Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Chefs Tasting Table Day 5 // Cabbage + Apple + Carrot Slaw







With Superbowl Sunday coming up this weekend (hollah chili, hotdogs, pulled barbeque chicken and pork, sausages, fried chicken, corned beef...well really, any grilled meat will do!), what better way to get some VEGE in than by eating and learning about COLESLAW!

I had a very special guest with me today - Meet Charlotte, the Assistant Farm Manager from Prairie Wind Family Farms! She spoke to the kids about how much fun her crew team has together when they harvest cabbage from the fields. It was certainly some "catchy" food education to pair up with Superbowl food conversation... Sign us up for some cabbage football!

video

The kids are getting pretty excited to talk about the new food adventures we're going on!

video

This is one delicious, sweet slaw folks - Get your kids in the kitchen! What could you have them do? For older kids, teach them safe knife skills and have them help you chop up the vege. Younger kids can be taught to safely cut with a pairing knife. It's ok to have vege that's different sizes! All ages love to measure and whisk up the wet ingredients in a bowl - Pump up those math skills!

Skoop and the Chef Ann Foundation Organization teamed up to launch the Project Produce Grant Program which awarded Diamond Lake District 76's West Oak School $2500 in funds to help give all students access to more fresh produce and food education during the school day.

The students were inspired to pair it up with their chili today in the lunchroom; Many had never thought to combine the two before and it was really fun to watch some of the students taste test! Thanks Preferred Meals - What a perfect pairing!

Cabbage, Apple and Carrot Slaw 
(divide in half for a smaller football crowd)

1 head of green cabbage
2 carrots
4-5 apples
1/4 c apple cider vinegar 
1 c mayo (I used egg-free Just Mayo brand for school allergy concerns)
1/3 c honey
1 Tbsp sea salt
1/2 Tbsp pepper

Finely slice (using a knife or food processor) the cabbage, carrots and apples. In a separate bowl combine the vinegar, mayo, honey salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl until fully incorporated. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed. Refrigerate for at least an hour and serve.

To the Mullies we go...
xoxoL



Sunday, January 29, 2017

Set the Table 2017 | Week 4

It's hard to believe I posted last Sunday fun-day from Jackson Hole, Wyoming! The food + ski scene was ridiculous and now it's back to reality!



I did manage to cook one night after we got back home. 

Post vaca cooking re-entry is rough like bear claws on a chalk board

This chicken tray bake is my very favorite to make. I have linked a Jamie Oliver recipe in my recent "Ask a Chef" blog post with Advocate Healthcare and here is another recipe right here. I hope you enjoy the Q&A and be sure to let me know if you try these recipes out! As you can see, I added all sorts of vege to mine.


Lots of vege for the base...



Up this week:
*Note: The listed/linked recipe name corresponds to the Jamie Oliver Ultimate Recipes App (unless otherwise specified) to help me stay organized; However, the actual link may be different IF I was unable to find his app recipe online (which often happens to make the app special!).

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

  • Probably adding peas and cauliflower to it.

Taco Tuesday - Get Stuck-in-Nachos

Quick and Easy Tray-Baked Cod

Green Goddess Chicken Salad or Proper Chicken Ceasar Salad (can't decide!)

PB&J in a Glass
1 c organic rice milk (or whatever type you prefer)
1 banana
1 c frozen mixed berries
1 T organic peanut butter or almond butter
1 Tbsp ground white chia seeds (if seeds are whole, let soak in 2 Tbsp water for 5 minutes)

Blend all ingredients together in a nutribullet or high speed blender. Option: pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

    *Here is a handy conversion link for the online euro measurements (the app uses USA measurements).
    *If possible, buy antibiotic free meat (Here's why I try to know where my meat is coming from).
    *Use the EWG "Clean Fifteen + Dirty Dozen produce guidelines to save money + reduce the pesticides and herbicides on your plate.
    *Avoid artificial colors and preservatives - Check your labels, grocery stores have clean brands for you and your family. More guts more glory!


    To the Mullies we go...
    xoxoL


    ps
    Here are my favorite spots from the J-Hole. We were blown away by the friendly locals, the epic food scene and the whole experience has really inspired me at home! 


    The Snake River Brewing Company was the first stop as soon as we got into town - Thanks for the suggestion Alex!! We tasted every beer at the food was equally delish!



    Cafe Genevieve omelette (we are so happy we dined here for our first delicious breakfast).


