Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hippidy Dippidy Mouthwash

Not sure if the title of this post is an actual word or phrase but we're gonna roll with it today!

Besides moving slowly into a Vegan plant based life, our family is also taking a journey down DIY cleaning products and toiletries.  We aren't only looking to save money (although, this was the main reason we started this) but also reduce our package waste and get rid of unwanted and unnecessary chemicals in our lives.  I've found that in many cases I can produce a product with items that I already have in my cabinet at home.  So, almost kinda for free.  For this mouthwash, I did have to purchase Aloe Vera Juice.  That's about a $6 to $9 investment but it won't take the whole bottle to make this mouthwash so, you'll get a good amount for that price. 

A while back, I suffered from a mild case of bleeding gums.....ew...I know.  I tried quite a few different store bought mouthwashes.  The one that finally worked was this one 

Now, did you catch the price on that bad boy? Yeah almost $10...... I can't afford that!  That's like a trip to my favorite Pho restaurant, 2 days worth of family meals, 2 specialty fancy coffees, ...well, you get the picture.  But, I really liked it....and, it worked.  I noticed the active ingredient it bragged about was Aloe Vera.  I decided to play mad scientist and make some of my own.  Guess what?  I like it.  It's cheaper. It works. So without further delay....

1 cup aloe vera juice
1/2 cup water (I used distilled but tap should work as well)
1 Tbsp. baking soda
15 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
5 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil

Pour ingredients into a jar or bottle.  Fasten a lid on and give it a shake before taking a swig....and by swig I don't mean swallow it.  Swish around for 15-30 seconds and spit.  AH!  Minty fresh!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

22's Chili

Now a typical Texan may have my hide for this recipe but this really does it for me....and, I don't live in Texas so thankfully, for now my hide is safe! 

This is some super fast chili and really really easy.  We made this chili to go along with the Happy Herbavore's recipe for California Drive Through Fries! (or, a healthy substitute for In-n-Out?) My hubs said that was better than Dennison's Chili......hmm-mm intrigued? If you make your beans instead of purchasing canned, use about 1 3/4 cup cooked beans for each "can" indicated on the recipe. Better Than Bouillon no beef base is AMAZING but, if you can't find it, veggie bouillon works in a snap or even swapping out the water for broth works too. Whenever possible, I water saute my veggies.  I try very very hard to refrain from oil.  It's added calories that I don't need, and oil is expensive! I highly suggest trying to cook without oil as much as humanly possible.  You will be amazed at how easy it is to give it up in most recipes.

Top off a baked potato with this, wrap it in a tortilla, or use in your taco rice, or if your a purist it it all on it's own. Preferably on a chilly wet day!

1 can pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
1 red bell pepper
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp. Better than Bouillon no beef base
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt (optional)
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. cornmeal

1.  In a food processor mince onion, garlic, bell pepper. (or, chop by hand)
2.  Pour veggies in a pot with chili powder, cumin, and oregano.
3.  Saute for several minutes.  If for some reason the veggies start to stick, add a little water and stir.
4.  Put in tomato paste and dices tomatoes (if you've got a picky eater when it comes to chunks of tomatoes, consider blending them in the blender before adding to the pot) Bring to a simmer.
5.  Dump in those beans and cornmeal.  Give it a good stir.
6.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes or until heated through.