Sunday, July 20, 2014

Introducing Elowen Anthea Laurel!

I was busy for a while cooking up something extra special :) Meet our newest little addition, Elowen Anthea Laurel. The other three kids are completely smitten with her and we couldn't be happier.

Elowen Anthea Laurel, 2 weeks old
Liadan and Elowen
Theron and Elowen
Colwynn and Elowen
Every now and again I even get a chance to hold her. But it's usually when the other three baby hogs are in bed. That also happens to be when I do my blogging so please excuse my occasional typos as I am likely typing my posts one handed while nursing ;)


Homemade Clean Eating Tacos (and Taco Shells)

Makes about 10 tacos, 1/4 cup filling per taco
Have you seen the Lego movie? We LOVE it! It was rainy and dreary this weekend so I let the boys watch it. They mention Taco Tuesday a bunch of times and Colwynn suddenly says, "What's a taco?" I realized I have never actually made tacos for dinner since he was born. I used to make them once a week when it was just Matt and I. What could be easier? Brown a little meat, stir in the package of mystery powder full of chemicals, and serve on a deep fried and probably partially made of plastic taco shell. Needless to say, that's probably why I haven't made them ;) But tonight I threw a homemade version together complete with shells and a hidden veggie. The kids loved them! The quiet dinner of everyone eating happily was totally worth the AMAZING mess produced by a 7, 5, and 2 year old eating tacos :) 

Since there is pureed spinach in with the meat the tacos are green. My family is used to a lot of their food being green so they didn't bat an eye but you could certainly omit the spinach if you don't want green tacos. My kids have no problem eating spinach raw, mixed in stuff, or in a salad but, the second I try to put it on a sandwich or in a tortilla or something, everyone complains. Even the biggest kid (remember when Matt actually requested I puree the spinach into the sloppy joes). So by pureeing it and adding it into the meat I can make sure that they are still eating a green veggie but I save myself all the whining. Then I eat mine with a big pile of spinach and feel extra good about my veggie intake for the day :)

Taco filling-

  • 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 Tbsp dried minced onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 T whole grain cornmeal (or whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 big handfuls spinach
  • Optional: 15oz can no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • Optional: 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed well
Taco shells-
  • Whole grain tortillas
  • cooking spray
ONE: In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground turkey until no longer pink. Drain the excess grease. 

TWO: Puree the spinach into the 1/2 cup of water and add it to the browned meat in the skillet with all of the seasonings and tomatoes and black beans if using. (Sometimes I don't feel like bothering with the mini blender so I just rip the spinach up into little pieces and throw it in as is. But still add the 1/2 cup of water). Mix well and continue to cook over medium heat until the sauce has thickened a bit, about 3-5 minutes.

Freeze leftovers in 1/4 cup portions using the medium/large portions method to feed your freezer stash.

To make homemade taco shells:
Turn a muffin pan upside down. Spray both sides of the tortillas lightly with cooking spray and wedge between the cups of the muffin pan so that they are standing upright and look like taco shells. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-17 minutes until crispy and golden brown.

Nutrition Info:
Per 1/4 cup taco filling- 72 Calories (30 Calories from Fat), 3.4g Total Fat, 1g Saturated Fat, 0g Trans Fat, 32mg Cholesterol, 278mg Sodium, 213mg Potassium, 1.3g Total Carbohydrates, 9.3g Protein, 19% DV VitA, 5% DV VitC, 2% DV Calcium, 7% DV Iron

Brown meat, drain, add pureed spinach and seasonings

Spray tortillas with cooking spray and line up on an inverted muffin tin.
Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Clean Eating Creamy Coconut Cilantro Lime Chicken Soup

Makes about 12 servings, 1 cup each
In our house we affectionately call this Colwynn Soup because Colwynn's two favorite flavors are coconut and cilantro. He is his mother's son :) This soup is creamy and tangy and just plain delicious.  Plus it is super fast to throw together if you've got leftover cooked chicken and brown rice. When I'm really in a good make-ahead groove, I will cook a whole chicken in the crockpot once a week like this because there are so many things you can do with a pile of shredded, cooked chicken. Or, if I am being lazy, Matt picks up a rotisserie chicken on his way home from work ;)

NOTE: I use a can of coconut milk and then a can full of regular milk plus some coconut extract. You could of course use two cans of coconut milk and skip the regular milk or 4 cups of regular milk plus 2 tsp of coconut extract and skip the coconut milk. Or if you don't care for coconut, do regular milk and skip the extract. 

