Well, today’s dinner was only the best salad ever. Just remembering it makes me wish I had more. It was jam-packed with yummy: mushrooms, avocado, hard-boiled egg, pickles, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, onions, and olives. Seriously, amazing. So amazing in fact that none of us could wait to dive and I completely forgot to take a picture until it was half gone. Oh well, it will live on in memory.
Lunch, though, I got a picture of. We call these milkshakes but that’s a pretty lose term because it basically means a drink I blended up in the food processor and never includes ice cream or even dairy milk. I don’t believe the girls have had a milkshake from somewhere else.
Yes, that is a side of raw carrots, broccoli, and kale (and yes, they did eat that raw kale!). This milkshake was pineapple. My milkshake recipe is not very accurate but essentially it is about a cup and a half of almond milk, pineapple chunks and a little of the juice, 2 pitted dates, spoonful of honey, a couple spoonfuls of unsweetened shreddy coconut, and 2 spoonfuls of plain unsweetened yogurt. This makes just enough for two little girls lunches or one daddy.
Last night we had one of my most favorite dinners. Basically, any dinner that consists of a bowl of vegetables is my favorite. I seriously love salad. I eat a ton of salads and we eat what we call a “veggie bowl” at least once a week. A Veggie Bowl is essentially a warm version of salad, no lettuce but loaded with cooked greens and other vegetables. Last night’s version of the Veggie Bowl was grilled brussels sprouts (a favorite in our house), onion, garlic, broccoli and coconut oil. We included some bacon wrapped turkey and a cold pea and carrot salad.
Typically I serve the Veggie Bowl in a bowl (and mine was) but for everyone else I separated each thing because some kids (namely Lexi) don’t love the brussels. Izzy, Brian, and I cannot get enough of the grilled brussels sprouts!
The secret to grilled brussels sprouts is all in the slicing. Once you have sliced them into thin rounds they get soft and tender when cooked. We once did a side-by-side comparison of sliced brussels and cooked whole brussels and there was no contest: sliced wins hands down. Slicing them was the game changer for us and now we are really excited when brussels sprouts makes it’s way into our fridge (well, except Lexi but she still trys).
We’ve officially reached over 70 degrees!
I wanted to give the girls a cool snack that Brian could also enjoy later when he came home. I hate popsicles (seriously, why do they all have high fructose corn syrup?!) and we don’t have ice cream. Lexi and I just bought bananas yesterday (oops, there’s only one left!) so we went with banana soft serve, which let me tell you is good enough on it’s own but this was banana soft serve deluxe edition. Banana soft serve with peanut butter, blueberry jam, and mini chocolate chips. Recipe adapted slightly from here (obviously we did not put them in popsicle molds and we halved the bananas but not the add ins). No, it doesn’t look pretty but try it and you’ll be forever changed.
What’s better on a warm day than watermelon and a cold salad? Not much, and that’s what lunch was all about.
Our backyard lunch was watermelon, carrot zucchini coleslaw salad, re-fried beans, and leftover peanut butter balls. For some reason Lexi said she didn’t like the beans or the carrot salad but she did end up eating them both.
I consider tonight’s dinner to be a big win in my battle on grains. Brian and I have not eaten, and have very little desire to eat, pasta in a really long time. Spaghetti dinners at our house used to be the girls eating noodles and sauce with a side of veggies while Brian and I put red sauce on some sort of veggie (sometimes zucchini “noodles”, spaghetti squash, even broccoli). No noodles tonight, for anyone! I served them a plate of zucchini noodles and a very veggie filled red sauce with a side salad. And guess what? They ate it and loved it!! Got to take the wins because there will be plenty of losses.
Here is the pasta dinner in it’s beauty:
Dinner was inspired by this recipe, modified for what I had on hand. Except the kale, sun-dried tomato, hemp seed pesto, which I did not modify and I so love. Also I used all the same veggies from our sauce for the girls but instead of the pesto I used a jar of red sauce.
Lunch was pretty uneventful so I’m just adding it in here:
They ate leftover quinoa and veggie salad, carrots, celery, and peanut butter balls.
Sunday, April 27th
After everything we did yesterday, I was feeling pretty lazy and so were the girls. Izzy didn’t even change out of jammies. Brian did a super long run in the morning, so he was definitely not up for doing much the rest of the day. We all kind of just hung around.
I created this lunch for the girls with whatever was leftover in the fridge. Izzy said, “Nailed it, mom.”
It was a take on tabbouleh made with what was already in the fridge. Cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, grilled corn, quinoa, and beans mixed together and dressed with some oil and spices. They had a side of chocolate chia pudding and a few blueberries.
