Tuesday, August 23, 2011

When your head feels like it will explode...

     Sorry, you didn’t think I actually had a remedy for that did you?! Well, I don’t. Nope. Nada. Unless you count chocolate, or running (and that latter is my personal UN-favorite of the two). I think this is why I had never wanted to start blogging, I feel guilty when I don’t post and then I don’t post ‘cuz I feel guilty, its  a vicious cycle really! Sometimes I don’t post either because I can’t even begin to put down on paper (or internet or whatever) what has been going on in my head. I keep saying this "eat whats best when you can" thing is how I roll, which it is, but it leaves lots of time each day for me to fill with the not so healthy too.

     And quite frankly, I still find that there is SO much out there when it comes to some new scientific study or new food philosophy that not only can I NOT keep up, but don’t care to! And then I feel guilty for that too. I mean, who the heck writes a food blog on healthy eating and then goes on strike because they don’t really want to make the changes? Maybe its because the more I read and find out, the more I realize I don’t even begin to know. Maybe its just that I don’t really want to do the work, haven’t I made enough changes?! Ha! Is there ever enough? Maybe its a little splash too of, "yeah forget that junk‘cuz when I go to Italy ain’t no way I am going to deny myself new taste experiences because I forgot to eat my spinach today. (Yes that is the way I talk, anybody who knows me can vouch for that! This whole senario may be a little hypothetical into the future, but we eat all kinds of different foods here on a regular basis and some may not be in the Mucos-less diet definition of super nutrient and enzyme rich ingredients, but they sure taste great and give my kids more to explore, by way of palate that is!) I also find that between the daily drama that seems to unfold and cramming dinner into a 1hr start to finish block including chores, cleanup, and bedtime routine if I can swing it, I am plum out of energy to go on some flashback discourse of my not so glamourous life! I still can’t get the image out of my head today of my youngest screaming in the kitchen because I was gone for 10 sec. and he managed to empty the recycle bin and get right to the pineapple can (all the way at the bottom of the bin mind you) and serrate his two fingers, complete with a nice little bloody pineapple juice puddle to make the memory that much more lasting! Not to mention that literally 2 min later I had to go in for major surgery because the 3 yr. old thought it was funny to drive his moving Percy train in his hair and it got stuck... (he’s the one with all the curls, imagine that!) And this wasn’t including the "out the door antics" that nearly made us late for the 2nd day in a row trying to get back to school schedules down. Oh yeah, and where do I even begin to write about my adventures in food storage and couponing to the point that I either want to cry for joy over that whole 36$ saved at the checkout counter in the commissary on base, or cry for shear exhaustion from the 2 stupid hours it took to actually accomplish that, plus all the clean ups on aisle 3 that were unceasing since my little man can sweep a whole shelf clean in under 2.2 seconds. Yep. A food blog seems to be the understatement of the century right now! Ah well. Maybe I should re-vamp my main goals here; It’s not about the end result, but the journey through life that I am living vicariously through food!

Friday, August 12, 2011

What I’m Loving...

...This week...

You bet. It’s Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. And yes, it really does replace soy sauce and is SUPER delicious and nutrient packed. The word on the street is your kids will love it too. At least mine did. Check out my Spinach Chicken Pasta recipe and replace the soy sauce with this. My kids ate the noodles like nobody’s business, and even tore up the veggies! Trust me, this is a summer meal you won’t regret... let alone forget! Amazon.com has some reasonable prices, 5 and 1/2 bucks for a 32 oz bottle is a killer deal when you can use this to make everything from soups and salad dressings to, you guessed it, Spinach and Chicken Pasta Salad!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What I’m Loving This Week...

...Costco. It is my friend. And NO, I don’t go there all the time, just often enough to keep stocked up on the essentials. You know, diapers, nuts, toothpaste (yeah pretty much anything that you want in super duper bulk) Although I have to say I am using it less and less with my coupon-ing. That is another story all together however! My fab find of the week, and for pretty much under 10 smackers is Kirkland brand’s Organic Tortilla Chips and Santa Barbara’s Mango Salsa with Peach. Not only are they only $5 or so each, but they come in a mondo super big size... the kind that I justify buying because I have 4 kids now but secretly it is just for me, all just for me! Muahahaha! And if that creepy laugh didn’t frighten you, I know this won’t either... check the stats. It’s all right there.

