Saturday, November 8, 2014

New Life, New Food, New Rules

It's been a really long time.  It may be a really long time before the next post as well, who knows?!  However, here we are at this moment.  We are blessed beyond measure, been through a lot of stuff (like a lot of stuff), brand new baby, family of 6, no beans for now, no cashews for now, probably more but no time to tell.  Ok so that catches us up enough.

We are now a family of six!  Four sweet and energetic/exhausting little ones.  Malachi Sage was born in 2012 and Rosemary Bernadette only a couple of months ago (2014).  Malachi Sage means God's gift of health/wisdom and Rosemary Bernadette is dew of the sea which symbolizes new beginnings and brave as a bear.  The elders; Genevieve Noelle (white wave of life) and Declan Darragh (man of prayer) you've met before ;-).  So today we are celebrating new beginnings and we are in a food rut which I believe must be from exhaustion because I can't think of what we ate yesterday and no way can I think of what we are going to eat in the future.  Meal planning.  Hmm.  More daunting than I feel it should be but life comes in stages and this stage presents food stress.  I don't like stress.  I don't want it.  What will make it less stressful?  Write. It. Down.  Here be's it folks:

-Quinoa Enchiladas (I use g-free tortillas or crushed chips, skip the flour in the sauce and add frozen corn and/or zucchini to the veg mix)

-Pasta (brown rice pasta, jovial is my fave and who knows what sauce at this time)

-Sweet potato, kale, sprouted wild rice and sprouted lentils (no chokes)

-Pot Roast (red onion, garlic clove, grass fed Aussie roast, sea salt.  Big pot.  Cook onion and garlic add roast, sprinkle with salt and spices, brown.  Add water to cover, simmer on very low heat for 4-6 hours, covered.  Take off lid, beef should fall apart when forked, increase heat, cook off liquid.  Perfect.  Cook desired veggies; potatoes, green beans, carrots, etc separately as desired.  Roasted or crocked are always good ideas.)

-Baked Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes.  (make dairy free if necessary, buy frozen artichokes from TJ's instead of canned)

-Lemon Garlic Brussel Sprouts, Squash Rounds, and Roasted Cauliflower

-Stir Fry (jasmine rice, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, shallot, garlic, green beans, zucchini, red pepper, maybe broccoli.  Sauce of Bragg's aminos, ginger, pineapple.  Less than 30 minutes.)

Other stuff:
Good book:  Maker's Diet
Pinterest:  love it!
Sleep:  need it
Winter: not so much
Summer: miss it
Snuggles: always
Pictures: 'ain't nobody got time for that'

Signing off.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekly Menu 4/29/12

Good evening everyone!  I'm a bit late on this post but better late than never!  I try to get the weekly menu posts up on Fridays so you can see what we're having before the week actually starts.  This way, you can use some of these recipes in your menu for the week if you so choose.  However, I have not been feeling the greatest and this week we tried something new.  My husband and I spent all afternoon cooking so we could have the majority of our food for the week finished and we will only have to make a few things spread throughout the week instead of having to make a full dinner every night.  It worked really well!  We were able to get a lot accomplished and now we have dinners plus lunches for the first few days of the week.  This is especially helpful for the lunch situation because lunches need to be quick around here and because my husband has been trying to pack his food more often.  There aren't any restaurants where you can get real food let alone gluten free, dairy free or meat free where my husband works.....or around where we live for that matter.  So it's best that he pack if he wants to eat healthy and it's better on the wallet ~easier said than done though!  I'm really excited about this menu because we have some new items I've really been wanting to try!

Menu for the week of April 29, 2012:

1.  Soup beans and cornbread.  My husband requested this one.  I've never used ham in my soup beans as is common.  We didn't really like ham even when we ate meat and now, well, we don't eat meat so I still don't use it!  Tastes great just the same!