Dinner was a veggie casserole bake. Sort of like green bean casserole but without the nasty can of creamed soup and other not so great ingredients. Instead it’s onions, garlic, and celery sauteed. Next, I add Imagine Foods creamy portobello mushroom soup and some spices. All that gets mixed together with green beans, broccoli, spinach, and white beans then baked in the oven until warm and bubbly.
I served the bake with wheat berries and a side of carrots. Warm and comforting but without all the junk.
We had quite the day yesterday. It always amazes me when we accomplish so many things in one day because we often have days that we get almost nothing done. I did an 8 mile run yesterday morning made a quick breakfast and then we were off to work on the trailer. Love that trailer, so far everything functions as it should and I’m so excited to take it out, it seems like a great fit for our family. After that we came home for Lexi’s nap and then were off to drive my race route. We ate dinner out last night at the Hub in Gig Harbor. That place was great, it is connected to the Narrows Airport so we saw a few planes take off and the atmosphere was very fun. We didn’t get home until 9 last night, both girls were pretty tired and overly full from all their bread intake.
This morning Izzy asked for waffles. Oh great, more grains after all the grains yesterday! After a quick Pinterest search I was busy creating these oat and almond flour waffles. No added sugar, ground oats are the only grain, made with yogurt and pumpkin, these are right up my alley. And by my alley, I mean cooking them because even the oat flour is too much grain for me but for the girls they should be just right.
Simple breakfast of oat/almond flour waffles and apple slices. Of course, since it was waffles this breakfast was gobbled right up!
Apparently what I do on Fridays is mow my lawn and grill dinner while the girls play outside. I’m pretty sure this is the second Friday in a row where I did exactly that. Aside from mowing the lawn, which I no longer love, the result is an excellent Friday evening. I’m not exactly sure when my love for mowing the lawn ended but it did. Now it’s just another chore that I have to do so that I can feel ok about my kids playing outside. I’m sure it’s all about perspective so maybe I should stop thinking of it as a chore and more as something I get to do so my kids can enjoy the yard. Really, trying to talk myself into that thought pattern here. I’ll let you know if it works next week.
Grilled dinner with eggplant, corn on the cob, broccoli/cauliflower/carrot veggie mix, and some homemade re-fried black beans for good measure. For Brian’s I made two kinds of little eggplant sandwiches. Re-fried beans or sun-dried tomato, parsley, hemp seed pesto were sandwiched between two eggplants. The kiddos can’t handle the combination so they got to dip their eggplant into the re-fried beans. The star of dinner was the grilled corn, the kids can’t get enough of it.
Izzy had her first soccer practice tonight (she loved it btw). We were so busy today, going non-stop, that I wanted to have dinner made before so we just had to reheat. A big ol pot of soup seemed like the easiest idea.
Everyone had the same thing for dinner with only slight variations in salad toppings and the adult soup had extra spice. The soup was African Peanut Stew from the Oh She Glows cookbook. The soup was actually really amazing filled with tomatoes, sweet potatoes, chick peas, spinach, and peanut butter in the broth. Everyone loved it.
We had the girls favorite kind of lunch today, Costco Samples!!! I like to go closer to lunch time so that there are more samples. Yes, it’s true I entertain my kids in Costco by searching out the samples while I load what I need into my cart. We’ve come across some pretty yummy things via sampling at Costco (Bolanis, Jennie-O turkey bacon, Glutino pretzel twists). These items don’t make the cut into my cart but they are good to know about when I’m looking to try something new or for school snacks, etc.
After everything they sampled (read: quesadillas, yogurt, toast-X2, chips, brownies, and more!) they really only needed the basics to round out their tummies. Lexi couldn’t even finish hers because she was so full from sampling.
To complete lunch we have carrot sticks, turkey meat, kalamata olives, and banana. (So excited to find a big jar of kalamata olives for such a good price at Costco, they will be making a regular appearance on our plates.)
This lunch didn’t come together as quickly as I hoped. I really didn’t know what I was going for here. Luckily the girls enjoyed the broth soup.
Here it is: peanut butter strawberry bites, carrots, apples, and soy sauce veggie broth soup with cauliflower pieces.
We sort of have a standing tradition that when daddy stays at work late the girls eat chicken nuggets and I have salad. I haven’t given them chicken nuggets for a few weeks so I caved today.
They had their beloved chicken nuggets, a little pork, red quinoa, raw broccoli, and green beans. My salad was so filling I couldn’t finish it (that rarely happens to me!), it was broccoli, carrots, kale, radish, onion, roasted green beans, chickpeas, a little pork, all dressed with balsamic. Looks like I’ve got my breakfast already made! Love when that happens.