Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Meal Plan: 6/13 - 6/19

I can't believe we survived last week!  Just barely, sheesh.  The Summer vs. the Summers family.  Yikes.

Mexican Monday: awesome meatless chili w/ avocado chunks
Oriental Tuesday: veggie stir fry w/ spicy peanut sauce
Twisted Wednesday: banana walnut pancakes w/ homemade vanilla yogurt
Authentic Thursday: eggplant parmigiana w/ brown rice pasta
TGIFriday: salmon burgers w/ grilled veggies & watermelon smoothies
Super Saturday: curried cashew salad w/ strawberry frozen yogurt for dessert
Special Sunday: FATHER'S DAY (at the folks)

Upcoming recipe: undecided.  I'm leaning (rather heavily) toward overnight oats.  Or maybe my less-sugar strawberry preserves...  Decisions, decisions!  *B

Friday, June 10, 2011

blend it up

I've had a VitaMix for most of my married life.  My in-laws offered us the choice of said blender or a karaoke machine for Christmas, and I've been happy with our choice ever since :)  It really is one of my most prized possessions... I even grabbed my blender alongside precious family photos during a fire evacuation in CA.  It's my other baby, and I use it all the time.  I make sure to bring it to any class I teach; it gets the job done!

Now, if you're in the market for a high-end blender, I would definitely recommend a VitaMix or the Blendtec.  Check out the reviews at Got Greens? and Blend Happy for a side-by-side comparison.  I prefer the VitaMix because it's straight forward.  I can control my blending with the flip of a switch, or the turn of a dial.  I don't care for high-tech buttons or display screens, or preset blending options.  And I like using the tamper for making frozen yogurt.  Besides, VitaMix has been around longer (since the 1940's).  It's a solid, well built machine.  It's also the machine used by Starbucks, Jamba Juice and Food Network's Iron Chef.  And it's the machine for me :)

If you're serious about raw/wholefood blending, then you need a serious blender.  Otherwise you'll find yourself forever chopping, peeling, coring and hulling.  And you'll probably have issues with leaking, overheating, not-so-smooth smoothies, etc.  You'd be better off putting your money toward something that'll really blend.  Your health, and the health of your family, is definitely worth it.  *B

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Slightly Nutty Green Drink

My green drinks all have one thing in common: their hue.  But each one has a very distinct flavor all their own...  This one is smooth and nutty, and very satisfying.

  • 1 c. rice milk
  • 1 T. almond butter
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach, frozen
  • 1 banana, frozen
  1. Place ingredients in order as listed in a blender.  Blend on high until super smooth.  If you don't have frozen spinach or banana, then throw in a couple of ice cubes.  Serve cold.
I love to drink this one sometime between lunch and dinner, right when those afternoon munchies hit!  It always hits the spot.  *B

Energizing Green Drink

Growing up my mom would occasionally make us a green drink with parsley and spinach.  I loved them!  But she never had a specific recipe (she never does).  So I came up with my own... In college, my friends/roommates were seriously disturbed with my blended beverages, and none were brave enough to try them.  I think they might have attempted an intervention of sorts, they were that worried about me.  During my final year at school, I made a green drink as part of a presentation for my classmates.  Most tried it, and several liked it.  Take that, roommates!  And thank you mom for raising me proper :) 

  • 2 c. pineapple juice
  • 1 T. chia seeds (opt)
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, trimmed
  • 1 handful baby spinach, frozen
  • 1 tiny cucumber, peeled & frozen (about 4 inches)
  • 1 celery stalk, frozen
  1. Place ingredients in order as listed in a blender.  Blend on high until super smooth.  If you don't have frozen veggies, then throw in a couple of ice cubes.  Serve cold.
The pineapple juice makes for a really sweet drink, but balances nicely with the rest of the ingredients.  If you don't like parsley (Mandi), then replace it with another handful of spinach.   If you don't like cucumbers, substitute zucchini.  If it's too sweet for you, try it with half juice and half water.  Just make it work for you... Because if you're feeling sluggish and need a little fresh pick me up, this oughta do it!  *B

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

going halfsies

I hate oatmeal.  Pretty sure I've said that before...  I've tried to make oatmeal from scratch for my kids with little success, and I wasn't going to force them to eat something I couldn't.  The only kind I can choke down is the sugary instant kind that comes in individual packets.  So, nowadays I buy said packets.  I read the ingredients and buy what's best on the shelf (I prefer the store brand from Fresh & Easy), then I combine all the packets into one container.  When the eldest has a bowl of oatmeal, I just eyeball a packet's worth of oatmeal and then I add a handful of rolled oats (I prefer Coach's Oats, which we get at Costco).  Half sugary-instant, half wholesome.  I do the same thing for cold cereal: half honey-nut Cheerios, half regular Cheerios.  I mix my white and wheat flours when I bake, too.  Same goes for white/brown rice, and white/wheat pasta, etc.  The ultimate goal is to eat wholesome foods.  But eating half-some is better than none-some.  *B

Monday, June 06, 2011

Summer-friendly Meal Plan

Last week was our first week of Summer.  And let me just say, it's going to be a lonnng one!  The husband is MIA from 1:00 AM to 5:30 PM (with a bedtime of 7:00 PM), 5-6 days/week.  In the meantime, the soon-to-be first-grader is going stir crazy.  Not to mention I'm still working a few hours every week, and filling up the rest of our days with gym and library outings and swimming and piano lessons, all without my own car.  Many thanks go to my chauffeur mom who makes it all possibe!  So my weekly meal planning is a little more... relaxed.  I still try and stick with the daily themes, but I don't have a specific meal planned for dinner.  Instead, I sat down with the eldest and together we came up with a Summer breakfast/lunch plan:

-scrambled eggs

-soup w/ cheesy toast

-chicken nuggets w/ steamed broccoli

-sneaky quesadillas w/ grapes

-breakfast drink w/ muffin
-nachos w/ apples & carrots

-sandwich w/ crafty applesauce

Snacks (to be eaten between meals):
-rice crackers w/ hummus
-fruit & yogurt pops
-hard-boiled eggs
-animal crackers w/ almond butter & honey
-trail mix

And I pretty much eat the same as the kids.  Except I opt for overnight oats in lieu of oatmeal, and I almost always pick granola over cold cereal...  My snacks also include things like homemade vanilla Greek yogurt with chopped walnuts and prunes.  Mmm, so good!  I tried to keep our meals (and snacks) nice and balanced.  For example, I don't like to eat wheat or dairy more than once a day.  So I didn't want to have a muffin for breakfast then a sandwich for lunch.  It's important to make sure to eat a varied diet, so that we're getting all the nutrients we need from all sorts of sources.  Plus, it keeps things interesting ;)

Upcoming recipe: another green drink, or two.  And hopefully this week I'll have some energy to discuss blender options!  *B