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20 Jan

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We’re back!

17 Nov

It’s been over a year since my last post — life is busy but we are still following our weekly meal plan and enjoying lots of yummy healthy food.  From now on posts will be authored by my oldest son Sam!!  Sam loves our weekly meal planning and has expanded his taste buds tremendously through this process.  I’m so excited to have him “working” for me!!

Take it away Sam!!

This week (November 17, 2013-November 22, 2013), the menu looks like this

(mom’s note:  for all of the roasted vegetables you see in the recipes below, I just toss the veggies in some olive oil and salt and roast in a 400 degree oven.  Make twice as much veggie as you need for dinner and use the leftovers for healthy lunches all week long!  I love to make a batch of brown rice or quinoa and a batch of lentils or beans at the beginning of the week as well and pack roasted veggies mixed with brown rice and lentils for lunch — try tossing all that goodness with a little of this Friday’s hummus dressing)

Sun: Thai beef lettuce cups, roasted broccoli, brown rice. This is really good. You basically eat beef in a “bowl” made out of lettuce. And for those people who don’t like broccoli, I guarantee you’ll like it roasted. White rice also goes well with this (mom’s note:  if you are watching your sugar intake eliminate the fish sauce.  Gluten free? — use Tamari instead of soy sauce)

MonLemon & fennel braised chicken, roasted asparagus, brown rice. This time I don’t suggest white rice, but you can try it. I don’t like asparagus unless it’s roasted. It’s sort of like broccoli. I’ve tried braised chicken, but not lemon & fennel braised chicken. (mom’s note:  I love these crispy (i.e. skin on chicken), but to lighten things up you can use boneless skinless and make this more of a “poached” chicken.  I also leave out the olives since I’m the only olive lover in the house)

TuesBaked salmon, roasted kale & roasted carrots. Still, same as the broccoli & asparagus, if you don’t like kale, you’ll probably like roasted kale. Roasted carrots are also good too. I have never tried baked salmon. I bet it’ll tasty!! (mom’s note:  no real recipe for this one.  Just sprinkle some cumin and coriander on the salmon and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes)

WedSweet potato shepherd’s pie & kale salad. Kale salad is so good, especially when you get the kale with the fruit on your fork. The shepherd’s pie is also really good. The pie is also a great lunch.   (mom’s note:  I’ve been making this salad with the added dressing and without the honey recently.  The massaging process and the fruit (we love using berries and/or mango) make the salad plenty sweet without it)

ThursSoba noodle chicken soup, arugula & roasted tomato salad. I don’t eat tomatoes, so I cant really tell you if the salad is good or not. We’ve had the salad a few times, & my family says it’s good! The soup is really good too.   (mom’s note:  The olive oil from the roasted tomatoes is almost enough to not need and dressing for this salad.  If you need a little more just a simple splash of olive oil and squeeze of fresh lemon will do the trick!)

FriFalafel with hummus dressing & shaved fennel salad. I don’t eat hummus either so 2 reasons I can’t tell you if it’s god or bad. 1; I don’t eat hummus, & 2; IT’S OUR NEW FOOD OF THE WEEK!!!  (mom’s note:  I recommend using a small amount of coconut oil to pan fry the falafel.  For the hummus dressing:  mix 1Tbsp lowfat hummus (most grocery store hummus has added canola oil — try to find hummus without oil) with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and some chopped fresh basil, add water to thin to desired consistency.  Make a larger batch and keep it in your refrigerator to toss with leftover veggies for breakfast or lunch!)


15 Jul

It’s summer, and hence, I am not blogging about food very often, but I am definitely still cooking!

Nothing says summer like a few good friends and a fantastic BBQ where all the hard work is done in advance (so the host (that’s me!) can sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy my fantastic company!)

Tonight’s meal:

Best-Ever Barbecued Ribs (these ribs definitely took center stage tonight — super easy … make ahead … delicious!!!)

Fresh Corn Salad (doesn’t get easier than this!!)

