I’m back!

I’m back!  After taking a few weeks hiatus, I am finally back here.  Between packing, then moving, then unpacking, my kitchen skills got dusty.  We were saying goodbye to friends, spending a few more meals out than normal, and had to reinvent the kitchen we are in now.  But I am here.  Alive and well as we finally get settled in.

I spent some time on Sunday doing a little kitchen cheating myself.  I roasted a whole chicken and shredded it to keep in the freezer, I also created our weekly menu for the next two weeks and a shopping list to go with it.  But one of my favorite accomplishments this past week was smoothie pops, and the popularity of them.

I ordered these: Pop Molds after seeing them on several sites, including 100 Days of Real Food and was so excited when they arrived on Saturday.

I whipped up a big batch of smoothie.  Greek yogurt, my favorite frozen berries from Trader Joe’s, frozen mango, Kale and just a bit of juice to thin it out.  Not only did Brady love it, but he’s amazed and in love with drinking it frozen out of the pop mold.

I also ordered these for lunch packing: Bento Boxes which make lunch packing easier for sure.  Yesterday for lunch Brady got carrots and zucchini sticks with a cheese wedge, two hard-boiled eggs and strawberries and blueberries mix with a dollop of yogurt and I did not have to try to squeeze three containers into the lunch box.

Finally, we’ve been using these: Honey Sticks which we just love.  Brady gets to use them as a treat, or I can grab one to take with me for tea.  It’s just the right size!

 

 

Stoup’s on!

These are all ingredients I usually have in the house. Especially in the winter. I think fire roasted tomatoes, cannellini beans and stock are part of a well stocked pantry. In fact, I’m currently compiling my list of A Well Stocked Pantry so that I can keep myself more organized with what I need on hand.

We love this one pot meal, which is also full of super foods. I served it with grilled cheese this week, which was a hit!

Super Stoup

  • 2 lbs kale, stems discarded
  • 2 tbsp evoo
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • tsp pepper
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 lb ground turkey or tofu
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 16 oz fire roasted tomatoes, diced
  • 16 oz cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, couscous or brown rice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp herbs de provence

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1. In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the garlic, onions, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until golden brown.

2. Add ground turkey or tofu, and brown.

3. Add zucchini, squash, kale and mushrooms. Simmer 5 minutes.

4. Add tomatoes, beans, stock. Bring to a boil.

5. Add your grain. Simmer for 5 minutes or so.

6. Season to taste, simmer a final 10 minutes and serve.

*The longer this simmers the better it tastes. You can add additional stock to make it more like soup and less like stoup!

And then, as I mentioned, we love to have a treat too! Thursday’s often end up being my cheat day. I’m tired as the week wears down. Last night we got rotisserie chicken from Rotisseur, which is cage free and antibiotic free. We add veggies to make it sort of like healthy take out. And the, here it is, the “Mom, I will smile but cannot take my eyes off of my ice cream” face!

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Turkey Meatloaf

I was not going to post about this mini meatloaf, even though it is one of our favorites.  But then, last night before dinner, Brady was saying the prayer and said, “Thank you God for Mommy making dinner, for ketchup, and for more ketchup.  And milk.”  And I realized, that this recipe is not only so simple but an absolute family favorite.

We served it with sweet potatoes and roasted broccoli!

Turkey Mini-Meatloaf

  • 1 lb lean turkey
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350.  In large bowl combine meat, oats, 1/2 cup of the ketchup, onion, egg, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.  Mix well. Divide evenly into cups of a muffin pan.

2. Bake 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, spread the rest of ketchup evenly over the meat loafs, bake an additional 10-15 minutes.

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Yup, that’s it.  Refrigerator to table in 40ish minutes!

Lunchtime!

Lunches are one of my nightly chores.  Gratifying as it is, it definitely takes some time to pack a healthy, complete lunch!

Enter: Tuna and White Bean Salad

This is a great recipe I can make on Sunday night and eat for at least three days of the week.  Today atop a spinach salad, tomorrow perhaps on whole wheat pita bread with a little feta.  Whatever way you look at it, making something that will carry you through a few days of the week is a win.

