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    • Lunch for the kiddos!

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    •  6/29/2012 3:24:41 PM
    • Summer time lunches!


        Between playing with friends and joining me on my errands, lunchtime can get a little crazy! This is a favorite go-to lunch solution for my girls! Its quick and easy. I can always use the same toppings over a bed of spinach or romaine for my lunch.


      This is what I call "Hand-fulls" lunch! The kids can pick a handful of a number of items. I do require a few things, but let them choose others. 

       

       

       

      Here are some of our favorites:


      Blueberries

      Raspberries

      Blackberries

      Cherry tomatoes

      Kidney beans

      Broccoli

      Carrots

      Hummus

      Pita chips

      Avocados

      Red peppers

      Cauliflower

      Walnuts

      Almonds



      This is a quick simple and healthy alternative to a traditional sandwich!

       

       

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    • New favorite Dinner!

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    •  6/25/2012 9:40:35 AM
    • This is what I came up with for our special Father's Day dinner last Sunday. We served it with a side of grilled veggies. It was so yummy, we have had this same meal three times since! 

       

       



      1 cup quinoa

      2 cups water

      2 yams

      1 can kidney beans

      1 avocado

      1 red pepper, chopped

      cilantro to taste (I like to use about 1 cup chopped)

      1 lime

      2-4 kale leaves

      1/2 lemon

      salt and pepper to taste



      Directions:


      Preheat Oven 400 degrees


      Rinse and drain quiona. Pour two cups water into a medium pot with the quinoa, bring to boil, turn heat to med-low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the water is completely absorbed.  While the quinoa is cooking slice yams into thin circles the quarter them.  Cover a cookie sheet with tin foil and lightly grease the foil. Arrange the yams to lay even on the pan and  sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake in the oven until soft, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and fold the foil over the top to lock in the heat and slightly steam the yams until you are ready to use them. While the yams and quinoa are cooking mix up some delicious guac. Mash the avocado with juice from the lime, chopped red pepper, and chopped cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.  Stem kale leaves and chop in to smaller pieces, bring water to boil in a medium sauce pan (use enough water to cover the bottom of the pan). When the water is boiling add kale, cover with a lid, and remove from heat. It only takes about 3 minutes to steam the kale to brightly colored green. Squeeze jiuce from half a lemon over the steamed kale.  Rinse and drain kidney beans.


      If done right, everything should finish about the same time.  This whole delish meal should only take 30 minutes to prepare and cook!


      Now for the fun part: Creating your beautiful wholesome meal!  Start with a large handful of kale, then quinoa, yams, kidney beans, topped with a large scoop of guac! I love it all mixed together, my kids separate some of the items out. I am totally fine with that. They just have little piles of each item on their plates and can mix what they want! THEY LOVE THIS!

       

      Now if I could just come up with  a name... any thoughts?

       

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    • Strawberry Jammin' ~ Freezer style!

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    •  6/15/2012 8:49:01 PM
    •  

       

      What a glorious day I have had today! It's been so much fun trying something new (and having success!) There is something so joyful and satisfying about creating. I think we often get so caught up in the busy day to day that we forget our greatest purpose... to create! We let the idea of all these amazing projects overwhelm us. Today I finally did something I have wanted to try for a number of years. I had posted about it on Facebook so I felt a little more committed. :)


      Once I got started, I wondered why I had waited so long it was so fun and simple! My girls absolutely loved helping as well!


      I took these: Strawberries and White Peaches and turned them into...

       

       

      THIS... FREEZER JAM. I know for some of you that may seem a simple feat, but for a 1st timer like me, it was pure joy! I may have had a little too much fun, I ended up with 20 jars and wanted to run to the store to grab more because I had a few peaches leftover! 

       

       

       

      The recipe is simple and as far as I can taste universal for whichever fruit you LOVE.

      At our house we absolutely LOVE white peaches, they come around once a year for us and only last a few months. When they are perfectly ripe they taste like candy!

