My New Years Food Resolutions

  • I will successfully sprout something beyond quinioa. I want little green things growing in my kitchen that are there by choice.
  • I will learn to use the new rice cooker I gave my husband for his birthday.  Which is kinda like him giving me a basketball (and I don’t play basketball)
  • I will not stick my fingers in a blender ever, ever again.
  • I will make my own protein powder, using this recipe.
  • I will make at least one new recipe a week.

Any new food resolutions for you?

Two Cakes and Some Miso Soup

For Christmas morning breakfast (with our family of 4) my daughter requested carrot cake.  I started to refuse, then thought about it and realized carrot cake is no less healthy than cinnamon rolls, pumpkin waffles and other holiday breakfasts. In fact, with 2 cups of shredded carrots and some whole wheat flour, it isn’t actually that bad for a special occasion treat.

I used a Cooking Light recipe that I’ve made several times before.  I will get around to making a vegan version soon, but wanted a tried and true recipe for this occasion.  It didn’t disappoint.  I made it Christmas Eve while watching Love Actually with the husband as we assembled the kid’s toys.  The cake tastes best cold, so it’s a good one to make in advance.

I had a couple of bites, but knew if I was going to have energy to stay in good spirits for a whole day of Christmas excitement, I needed something a little more sustaining.  So, I pulled out two very traditional Christmas ingredients:

And made a bowl of miso soup with the veggies I had in the fridge.

We had a full day of food and fellowship at my husband’s parent’s house.  We ended the day like it started, with a cake.  This time it was a yummy homemade German Chocolate cake made with love for my husband by his mama.  The husband’s birthday is after Christmas and, as do all post Christmas babies, he often gets overlooked in the Christmas craziness.

Happy Birthday Babe!

Curried Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas

The moms from my Bible study class had a holiday lunch gathering.  I knew there would be a Chick-Fil-A nugget tray, but after recently reading ” target=”_blank”>Eating Animals (and other books), I have moved from eating mostly vegetarian to being a vegetarian.  No nuggets for me.  At the same time, I also didn’t want to make a big deal about it with my friends and make anyone uncomfortable, so I made this salad for my meal.

In the spirit of keeping it real, my kids did eat the nuggets.  I’m trying to navigate the waters when it comes to how I feed them in social situations when all of their peers are eating food that I don’t feel good about.  My kids don’t currently share my convictions.  They are 5 & 2 – clearly they don’t get the implications of factory farming and other moral dilemmas associated with eating meat.  I don’t serve them meat at home and very rarely order it for them when we are out as a family.  However, once or twice a month we are in a situation like this where I have trouble asking them to forgo what all of their friends are eating.  I load up their plates with fruit and veggies and crackers and all the non-meat sides, but I do let them have the meat.

Okay, on to the recipe:

Curried Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas

  • 1 cup quinoa – I used sprouted, but regular would work fine
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin

Bring all ingredients to a boil and cover, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool.

When cool, toss with:

  • 1 green apple, diced
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 c diced cilantro
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1/4 c diced green onions

Mix up and stir in dressing:

  • 3 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • salt and pepper to taste

A couple of days later the kids and I went on an outing and I enjoyed the salad again as a picnic lunch, while they ate pb&j.

Any other mamas out there facing this same dilemma with allowing/not allowing your kids to eat something based on your personal convictions?

Do you agree that it is quite hard to explain to a child that young why they aren’t allowed to eat something with all their friends, or am I taking the easy way out?

Balsamic Glazed Collard Greens with Pine Nuts and Raisins

I had this for lunch last week after finding the recipe in The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone.  I don’t like collard greens in smoothies.  I do like using them for wraps (like these and these), but even then, only eat 3-4 leaves.  With this recipe, a cooked one, I ate the entire bunch in one sitting.

You’ll have to check out the book to get the recipe, but it is quite simple.  The balsamic vinegar helps tone down the bitterness of the greens and the sweet raisins really compliment the flavor.  Pine nuts, well they make anything better.  :)

Move Over Green Smoothies – it's Miso Soup time!

With the weather a bit cooler (not cold, mind you, I do live in Texas), I’m not craving green smoothies in the morning as much.  I’m actually on week 3 of eating soup every morning.  It’s not raw, as I like something warm.

I don’t really follow a recipe as much as I put in whatever sounds good.  It is generally the following added to vegetable broth and simmered until veggies are soft:

  • daikon radish
  • carrots
  • kale
  • cabbage
  • onions
  • ginger

When I get ready to eat my daily portion, I stir in miso.  It’s a hearty, savory breakfast that is really hitting the spot these days.

Never fear, I sill love my Vita Mix.  It is just getting a bit of a winter break.

Merry Christmas From Myself To Myself

So, um, I bought myself something. Two somethings. During December. Before I had bought anything for my own parents. Good thing I know Santa and can explain….

A friend had recommended Clean Food and, after checking it out of the library and realizing I didn’t want to hand-copy every single recipe down, I decided to buy my own copy.  As a side note, I love ‘screening’ books from the library first.  It is a great money saver, as some cook books only have a couple of recipes that I will actually make and I can learn that before spending the money on the book.  Others, like this one, I realize are worth the money.

Any fantastic cookbooks that are new to you ?

Anyone else buy themselves things while they are supposed to be shopping for others? Like the sweater I bought myself at Costco yesterday in addition to my dad’s gift?  Or the ‘one for her, one for me’ dark chocolate bars for my mother in law?

Holiday Baking Bonanza

The Baking Bug has hit!

We made plates for the neighbors and the kids were so cute and excited to deliver them.  They’d ring the doorbell and yell out “Merry Christmas” as the door opened.  I was a bit worried my little guy would think that it was also appropriate to yell out “Trick or Treat,” since that phrase earned him way too much candy a couple of months ago on those same doorsteps, but he was fine.

Banana Chocolate Chip Biscotti from Baking Squirrel – very good.  Not too sweet, which is just how I like my biscotti.

Martha Stewart Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Betty Crocker (from a pouch) Gingerbread Cookies

White Chocolate Dipped Pretzels with Peppermint Sprinkles

Reindeer Droppingslovely title – from the Sunday paper.  Melt chocolate, stir in marshmallows and peanuts and ‘drop’ onto wax paper to harden.

Peppermint Bark recipe from back of the crushed peppermint bag, which looks to be this one.  SO GOOD!!!  I’m taking it to the kid’s preschool teacher’s tomorrow.

Bourbon Caramel Truffles from Cooking Light.  My first attempt at truffles and they turned out pretty good.  It’s quite a messy process, but the end product is delicious.

What’s that?  You want to know what my kids were doing during all of this baking?  Well, since you asked, they taped blocks to their feet and tried to ‘ice skate’ in the kitchen.  I give them props for their creativity, but did not appreciate their using up the whole tape dispenser of tape.  And, yes, they both fell a lot, especially my little guy.  One benefit of not-being-potty-trained-and-yes-I-am-trying is that a diaper provides a cushy landing spot.