Anti-inflammatory & Metabolism Boosting ‘Tea’

My upper back is a mess of inflammation post a car accident and it causes me daily grief years later.  I’m 2.5 months into super strong anti-inflammatories and had to go off them for a treatment.  Oh man, I need relief!  So…  I’ve been researching things to help with that.

Cayenne pepper and Turmeric immediately came to the forefront, so I’ve added Turmeric supplement to my routine.

As for Cayenne, I remembered reading about a Trim Healthy Mama fat busting tea (http://www NULL.trimhealthymama NULL.com/main-home/free-recipes/shrinker-recipe2/) with Cayenne and tweaked it a little and it’s delicious without sweetener.

  • 2 T Oolong tea – I used David’s The Skinny, in 12oz hot water
  • 1 cup coconut milk – I used 1/2 of unsweetened beverage one & half cooking coconut milk
  • 1/8 tsp rounded sea salt – I used Pink Hawaiian – their recipe calls for Celtic
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp Epicure’s vanilla
  • 1 tsp Epicure’s cinnamon

I steeped the tea until it was cool.  David’s ‘The Skinny tea’ has oolong, pu’erh tea, ginger, orange peel, eleuthero root.  You can use plain Oolong althoug this one has the added bonus of ginger and extra flavors.  The original recipe calls for Almond milk, although coconuts are so healthy (http://www NULL.eatingwell NULL.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/health_benefits_of_coconut_coconut_oil_coconut_milk_coconut_water_coconut_flour) that I went with coconut milk instead.  The original recipe calls for a pinch of Cayenne, well that’s only for wusses, so I went with a rounded 1/2 tsp.  After the first few sips I was used to it and added more to subsequent batches.

I tossed all ingredients in lg shaker jar and gave it a good shake.  This is your concentrate and should give you 8 cups of beverage over the course of the day. To serve: fill a mug (I use a 2 cup Mason Jar) 1/2 full with ice and, pour on your concentrate and top up with water (or don’t – taste and go from there).

The Cayenne boosts your metabolism (http://www NULL.precisionnutrition NULL.com/thermogenic-foods) and works on inflammation (http://www NULL.natural-health-and-healing-4u NULL.com/health-benefits-of-cayenne-pepper NULL.html#axzz3Su1zBb5X), so go with as much as you can handle!

So for those worried about calories – GO PALEO.  And if you’re not and you do count calories – Even with full fat coconut beverage this whole days worth of tea has only 160 calories AND it’s got the health benefits of coconut milk & oil (http://authoritynutrition NULL.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/)and makes your tea naturally sweet so you save those calories!

note:  coconut milks are NOT created equal.  Avoid those with Guar gum and other crud.  I buy Real Thai in a litre Tetra pack at my local Superstore.  Crap free.  :)

Little Italy Parmesan Chicken

This parmesan chicken is superbly seasoned with Little Italy Secret Sauce and is brightened up by Lemon Juice.  I don’t really measure, I’m more of a pinch, splash, dump in my hand gal, so all measurements are approx

Preheat oven to 400.

  • 6 lg Chicken Breasts
  • 2-4 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • Salt & pepper
  • 3 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Epicure’s Little Italy Secret sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (could substitute Coconut milk)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 lemon, squeezed (I used a Meyer lemon)
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest (I used a Meyer lemon)

Season chicken with salt, pepper and Smoked Paprika.

Little Italy Chicken parm2

Melt butter in your Everything Pan (or largest frying pan) and cook your chicken 2 mins on each side to brown.  Take out and set aside.

Add remaining butter to your pan with your garlic & Little Italy seasoning.  Saute 2 mins.  Add in remaining ingredients reserving a few Tbsp of Parmesan.  Simmer 3-4mins until parm has melted.  Add chicken back into your pan and sprinkle your remaining parmesan over your chicken.

Place pan into oven for approx 20mins.  If sauce hasn’t tightened up remove chicken and place pan back on burner for a couple mins.  Whether your sauce is thickened or not is typically dependent on how much moisture was in your chicken.

Little Italy Parmesan Chicken

This parmesan chicken is superbly seasoned with Little Italy Secret Sauce and is brightened up by Lemon Juice.  I don’t really measure, I’m more of a pinch, splash, dump in my hand gal, so all measurements are approx

Preheat oven to 400.

  • 6 lg Chicken Breasts
  • 2-4 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • Salt & pepper
  • 3 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Epicure’s Little Italy Secret sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (could substitute Coconut milk)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 lemon, squeezed (I used a Meyer lemon)
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest (I used a Meyer lemon)

Season chicken with salt, pepper and Smoked Paprika.  Melt butter in your Everything Pan (or largest frying pan) and cook your chicken 2 mins on each side to brown.  Take out and set aside.

Add remaining butter to your pan with your garlic & Little Italy seasoning.  Saute 2 mins.  Add in remaining ingredients reserving a few Tbsp of Parmesan.  Simmer 3-4mins until parm has melted.  Add chicken back into your pan and sprinkle your remaining parmesan over your chicken.

