Monday, May 28, 2012

Menu Plan May 28-June1

Monday: Happy Memorial Day!
Thank you to everyone who served or is serving our country!
Enjoy the cook outs! I know I will!

Tuesday: Chicken and Brie Sandwich
I am so excited to give this sandwich a try!

Recipe and photo from Framed Cooks.

Wednesday: Tacos in Lettuce Wraps
Chuck and I have made tacos a million times. It is what Chuck will always ask for if I ask him what he wants for dinner. We recently tried using boston lettuce instead of the wrap and they turned out great! There is really no recipe for tacos, but I did use this recipe to make my own seasoning. I also prefer to use ground chicken over beef, but any ground meat will work. We top our tacos with Monterey jack cheese, brown rice, fresh salsa, and raw spinach. I also like a dollop of sour cream and a couple shakes of hot sauce!

Thursday: Stuffed Mushrooms
This recipe for stuffed mushrooms got me thinking why not have them for the main course! With a big salad and some veggies this can make a great meal. 

Recipe and photo from Angie McGowan

Friday: Creamy Carbonara Pasta

Recipe and photo from Miss Delish...another new (to me) blog!!

Have a great week! :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Baby Sprinkle

This week we had a very special "sprinkle" for our good friend Kelly. With the help of Sara and Debbie (Kelly's mom) we threw a great little party! In case you don't know, (because I didn't) a sprinkle is a small shower usually for the second or third child (or fourth...). Our theme was "She is ready to pop!"Which I, of course, found on Pinterest. The inspiration for the party was a pink version from Le Partie Sugar.
I found a really cute party pack on Etsy for the invites and the decorations. I also made my first diaper cake!! I followed these really easy instructions here!

I hope you enjoy the pictures. I am really proud of this party!! :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Menu Plan May 21-25

This whole food challenge has really been great! In some way it was not at all hard. In others it was really hard. As I said before the hardest things is when you are not at your house. But overall I think we are doing great!! :)
The kids have found a true love for dried mango. They think of it as a treat. If your kids have not tried it (the unsweetened, no additive kind), you should really have them give it a whirl. I think you would be surprised that they would trade in their regular treats for it!!

This week I started looking for recipes that I could convert to whole food recipes with a few changes. So feel free to make the changes or keep them the same, it is totally up to you!

Monday: I am having a birthday dinner for my mom, so I will be making the kabobs I made last week again. Here is a brand new recipe for you!

Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Meatballs

Recipe and photo from 100 Days of Real Food

Tuesday: Spicy Chicken Pizza

I will be making a homemade whole wheat crust similar to the one in this recipe.

Recipe and photo from Baking with Blondie

Wednesday: Garlic Cilantro Shrimp Rotini

Recipe and photo from Clean Eating Magazine

Thursday: Crab Cakes with Strawberry Melon Salsa

Recipe and Photo from Clean Eating Magazine

Friday: Chicken, Spinach and Goat Cheese Quesadillas
The only changes that I need to make to these is to use the homemade whole wheat tortillas! Yum!

Recipe and photo from Sugar Cooking

Have a great week!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Whole food Challenge days 2 and 3

Things are going great with our whole food challenge. If I had to pick the hardest part so far I would say it is the out of the house food that can be tricky. If we are out and about we can't just grab something quick and easy. It just takes more thought. Here is what we ate:

Day 2

Breakfast: left over pancakes from Monday

snack: fruit leather

Lunch: left over mac and cheese, peas and applesauce

snack: dried mango

Dinner: It was such a nice day we decided to go to the park so I packed a picnic dinner. We had cheese and spinach quesadillas on the homemade tortillas we made on Monday, sugar snap peas and carrots, watermelon, sprouted pretzels and dried mango

My kids LOVE the dried mango. It is so sweet and delicious they really think it is a treat!

Day 3

Breakfast: Eggs and whole wheat toast (That we bought from The Great Harvest Bread Company) and strawberries

snack: cheese and crackers (Brown Rice Snaps) and carrot sticks

Lucnh: Homemade Chicken Nuggets, green beans and watermelon
For the nuggets I just cut up chicken breast into bite size pieces, I coated the chicken with whole wheat Panko brad crumbs. I thin fried them in about 3 tablespoons of olive oil just to brown up both sides. I then popped them in the oven for 12 minutes or so on 375 to cook the chicken the rest of the way.

snack: grapes and sprouted pretzels

Dinner: Chicken Kabobs with roasted red pepper sauce, quinoa and spinach salad
OOOOHHH sooooo good!! :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Whole food challenge day 1

Today is day 1 of our 10 day whole food challenge! Basically that means nothing processed (unless it has 5 ingredients or under) and no sugar. So far so good...I cooked so much today but I have a ton of leftovers to use for the next couple of days. Here is what we had. If you didn't catch the post about our ten day challenge it's here.

Breakfast: Whole Wheat Banana pancakes and strawberries-These pancakes were so yummy and so filling. I have a bunch left over for tomorrow!

Snack: fruit leather

Daiya rolling out a tortilla
Lunch: Homemade mac and cheese with peas and watermelon

Snack: sprouted pretzels

Dinner: Fajitas on homemade tortillas- Woah...these things are an undertaking. The recipe makes a ton though and the kids loved helping, but the whole process took about an hour and we hadn't even started the other parts of the dinner. My tortillas in no way came out round, but they did taste delicious and I can't wait to use the leftovers to have wraps for lunch and snacks!

