Tuesday, March 31, 2009

helpful articles

Wondering what to eat when you're out an about?  I read these articles online today and found them pretty helpful:

Friday, March 27, 2009

healthy snacks - preschool edition

I don't know about your kids, but mine has made up his mind about what he likes, and what he doesn't.  He doesn't even need to taste something to know his aversions.  While we encourage him to try new things, it's hard to talk to a two year old logically about the benefits of eating carrots. This can make mealtime frustrating.  Anyone else been there?

I used to stand in front of the fridge and think, "What in the world should I feed him?"  I decided to sit down and make a list of the things I know he likes (it actually was a lot longer than I thought it'd be).  That made mealtime a lot simpler.

But I also needed to get creative.  So I wanted to share some snack ideas that have gone over well, and they are sneakily healthy.  

Smoothies.  He would drink one everyday and they come together in less than 5 minutes.  I start with about 3/4 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of fruit (usually 1/2 of a banana and some frozen berries), one teaspoon of nut butter, a teaspoon of wheat germ and some kind of vegetable.  This week it was 3-4 florets of raw cauliflower.  Sometimes it's a few tablespoons of frozen spinach.  The trick letting it blend for 3-4 minutes so that it is smooth and velvety and no veggies are detected.  

Avocado and cottage cheese.  Protein, vitamins, and calcium.  This is a power pack.  Add a teaspoon of wheat germ for an extra boost.  He won't even try cottage cheese on it's own, but if I mash it up with 1/2 an avocado, it's gone in a flash.  

Monkey Sandwich.  This one is pretty obvious, but the name is what appeals the most to my kiddo.  Whole wheat bread (crusts removed, if need be), organic peanut butter + thinly sliced banana.  Protein, potassium, fiber - and it's a naturally sweet treat!

I have more to share, but first - what works for your kids?  Are they picky or will they eat whatever you put in front of them?  What tricks do you have up your sleeve?

Friday, March 13, 2009

my favorite... couscous

I love this dish.  I found it on allrecipes.com and adjusted it to our taste. I've made it several times over the last year or so - it is so refreshing and light and good for you... I think you're gonna like it.  This time I stuffed roasted red peppers with it, just for a little flair.  Pretty darn good.

1 cup of uncooked couscous (I used whole wheat and you can't tell the difference)
1 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 T olive oil
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 t red wine vinegar
1/2 t ground cumin
4-5 sliced green onions
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or fresh parsley 
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup reduced fat crumbled feta (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Pour hot chicken broth over couscous and stir well.  Cover and let stand for five minutes.
Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar and cumin.
Add onions, tomatoes, parsley, black beans and bell pepper to the dressing.
Combine couscous, vegetables, and feta.  Stir well.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

If you are stuffing peppers, slice in half and fill with couscous.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.

This tastes even better the next day - it's sorta hard for me not to eat the whole batch.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

a meatloaf makeover

My newest obsession is library cookbooks.  I could spend hours looking through them for ideas.  I don't, because I have a two year old and my time of pouring over books leisurely is limited to nap time.  And because our trips to the library usually consist of me running after him as he explores the ins and outs of every row of books.  But I digress.

Awhile back I checked out a copy of one of the Cooking Light cookbooks and found a lot of recipes I wanted to try.  The only one I actually did was the Barbecue Meatloaf.  I have never been a huge fan of meatloaf (I mean, just the name is enough to scare you off...), but this was really good.

As usual, I changed it up, mostly by adding a few nutritious extras to make it even more worth eating.  This is a really good dish - my husband absolutely loves it (he asked me today if it was okay to eat for breakfast).  So here it is, folks.  Enjoy!

1.5 lbs extra lean ground beef (ground turkey is great, too)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I quickly put one large slice of multigrain bread in the food processor)
2 T wheat germ (optional)
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup barbecue sauce, divided (watch labels for high fructose corn syrup)
1 T prepared mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 large egg white + 1 whole egg
cooking spray

Put onion, garlic and carrot in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Or mince by hand if you don't have one.

Combine meat, crumbs, wheat germ, onion mixture, mustard, salt, pepper, eggs and 2-3 tablespoons of the barbecue sauce.

Line an 8x8 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Shape mixture into a loaf.

Pour remaining sauce on top and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until a meat thermometer registers at 160 degrees in the middle.

Let stand about 10-15 minutes.  Slice into 10-12 slices and serve!
(makes great leftover sandwiches... or breakfast)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

blogging with a purpose

Thank you, 5th Sister!  I am honored that you gave me this award!
And now I shall pass it on to some of my favorite blogs.

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude.
3. Be sure to link your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they have received the award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received this award.

Check these blogs out - they all offer something different... and they will all bless your day in some way.