2.  Gluten Free Vegan GORDITAS!!!!!!!!  Seriously!  It's supposed to be chickpea flatbread pizza but I made them last week, and as pizza they were quite delicious, but I folded mine like a traditional taco and I was in gordita heaven!  I cannot tell you how exciting this is because when I used to eat standard American style, I used to eat some serious Taco Bell and I have been craving it this pregnancy.  Obviously, I can't have Taco Bell but this is so much better!  All the deliciousness without the sickness!  Amazing, you must try it! She's not kidding when she says you have to really cook the dough though! I am also making a raw sour cream to go with these.  I have a raw food book that has a recipe for sour cream using cucumbers and sunflower seeds that I'm pretty stoked about.  I also need the sour cream for another recipe this week so win-win!  Here's a recipe that uses cashews if you'd like to try and make something as well.

I took this picture after I had already taken a few bites and realized how delish it was!

3.  Quinoa Salad Sandwiches.  I am so very excited about this recipe as well!  I loved chicken salad growing up and we no longer eat such things.  Normally, this is not a problem.  Not in the least.  Pregnant....big problem!  I want so many foods that I can't have and I'll never understand why pregnancy does that to you but I am so thankful for recipes like this!  I hope it's as delicious as it looks because I plan on this recipe getting me through a lot of barbecues this summer!  ;-) I will use the sour cream I mentioned earlier for the dairy sour in this recipe and vegan non-gmo mayo for the miracle whip. We haven't yet decided if we are going to make bread or just wrap it up in lettuce, probably the lettuce. 

4.  Penne with Artichokes.  Easy.  I like easy.  This is actually one of the recipes that is already complete and yes, it was good!  I nixed the parmesan and used g-free penne.

5.  Roasted Corn and Potato Chowder.  As soon as I saw the picture of this gorgeous soup on Pinterest, I had to give it a try!  We made this soup already as well and it is just as delicious as it looks if not more!  Of course, I could have made some kind of bread to go with it but I decided I was too tired and it worked out.  This is a very filling soup and the bread isn't necessary.  A lot of people have problems with corn because it can be difficult to digest if your intestines are inflamed and unless you get certified organic, it's also genetically modified and chemical laden.  We used to have a problem with corn but as our guts have healed and we've extracted most of the toxins from our bodies, we are able to have organic/non-gmo corn!  Which is wonderful because this soup is insane and I do love popcorn as well! ;-)  ~Oh, I almost forgot to tell you that I subbed coconut cream for the half and half and used unsweetened almond milk for the milk.  Worked great! 

6.  Baked Vegetarian Spring Rolls.  I love Chinese take-out but I can't have it so 'nuff said about this choice!  I am using the linked recipe but substituting rice wraps and playing with the filling a bit. 

7.  Waffles.  Sigh.  This is probably no surprise.  It seems we eat waffles or pancakes at least once a week for dinner but my family loves them and they always ask for them.  I shall oblige yet again. 

Have a great week!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Weekly Menu 4/22/12

Hi!  It's menu time!  But first, my goofy cuties would like to say hi....

Every Sunday morning my husband attempts to take pictures of the kids while I get ready.  Usually, I'm lucky if nobody gets hurt and everyone's shoes and clothes stay on!  Though, it looks like my daughter ditched the shoes for this pic! lol  However, once in a while, he gets a cute one!  This is one of my favorites!

Food, yes?

Menu for the week of April 22, 2012:

1. Carrot/Beet/Bean Burgers.  The grocery store did not have any usable beets last week and I refuse to pay full price for beets with completely wilted greens.  I asked two different stores and two different managers if they would discount the beets because I couldn't use the greens (most people don't realize you use the greens also) and they wouldn't do it!  I was not happy nor was I about to pay full price for half-usable beets!  Outrage!  We will try again this week.

2.  Lemon Garlic Pasta.  Looks easy and delicious, I'm sold!  I'll either omit the parmesan altogether or make a quick vegan version. 

