Muffin Tin Lunches (for the Munchkins)

My daughter has definitely inherited my love of variety in her meals.  She is not a one-food girl.  I hear of kids that will only eat one food and demand that food for every meal.  That is not her.  She wants 4-5 things at each meal.  Sometimes I love that because it allows for a variety of nutrients.  Other times it can be a bit of a burden, like the time we went to a birthday party and they served only pizza and she almost couldn’t eat because she wanted “more things on her plate, please.”  I ended up scrounging for cheerios and pistachios from my bag in order to break the monotony of her plate.

raisins, cashews, cucumbers, strawberries, broccoli slaw, grapes
bananas, peanuts, red peppers, cheerios, celery, crackers

My little guy, however, is another story.  Same parents (no scandal here), same exposure to foods and even a front row seat to his beloved big sister’s full and diverse plates, and, well, he’s fine with one thing on his plate.  He thankfully isn’t the type of kid who only eats one thing, but I think he could be if he had a different mom.  Lucky for him (or unlucky?), I am as stubborn as he is and I fill his plate with several things.  Granted some go untouched, but I keep on keeping on.  He’s actually making progress with his vegetable consumption – last night he only nibbled on his rice and beans and asked for thirds of his cucumbers and carrots.  He won’t be eating red peppers anytime soon like his big sister was doing at his age, but, dog gone it, he may just learn to appreciate foods that aren’t Cheerios.

no one was toothpick stabbed in the making of this picture:

red peppers, yellow peppers, mushrooms, peanuts, strawberries, cucumbers
carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, avocados, cashews, oranges

Both kids really like Muffin Tin Lunches and I try to make them once a week.  It consists of me filling up a muffin tin with twelve different things and letting them duke it out as they jump in and start eating.  Sometimes, if I’m feeling particularly reckless, I give them toothpicks and let them spear the food.  I always keep a box of band-aid handy.  :)  Other times, when I’m not feeling up to playing referee, I use my mini-muffin tins and make one for each of them.

for my little man: cashews, cucumbers, cheese, frozen corn, carrots, spinach
coleslaw, peanuts, celery, grapes, oranges, cheerios

for my little lady: cashews, tomatoes/cucumbers, cheese, red peppers, carrots, spinach, coleslaw, peanuts, celery, grapes, oranges, cheerios

 

Apple Cranberry Sprouted Quinoa Salad

Even as a stay-home mom, I find Mondays to be a bit crazy.  Today found me running errands, cooking a pot of beans for dinner, making almond milk, feeding and playing with the kids, working on potty training (not for the faint of heart) with my little guy and roasting some pumpkin seeds, all before noon.  When noon hit and I realized I needed lunch, I made a festively fall (but sadly un-photogenic) raw dish for lunch today:

Apple Cranberry Sprouted Quinoa Salad

  • 3/4 c sprouted quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 c dried cranberries
  • 1/2 medium apple, chopped
  • dash of honey and cinnamon

Mix all together and let sit for a bit for flavors to meld.

Here is a favorite picture from the weekend.  Some raw sweetness,  if you will. :)

Hope your Monday is looking up!

 

Banana Bliss x 2

A quick snack yesterday that made me really happy:

Bananas + Chocolate Coconut Butter

And today, in the frozen version:

Banana Soft Serve mixed with Chocolate Coconut Butter

My little guy enjoyed this two.  I had to make two batches since he ate almost the whole first batch before I could get a bite.  I love that it’s a food I can serve him guilt free – bananas, coconut and a bit of dark chocolate – all great stuff!  And, yes, he is wearing a Barbie Band-aid.  It’s all the rage in the 2 year old boy scene.

Raw Pizza

Pizza is one of my very favorite cooked foods.  My all-time favorite pizza is the Baked Potato Pizza at Pizza Luce in Minneapolis.  Oh how I miss the unexpectedly delicious combination of carbs on carbs.  There is some steamed broccoli on top, so the whole things isn’t white.

I started with (and then modified) the Raw Pizza recipe in Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, and while it’s no Baked Potato Pizza, it is pretty darn tasty.  My disclaimer would be this: although it is titled pizza, it doesn’t taste much like a cooked pizza.  Some raw foods have cooked food titles like ‘raw pasta’ that is actually spiralized zucchini, ‘raw cheese sauce’ that is actually blended cashews and seasonings and ‘raw muffins’ that are actually dehydrated mounds of dates/nuts/etc.  I think these titles can be a bit misleading, but they also give a general idea as to the type of food.  Raw cashew ‘cheese’ sauce doesn’t taste much like cow’s milk cheddar cheese sauce, but, you can use them in similar applications such as spread on crackers or as a dip.  I think expecting the raw version of a recipe to taste like the cooked version will set you up for disappointment.  Treating it as it’s own food and tasting it with no pre-conceived notions will allow for a more open mind and might just have you finding a new tasty food.

So, with all those words, I’m pretty much saying this is not a dead ringers for Dominos.  And that is a good thing.  This is healthier and much, much easier to digest.

