Wednesday Snack Idea Inspiration

This is part of a snack attack series that will get your wheels turning. Kids get stuck in ruts just like we do. I feel like some days it’s just “crackers, momma, CRACKERS!” over and over… He’s actually thinking that he wants  to turn into a cracker. I try really hard to think outside the box, (no pun attended) ha ha. I have even started to really look hard at those boxes of processed easiness to find some what healthier options for this.

Roasting vegetables on shopping day is something that is easy to do while the groceries are being put away. Vegetables and hummus are really good for me too, mom’s gotta eat too folks.

IMG_20170329_120122_949

Something new I tried that was surprisingly successful was baked curry tofu. All I did was block up some firm tofu and toss it with coconut oil and curry powder (we love Penzeys spices)Then baked it at 350 for 25 minutes, tossing around after the first 15 or 20. The kiddos gobbled it up and later I tossed the leftover tofu into a vegan veggie curry I made for the momma neighbor.

Big fan of prepping one food for the use of one or more things ahead in the week. That’s the restaurant chef coming out in me, but really… SUPER HELPFUL.

Ideas for “That Polenta” That doesn’t come from a tube…

Yeah That’s right, you read things right. I have a few friends that tell me “yeah, polenta?! comes in a weird tube at the grocery store. I don’t like that stuff” Well friend, I don’t like “that stuff” too.

This is the first post of a series that helps you get past all that processed foods at the store. Please, make your own. Yes, you can do it and yes, you do have time. Your taste buds and your body will thank you later. I thought it would be really fun to start referencing different ingredients that are versatile, easy to cook and that probably are unfamiliar with some of you around these parts.

So What is Polenta??!

I have asked customers, in my past if they knew what Grits are. Super similar (Not the same type of corn) but I’m sure in the south looking for “pie crust grits” or replacing lasagna noodles with” layers of grits” is like looking for gluten free gumbo if you get the idea.

Polenta is ground cornmeal used in Italian cooking. Made into a creamy side, chilled and fried or into baking sweet treats. Because cornmeal is made from corn it’s naturally gluten-free.

20170215_140940.jpg

We love polenta.

I can make a big batch, and it’s so cheap. I just pour it into a baking dish and let it set up for a few hours or overnight. Then I can cut it into bite sized squares and sauté it with whatever veggies we have around.
This makes a great lunch and here we had it with cottage cheese sprinkled with chia seeds and a apple.


Have you all tried making your own polenta? It’s so worth it and versatile, add pesto, cheese or tomatoes right inside it for extra flavor.
Yes, it does require some attention as it cooks, but not more than, say, steel-cut oatmeal. Don’t fret about constant stirring, just stir a bit here and there and keep it on low. It does take 30-40 minutes. Most importantly the ratio of liquid—whether water, milk, or stock—to polenta, and the cooking time. Those are the things far too many people make the mistake at. Depending on the grind of the cornmeal, even a 4:1 ratio can be too low; I almost always use a ratio of 5 parts water to 1 part polenta by volume. If I am going to chill and then later grill the polenta I will use less water, 4 parts water to 1 part polenta.

🌽Here is a basic recipe 🌽

5 cups water, stock or milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cornmeal or polenta Bob’s Red Mill it’s our favorite and local here in Milwaukie, Or
optional- butter or oil

In a heavy saucepan bring the liquid and salt to a boil and gradually whisk in cornmeal in a thin stream. Cook polenta over moderately low heat (it should be barely boiling), Stir in butter or olive oil using either a spoon, silicon spatula, or whisk. If polenta forms lumps, beat vigorously with a stiff whisk to remove. If polenta becomes too firm or begins to set, add a small amount of water, stock, or milk, and beat in with a whisk until fully incorporate and no lumps remain. Polenta will keep warm, covered, about 30 minutes

Serve right away or scrape into a baking dish and chill until set, then cut into pieces for grilling, frying or sauté.

This is creamy polenta with spinach and parmesan, topped with tomato sauce.

20170328_192323

 

LikeMore options

Close

 

 

Eggs Are Not Just For Breakfast

Eggs are one of the most versatile food. They are inexpensive and a complete source of protein. Eggs can provide 20% of the day’s protein retirement and contain folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and beta carotene. Scrambled is a favorite around the house. We also love making Quiches without any crust or basically mini frittatas.

With how easy these Quiche are you can definitely whip up a batch to last a few days. They are great hot out of the oven, or cold for on the go. We love to make and take them camping.

You can clean out the fridge with these or plan ahead and make a mixture you really have been craving.

I made two different kinds here because my kid has been obsessed with corn in his eggs 🤣 that’s not a bad thing i guess.
🌳Greens and squash🌳

1/2 cup shredded squash
1/3 cup broccoli (minced)

1/3 cup or 2 leaves kale, remove stalk and chop well.

