Quick Tip of the Day

Ever burnt the edges of your bread in the broiler?  I don’t know about you, but my kids will not eat the garlic bread if it is burnt.  There is just something about having to throw away all that bread that is painful!  Also, garlic bread with dinner is a treat, and they look forward to it. It’s a bummer when it ends up in the garbage!

I read about it a while ago, but just tried it out tonight.  I ran the edges along a cheese grater, and it took off the burnt parts perfectly.  The kids ate all the bread and never even knew.  A very useful kitchen tip to have in your toolbox!

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Recipe: Good Morning Blueberry Muffins

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This is another great recipe from Elise Museles book Whole Food Energy.  I will say that if you are not used to eating primarily whole foods, you and/or your children are used to more processed foods in your diet (especially gluten), and your diet has not been rich in fruits and vegetables then it will take time to get used to these recipes.  You have to give your body time to get rid of toxins.  I am not a medical doctor; I only speak from my personal experience.  Once you are eating primarily whole foods they will start to taste like nothing you remember.  Everything is so fresh and delicious, and you become satisfied with much more basic, simple food choices and combinations.  I believe that things like smoothies and muffins are essential because they allow you to cram lots of stuff into one drink or muffin.  Smoothies only requires throwing all the ingredients into the blender. They are also easy to take and drink on the go, which is a must for busy families!  Muffins are perfect for breakfast or snack.  They can be made in large batches and individually frozen for later.  Get your children involved in picking out recipes and making the food. You might be pleasantly surprised at what they are willing to try when they help make it. Again, I am only offering my own personal experiences.  Take from it what you want and leave the rest!!  Happy Baking!

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Good Morning Blueberry Muffins (from Whole Food Energy by Elise Museles)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 3 Tbsp. warm water
  • 1 Cup Almond Flour
  • 3/4 Cup quinoa flour *
  • 3/4 Cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 Cup honey **
  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 Cup applesauce
  • 1/2 Cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Cup blueberries, frozen

*  I used chickpea flour because I didn’t have any quinoa flour

**  I didn’t have enough honey so I used a mixture of honey and maple syrup

I also added a little fresh lemon juice because I thought it would complement the blueberries well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and oil 12-muffin pan with coconut oil or spray.  Mix flax seed and warm water together, whisk and let stand to thicken (this is a flax egg!).  In medium bowl, mix 3 flours, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  In large bowl, mix honey, coconut oil, the flax egg, applesauce, almond milk and apple cider vinegar.  Pour in the dry ingredients and mix.  Fold in the blueberries.  I used almost 2 cups of blueberries because I love the extra fruit in the muffins.  Do not overmix batter.  Fill the 12 muffin cups and bake for 25-30 minutes.

These delicious muffins are gluten-free and dairy free.  They freeze well and make a wonderfully filling snack or meal.  Enjoy!

Hello 2017!!!

2016 brought many changes for our family.  The Papa opened a new practice at the same time my sewing business took off.  I ended up having to step in and take on a bigger role in the practice than anticipated, so needless to say we were BUSIER than ever.  The Mama wasn’t “at home” anymore, and this required much adjustment on many different levels for everyone in our family.  One of the biggest areas that suffered was our healthy lifestyle, both with exercise and eating.  It became easier and easier to brush off exercising and homemade food in exchange for quicker, easier options.  I can honestly say that I firsthand have a brand new appreciation for working mamas.  That is not to say that being “at home” isn’t hard work; it is!  But trying to maintain that same level of everything that I had while at home while also working outside of the home on a daily basis was a brand new challenge for me.  I have given myself 6 months to transition, but now it is time to get down to business!  I have never been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions being a requirement in one’s life.  I believe that any time is a great time to make a decision to change.  BUT, the new calendar year brought a perfect opportunity to give me the push I needed to buckle down.  I have a renewed desire to feed my family healthy, homemade snacks and meals.  It is just going to require a stronger desire, incredible organization and forethought and planning.  I know that I am capable of all of these things, and I am excited to see what this year brings for our family.  Let’s start the year off with this delicious smoothie we had this morning for breakfast.  I did not have all the ingredients, so it was modified.  I will post the original recipe below, along with my changes.  ENJOY and make it a great 2017!!!

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Blueberry Blast Smoothie (Whole Food Energy by Elise Museles)

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 pitted Medjool dates*
  • 2 Tbsp. hemp seeds**
  • pinch of sea salt

*I used 2 Tbsp. raisins instead  **I used 2 Tbsp. Tahini  ***I also added 2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter and some crushed ice

Add ingredients to high powered blender in the order listed and blend until smooth.  This smoothie has a strong lemon flavor, and also a nutty flavor the way I made it.  It was delicious and very filling.

We enjoyed this before and after a family run.  We are embarking on a mostly whole foods diet this month.  Check back often for recipes and ideas.  Happy New Year!

fuel: Great New Product

While at Target, I found a great product I wanted to share with you.  Trudeau is the company that produces this product called fuel, and it is a reusable BPA free food container.  I love it for many reasons!

