Grilling Streak

Three nights in a row, I busted out the grill! Last night I made steaks, leeks, green beans, and wilted super greens. I also grilled granola bars and nut granola. That brings the grilled eats to just about everything: veggies, meat, eggs, cookies, granola bars, and nuts.

Dinner was delicious. I put some feta on Brian’s steak and added sungold cherry tomatoes to everyone’s plate.

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I missed taking a picture but I put my steak on super greens, topped with chopped broccoli, the tomatoes, some of the grilled granola, and a cocoa chili dressing. AMAZING! The granola and cocoa chili dressing added something very special to the steak salad.

The granola bars and granola were a little overcooked (so hard to keep watch when it’s on the grill!). But they are both still pretty tasty. I’m hoping the granola bars will come in handy for our weekend adventure. We are planning on going to Yakima and camping for a night and then heading to Mount Rainier on Sunday on our way back home. Car trips and mountain hikes seem like granola bar activities.

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I considered going for a four night streak of grilling since I was going to bake sweet potato fries. They would have been delicious on the grill but I just couldn’t bring myself to put in the extra work of heading outside to start the grill. Shoot, I barely found a chance to heat my oven to put the fries in. The girls and I were engrossed in a tie dye craft session as well as me trying to do a million other things from being gone all day. Before we started our crafting I mixed up this blackeye pea salad. I’m very stuck on salad right now as that’s pretty much all I want to make or eat. The blackeye peas added a new twist and were very well received by the fam. And, anything next to sweet potato fries is a win.

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Big bowl of blackeye pea salad. As long as there is a ton of veggies and beans mixed together in a big bowl I figure we have enough food for dinner.

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It may not seem like much but the salad is packed full of broccoli, greens, tomatoes, onions, and blackeye peas.

Vacation bible school is going really well and is proving excellent practice for school. Despite having to drive to the same location multiple times per day I’m doing ok with it. The girls are loving it and Lexi wishes she could stay for as long as Izzy does. But Lexi and I have been using our time to do things we wouldn’t normally do. Such as, I took a nap with her two days this week! And today I took her to dance class on her own and to a new park to play. Since the camp is all week long I’ve had a chance to go for mid morning runs, do some shopping, and even sit child free in a coffee shop. Thank goodness for things going well, I was very nervous on Monday (more so than the girls!). Tomorrow is a half day for both girls so today was Izzy’s last packed lunch:

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Grilled egg cup, sungold cherry tomatoes, carrots, peaches, and a broccoli, carrot, beet slaw. Lexi had the slaw yesterday for lunch. Both girls adored the slaw.

A lot of planning has gone into this week. From packing all the lunches and breakfasts to remembering my workout clothes, towel, shopping lists, sunscreen, etc. Each night I’ve been having a major prep session for the next day but that is my tendency anyway. I’m a planner so I do my planning for the day ahead and try to embrace the things that come up that I didn’t plan for (need lots of practice with that). With all the thinking about the week I’ve hardly had a chance to figure out what needs to get done so we can leave Saturday morning for our weekend adventures. That’s what tomorrow is for. Packing, cooking, planning, and enjoying the afternoon at home. In anticipation of our travels, I’m going to make a chocolate cookie with some very interesting ingredients. Hopefully, I’ll have a good post with that tomorrow. =)

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Double Grill

With the hot weather this week we planned a double grilling night. This means I make two dinners on the grill on one night. Since the charcoal is still pretty hot after grilling the first meal we’ve been creative in using up that additional heat. Sometimes we grill desserts, or toast nuts, make granola or simply make another meal. I opted for the later (and some extra) today.

Tonight’s dinner was grilled zucchini boats, broccolette,  and okra. The zucchini boats were stuffed with onions, garlic, tomatoes, corn, and white beans.

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I did grill some meat for later this week. It’s hard to think outside the box when grilling because meat just seems so obvious. So I grilled some bacon wrapped turkey breasts for Thursday.

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Also, I grilled granola bars (this recipe again). I figured I needed to make some to bring on our vacation and the grill is hot so why not. Must be careful when grilling things like this though, since it’s not as attended as in the oven the potential for burning is much higher.

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I tried a grain-free granola bar recipe from the Wheat Belly Cookbook this afternoon as well. They have nuts, seeds, dates, peanut butter, and milk in them. The turned out alright. I’m not in love with the taste but I think that can be altered next time to add some additional flavor and texture through add-ins. A good starting off point.

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Aside from cooking the girls and I went to the $1 summer movies and watched Despicable Me 2. They love this movie and have seen it tons of times. I was kind of hoping it would reduce some of the Frozen obsession temporarily. Not the case, though, immediately after the movie Lexi was singing Frozen. I tried!

More fun was in store for the girls as we participated in Ihop’s 56 cent pancakes for their 56th Anniversary. They each got a short stack of pancakes for lunch with a side of sausage. Their little tummies were extra full from eating movie popcorn and then pancakes but they were excited to get to do such special things on the same day.

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Now, I get the joy of going to the store to buy a whole bunch of bulk items. I always dread having to bring the girls since the bulk section is time-consuming but I also dislike going by myself. However, for their sake if I can make it work to go in the evening while they are in bed I do that because they would much rather be at home playing than at the store with me during the afternoon.

Granola Bars

Homemade granola bars are amazing! I just love that you can customize them to your own tastes with your own add ins.

You know I’m a huge fan of knowing exactly what’s in my food. When I make my own granola bars I get to be in charge of how sweet (or not) they are. Even before we went no sugar, no grains I liked making granola bars over buying them because I felt like there was more substance to them. Since really cutting back on refined sugar I haven’t made granola bars much because all the recipes I have are loaded with sugar.

A few weeks ago my favorite healthy food blog (Oh She Glows) featured two granola bar recipes! Yesterday, I tried one of them with great result. These granola bars are sweetened with banana and whatever add ins you choose. Plus, the base is oatmeal (no additional flour needed) and chopped nuts. They are filled with all sorts of good seeds too, sunflower, pumpkin, hemp hearts, and we added chia.

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I like to split my granola bar dough in half and make two kinds at once. We stirred mini dark chocolate chips and raisins in one half and coconut flakes in the other. We (my two little helpers and I) pressed them into different halves of the pan and waited to see how they would turn out.

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The result was fantastic! Chewy and flavorful, just sweet enough but not too much. The seeds add great texture and help to give the bars some real substance. And they are very portable as they hold their shape well without crumbling (a problem I’ve had with other no sugar granola bar recipes).

I will definitely be making these granola bars again and again!