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!

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!

Recipe: Raspberry Tahini Smoothie

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This was one interesting combination of flavors!  It took me a few drinks, but I quickly fell in love with the bursting lemony goodness.  This smoothie is full of fiber and antioxidants, and I used it late morning today when I started feeling low on energy instead of going for another cup of coffee.  It did the trick, and I felt way better than I usually do when I drink coffee.  Win Win!

This one is also from the Whole Food Energy book by Elise Museles.

Pretty in Pink Raspberry Tahini Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Add all ingredients to your Vitamix or other high powered blender and mix.  Note:  I used a banana right off the counter top because there were already frozen raspberries included.

Gluten-Free Lemon Raspberry Muffins

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Another delicious recipe from the cookbook, Whole Food Energy by Elise Museles.  A hit with 3 of my kids; the one who didn’t like it was not a fan of the strong coconut flavor.  These recipes can easily be modified to remove that strong coconut flavor, though.  These were moist and had a wonderful flavor from the lemons.  If you have never tasted gluten-free baked goods, please know that they have a very different texture from gluten muffins. I happen to be a fan, but it may take some getting used to if it is new for you!  These muffins are a great option for my oldest, who eats a mostly vegan diet.  Since he won’t eat eggs alone, he can still benefit from the protein from all the eggs baked into these muffins.  I did not add poppy seeds to mine because  didn’t have any.  They were still delicious, so I can only imagine how they would taste even better with the addition of the poppy seeds!

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Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Raspberries

Ingredients (Makes 12 muffins):

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (***I used 2 lemons)
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest (***I used zest from 1 1/2 lemons)
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries (add to batter frozen)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly oil muffin pan; I used coconut oil spray.  Whisk eggs in a medium bowl.  Stir in coconut oil, honey, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Stir in coconut flour, sea salt and baking soda.  Fold in raspberries and poppy seeds.  This batter thickens the more you stir it.  Fill muffin pans almost to the top and bake for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.  These muffins should be enjoyed within a day.  If not, they should be stored in the freezer and reheated prior to eating.

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TIP: When trying a new recipe, let you children taste it before you send it in their school lunch.  Unless you have a child who loves surprises!

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