it comes to knowing what is going on in our world. It is easy to become complacent. It is easy to say to yourself, “I just don’t want to watch the news because it is too depressing”.

Although I am inclined to agree with that thought process, and occasionally catch myself thinking that way, I do believe that as christians it is our duty to stay informed and speak Truth. There is too much going on in our world right now that goes extremely against the Word of God. There is so much “wrong” being declared “right.” It is time for us to stand for Truth. To stand for what is right.

In this book, Micheal talks about how fundamental secularism and radical Islam is infiltrating our society. How it has been “rearing it’s ugly head” lately, but in fact has been in the background for decades. Only current events have made this issue stand out.

“[Secular fundamentalists]…They are so utterly convinced of the rightness of their rationalism and atheism that they cannot tolerate religion in any form and cannot allow religious parents to teach their faith to their children. They ridicule, mock and satirize the idea of God, and they have no empathy whatsoever for the people they have scorned and persecuted. They feel justified and self-righteous.”

Secular Fundamentalist, unfortunately, are the ones being voted into office and are having influence over the laws being passed, the tone being set and the overall morality of our culture. This is the reality that is our culture. This is the reality of our government (in a lot of cases).

The Great American Delusion

 

“If the founding fathers could visit America today, they wouldn’t recognize the nation they established. Where is the industrious, liberty-loving nation for which they risked their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor? It has largely become a place where antisocial behavior is rewarded, where industriousness is penalized, and where our First Amendment freedoms are giving way to political correctness.”

This was my favorite paragraph of the whole book!

The issues that plague our tv screens and social media are a disgrace to our founding fathers! Same-sex marriage, LGBT “rights”, political correctness, and the like are not only moral issues, but are the core of so many idealogical and moral declinations. Our nation was founded on the fear of God. It was founded with the vision of “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Where is the life, liberty and happiness? Where is the fear of God?

Conclusion

I don’t want to give too much of this book away, so I will let you read it! It really is a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Micheal Youssef has a way of bringing up current events and exposing Truth, while keeping an encouraging tone throughout the book. He is a gifted author and a well researched journalist.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about the current state of our culture, government and events. Micheal encourages christians to stay informed, to get involved and to stand for Truth. He also encourages us to pray for our world.

I hope you get a chance to buy this book and read it! Here is a link to buy it. If you buy it from here, I get a tiny commission :). Thanks!

God Bless!

-Z

 

Grandma Josie's Kitchen

My Grandma Josie

I am beyond proud to add this page of authentic and traditional family recipes to my blog! These recipes and stories have been passed down from my grandma Josie!

Grandma Josie’s Kitchen will be a place where amazing and delicious recipes, stories of my ancestors, dishes of all sorts and  wonderful pictures will shared! My grandma’s recipes will be forever memorialized here!

Josephine

grandma Josie Josephine Gurule-Vasquez was born in the year 1919, in the tiny little town of Mogote Colorado. She was the youngest of 5 siblings. She graduated high school when she was 18, in 1937. She went to work for a resort in southern Colorado called MenkHaven, where she started off with sewing clothe diapers for the resort guests. She was so good at what she did, that they promoted her twice. Once as a layette sewer, and then on to a cook in the kitchen. This is where she began her love for cooking, and learned a lot of the cooking skills that used her whole life.

She met and fell in love with Daniel Vasquez (my grandpa) in 1942, and was married shortly after in the same year. They lived on a ranch in the back hills of Pass Creek, near Redwing Colorado. They raised their 6 kids there for over 20 years. (I was able to visit this ranch of theirs on several occasions and it was so awesome to actually see where some of my family history took place).

Josephine and Daniel had their first son, Dan Jr. in 1943. Samuel (my Dad) was born in 1944. My aunt Mary was born in 1946. My Aunt Becky was born in 1950. Then there was my Uncle Jake, who was born in 1954.

From left to right. Grandpa Dan, Aunt Mary, Uncle Dan, Grandma Josie and Aunt Mary. Circa 1950’s.

My grandma Josie also had baby Rebecca in between my aunt Mary and my aunt Becky, but she died at only a few days old. I have had the amazing privilege to see baby Rebecca’s grave site when I was younger, on a day trip we took to explore where my dad grew up. She was laid to rest in a beautiful place in the back hills of southern Colorado, near their family ranch. It was a special thing to me, to be able to see my dads baby sister’s grave site and to pay respect to my little aunt who I was never able to meet.

