It’s no secret that my older daughter has an interest in pop tarts (since I recently shared on facebook that she’s apparently been “trading” at snack time to get some!) so clearly I had to do something about it. First of all, we took her to the store and let her pick out a box of organic frosted pop tarts. Organic or not…they are still completely junk food with loads of added sugar. I am not the one who is 7-years-old though, and I can understand how “store-bought” and “packaging” may sometimes play an important role at school. So I showed her how much sugar they contain, in order to convey that they are really more of a dessert than a snack, and she decided she’d like to take one as a snack anyway and one as a dessert on another day (they come in packs of 2). I let my younger daughter do the same, and she was beyond thrilled to be an innocent bystander in all of this decision making :). After all of that was behind us I put the box of remaining pop tarts “away” (up high and not visible in the pantry of course!) and thankfully neither child said much else about it. Hoping their need for “store bought” pop tarts was satisfied I decided we should try making our own as well. I am not the first person to make a homemade knock-off pop tart recipe so just think of these as the super EASY whole-grain version. I honestly can’t believe how easy these are to make and how good they taste…everyone loves them! They are for the “kids” of course, but I find myself rationing out my share as well. I never liked pop tarts as a kid myself because I was a […]
Archives for May 2012
Here’s the last installment in our “Week with the Leakes” series where we took the time to photograph and record every single thing we ate for a week. In case you missed the first few posts check out what we ate for breakfast, lunch, and snacks…also if you haven’t already be sure to read our disclaimer about the entire series. Our dinners for the week… Sunday Family Dinner: Sauteed wild-caught halibut (using whole-wheat flour/butter/lemon/white wine), whole-wheat homemade fettuccine alfredo, salad with local spinach & greens, local strawberries, local goat cheese, toasted almonds and homemade balsamic vinaigrette. The kids had whole milk and the adults had water and white wine. Monday Family Dinner (family-style): A local pork tenderloin marinated in teriyaki sauce and grilled, quinoa mixed with avocado/toasted almonds/soy sauce/cilantro, and raw local sugar snap peas. The girls had whole milk and the adults had water…oh and the children were not big fans of the peas (hard to chew).
Here is the third installment in our “A Week with the Leakes” series! If you haven’t already, check out the breakfast post and lunch post that we published last week. Also, please be sure to read our brief disclaimer about this series as well. Unless otherwise noted we drank water with all the pictured snacks… Monday After School Snack: Both girls had plain yogurt/berry/milk/banana and local Swiss chard smoothies (those were just the greens we had on hand from our garden) and some baked pita chips with hummus. I had a little bit of smoothie myself. Jason’s Monday Afternoon Snack: Mixed nuts and an apple.
If you saw the “Breakfast” post earlier this week then you know as part of our new, very personal series entitled “A Week with the Leakes” we spent a full 7 days recording every single thing our family ate. Check out the first post for the details and especially be sure to read our disclaimer if you haven’t done so already. So, without further ado, here’s a full week of our lunches (please note: all four of us drank water with the pictured meals)… Sunday Family Lunch: Caprese (local tomato/havarti/pesto) on grilled whole-wheat pitas (from Trader Joe’s), plain whole-milk yogurt mixed with homemade berry sauce, and local carrots. Monday School Lunches (Note – For more school lunch ideas check out our recent “School Lunch Roundup!” post): Both kids had triple-decker whole-wheat waffle sandwiches (defrosted from freezer) with cream cheese/cinnamon/raisins in the middle, plain whole-milk yogurt mixed with homemade berry sauce (leftover from Sunday’s lunch), and fruit/veggies. Our first grader had the pictured local carrots and local strawberries and our preschooler had frozen peas in that compartment.
