Ham & Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup - Nourish With Karen

This is one of my favourite soups!  Thick, rich and hearty, it goes a long way to filling me up on a cold winter day.  I know my neice Karissa shares my sentiment and I keep making it with the idea of putting some away for her, but it gets eaten every time!  I will have to make a batch just for her and put it in my freezer until I see her again. 


Ham & Split Pea Soup

  • 1 ham bone (with some meat left on it)
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 medium onion, diced
  • 6 stalks celery, diced
  • 6 carrots, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups split peas
  • 2 cups diced ham

In a large stock pot, bring water, ham bone, 1 onion, 2 stalks celery, 2 carrots and 2 cloves of garlic to a boil and turn down to low heat.  Simmer for 5-6 hours.  Remove the ham bone, pick off remaining meat and strain the mixture, discarding vegetables already in stock (they will be mushy by now and will affect the soup texture, but add great flavour).

Saute remaining vegetables in the stock pot and return strained stock to the pot, adding the split peas and ham.  Simmer until peas are softened, about 1 1/2 hours.



Hawaiian Chicken

Hawaiian Chicken/Pineapple Chicken Nourish With Karen

Easy peasy and delicious!  Sweet and sour, plus pineapple, this recipe for Hawaiian chicken is hard to resist.  Growing up a version of this recipe was a favourite in our household.  

Hawaiian Chicken

  • 1 1/2 - 2 lb chicken parts (breasts, thighs or a combination)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/8 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp soya sauce (naturally fermented, gluten free)
  • 1 Tbsp tapioca starch 
  • 1 1/2 cup pineapple (cut into chunks)

Brown chicken in a skillet and remove to a small baking dish.  For sauce combine next 6 ingredients in skillet and cook over medium heat to thicken, scraping the yummy chicken bits off the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle pineapple over chicken and cover the chicken and pineapple with sauce.  Bake at 325 F for 1 hour.  Serve over rice or stir-fry vegetables.  Enjoy!

Shared at Juggling Real Food and Real Life's Let's Get Real Food Blog Hop - Hop on over and check it out!

Why You Need Bone Broth in Your Diet

Grandma hit the nail on the head when she recommended chicken noodle soup for flu and cold, but the benefits of consuming broth or stock go much further than that.  When properly prepared, broth/stock contains a plethora of nutrients which are beneficial to our health in a multitude of ways!

Broth or stock, can be used interchangeably according to the dictionary, but there may be those who argue the definition.  I will use them interchangeably!  

Bone broth is a rich bone-building supplement containing the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium silicon, sulfur and trace minerals.  Because it is so rich in these substances, it is especially good for growing children, those with mending bones and women who fear for their bone density or are in any stage of osteopenia or osteoporosis.  It may also be useful in the remineralization of teeth.  It also helps to contribute to body alkalinity because of its high mineral content.

It also contains gelatin, you know, the stuff that makes Jello jiggle.  Gelatin is high in the amino acids glycine,proline and arginine, as well as containing other amino acids.  It is useful as an aid to digestion and has been used to aid in the healing of disease like Crohn’s and colitis. The amino acids found in broth are needed to build connective tissue, making it beneficial for hair, skin, nails, muscle, cartilage and ligament growth.  It is good for the skin and may keep wrinkles from appearing.  If that isn’t enough these amino acids also fight inflammation in the body.

Have I sold you on the merits of bone broth yet?  It is a superfood from years gone by. This is a low budget supplement you just can’t afford to miss out on.  It is easy to make, but will take some time.

Beef/Buffalo/Venison/Lamb Broth

·       2 - 3  lb of meaty bones

·         1 lb of marrow bones

·         4 or more quarts of cold water

·         ½ cup vinegar (I use apple cider)

·         1 or 2 large onions, coarsely chopped

·         3-4 carrots, coarsely chopped

·         3-4 stalks celery, coarsely chopped

·         3-4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

·         1 sheet of seaweed for added minerals and iodine (optional, of course)

·         2-4 bay leaves

·         spices such as basil, thyme, etc. (your preference, in amount preferred)

·         2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)

·         Black pepper to taste

If you use a slow cooker to make stock you will find less need to babysit and you may be more comfortable leaving it unattended than if made on a stove.  Either method will work.