      I bought one box from Costco and one large 4lb carton of strawberries. I was determined to make my jam with a lot less sugar and not use white sugar at all. I opted for Sucanat Sugar, it can be found at most higher end grocery stores or health food stores. It is unrefined natural sugar made from evaporated cane juice. I have used it before and it desolves well so I figured I would give it a shot!

       


      Low Sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam

      (recipe adapted from about 12 recipes I found online)

      Makes five 8 oz jars

       

       

      cups crushed strawberries (about 1 1/2 lbs ripe strawberries)
      cup  sucanat sugar
      3/4 cup water
      1 box SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin (premium for less or no sugar recipes)
       
       

      Directions:

       

       Core, chop, and crush strawberries.  Place 3 cups prepared fruit into large bowl. Stir in sucanat sugar. Let stand 10 min.
       
      Mix water and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling and stirring 1 min. Add to fruit mixture; stir until sugar is almost dissolved.
       
      Fill all containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Leave at room temp for 24 hours. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or in freezer up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.
       
       
       
       
      I made strawberry peach jam, white each, and of course strawberry jam! They all turned out mighty tasty and will come in handy this next school year for those days when a PB&J is the only option! Twenty jars in 2 hours... so simple! 
       
       
       
      *If you are going to make peach jam, here are a few quick tips: Six large peaches = 3 cups chopped. Chop them very small, mushing them makes them stringy. The fastest way to remove the peel, place peaches in boiling hot water for 2 minutes then dip them into a bowl of ice water, the peel should slide right off! Good Luck!

       

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    • Fun stuff in the news!

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    •  6/7/2012 7:39:26 AM
    •  I know there are people out there who don't care to hear that being vegan is a celebrity trend, but I LOVE IT! I think the more exposure that eating a plant-based diet gets the easier it will be for us "commoners" to get access to the foods we want and need at local grocers! If you didn't catch Michelle Pfeiffer on CNN talking about changing her diet here is the vid:

       

       

       

       If you missed Dr Joel Fuhrman on Dr OZ this week here is a link to an article of the happenings from that great show. They introduced a 7-day crash diet, helping you dive right in to plant based eating: The 7 day crash diet

       

       

      Last, but not least, I really wanted to share this fantastic website I stumbled across: http://www.localharvest.org/ I typed in my zip code and found several local farms where I can purchase fresh grown organic produce!! AWESOME! Check it out. 

       

       

      Hope you are all having a fabulous week and enjoying sunshine and veggies! :)

      Loads of love~

      NEWBIE

       

       

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    • Lemon Pepper Kale w/Quinoa

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    •  6/2/2012 12:34:29 PM
    •  Last night I was in a hurry and needed to grab something quick. That is usually when I compromise my nutritional standards, but I was determined not to. I was heading to  yoga class and did not want to be late! I started some plain quinoa on the stove while I changed my clothes. Then I chopped some kale to steam. Below is a photo from my iphone of my new FAVORITE kale dish! 

       


      Lemon Pepper Kale w/Quinoa



      Lemon Pepper Kale w/Quinoa 

      *Serves two for main dish or six as a side dish.

      1/2 c quinoa rinsed

      1 cup water

      1/2 lemon

      3-4 Large kale leaves

      freshly ground pepper to taste


      Directions:

      Place quinoa and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil, turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes (until water is absorbed). Remove stem from kale, rinse and chop. Prepare a medium frying pan with enough water to cover the bottom, place on stove and bring water to a boil, when the water is boiling drop in the kale and cover with a lid. Turn off heat or remove from burner. Leave the lid on for 3 minutes and allow the hot water to steam the kale (there are many ways to steam kale, this is my go-to quick method). Make sure not to over cook the kale!

       

       Once the kale is steamed divide onto two plates, place about 1/2 cup cooked quinoa on top of the kale. Squeeze lemon juice and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper to taste!  

       

      This dish took me about 20 minutes from start to finish and I was able to run around the house getting kids gathered and ready to head out the door. 

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