Monday, January 31, 2011

Menu Jan. 31- February 6th

This menu is a part of Meal Plan Monday at Check out Laura and her great site for more menu and organizational ideas

Monday:  BBQ chicken(kids), red beans and rice(us),sauteed zuccini, LO broccoli,corn fruit or yogurt

Tuesday:  Mac & cheese, LO broccoli, fruit or yogurt (Kids)..........Big salad or soup

Wednesday:   Black Bean & Sweet Potato Burrito from Moosewood Restaurant on lettuce bed, broccoli, fruit

Thursday:      Lo Back Bean & sweet potato burritoes, fruit or yogurt or spaghetti?chicken parm with bread and salad (save Lo sauce for lasagna later in the month)                 

Friday:  Pizza Friday (Kid).............(us) Garlicky Black Eyed Peas 'n' greens from the Moosewood Restaurant Low Fat Favorites, fruit or yogurt

Saturday:    HB, tots, mac n cheese, fruit (kids)........(us)   Big salad with egg

Sunday:  SUPER BOWL and Twins' B-DAY:  wing stop (kids),.......... My Vegetarian Chili (Us)

Monday  LO chili or soup ( us)...........pork chops, carrots, fruit or yogurt

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Food Coup

Getting my kids to try new things is a real trial, and if it's something they know is "healthy," I will inevitably hear groaning....especially from my oldest child who is 13.  Once in a great while, I will get blueberry waffles for the kids. I've always liked Van's brand, which are nutritionally sound and tastes great, so that's what I got for them this week. I thought it would be a nice treat for Sunday breakfast, so this morning that's what they all had for breakfast.  I told the twins they were a "new and improved" version of the same waffles they always get, and boasted, "Wow!  Aren't they good?"  They both said yes and gobbled them down. Two kids down and one to go.
Later, when my teenage son was ready to eat, my husband toasted him some touting , "These are like Belgium waffles and you like Belgium waffles, so I think you'll really like these."  He did like them and even asked me to make sure to buy them again. Score!

Mom's Review:  Pricier than regular frozen waffles, but better for you and more filling.One box contains 6 waffles and easily fed my 3 boys.
Below is the ingredient list and nutritional info obtained from Van's website, .


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quinoa on Trial

We tried quinoa for the first time tonight.  I have found that it is a nutty seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant. It acts like a grain, and reminded me of a cross between tapioca and couscous. It looked like beads before I cooked it and like little tiny pasta tubes when I was done. It was very interesting. I did enjoy the nuttiness.
Being a quinoa virgin, I followed a basic vegetable quinoa recipe that I found on the web.The recipe I followed was okay, but  a bit bland. I saved some of the leftovers for tomorrow so I can try to doctor it up a bit and play with the flavors a little more.
 I think quinoa would be best  used for stirfrys  and dishes with strong flavors since the quinoa basically tastes like whatever it is cooked with.  It also would probably do well as a breakfast food like oatmeal.   What I discovered it that not only is quinoa healthy and hearty, but also good for the budget. I say this because the recipe called for 1 cup of quinoa, but by the time the recipe was finished, it seemed to quadruple. We had a ton of it.
None of the kids liked it. Of course they didn't!  They are not very adventurous eaters. My husband and I liked it enough to try it again.So, it's getting a second lease on life with us, and at least for now, there remains no final judgement on its life expectancy in our household. The jury is still out.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Salt, So your Life May Always Have Flavor...


It's a silent killer like an assassin, yet I love it. Still, with my husband going on a low salt /no salt diet, I'm adapting.  What is interesting when you go salt-free or low sodium is that you really get to  taste the flavor of the food. My husband ate his without adding any table salt, but  I still salted my soup, I just didn't use as much as I normally would have. I am not a convert yet...if I make it at all.  Less salt though is good for everyone, so I'm trying.

Here is the peas soup recipe I made this week. It was a vegetarian recipe to start with so it didn't have any ham or ham bone in it which seemed weird to me, but it turned out okay. I got a soup recipe off of and then changed it a bit and tweaked it to make it more my own. I like it, once I salted it, that is. My hubby really enjoyed it just the way I made it.