Broth 089.jpg

Using a combination of bones gives your stock more rounded characteristics; the meaty bones impart flavor and colour, while the marrow bones offer their own goodness. While the meaty bones are roasting, add the marrow bones, vinegar and some of the cold water to the slow cooker, but do not turn it on yet.  Doing this will begin to leach minerals from the bones.   Roast the meaty bones at 350C until browned, about 1 ½ hr to impart more flavor to the broth.   Place the browned bones into the slow-cooker or large pot along with vegetables and spices, topping up with water.  Deglaze the roasting pan with water, and add this to the slow cooker or soup pot.  Turn the slow cooker up or pot on high, bring to a boil, skim any scum that may form on top and reduce heat to low.  Simmer the stock for at least 12 hours, and as long as 72 hours.

Allow broth to cool, until manageable, then remove the bones and strain into a large bowl or another pot.  Place strained broth in the refrigerator or outdoors (in the winter this is my favourite method) to further cool and allow fat to congeal on surface.  Remove fat and transfer to smaller containers for storage.

The broth can be kept in the fridge for 5-7 days, or placed in the freezer for long-term storage.

For Chicken Broth or Turkey Broth follow the same method, replacing the beef bones with 2-3 lb of bony chicken parts (backs, necks, wings, carcasses all work well).   Again, I like to roast these bones for added flavor in my broth.  You may want to freeze the carcasses from several roast chickens to be made into one big batch of stock at a later date.  Cook this stock for 6-24 hours.

Now that you have this rich stock, you may warm it and drink it from a mug (maybe replace your morning coffee) or make delicious soups with added nutrition.



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Cassoulet, according to Julia Child, is a rich combination of white beans baked with meats.  It is a hearty, budget-friendly meal easily adapted to the crockpot or baked in the oven for a couple of hours.  While Julia’s version of cassoulet may take a few days to build, mine can be assembled the night before or just before cooking with delicious results.

Cassoulet My Way

·         1 large onion, chopped coarsely

·         4 stalks celery, chopped

·         3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

·         4 chorizo sausages, pulled from casing

·         4 cups cooked white beans (I like small lima beans)

·         24 oz (690g) jar of strained tomatoes or tomato puree

·         2 bay leaves

·         1 Tbsp smoked paprika

·         1/8 cup vinegar (your choice)

·         2 Tbsp honey

·         1 tsp sea salt

·         Black pepper to taste

In a large cast iron pan, soften onion, celery and garlic (about 5 minutes).  Remove sausage from casing and add to pan, browning the meat.  Remove ingredients to either the slow cooker or a casserole dish. Deglaze the cast iron pan with a small amount of water or wine, adding this to the casserole dish. 

To the casserole dish, add beans, tomato sauce, vinegar, honey and spices.  Stir to combine.  If using a slow cooker, set to low and cook 4-6 hours.  In the last hour or two of cooking check to see if water should be added. 

If cooking in the oven, set heat to 325F and bake 1-2 hours, checking for moisture in the last stages of cooking.


Crockpot Barbecued Pulled Pork

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With colder weather settling in, we are craving slow cooked, hearty meals and using a crockpot you can put a delicious meal on the table easily.  Today I am sharing a delicious pulled pork recipe that we often enjoy.  While it may be easier to pour a bottle of barbecue sauce over top of pork loin, the ingredients in bottled barbecue sauce can be suspect; artificial colours, flavours, high fructose corn syrup and msg among them.  Why use a product which has undesirable ingredients?

If I am going to use canned tomatoes, I always use those preserved in glass jars.  That goes for spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, etc.  Cans are lined with plastics which contain endocrine (hormone) disrupting substances like BPA and BPS,and because tomatoes are acidic, they pull more plastic out of the lining.  So steer clear of these!

Here is the recipe: 

 Crockpot Barbecued Pulled Pork 

  • 2 pork tenderloins
  • 1 - 24 oz jar of strained tomatoes or passatta
  • 1 or 2 onions, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar (I use cider vinegar, but white vinegar works just as well)
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp chipotle pepper powder (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 tsp salt (if there isn't salt in the tomatoes)
  • pepper to taste

Pour the tomato sauce into the crockpot, add spices, mix to combine.  Add sliced onion, spreading to cover the bottom and place pork tenderloin on top.

Cook on low for 4-5 hours until pork is tender and pulls apart easily with two forks.  Pull pork apart and serve with your favourite side dishes. 


Shared at Allergy Free Wednesdays and Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways





Sneaky Vegetable Spaghetti Sauce

Get the Veg into your kids with Sneaky Vegetable Spaghetti Sauce

In a perfect world dinner would appear magically on the table, with little effort on our part and our families would eat what was placed in front of them with enthusiasm.  Then the mess would simply disappear and we could get on with our lives.  Unfortunately, we do not live in such a world.  We are busy and there is little time for planning, food prep, cooking or clean up and we all know how difficult it can be to get kids to eat veggies when they show up on their plates.   

