Monday, November 29, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Hello all! It's Monday again! Where did the week go? I don't know about you, but last week felt like a whirlwind with the holiday and all. I want to encourage you to not throw your good eating habits out the window with the holidays coming up. I know it can be tempting, but I know when I stray from eating organic, wholesome food that my body is NOT happy with me. I end up lethargic, feeling yucky, and get headaches...almost like I have a hangover because of the food I ate. I also end up with more problems with my asthma. I have been pretty successful keeping it at bay with diet and exercise, but when I eat more dairy the symptoms coming creeping back in.

Anyway, I will get off my soapbox now and share my menu plan. That's why you're all here, right? :)

Monday - Leftover turkey, mac & "cheese"
Tuesday - Turkey fajitas on whole wheat tortillas
Wednesday - Lentil sloppy joes on whole wheat rolls
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Falafel in whole wheat pitas with tahini sauce
Saturday - Leftovers
Sunday - Calzones with homemade sauce

**All dinners served with a heaping portion of green salad**

Breakfasts will be yogurt with banana and wheat germ, smoothies, muffins, toast with almond butter, and cereal.
Lunches will be leftovers, more smoothies, salads, raw "cookie dough" (a mix of oatmeal, almond butter, sprinkle of cinnamon, dash of vanilla and a drizzle of maple syrup...yum!), and PB&J.

Check out more menu plans at Orgjunkie and Fit Meals Monday.

Just some food for thought (no pun intended): Chemical fertilizer is often (if not always) made from ammonium nitrate, which happens to be the key ingredient in making explosives. Pesticides are based on poisonous gases which were developed for WW II (information taken from Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma). Do you truly know what you're eating???

I know for some people it seems financially impossible to buy all organic. Try to convert to organic for the most heavily sprayed foods known as the dirty dozen: celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, spinach, kale, cherries, potatoes, and imported grapes (leafy greens, carrots, pears and tomatoes are also some foods to consider based on how many pesticides are used. They have been on previous "dirty dozen" lists, but were dropped this year). Source There are other reasons to convert to organic food, but that's another post for another time.

Happy Monday everyone! :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Menu plan Monday

Hi friends! I usually try to post my menu plan earlier in the day, but little Miss J and I have had a busy day so far. It's Thanksgiving this Thursday, so we will be dining elsewhere. The rest of the week will be busy as ever. Here is what we are eating this week:

Monday - We are actually taking our friend out who was kind enough to watch J until super late on Saturday night. She rocks!
Tuesday - Turkey and potato leek soup (I still haven't made this...oy)
Wednesday - Not sure what we're having this night yet
Thursday - Thanksgiving!!!!!!!! I love turkey! :)
Friday - BBQ chicken paninis
Saturday - Calzones with homemade sauce
Sunday - Lentil stew (we're going to need a break from this meat-heavy week!)

Breakfasts will be plain yogurt with banana and wheat germ, smoothies, banana bread, and cereal.
Lunches will be leftovers (there will be plenty this week!), more smoothies, salads and PB&J.

What's on your menu? To get some fresh ideas, head to Orgjunkie. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Power to the Hippies!

In the last year or so, I have been referred to as a "hippie" many times. If you saw me, I wouldn't look like what you might picture a hippie to look like. I don't have dreadlocks or clothes made of hemp. I am a pretty unassuming person. However, many things that happen within my home have been considered hippie-ish. I cloth diaper, we eat a fair amount of vegetarian meals, I add things to our diets like chia seeds, cacao, and kombucha. We don't eat anything processed (unless you consider pasta processed...I have tried to make my own to no avail.), I only have whole wheat flour in my house, and no refined sugar. We try to conserve energy, shop consignment, shop directly from the farm, and make any products we can (like soap, shampoo, etc.). Am I a little crunchy? Sure! And I'm okay with it. So what's my point?

My point is in the last two and a half months, I have added more raw food to our diets, introduced many of those "hippie" products (such as chia seeds, cacao, and kefir), and eliminated even more things that may be considered processed. In those two and a half months, my daughter has grown two inches, gained two pounds and has added about 30 words to her vocabulary. We have adjusted her diet to accommodate for what we think is wrong with her tummy (fructose malabsorption) and added different products to give her more nutrition.

J gets chia seeds in her smoothies in the morning, which provide five times the calcium of milk and are high in omega-3's. You should see the looks I get when I tell people that we eat chia seeds. You would think I had three heads. J also gets kefir in her smoothies, which is a dairy product, but is 99% lactose free. It's high in calcium, but doesn't cause her the stomach upset that dairy does. We've also introduced kale chips. J LOVES them! I am pretty sure she would eat a whole batch if I let her. They are so good for her too!

We have been down a long road with J's tummy. It's been a heck of a battle to try and figure out what's wrong with her and to make her more comfortable. Now she's a little bit higher on the weight portion of the growth chart and she's really doing great. Do I think that her speech necessarily has to do with her diet? Directly, I can't be sure. Indirectly, definitely. She is going without her pacifier more often, which is encouraging her to talk. She goes without her pacifier because she's more comfortable...she has less belly pain. Would she have grown this much and gained that amount of weight without the "hippie" products? Possibly, but since we've added them, she's jumped more on the growth charts than she had before.

