My Kids Rock

….and I don’t when it comes to updating the blog. I’ve been making great stuff and taking pics of all of it but have been seriously failing when it comes to putting a post up. If there was anything that is deserving of a post it is this: my kids are awesome!

Twice now I’ve made a super easy but incredibly delicious one pot roasted meal. This meal seems fancy but is very simple and requires minimal hands on time. I’ve been roasting a whole chicken atop whatever greens and vegetables I have. The greens, collards, or chard are coated with a little olive oil and some spices and then go into the roaster (I happen to have an electric roaster but in the oven would work too). Same thing with the veggies. As always, I slice up onions for good measure. I’ve been seasoning the chicken with the lemon and herb recipe from The Against All Grain cookbook. This dinner tastes amazing and totally cooks itself! Love! The girls like this dinner a lot and ask for a piece of chicken still on the bone. Eating meat off the bone is a novelty to them.

So when you cook a whole chicken you get a couple of bonuses. One being that you get to make homemade chicken broth with the leftover carcass. Which also cooks itself after you add some rough cut vegetables, water, a touch of apple cider vinegar, and herbs. I get more excited about the chicken broth than the actual chicken. A mug full of homemade chicken broth on a cold day warms me right up. Another bonus is the liver you get from the chicken. In all honesty we usually just toss that stuff (I don’t even like to admit this wastefulness). Not this time, I’ve been hearing all about how nutritious organ meat is. Since I already had some from my chicken I figured I’d give cooking liver a shot. If the family didn’t like it, no loss. Well, I only had a small amount of liver from my one chicken so I bought an additional pound from the store so we could really try it.

How does one cook liver? I was unsure so I did a little research and decided simple was better. Here’s how I did it: I patted the liver dry and then marinated it in almond milk for a couple of hours. I sautéed some shallots in coconut oil until soft and then added the liver (drained and patted dry again). Cooked until the liquid is released from the liver and it’s browned. That’s it, simple no fuss liver.

Now, could I serve this to the fam? Yes, if I was careful to avoid any negative connotations. I dished this up for lunch over some wilted spinach and plenty of other options just in case it was not a hit. Most importantly, I simply called it chicken from a different part of the chicken than we normally eat.

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And……they ate it and liked it! My kids eat chicken liver, no questions asked, how awesome are they?! In fact, Brian had more qualms about it than they did. He said he’d be more ok if it was mixed into something rather than a pile of liver on his plate. Understandable, I guess. We had plenty leftover and mixed some with lentils into our chiles rellenos later in the week.

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Again, no questions asked! Did I mention my kids rock! They are no different from other kids who love pizza, and cake and sugar but when you feed them real food instead they will eat real food! Amazing. Shout out to my mom who fed me liver as a child. I didn’t remember until I tasted the liver and then the memory of eating and enjoying it came flooding back. I was not at all a picky eater when I was little and my parents fed me all sorts of different things, which had led to some funny stories now that I’m grown. Moral of the story: (not about me but about typical kids, I was weird) don’t give up on the picky eaters! They can and will learn to enjoy a variety of foods if you allow them the opportunity to keep trying.

Between Vacations

We have been home from Spokane for a few days now and have been busy catching up and thinking about our Ocean Shores weekend getaway coming up.

While we survived most of the six-day vacation without too much tummy troubles, Lexi barely made it the last day. Her poor tummy was not doing so well, overloaded with pizza crust and breakfast potatoes. You can be sure I made a lot of soup for our first full day home:

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This soup happens to be white bean soup. For lunch we had Asian mushroom soup. And for breakfast we had smoothies. Determined to give Lexi’s little tummy only things that would heal it.

However, that was days ago now and we’ve had some other great meals since then. One of my favorites is this bok choy stir fry with homemade hoisin sauce. Oh my, it was tasty. The sauce recipe came from the Wheat Belly Cookbook. I’ve never actually had hoisin sauce before but now that I have I feel like I’ve been missing out!

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The stir fry has green beans, peas, bok choy, onions, and garlic. The veggies were sautéed in a little soy sauce and sesame oil and then served over raw shredded carrots and millet. White beans and the hoisin sauce topped the bowls. How I wish there was still leftovers of this!