Dilly New Potato Salad with Summer Sausage (completely delicious … the recipe is WAY too big — cut it in half at least, unless you are eating it as a main course)

Roasted Kale (no recipe needed for this one … Green Kale, chopped in slightly larger that bite sized pieces, tossed with Olive Oil and Salt and roasted on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes)


Top 5 ways my kids love green food

19 Apr

I had a request for the top 5 ways to prepare veggies — these are my kids favorites!

 (its the massaging of the Kale that makes all the difference in this one (I just use regular green kale — not dino) — you’ve got to do it until the kale really wilts down and changes texture.  I use this dressing for almost every salad I make — its the only dressing my kids will consistently eat.  I usually use mango and strawberries in this salad, but you can use whatever your kids like best)

2) Bok Choy:  I always make this with Cod, but if your kids don’t eat fish the bok choy on its own is delicious as well

COD BRAISED WITH BOK CHOY: (recipe from “main dishes, new healthy kitchen” by Williams-Sonoma)

2 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp dry white wine, 1/2 clove garlic, minced, 1 tsp minced fresh ginger, 1 head bok choy, trimmed and coarsely chopped, 4 cod or other firm fish fillets (4 oz each)

Stir 2 Tbsp soy sauce, wine, garlic, and ginger together in a small bowl. Set aside.  Immerse bok choy in a bowl of water.  Lift from water to a large saute pan.  Place over medium-high heat, add 1/4 cup water, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until tender, 4-5 minutes.  Pour off liquid, return to low heat, and stir in soy sauce mixture.  Place fish fillets on top of bok choy, cover, and cook until fish is opaque through-out, about 4 minutes. Serve accompanied with soy sauce.  (to prepare: 15 minutes; to cook: 10 minutes; 4 servings)

3) Roasted Broccoli:  I cannot get Miles to eat steamed broccoli … but he loves it this way!   Just toss some florets in a little olive oil and salt and roast in a 400 degreee oven until they gat a tiny bit blackened.  Makes them nice and salty with a bit of a crunchy texture.

4) Sauteed Spinach (works great with Chard as well): My boys had something like this at a restaurant one night and absolutely loved it … you can start out with a little more fruit: spinach ratio if that will get them more excited about it =)

Sauteed Spinach with Apples, Raisins & Pine Nuts: 1 apple diced, 1 cup raisins, 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted, 3 garlic cloves, crushed, 4 Tbps. finely diced shallot, 2-3 Tbps. Olive Oil, 3-4 cups fresh spinach.  Heat olive oil in skillet.  Saute shallots and garlic until softened.  Add apples and raisins and cook until apples soften and raisins plump.  In the meantime toast pine nuts on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven until lightly browned (about 3 min.). Add spinach to skillet allowing it to wilt to make room for more spinach.  Once all the spinach is wilted turn off heat and toss pine nuts into the mixture.
5) Roasted Asparagus:  prepared just like the Roasted Broccoli above.  Just a little olive oil and salt, cooked in a 400 degree oven just long enough to get a little toasted but not too long or it will get mushy (easy to do on the grill as well!)

Happy veggie cooking!!! (and, one more hint  … the more involved I get them in the preparation the better the food tastes to them … they actually fight over who gets to massage the kale sometimes =) )

Playing with Produce

17 Apr

I feel like in the past 2 months my cooking has taken a new and deliciously fun turn.  I’m relying less on recipes and more on my senses to put together yummy, healthy, in-season meals!  I was inspired this week by a fabulous book called “The Jungle Effect” by Daphne Miller.  It takes a really interesting look at indigenous diets and provides a great perspective on the prevention of modern diseases through healthy, local eating.  Here’s our weekly menu:

SAT: Artic Char baked on a bed of leeks; Sauteed spinach with apples, raisins and pine nuts; Farro salad with sweet potatoes & toasted walnuts

SUN: Pan Roasted Chicken (using coconut oil to cook these days rather than canola … fabulous!! — the original recipe can be found in the “Just Recipes” index); Watermelon & Jicama Salad (did you know that watermelon offers lycopene … the same fabulous phytochemical found in tomatoes … this was good news for me since one of my kids will not eat tomatoes of any form!)