Finally, my aunt Naomi was born in 1959. The last of 6 children.

I have so many good memories of all my aunts and uncles. I love that I am able to remember them and share memories with my dad and family about how they have impacted me.

—————-

My aunt Naomi has been a huge influence in my life. Her natural talent for pretty much anything that she does is inspiring. She has taught me a lot about cooking, baking, painting, arts and crafts, crocheting and so much more!

Her ability to just listen and dream with me is one of my favorite things about her. She is so non-judgmental of my flaws and always challenges me to be better at everything I do. She is also one of my biggest fans and has encouraged me so much in all of my random ventures.

Whenever we get together, we always end up cooking, baking, swapping recipes, antique shopping, drinking coffee together early in the morning and sharing stories about life, love and everything in between. I can truly say that we are kindred spirits and I am so thankful for her role in my life.

A lot of the recipes that I will post in Grandma Josie’s Kitchen page will be recipes that my aunt Naomi has taught me. Grandma’s legacy lives on through her, and hopefully I will do these recipes justice as I learn them and master them myself.

Grandma’s Legacy

Josie in kitchen
Grandma sitting in her spot at the table in her tiny kitchen.

My Grandma Josie was the most giving and self-less lady I have ever met. Her meek personality and feisty spirit is one that will never be duplicated. She loved her kids with a fierce love, and she doted on all of her 21 grandkids. Her great grandkids are so numerous, it would take me all day to research!

She loved to cook for people. She had this nac for cooking for a large group of people with little to no notice, and the meals being absolutely delicious! She loved having her family around, and always had a way of bringing her family together. One of the ways she did this was by cooking her delicious meals for everyone.

family at grandmas
Grandma and family around the table. At the forefront is my dad, Sam Vasquez, circa “old school”!

 

 

 

 

These recipes that I will share here has been passed down from my Native American, New Mexican and Colorado born ancestors. They have been passed down to my grandma Josie, down to my Aunt Naomi, and now to me. I am so excited to forever memorialize my grandma Josie’s recipes!

Grandma’s ability to whip things up has been an inspiration to me as well! I want to be that kind of woman who is able to that! I strive to always feed people when they come to my house, and I always want people to leave my home filled with yummy food and happiness! 

 

grandma cooking
Grandma Josie cooking in her kitchen.

I always remember my grandma cooking in the kitchen. She loved to gather everyone around the table, and see everyone happy. Some of my best childhood memories were in her kitchen.

One of the most memorable memories that I have of her kitchen was when she would feed us grandkids corn flakes in the mornings. She would load up the bowl with about 1/4 cup of sugar, and top it off with evaporated milk! I swear, to this day I can not eat corn flakes without thinking about my grandma and all the sugar she would give me as a child. Lol.

 

 

kids with grandma
There I am at Grandmas house with my Grandpa Dan and all my cousins. I am the one with my eyes closed and the messy long hair with a head band. 🙂

I always remember my grandparent’s house being the place that we would all gather. It was a tiny house, but somehow that didn’t matter. The love and acceptance that was there made it homey and comfortable, and everyone loved being there. Even if we were packed like sardines!

That is yet another thing I always want my home to be like! Welcoming, cozy and always, always, always food on the table!

 

 

Authentic Recipes

I am so excited to be able to share some of my grandma Josie’s recipes with you! I will also be sharing traditional and authentic Native American dishes that are still popular in New Mexico and Colorado today.

From Traditional Sweet Meat Empenadas, Pressure Cooker Beans (a recipe that was passed down from my Mom who learned it from grandma Josie), Sopaipillas, Tortillas, Green Chili Sauce, to Panocha (a sweet porridge), these recipes will inspire!

 

Panocha
Panocha
My aunt Naomi teaching me how to make Empanadas.
Sweet Meat Empanadas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I write this, I can almost feel the authentic richness of these dishes coming alive!

My grandma Josie was a special lady. She effected so many with her love, acceptance and cooking! I look forward to seeing her in heaven some day and sitting on the porch of heaven, talking about life, love and food! I love you grandma Josie!

my grandma
Grandma Josie Vasquez. 1919-2005.

