0

Brunch is the Bomb

Uuughhh so I know I have been SUPER slacking on this whole updating my blog thingy. It’s just that I have this magic laundry that multiplies every time you wash it and I think my dishes came from the same magic factory because get this…..I will wash them ALL…then I go upstairs and come back down and there are like 74 billion dishes in the sink. Crazy, right? So that combined with the fact that apparently I have to feed my tribe everyday has been keeping me pretty busy….Oh and I’m completely in charge of their education as well. Wait, have I mentioned that I picked up a part time gig at the Moringa Tree? Yea so, I’m pretty sure I’ve earned the right to wear a cape everywhere I go…just not sure it will go well with the rest of my wardrobe.

So the one thing that hasn’t changed around this zoo, and I’m sure never will is that I still LOVE to cook, and try new things and make mealtime exciting for my little (not so little) clan. The weekends are my favorite to experiment because we have just a little more time. Usually though, we sleep in a little longer so guess what that means? BRUNCH!!!!! Ahhhh, not sure why brunch excites me so much but it does….whoever thought of combining breakfast and lunch is a super dope soul. Maybe we can call it something different….Leakfast…okay, nevermind, we’ll just stick with brunch…..for now. So the last time I made brunch…..yeeee…..so exciting….I made these egg cups. We usually buy 164,000 eggs at a time so we ALWAYS have those on hand…and other than that all you need is veggies,whatever veggies you want. Spinach, tomatoes, onions, broccoli, mushrooms, kale….whatever and you can add any meat you want to it.Some good choices  are bacon, ham, chicken or turkey. I kept half of mine vegetarian and added diced turkey breast to the other half.

16602640_1277549392306179_17649196010485435_n

Okay I know you guys are anxious to know how to make these delicious babies. It’s really pretty simple. First you need a muffin tin…or cupcake baker like my 4 year old calls them. You’ll want to grease the pan lightly with organic coconut oil and that add your veggies and meat.

16809369_1285505544843897_883647336_n

In a separate bowl mix eggs and add pink salt and pepper as desired. Then just pour eggs  into the “cupcake bakers” right on top of your veggies and/or meat. If you have kids helping you they WILL pour too much and they WILL make a mess and then cry until you tell them it’s okay and that they are the best little junior chef you’ve ever seen.

16839653_1285509801510138_1508342018_n

Now these bad boys are ready to go into the oven. 350 degrees, for 20 minutes….about the amount of time it will take to fold a load of laundry…and then watch your kids destroy your neatly folded piles minutes later. Whatev.

16901871_1285511738176611_482968011_n

Happy Brunching to you all!!!!!!!

0

Why Shop Local?

I mean, first off, why not? Your community is where you live, where the people you love live and where your family is building a life. I think supporting our own is one of the most important things we can do in life. We all need each other. Okay, so I get it. You may like to shop at Walmart because you can shop whenever you want and it seems convenient and you like to get good “deals.” But, seriously, let’s think about this. When you shop at chain you are more than likely buying imported products (sometimes from sweatshops) at what may seem like a saving to you but then where does that money go? I’ll tell you where it goes; to the corporate offices, with these big shots that are already rolling in money. You’ll never see the money that you work so hard for in your community again. And those savings? Pay attention to prices over time. Big chains always drive prices up, slowly but surely, as they control more of the market. A few  years ago you may have gotten Walmart bread for 97 cents (they seem to have a thing for this number) but as the competition dies down they will raise the prices! But when you shop local the profits stay local. Your money is going back into your community. You’re helping that single mother down the street put food on her table or you’re helping a neighborhood family keep paying for their kids dance lessons and textbooks. Not to mention, products and services are local and you can walk out of a mom and pop store knowing that you supported your community.

walmart7

And let’s just be real. If you’ve been in one Walmart, you’ve been in them all. All of there stores look almost identical. They’ve got these cookie cutter layouts that don’t feel personal at all. There’s nothing unique about them at all. When you drive through town isn’t it refreshing to see new local businesses, individualized with different layouts and decor. Each visit is welcoming. When is the last time you walked into a big chain store and they said ” Hey Laura, how are the kids?” We take a few kids with us every time we go to the Farmer’s Market. A few weeks ago we had our oldest with us and I loved seeing the look on his face when one of the vendors asked “How did you guys like the brussel sprouts last week?” Yeah, you’re not getting that from a big chain store. When you shop local, it’s intimate and makes you feel special.