MON: Kale & Adzuki Beans (flavored with Tamari, cumin & coriander …yummy!); Brown Rice; Cilantro, Avocado & Mango Salad

TUES: Cod braised with Bok Choy (this one is a favorite and can be found in the “Just Recipes” index)

WED: Veggie Stir Fry with Soba Noodles

THUR: Black-Eyed Pea and Spelt Berry Salad

only trouble with this weeks menu in terms of blogging is that I don’t really have recipes for most of these … just winging it depending on which fruits and veggies are available …

This photo is of last night’s meal (Kale & Adzuki Beans, brown rice, Cilantro, Avocado & Mango Salad) — I still find it hard to believe that my kids will not only eat a meal like this, but sing it’s praises and take the leftovers to school for lunch!!


Weekly Menu

7 Mar

This week’s menu consists of a lot of favorites!  Enjoy!

SUNDAY: Peach lacquered chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Kale Salad (I make this chicken with a combo of thighs, drumsticks and breasts rather than wings)

MONDAY: Turkey meatballs with cranberry gravy, roasted sweet potatoes (see “Just Recipes” index — this is a great recipe to get the kids involved in making =) )

TUESDAY: pizza night!

WEDNESDAY: Cod braised with Bok Choy, brown rice (see “Just Recipes” index — this is one of the fastest and most satisfying meals!!)

THURSDAY: Asian flank steak and noodle salad

This week’s menu

27 Feb

MON: Pan roasted chicken and Sauteed spinach with apples, raisins & pine nuts

TUES: Artichoke & Sausage Frittata and Pear & Pecan Salad

WED: Bucatini with Pork & Fennel Ragu and Mixed Green Salad

THURS:  Cranberry Beans with Citrus & Apple and Fennel Gratinata

FRI: Flank Steak with Walnut Pesto (vege: TBD)

(for any recipes without a link look in the “Just Recipes” index)


Make ahead meal … made by the kids!

22 Feb

Heading out of town for a long weekend of skiing — woo-hoo!!  My least favorite part is immediately running the grocery store on arrival to put together a quick meal, or worse, having to grab some yucky takeout because everyone is so hungry by the time we get there.

Solution?  Pork and Apple Pie

— made ahead and ready to reheat and serve with a fresh green salad on arrival.  The best part is that Sam and Miles made this one practically on their own!  Will let you know if it tastes as good as it looks.


Fats & Oils??

21 Feb

I recently did a bit of a pantry clean out to make sure that I’m cooking with the fats & oils that are healthiest for my family.  My favorite new oil is coconut oil.  It can be used for anything that calls for canola or vegetable oil.  I thought it might make all my food taste like coconut, but, surprisingly it does not. Try it with my Pan Roasted Chicken recipe … you’ll love it!

Check out this quick and easy guide from Real Food Digest (I printed it out and taped it to the inside of the cabinet where my oils are kept)


I’m Back!

20 Feb

It has been WAY too long since I’ve posted!  However, the good news is that our weekly menu planning continues to go strong and I’ve found some fabulous new recipes in the past couple of months.  I’ll be back with weekly menus soon, but tonight’s meal was just the inspiration I needed to blog again.

This meal came from the fabulous Tori Ritchie.  If you do not yet subscribe to her “Tuesdays with Tori” you must — fantastically delicious meal inspiration!

Tonight’s fabulous meal????

Spaghetti Carbonara

this is super simple to make …. certainly not healthy, but not as horrible as I’d thought Carbonara was … its basically bacon & egg spaghetti (how can you go wrong there?!?!)

To balance out the bacon & egg deliciousness I paired this with simple oven roasted tomatoes & roasted asparagus.  This meal is really a true testament to the fact that sometimes simple is the most delicious!