Place pan into oven for approx 20mins.  If sauce hasn’t tightened up remove chicken and place pan back on burner for a couple mins.  Whether your sauce is thickened or not is typically dependent on how much moisture was in your chicken.

Parmesan Chicken

This is melt in your mouth, savory and delish!!

  • 4 kg free range chicken breasts (6 normal)
  • 1 cup mayo (I used the Avocado oil mayo I made for lunch)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (plus a handful of shaved parmesan)
  • 1 tsp Epicure’s Seasoning Salt (way less salty and more flavor than others)
  • 1 tsp Epicure’s Minced Garlic

Sear chicken breasts in butter/olive oil to get a carmelized brown color, transfer to 9×13 pan.  Combine all but shaved parmesan. Spread on chicken. Sprinkle on shaved parmesan.  Pop into 350oven until cooked through, about 20-30 mins depending on how thick your chicken is.

For an even yummier version!

  • 1 lg onion, slivered
  • 1 red pepper, sliced

Pop your onions into your frying pan that you cooked your chicken in, saute until browned, scraping up the tasty browned chicken bits on the bottom of your pan.  Layer your sliced red pepper & sauteed onions onto your chicken/parmesan before baking.

Parmesan chicken before

The Egg Plant – my chicken coop for the laying hens

I’ve had a number of people wonder how my eggs are so clean right from the coop and how the sand based coop works.  Here’s how my coop is set up.

Coop floor

I had old wooden shed on the property so I put on a new roof, added a solid plywood floor and insulated the walls & ceiling.  I had cedar t&G from a defunct sauna that became my wall coverings and the wall behind the roost is covered with linoleum since chickens can be messy poopers while they sleep.

The ‘Floor’

  • I’ve used the deep pile method in the past and didn’t love it.  It was expensive and never really felt ‘clean’ to me.  It’s amazing for compost though!
  • I know chickens LOVE to dust bath and love to scratch in dirt/sand so I went with a sand based floor.
  • I put down a 3″ layer of sand across the entire coop floor.  The girls are continually scratching in it and get the needed grit even during winter when they may not venture out due to snow.
  • It’s SUPER easy to keep clean!  Every few days I take a couple mins & simply rake it pulling out the lumps of poop to pop into a compost pile.  I have also used a type of fork (not sure of the name) with wire across it the tines to turn it into the equivalent of a giant kitty litter scoop.  I can walk into the coop without getting icky shoes & the chickens don’t have goopy feet.  I DO LEAVE the poop that is under their roosting area (half of them roost over the sand, half over the droppings board).  That poop does it’s own ‘deep pile’ method in a corner no-one needs to walk in and every 3-4 months I scoop out lovely composted black gold.  It really doesn’t smell either once it gets going.  It will only smell for the first week or two.
  • My truckload of sand cost me $10 and will fill my coop twice compared to buying pine shavings or hay over and over.  I’ll change my sand annually putting the old sand into my garden!

Coop - poop                  Coop - no poop

The raked up poopy business             The floor after raking

The Roost/Droppings Board

  • Since chickens do a large majority of their digesting and pooping while they sleep (how weird is that!) I knew they’d create a big mess under on their roost so I mounted it over a droppings board.
  • The droppings board has linoleum stapled onto the top so it’s easy to keep clean.  Check with your local floor installing store, they often have scraps of linoleum a couple feet wide they’ll happily give you since it saves them dump fees.
  • Every few days I scrape the droppings board with a dustpan and drop it into the corner where the roost isn’t over the board so all the overnight droppings compost together.  A few times a year I scrub it down with water and a big brush.

Coop - perch over board

You can see here the roost, I need to get a better photo!  Below the roost is the droppings board.  I have only 9 hens and one 8′ roost, which is about 4′ off the ground.  My theory is that if they didn’t have to fight for the highest spot maybe there would be less fighting.  So far so good!  You can see these two huddled up.  All 9 girls fit in about half the space, lol.

Nest Boxes

  • My nest boxes are Dollar Store kitty litter pans!  Super easy to clean.  I keep them nicely filled with pine shavings & my eggs are very clean despite the mud outside.  I think the sand must clean their feet before they hit they nest boxes.  :)
  • So here’s the key… my gals would not use the nest boxes at first and dropped their eggs in the empty spots, i realized it was because as they stood on the edge of the litter pans the pans tipped up!  I put a hunk of wood at the back of the pans to stop them from tipping.
  • The roof above the nest boxes is… wait for it… the droppings board.  I do have a nicely sized coop so could have put things on various walls, although wanted them to have lots of open floor space so that on the -20 days when they stay inside they have room to hang out.
  • The droppings board/Top of the nest box cubby overhangs the boxes by 3″, that way if droppings fall off the board they don’t fall in the nest boxes.

Coop set up