I hope you enjoy these recipes from my Grandma Josie’s Kitchen and beyond!

God Bless!

-Z

 

Hands-on Housewife

B-U-S-Y

B-U-S-Y

Hey ya’ll!

I have been busy, and then I have been BUSY.

When I look at what I am busy with; the kinds of things that occupy my time, I doubt myself. I am usually busy with chores, housework, home school, blogging, and a myriad of other things that “seem to be important at the time”.  I truly wish that I could be better as a mom. I wish that all I wanted tot do was teach my kids, love on them and spend every waking moment with them (and enjoy it).

Maybe you’re one of those mammas who sits on the floor with their youngsters, plays, reads books and talks in a high-pitched little girl voice. That is great.

No…I am not being facetious. I genuinely wish I could be that way. But, alas, that is soooooo not how God made me.

I would probably be mom who is yelling from the kitchen to pick up the mess. Unfortunately.

I have come a long way from being that overly anal and crazy mom who literally can’t stand a mess, and gets upset anytime there are toys on the floor (trust me…I still struggle with that).

Where is the balance to the busy day-to-day? WHAT is that balance?

Today I want to discuss the issue of busy-ness and maybe share with you my struggle at finding the balance.

I would also love to share with you what the “B-U-S-Y” stands for…wait for it…

Jack of All Trades

This year I had to let go of a lot of things. Not necessarily bad things, just too many things. You see, I am one of those who tends to say “yes” to everyone and everything. I always feel like I can “do that better”, or that I just need to be involved. However, this mindset has gotten me in trouble in many circumstances.

I don’t believe that being busy is bad. But I also don’t believe that you have to literally do nothing else except stay at home with your kids and only home school every day, either. There has to be a balance.

“A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” -Benjamin Franklin

This is definitely my life! I may be a “jack of all trades”, but I often feel like I am not mastering any one thing. I don’t want to be that way. I would rather master a few things well, then be just ok at a whole lot of things.

I think that is where staying busy comes in for me. I enjoy having my plate full. I enjoy using my gifts. I enjoy working with my hands.

But what if I want to ENJOY getting down on the floor with my kids? Mastering being a mom? What if I truly desire to make my kids a priority in my day?

That for me is the struggle.

Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE my kids so much, and am incredibly blessed by them. But mothering does not come naturally for me. Work and being busy does.

So how I do balance the two? How do I master only a few things? This question has evaded me for many years now, and I don’t believe that it needs to be some deep and analytical thing. God has really showed me that being content is the simple answer.

Where I am in my life (the mommy stage) is OK. It’s ok to be frustrated at times. It’s OK to not have a handle on being that “perfect mom”. It’s ok to be overwhelmed.

I do believe that I have subconsciously used busy-ness to cope with my insecurities as a mom. Again, there is nothing wrong with being busy, but I have been convicted to realize that I don’t need to be THAT busy.

It’s OK to say no to things. It’s ok to rest. It’s ok to rest WITH your kids too!

Finding the Balance

After so many failures at balancing my time and my busy schedule, God has shown me so much. He has allowed me the grace to do as many as things I want, but now I have learned the beautiful word of “no”. It really has given me freedom to spend time with my kids, or to invest more into my husband and blessing him.

I have come a long way from the crazy schedules, plans and events that I was once part of. As much as I have enjoyed those things that kept me busy, I feel so much more at peace now that I have learned to say “no”.

I have learned that the important things in life wake up in the bedroom next to mine every morning. They call me mommy. They are the most important thing I can spend my time doing every day. They are my priority. THEY are what I want to master. 

Work will come and go. Doing “stuff” will always be there. Spending my time being busy with “things” can always be done later.

But my kids are only with me for a short while. My oldest is only 10 years away from being a legal adult! My youngest is almost out of diapers! These are the years I need to cherish. these are the years that will go by so fast that I can’t even imagine!

These truths are something that I have to remind myself every day. It does not come easy for me, but I know that with God’s strength I will get through. With His strength, I will be able to invest in them and love on them every day. With His power, I can learn to MASTER these few precious blessings that He has given me.