    An amazing pallet board wall from Moe's Original Barbeque (best collard greens ever - seriously, they ran out of that side dish!)


    Bin 22 - Super cool - Grab a wine bottle from the store (no corkage fee + crazy good wine selection) and pair it up with gorgeously prepared small plates. They make their own fabulous mozzarella!!


    The Handle Bar (The Four Seasons) = amazing K12 grub. Can you tell which plate is mine? Those truffle fries were among the best I've ever had and Chris' Bison nachos were beyond good. Lane Meyer would be proud.





    Sitting pretty under my red and white kitchen twine, are my gorgeous new Persephone Bakery napkins I brought home... I like to imagine I'm still there eating and sipping coffee... The owners are former Chicagoans! No wonder it was my favorite place;) French food + design LOVE!!!!



    The Organic Lotus Cafe - Words won't do the food + design justice, so I won't even try.

    And lastly, LOVE YOU Mom and Dad for watching the kids while we played in the snow and ate our hearts out!! You'll all come back with us someday:)


    Sunday, January 22, 2017

    Set the Table 2017 | Week 3

    Welcome back my little unicorns - It's Sunday Fun Day!

    • Here's the STORY behind my #SettheTable2017 food adventures with Pure Barre Kildeer
    • Each Sunday meal plan post begins with a picture recap of the week before (Who knows what may have happened to the plan!) followed by the upcoming week's game plan. 
    • #CatchmyGrit on my Instagram stories throughout the week to capture the fun, the food and the family table reactions (good and bad) - See you there!


    This meal was "off the cuff" and totally NOT planned. I took out the pot of pureed leftover White Bean and Bacon soup, diced up leftover chicken and dumped about 1 cup of uncooked noodles into the pot for an hour at 350 degrees. Chris especially loved it:)



    I added three portabella mushrooms and an onion to the 1 lb of grass fed beef - nobody had a clue and it was so good.



    My No Bake Chocolate Chip "Fastballs" didn't last very long in the fridge this week:)


    Link back to week #2's meal plan recipes here.

    Up This Week:
    *Note: The listed/linked recipe name corresponds to the Jamie Oliver Ultimate Recipes App (unless otherwise specified) to help me stay organized; However, the actual link may be different IF I was unable to find his app recipe online (which sometimes happens).

    Tray-baked Chicken Dinner (I didn't make it last week and it's a favorite!)

    Meatless Weekday - EASY Pasta, Parm and Peas (PPP - Another dish I didn't get to last week...)

    • Make pasta and garnish with salt n pepper, parmesan cheese and organic butter.
    • Toss in as many steamed frozen peas as you want.
    *Here is a handy conversion link for the online euro measurements (the app uses USA measurements).
    *If possible, buy antibiotic free meat (Here's why I try to know where my meat is coming from).
    *Use the EWG "Clean Fifteen + Dirty Dozen produce guidelines to save money + reduce the pesticides and herbicides on your plate.
    *Avoid artificial colors and preservatives - Check your labels, grocery stores have clean brands for you and your family.


    To the Mullies we go...
    xoxoL

    ps

    Here are a few awesome items I used in my "fastballs" this week:


    Found at Target. Love your guts.


    Local creamed cinnamon honey from Leiders.



    Tuesday, January 17, 2017

    Chef's Tasting Table Day 4 // Cucumbers and Kiwi






    Cucumber and Kiwi's!!!!!!!!

    Wash cut and serve. It was that easy. The students couldn't get enough.

    Not many teachers or students knew that one could eat the peels of the kiwi's. I didn't know myself until a few years ago... I'll never forget when my Mom told me... Really? Hairy, brown skin = edible!?

    NO WAY.

    YES WAY.

    Here's a few more fun food facts we shared in the lunchroom:

    Did you know the Kiwi Fruit originated from China 600 years ago and was named "Yangtao"?

    Did you know that the Yangtao was then imported to New Zealand and renamed "Chinese Gooseberry"? In 1962 it was finally imported to America and renamed the "Kiwi Fruit" in honor of New Zealand's national bird, the "Kiwi".

    Crazy right? The kids thought so too:)

    We're having so much fun with these Chef's Tasting Table Days! Skoop and the Chef Ann Foundation Organization teamed up to launch the Project Produce Grant Program which awarded Diamond Lake District 76's West Oak School $2500 in funds to help give all students access to more fresh produce and food education during the school day.

