Saturday, September 29, 2012

day 21 beef burgandy night

i wanted to make something cozy yesterday.  hello fall.

i pretty much followed this beef burgandy recipe to a T.

and holy smack my holies was it good.  

my notes:  
i used 2 buck chuck shiraz to keep the $ down
3 lb chuck roast from fresh market (on sale)
the almond flour worked awesome to coat the meat
i used coconut oil instead of butter
totally forgot the tomato paste (just realized this as i am looking at the recipe again...oops)
i used chicken stock instead of beef (had it on hand)
i used herbes de provence as my spice mix

i went way overboard on my peeling of sweet potatoes.   i must have been hungry.  this amount (6 potatoes) made 3 tray fulls of fries and we devoured 2.  

here is a great link for guaranteed crispy sweet potato fries.  i like her sense of humor too:)

the only thing i did was substitute the corn starch with brown rice flour.  another bullzzzzeye baby.

don't forget to soak them for at least an hour whether you do sweet or regular.'s the secret magic trick.  

I used a big 'ol towel to dry them and it worked really well for the crazy amount i had.  

lay down 1/3 towel, place single layer of fries, fold over another 1/3, layer it get the picture.

fill a gallon zip lock bag with some rice flour and shake and bake.  

i didn't heed her warning of "do not overstuff the tray with fries".  haha, i had three trays of overstuffed fries!!!! they did not get crispy.  so, i just broiled each tray, one by one, at the end, for about 4 minutes.  crispy perfection.  then, i added more salt when they came out of the oven.  i love salty fries.

(tonight, the fries cooked up even better as leftovers.  instead of a cookie tray, i put them on my double broiler pan - will use that next time and hold some of the potatoes.)

i totally flaked and forgot to take pictures of my BEETS!!!  so here's a generic picture.  

i have never bought fresh beets from the garden, always in a can or some kind of packaging.  so i had NO idea how to prepare these bitches.  i roasted them right along with the beef burgandy, for the entire 2.5 hours of slow roasting.  they turned out magical!!!  ...and were even better cold tonight.

thank you catherine for passing the recipe along!  it's a keeper and now i know how to prepare beets:) 

i also chopped up the beet greens for the salad.  who knew!? 

how did the kids do?  well, they loved the fries...and the homemade applesauce my mom brought (THAT will be another post soon...holy shitballs).  
as for the beef burgandy, we adults devoured it with a "stay classy san diego" on top. 

 the kids can stick it.

Beets with Garlic-Walnut Sauce

2 pounds red beets, about 4 large, trimmed of greens
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets well. While still wet, wrap them individually in foil and place on a cookie sheet or roasting pan. Bake beets, undisturbed, for 60 to 90 minutes, until a thin-bladed knife pierces each with little resistance. (They may cook at different rates; remove each one when it is done.)

Meanwhile, put oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. When it is warm, add garlic and cook until fragrant and beginning to soften, about 6 minutes. Add walnuts and continue to cook until they begin to color, about another 4 minutes. Let mixture cool slightly and then put it in a small food processor; process until you have a relatively smooth paste. Add orange juice to taste and sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper.

After beets have cooled, peel off skins. Slice beets into wedges or cubes and toss with dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning, garnish with parsley and serve.

NY Times, February 27, 2009

Friday, September 28, 2012

a working grocery list and our favorite smoothie recipe

i have had a few friend requests for my new grocery list items.  sorry it has taken me so long!

i have been using this "working" list and it will be nice to continue making adjustments here without the scribble scrabble.

I tried to only include items that are "new" to our pantry.  i will continue to come back to this list and update it.  i have been able to find everything between target, mariano's, cosco, trader joe's and all ways healthy.  i am trying to be careful with how much soy products i give mac & tommy, trying to avoid too much estrogen in their little bodies:)

next step, compare prices and shop smarter...