This dinner was also loved by the family:

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I had been dying to make the mushroom gravy (Oh She Glows cookbook) and decided to make it the super star of the meal instead of a side dish. The mushroom gravy tops grilled cauliflower, kale, chicken and white beans. Next to it we had grilled corn. The gravy was so good and I’m glad I finally got to try it!

Other than that we have had some pretty amazing desserts. Brian and I had a few people over to jointly celebrate our 30th birthdays (mine is on the 24th!). Per usual Brian wanted a cheesecake to celebrate. Since we had recently had the Oreo cheesecake a more basic flavor was in order:

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Plain cheesecake topped with raspberry chia seed jam and melted chocolate drizzle. Oh, and the crust had to be Oreo. I have to admit, while this cheesecake is totally not healthy it is absolutely divine! I had a little taste (or a few) and was in awe of how good it was.

Since that cheesecake was too decadent for me I made a blueberry cobbler on the grill. Not to be outdone by the cheesecake the cobbler got a little chocolate drizzle too. =)

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So that’s what we’ve been eating lately. Some good healthy dinners and some very delicious treats. I’m busy modifying our Ocean Shores getaway weekend menu to suit our family. We take the trip with my sister, her fiancée, my nephew and my dad. None of whom eat anything like we do. When my sister and I discussed the menu it was laden with thing after thing that I’d prefer my family not eat. If it was just one meal or two it would be no big deal and we wouldn’t modify much but every single meal is filled with meat, carbs, and sugar. I’m pretty much bringing healthier equivalents to everything on the menu. Not very much fun but I want my girls (and me) to be able to enjoy the whole weekend and not just the one meal that seems delicious but makes them feel sick later. The interesting thing was that she actually had no idea that we don’t generally eat so many “regular” things. Despite being frustrated by the menu I took that as a compliment that we are not overbearing with our “We don’t eat that!” or health choices. That being said, all bets may be off after this trip and all my substitutions.

School Free Friday

Our first Friday of summer break! It was me and the girls all day today since Brian is up in Seattle preparing for his long-awaited marathon. When I asked what they wanted for breakfast this morning I got the answer I had been anticipating: pancakes. But then they changed their minds to waffles. Lexi is a waffle lover and she convinced me to make them. Waffles are so time-consuming because you can only cook one at a time! Maybe it’s time to invest in a second waffle maker? Probably not, I’m pretty particular about my waffle maker and I doubt I could find one that fits my specifications. Plus, mine makes heart waffles, definitely can’t beat that!

I used this almond flour pancake recipe and just made into waffles (no changes). They worked out beautifully. They were extremely filling waffles and I was shocked to see the girls finish their plates. The oversized breakfast worked out well though because we went to a Kid’s Day event (official school is out kickoff in a nearby city) and didn’t eat lunch until late.

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Poor lonely strawberry. There were only a few left after sending some to work with Brian and snacking on them before breakfast. Because these waffles are so dense I’ve got quite a few leftover and should probably freeze them so I can easily pull them out when Lexi requests waffles again.

Since it was just us girls for dinner guess what I made. Salad! Not just any salad, Mexican inspired salads! I’m in the middle of stocking my freezer with big bags of cooked beans. Sadly, it took my awhile to realize that if I soak a lot of beans at once and then cook them, I can have beans in the freezer that are almost as instant as canned beans but better. Homemade cooked beans are not as salty and taste fresh compared to the canned kind. This project usually takes me three or four days depending on how many different beans I’m making. I used to cook only what I needed at a time (huge time waster). So today’s variety was black beans and a few of those got thrown into the salad along with some shredded chicken that I cooked for tomorrow’s pizza night.

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These bowls are deceptively heavy, packed with veggies. There is onion, roasted broccoli, red cabbage, carrots, peas, and corn. The salads got a splash of lime juice and the girls have oil and seasonings while I got chipotle salsa (so obsessed with this stuff right now).

We are looking forward to tomorrow. Isabelle has her last soccer game and Brian will have completed 26.2 miles! Serious accomplishments around here.