I really don’t like that toothfeeling of biting into eggplant

So I cooked this stuff so well that you almost can’t tell it’s eggplant. Oh and I added more oil than I will ever admit. Hey it was extra virgin olive at least! This is 2 eggplants, olive oil (probably a cup), lemon juice of 3 lemons, paprika about a tablespoon or 2, tomato paste/sauce (it’s that Israeli one that’s sort of in between, 1/4 cup water, garlic, and cilantro and dill.

all mixed up in a bowl.

and roasted to high heaven, I garnished it will parley to make it look as yummy as it really is

see it glistening with oil? YUMmmm

And we are going to eat it on this fresh whole wheat bread, well I’m not goig to eat it because I’m GF but everyone else will. I use this amazing flour

http://www.amazon.com/Great-River-Organic-Milling-Unbleached/dp/B0049YMAII/ref=sr_1_9?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1380924903&sr=1-9

Did I do that right?  I’m new to this.

Ice Cream for Breakfast?!

I just gave my kids ice cream for breakfast!

What kind of nutritionist are you, you ask?

Check it out:

As usually, be forewarned, all quantities are guesstimates, but are actually surprisingly accurate. 

  • one bag frozen organic strawberries 
  • one bag frozen organic berry mix (cherries, blueberries, raspberries) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
    (You can always increase this if it doesnʼt come out sweet
    enough, but donʼt underestimate the suggestive power of a frozen fruity treat, especially with the vanilla aroma. Try it with just a little sweetener first, less is better for the immune system and so on.) 
  • 2 cups organic plain yogurt.
    (I use dairy yogurt but you can use any kind of yogurt. If 
    you donʼt want to use yogurt, you can soak a cup of raw cashews overnight and put them in instead, adding water as needed to get the texture you want.)

Place all ingredients into your food pulverizing appliance of choice. Let it rip and then, when you think itʼs done, give it a few more minutes. You want it very creamy.

 

“Do all your kids eat this,” you ask?
Yes, and no. Feeding four children is proving to require some creativity when it comes to providing options.

I have one kid who only will eat one food at a time, but with very low predictability. For example, if I make rice and red lentils with greens, he may eat the lentils, may eat the rice or may eat the greens – but never all three. I have two kids who will eat all of it and one kid who will most likely not eat any of it and will cry that she is hungry but will refuse all options posed to her until I put her to bed with crackers.

No Iʼm not proud. Go figure.

So the breakfast “ice cream” option is great one because I can make one round, and then just rinse and repeat to make the custom orders. Two kids eat the above recipe, one kid will only eat it if it has mango only “and no other fruit,” and one kid will only eat it with strawberries, mango and/or cherries – but no blueberries. No worries, it stores well in the fridge, and never goes to waste.

 

Food pulverizing appliance choice considerations

When my kitchen is a total mess and I have no usable counter space, I just shove as much frozen fruit and yogurt into a quart size wide mouth mason jar as I can and use an immersion blender. Then I can just rinse off the wand and use the mason jar for serving and storing leftovers in the fridge. Itʼs easy clean up and can be done amidst even the highest levels of chaos.

This method, however, requires that you stay focused, keep all childrenʼs hands away, unplug the appliance every single time you put it down (even for a second) and excludes small children from helping with the funnest (I know this is not a word but itʼs the funnest way to say most fun) part of the whole thing. This is an important point because the more fun the food prep, the higher the chance of actual ingestion of any food.

I recently finally discovered that if I use a food processor,  I can make more at a time, and the kids can push the button. This is a plus, but requires a bit of counter space, and clean up involves a few more parts.

A blender would work too, but I find that it requires more fiddling and a little more liquid to get all the chunks processed. You donʼt want to add too much liquid because then it doesnʼt look like ice cream and you loose your key selling point.

So there you have it folks, ice cream for breakfast. Enjoy.

Nori Roll

Itʼs official. It was one of those days.

It rained all day. Our lip balm tubes decided they didn’t fit into our pouring trays, and after hours of shoving them in anyway, we realized that after we made it work, the caps would now be impossible to remove. 

Now we have to send the tubes back and it’s holding up production for at least a week. 

But regardless, the kids got hungry at dinner time. I tried to avoid this as much as possible by letting them snack on dried mango and whatever else they could. It didn’t work, though, so I heated up a big pot of chicken soup and experimental Gluten-Free kneidle I had made over the weekend. I have made very delicious GF kneidle before, but these were not it.

So they had some soup but were all still hungry. Which brings me to the point. How many last minute dinner ideas are in your cabinets?

Not enough, I bet.