One of my favourite meals to prepare in a hurry is spaghetti with meat sauce.  You can hide all kinds of veggies in spaghetti sauce!  This is a loose recipe, add what you like and subtract what you don't. 

Sneaky Spaghetti Sauce

  • 1 750 ml (ish) jar of your favourite spaghetti sauce
  • 1 large mild onion, chopped finely
  • 1 green pepper, chopped finely
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped finely
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 to 2 cups mushrooms, chopped finely 
  • 1 lb chorizo sausage, removed from casing

Scramble-fry the sausage, breaking it into small pieces, saute all finely chopped vegetables.  Once the vegetables are tender add the spaghetti sauce and simmer for as long as you have... be it 10 minutes or an hour.

Serve over pasta of your choice: whole wheat, gluten-free, spaghetti squash, etc.  

Shared on the Wednesday Blog Hop at frugallysustainable.com


Shish Kebabs for Father's Day

In our house, Father's Day is usually synonymous with the outdoors and barbecuing. This year I think I will make one of our barbecue favourites - Shish Kebabs.  These are so easy to make!

Father's Day Shish Kebabs

While preparing your veggies, soak your skewers for at least 1/2 hour so they do not catch on fire while grilling.  While you can put a any number of different veggies and fruits on your Shish Kebabs, we love the following:  sweet onion, pineapple, mushrooms, red peppers and green peppers.  These all seem to cook at about the same rate so they pair well.  Another thing I take into consideration is the amount of time meat takes to cook versus the veg.  I will often grill the meat separately or use a precooked sausage such as bratwurst, so we do not have burnt vegetables and rare steak on the same kebab!

Paleo, SCD Shish Kebabs

Once your skewers are soaked, veggies are cubed and sausage is sliced you can start assembling the kebabs.  The favourite flavour pairing in our household is pineapple next to onion.  Yum!  We simply brush with some olive oil and place the skewers on the grill.  You can spice as you desire.  Cook over medium heat, turning as necessary and removing when cooked to your preference.


Barbecued Shish Kebabs

Alternately, do not use skewers, just place all veg and meat onto a barbecue grilling tray and place it on the barbecue.  Stir, or flip as necessary.

Serve with your favourite side dishes. 

Enjoy a Happy Father's Day!



Halibut with Mango Salsa on a Hot Summer Night!

It finally feels like summer!  Days are warm and evenings cool down little, so I hate to add to the heat in the house making dinner.   It limits your options for cooking and I look more to the barbecue to get the job done.

Halibut with Mango Salsa

Yesterday morning I was pondering the dinner dilemma, like I often do, with no inspiration and thought "fish"... easy to thaw... quick to cook... and a healthy choice.  Winner!  I pulled out some halibut friends had given us from a fishing trip to the west coast and started thinking about what to do with it.  I spied the mangoes sitting on the counter and voila, dinner was decided upon!  This is how meals often come about in our house.

It turned out awesome.  Halibut is a drier fish which is complimented by a condiment of some kind and mango salsa is a great pairing!   Here's what I did:

Mango Salsa

  • 3 ripe Altulfo mangoes (finely cubed)
  • 1/4 white or red onion (mild onions are key), finely chopped
  • pinch of chipotle chili pepper
  • fresh cilantro (to your taste) 

Combine and allow to rest.  Season halibut with salt, pepper and chipotle chili pepper. Grill, being careful not to overcook as it will be even drier!  Serve with a couple of sides.  In this case, a simple salad and steamed green beans.  Simple, but delicious!  

Do you plan meals ahead of time or spur of the moment? 


Roasted Chicken with Onions, Peppers and Pineapple

Roast Chicken with Onions, Peppers and Pineapple

My family knows I have a little crush on Jamie Oliver.  Not only is he an awesome chef, cookbook author and restauranteur, he has become a food advocate.  He has launched a food revolution in Britain and is working to change the way the masses prepare and eat food.  Jamie Oliver is a hands-on chef.  He uses whole ingredients, fresh spices and organic foods to create wholesome dishes that taste great!

I am always on the look out for a great gluten free way to make gravy or sauce and this one is fantastic.  The following recipe is a modification of Jamie Oliver’s Pot-roasted Chicken with Sweet and Sour Sauce found in “Happy Days with the Naked Chef”.  The original recipe, while great for the adult crowd, contains more spice and didn’t sit well the kids!