baking/cooking items
sucanat brown sugar
nutritional yeast
regular yeast
almond flour
coconut flour
flaxseed meal
brown rice flour
bob's red mill gluten free all purpose baking flour
himalayan salt (found it at tjmax!)
trader joe's organic coconut oil

smoothie ingredients
raw hemp seeds
goji berries
trader joe's vanilla hemp powder (haven't used yet)
chia seeds
cascadian farms organic frozen berries (cosco)
frozen strawberries
pb2 powdered peanut butter
sweetleaf liquid stevia sweet drops berry flavor

cliff bars
simply bars
gogo squeeze apple sauce
veggie chips
lays potato chips
dried fruit snack packs from cosco
lundberg brown rice cakes (great w/ peanut butter on top)
annie's organic bunny fruit snacks (these are a rare treat)
coconut icecream

fruitables juice boxes
trader joes canned light coconut milk
rice milk
regular almond milk and dark chocolate almond milk
homemade walnut milk
simply orange juice

bare chicken
thousand hills 100% grass fed nitrite free beef products
applegate farms bacon, turkey (by the lb at target!), gluten free nuggets/corndogs & breakfast sausage

condiments & sauces
vegenaise sandwich spread and horseradish sauce
organic ketchup
organic pickles
earth's balance natural buttery spread (soy free)
skippy natural peanut butter & justin's honey peanut butter (just bought it, we'll see!)
welch's concord grape spread
trader joe's organic midnight moo chocolate syrup
trader joe's bolognese tomato sauce
trader joe's organic mustard
tofutti sour cream & cream cheese (on my list to get when i need them...thanks tiffany!)

whole grains
udi's white bread
quinoa & quinoa pasta
brown rice & brown rice pasta (kids say tinkyada brand IS the best - thanks t!)
trader joe's organic country white bread (yes, we keep some gluten bread for the hubby)

daiya mozzarella and cheddar style shredded cheese

large box of organic fruits and veggies from all ways healthy.

here is my recipe for the family favorite smoothie right now.  the only difference between the two kids' smoothies?  mac likes a banana added and abbie prefers no banana, a frozen berry mix added, plus two drops of the stevia sweet drops (she drinks more if it's sweeter!).

strawberry power smoothie with the nutribullet
frozen strawberries
frozen berries
vanilla coconut milk
3 T raw hemp seeds
1-2 drops of sweetleaf stevia drops berry flavor

they drink about half of the smoothie for breakfast and i save the rest for a snack when they get home from school.

have i told you how much i love this little blender?

happy friday!  i have a big dinner planned tonight, can't wait:)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

sunshine on day 19

a note & update from abbie's classroom teacher

"Abbie has definitely been focusing more than I have ever seen.  Of course there are little times when I have to remind her, but she will even work when she does not think a teacher is looking.  It is like she is much more interested in school!  This is great!  Maybe I need to go on your nutrition plan..."

oh lovely days

thank you catherine, so very much.  

no preservatives
no artificial colors & flavors
no refined sugar
(almost gluten and dairy free)

2.5 weeks and counting...


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

enchiladas with a side of major mullies news

we had enchiladas for dinner last night.

i was nervous.

#1 i have never used this daiya cheese before, and come on it's not real cheese people.  gross.
#2 hello i put spinach in this.
#3 i have never made this ever.

here is my enchilada meat mix (in order of addition)

1 lb grass fed organic ground beef 15/20
suck out the grease
eyeballed shakes of chili powder, cumin and sweet paprika (kids don't like it too spicy)
approx 1/2 c of chicken broth (or whatever broth you have on hand...also eyeballed)
1 T of organic sucanat (or brown sugar is just fine)
1.5 T of leftover walnut pulp!!!!!  (the white stuff in the container)
simmer with the lid on

i mixed the mozzarella and cheddar shreds


nuke the tortilla about 20 seconds before you put it together. 

trust me, if you don't, it'll break and not make a pretty little burrito baby.

mac had to leave early for flag football so i made his time, when we all eat together, i'll use a bigger baking dish and line them all up.  

this small dish really worked well for small portions (2 enchiladas actually fit in mine) & staggered eating...key for busy nights.


 ok, so i had to feed tommy...but he ate almost the entire thing!  mac ate an entire one by himself.  I split abbie and tommy's 1st enchilada because i was not holding my breath... 

abbie asked for another one an hour later.  

abbie has never like cheese in the past so i was totally floored by the daiya.  it melts like cheese and tastes darn good heated up.  i do not recommend eating it out of the bag...just not like the real deal.  

and how about that walnut pulp!?  you could not even tell it was in there, super awesome.

and for the very best news...

abbie's reading teacher emailed me with an update:  "I have noticed a positive difference in Abbie's attention level since I've been working with her again.  She is pretty much on task the entire 30 minutes of the reading lesson.  She continues to read to herself (which is what she is supposed to do) when I'm listening to other students, follows my directions, and is engaged in the lesson."  