Split Pea Soup

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

3 cloves garlic, minced

1  16 oz bag dried split peas

1/2 cup barley

3 cups low or no sodium vegetable broth

11  cups water

3 carrots, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 large potatoes, diced

1/4 cup dried  parsley flakes

3/4 teaspoon dried basil

3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


1.  The night before, soak split peas in water. Drain peas in the morning.

2.  In a large pot over medium high heat, saute the oil, onion, bay leaf and garlic for 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add the peas, barley, water, and veggie broth.. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

3.Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, parsley, basil, thyme,  pepper, and 2 pinches of chicken bouillon.  I added this because it needed a little  something. Simmer for another hour, or until the peas and vegetables are tender.

4.  Mash some of the soup with a potato masher.  Take 2 cups of soup and liquefy in a blender. Add  this back into the soup  for consistency.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Menu Jan. 24th - 30th

This menu reflects different meals in some cases for my kiddos and my spouse and myself. It is a part of Meal Plan Monday at Check out Laura and her great site for more menu and organizational ideas.

 Monday:    pork chops, roasted carrots, onions & red potatoes, apergrass, fruit, yogurt or applesauce

Tuesday:   S/V - vegan spit pea soup, fruit ......J/S/J – LO pork, green beans, fruit

Wednesday:   S/V – big salad, LO chili ........J/S/J - macaroni & cheese, lo green beans, carrots, fruit or yogurt

Thursday:   S/V – carrot, tomato, and spinach quinoa, roasted green beans, fruit or yogurt ........J/S/J – HM chicken strips, veggies, fruit

Friday:      S/V – red beans & rice, broccoli, fruit or yogurt ........J/S/J- Pizza Friday

Saturday:   S/V – LO red beans & rice or pea soup ........J/S/J- Hamburgers, tots, LO broccoli fruit or yogurt
Sunday:     BBQ chicken, kale, corn, zucchini, fruit or yogurt

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Delicious Dinner...Yummy, Yummy, Happy Tummy

Had a delish dinner tonight! Everything was good and healthy and everything complimented everything else. It was no "mighty fine dinner, Miss Betty " tonight! DH did chicken on the grill (breast & wings). Then I made a fresh fruit salad with pineapples, bananas, mandarin oranges (canned, rinsed), honey crisp apples, blueberries, and pears which was to die for. I learned how to pick a good ripe pineapple this week,  and it was slap your mama good!  Kudos to the Fry's guy for helping me out. : )   I also made fresh broccoli, sauteed zucchini, and drum roll, please....mixed greens.  By mixed greens, I'm talking collard, spinach, turnip, and mustard greens...I know!  I can't believe I'm eating them either, but they weren't bad. The guys loved them, the kids wouldn't touch them, and they are growing on me. It's hard not to like them since they are soooo good for you (provided you don't southern cook them with bacon, butter,  and lard). Paula Deen wouldn't believe there was any other way. The kids think the greens look like you went outside and just got some plant/green stuff off the ground and stuck them in a pan with liquid. They kinda do look like ground cover, but they tasted pretty good if I do say so myself. All in all, my tummy is happy, and there are enough leftovers for dinner tomorrow too. Love me the 2 for 1 dinners!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Going Green

Well, I did it. Something  never thought I  would do.  Today, I made my first green smoothie. I thought it would be gross, but instead it was delish.

I started off by only adding one veggie  to the smoothie to ease my way into this brave new smoothie world. I made my beginner smoothie by mixing  half a blender full of spinach leaves, a container of blueberry yogurt, a container of vanilla soy milk, frozen blueberries, and some frozen topical fruit.  Next time, I will add flax meal since I forgot today. I can't believe it actually tasted good.  It looked purple, not green, which was good for me. I'm not sure it would have been as palatable to me if it had actually been the color green.

So, I  am no longer a green smoothie virgin, and now I look forward to inventing other green smoothie concoctions. If you haven't tried a green smoothie yet, I suggest you take the plunge. I, myself,  intend to keep diving in.