Experimenting in the Kitchen

I love finding new recipes. It’s not often we eat the same thing over and over because I genuinely like to find recipes and try new things. Life might be easier if I had a set menu I rotated through every week or so but that wouldn’t be much fun. Plus my kids would not get try new things with us.

I’ve been making my way through the recipes in my Oh She Glows cookbook. A lot of them are fairly simple and not necessarily adventurous. But this morning I served up muesli. I had never made muesli before and nobody had ever had it either. This recipe was a make the night before and have instant breakfast in the morning type recipe. Perfect for trying to get out of the house to make it to the zoo.

wpid-imag1803.jpg

There are oats, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, raisins, shredded and diced apple, and plain yogurt in this. The verdict? Amazing! I can’t believe something so easy could taste so good. It was sweet, chewy, and creamy all at once. Keeping this recipe for quick make ahead breakfasts or even lunches.

We went to the zoo for the first time this summer. Somehow we managed to see just about everything and enjoyed our leftovers from yesterday for lunch. Also miraculously I didn’t buy any treats or kettle corn from the zoo! Here’s my Iz enjoying our packed lunch in the beautiful sunshine. She was grateful that we went.

wpid-imag1807.jpg

Yesterday afternoon I made a batch of vanilla chia pudding. Originally it was going to be dessert for last night but it wasn’t ready. My loss is the girls’s snack time gain. They had strawberries and vanilla chia pudding for snack. I’ve made chocolate chia pudding in the past and Lexi was not a fan. This, however, they both devoured. I’m talking licked the bowls good.

wpid-imag1812.jpg

Also a recipe from the Oh She Glows cookbook. I’m hoping to have some later with grilled nut granola. That is assuming I can still eat after grilled veggie and tofu kabobs for dinner:

wpid-imag1813.jpg

In this bowl we have corn, green peppers, onions, yellow squash, mushrooms, kale, and tofu topped with a little wasabi cashew cream sauce (adults only). Mmmmmm. Grilled veggies and tofu, delish!

Wasabi cream sauce is a new discovery to me. I bought some wasabi powder recently and have been on a wasabi kick. The Wheat Belly cookbook had a wasabi cream sauce recipe that I adapted to be vegan. See, adventures in the kitchen. All about trying new things. The same old, same old is not for me unless maybe you add a little wasabi. =)

And the Clouds Rolled In

When I made my menu, today was supposed to a beautiful sunny 77 degrees. Maybe it was early afternoon but by the time it was nearing dinner the winds had changed (or really just started) and the clouds rolled in. I had intended to grill and hang out in the sun with the girls maybe even let them run through the sprinkler. But today got away from us and we needed to make it to the store before dinner. Oh well, grilling in the wind and clouds didn’t sound as fun so I gave up my grilling plan for an easier dinner.

I’ve made this Teriyaki Noodle Bowl before for my breakfast and fell in love with it. It’s pretty easy to make and the homemade teriyaki sauce is so good, it pretty much makes the meal. The first time I made it I didn’t add noodles because it was just for me but tonight I used some sweet potato noodles (they are clear noodles that I got from the Korean store!) for the family. The noodle bowl has broccoli, celery, edamame, onion, garlic, and shredded carrot. Shredded carrot with sauce is my new obsession. I had never thought of using carrots as a noodle substitute until I saw it on Oh She Glows but I’m so glad I discovered it.

wpid-imag1646.jpg

Everyone’s favorite part happened to be the noodles (of course). Those noodles were filling, though, and Isabelle was a little too full to finish that bowl. These leftovers are going to make an amazing breakfast for me and lunch for Brian. Can’t wait!

The Lunch Bunch

The best lunches are those that are leftovers from dinner. Brian takes lunch to work more often than not so he gets first priority on the dinner leftovers and whatever else may be in the fridge (as much as I want them for myself). If I happen to make enough and/or the family doesn’t go crazy eating all the food the girls and I will occasionally get leftovers.

Usually, though, I am making them a lunch and me a lunch daily (no idea what I’m going to do when Izzy has to bring lunch to school everyday, eek!!). And since we don’t have any activities scheduled during the lunch hour right now we get the luxury of eating lunch at home. The three of us are the lunch bunch. We eat pretty much all of our meals sitting down together as a family. We think it’s important to share that time together rather than just trying to get it over with.

Most of my time is put into what the girls are going to have for lunch so I typically throw a salad together for myself. No complaints from me, I love salads and I try to keep plenty of pre-mixed salads and salad add-ins in the fridge for quick assembly. The girls’ lunch varies more depending on what we have going on that day. Lots of snacks at school results in lots of veggies for lunch. Or wraps for dinner means no tortillas for lunch.

Here are some of the things they have eaten this week:

wpid-imag1480.jpg

Ground turkey, edamame, and farro (a first try for us very similar in texture and taste to wheat berries) with seasonings and oil. Next to that we have cooked carrots, pickle, and daikon slices.

wpid-imag1502.jpg

Crunchy peanut butter on celery, cooked green beans topped with olive oil, eggs, and almonds, and grapes.

wpid-imag1504.jpg

Peanut butter raisin filled banana, olives, broccoli, and carrot.

wpid-imag1503.jpg

And technically, this was dinner the other night. A quick easy lunch inspired dinner since we got home late and needed dinner within minutes. Chickpea salad lettuce sandwich (Oh She Glows cookbook), watermelon, veggies, and ranch dip.

I try for variety not only in the lunch itself but from day-to-day. In the past they would eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches over and over and over, to the point I was tired of making them! Going breadless takes some creative thinking but at least they are trying all sorts of things. I probably need to take my own advice and eat less salads (who says that?!) for more of a variety in my lunch but I find salads to be very versatile so maybe I can just call it good and eat all the salads I want to.

 

 

 

Clam Chowder

A few months ago I took Izzy and Lexi to Ivar’s to have clam chowder for the first time. We shared one small bowl because I wasn’t sure they would like it and because I was worried about the dairy content for Isabelle. Well, they both really liked it. Then, about a month ago I was craving warm clam chowder after a long run but didn’t want to go buy some or fill my body with what may be in that clam chowder. A little searching online resulted in numerous recipes for dairy-free clam chowder. Maybe we could have our chowder and eat it too.  =)

I have never made clam chowder before (my soup making skills only recently came to me) dairy-free or not. Homemade clam chowder sounded intimidating. Would making it dairy-free even be worth it? Last night, I chanced it. I used this recipe as a guide, adapting as usual to work for us. I modified the steps so that the soup could cook in my slow cooker while we were at soccer practice. We were out of bacon so I was very unsure how it would taste without that magic. To make it more mom friendly I used cauliflower instead of potato in the whole soup and added little cubes of baked potato to the kids individual bowls.

The result was fantastic! I don’t know why I waited so long to give it a go. The soup was really simple to make and tasted like it took a lot more work. Delicious dairy-free clam chowder does exist (can you imagine if I had added the bacon, even better I’m sure). I’m happy to be able to add clam chowder into my soup arsenal (we eat soup at least once a week during fall and winter).

wpid-imag1380.jpg

Dairy-free clam chowder served with a side salad or green beans.

This is most definitely what is for lunch today. I love having leftover soup in the fridge, it’s such an easy and complete meal.