Spiced Apples, Onions, and Beans over Butternut Squash


Winter squash is one of those perfect foods, in my book. It grows readily here on our Texas homestead and can be stored as is with no additional energy input from the freezer or canner. It’s also downright tasty with some grass-fed butter on top.

And that’s just how I most frequently serve it up – as a buttered side dish.

But in order to eat plenty of the stuff I need to keep it interesting and so I came up with this dish. Freshly baked and buttered squash becomes the base of something warm, spiced, and delicious. Apples and onions come together for a sweet addition along with savory spices like garlic and ginger, which I like to feed my family on a regular basis for their immune-boosting properties.

The buttery squash is the perfect juxtaposition to the spiced topping, making this a great meal to welcome in the fall season.

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Rice and Bean Resistant Starch Salad

Rice and bean salad resistant starch1

Have you heard of resistant starch? I’ve heard about it on various sites around the web, including on Chris Kresser’s site. From what I understand the basic premise is that resistant starch is a prebiotic. It is able to survive through the stomach and small intestine and finally ends up in your colon where it feeds the bacteria in your gut. Having something to eat makes your gut bacteria happy, which should, in theory, make your body happy.

I can’t speak to any of that, but I found it interesting that the sources for this type of starch are in foods such as plantains, unripe bananas, and cooked and cooled potatoes, rice, and beans. I like all of those foods so I’m happy to have an excuse to make extra rice and an easier-to-digest pot of beans and save them for an easy meal later.

Something good for me that makes my life easier? Why in the world not?!

So, I make this Rice and Bean Salad pretty often, ya know, to fulfill my quotient of resistant starch. I also eat green bananas from time to time as well, but green bananas does not a tasty, filling salad for six make.

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Simple Thai Basil – Coconut Chicken

thai basil coconut chicken

If flavor-explosion-in-the-mouth were a food group, it would be my favorite. I like dynamics in my food – bitter & sweet (ahem, coffee with cream or raw chocolate milk), spicy and creamy, sweet and tart. This might explain my penchant for Thai food.

The flavors of Thai food are sweet and spicy and sour and pretty much the aforementioned flavor explosion all in one. But I don’t generally keep Thai chiles, limes, and five other ingredients I can’t pronounce in my pantry. I have apple cider vinegar, raw honey, coconut milk, and a few yummy spices. And then I have this Thai basil plant in my garden gifted by the best kind of neighbors – the kind that give you vegetables and herbs when they have too many.

And so, when wanting one of those Thai-inspired dishes, I enlisted that basil plant, a can of coconut milk, and some good chicken to help me out. Flavor explosion minus the fuss? I’m in.

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How to Make Delicious Milk Kefir

How to Make Milk Kefir

Last week my six-year-old was writing to his Grandpa and gave him the latest updates from our homestead. He liked sleeping in the new cabin… his baby sister might start crawling soon… and Mama’s fermenting something.

All of that is true, and that last update is a daily occurrence around here these days.

Every day I take one or two quarts of goat milk fetched from down the dirt road by my boys, and make milk kefir in about four minutes. Yes, it’s that simple. I’ve already basically written a love letter to milk kefir for its wonderful health benefits, its ease of preparation, and its sustainable addition to my kitchen; so I’ll spare you the gushing.

What I do want to share with you is how to make this lovely cultured dairy product, and how just one simple change to the way I made it had me willingly eating it every day after years of resisting my poorly-made kefir.

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