1 garlic clove, minced

sauté the veggies with 1 Tablespoons olive oil until dry and add to a muffin tin. (this made about 9 big muffins)

beat together:

5 eggs

1/2 Cup milk

pour over veggie mix and cook 325° for about 30 minutes.
🌽Corn and Tomato Quiche🍅

3/4 Cup Frozen Organic Corn

1 Tomato, diced or a small handfull of cherry type

1/3 Cup Frozen Organic Kale, chopped

3-4 fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Same idea with the directions just cook all the veggies til the tomato dries out the add to the tins with fresh basil amd top with cheese. Pour egg mixture over the veggies and cook about 30 mintues.

Add cheese, switch out veggies, fresh herbs, cheese, use frozen veggies and meat, what ever you like. You use 1-2 cups of filling for every four or five eggs.

Let’s talk SMOOTHIES

This is meant to provide a glimpse of ideas to tasty homemade smoothies and shakes. My goal is to serve you–to educate and inform on the power of whole food nutrition. I would love to show you all a little secret of nature over vitamins and how adding more fruits and veggies to anyone’s diet (healthy or not) can improve your quality of life.

BUSY.

It is a word we all know too well.  Between work, school and play– there never seems to be a right time to “slow down, before we can speed up.”  And our health is being compromised due to the “disease of being busy.”

We don’t have enough quality sleep. We opt for a soda or a caffeine-induced drink instead of water to get us through that wall we hit, midday.  Nutrition is usually found through a drive-thru on the way to life. And exercise—does running around after a toddler count?

Our kids are the biggest benefactors of the lifestyle choices we make. And given the epidemic of “busy” and the availability of unhealthy food choices, the Standard American Diet (SAD) is impacting our waistlines, our kids’ waistlines and our long-term wellness.  Take a look at some of the recent American health statistics.

look at numbers

We need help. It is much easier to train a child, than to fix a broken man.  

Why do we need all this?

Protein is a vital macronutrient for the body—meaning, we need relatively large amounts of it to stay healthy. Proteins play a crucial role in almost all biological processes. Our bodies use protein to build and repair tissues, make enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals.  It is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.

Amino Acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. They are the building blocks of proteins. What we know is that there are 20 different amino acids that can form a protein, nine of which, the body cannot produce on its own. These are called essential amino acids.  We need to supplement them into our diets. And the VERY best place to get essential amino acids: from whole foods.

Almost all of those ready to eat drink “smoothies” are ultra-processed and have some sort of added sugar, growth hormones or other added unhealthy ingredients.

We can make our own smoothies and shakes at home using tons of different real whole foods. It’s totally unnecessary to add any processed sweetness. Nature has been giving us natural options for thousands of years. Let’s look at some yummy options.

When I think of Smoothies I think first off, FRUIT.

wp-1489518245753.jpg

There are many options for Fresh or Frozen Fruit

  • Blueberries, Watermelon
  • Cherries, Apple
  • Bananas, Raspberries
  • Pineapple, Kiwi
  • Strawberries, Lime
  • Mango, Cranberries
  • Grapefruit, Lemon
  • Peach, avocado
  • Pear or grapes
  • Honeydew, Cantaloupe
  • Guava, Papaya
  • Elderberries, Figs

Keep in mind that Grapes, Banana, Mango, Cherries and Apples are (listed in order form highest to lowest), Fruits that are naturally high in sugars.

On the other hand fruits (listed in lowest to highest here) are low in total sugars, Avocado, Lemon, Strawberries, Papaya, Grapefruit and Blueberries.

wp-1489518388781.jpg

Veggies are great in smoothies.

You might need to Roast some first or chop raw ones smaller. It’s all based on your taste and how badass is your blender? -Haha

  • Carrots (shredded or Roasted)
  • Cucumber (seeds in or out but skin off)
  • Roasted Sweet Potato or Yams
  • Spinach, Kale, Arugula
  • Sweet pea shoots
  • Spirulina
  • Cauliflower (roasted or cut small)

wp-1489518559315.jpg

Natural Sweeteners, Nature’s Candy

wp-1489518636404.jpg

Fresh Herbs, Natural Extracts and Essential oils (I recommend Young Living brand)  Buy oils here

      • Ginger
      • Mint
      • Basil
      • Vanilla extract
      • Peppermint Vitality essential oil
      • Lavender Vitality essential oil

wp-1489518742443.jpg

Base Options to build upon

        • Ice is very common but frozen fruit helps add that cold frozen texture
        • Rice milk, Coconut milk or water
      • Unsweetened flax or and seed milk
      • Almond or any other nut milk
      • Fresh fruit and vegetable juice
      • Herbal Tea or coffee
      • Kombucha or Kefir
      • Water, works just as great

wp-1489518823301.jpg

Seeds and Nuts

      • Pumpkin, flax, chia or hemp Seeds
      • Almond, hazelnuts, cashews, peanuts
      • Walnuts, Quinoa 

Whole Grains

      • Cooked Steel Cut Oats
      • Soaked overnight Oats
      • Cooked Brown Rice
      • Cooked Wheat Berries

 The lists of possible Whole foods is endless!

wp-1489519070719.jpg

Here are some Ideas for great tasting smoothies that our family loves to drink. When introducing kids to smoothies, make sure they like the ingredients, it’s exciting! If you’re lucky your kid likes veggies otherwise disguise them with fruits or dairy products like yogurt or cream. There are a lot of alternative dairy products that would work well too.