3.  Salads with tahini dressing!

4.  Very Berry Millet Pancakes.  You know our love of having breakfast for dinner! We typically have juice/smoothies for breakfast around here these days so dinner is the only time we get to have pancakes and such!  Yum!  She uses blackberries in this recipe and I think that sounds amazing so I hope they are on sale this week! 

Another favorite pancake recipe with roasted red-skins.

5.  Zucchini Black Bean and Rice Skillet.  I have to modify this recipe from a few not so great ingredients to some better choices but it looks really easy and tasty nonetheless.  I'll nix the cheese, use brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice and canola oil is genetically modified so unless I'm sure it's non-gmo and organic.....I'm not using it! 

6.  Cheezy Mushrooms and 'Rice.'  This is a raw recipe and the rice is actually jicama!  Fun! 

7.  Roasted Grape, Goat Cheese and Honey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.  I'll probably wedge some for my daughter because she is picky about her sweet potatoes.  I don't know yet what I'll serve with these, we'll see what we have at the time ~I'm living on the edge!   

Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Weekly Menu 4/15/2012

Hi there!  As I am typing this, it's Wednesday.  It's been and will continue to be a rather busy week and I am trying to get everything in order for our weekly menu as well as for some future freezer cooking I'll be doing later in the pregnancy.  I love to freeze waffles, pancakes, energy bites, muffins, chilis, soups, and the occasional casserole.  Mostly though, we prefer to eat our food fresh and not everything we eat can even be frozen.  The only time this is a bummer is when it's time to have another baby and I need already made meals that I can easily throw in the oven or thaw and eat.  I have a good list of things that can be frozen for after the baby gets here but certain things, gluten free lasagna for instance, are going to be trial and error in the freezer department.  Gluten free pasta and breads can get mushy and gross if you're not careful and there is a fine line between undercooking and overcooking when it comes to gluten free freezer meals.  My plan is to have a trial freezer cooking run way before the baby so I can get some of the recipes in the freezer that I've never actually frozen before and see if they will be ok.  Bonus, I'll be tired and cranky in the third trimester heat anyway so I'll be more than happy to have a few freezer eats even before the baby arrives!  Anyway....I decided it would be a good time to make the menu for next week since I won't have time this weekend and I'll have to shop differently.  I'm DONE with recipes in any way, shape or form for the day.  My head is spinning but again, at least it's finished!

Menu for the week of April 15, 2012:

1. Carrot-Beet Bean Burgers and sweet potato fries.  If I don't feel like doing the fries when it comes time, I'll just bake the potatoes instead. 

2.  Mushroom Pizza Bites and salad.

3.  Chili.  The chili we had for Easter was insane!  We must have more, must!

4.  Pumpkin-Quinoa Breakfast Bake and......wait for it......asparagus!  I heart asparagus and so does my family so we've been eating it a lot!

5.  Sombrero Pasta Salad.  I'll make my own dressing, add cilantro and use lentils or walnut taco meat in place of ground beef.  Obviously, I will also subsitute gluten free pasta. 

6.  Collard Wraps and Chia Chili Cheese Dip ~it's been toooooo long!  YUM!

7.  Megan's Falafel's 

Hopefully, all will be well with our dinners this week and yours as well!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dairy Free Chocolate-Peanut Butter Milkshake

Yes!  The ultimate chocolate milkshake!  Now don't worry, if you're allergic to peanuts you can just use any nut butter, coconut butter or omit the peanut butter altogether.  The BEST part about this milkshake is, it's healthy!  You could have it for breakfast if you want!  (Don't mind if I do!) 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake!
3 cups vanilla almond milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice)
2 heaping cups frozen cherries
2 giant handfuls baby spinach
1/2 avocado
3-4 Tbs raw cacao powder (use cocoa powder if you don't have cacao but you may need more)
1 spoonful peanut butter, other nut butter or coconut butter (coconut butter would be amazing!)
*Optional:  handful of dairy free chocolate chips

*Just add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth and creamy!!!
Note:  If you do not have vanilla flavored milk, you may need to add a small amount of honey, agave nectar or maple syrup.