    It's so fun to experience the growing excitement in the lunchroom with every visit.

    To the Mullies we go...
    xoxoL




    Sunday, January 15, 2017

    Set the Table 2017 | Week 2


    Welcome back - It's Sunday Fun Day!
    • Here's the STORY behind my #SettheTable2017 food adventures with Pure Barre Kildeer
    • Each Sunday meal plan post will begin with a picture recap of the week before, followed by the upcoming week's game plan. 
    • #CatchmyGrit on my Instagram stories throughout the week to capture the fun, the food and the family table reactions - See you there!









    Link back to Week #1's meal plan here.
    (This "keeper week" will be repeated!)

    Up This Week:
    *Note: The listed/linked recipe name corresponds to the Jamie Oliver Ultimate Recipes App (unless otherwise specified) to help me stay organized; However, the actual link may be different IF I was unable to find his app recipe online (which sometimes happens).

    Tray-baked Chicken Dinner

    Meatless Monday - EASY Pasta, Parm and Peas (PPP - The kids love calling it that...)

    • Make pasta and garnish with salt n pepper, parmesan cheese and organic butter.
    • Toss in as many steamed frozen peas as you want.
    Taco Tuesday - Chicken Fajitas 
    • Add in any leftover chicken fajitas.
    • Replace ricotta cheese with organic cottage cheese (My Mom's epic trick!).
    • Use gluten free no boil lasagna noodles + a layer of thinly sliced zucchini. Or swap noodles out completely with zucchini. Shhhhhh.
    No Bake Chocolate Chip Fastballs - Hit "clean up" with the perfect "fast" fuel!
    Adapted from this recipe

    1 c organic rolled oats
    1/2 c organic peanut butter or almond butter
    1/3 c creamed cinnamon honey (or regular honey + 1/2 tsp cinnamon)
    1/4 c dark chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand)
    1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
    1 Tbsp chia seeds (white or black)
    1/2 tsp sea salt

    Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and form into 20-25 balls. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to harden up. Store in sealed container in refrigerator for up to 1 week (if they even last that long). 

    *Here is a handy conversion link for the online euro measurements (the app uses US measurements).
    *If possible, buy antibiotic free meat (Here's why I try to know where my food is coming from).
    *Use the EWG "Clean Fifteen + Dirty Dozen produce guidelines to save money + reduce the pesticides and herbicides on your plate.

    Eat... Lift... Tone... Burn...

    To the Mullies we go...
    xoxoL

    ps
    I Feel it Coming... do you? Playing this one tonight, in and out of the kitchen - Maybe I can get Chris to cook with me:)




    Sunday, January 8, 2017

    Set the Table 2017 | Week 1


    Happy HAPPY Happy New Year! 

    turn your magic on

    Umi she'd say 
    everything you want's a dream away 
    and we are legends every day
    that's what she told me
    turn your magic on
    to me she'd say
    under this pressure
    under this weight 
    we are legends everyday 
    under this pressure
    under this weight
    we are diamonds taking shape
    only I own me
    oh you make me feel 
    like I'm alive again
    if we've only got this life
    this adventure oh than I
    want to share it with you
    Adventure of a Lifetime - Coldplay

    Here we go into our 2017 adventure <<-->> Athletic perseverance in + out


    Turn up the music, it helps to take my mind off my burning buns.

    I'm thrilled to be social media contributer and blogger this year for Pure Barre Kildeer, one of my very favorite place to stay in shape. As we resolve to "Set the Barre" together every week, I'll be posting with PBKD to help us "Set the Table."

    Spandex or apron?
    I wear one of them most days.
    Sometimes both at one time.
    Sometimes not at all...
    When I take a day off.
    It's not about perfection.
    The very best adventures go up and down.

    I'll be sending out the following every Sunday morning:
    • An inspiration recipe for a meal + snack on Pure Barre Kildeer's Instagram + Facebook
    • A weekly "Set the Table" meal plan (3-4 meals) here on the mullies. I'm kicking it off by using my Jamie Oliver Ultimate Recipes App ($6.99 - iPhone or iPad) to help me get organized. 
    I don't know about you, but my work and family schedule has me doing cartwheels (Hellers, did they make the "BadMom" movie just for me?!?) I've chosen to utilize Jamie's recipe app more seriously this year and coordinate recipes so that it makes it easier to shopcook and use leftovers throughout the week. Here's why:

    • I love his recipes (There's over 600 recipes included + Lots for Vegan and Vegetarians too). 
    • It generates an amazing shopping list (which allows me to add other random items...). 
    • It's super easy to navigate.
    • There are sweet tips and video tutorials on how to prep + cook more efficiently. 
    • I'm into good, clean nutrition.