These are ideas of different combos to play around with. No specific recipe here just experiment with your families taste.

      • Fresh Orange Juice (or orange), yogurt, peach and shredded carrot
      • Beet (peeled and diced) apple, blueberry, ginger, water
      • Kiwi, Avocado, orange any greens like spinach or parsley
      • Kale, banana, flax seeds, soy milk and a tiny bit of maple syrup
      • Grapes, banana, parsley any milk substitute
      • Cucumber (English, chopped) lemon, frozen pineapple, ginger and coconut water

These are combo smoothie recipes that we enjoy around our house. Most of these serve 2 smoothies or for 2 small people and some for Mom or Dad

Berry Refreshing Beach

      • 1 cup of fresh OJ and optional (some of that zest, before you juice it)
      • 3 cups frozen blackberries
      • 1 cup of coconut water or more if needed
      • ½ cup of frozen mango
      • Basil leaves to taste (Fresh, maybe 3-6 each)

Nutty madness

      • 1 apple skin on, core and chopped
      • 2 cups frozen papaya or (mango would work)
      • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk or (coconut water)
      • 1 cup of packed romaine lettuce or (spinach)
      • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
      • Pinch of cinnamon
      • (optional) sweetener like soaked dates or coconut sugar

These are great shake ideas that you can make with your Juice Plus Complete Mix. So easy and so convenient with a choice of those already measured out packets. If you don’t have the packets use approx. 1/3 cup.

Completely Pear-a-licious

      • 2 ripe Pears, skin on, cored and diced
      • ½ cup (plus more if needed) hemp milk or (any nut milk)
      • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
      • 1 vanilla Juice Plus Complete packet
      • 1 juiced Lime plus the zest (before you juice)
      • 1 soaked date, chopped a bit
      • ½ a banana
      • ½ cup of ice, crushed

Creamy Apricot Fighter

      • 1 ½ cups of coconut milk
      • 2 cups frozen peaches
      • 4 medium apricots, pitted and chopped
      • 1 packet of Juice Plus Vanilla Complete Mix

 

Sneaky Chocolate Boost

      • 1 cup almond milk plus (more if needed)
      • ¼ cup frozen broccoli
      • 1 banana
      • ½ ripe pear
      • ½ cup spinach
      • 1 cup cauliflower florets (steamed and cooled down)
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
      • tablespoons maple syrup
      • 1 packet of Juice Plus Chocolate Complete Mix
      • 1 cup of crushed ice

I wish I was Eating Thin Mints

      • 1 cup almond milk
      • 1 celery stalk, small diced
      • ½ avocado
      • 1 packet of Juice Plus Chocolate Complete mix
      • Fresh mint to taste ( 3 or 4 leaves)
      • 1-2 each Dates, soaked and chopped

Juice Plus Complete Shakes are great addition to help Bridge The Gap of our diets.

shake sample pic to post

It is pretty safe to say, not all proteins or protein mixes are created equal.

The JuicePlus Complete is a plant-based protein drink mix that provides the benefits of whole food nutrition. Real food made convenient to you. The right kind of proteins, from plant sources in either Dutch chocolate or French vanilla–large bags for the family to share or individual, single-serving packs for “on-the-go” healthy, fast food– Complete bridges the gap between what we do eat and what we should eat everyday.

Complete is certified Non-GMO, Certified Gluten-free, low fat, non-dairy, no cholesterol, no artificial coloring or flavors, no preservatives, low glycemic, low calorie and vegan.

Carrying a nutrition label, not a supplement label, means that what is inside each Complete pouch is real food. Not synthetic, isolated/fragmented vitamins created in a scientific lab.  It is important to distinguish between the two, as our bodies are designed to understand and process real food. It is what our cells are craving most.

Let’s take a deeper look at the nutrition label and highlight the amazing health benefits:

      • 6 plant-based proteins, including several types of “Complete” proteins, meaning they contain all the essential amino acids our bodies need
      • Ancient grain blend: amaranth, quinoa and millet.  Ancient grains house a stellar nutritional profile. They contain many essential vitamins, particularly B Vitamins, as well as minerals like magnesium and potassium and iron.
      • Sprouts: broccoli, alfalfa and radish.  Sprouts house as much as 100 times the digestive enzymes of uncooked fruits and veggies.. Imperative in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients.
      • Powders: pumpkin, pomegranate, spirulina and yucca
      • Great ratio of carbohydrates/fiber. Great balanced food source for diabetics.

dr. sears book

Complete is so easy, so versatile. It can travel with you anywhere.  But did you know it is now traveling to the hospital?  Dr. William Sears, world-respected pediatrician and author of more than 32 books on the care of children, is bringing Juice Plus Complete to the hospital.