Nutrition Facts

Santa Barbara - Mango Salsa With Peach

Calories25Sodium110 mg
Total Fat0 gPotassium0 mg
Saturated0 gTotal Carbs5 g
Polyunsaturated0 gDietary Fiber0 g
Monounsaturated0 gSugars4 g
Trans0 gProtein0 g
Cholesterol0 mg  
Vitamin A2%Calcium0%
Vitamin C8%Iron0%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie need

Nutrition Facts
Kirkland Signature Organic Tortilla Chips
Calories 140Calories from Fat  60
% Daily Value
Total Fat 7g11%
   Saturated Fat 0.5g2%
   Trans Fat 0g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 120mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 16g5%
   Dietary Fiber 2g8%
   Sugars 0g 
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A (IU) 00%
Vitamin C 0mg0%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 0.36mg2%

Seriously, how many foods out there can YOU eat that are only 25 delicious calories? Next time you’re hungry, reach for some yummy salsa to stave off starvation. Forget the chips even and eat it by the spoonful, I do! It is oh so good, and might I add makes some super fast meals in a pinch (check out the recipe for Kale Wraps).
Happy Eating!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In a Nutshell

     I think I quote movies too much. Or I think in quotes. Or something weird like that. My first thought as I was going to relay this past few weeks “in a nutshell” to you was the one Austin Powers gives all curled up on his bed yelling, “This is me in a nutshell, help help! How did I get into this nutshell?!” I know. Strange. But I really feel like I am quite literally IN a nutshell to. I will spare your interest as to What type of nutshell it actually is!
     So life is cruising along. I am all over the board constantly with eating healthy. I love it. My family doesn’t so much. Neither does my schedule, as in, I do not always have time to make vegetarian lasagna from scratch kids. Sometimes not even a super nutritious breakfast, we’re talking cheerios baby. (I am pretty sure it qualifies as healthy in this day and age right?) All depends I guess on who you talk to. I am very split between mostly veg, and this newer mindframe of “heck yeah animal fat! (so long as it’s grass fed!)” Which p.s. isn’t cheap either. Are these healthy doctors in bed with the supermarkets and quick food industry or what?! Ugh. On a lighter note, I still love food each and every day, so thats good. Kids are crazy as ever, but it is summer, no excuse for not blogging right? Plus I really need to hone in on my writing skills, as I have FINALLY decided on a major. PERMANENTLY! (Hold on to your seats! Anyone who knows me will realize this is an amazing feat. If not a miracle. It’s only changed 312 times in the last need I say how many years since I graduated?!)
     English. With a creative writing emphasis and art history minor. That way I can teach if necessary and write when desired. More on that later. AND, I begin Yoga teacher training in August! I am SO uber excited. Thanks hubs for going back to school so I can too! At this rate, I just may graduate with my kids! HA!
     So, my littlest is trying to walk (yeah he is only 8 mos old) and the boys are crazy as ever, and then here is me saying this is not quite all of them, I wonder when we should have another! Agh! In all seriousness, I love being busy, so why not?! On an even more important note, I am actually cooking one of my new favorite recipes AS I WRITE, so what a fitting time to blog all about it? I got this recipe from a fabulous gal out in St. George, UT at a Bosch cooking class of all places, and with her permission I am sharing it will all you lovely folks! It is sooo easy, refrigerates great, and is meatless, effortless, not tasteless, and.. um... money-less (cheap!), low fatless, and virtually potless! No wonder I love it!