  1. Easy to open and close (perfect for my preschooler up to my 5th grader)
  2. Comes in numerous colors, enough for me to get a different one for each of my 4 children
  3. BPA free and dishwasher safe
  4. Affordable
  5. Tall enough to hold a variety of smaller containers inside (mini food containers with lids, large silicone cupcake liners, etc)

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Pictured with ToGoWare Mini Bamboo Silverware pack, handmade double sided reversible cloth lunch box napkin, and reusable, food safe, BPA free cloth sandwich bags.  I purchased the bamboo set on Amazon, and the reusable lunch napkins and sandwich bags can be found here.

My favorite way to use this container so far has been for snack, but it is also great for a sandwich at lunchtime, or a half sandwich and a side in the silicone cupcake liner.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend!!!

 

Back in the Groove

Well, I blinked and the summer is over!  We had a fantastic summer filled with lots of swimming/competing, family visits, summer camps, trips and sleep away camps.  We are going into this school year with a 5th grader, 3rd grader, Kindergartner and Preschooler. That’s A LOT of snacks and lunches!  Here is my first post to get things started – a day’s worth of food for my preschooler:

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Snacks (in handmade sandwich bags at the top):  one has sliced carrots with mini pre-packaged Sunbutter, other has a fig bar and mini container of peanuts

Lunch:  Vanilla Almond Milk, half a Tofurkey/Veganaise sandwich on wheat bread, popcorn, sliced cucumbers and a Clementine

This entire lunch/snack combo was packed the night before.  Think about your child’s day and what his/her needs are, as well as what you have to work with.  For example, the containers you might use for a preschooler would be different from the containers you would use for an upper grade schooler.  Size of the lunchbox is a factor.  Do they need an ice pack?  Snacks probably will be in a backpack or perhaps not refrigerated.  Carrots are a great veggie to pack for snacks because they can last in the backpack until morning snack. Pair them with a nut butter, and you have great brain food to power your child through until lunch.  Most preschools provide snack, but I still choose to send my own for numerous reasons.  My daughter will only attend 3 days a week, but I still want her to eat what I would give her at home.

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Interested in handmade lunchbox napkins, sandwich bags and other creations?  Check out my Etsy store here or click on the link below:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/WholeFoodFriday/items

 

Spiralizer Recipe #2: Curly Fries

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The title of this post is somewhat misleading.  I don’t know that this is technically a recipe, but we will proceed as such!  I have been serving a lot of organic potatoes lately to my family, in many different forms.  My children informed me the other night that they were tired of potatoes and they refused to eat anymore.  Well, I considered that a challenge since I had just bought another bag of potatoes that I didn’t want to go to waste!!!

There they were, sitting in the pantry, day after day being ignored because of the potato strike of my children.  I waited and waited, and then this evening I had a brainstorm.  I wanted to do something else with my Spiralizer after the zucchini, but I was definitely not in any mood to cook.  And then it hit me – curly fries!  I could use up my potatoes and present a fun dish without much effort at all!  It really worked out perfectly.  The kids had been at an all day swim meet, so they came home famished (despite stopping for a burrito on the way home!). Enter curly fries……needless to say they devoured them, and there wasn’t one mention of potatoes!

Here is what I did:

Wash 6-8 organic potatoes, leaving skins on.  Preheat oven to 425 F.  Put potatoes through the spiralizer using the large spiral blade.  Line baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray with olive oil spray.  Load on the fries and cover with a healthy dose of olive oil, sea salt and nutritional yeast (Old Bay would be delicious also OR some diced onions mixed in!!!).  Bake until cooked throughout and crispy, and devour with dipping sauce of your choice!

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New Recipe (GF, Raw & Vegan) & One Great Birthday Gift!

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If you know  me well, then you know that I was beside myself when I opened one of my birthday gifts and it was……….a Spiralizer!  I know, its’s hard to contain the excitement isn’t it?!? Seriously, though, I was so excited to get this because I have wanted to delve into the world of veggie pasta for a long time now.  Last night I finally made a dish using my Spiralizer, and it was super easy!  Cutting the zucchini took a few minutes, tops.  It was fun to make and eat.  There is just something about eating “pasta” that you cannot resist! There are some of you I will never convince to eat zucchini pasta, but for those of you who are interested, here is what I did!  I followed this recipe from Pinch of Yum with some changes; my version is below.

I paired this with a yummy salad and corn on the cob for a delicious, filling meal.  I also made cheesy pasta for my swimmers.  It was their favorite by far.  They ate the entire bowl, saying it was even better than the boxed pasta that I buy from Amy’s!  I have made homemade Mac and Cheese before, following recipes to the ingredient, and I have never had this much raving about it.  I literally cooked some pasta, pulled it off the stove, and mixed in a few Tbsp. of butter and a handful of Mexican cheese!  Seriously, that’s it! LOVED IT!  It will definitely be a staple in my house over the next few weeks.  Without further ado, here is the recipe for zucchini pasta:

Zucchini Spaghetti with Avocado Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchini, spiralized
  • handful sliced cherry tomatoes
  • handful sliced red, yellow, and orange bell peppers
  • handful sliced carrots

Avacado Sauce:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Cup fresh parsley
  • 3 green onions (only green part), sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix.  Mash avocado, parsley and green onions together in a separate bowl, then whisk in all other sauce ingredients.  Pour sauce over zucchini noodle blend and mix to combine.  Best eaten the same day!  ENJOY!