Dessert: pureed fruit popsicle

Finished pile of tortillas

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Menu Plan May 14-19

My family and I are taking a 10 day whole food challenge!! I was inspired by a blog I found about a family that did a whole food challenge for 100 days!!! Check it out here
What is a whole food challenge? 
Basically you eat real food only, no processed food or food with sugar! The rules are pretty simple and a lot of this we already try to do, but this will be challenging regardless. It will involve making a lot more things homemade instead of the quick packaged stuff. Even some of the organic processed food is just that processed. It, of course, can contain organic sugar which is still not good for you. 
Why do a whole food challenge? 
I am excited to give it a try and really excited to pay more attention to what I am eating. If you don't know about how food affects your whole life you can watch the documentary Food Matters or read the book Food Rules by Michael Pollan. They will change your life!! :)

Here are the rules we will follow (From the 100 days of Real Food website):

What you CAN eat:

  1. Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry
  2. Lots of fruits and vegetables
  3. Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese
  4. 100% whole-wheat and whole-grains 
  5. Seafood (wild caught is the optimal choice over farm-raised)
  6. Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef, and chicken 
  7. Beverages limited to water, milk, all natural juices,naturally sweetened coffee & tea, and, to help the adults keep their sanity, wine and beer!
  8. Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and popcorn
  9. All natural sweeteners including honey, 100% maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates are acceptable in moderation

What you CANNOT eat:

  1. No refined grains such as white flour or white rice (items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat…not just “wheat”)
  2. No refined sweeteners such as sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda
  3. Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label
  4. No deep fried foods
  5. No “fast foods”

I don't think that dinner is going to be the hard part for me. I will need to make my own crusts and tortillas. But breakfast and lunch will be a little more tricky. Homemade chicken nuggets and homemade mac and cheese will be great! They will just take more time and preparation. Breakfast will need to be homemade waffles, muffins and other yummy stuff. I will just need to plan this more than I usually do so I am sure to have all the right supplies.  I am excited to see just how "difficult" I find this challenge. The 100 days of real food website offers meal plans and tons of recipes here! There are also some other really great blogs/websites that focus on whole/real foods. Here are just a few that I like:

Photo and recipe from 100 Days of Real Food

Tuesday: Whole Wheat Pizza

Photo and recipe from 100 Days of Real Food

Wednesday: Fettucini Alfredo

Photo and recipe from 100 Days of Real Food

Thursday: Kabobs with Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Photo and recipe from Family Fresh Cooking

Friday: Homemade fish "sticks"

Recipe and photo from Super Healthy Kids

If you would also like to try the 10 day challenge click here!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Menu Plan May 7-11

If you haven't already stop over and LIKE my Facebook page! :)

Mother's day is right around the corner. You might decide to make your mom something special to eat! Mom's love when other people cook for them. Trust me everything tastes better when someone else cooks it! My mom happens to be a really great cook. She is the kind of cook that can just throw things together and they taste delicious every time. When I ask her how she made it she usually shrugs and says, "It was easy!" I learned to cook from my mom. I remember making so many things together. I remember making homemade egrolls, potato pancakes, lemon chicken stir fry, pineapple upside down cake, sauce and her famous soups and chowders. She has a natural talent for cooking.

I love to cook, but I am more of a recipe girl (as you can see). I like to have a recipe, but as I said before I almost always adjust the recipe to suit our needs. I usually try and make it a bit healthier by using whole wheat pastas, less butter, 1/2 and 1/2 and other small changes. I also try to adjust if there is something my family won't like or if it has eggs or nuts in it (for Cole). Mostly I just love to try new things and I can thank my mom for that. My husband says I am spoiled with food. I guess I never realized that I was. My mom made a different meal every night and we always tried new things. I guess not everybody did that!! Thankfully though now I can do the same for my family!

This week I am including a couple recipes you might want to make your mom for Mother's Day! Happy Mother's day to all the moms! :)

Monday: Turkey Burgers

I will probably use ground chicken in this recipe. I just like the taste better!

Photo and recipe from Macaroni and Cheesecake

Tuesday: Buffalo Chicken Quinoa

Photo and recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

Wednesday: Cobb Salad

Photo and recipe from The Family Kitchen

Thursday: Spinach Alfredo Pizza

Photo and recipe from The Way to His Heart

Friday Chicken on the grill

No recipe needed. I like to marinate my chicken in my favorite Newman's Own Family Recipe Italian dressing overnight. Throw it on the grill and YUMMY!! :)

Mother's day recipes:

Fruit Dip by: Iowa Girl Eats

Baked oatmeal by: Beauty and Bedlam

French Toast Bake by: Food Network


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Yummy Mango Smoothie

For the past two years I have dedicated one week to do a cleanse. I followed the cleanse from the book Clean by Alejandro Junger. This one week is free of anything that could negativeley impact you body, so no sugar, wheat, milk, anything processed, only select meats and seasonings. Basically you eat veggies and fruit along with a few other grains (brown rice, quinoa). He suggests 3 weeks for the cleanse, but I have only ever done one week at a time. It is so good for your body to flush out the bad and start fresh! While on the cleanse, each morning you drink a smoothie (or shake whichever you want to call it). But even when you are not on a cleanse the shakes can be great for a breakfast or a mid morning snack. This recipe is not from the book, but one I came up with after trying several different combinations. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Mango Smoothie

1 mango, peeled and chopped
5 strawberries, sliced
1 tsp raw honey (you may need more depending on the sweetness of your fruit)
1/2 cup almond milk (or coconut milk, or rice milk...etc.)
4/5 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients in a blender or our favorite The Magic Bullet. Enjoy! :)