     Penne With Broccoli and White Beans
       Courtesy of April Fazzini, from Creative Cooking with April

3 bunches broccoli (about 4 c)
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil + 1 tbsp
3/4 pound (350g) whole wheat penne pasta (I just use the 13.25 oz box)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (opt)
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (that pre minced garlic is GREAT too!)
2 tbsp fresh oregano (or 1 tbsp dried if needed)
2 15 oz cans cannellini or other white beans, drained
4 oz crumbled feta cheese

Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to boil, adding a drop of olive oil to keep pasta from sticking. Once boiling, add pasta and set timer for 8-10 min. Rinse broccoli and cut florets off. When pasta has 3 min left, add broccoli to pot with the pasta and keep cooking. Drain pasta/broccoli and set aside. In the pot used for the pasta, heat the 1/3 oil, 1/2 tsp salt, red pepper flakes, pepper, oregano and garlic stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Add the beans, pasta and broccoli, stir. Reduce heat to low simmer for about 2 min. Mix in feta and serve!

Monday, May 9, 2011

No Really, I AM funny

     As I contemplate the proceedings of this day, I realize that I just may not survive 4 boys for the next 18+ years until they are gone. I am pretty sure that I am not only a “soccer mom”, but literally the referee too. The coach, the boss, the warden, peacekeeper (at least the attempt thereof) and not to sound redundant, but the nurse, headwife, and as Milly from 7 Brides for 7 Brothers so eloquently stated, “Your cook n’ clean”! Yup. A mom’s work is never done. (Shout out to all you mom’s out there, future mom’s, wannabes or non-wannabes, you “perhaps someday in my future when the car is paid off” and even the “Um, not sure” types. Oh yes, and to my own mother and mother in law, the queens of operation multi-talented interchanger of various head pieces... i.e. hats.)
     Why its only 7:30 and my kids are in bed, totally scrubbed, fed, brushed, cleaned etc. I should be proud of this historic moment! Only... it came about for the wrong reasons. You see, apparently I should go out for stand up comedy. Thats right! You have now come in contact with a very funny woman. SO funny in fact, that her kids constantly laugh so joyously everyday at all the wonderfully funny things she does. You know, that funny ha ha ha laugh that comes from loosing all your toys today from throwing them for the ump-teenth time at your now not so innocent 3 year old brother, who can actually lob a scimitar farther then you ever even dreamed of. Or how ‘bout that knee slapper of a joke “Okay get down from the table now that you have officially turned it into what better resembles a feeding trough and spit out every attempted bite of painstakingly homemade tamale pie.” Oh wait,  I’ve got another good one! Like the ever classic, “Go down to the basement to run around and get your wiggles out before a fun-filled family activity” (it is our monday family activity night after all) and not even 10 minutes later to I hear the cries again of that poor little not-so innocent 3 year old trudging up the stairs, totally soaked (dripping even) because his brothers found that spitting water from the water fountain all over the downstairs and each other was far more fun than an actual project, not to mention the early bedtime to boot. Yup, I am a hoot! All this was accomplished with so many giggles and silly shared grins that who could wonder at the early bedtime, canceled activity time, and the total and utter disbelief that I may not make it to the end of this? Maybe Billy Cosby was right, I’m pretty sure I heard my kids saying “Dear little man, you do not understand, we cannot go to bed unless we’ve had our beatings!” All in a days work might I add, all in a days work. And if any of you were wondering about the tamale pie? Ehh, not enough tamale if you ask me.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Not even a few hours later...

     SO, I posted all my great ideas for fabulous thrifty living, and shortly thereafter found this most interesting article and website.

from the blog http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com

"According to theCampaign for Real Milk website,
"Pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer."

So, what about lactose intolerance?  It turns out that raw milk is wonderful food that naturally comes with the lactase enzymes needed for digestion of lactose.  The act of pasteurizing milk kills the lactase enzymes.  That's right, 
problems digesting lactose occur when people are drinking pasteurized milk, not raw milk!”

WOW! I have been struggling with this for-EVER! Not really sure where to go from here. Especially as I looked up more info about this gal, she is part of her local chapter of the Weston A. Price foundation. Wanna know more? Check out http://www.westonaprice.org to find out all about what they call a “nourishing and traditional diet”. From what I have found out, it includes animal meats and fats as long as it is the correct kind... i.e. pasture/grass fed animals, raw cheeses and milk, of course the vegg, fruit, bean/legume and healthy grains. My favorite part of course was that you can and should have butter etc. Sounds like everything I am looking for, just more specific to what TYPES. Any thoughts? This discussion will continue as I have contacted my local chapter out here and am starting a little more research into it all!
Wish me luck! :o) 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Chicken is Optional...