This shake is so simple and sooooooo delicious!  Have you ever had Texas Gold Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream?  Or maybe Homemade Peanut Butter N Chip?  This milkshake tastes like a milkshake we used to make with those flavors when I was a kid!  The ingredients are much better though! ;-)  It's truly amazing and you'd never know it contains spinach or avocado!  The avocado makes it especially creamy.  Without it, the shake will be somewhat watery due to the cherries.  My husband and kids love it!  My husband actually likes it better than our previous favorite, Chocolate Banana Smoothie!  If you are having this shake as a meal, it will serve 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children.  If this is dessert for you, you could probably get 6 servings out of it.  Let us know what you think!  Have a great day!  

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Weekly Menu 4/8/12

It's that time again ~weekly menu day!  I don't have a lot of new recipes in the menu this week.  As I was making our menu and as I am typing this, I'm tired.  I don't see myself gaining a lot of energy between now and when it is time to actually make these meals so I wanted a lot of easy.  If I do find myself with lots of energy, then I shall use it up doing something other than cooking ~yoga!  Hooray!

Menu for the week of April 8, 2012:

1. Chili leftovers.  (If that's not easy, I don't know what is!)

2.  Red quinoa and avocado salad 

3.  Roasted Veggies and waffles.  These waffles are our favorite.  We use a flax or chia egg and it makes about 16 waffles so I have some leftover to freeze for future breakfasts. 

4.  Pasta Bravo ~recipe located in my 'recipes' tab.

5.  Amazing Gluten Free Vegan Pizza.  I'm constantly surprised by the variety of gluten free/dairy free pizzas people have created.  The same goes for mac and cheese.  There are so many different recipes that I never feel like we are eating the same thing over again and they all look so good that I need to try them!  This one is particularly interesting because it has a vegan cheese sauce and some unusual toppings ~mushrooms, corn, onion ~that sound really delicious!

6.  Creamy Potato Onion Soup.  I'm cold.  I don't get it?  I'm pregnant which should equate to roasting all the time but I have not been able to get warm at all.  I have always had questionable circulation and I think that could be some of it but still, I want cold weather comfort foods so soup it is!  I'll also have some glazed carrots and probably broccoli or whatever we haven't used by this particular day.

7.  Cranberry Avocado Salad with Candied Nuts and Balsamic Vinaigrette.  Actually, I'll use whatever dressing I have on hand which will probably be a homemade Italian or some lemon juice and sea salt.  This salad is super yummy and surprisingly filling so we're excited to eat it again.  My kids will eat the individual ingredients ~avocado, cranberries, candied nuts, sliced pepper, carrots and I might make them some chickpea flatbread.  Ok, I will make them some chickpea flatbread.  They eat more than any adult I know!  ;-)

Super simple and equally delicious!  Have a marvelous week!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Dinner

Hello all!  I wanted to share with you what we will be having to eat on Easter Sunday.  When I was growing up we usually had canned green beans with ham, cooked until absolutely zero nutrients remain just like a good southern chef would do! ;-)  We would also have a honeybaked ham (my mom used to bake hers with Pepsi), fried chicken strips, mashed potatoes with margarine (because apparently butter is bad for you?)and gravy, starchy dinner rolls, 7 layer salad with lots of mayo and cheese, canned corn and an entire table full of desserts people would bring to share with everyone.  I'm not gonna lie ~the food was good.  We all always looked forward to it.  Pretty standard American stuff ~you know...lots of fake food, gmo's, lack of nutrients, refined flour and sugar and a big food coma to follow.  Looking back, I cannot believe we ate all of that and actually looked forward to it!  Of course, the company is always fun but the food HAD to change!  We have been on such a wonderful journey to health and I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Though we seem 'weird' to the 'Standard American Diet' folk, we couldn't be happier!  My husband and I love that all of our food is satiating and delicious and never leaves us feeling like we need to unbutton our pants (you know what I'm talking about!), take a massive nap or a pain killer for the sugar headache.  Our diet is most certainly not perfect but we do try and it pays off pretty big!  All of our holiday food is still indulgent but it's real, organic, non-gmo, gluten free, dairy free, egg free and meat free, did I mention delicious?!  We love it and whatever journey you are taking with your health, we hope that some of these ideas and the support will help you along the way!  Real food is the best food!  On to the menu!!!

