It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Menu Tuesday

Menu Tuesday. Yes, well. We did eat yesterday. Here you go:

First course: roasted rutabaga (with ketchup for dipping, because, well, ketchup.)
Main course: Presidential chili
Dessert: bananas with chocolate and peanut butter chips (They push the pointed end of the chips into the banana.)

Well, it was suggested they use the pointed end. Turns out they stick in the banana just fine if you use the other end!

Nutrition, fine motor activity, and a craft, all at the same time!! Can I multi-task their educational environment, or what??

First course: corn niblets
Main course: lentil-beet salad
Dessert: oranges

First course: winter vegetable salad
Main course: meatloaf
Dessert: cantaloupe

First course: raw asparagus
Main course: lentil soup and biscuits
Dessert: muffins

First course: cooked carrots
Main course: felafels in pita with yogurt sauce
Dessert: ??

January 14, 2014 Posted by | food | , , , , | Leave a comment

Menu Monday

Hello! Sorry it’s been so very long since I posted. A combination of pre-Christmas busy-ness, followed by computer problems, then illness, then Absolutely NO Internet for FIVE DAYS, then more mysterious computer problems (thank goodness I have a tech-geek son!) created a very long hiatus. I’m back! Goodness me. Are any of you still there??

My first post back is an easy one, too. I’m being gentle with myself…

Monday: Grilled cheese sandwiches, cauliflower

Tuesday: Broccoli-ham strata

Wednesday: Lentil soup, quinoa-kale pilaf

Thursday: Stuffed green peppers

Friday: Falafels

As always, if there are any recipes you’d like to see, just ask!

January 7, 2013 Posted by | food | , , , , | 10 Comments

Menu Monday

Monday: Toad in the hole, cucumber raita

Tuesday: Stuffed green peppers (vegetarian version)

Wednesday: Spinach pie

Thursday: Aloo gobi, sloppy joes on kaiser rolls

Friday: Southwest Bean Salad

As always, if there’s a recipe you’re interested in seeing, just ask!

November 12, 2012 Posted by | food | , , , | 1 Comment

Vegetable Muffins

Preheat oven to 375F.

3 – 4 cups of medium diced vegetables
(May include mushroom, zucchini, onion, peppers, eggplant, sundried tomatoes, corn, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli … If using onions and/or mushrooms, sautee till soft first. If using hard vegetables like carrot, either grate, or use cooked leftovers.)

1 clove garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated cheese

6 eggs
1/2 cup milk

1. Prep vegetables as needed, then mix all together in bowl.

2. Fill regular sized, greased muffin tin 2/3 full of vegetable mix.

3. Whisk eggs and milk together in small bowl or large measuring cup. Pour over vegetables.

4. Top with grated cheese.

Bake for ~25 minutes, till brown at edges. Will firm up as they cool, so best not eaten straight from the oven.

October 29, 2012 Posted by | food | , , , , | 6 Comments

Super Easy Pasta Sauce… Or … In Which Laziness Becomes Virtue

Back from the park with just enough time to poke some lunch into them before nap time. I open the fridge … and discover that someone in my family has eaten the lunch I had set aside. “Someone” almost certainly being my 23-year-old son, known to descend upon the kitchen in the small hours, looking for a second dinner before-bed snack.

This happens often enough that we do have a communication strategy designed to prevent such mishaps: a wide piece of green painter’s tape on the lid of the container, upon which is written in large block caps “DO NOT EAT!!!”

Except, I forgot. The boy young man can’t be expected to know. After all, he knows I’m usually after people to finish up the leftovers. We even have one night where there is no planned meal, called in the family the “fend for yourself” night, during which one has the opportunity — nay, the expectation — of clearing the fridge of leftovers. So, short of reading my mind, if there’s no DO NOT EAT sign on a container of food, he can hardly be blamed for assuming it was safe to eat.


Which leaves me back from the park with five hungry toddlers and no meal in sight. Damn. Blood sugars dropping even as I speak, and nap time less than half an hour away. Must find food!

Pasta! Pasta’s easy, and they love it. And on the pasta? Ummm… cheese sauce. We always have cheese, milk, butter, flour. Whip up a white sauce, grate in the cheese. Easy enough. But when I open the fridge, there, front and centre, is a jar of leftover butternut squash, baked a couple of days ago. I really should use that up. Maybe I’ll add the squash to the cheese sauce, thicken it up, add some vegetable virtue. Or maybe …

Or maybe I’ll just throw some milk on top of that squash and puree it with the immersion blender right there in the jar, and call it pasta sauce!! Even easier than cheese sauce.

It took seconds. In ten more minutes, the kids were eating — no, devouring — their lunch, which included a good quarter cup of squash, each.

I will be remembering this!

October 23, 2012 Posted by | food | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Junk food, maternal compromise, the essential skill of basking

The very smart Mir was discussing the easy Mommy points available when the otherwise nutritionally hard-assed mother slips the occasional bottle of wine cookie into her children’s lunch boxes. Said kids will be delirious with glee — and overwhelmed with gratitude for this sugar-sweetened evidence of Motherlove, natch.