     Hi friends! Long time no see. Or talk. Or share. Whatever! So, we have been out of town twice in the last two weeks, the hubs has been gone and back, and I am happy as clam to be home doing nothing but little bits of yard work, NOT taking care of ANY puppies (we decided to sell them all), eating food, and NOT worrying about everything I put into my mouth. Why is this? Where is my new found wisdom to once AGAIN reduce (my time spent) reuse (whatever I have in my fridge) and recycle? Okay, recycle might not really apply, (other than to recycle the packaging I pull food out of) but hey. Experience. And demand, as in, my life demands I cut the extra work and stick to the basics! This last month has just taught me that there are a million and one new foods or ways to eat them out there, and as much as I enjoy learning about each one of them and finding new exciting ways myself to utilize them, I am severely lacking in time let alone creativity. My list of 5 basics? (and this is coming a LONG way baby from where I was 1 year ago)
     1. Pure; eat as pure and clean as you can get. Water, bread, boxed foods, whatever. Try to keep them as much to their original form as possible
     2. Less; eat as little meat in a week as I can. Nothing specifically wrong with it, it all just depends on what you read of course. Personally I feel better when I eat less, and I spend less too! skip meat at lunchtimes, go for the organic once a week if you can, and EAT MORE BEANS!
     3. Even less; Dairy, watch it if you can. Stick with hormone free, organic where you can, mostly un processed etc. (pure butter, basic simple cheese once in a while, that kind of thing) Also less money, less hormones etc, and of course less fats and such. I don’t worry about this as much with my kids but I just try to get back to more of the other good stuff and less of the animal fats.
     4. SMOOTHIE! yup, I am convinced that a raw veggie/fruit smoothie a day keeps the Dr. away.
     5. Sweat; as in don’t sweat it. Even the pediatricians are now telling moms not to worry so much about what your child gets everyday, but what they get every FEW days. So today might be out the window, but tomorrow we’re going for gold!

Now that I have once again preached to the choir, I must add another quick reference as to why. As in, my frame of mind when deciding to spout food nonsense again. It is because I have found everyday brings so much, and so much that is new and great, I cannot stress about things anymore. Not that I did that much to begin with, but it just isn’t worth it to me to slave over a bean and rice lentil casserole thing with hidden veggies painstakingly chopped as fine as I could muster the time and attention to incorporate,  all for a few bites, obnoxious gagging motions and at times even tears later. Kids will get used to it if is a lifetime of change, and I teach them moderation while they enjoy life too! I’d like to think a cheeseburger really was invented for a reason, and that our tastebuds should get their own opportunity to enjoy food without guilt. So maybe you will only hear from me once in a great while when I share my newest find and fav, some is still better then none! And we can all go on living our great lives of accomplishment, with a little side dish of  nutritious-ness to boot.  

This recipe is from a friend I just made out here, I added to it of course, but I SO love this for the ease, the different ways to serve it, and that it totally qualifies as one of those yummy meals you can make at the beginning of the week and eat as fab healthy leftovers throughout the week with out much work.

Spinach and Chicken Pasta Salad

1/2 c sugar
3/4 c soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp dried chili flakes
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
1/2 c canola oil
3 Tbsp sesame oil

Whisk til completely emulsified. I actually soaked the chicken breast in a few tablespoons of this, then sauteed the chicken up.

1 lb angel hair pasta cooked and rinsed
1 lb chicken breast (I used WAY less, as in maybe 1 large breast) cooked up and chunked

Toss all above with the sauce. Serve with chopped fresh spinach, matchstick carrots and bean sprouts (all in convenient bags in the store!) Keep the fresh ingredients separate so you can pull it out and throw it together anytime during the week.
For a tasty and hot mid-week lunch idea, add 1 Tbsp of peanut butter to the noodles and give them a quick zap in the microwave to heat. Then stir it all up good and add more fresh veg for the the top. Makes kind of a quick Thai noodle thing.

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