i read this while i was cooking the enchiladas, listening to the holiday soundtrack (oh love that movie) of course, i got a teansy weansy bit emotional.  i mean the director even said "cut". 

this sh*t is working man.  to the mullies i say.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

day 17

i think the kids are up to my shenanigans with the smoothies...i add a little too much chard this morning.  the raw hemp seeds are working out just fine, but i was on the search today for a protein powder and here's what i found:

i'm thinking this could be yummy and since the younger two has texture issues, this will make a very smooth smoothie indeed.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 16

happy monday!

the weekend was a great one.  i cooked a lot.  the kids are definitely getting used to mom's "healthy" cooking and there is less whining.  wow.  it's taken over two weeks,  but chris and i are finally seeing marked improvement.  tommy actually fed himself last night for the bulk of the meal.

we are finding they will eat more bites, and more bites and more bites if there is something at the end worth eating for.  last night it was juicy oranges and holy cow do they love oranges.

the plates were cleared.  

i caught up with my magazine reading and found my weekend recipes in the October Better Homes and Gardens.  i'll start with some pineapple fried rice i made on friday.  yea, not a hit with the younger two...but we are getting them used to eating rice.  it's definitely a texture thang and we're gonna keep at it!

i added quinoa for some more protein.  omitted the garbanzo beans.  super easy and really good leftovers.

Saturday was a monster cooking and baking day.  I never did get to those oat bars, but i will do that this week:)  I made these banana cinnamon bun muffins for breakfast and added goji berries to the smoothie list.  the kids really liked the muffins.  i used an egg replacer which worked out pretty good.  I would love to try these again with actual eggs.  YUM.

the smoothies are a HUGE hit.  i cannot believe how much i love this little blender.  it really is magic.

i literally started cooking at 3pm for dinner on saturday.  


i keep messing up on the no gluten thing.  this dish is brown ale-braised chicken, also from my BHG.  as i was pouring in the sam adams octoberfest beer i thought...CRAP!  that has wheat in it!!!  
oh well, not gonna lose my panties over it:)

aren't these potatoes so cute!  you gotta try them.  the kids were a little weirded out my purple potatoes. my mom and i got abbie to eat them by doing a blind taste test.  she ate them all:)  the only change: i used only evoo (extra virgin olive oil), no butter, and just s&p for seasoning.

the broccoli is now a fan favorite (tommy is getting there...).  just chop up some fresh green babies, douse em in evoo and sprinkle chopped garlic, course salt and pepper all over.  my girlfriend christina adds whole garlic cloves so they won't burn...gotta try that.  

and last but not least, i made these awesome chocolate chip cookies.  yes, from a box...but oh so good.  i am going to get some millet flour and try experiment with making my own.  

i know, these look like poo too, but they are GONE by last night. 

the kids are hanging in the kitchen longer at the island with me as i cook.  we talk, they make all sorts of projects, finish homework etc.  they are "working" at the island longer than they ever have before.  

is it the food?  is it the atmosphere?  is it me?  probably a combo of all three and i could not be happier.  

i dooooo have a lot more dishes though...

Friday, September 21, 2012

snack attack

4-ingredient banana oat bars from thekitchn with lots of other lunch box/breakfast recipe links.

making these day along with a box of gluten free chocolate chip cookies i got yesterday:)

it's baking day.

friday the 13th day

how perrrty is that box of organic wonderfulness!?  

i used a stalk of that rainbow chard there on top (yea, never bought that before!) in a fruit smoothie last night and NOBODY knew it was in there.  hehehhehhheeeeeee.  
(insert my evil laugh)

for dinner last night we had spagetti with my favorite trader giotto's bolognese sauce, chicken nuggets and mandarine oranges.  the biggest thing i have been surprised about is how i've been able to replace virtually everything we have eaten before with healthier options.  the most frequent response to what i'm doing sounds something like this:

"well, what the heck are you going to eat!?"  "those children must be starving!"

in their heads it sounds more like, "what the fuck is she doing!? this is way overboard lady."

 now that i'm really paying attention, the kids are getting more calcium, more protein and more nutrients than they were getting before.   but i get it, i thought the same thing 13 days ago.   

lunch update:

