Monday, September 26, 2011

Mama Pea's Cinnamon Rolls Review

I told you to expect it, so here it is.

If you want the recipe for this, you'll have to by Mama Pea's great book, peas and thank you.
This recipe is a 4 spoon recipe, though I still may tweak it a little. It was a messy recipe to make, but well worth the effort. I used more flour than called for because my dough was super sticky (maybe it was me). I also used mostly whole wheat pastry flour and only about 1/2-3/4 cups of white all purpose flour. Using white flour at all is a problem for me because I think it's evil. Unless it's a holiday or a special "old family" recipe, I never use the stuff.  If I could, find a way not to use it at all in this recipe without compromising the recipe's flavor, I would.  Still. the cinnamon rolls turned out well. I made the dough and put together the rolls on Saturday night, then let them rise Sunday morning before baking them. They smelled great cooking and I constantly had kids come it asking if they were ready yet. Ya gotta love that!

Once the cinnamon rolls cooled slightly, I cut them apart and put them on a serving platter. I was a little worried because they seemed more dense (the result of mostly whole wheat pastry flour I'm assuming) and less "fluffy" than I wanted. After plating them, I drizzled them with icing. I used Mama Pea's icing recipe, just cutting down on the cream cheese, because my kids aren't big fans. I also used my own powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, margarine icing mixture. DH said they tasted like Cinnabons, and 2 of my 3 boys thought they were incredible. Only my healthiest eater seemed not to care for them, which is a little perplexing to me.  I refrigerated the left overs which rewarmed beautifully in the microwave (30 sec) for  breakfast again this morning. I actually thought they tasted better today than they did yesterday. My oldest said,"It doesn't matter either way, they're still amazing!"   Outta the mouth of a hungry teenager....So while I won't be making them every day, much to the chagrin of 2 of my children, they will be made again. They were much better than the ones you get in the store, bake, and spread icing on. And the best thing: I know exactly what went into them...real ingredients and lots of love.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Catchin' Up

Wow! I don't know where September went, but I've been running around like crazy ever since the month started. And now, the end is upon us. I had hoped to write more this month, but life happened and the writing just didn't. I am hoping October will be a little less busy (fingers crossed).

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So, I lost 1 more pound last week to make 27 total. I hate that its coming off sooooooo slowly, but better slowly than not at all, I guess.  I always thought when I was a teacher that I had loads of patience...with others, yes; with  myself, NO. Once more channeling Baruka Salt, I WANT IT NOW! My goal this next week is to work on shaking things up a bit. I  think I need to confuse my body into thinking I'm doing something a little different.   One thing I need to do for sure is find a better way to get in all my daily veggies. I love vegetables, but for the past two weeks it's been harder to get them in because sometimes salads just get tiresome...even salads I like.  One thing I know for sure: stasis sucks, and I want to lose more and faster.

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Now, I tried 3 new recipes from Mama Pea's peas and thank you.  Earlier in the week, I made my Almost Sweet Tomato's Pinto Bean and Barley Soup with Basil and made recipe # 1, Mama Pea's Cowgirl Cornbread, to go along with it. The kids and DH liked it.  I liked the flavor, but thought it was too dry. That was okay because my plan was to use it for dipping. I made my cornbread  into muffins and not in an 8 X 8 pan, so maybe that made the difference. It was not bad though, just not as moist as I would have liked.

Recipe #2 was Mama Pea's Crazy Good Hummus.  The name says it all because it is crazy good. I made this yesterday in just a few minutes time and allowed it to sit in the fridge overnight so the flavors  could meld.  It is easy to make and delicious to eat. Now, I realised when I made recipe # 3, the Crack Wrap, that I have never eaten hummus warm. Why, I have no idea because it was truly comforting and scrumptious!  I made my crack wraps with a slice of Boar's Head's Vermont White Cheddar Cheese which complimented the hummus perfectly. Man I love that Mama Pea!

I also am making her cinnamon rolls for the kiddos tomorrow morning. I am hoping for a hit with that recipe as well. I'll let you know.

The kids are calling, so be healthy and happy till next time!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I am currently a vegetarian. How long I remain that way remains to be seen. My DH and I started out as nutritarian, but went full vegetarian in May. My reasons are not moral, but least for me and for right now. It is all part of the healthier lifestyle that I am striving towards. I wrote the following in a response to another blogger's comments about her family's eating habits.

On my quest to eat healthier, I was faced with the family challenge: How do I make my family eat like me and do I need to make them eat like me? I see all kinds of blogs about how whole families eat as vegans or vegetarians, and how people switched their kids over to healthier eating plans. How do I do it and should I do it are the questions.

My sister started earlier than I did on a plant strong life and so her kids are  naturally more "plant strong" programmed than mine are because they've been doing it longer and because they were younger when they started eating this way. As long as I can remember, she fed her children pretty healthily and offered them many different types of foods. In many ways, she is my nutrition hero (Tricia Mulhall Taylor, you rock!) My children are 10 and 13 so giving up the junk and making dietary changes is a lot harder for them. I'm not saying it can't be done , but should I do it? This is one of my regrets as a parent, that I didn't make them eat healthier from the get go. But, I didn't become plant strong till this year so I guess I should give myself a break. Don't get me wrong, I switched us early on to whole grains, I never fry anything any more, I don't use white flour, I think processed foods are horrible, I use very little oils (even the healthy ones), and I keep us stocked well with fresh fruits and veggies.  I often think to myself that I should just force my children into the healthy eating lifestyle that I have chosen, but I don't think that would work. I think it would push them to eat more and worse when they are not at home.

Since my kids are teens and preteens, I guess I see my role as trying to make their meals that I do make at home as healthy as possible (which I do). I am constantly changing little things here and there, tweaking our meals as best I can to make them more nutrient dense, and even sneaking healthy stuff ( like flax and chia seeds) in on them without their knowledge. I try to focus on small modifications towards healthier eating (at least with the kids) so that the change is less dramatic and more progressive towards a healthier lifestyle. I think big dramatic change would cause too much push back with a possibility of them abandoning any kind of healthy lifestyle and just doing whatever they want when they are not at home.

 I also see my role as leading by example and talking to the kids about why I am making the choices I am and how they can work to be healthier individuals.We talk about food choices and portion control as well. I am not perfect though, and we do have some "junk" in my house, but this is a process for us and I am treating it as least where the kids are concerned. And just because I don't eat meat, I don't think I need to keep it from my kids. Lean cuts of chicken , fish, and turkey, as well as the once in awhile hormone free grass fed beef are good for them, I think. Everything healthy in moderation, I guess. I am also trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into their dinner repertoire, and I  look for opportunities to substitute soy crumbles for ground beef  whenever possible, like when I make lasagna.

I don't eat meat, so should they eat it?  I don't eat sweets but should they eat them? I don't eat processed foods, so should my kids?  If I love them and want to keep them safe and help them grow up strong and healthy, should I not ban certain foods that I know to be less than stellar, nutritionally speaking?  These are questions I struggle with. I know that my kids eat better than the SAD (Standard American Diet) but not as healthy as a plant strong diet. I also know that we're moving them closer to becoming more plant strong every day. It's a process and takes time and I need to be mindful of that.
 Above all, I  know one important truth: I am doing my best, and right now, that has to be enough.