    Join me on my Instagram page for additional stories, videos, and pics to #CatchMyGrit and groove along in our #SetTheTable2017 adventures. 

    Will I be able to cook all the recipes planned each week?
    Who knows.
    Will I get tired?
    Probably.

    And I will begin again every week.
    And I hope you do too.

    I intend to
    Link to other authors/recipes. 
    Share my own recipes. 
    Tweak and make it better.
    Repeat favorite meals & plans. 

    *Note: Each recipe is linked for easy online access (whether or not you are using the app). 
    The listed recipe name corresponds to the app title for easy searching; However, the actual link may be different if I was unable to find Jamie's recipe app online.  

    UP This Week:

    • Make crispy quinoa instead of rice. Save 1.5 cups of quinoa for the blueberry bars (recipe listed below).
    • Can't find Cardamom pods? I couldn't either. I found whole seeds though. 10 pods = 1.5 tsp of ground cardamom (thanks google).
    • I improvised on the pomegranate - No luck at the grocery store so I thawed out some berry mixture (that I use for smoothies) instead. 
    • Store all leftover chicken and chicken bones. Need to cheat this week? Buy a rotisserie chicken and don't worry about it. 
    • Add in a side of green beans (Here's Ina Garten's awesome recipe).
    Taco Tuesday - Get-Stuck-In Chili Nachos (This link sends you to Jamie's nachos 4 ways!)
    • Give my family table the option of nachos or tacos (This recipe is super similar to the one I make almost every week).
    • Add in a simple green salad.
    • Dice up any leftover chicken and add to the taco mixture.
    • Taco Tuesday will be here every week until further notice. My kids really look forward to this day and it's so fun to have weekly themes!
    White Bean, Bacon and Tomato Soup (This recipe is app only. I have linked you to something similar.)
    • Use the leftover carcass to make a stock. You can also pop this in a slow cooker and it will be ready when you get home!
    • Add in a side of Christina's Roasted Broccoli (The recipe is in there... I promise.)
    • Make some garlic bread or grilled cheese for dipping! It's a "bridge" food to get my kids to eat soup!
    • I puree my soup completely (My eaters do not do "chunks" yet). And add extra sea salt to taste!!! Super important!!!
    • Make sure to garnish with extra bacon and we also have cubed avocado on the side.
    Salmon Fish Fingers with Pea Mash

    • I used a package of "everything bagels" in place of the ciabatta bread and it worked like a charm! I toasted them up open face in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes (let cool before processing into bread crumbs).

    *Here is a handy conversion link for the online euro measurements (the app uses US measurements).
    *Buy Antibiotic free, organic, grass fed meat if possible (Here's why).
    *Use the "Clean fifteen + Dirty Dozen" produce guidelines to save money and reduce pesticides and herbicides.

    Lindsey’s Blueberry Protein Bars
    Great for on the go snacks or breakfast!





    1.5 c leftover cooked quinoa
    1/2 c quick cooking steel cut oats
    3/4 c flour (gluten free blend - or - have you ever tried sprouted flour?)
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 c ground chia seeds (white or black)
    2/3 c raw chopped or slivered almonds 
    1/3 c avocado oil
    1/2 c honey
    1 tsp sea salt (Optional: cut to 1/2 tsp and sprinkle sea salt on the top!)
    1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    2 c frozen blueberries
    1/2 c mini dark chocolate chips (Options: Mix in, omit or melt and dribble over the top once bars have cooled!)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients up in a large bowl. Place in a shallow casserole dish, a small cookie sheet, muffin cups or a granola bar pan. Cook 25-30 min or until middle of mixture springs back/is muffin firm to touch. Let cool and cut into rectangles or squares. Keep in the refrigerator. *The pictures have no chocolate inside. Thanks Mom for suggesting I add them in!



    To the Mullies we go...
    xoxoL

    ps 

    pps 
    Music to stay motivated in the gym + in the kitchen: No Rights, No Wrongs 

    ppps
    Hate grocery shopping, hate meal planning but want to cook from scratch more often?
    Check out Hello Fresh or Blue Apron!