When my kids were little (before the dawn of HFCS awareness and when trans-fats were just an oily smear on the horizon), I routinely passed off fruit as dessert, refused to allow pop into the house, and kept junk to the occasional (once or twice a month) treat. Breakfast was French toast or hot cereal with fruit, scrambled eggs, and, sometimes, homemade soup. Why not?

My eldest once made me Very Proud, when, at the age of three and confronted with a potluck dessert table filled with ooey-gooey sugary goodness, opted for an apple. Her choice, not mine. (Once in a while a kid will do something like that, something totally virtuous, and they’ll do it IN PUBLIC!! Don’t be all modest and self-deprecating. Don’t say “Oh my God, that NEVER happens at home!!!” Grab your moments of glory when they come to you. BASK in it woman, BASK! Because you know it’s only a matter of time until they’re caught picking their nose and eating it during storytime at the library.)

So, apples for dessert, yes, but my kids were also drawn to those magical, mystical super-sweetened glow-in-the-dark, marshmallow-studded breakfast “cereals”. Pointed at their gaudy boxes and gave me puppy-dog-eyes in the breakfast food aisle. Not that they’d ever eaten any of it, of course. This was the mother whose children didn’t eat candy of any sort before their third birthday, and certainly not for breakfast. It was just the IDEA of such ooey-gooey decadence. For BREAKFAST!

I was unmoved by puppy-dog eyes.

“That is NOT food.” And I really believe that. It is not food, no matter how many vitamins and minerals they sprinkle on the cardboard, styrofoam, sugar and chemicals after the fact. Send my kids off to school … well, okay, I was homeschooling then … Send my kids off to the livingroom with THAT in their bellies and expect them to think, never mind stay awake until lunch? I think not.

More puppy-dog-eyes. “Sorry, guys. It’s not food. That stuff is nothing but junk.” Which gave me my semi-brilliant idea. We were, after all, comfortably past the no-candy, fine-tune-their-palate years. We were into the sensible-choices-for-life training. Junk food was allowed, in moderation. The children were learning to monitor and evaluate their own intake. They were beginning to grasp the difference between junk and real food, the purposes of each.

Junk food, junk cereal… Hmmm…

“Okay, guys. Which box would you like?”

Three sets of eyeballs almost, but not quite, landed on the floor of Aisle Five. There was a lively debate before a box of Lucky Charms ended up in the cart. Three kids were beside themselves with anticipation of the gustatory bliss that awaited.

Here was the deal: one box of “junk cereal” was purchased each month, which we had (are you ready for this?) in lieu of candy!

I know. Deviously brilliant, huh?

I figure even CocoPuffs have less sugar and more fiber than, say, a Caramilk bar, and less fat than potato chips. The added vitamins and mineral in the drek, put there to convince the gullible that this is a food with actual nutrient value, give it more nutritional merit than you’d be getting in yer average package of Twizzlers. A handful of Lucky Charms eaten as finger food instead of Fuzzy Peaches. Struck me as a reasonable compromise. The point of monitoring is not to refuse yourself these nutritionally-void goodies entirely, but to ensure that they are occasional treats in an otherwise healthy diet.

Over the years they worked their way through a wide range of boxes that would never otherwise be given shelf space in my home. They got their sugar-coated ick, but they learned its appropriate place in the nutritional scheme of things. And now that they’re teens and beyond, not one of them ingests the stuff. (Yes, they eat junk, just not this junk.) The most popular breakfast around here in summer is non-fat plain yoghurt with fresh fruit stirred into it, and in winter it’s oatmeal.

And they make it themselves.

Hm? What? Sorry, can’t year you … I’m basking.

October 10, 2008 Posted by | food, health and safety, my kids | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Feeling hungry?

I’ve compiled the list of recipes, and, for a bunch of people who profess not to cook much, we haven’t done too badly…

K @ the Homestead hasn’t given us just one or two, but a whole mini recipe book of quick, easy, cheap and healthy meals.

Jessica provides a recipe for Frito Salad. (In my house, we’d call it a taco salad, and yummy no matter what it’s called!)

Bermuda Onion gives us Zucchini with Sea Shells.

Ever had Pasta with Trees (and cheese)? Check out Zayna’s Garden for full instructions.

Our sole male contributor gives us KD Casserole.

Mamadragon gives us two recipes: Fried rice, and Quesadillas.

A few others opted to leave recipe instructions in the comments of the Edible Meme post, so scan down through the comments to find:

Karin‘s recipe for mini pizza;
Marie’s for vegetable soup;
Dana’s “pickies lunch”;
Altissima guides us through stuffed baked potatoes;
and Tammy, instructs us in the art of making a “cheese sandwich”… without the sandwich part.

Thank you for your tasty contributions!

August 6, 2008 Posted by | food, memes and quizzes | , , | 7 Comments