farmers market

So, one of the biggest concerns for most adults is jobs. We need more jobs….There aren’t enough jobs…etc. When you shop local you are helping to create jobs within your community. Did you know that local businesses pay their workers more than big chains do? They also employ more people. And I don’t know about you but I would feel great having my children work for someone where we personally knew the owners.

fm haul

I haven’t always shopped local but it’s not hard to see the benefits. Whenever I shop now I just feel so much better about myself, my community and what I’ve bought. I encourage everyone to shop local, buy local and eat local. My goal for 2016 is to commit to this full time.

fmkira

And my favorite reason to shop local is the awesome people and products I come across. Today at the Farmer’s Market I met Kim of TapRoot Tees. She hand paints these awesome t-shirts out of her old farm house. I only picked up a couple today but I’m sure I’ll be buying tons more as her designs really speak to the hippie in me. My favorite from today “Free Your Soul, Go Barefoot”

barefoot

0

Burrito Bowls

burrito bowl

So glad we’re nearing the end of the week. Not that the weekends are much less stressful than weekdays but it is a small break. Between band, gymnastics, ballet, homeschooling and co-op it seems like we’re always on the go. And to think that spring is right around the corner so that means the return of tee ball and bowling. Grrrr….. I try not to make it a chore but sometimes dinner seems like an added sport or activity in this house. Somebody is always complaining about what they don’t eat and then I’m trying to keep it affordable and healthy on top of that. The one thing we do all agree on is Mexican food. is I don’t know what it is about this family that just makes us gravitate towards it but we do. At least once a week we have either nachos, tacos, tostadas or fajitas. I mean, for one it’s quick and easy. Second, most meals are very adaptable to a vegetarian diet..and of course excellent with meat as well. The amount of time it takes you to make this will vary depending on if you’re using store bought salsa (or already have some homemade on hand). We go through a lot of salsa so I actually had to make a jar while the beans were cooking. Also, if you have a big family like mine, it will take longer due to all of the little hands that want to “help.” Miss Olivia likes to press the button on the food processor over….and over….and over, and then I have to deal with the constant arguing over who got more stirs. Like, seriously? Why is that even a thing? But, once I’m able to make it through the sibling rivalry, occasional yelling at the cat (and husband), cleaning up 172 “accidental” spills and get dinner on the table it’s FABULOUS!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbs Coconut Oil
  • 2 cups Onions, diced
  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbs garlic powder
  • 2 tbs oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  •  Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 cups of black beans
  • 4 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 large avocados
  • Juice of half a small lime
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups long grain brown rice
  • Salsa
  • Green onion, for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Place rice with 3 cups of water in a medium pot on high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to simmer, and cover, cooking for 35 minutes or until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving

While rice is cooking add oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. Stir in onion and garlic and saute for 7-8 minutes, until onions are softened. Stir in chopped tomatoes, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne and about a tsp of the salt. Saute another 5 minutes until the tomatoes are soft

Stir in beans and hot sauce and heat through. Add salt to taste and turn down to low heat until ready to serve

(For the Avocado Lime Sauce) Place remaining minced garlic clove in food processor with pitted and peeled avocado, lime juice, water and 1/2 tsp of salt. Process until nice and creamy

To serve: A couple spoonfuls of rice on the bottom of the bowl, followed by a couple serving spoons full of beans, a big spoon full of salsa and a big spoon full of the avocado sauce. Garnish with green onions and enjoy!!!!

 

 

 

1

Eating Healthy

0818151536a

So, obviously eating is something we all have to do….and while making sure it tastes good is pretty high up there on the priority list when it comes to meal time I also want to make sure I am encouraging smart eating habits and making sure it’s nutritious.

There was a time when I would just stock up on boxed cereals and pop tarts and let the kids grab whatever they wanted in the morning. There was a time when I would stuff their lunchboxes full of fruit snacks and oreos to go along with their lunchables or hot dogs. That was until we made the choice as a family to eat healthier. Gone are the days of processed foods and it’s my duty to make sure my kids (and husband I suppose) have a hot breakfast and tons of healthy foods to choose from throughout the day. What I’ve come to realize over the years, and also common sense, is that if I don’t buy the junk, it’s not here for them to eat.