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, diced small
  • 3 cups chopped broccoli (I used frozen)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 15oz can coconut milk
  • 2 cups milk of choice (I just pour regular milk into the now empty coconut milk can instead of measuring out 2 cups)
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 cups shredded, cooked chicken
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
ONE: Drizzle the olive oil into a large pot and add the carrots, broccoli, curry powder, cinnamon, ginger, and paprika. Stir well to coat and cook over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until veggies have softened.

TWO: In a blender, puree the cilantro into the chicken broth. Once veggies are soft, add all remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and let simmer 5 minutes.
Freeze leftovers in 1-cup portions using the medium/large portions method to feed your freezer stash.

Nutrition Info:
Per 1 cup serving- 253 Calories (110 Calories from Fat), 12g Total Fat, 7g Saturated Fat, 0g Trans Fat, 33mg Cholesterol, 416mg Sodium, 478mg Potassium, 19g Total Carbohydrates, 2g Dietary Fiber, 3g Sugar, 18g Protein, 48% DV Vit A, 38% DV Vit C, 9% DV Calcium, 14% DV Iron


Monday, April 28, 2014

Clean Eating Whole Grain Oven Baked Pancakes

Makes 8 servings
My kids love pancakes and about once a month I will make a big batch of these ones or these ones. But some mornings I am feeling slow and lazy or we have woken up particularly late and I don't feel like taking the time to mix up the batter and stand over the griddle. Oven baked pancakes to the rescue!! These are light and fluffy and the best part is it only takes me a few minutes to mix the batter up the night before. In the morning I just throw some fruit on top and shove them in the oven. While they are baking I am hands free to make everyone their morning tea and maybe even unload the dishwasher.

Note: You can of course just make these in the morning without letting the batter sit overnight.

Banana Coconut
Peach (you know you're jealous of my Elmo plate)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 Tbsp sucanat or natural sweetener of choice (can use brown/white/turbinado sugar but it won't be "clean")
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk of choice
  • 3 Tbsp oil of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or different extract depending on which fruit you are using for topping)
  • 2 Tbsp sucanat or natural sweetener of choice (can use brown/white/turbinado sugar but it won't be "clean")
  • sprinkle of cinnamon 
  • fruit of choice-
    • 2 thinly sliced apples
    • 2 thinly sliced peaches (I sprinkle a little nutmeg on with the cinnamon when I use peaches)
    • 1/2 cup blueberries/sliced strawberries/other berries
    • 1/2 cup chopped cherries (I use almond extract instead of vanilla when I use cherries)
    • 1 large/2 small bananas, thinly sliced (I use coconut extract instead of vanilla and sprinkle some dried, unsweetened coconut on with the cinnamon when I use bananas) 
ONE: Whisk together all the pancake ingredients. Lightly mist a 9x13" pan with cooking spray and spread the batter evenly in the pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight (if cooking right away omit the covering and refrigeration).

TWO: Preheat oven to 350F. Spread fruit of choice evenly over the batter and then sprinkle with the sucanat and cinnamon. 

THREE: Bake 25-30 mins until the edges are lightly browned and the top springs back when touched. Cut into 8 squares and serve warm. 

Freeze leftovers using the flash freeze method to feed your freezer stash.