I love offering my readers special deals and this one today is no exception. In case you haven’t heard of eMeals they are an online meal planning service that creates weekly dinner plans along with corresponding shopping lists…so you don’t have to! I know most of you love meal planning services, which is why I am excited to share that eMeals just added a brand new “Clean Eating” track to their line up. They also already have a “Natural & Organic” track as well. And with just a few tweaks – like always buying the whole-grain version of the suggested breads/rice/etc. and also purchasing organic and/or local meats whenever possible – you have yourself a weekly “real food” meal plan. Plus as a bonus there is no way to get in a dinner rut if someone else is planning the recipes for you! :)
As I shared on facebook last week we’ve been working on a project where we record and photograph every single thing our family eats for a week. I’ve been posting a lot of our kids’ lunches lately, and it’s provoked some readers to ask…”Well, what do you eat?” So it was a lot of work and sometimes hard to delay taking that first bite until we took the picture, but we figured we would just share it all! And what we ended up with were a ton of photos so I am breaking up the results into four posts: breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner/dessert. Now, based on some of the feedback I’ve gotten when I share school lunches on facebook I feel as though I need to preface these posts with a disclaimer: These meals are just a brief snapshot of our lives, and while I am sure some will feel we ate too much of X and not enough of Y, please know that we do not claim to be perfect (who is?). We simply do our best to eat a wide variety of satisfying whole foods while also only eating enough in order to feel full. In most cases we took pictures of our plates before we started eating and sometimes it was the right amount of food, but other times it was too much or too little. We didn’t prepare a special meal plan for the project, we just captured what happened. And I’d also like to add that it’s much easier to make judgments about one’s eating habits when you see their meal photos all laid out on one page like this (while you are NOT simultaneously trying to race out the door to school or work or after school activities)! So in summary, this is […]
I hope this will be my first of several posts about how to “can” and preserve fresh foods when they are in season. I am a beginner canner myself, but have always been intrigued by and interested in the whole process. So I recently took a “Canning Class” (led by Ashley Eller at Poplar Ridge Farm) and have also been reading through some other resources including the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Prior to my class I knew absolutely nothing about canning except that I thought it sounded confusing, complicated, and like something that would take an entire day to do (not true!). From one beginner to another, a few key points: In simple terms, canning food is cooking recipes (which most of us already know how to do) and then “processing” the results by putting them in sterilized canning jars and boiling or pressure “cooking” them for a designated amount of time. It really isn’t as complicated as I originally thought. :) It is important to use canning recipes from reliable sources. Especially as a beginner these are not recipes you want to modify or adapt in any way because each ingredient as well as both the length of time and temperature at which the jars are processed can be key components to ensuring food safety. You must use jars that are in fact suitable for “canning” with two-piece metal lids, which does not include old washed out Ragu spaghetti sauce jars. The most widely used brands of jars for canning are Ball and Kerr, and while the jars and bands (that go around the lid) are reusable you must always use brand new lids to properly can foods. Now I know why I see those packs of lids for sale.
We love teriyaki sauce at our house and find that it’s great in stir-fry, on fish like sea bass and salmon, and on meat like chicken or pork tenderloin. This particular teriyaki sauce was inspired by a sea bass recipe my mother-n-law emailed to my husband back in 1998…and I still have a copy of it! We were both in college at the time so looking back I am impressed we were even contemplating homemade teriyaki, but I have to say I am equally impressed that I still have the print out (and that it was easy to locate) in my recipe collection. I personally think a long-running collection of favorite recipes is just invaluable. What old recipes have you been holding onto for years?
When I give my “100 Days of Real Food” presentations I routinely bring along a grocery bag full of “tricky” food products to discuss. Here are a few the items I share: – 1. Garden Veggie Sticks Ingredients*(according to Amazon.com as of May 2012): Potato Flour, Rice Flour, Expeller Pressed Sunflower Oil, Spinach Powder, Tomato Powder, Sea Salt, and Beet Powders Reality Check: I called the company myself to find out exactly how these “Veggie Sticks” are made, and what I learned is that they are deep-fried in oil. Last time I checked “French fries” are potatoes deep-fried in oil and if you look at the first three ingredients on the list above (which reflects what this product contains the most of*) these “veggie sticks” are basically potato flour (and rice flour) also deep-fried in oil. Yes, they also contain some spinach powder, tomato powder and beet powder, but let’s face it they contain more oil than any of these so-called veggie “powders.” Keep enjoying Veggie Sticks if you’d like, but please don’t be fooled into thinking that they are a replacement for real vegetables. I think they are perfectly fine as an occasional treat, and I would personally classify them as a couple small steps above French fries. Real Food Alternatives: If you are looking for a crunchy replacement snack try