Yesterday was my girls’ first day of summer camp. I was so busy packing their food and explaining to them that they can only eat what I am making that I totally forgot to pack anything for my husband’s day-long business trip. After he left, I surveyed the kitchen and noticed that all of the granola bars were gone as well as the bananas and some leftover popcorn. So while that is probably not an ideal days worth of food he at least took care of it himself before he rushed out the door. I also didn’t eat as heartily as I normally would have liked yesterday with my kids gone at camp so needless to say we were both ready to chow down last night. So I decided to make some pizza for dinner, and boy did it hit the spot. It was actually my 5-year-old’s idea to make little “individual” pizzas, and I have to admit it was a pretty good idea.
Archives for June 2010
Here is a recipe that offers a little twist on the classic BLT sandwich…if you so desire. With some fresh locally grown or homegrown tomatoes you cannot go wrong whether you decide to include the crabmeat or not. I do admit this is not an entrée my kids will dig into, but they do like bacon and the bread so I just gave them some of that along with a few other kid-friendly items.
We enjoyed a late afternoon at the pool yesterday, which meant getting home close to dinnertime…with nothing ready to eat. So while my husband bathed my hungry water babies, I had to come up with something edible…and fast. While trying to push the idea of dinner being “a meat and two side items” out of my head I thought I would make an experimental little spread with ingredients that we had on hand. And I might add that it felt like a scene from the movie “Friday” when I realized we had hummus and no crackers, baked potatoes and no cheese, and leftover gazpacho soup with no sour cream to top it with. So as you can see it turned out to be quite the hodgepodge, but my girls do love when dinner is “family style” so they can serve their own food themselves. I was curious to see what they would choose from this spread, and it was no surprise that
Ever since I made this recipe we have a fear that our 5-year-old is going to turn into a piece of zucchini bread! She cannot stop eating it. She actually said she was sad about something the other day, but eating a piece of zucchini bread would make it all better. And can you tell that I couldn’t even get a picture of a whole loaf (the back-end is missing) because suddenly there is no restraint in our house when it comes to this bread! I have to admit it really is good and tastes so similar to the recipe I used to make that was full of sugar. Granted this one does have a decent amount of honey in it so you shouldn’t sit down and consume an entire loaf in one sitting, but the fact that this is approved during our “100 Days of Real Food” makes me so happy!
We’ve had a busy couple of days around here. Last night my husband and I had the pleasure of celebrating his 34th birthday at a Farm to Table Dinner at the gorgeous Poplar Ridge Farm (pictured). Let me tell you that this is the first time we have eaten outside of our home and been able to eat EVERYTHING served…in 28 days! What a nice treat. Not to mention that it was incredibly delicious. The guest chef, Hollace Stephenson of TasteMakers of Charlotte, actually lives a lifestyle of eating vegan and mostly raw foods. In case you don’t know, vegetarian is when you don’t eat meat, but vegan is when you also don’t eat animal products (like eggs, milk, and cheese). So she of course made all 30 or so guests an entire vegan meal. I can count how many vegan meals I have eaten in my life on one hand…okay, maybe just on one finger. And while I have absolutely no desire to become vegan or even a vegetarian, it was a very eye opening and tasty experience for me (as I am hoping a 10 Days of Real Food experience might be for you).
I don’t know what it is about our society, but most of us have been taught (and are teaching our children) to “clean our plate”. As it turns out this might actually be really bad advice. One of the more surprising things I learned from Michael Pollan’s book is that other (much healthier) cultures simply stop eating when they receive an internal cue that they are starting to feel full (about eighty percent full, to be more specific). On the other hand, according to Pollan, we Americans eat until we “receive some visual [or external] cue from the environment that it’s time to stop: the bowl or package is empty, the plate is clean, or the TV show is over.” Wow, what a novel idea to instead stop eating the moment you no longer feel hungry! My husband and I have been trying to carry out this advice ever since we read the book a few months ago and, I must report that for some reason this is very HARD to do! Imagine you are eating and enjoying a delicious meal. There are two bites left, but you start to feel full…what do you do?
As much as I like to complain about how difficult it has been to eat real food out in social situations and restaurants, how much I miss store-bought condiments and my white chocolate mochas, and how I have occasionally wondered if it was the right thing to involve (and restrict) our childrens’ diets…I have to admit that I am glad we are doing this. I guess it took me a little while, but I am finally starting to see a clear picture of what we have gained from our experience thus far… Adjusted taste buds – I finally found a way to get my post meal “chocolate fix” by combining the (sugarless) chocolate powerballs recipe with the pecans from the homemade maple pecan ice cream recipe…and let me tell you I think they are so good. I have to restrict myself from not eating too many. I wanted to get some opinions from my friends’ taste buds since I haven’t had an ounce of sugar in weeks. A few of them said they were good, but they usually like their treats to be a little sweeter. One friend in particular said “well, it’s not a Snickers bar”
I love a lot of different foods, but let me tell you that this fajita recipe is right up there at the top. This is the kind of meal where you hear my husband and I “mmmming” and “aaahhhhing” at how good the flavor is the whole time we are eating. Anytime you cook with the freshest ingredients it is hard to go wrong, but I especially think the homemade tortillas are a big part of what makes this recipe so money. If you don’t want to invest the time to make the tortillas then I think store-bought corn tortillas are the best alternative. Unless you have a local bakery, it is really hard to find whole-wheat breads or tortillas from the grocery store without a bunch of junk in them. I did once try Ezekiel flour tortillas (which are made with sprouted grains and kept frozen at Earth Fare), and even though the ingredients were decent I didn’t feel the same way about the taste.
Today was the first time I have eaten in a restaurant (other than Earth Fare’s café) since starting our 100 Days of Real Food. My husband has of course eaten out quite a few times on business trips, but I was obviously not there. Once again today, we were out running errands longer than expected and realized we needed to feed our girls some lunch. I normally like to research these types of things in advance and have a plan, but today I did not. I tried not to look when we passed by Chic-Fil-A (knowing how easy that would be), but we just had to continue on hoping that some sort of solution would magically appear! We spotted the first contender, and I ran in to scope out the menu.
Despite the fact that we absolutely prefer and always try to buy organic…I really want to get one thing straight here. Just because something is organic does not automatically mean it is healthy and that you should eat it! There are still highly processed foods out there that just happen to be made with organic ingredients. Here are some examples: Organic ice cream sandwiches (the one pictured contains organic corn syrup and organic sugar in addition to white flour) Organic flavored yogurt (also full of organic sugar) Organic cookies Organic crackers made with white flour Organic chips and pretzels Organic white bread Thinking about something being organic vs. highly processed is like comparing apples to oranges. It is important to first ensure an item is not highly processed and then also try to find the organic version if possible. So now that we have covered the pre-made stuff you might buy, here is some more food for thought…
I have to admit that when faced with social plans my first thought is (from a food perspective) it would be easier just to stay home. But, I always talk myself out of taking the easy road and we end up going along with our bags packed full of our “approved” food. I was especially worried about what would happen at a get together yesterday with our playgroup friends. After some sprinkler and backyard time all of the kids were being fed chicken nuggets, chips, and fruit as part of a little picnic lunch. I knew I had to pack something just as appealing for my children if I didn’t want any problems.