Since we have gone further with the elimination diet and included gluten and diary, here's what has changed for the kids:

udi's white bread (it's different, but they like it!) 
earth balance natural buttery spread - soy free 
coconut chocolate milk
amande cultured almond milk strawberry (new today)
so delicious cultured coconut milk vanilla (new today)

since this is not celiac we're dealing with, i am not sanitizing my kitchen or getting a new toaster.  i still give my youngest butter and regular bread, not so concerned with him.

i made homemade walnut milk yesterday!  i used in the smoothies last night and this morning.  seriously delish:)  my dad got the recipe from dr oz!

homemade walnut milk

soak 1 cup walnuts for at least 1 hour (i soaked mine overnight cuz i forgot)
drain them.
add 3 cups of water
pinch of salt
(add vanilla or other sweetener if you'd like, i didn't use any)
blend in the nutri bullet
optional: strain the pulp (cheese cloth would work too)

i found a link for what to do with nut pulp.  perhaps i'll try something from that list.

can you hear the kumbaya singers in the background or what!?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

day 12

let the data collection begin!

yesterday i went to a school meeting for miss abbie.  we had several last year so it was nice to know everyone there.  the most exciting part about the meeting for me (with my nerd speech and language background) is that the reading data collected so far this year is prior to the diet change. it is also consistant with where she was at the end of last year.  will there be a change at school like there has been at home? oh boy i hope so.

i'm going all in with her elimination diet.  artificial colors & preservatives, dairy and gluten.  gulp.  for at least 6-8 weeks.  cuz here's the thing, if it doesn't work, then we'll go back to being "normal" after two months of really going ballz to the wallz.  if it does work....well, hello my little miracle.  did i mention that this is hard?  but i am so motivated and so excited by the changes so far at home that i'm going to keep plugging along before our next move.  

the other decision i have made is that i am going to hold off on the homeopathic/attention pill until we can see how the food is effecting things.  i want to be able to pull apart the two know, keep my variables in check.

i am just so grateful for the work and effort this team of teachers and educators are putting into helping abbie.  our next meeting is nov 7, and each week until then, data will be collected on reading skills, paying attention, etc.  oh yea, a nerd's dream.

she is currently testing a full grade level behind in reading as of the beginning of the school year.  so hold to your sweet cheeks everybody, the countdown has started.

the most colorful din din last night:

i pretty much followed the recipe to a T and just substituted the shrimp with huge-ola scallops.  

have my children ever had this...ah yea no...HA!  i loved loved loved it btw:)

my adventurous mac tried the scallops and loved em.  "tastes like meat!" the orange stuff is julienned sweet potatoes...and i will definitely be trying the leftovers with gluten free pasta tonight!!! 

my little tommy ate three good bites.  i had to feed him though (i really want to break this habit, but he's only three and this plate was a stretch for him), and he ate them! 

my "if it looks different i'm gonna puke" abbie had a really tough time with this one.  major major drama.  she cried, she tried a bite and had to spit it out in hysterics.  i told her she needed to calm down and to go up to her room to put her pj's on.  then she came down with this note for me.

i am so sorry mommy.  i didn't mean to spoil the food.  love you mommy, from abbie.
(notice the name header & the date!)

oh gosh, made me well up.  seriously.

later that night she had a handful of almonds and five leftover strips of bacon from the counter.  

she loves bacon:)


i get to pick up my first large organic mixed produce box today from All Ways Healthy!  yippeeeee, gonna try some veggie smoothies tonight.  maybe i'll call it our mad scientist smoothie night:)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

day 11 and my new toy

oh dolly it came.  my early xmas present from my parents.  my dad got one a few months ago and he did a ton of research.  he was close to getting the vitamix, but is sooooo happy with this.  welcome to my kitchen my little friend.

so of course i made smoothies for breakfast today.  last night, i googled and pinned a few recipes for inspo and here is what i came up with this morning.

1st up was the chocolate peanut butter protein smoothie for mac and tommy.  they loved it.