Flatbread Crust

  • 1/4 c buckwheat, soaked and dehydrated and ground
  • 1.5 c chopped celery
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 c flax seeds, ground

1. Blend celery, oil, salt and water until smooth.  Add flax meal and mix well.  Add buckwheat powder and blend well.

2. Spread batter onto lined dehydrator tray – it will fill it about halfway

3. Dehydrate for 8 hrs at 104.  Flip and dehydrate another 4 hours at 104.

 

Tomato Sauce

this is fantastic and would be a great dip or spread for crackers (raw or cooked)

  • 1.5 cups sweet tomatoes – cherry or campari work well
  • 1 pitted date
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

Blend all ingredients until smooth

Savory Sprinkle Topping

also quite good – very savory and almost cheese-like in taste

  • 1/2 c cashews, ground
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Mix together in a food processor until a parm cheese-like powder forms

What is your favorite pizza combination?

A Few of My Favorite Things

A fantastic book – Year of Wonders by G. Brooks – and creamy, sweet breakfast drink

These pumpkin scones (uh, not raw, :) in case you couldn’t tell)

My little pumpkins

Another batch of orange-avocado sorbet, shared with my little guy (who is temporarily named snot-machine), in hopes the the Vitamin C will help his little cold.

Also -

The movie Cars. We watched it for the first time on Friday night and I was thrilled to discover a Disney movie that doesn’t have an evil mother figure, dying parent or emphasis on the prince saving the princess.

30 Rock.  Love, love, love that show.

Groupon – just redeemed a 10 class card at a yoga studio and am so excited about the next 9 classes.  In January I’m going to redeem another groupon for Bikram yoga which should be interesting to say the least.  Have also used Groupons recently for a pumpkin patch and my favorite burrito place (Freebirds).

What are you loving these days?

Chocolate Coconut Butter

I made this chocolate-coconut butter (not raw since I used a regular chocolate bar, not raw cacoa).  It’s chilling in the fridge and will be used atop steel cut oats and banana flax crepes.

Chocolate and Coconut? Bliss…….

Want to see something that doesn’t combine as well as chocolate and cocount?  How about my son after his big sister talked him into dressing up like a fairy?  He’s going to kill me for this someday:

Orange + Avocado = surprisingly good!

I’ve already marveled at the orange + broccoli combo, but I have an even more random one for you today: orange + avocado.

I saw a recipe in my VitaMix cookbook for an Orange Avocado Sorbet and was quite intrigued.  Here is my modified version:

Orange Avocado Sorbet

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • about 1in square of orange peel
  • 1/2 small lemon, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp honey (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups ice

Blend in vitamix until sorbet forms.  Then eat and be amazed.

My husband could quite get past the green color, but did agree that it tasted just like an Orange Julius.  Anyone else remember getting Orange Julius in the mall?  Back in the tight-rolled jeans and scrunchie days?  I remember getting an Orange Julius and a pack of sour patch kids and walking around feeling so cool to be old enough to be at the mall with my friends and no parents.

Now I can’t imagine letting my kids go to the mall alone.  I will be the mom walking stealthily behind her kids, hoping they don’t catch me.  I’ll leave my scrunchie at home, you know, as to avoid embarrassing them and all.  :)

Quinoa Grape Salad

In efforts to eat some of the food out of my pantry before adding more to it - Hi, I’m Michelle and I’m a compulsive grocery shopper – I came across a box of red quinoa sitting quietly behind some almonds and chocolate chips.  I put 1/2 a cup into a bowl of water and soaked overnight.  The next morning I rinsed and put in a strainer over a bowl and covered the strainer and waited for the cute little quinoa tales to emerge.

I’ve sprouted quinoa before and used it to make a tabouleh type salad.  But, tomato season is sadly coming to an end and I’m not a fan of bland tomatoes in a dish that features them.  So, I modified a recipe I copied down from Raw Food, Real World and came up with this:

Quinoa Grape Salad

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, soaked and sprouted
  • 2 Tb lime juice
  • 1 Tb macadamia nut oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • 3/4 c chopped grapes
  • 3/4 c chopped celery
  • 1/3 c chopped cilantro
  • 1 green onion, diced

Mix quinoa – salt together and let sit at least an hour.  Add in remaining ingredients and let sit another hour for optimum flavor.

This could probably serve two, but I ate it all in one sitting.  It was different and delicious.  I loved the sweet grapes contrasting with the salty dressing, the crunchy celery and the fresh addition of cilantro.  It is a recipe I’ll be making again soon.

My Monday Mojo

I’ve been quite productive so far today and hope to set the tone for a productive week. I’ve made almond milk and the kid’s smoothie.

I’ve made chocolate coconut butter – post to come.

I’ve made a batch of bars.  These were made in the food processor with the remaining chocolate coconut butter with cashews, dates, almonds, some dehydrated almond pulp (from last week’s almond milk), vanilla and salt.

I wrap them individually and store in the fridge so the husband and I can grab one on the go.

I’ve sprouted quinoa and made a new salad – recipe to come.

I’ve done my Insanity workout after a week long break.  Ouch.  Could feel that I’ve taken too long of a break.

I made a yummy almond -banana-cinnamon drink for my post workout breakfast.

Now I have to go wash a massive load of dishes and appliances. :(  Oh, and myself, because Insanity produces insane amounts of perspiration.  Oh, and I should probably check on the kids….