  • 2 kg chicken
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and quartered
  • 2 yellow peppers, deseeded and quartered
  • 2 red onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 ripe pineapple, peeled and cubed
  • Sea salt, freshly ground pepper, chipotle pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  In a cold casserole dish, I love to use my clay baking dish, put the cut peppers, onions and pineapple.  Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil.  Season with salt, ground pepper and chipotle pepper, and toss to coat. 

Rub the chicken with olive oil and season it generously inside and out with sea salt, ground pepper and chipotle pepper.  Place the chicken on top of the fruit and vegetables. Cook in the middle of the preheated oven, uncovered, for approximately 1 ½ - 2 hours.  The chicken is cooked when the bones can be easily pulled from the thighs.

Once cooked, remove the chicken and three quarters of the vegetables to a platter. Leave the remaining vegetables and pineapple in the pan along with the juices and using a hand blender, blend into a sauce.  If it is too thick, add a little boiling water to thin.  Season to taste.

This can be served with noodles, rice or potatoes, but quite often we serve it with just a salad.  Enjoy!

Fresh Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

Fresh Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

Fresh Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

The Grandies (my husband's parents), stopped by the other day with a case of lovely greenhouse grown tomatoes.  These tomatoes are grown by their friends at Paradise Hills Farm in Nanton, Alberta.  They smell like tomatoes should and have that fresh from the garden taste.

When you get a case of tomatoes you have the luxury of eating them for breakfast, lunch or dinner, like an apple as a snack and incorporating great amounts of them into any recipe you please!  If we also have fresh basil in the house, we use them in this yummy fresh tomato sauce.  It's a hit in our house!  

Fresh Tomato and Basil Sauce

  • 6 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes, deseeded and squeezed of most of their juice
  • 1 large sweet or mild onion (white, Walla Walla, or Vidalia) chopped  
  • 2 large cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2/3 cup of fresh basil, chopped
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Cut the tomatoes into quarters, using your thumb remove the seeds and squeeze each quarter to remove as much liquid as possible.  Discard the liquid and seeds.  Roughly chop the remaining ragged tomatoes!

In a heavy bottomed pan, add a good glug of olive oil (that's what my boyfriend, Jamie Oliver, says lol).  Add the chopped onion and garlic, sauteing until onion is soft.  Add the tomatoes and continue to cook until the tomato is also softened and the ingredients are saucy (5-7 min).  Stir in the chopped basil and season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.  At this point you can also add sauted chicken or seafood.

Serve with noodles of your choice.  Mine is pictured with brown rice noodles, but we often serve this sauce over cooked spaghetti squash which is a must try!

I am sharing this recipe at Allergy Free Wednesday hosted by:   Tessa the Domestic Diva,  The Willing Cook, Gluten Free PantryReal Food Allergy FreeGluten-Freely Frugal,  Whole New MomThe Tasty Alternative



My Favourite Chili

January can feel long and cold, so I thought I would share one of my favourite comfort food recipes.  It really covers the bases:  it's delicious, stays with you a long time and of course is filled with all kinds of goodness!

Homemade Chili, beans, ground beef, smoked paprika, honey, comfort food
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 cups of mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1, 14 oz can of red kidney beans (BPA*-free lining), rinsed**
  • 1, 14 oz can of mixed beans (BPA*-free lining), rinsed**
  • 1, 24 oz bottle of Tomato Puree (Passata)**
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp molasses**
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Brown the lean ground beef, onions, garlic and celery.  Put this mixture into either a crockpot or oven-proof casserole dish.  Add the remainder of the ingredients, stir.  Cover and bake in the oven at 325F for two hours, or put into a crockpot and cook on low for 4-5 hours.  Serves 4.

*BPA - Bisphenol-A is used in plastics and the linings of cans from pop cans to tomato cans.  It exhibits hormone-like properties that raise concern about its suitability in consumer products and food containers.  It is thought to be an endocrine disruptor which mimics estrogen and can lead to adverse health effects.

By preparing my own beans I avoid the BPA, it is more economical and because of the soaking time, they are less likely to cause gas.  Tomatoes from the can are to be avoided as they are acidic in nature and this acidity may act to pull even more BPA from the can lining.

** This recipe is equally as delicious when made Specific Carbohydrate Friendly!  To make it SCD friendly, use your own beans and tomato sauce.

Quinoa Greek Salad


  • 2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives


  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • pepper to taste

Combine ingredients.  Refrigerate and allow to sit for at least an hour before serving