Guest Recipe: Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups

This is a guest recipe from Alana Chernila, author of The Homemade Pantry.

Homemade mango and lime fruit-roll ups

When I was a kid, my mother would hardly ever buy the same treats everyone else had in their school lunches. At lunch time, we’d all put our brown bags on the table, and although the plain bags looked the same from the outside, my friends would unveil the contents of their bags like little magicians each pulling out treats more wondrous than the one before. Then, of course, the trading would begin.

“I’ll give you a Little Debbie for that Twinkie!”

“I’ve got Cracker Jacks! Anyone have Oreos?”

“I have a carob covered rice cake. Anyone? Anyone?”

That would have been me, trying my best to unload my unsweetened natural “treats” off to anyone who would take them. But it never worked. And of course when fruit roll-ups became the hot item, my mother was more than happy to buy me the “fruit leathers” from the health food store. They were thick little squares of leathery dehydrated fruit product. They were not red, shiny, or sweet. And most importantly, they did not actually roll up. Continue Reading »

Recipe: Chicken and Cheese “Tostadas”

This dish is super easy to throw together, and it’s definitely a crowd pleaser. Who doesn’t love Mexican food? It’s no secret that our family is a BIG fan and almost once a week we are sure to enjoy some south of the border fare like homemade refried beans, taco salad, pork carnitas, flank steak fajitas, vegetable quesadillas, homemade tortillas, or the like.  And now we can add these “tostadas” to our repertoire!

Tostada Spread Continue Reading »

Why I Don’t Juice

Now before anyone starts jumping to conclusions about juicing or thinks “Geez, there is something wrong with everything” (I hate that feeling) – I want to make one thing clear: There is certainly nothing wrong with drinking vegetable juices. But there are a few reasons why I haven’t personally jumped on the juicing bandwagon myself – even after borrowing a friend’s juicer and actually trying it out for a week – which is what I’d like to explain today.

Juice and FiberJuice Is Not A Whole Food

First and foremost, my main dietary goal is to eat whole foods or what I call “real food” (i.e. 5 or less whole ingredients). Did you know that when you drink juiced vegetables and fruits you are not eating the whole food? The first time I saw a juicer in action I was actually a little surprised when I saw all this stuff being spit out the side. It turns out that stuff is the pulp (basically the fiber) and not included in the juice you are about to drink! Now you could technically bake that pulp into a homemade baked good or something (and still consume it), but I am going to tell you right now I would never be “Betty Homemakerish” enough to keep up with something like that. Plus I felt like the kale, celery, cucumber, and other ingredients I purchased to make the juice could have nicely supplemented several meals for the whole family, when instead the juicer transformed these ingredients into 2 glasses (about 10 ounces each) of not very filling juice. Continue Reading »

Giveaway: $150 to Wild Mint (formerly ESP)!

This contest is closed and the winners have been selected. Congrats to…

Claire H! She said, “LunchBots Food Containers” as the product she’s most interested in checking out.

Rachel! She said, “I’ve been ogling the lifefactory glass baby bottles lately as we are due in November and I would love these!”

Today we are giving away two gift cards to Wild Mint (formerly ESP – Essential Safe Products), an online store that specializes in non-toxic and eco-friendly products! Like many of you, owner Hannah Helsabeck’s family of 8 was making an effort to fill their refrigerator with only organic and healthy foods. But while ridding their food of chemicals and such, they realized that other areas of their kitchen and house weren’t exactly chemical-free. As soon as Hannah’s mom caught on to the risks associated with chemicals like BPA, PVC, Phthalates and such, she found it was hard to know what products you could trust to be “Essentially Safe.”

So Hannah, the eldest of 6, teamed up with her mom and the two of them created Wild Mint which offers toxin-free and eco-friendly products that can help others take steps towards a healthier and sustainable lifestyle. Now married, Hannah says, “My husband and I have been changing our lifestyle in baby steps to become more toxin free, healthy and eco-friendly. The website is kind of like my timeline.” So she has moved from just kitchen items to also offering baby gear, toys, arts and crafts, bath and body (including nail polish) and more!

liveESP Essentially Safe Products Continue Reading »

Guest Post: Toddler Bites from Weelicious

This is a guest post from Catherine McCord, author of Weelicious.

Toddler Foods

I’m thrilled to be guest posting for Lisa as nothing makes me happier than real food!

I started Weelicious six years ago after the birth of my son when I couldn’t find any interesting homemade baby food recipes online or information on how to actually get kids to become great eaters from day one. Then as the baby food stage quickly disappeared I found myself in the abyss of wondering how to feed my toddler. Like many moms I was scared of him choking, needing an epi-pen if he tasted peanut butter, or not getting enough nutrition when feeding himself.

What do you feed new eaters transitioning from purees to solid foods? It was actually a lot easier than I thought. First, he could eat almost everything my husband and I were eating, just in much smaller bites and portions. I tried my hardest to avoid sugar and salt in his recipes until he was 18 months and then added sweeteners and sodium in small amounts. I really wanted both of my kids to fall in love with the natural flavors of food instead of the enhancers. Continue Reading »

Guest Recipe: Overnight Oats From Kath Eats

This is a guest post from Kath Younger with Kath Eats Real Food.

Hi all, it’s Kath from Kath Eats Real Food! I’ve been writing about the real food I’ve been eating and my love for oatmeal breakfasts for over five years now. On my Tribute To Oatmeal page, I have hundreds of bowls of creamy oatmeal filled with toppings galore. One of my favorite oat-based breakfasts happens to be overnight oats. Overnight oats are rolled oats soaked in milk and yogurt for a substantial period of time so they become plump enough to eat. Although you can eat oats plain, they are a bit more appealing when “cooked” or soaked one way or another.


Overnight oats have quite a few perks:

  1. There’s no cooking at all, which means no pots to clean.
  2. The breakfast takes 5 minutes to assemble the night before so you can start eating within minutes of waking or on the go.
  3. You can prep them in any kind of to-go container from Tupperware to a mason jar, so they travel well.
  4. Packed with protein from Greek yogurt and milk, this breakfast will keep you full all morning.
  5. You can customize them any way you like with various fruits, nuts, and mix-ins. Continue Reading »