I don’t know about you, but one of my LEAST favorite chores each week is choosing our meals. I love the cooking. I really love the eating. I can even tolorate the grocery shopping. But the deciding? I hate that part. (That is actually true about me in far more ways than just meals, but I digress.)
I finally decided this past weekend that the entire family should know how much I detest this particular chore of mine. Since we are ALL eating, and since during almost every meal I have to hear about how someone didn’t want this or like that … well, I figure we can ALL contribute to the list. And so it was.
My girls got together in the school room and made a list – each choosing 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 snacks, and 2 dinners that they really want. Meanwhile, the hub and I sat in the kitchen choosing the other 3 of each meal. We put the lists together, made a meal plan and a grocery list. Who knew it could be this easy?
So far, this seems like an awesome plan … we’ll see if it continues to work out well for us. Does your family have a challenge when it comes to selecting meals? How do you keep the peace?
We bought a juicer several months ago, but up until recently it was really only used for apple and orange juice. I had not really experimented with much. I am not actually a big fan of juice – I stick to water, green tea, coffee (sometimes), and (of course) wine. But the kids, they love juice and I don’t really allow it. I will occasionally pick up an Odwalla or Kombucha, and those bottles are awesome for keeping your own juice in! I decided to experiment last night with some things I had excess of in the fridge, and it turned out fantastic! The kids loved both the juices, and I even liked them! So, without further ado …
1 handful pineapple chunk
1 large naval orange
1 handful pineapple chunks
For best results, use fresh organic produce! These are stored in our old Odwalla containers.
This smoothie was an instant hit – it actually tastes like liquid chocolate covered strawberries! It is SO good … I had saved some for later, but that was devoured within seconds of taking the photo. (Hey! The kids can’t be the only ones who get to enjoy!)
The superfood and cacao I like to use:
And, in case you’re wondering what supplements I hide:
We recently did a 3-day Raw Food diet (not a lose-weight diet, just to change things up and try to cleanse). One of the things we LOVED from it was the first day’s smoothie – a peanut butter-banana smoothie. While I won’t recommend this particular raw diet (we actually gained weight on it), we really enjoyed several of the recipes and plan to use some of them in the future. As usual, I ended up changing the smoothie recipe a bit to suit our taste. Yesterday morning, I decided to try something new – which turned out to be a huge hit! So, I thought I would share these two smoothie recipes with you. Enjoy!
I recently bought a juicer and was so excited to get juicing! When I went to empty the pulp bin, I realized how much was being wasted! Couldn’t I use that for …. well, something? Thought it would be good to start with something easy – carrot pulp into carrot muffins. I found a few recipes – one that used pulp but sounded disgusting and most that were GF but sounded disgusting – so I compiled bits and pieces, my pulp, and came up with what turned out to be a HUGE hit with my kids (who devoured ALL of them in just a couple short days).
This week is going to be busier than most for us. Yesterday, the oldest and I came up with a plan for the week … which, of course, included our meals. We have 2 days this week where we have to eat on-the-go, and that can complicate things for the woman who likes to cook fresh and serve hot. I’ve grown accustomed to it lately – since the oldest got promoted to the next level ballet class, we don’t have time to go home between school and ballet, but the class falls around dinner time. So, without further ado, here is the plan this week:
This is by far one of my husband’s favorite dishes. I would venture to say that the kids love it almost just as much. It is also pretty quick and easy to make, the majority of time is spent in the prep work. If you don’t have time to prep your veggies, Whole Foods has great prepped veggies for stir-fry, etc in the produce section. Grab those and a rotisserie chicken for a practically no-prep meal.
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
1 zucchini, halved and sliced (alternative – handful of green beans, cut unto bite size pieces)
handful of mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch kale (de-ribbed) or bok choy
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 peppers of your choice (I usually use 1 red, 1 yellow)
1 can coconut milk
2 Tbsp curry paste (red or green – we like both)
handful of cashew nuts
Cook chicken in wok or large pan over medium-high heat on stovetop with coconut milk (reserve about 1/4c coconut milk to mix with curry paste). Once chicken is cooked through, add veggies. While the veggies cook, mix together curry paste and reserved coconut milk. Add to chicken and veggie mixture. Cook veggies to your liking (we prefer ours still crisp). Serve over rice, garnish with cashews.
I have been craving something pumpkin now that the air is turning crisp. I will be honest, I was a bit scared of making my first gluten-free pumpkin bread, so I decided to start with pancakes. What a cinch these are! And they’re fantastic!
1 24oz pkg Pamela’s Pancake mix
1/4c oil (I prefer flax)
1/2 can pumpkin (I like the organic pumpkin pie mix from Whole Foods because it has spices in it – if using plain pumpkin, add nutmeg/cinnamon to taste)
1/4c brown sugar
Heat non-stick skillet or griddle. Mix together all ingredients until smooth. Drop by spoonful onto skillet/griddle. Cook until golden brown.
Since we are trying to eat gluten-free, dairy-free, and pork-free … we have been getting more creative and adventurous with our meals. But, since we are also feeding children here, it is important to make meals that are tasty and kid-friendly. I created this simple little recipe for lunch yesterday, and it happened to be a big a hit with everyone who ate it so I thought I should share it with you.
Black beans, cooked (about 1c dried beans, but you could use a can if you prefer)
3 ears corn, cooked – cut off cobb (could use canned if preferred)
3-4 tomatoes, diced
1 small can green chilies or diced jalepeno
Salt & Pepper to taste
Corn tortillas (the smaller ones are a great size for this meal)
Shredded cheddar veggie cheese
Dairy-free sour cream (optional)
Mix together black beans through salt & pepper in bowl. Grease cookie sheet. Lay corn tortillas in a row (should be able to fit about 2 rows of 3 tortillas). Sprinkle small amount of cheese on each. Drain black bean mixutre and scoop large spponful onto each tortilla. Srprinkle with more cheese and top with another tortilla. Bake in 350 degree oven, flipping occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
Let cool a few minutes. Serve with dairy-free sour cream.