Day 64: My Husband Cooks and Another Big Trip!

I have a new skill. I can glance at the amount of dishes piled up in the sink and know if they will fill the dishwasher (or be slightly too many or too few to fit). This is a ridiculous skill to have, but goes to show that nothing has changed with how much I am doing dishes as I continue to feed everyone real food several times a day around here. I almost always still running the dishwasher at least twice a day and just do what I can to try to keep it clean in kitchen. One thing that has made things a little easier lately is that out of nowhere my husband cooked dinner three times in the last week! My husband is a great cook and enjoys it too, but since he is so busy at work (and travels frequently) he rarely ever does it anymore.

So as a tribute to being treated to someone else’s real food cooking, I thought I would do a little feature on his creations which will hopefully encourage him to do more of this! Continue Reading »

Understanding grains (corn, wheat, multi-grain, etc.)

First and foremost I must get something off my chest. Just because a box of something at the grocery store or even a bagel at the bakery says “multi-grain” does not mean it is a healthy alternative. Multi-grain simply means the food is made with more than one grain and has absolutely nothing to do with whether any of those grains are actually whole grains or not (which is what is really important).

Awhile back I did an in-depth post on understanding whole-wheat and what should be in your sandwich bread. What you know about wheat can easily be applied to many other grains as well. In summary, the wheat berry has 3 parts (germ, bran, endosperm) and when whole-wheat flour is made all 3 parts are included. When highly processed (a.k.a. refined) white flour is made you are only left with the endosperm, which is basically high in calories and low in nutrients (which reminds me a little too much of sugar). Here are a few other popular grains and how this same thought process can be applied… Continue Reading »

Day 62: Fried Rice (Take 2) and Snack Choices for Kids

Thanks to the inspiration from the (not so good) fried rice at P.F. Chang’s the other night I decided to quickly throw together a homemade version the next day. It took (what felt like) all of five minutes to make and turned out really tasty. It made me feel once again disappointed that we sat around for almost two hours waiting for a similar, more expensive, yet tasteless dish the other night. I just sautéed some leftover (cooked) brown rice with a little onion, carrot, frozen peas, egg, soy sauce, a dash of toasted sesame oil, and sprinkle of dried ginger. It was so easy and good…although I can’t speak for my 3-year-old because some days she just seems to be getting pickier and pickier! She ate a few of the grapes on the side and then just sort of picked at the rice. I think I scared her off with the carrots, but what can I say…I was not in the mood to offer her any other alternatives that day so what she got is what she got!

This week my girls have been at their second (and final) week of summer camp. I was relieved that all of the kids were supposed to bring their own snacks and that the day would end before lunchtime. This just meant that there would be less requesting, coordinating, and preparing of special meals on my part. I would have done it anyway, but every now and then I like a break! One thing they were doing at camp though was giving all of the kids popsicles on the second day. Continue Reading »

Day 60: P.F. Chang’s and The Gum Controversy

Last night we were out running errands near the mall when all of a sudden 6:00 hit. We could have gone all the way home and started making something for dinner, but how much easier would it be to just go out to eat at that point? Not to mention we were right by P.F. Chang’s and it smelled good. As it turns out it was probably the scent of one of their sauces (85 – 90% of which contain sugar) that lured us in!

The biggest challenge about taking our children out to eat is finding something that doesn’t break the rules, and that they will actually eat. Jason and I are obviously a little more flexible and understanding of our limited food choices in restaurants. My first thought was that I could order the girls a fried rice to share (with brown rice instead of white, no meat, and the addition of two veggies that I thought they may eat – green beans and mushrooms). Come to find out we could do the rice dish for them, but couldn’t have any of the sauce since there was sugar in it. We couldn’t even season it with soy sauce because the brand they buy also has sugar in it. I was caught a little off-guard when they brought out their dinner because it was just plain steamed brown rice mixed with mushrooms and green beans. I immediately knew there was no way my kids would eat that. Continue Reading »

Recipe: Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich

Pimento Cheese Sandwich from 100 Days of Real FoodAll I have to say about this sandwich is OMG! It is so incredibly good that my husband and I almost could not believe it. I was momentarily in shock that my kids didn’t like it, but then I said oh well – more for us! It certainly would be more convenient if they liked it too, but this is one of those things that we like so much that it’s worth it to make something different for them (like a plain grilled cheese). Don’t let us stop you from trying it on your kids though!

You can also eat this pimento cheese cold on plain bread, which is still good too. But once we discovered the cooked version (which is like a grilled cheese sandwich with a kick) we were hooked! Just imagine the soft pimento cream cheese mixture melted between two pieces of crispy bread that are grilled to perfection. Need I say more? Continue Reading »

Day 58: A Shocking Lunch and Substitute Cake

Yesterday I had a very shocking food experience. I took my girls downtown to the newly renovated Discovery Place Museum. I could have taken the easy route and packed a lunch for us, but I decided it would be more fun to go out for lunch (if we could in-fact find some real food). I had heard about this place called “Blynk” which is all organic and local and bla bla bla. I called them to inquire about their menu and as it turns out none of their breads or wraps are 100% whole wheat, they couldn’t serve my girls oatmeal (which I know they would eat) past the breakfast hour, and if we ordered one of the egg dishes it might not be as good without the bread that we couldn’t eat. Despite all of this, I thought we could hopefully find something on their menu and make it work. I packed some crackers, nuts, and raisins just in case I needed to supplement.

As we entered the museum to buy our tickets my 3-year-old pointed to the museum cafeteria and said, “They have food here so we don’t need to go to a restaurant.” I replied, “Well, I doubt we can eat anything in a museum cafeteria.” Then I suddenly spotted the tagline under their “Community Café” sign that read, “healthy – local – green.” Hmmm… Continue Reading »