Recipe: Kale Chips (a surprisingly easy and delicious veggie!)

Prior to this year I don’t ever recall eating kale before. I even discussed it with a few of my friends, and they also weren’t sure if they had eaten it before either (have you?). I don’t know what it is about the name “kale”, but the sound of it just isn’t appealing for some reason.  However, things have changed and since I am trying my best to buy and eat local foods, I decided to go out on a limb and try it!

I first discovered that kale can be substituted for (and even added to) spinach in some recipes like creamed spinach. I of course couldn’t get my daughters to even think about wanting to eat that. But (drum roll, please) when I received this super easy recipe below, courtesy of my husband’s step-mom, not only did my children like it, but they loved it and kept asking for more! I will add that when my daughter first saw this greenish looking dish, just like any 2-yr-old would, she said “I don’t like that” without even trying it. She did follow the rule of trying at least one bite though, and with surprise in her voice she said “I like the kale” and then kept eating it. And I have to agree that I was also surprised how good something with the name “kale” could turn out to be!

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Some highlights from the Food, Inc. Documentary

If you missed the documentary Food, Inc. on PBS last week, don’t worry because I took notes on some of the highlights (below). You can also rent it through Netflix or Blockbuster, or purchase it on Amazon. You now officially have no more excuses to not be enlightened by this movie!

Supermarkets and Corn –

  • The tomatoes you buy in the grocery store are picked when green and then ripened with ehtylene gas
  • The food industry doesn’t want you to know the truth about what you are eating because if you did you might not eat it – it is a world deliberately hidden from us
  • Most people have no idea where their food comes from (do you?) Continue Reading »
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Recipe+Video: Quiche with a Super Easy Whole-Wheat Crust

My girls love to help me make this recipe. My 5-yr-old can practically mix and pat out the crust all by herself (if she can do it so can you!) while my 2-yr-old happily stirs the egg mixture. We decided to make our quiche half ham and cheese and half goat cheese and tomato the other night, but there are many tasty things that you can add to this dish depending on your mood (and the contents of your fridge). Quiche is no longer just a breakfast dish with all of these options to consider: sautéed mushrooms, caramelized shallots or onions, broccoli, bacon, sausage, swiss cheese, spinach, asparagus, zucchini, sun dried tomatoes, fresh herbs…the possibilities are endless!

Whenever I serve quiche both of my girls always ask for seconds – which can make any mom’s day. It is good leftover the next day too, and you can also try to freeze it once it has been baked. In my opinion it is not quite as spectacular after it has been frozen, but it is still pretty tasty and incredibly convenient!

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A personal food journal

A couple of people have asked me “what do you eat exactly?” so I decided to keep a little journal last week. For 3 consecutive days I wrote down everything that both my daughters (ages 2 and 5) and I ate. My husband mostly ate the same thing as I did, but I didn’t include him in this journal because he was working and I don’t keep tabs on him like I do my children!

When I first went through the transition of cutting out processed foods myself, I remember feeling like it would be so difficult (almost impossible) to come up with enough variety and options for us to eat. It has gotten so much easier over time, and I hope this rather personal depiction of our eating habits might help others make the transition too!
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Recipe: Whole-Wheat Banana Pancakes (freeze the leftovers!)

If you even remotely like banana bread then you will absolutely love these pancakes. And if you don’t like bananas then you can substitute another fruit (like blueberries or raspberries), but I think the banana is the secret ingredient that adds the right amount of sweetness to balance out the whole-wheat flavor. If you really want some berries in there consider adding them in addition to the bananas.Whole-Wheat Banana Pancakes from 100 Days of Real Food

The other great thing about this recipe is that the leftover pancakes freeze beautifully (and we usually do have some leftovers). Just layer them in-between pieces of wax paper inside a freezer-safe zip lock bag. Then one morning when you are racing around trying to get the kids out the door for school just pull a couple of pancakes out of the freezer, heat for a minute or two and voila! I am all about convenience.

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Homegrown: Easier than you think

You may think growing your own vegetables sounds like a daunting task, but starting small with some potted plants can be surprisingly easy (even for someone who doesn’t have a green thumb). Last year was my first year with a garden and let’s just say….I learned a lot about what not to do again this year! I definitely have room for improvement as a gardener myself, but I know that when a vegetable you planted does well, it can be extremely satisfying.

“The food you grow yourself is fresher than any you can buy,” says Michael Pollan, and I have to say that I didn’t even think I liked tomatoes until I tried homegrown ones. I was amazed at the difference in taste compared to what you can buy at the grocery store (not to mention how much more nutritious homegrown vegetables are). We already established that farmers’ markets and CSA’s are fabulous resources for getting fresh, locally grown produce, but why not consider growing some food yourself?
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