Nutrition Info:
Per pancake not including the topping- 200 Calories (56 Calories from Fat), 6g Total Fat, 1g Saturated Fat, 24mg Cholesterol, 268mg Sodium, 182mg Potassium, 30g Total Carbohydrates, 1g Dietary Fiber, 5.5g Sugars, 5.5g Protein, 2%DV VitA, 1% DV VitC, 9% DV Calcium, 9% DV Iron


Friday, February 28, 2014

Clean Eating Whole Grain Chocolate Peanut Butter Pancakes

Makes about 30 pancakes
There are few food combinations we like better than peanut butter and chocolate so these were a great Saturday morning treat in our house. Plus by adding some peanut butter to the batter, it boosts the protein and keeps the kids full longer. Does anyone else feel like they spend 75% of their day feeding their children?! Some days I will not even be done cleaning up the breakfast dishes before someone is asking me if it is lunch time yet. I automatically doubled the recipe I based these off of so that I would have some to freeze and eat throughout the week but, if for some crazy reason you DON'T want 30 pancakes, just halve it. 

Not surprisingly, the kids all scarfed these down. And it took my hungriest kid a whole hour to ask if it was lunchtime yet. They did, however, ask why they weren't green. When I make pancakes I always blend half a bag of fresh spinach into the batter but this morning I was lazy. It would certainly work with this recipe, though. 

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur's White Whole Wheat)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup sucanat/honey/pure maple syrup (can substitute white/brown/turbinado sugar but it won't be "clean")
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup PB2 powdered peanut butter OR 1/2 to 1 cup natural peanut butter (depending on how peanut-buttery you want it. I used a 1/2 cup PB2 because, when I make something that is supposed to be peanut butter flavored, I like that to be the dominant flavor. But we are kind of partial to peanut butter.)
  • 2 1/2 cups milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce (can omit if using regular peanut butter instead of powdered)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp almond/vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds (optional but it thickens the batter a bit)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/2 a bag of fresh spinach (optional)
  • chocolate chips (technically optional. You could sub blueberries or raisins or pieces of banana or something instead)
ONE: In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients except chocolate chips. Mix well, then add in the liquid ingredients. Mix well and let sit a few minutes to thicken. (If using spinach, blend it up into the milk before adding the milk in or I just dump it into the batter and blend it in with my immersion blender.)

TWO: Pour batter by the 1/4 cupful onto hot griddle. (I have an electric griddle and I set it to 350. Regardless of what type of griddle/pan you use, a good rule of thumb is that it's preheated when you flick a drop of water onto the surface and it imediately sizzles and dances around.)

THREE: Drop 6 or 8 chocolate chips on each pancake in a circle with one in the middle. (I do it this way instead of mixing them into the batter because then I can space them out so each bite has just enough chocolate to seem indulgent. Plus everyone’s pancake has the same number of chocolate chips and no one fights for a particularly chocolatey one… Matt.)

FOUR: When the top is bubbly and almost set, flip and cook another minute or so until both sides are golden brown.

Freeze leftovers using the flash freeze method to feed your freezer stash.

Per pancake made with 1/2 cup PB2, skim milk, ground flax, and no spinach- 89 Calories (19 Calories from Fat), 2g Total Fat, 0.8g Saturated Fat, 0g Trans Fat, 12mg Cholesterol, 109mg Sodium, 184mg Potassium, 14g Total Carbohydrates, 1.5g Dietary Fiber, 5.4g Sugars, 3.5g Protein, 1% DV VitA, 0% DV VitC, 8% DV Calcium, 4% DV Iron

Per pancake made with 1 cup natural peanut butter, skim milk, ground flax, and no spinach- 135 Calories (55 Calories from Fat), 6g Total Fat, 1.6g Saturated Fat, 0g Trans Fat, 12mg Cholesterol, 98mg Sodium, 181mg Potassium, 14.7g Total Carbohydrates, 2g Dietary Fiber, 5.4g Sugars, 5.5g Protein, 1% DV VitA, 0% DV VitC, 8% DV Calcium, 10% DV Iron

My lovely assistant. "If I just stretch out a little bit maybe I can swipe one."
(Notice the fork in her left hand, ready for action)
Never mind the spatula, let's see if I can just get a bite on my fork.
Almost there...... Darn these short baby arms and mean Mommy
putting my stool JUST far enough away