Partnering with The Children’s Miracle Network and fully-sponsored by The JuicePlus Company, Dr. Bill has created an 80-page, hands-on guide for every family with a sick child, that enters a children’s hospital in the United States.  WOW!!

Dr. bills smoothie

Teaching families the power of healing through laughter, joy, music and good nutrition—our JuicePlus smoothie is featured as THE “healing smoothie.”  After all, it was Dr. Bill that coined the JuicePlus Complete as a “brainy breakfast.”

Think of the impact JuicePlus is having across the world, in teaching families the power of healthy nutrition.  We are not only a company that inspires healthy living across the world, but also a company that inspires healthy giving.

The wrap up

Obviously this has been all about smoothies, adding more nutrition and whole foods to your diet and also Juice Plus Complete (Shake) Program.  If you want a picture of what the Juice Plus Company has to offer, check out the image below.  You have several options in creating the right program for you.  You can start with Complete and “blend” it masterfully into your life.  Add the capsules or chews to flood your body with more produce. (and with an adult capsules or chews order a child ages 4 and older will get product for free as part of the Children’s Health Study)

JP choices

Thank you so much for your time and interest in learning more. I am having fun sharing recipes, and Juice Plus’s mission of inspiring healthy living across the world.

Get with me to learn more about ways to make your decision complete–all it takes is one simple change.

Please look at what Juice Plus has to offer your family and friends here over at  Juice Plus Healthy Living

Veggie Revolution

I set out on this mission to help my generation, friends, family, coworkers. Let’s learn together, better, stand up. I want to make a small difference in the world. I have passion and love here which really goes beyond helping get out ideas for kiddos but for us as adults too.

Thinking back on all those years I spent in the restaurant industry, with food, with customer’s comments (amazing and full of praise) they make me happy. I will never forget all those people in my past and present that encouraged and continue to push me up hill to try new things and keep on keeping on.

Now as a wife who has completely changed my world around and took on a job as Mommy and Toddler Chef, I think where has my passion for Food gone to? I love Burritos, pizza, pasta, ice cream, potato chips and chocolate amything. Where did my love of Veggies and Fruit go? I’m taking it back. I knew I am being unhealthy. I just kept saying “all I need to do is get my kid to eat well” Focus on him – Tunnel Vision –

img_20170302_211330_845000

No. The whole family needs to get healthy, time to stop worring. Time to start a new permit routine.

TIME TO START MY

VEGGIE REVOLUTION

Make MealsTogether

Tiny Helper can almost see what he’s actually cooking now. I’ve really been trying to set a healthy environment at home. Anything your kiddo can help with, no matter how small that task, will help them grow and learn how to eat. That’s what the ultimate goal is to make a difference with our children and help them build healthy habits for life.

I tell him, “This is the flour, lets add it to the bowl. Smell this cinnamon should we put some it? Taste this pineapple, its so good, lets chop some up and put it in the bowl too..what would you add to the pancakes? A tiny voice says *corn!* sounds so good, lets try!” And you know what, it was really tasty ❤

20170301_074439

Vegan Coconut, Pineapple and Corn Pancakes

  • 1 & 1/4 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup Coconut, Shredded Unsweetened
  • 1 Teaspoon Flax Seeds, whole
  • 1/3 Cup Dried Pineapple, Unsweetened
  • 1/3 Cup Organic Corn, Frozen
  •   1 & 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted+ more for cooking with

Mix the dry ingredients in a larger bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl mix the water, corn and Chopped up dried pineapple (let this sit 5 minutes or so to soften) then mix in the melted coconut oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently mix together. This might be a bit lumpy but that’s all good.

Fry in a pan over low/medium heat with more coconut oil. Enjoy! They need nothing, we love them hot outta the pan or even cold on the go.

 

Snack Idea Inspiration

Looking for a easy snack? This one is a hearty one for long playtime action, could even be lunch. I know it’s what I’m having for lunch.img_20170301_155501_986000

  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes  (tossed in coconut oil and roast for 20 minutes, until soft @ 375°)
  • Hard Boiled Egg
  • spinach hummus
  • Avocado

I did eat this for lunch but I put it all on a whole wheat sandwich and ate my sweet potatoes on the side.

Some of you have been wondering where I got these plates. We love them and even spaghetti sauce washes off these BPA free plates.  Made out of recycled milk jugs and so many colors!