Tuna and Bean Salad

  • 1 small red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • 1 (6 1/2-ounce) can water-packed tuna, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans or borlotti beans, drained through a strainer and rinsed
  • 3 fresh sage leaves, slivered
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small or medium garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt

1. Place the onion in a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of the vinegar and cold water to cover. Let sit for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then dry on paper towels.

2. In a medium bowl or salad bowl, combine the tuna, beans, onions, sage, and parsley.

3. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together the remaining vinegar, salt to taste, freshly ground pepper, garlic, and Dijon mustard. Whisk in the olive oil and the yogurt. Toss with the tuna and beans and serve!

So yummy, and protein always helps get me through the afternoon slump!

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Keep it easy!

Crustless Quiche, Crispy Potatoes!

Home again, Home again! We are home from a fabulous and not at all relaxing vacation! Disney World was more than I ever thought it could be, but woah! It was exhausting! To be able to get right back at it we needed something quick and delish!

I love sneaking veggies into things, so quiche is perfect. And I also love when the oven needs just one temperature, so these potatoes pair well!

Crustless Quiche

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6-oz fresh baby spinach
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/3 cups non fat milk
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese

Preheat oven to 400F.
Lightly grease a 10-inch quiche/tart pan.
In a medium frying pan, cook diced onion over medium-high heat until translucent and tender. Add in fresh spinach and cook until just wilted. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, and baking powder. Whisk in milk, then stir in spinach-onion mixture.
Pour quiche base into prepared pan. Top with feta cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until center is set and the outside edge is golden brown.
Let set for 5 minutes, then slice and serve!

*Letting this set is key! Frittata is traditionally served at room temperature, and this really tastes better once it’s set.  This little trick also makes it a great make ahead meal.

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A fan favorite, probably because of customer participation!

Crispy Potatoes

  • 1 pound red potatoes
  • Good olive oil
  • Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 400.
Toss cubed potatoes with olive oil and sea salt.
Place potatoes on baking sheet and book for 1 hour.

Add my very own version of crusty bread, the kind I buy from the baker, and ta-da!

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A full meal, with lots of leftovers! 

Kitchen Challenges, Part 1 (of many)

I love food.  It’s why I do what I do.  To talk about food all day, you have to love it.  Although eating clean is a huge part of our lives, I enjoy a treat, too!  

That being said, I do have to watch what I eat.  I keep an eye(sort of) on my caloric intake, and I workout 5 days a week.  Jason however, has the opposite problem.  The calories just fall off of him.  Always.  So while I need to check myself sometimes, he is always looking for more.  Always.  

I refuse to be a short order cook, kind of like running errands on a Saturday.  I just won’t do it.  So the challenge; how can I get hime more calories in a meal without damaging what we eat?  So far, he just eats more.  Or adds bread.  Or sour cream, or dressing.  What do you do? And what are some of your menu planning challenges?  

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Baby, it’s cold out there! 24 to be exact.  What brave arctic warriors we were today, rode bikes at the park despite the chill.  So, of course, chili was the answer! This is certainly one of our favorite recipes; quick, easy, hearty, wholesome and delicious!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

  • 2 tsp EVOO
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 large sweet potato or a few small ones, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in skillet, add onion and sweet potato and cook stirring often.  Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and salt.  Stir constantly about 1 minute.  Add water and bring to boil.  Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until potato is tender, about 15 minutes.

Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice.  Increase heat and return to boil, stirring often.  Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until reduced, about 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in cilantro!

A few adjustments; we use a little more water, the fire roasted diced tomatoes and real lime juice.  Tonight, we also added plain yogurt as a topping.  Start to finish, 30 minutes.  And- who doesn’t love a one pot meal!

So this being my first post (woot!), I got so excited I forgot to take pictures.  Here’s what’s left of our “blustery-cold out there but oh so warm in our tummies” meal.  We also added fresh baked break from my local bakery (Four Worlds) and avocado and corn salsa on the side.  Superfood surplus!

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