Ooey gooey cinnamon rolls! (the frosting does contain powdered sugar if you use it)

All of the food for Resurrection Sunday was requested by my husband.  It's not exactly 'traditional' according to the usual springy and traditional type fare I listed above but it's what he said he wanted so I shall oblige! 

Breakfast:  Cinnamon Rolls with Spiced Buttercream.  I will be using a few different recipes to accomplish these rolls.  The picture above is from this recipe and I love the filling, the cloves taste amazing!  However, I wanted to try a different dough this time and settled on this recipe to which I shall add a chia egg.  The frosting is my favorite of all time and I will be using powdered sugar but I will use organic so as to avoid genetically modified ingredients and chemicals.  I am going to try powdering my own sugar sometime soon though, I think it would be fairly easy and then I can use sucanat or coconut sugar.  The sugar in the actual rolls will be replaced with coconut sugar.   I will also steam some asparagus because I want some kind of veggie in the morning and asparagus with cinnamon rolls has that whole sweet salty thing going on!  Love!  I'll pre-make the rolls on Saturday using this method and refrigerate the frosting for the next day.  Otherwise, we'll never have breakfast!  The idea of getting up early enough on any Sunday morning to actually make breakfast and get everyone ready is truly laughable!

Lunch/Dinner:  I don't know about you, but in our family....holidays are always busy.  After church we will have a visit with my husband's family and then come home before the massive overtired meltdown happens and try to get the kids into bed for naps.  After this major accomplishment, which is a major accomplishment, my husband and I will eat and lunch/dinner sort of runs together.  We've been married for 6 years and parents for 3.  I used to attempt breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  This left us with way too much food and me stressed and too busy in the kitchen to enjoy anything.  Now, we usually have a special breakfast plus one large, complete meal.  If we are traveling to multiple locations or if we will end up needing more food, I will plan accordingly but this Sunday, our lunch/dinner will be more than enough!  At my husband's request, we will be having a nice, hearty chili.  He loooooooves chili, we also had chili for Christmas this past year so I can't say I'm surprised that this is what he wanted for Easter as well ~ though I will have to put my foot down for the Fourth of July because July is just not chili weather! ;-)  We will also be having cheesy garlic breadsticks and salads.  We have actually had the cauliflower pizza crust before but this one seems a little better for using flax or chia eggs and I think the texture will be great!  I would like to use raw goat cheddar as the cheese but depending on my daughter, I may have to use daiya.  She is the only one of us who is still sometimes sensitive to goat cheese and I'll be sure to muscle test her with it first.  Remember the naps I mentioned earlier?  My kids will have eaten some snack type foods beforehand ~usually leftovers from previous dinners, hummus, veggies, almond butter, etc.  After naps, they'll enjoy the food listed above.   Being pregnant, I need some extra fat in my diet so I will also have avocado with my chili as will my growing kids!  Yum!
This salad has tahini dressing but we'll probably use homemade Italian this weekend.

Well, I hope you have a wonderful weekend and you are able to find some fabulous food that won't hurt you! 

"Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to see the tomb.  Suddenly there was a great earthquake, because an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled aside the stone and sat on it.  His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow.  The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.
Then the angel spoke to the women, "Don't be afraid!" he said.  "I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He isn't here!  He has been raised from the dead, just as he said would happen.  Come, see where his body was lying.  And now, go quickly and tell his disciples he has been raised from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee.  You will see him there.  Remember, I have told you." (Mathew 28 1-7 NLV)

"Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.  And be sure of this:  I am with you always, even to the end of the age."  (Mathew 28 16-20 NLV)