So, all that to say that you can't argue with what I'm doing. If being a hippie gives me a healthy, happy baby girl, then power to the hippies!

You also can't argue with this face:

I would rather see a face like that than the sad, painful face I've seen on my baby girl so many times before. I happen to be a fan of hippies. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I used last week to stock up on some deals that I found like Muir Glen products - purchase $15 of products and get $5 off instantly. I stocked up on crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste for soups, sloppy joes and sauce. We also got two medium chickens from our local farm, which will feed us for awhile. My grocery budget will be toward the higher end of what I like to see, but we'll have to buy less next month. Here's what we are eating this week:

Monday - Black bean burgers on whole wheat rolls with homemade sweet potato fries
Tuesday - Leftovers
Wednesday - Oven roasted chicken and potato leek soup (the soup is a carryover from last week)
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Calzones with homemade sauce
Saturday - Lentil stew
Sunday - Leftovers

Breakfasts will be yogurt with banana and wheat germ, smoothies, juice, cereal and eggs.
Lunches will be leftovers, sandwiches, raw oatmeal "cookie dough" cereal, and smoothies.

Stuck in a rut? Check out some other meal plans for ideas at Orgjunkie and Fit Meals Monday.

Make sure to stop by my blog later to read about my latest attempt at homemade dark chocolate almond butter cups. Yum! Happy Monday!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Menu plan Monday

This week should be pretty low key, not too busy. I am hoping to get some bulk cooking done to put stuff in the freezer for a later date. I have been hitting my freezer a fair amount lately and nothing has been done to restock. This is what our menu plan looks like for this week:

Monday - Lentil sloppy joes on whole wheat rolls (I made a ton of lentils last week, so we are just having this meal again this week. ;))
Tuesday - Black bean and corn burritos with whole wheat tortillas
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Chili and cornbread
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Calzones with marinara sauce
Sunday - Potato and leek soup

All meals will be served with a big green salad of some sort. We are salad lovers in this house! :)

Breakfasts will be muffins, granola bars, waffles, smoothies, eggs, and yogurt with fruit.
Lunches will be leftovers, PB&J, salads, and more smoothies.

Need more ideas? Check out Orgjunkie or Fit Meals Monday. Happy meal planning!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Raw Brownies

Many of you expressed interest in the raw cake and the raw brownies that I made for J's birthday. I have zero pics of the failed raw cake because, as I said, it was the last thing on my mind to take pics since I was so infuriated that it failed. Why did I decide on a raw cake? Well, it's better for us to consume something made from dates and walnuts than something with lots of refined sugar and flour. Also, J has lots of stomach sensitivities and one of the things she has trouble with is table sugar. Last year I made two separate cakes...this year I was determined to make only one. Unfortunately my first attempt was a huge failure!

I had made the raw brownies in the past and they were a good go-to recipe to recover from the failed cake. Everyone liked them, especially J, so that's all that mattered. I got this recipe from Averie:

Raw Brownies

1 c. Medjool dates
1/2 cup soaked walnuts
1/2 heaping cup of cacao powder
1/2 cup agave nectar (adjust to the sweetness that you prefer)
2-3 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until mixture is smooth. Put the mixture into an 8x8 glass dish and place in the freezer for a few hours. It's not necessary to put the brownies in the freezer, but it does help them set a little better.

I enjoy this recipe because it's fast, easy and satisfies my occasional desire for brownies. I must tell you that this does not resemble the texture of brownies, it's more like fudge. Still yummy though. I know there is a lot of controversy on agave nectar and how it's processed. I have been reading a lot about it and am on the fence. My usual preference for sweeteners are honey or maple syrup. This was a birthday celebration, so I wasn't going to split hairs about using agave. :)

Here is the final product (complete with manufactured and artificially colored frosting...we cut around it for J):

And here is a VERY happy baby J, diving into her treats (raw brownies and raw ice cream):
The messier the food is, the more fun we have!
Her celebration was a great time and I was just glad I was able to recover with this recipe! :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Menu plan Monday

Looks like another veggie filled week for us. J's second birthday was on Wednesday and I had a great big huge raw birthday cake FAIL! I didn't take pics because, honestly, that was the last thing on my mind when it didn't turn out. Let's just suffice it to say that I blended it too long and the oil started to separate from the walnuts. I ended up with an oily mess. :( I recovered by making raw brownies, but I wasted probably $15 worth of ingredients with my failure. Then I had to buy more ingredients for the raw brownies. Anyway, all that to say that we won't be having meat until the weekend. Here's our plan:

Monday - Calzones with homemade sauce
Tuesday - Ratatouille on homemade rolls
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Lentil sloppy joes (carry over from last week)
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Chicken chili
Sunday - Leftovers

Breakfasts will be the normal muffins, waffles, granola bars, and smoothies.
Lunches will be leftovers, PB&J, salads, and raw oatmeal "cookie dough" cereal.

To see others' plans for the week, check out Orgjunkie and Fit Meals Monday.