Well, here is another one. Not totally guilt free, but actually not so bad. I always happen to have a pot of organic brown rice in the fridge. I probably make something that goes with rice at least once a week, so I always make a little extra. 

This way when everyone decides they want something else, we just make nori cones. 

The reason its so delish is the sauce. Now, the first time we had nori cones was at the local, awesome, Teaneck Fish Market, and the sauce was actually a complex and high quality teriyaki. This is not what I make. I just pour soy sauce and maple syrup into a bowl in about equal amounts,  sometimes I drizzle a little toasted sesame oil or olive oil in there too. Mix it up in a small bowl . Then make the nori roll.

All you do is take a sheet of nori – yes, the seaweed used to make sushi – and fold it in half so you have a rectangle. Then you roll it into a cone shape. Start with folding one corner in and roll. It may crack a little as you go but just ignore it. Remember, you are just pretending to make diner at this point but really you are just filing up those little tummies so you can get them into bed. Then while holding your nori cone, stuff it with rice, and spoon on some sauce.

My picky eater will eat 3 or 4 of these.

Now how bad is this as a dinner in the grand scheme of things? Nori is super packed with minerals, has some significant protein, anthocyanins, fiber and so on. Brown rice is at least whole grain, and gives them enough calories to make it to breakfast, has good B vitamins, and fiber and so on. Anyway, it’s no wacky mac, and it’s super quick and a sure bet in my house.

Warning: All quantities are estimates:

  • 1/4 C cooked organic brown rice
  • 1 sheet nori

Sauce
(you will have some left over unless you let your kids have a party with it)

  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce (gluten free if you need GF)
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 

Done! Bedtime!

Dinner: Cheaters’ Broccoli, 10-Minute Chili and More

image

We eat dinner every day. When I was exclusively a stay at home mom, I always cooked.

Some green leafy veggies, some protein source, you know the drill. I would start cooking at 2:00pm every day so I could put a nutritious whole food dinner on the table before meltdown time.

Now that I am working, I must admit that the standard has changed. Do I feel guilty? YES! Some days I cook and get such happiness watching my kids eat healthy food. All is right in the world on those days. Other days I work until everyone is melting down hungry and we boil some whole grain gluten-free or whole wheat noodles – depending on who has already filled up on dried mango or pretzels for dinner (aaaaah!). On those days, I have to make a decision to forgive myself; that being a mother is not only about food.

Today was the best of both worlds! Sure, the dinner was not all grown in the garden, but it was a delicious vegan, relatively well rounded meal that everyone loved and I seriously whipped it up in 15 minutes – no joke.

I was so impressed with the outcome I decided to post it. It fed all six of us nicely, with one kid taking the leftovers for lunch in a thermos.

Cheaters broccoli

Put oven on broil.

Open a bag of frozen organic broccoli florets.

Dump it on a baking sheet.

Drizzle a small amount of olive oil and good quality salt and mix.

Place in oven at bottom of oven, away from the flame – you donʼt want to burn the oil.

Let it roll for about 5 minutes depending on your oven. I like to let it brown a teeny tiny bit.

Dump into a bowl.

Put in a big spoon. 

Done!

10 minute chili (I admit I used canned beans and sauce but at least I didnʼt just order a pizza)

Everything is organic which is GMO free (supposedly) and BPA free cans so keep those eyebrows down all you crunchy yoga moms!

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

one large onion, diced as ine as you have patience for

pinch of good salt

2 cloves garlic, roughly sliced

3 cans organic black beans, drained sort of

1 can organic tomato sauce (BPA free can)

1 bag frozen organic corn 

2 Tablespoons organic molasses

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon dried oregano 

[disclaimer: all spice measurements are estimates; I didn’t really measure]

Heat a large pot at medium, add olive oil, and onion. Stir every so often till transluscent.

Add garlic after onion gets translucent, let it go till onions are slightly browned but not burnt. Add everything else, stir every so often in between stopping to yell at kids to come set the table, and checking other kids homework, so nothing burns.

Cook till bubbly. Done.

 

Cut open avocados, cut into cubes, put in bowl. Sprinkle with a little good fine salt. 

Squirt some lemon juice. Mix.

Done.

Cube some nice fresh tomatoes. Put in bowl.

Sprinkle some garlic powder and tiny pinch of salt. Mix.

Done!!!!!

I served it with some taco shells and some whole grain wraps on the table so everyone could make what they wanted out of it. Itʼs a nondairy, gluten free, vegan meal but some kids ate it with cheese and some went and got some plain yogurt to garnish, which is nice for the probiotics.

Rockin!