Addie Jo

With that being said… I can put my phone down for a few short hours every day and spend quality time with these wonderful little humans God has given me. I can sit on the floor with them and play a game. I can hold my baby girl for a little while and not feel guilty that there is laundry piled in the basket. I can go outside and watch my boys play, just because they want me to. I can sit at our dinner table and look around at these blessings that are mine and truly enjoy the silly conversions and the laughter.

These years are short.

So, I said I would reveal what B-U-S-Y stands for, here it is….

Being Under Satan’s Yoke.

I heard this phrase about 18 years ago, and it has never left me. I forget it more than I should, but it has always stood as reminder to me that being busy is not always a good thing.

 Here are 3 tips that I have found to be very helpful in learning how to rest:

1. Say NO.

It is always easy to say yes to things and then later realize that you got in over your head. Saying no is not a bad thing. If you feel bad for saying no, than maybe say “I will think about it”. That way it will give you time to assess the responsibilities of that thing you almost said “yes” to.

2. Put down the social media.

This year, it is my goal to get rid of things that distract me from my kids. I know I can get rid of everything (especially since I run two blogs and create recipes on my computer), but I can be intentional about how I do those things. Putting down my cell phone is one of my most important goals. I make a point to not have my cell phone at the table when my family and I are eating. That really has helped to have meaningful conversations with my husband and kids when we eat.

3. Set aside time for you.

I know I have said this over and over. But, I believe so much in this point. You NEED to take care yourself first, so that you can give your energy to your family. If you are not rested and refreshed, how do you except to take care of anyone else? Rest mammas! Find time to be alone at least for a half an hour a day!

I pray that this post is encouraging to you! If you are not in the busy stages of mom-hood, and you still find yourself overly busy…use these tips to rest! If you are in the mom stage of life…you know exactly what I am talking about! It’s exhausting! But, allow yourself some grace. Allow yourself a time to rest.

rest

 

Give yourself a break!

God Bless!

-Z

 

 

 

 

Sweets and Treats

Double Chocolate Muffin Tops

Sugar-Free, THM-E

What I love

You know what I love about THM (Trim healthy Mama)? I love that I can have carbs and not feel guilty. Healthy carbs are a great way to get energy. And what better way to get energy, than by eating chocolate muffin tops…with NO GUILT?

Yes please!

The thing I really don’t like about “fad diets” is that they often take away whole food groups, like carbs. Carbs are such a good thing though! We need them to function! Not to mention the great things that healthy carbs do for your gut!

My Handsome Husband modeling a muffin top.

These little guys are loaded with yummy and nutritious oat flour. I grind my own flour in my blender (Teddy), and it makes the most fine oat flour I’ve seen. The homemade oat four is so much better than store-bought! Fine oat flour makes for fluffier and plumper muffins for sure!

I love eating healthy carbs, and I especially love feeding my kids healthy carbs. It really does give them so much energy!

Teddy Does His Job

I made these bad boys in my blender too! I mean, come on! It can’t be that easy, right? But seriously, I make so many recipes in my blender lately! Why not…when it is that dang easy?!?!?

I am finding new ways to love my blender everyday. His name is Teddy and he does his job!

This recipe really can’t get any more simple. I blend everything in the blender, pour into muffin tins and then top with Lilly’s dark chocolate chips. Such a fun way to bake! Instead of having pots and pans everywhere and a mess in the kitchen, I just use my Teddy (did I mention he is self-cleaning?)!

These muffin tops are also a great way to use those super ripe bananas! I just throw all the ingredients in the blender and the bananas barely even have to be handled! It that weird that I don’t like to touch ripe bananas?

They also make for a pretty tea cake.

My handsome husband loved these :).

So, here is the yummy recipe! I hope you enjoy them as much as we all did!

Enjoy!

God Bless!

-Z

Double Chocolate Muffin Tops

Sugar-Free, THM-E, Low fat. A Muffin Top Packed With Energy!

5 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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Recipe Image

Ingredients

  • 4 cups oats (ground-I use my blender for this)
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites (I use the carton)
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 3 medium bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup gentle sweet (or preferred sweetener)
  • 3 tbs super sweet
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2/3 c unsweetened vanilla cashew milk
  • 1/4 cup oat fiber
  • 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 bag of Lily's dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In blender:
  2. Grind 4 cups oats into a fine flour
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until well blended.
  4. Pour into greased muffin pans.
  5. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes
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