Preparing three healthy meals a day can be a challenge, especially for those moms (and dads) that have a job outside of the home but there are a few ways to help ensure you’re on the road to eating right.

  1. Scheduled, regular meals as a family- If possible, everybody eats together…at the table. It can be hard to have dinner at a certain time every night, especially if you have little ones involved in tons of extracurricular activities but it’s really important to have that routine. Post it on the fridge….breakfast at 6:30, lunch at noon, dinner at 5:30 with snacks in between. Plus that eliminates whining children from asking a million times “when is it gonna be time to eat?”
  2. Mom and Dad eat healthy- Let’s be real, no matter how many times you yell “Eat your carrots!”, we know that kids watch what we do more than they listen to what we say. If we are setting a good example as their parents by eating healthy, they will follow suit. Don’t make them eat raw broccoli while you’re eating hot cheetos and donuts……or you can eat it hiding in your closet at one in the morning…..not that I’ve ever done that or anything
  3. Let kids help-  All kids like to help out in the kitchen. What better way to encourage them to eat right than by letting them assist in whipping up a healthy meal. If they’ve helped make the food they will definitely want to eat it.
  4. Variety- There are so many more choices out there beside apples, or celery with peanut butter. Try a variety of different fruits and vegetables. The more you try, the more they are bound to like.
  5. Make mealtime fun- As angry as you might get that your two year old didn’t eat their peas, don’t turn dinner into a battle. Don’t force kids to clean their plate. I know most of us grew up that way, but kids know when they are full and if they don’t like something, forcing them to eat it won’t make them like it any more and you’ve taught them that it’s okay to control them using food.
  6. 6. THE INTERNET- Literally my lifeline. Sometimes I just run out of ideas and so off to Pinterest, or a cooking blog I go. You can put absolutiely anything into Google and get what you’re looking for. My favorite site at the moment is 100 days of Real food. I got all of last weeks lunch ideas from there. But wherever you draw inspiration, good luck and Happy Healthy Eating!!!!

0819151532a 0818151532

0

Vegetables! Vegetables Vegetables!

There’s no way around the abundance of vegetarian dishes that will be cooked in our house. First, we took this vegetarian challenge on as a family a few years ago….Didn’t last long for  Rj. What do you expect though, he’s a man….gotta have his steak and potatoes right? Actually, it didn’t last long for most of us, except Keja. She’s never returned to eating meat. I spent a long time making her vegetarian alternatives to the food we ate (omitting chicken, substituting with tofu etc.). Yeah, that was very VERY time consuming. Over time we have just started eating less meat. There are weeks we don’t have it at all, but then there are other times I just start craving hot wings and meatballs. Since this change we have dramatically increased our intake of cheese, yogurt, beans, nuts and seeds, ya know, foods that are high in proteins. My daughter always has KIND brand protein bars stocked up in the cabinet and we eat tons of protein fortified foods. So, the protein isn’t really an issue. It’s just that we really prefer not to eat meat. If you know me, you know that I LOVE to cook but I don’t like ordinary meals. I like to try different things and switch it up often. So, I’m really going to try to update often with the recipes we like the most, one of our favorite being Veggie Spaghetti. It is so quick and easy to make and taste omg good. I don’t even miss the beef in this one….not at all.

11068300_831533870241069_6442993207170843754_n

VEGGIE SPAGHETTI

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 onions chopped
  • 2 green peppers chopped
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 12 oz tomato paste
  • 2 qt. canned tomatoes
  • 2 zucchini chopped
  • 3 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • Whole Wheat Spaghetti Noodles
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano

DIRECTIONS

This is another super easy recipe. Saute the peppers, carrots, onions and garlic in about 1/3 cup of WATER, not oil, until tender. I mean, I guess you you could use oil but I feel like it’s unnecessary so I use water. Once tender add the tomato paste, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms and kale. Mix together and add salt, pepper and oregano to taste. Put a lid on your pot, turn on low heat and cook for about 15 minutes. Serve over spaghetti noodles.