1 banana
1 T cocoa powder
2 T peanut butter (or whatever nut butter you want)
3 T raw hemp seeds (found em at cosco)
1 C almond butter (or whatever milk/non dairy you want)
1/4 t vanilla 
1 T coconut oil (this stuff rocks)
ice (turns out, they prefer it cold)

abbie did not like the boys' smoothie.  thought it was gross.  so i made her something fruity and she loved that, even with the bits of chia seeds (which are small like raspberry seeds).
1 c frozen berry blend
1 T chia seeds (from peapod, but i know i can find them at my local health food stores)
3 T raw hemp seeds
1 C almond milk 
1 pear

can't wait to try more and add veggies soon:)

none of them were able to drink it all, so i have saved it in the fridge for an after school snack.  yea baby.  my dad had done the research on the hemp and chia, did not stumble upon that myself.  thanks daddio.  now for the jokes on pot (which this is not!) and chia pets...

i am getting better at how i get my kids to eat at mealtimes.  one of the WORST things about this change is that my kids whine a little more.  wait, they always whine.  i hate whining.  who doesn't like nails on a chalkboard?  so i took the advice of a few friends & bloggers and decided to change myself.  just let go.  the kids aren't going to starve (repeat many times).  they will eat when they are hungry (repeat many times).

case in point, my youngest just found and ate (from the garbage) his half eaten peanut butter brown rice cake i threw out an hour ago...i guess he's hungry... i need to stop typing and feed him.

we ate in shifts last night because of flag football practice.  dinner was left overs from last night with added in nitrate free, organic hotdogs (if there is such a thing) and more peas.  i know, sweet dinner mom.  

so, here's how last night went with my two younger niƱos:

kids:  mommeeeeeeee, i don't want this!
me: ok, but you have to try a bite of everything before you get up.
kids:  whineeeeeeeeee...
(after a bit they do it).
abbie:  what else can i have?
me: nothing unless you finish your food.
abbie:  WHAT!!?!?!?  NOOOOOOOooooooooooo 
(crumples in the chair like her puppy got killed)
me:  sorry honey, this is what i made for dinner tonight.
(this happens a few more times and i just stay calm and repeat (holy crap i want to yell), it's totally up to her.)
abbie:  well how much to i have to eat!?

to make that long screen play short, they both ended up finishing all their food because they wanted some veggie puffs.  see how crazy this is?  my hubby and i let this negotiating shit happen and we're in the process of breaking them out of it.  

we've been trying this for a week and chris and i are still not "great" at this.  we are getting better at breaking "our" habits with them and we are seeing improvement.  

can you believe, nobody asked for dessert.   

btw, today is a big day.  i have a meeting at school for abbie today at 1pm that we set up at the beginning of the month, before the "change".   so i'll have news either way.  hold on to your butts.

speaking of change, this post spoke to me.  loved it my dear.

who do you want to be?

Monday, September 17, 2012

SMACK MY FACE it's day 9

i wasn't going to post tonight, but i have to tell you what just happened (well about an hour ago...:)

the tv is on, we're watching some monday night fooooootbaaaaaalllll.  the kids are tucked in bed.  all of a sudden we hear abbie (who usually comes to the railing to ask for a drink or something lame).  she is above us, hanging over the railing, but this time with a book in her hand.  she asks us, "mommy, daddy, what is this word?  P-O-L-E?"  ...she asked us so nonchalantly, as if it's 4pm and she can be up.

chris and i looked at each other, jaws to the freaking floor, this has never ever in-the-history-of-man happened before:  abbie reading ON HER OWN.  how could we be mad that she wasn't in bed!?!?  well, flip me over, smack my sass and call me janet.  holy ballz.  and he went right up to read with her.  AGAIN.

she and i had already read for 30 minutes...and she wanted more.

screamin to the mullies tonight:)  it's working, it's working, it's working.

here's what we had for dinner tonight: let's call it, 

lindsey's brown rice surprise

(i was rachel ray and just eye balled this stuff)

1 chopped onion cooked in evoo with s&p
1 lb grass fed ground beef (thousand hills from target)
...that looked really after i drained the fat i added:
about 1 tbsp of herbes de provence
...hmmmmm, i should probably add a then i added
about a cup of frozen peas
1/2 cup of white wine for some flavor flav
....threw the lid on and let it simmer for about 10 min's.


Here were the kids reactions.

Mac cleaned his plate and had another helping before bed because he was still hungry.  
it was good mom.

Yea, that's about all she ate.  she likes to get her picture taken.  she took four bites with some drama.

don't i look good in my picture day outfit?!  

the sides were veggie chips and some banana slices.  

hello hamburger helper!  but it tasted sooo much better:)

here are some links i found tonight.  bookmarked baby.

kids allergies and their brains

emotional, behavioral and mental allergy symptoms