Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cooking with Friends - Recipe: Fish, Rice, and Veggies

My son and I joined our friends on a Sunday afternoon to make a delectable and nutritious meal.

We baked flounder with olive oil, lemon, S&P and butter Рtopped with tomato, garlic and basil; saut̩ed broccolini and asparagus in olive oil, garlic, basil and oregano and parmesan cheese; and brown rice to boot.

The most enjoyable part was allowing the 3 youngest children to help – they were eager to join in the fun. A & B are both 3 and C is 6. Yes their names start with those letters!

C added butter to each fish (we had 9 cold water caught flounder); he squeezed the lemons for juice, and stirred the tomatoes. 

A & B helped by sprinkling the fish with s&p, covering them with lemon juice and olive oil, and finally topping the fish with the tomatoes. 

We covered the fish and baked for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

While the fish were baking, A & B prepared the asparagus by snapping off the ends. We sauteed the greens with 10 minutes left on the fish and finished with some brown rice.

We made a reduction using strawberries and organic evaporated cane sugar. I had more strawberries that were sliced and whipped cream to top a nice angel food cake bought from Trader Joe’s to serve for dessert. (No image available for this one because we were very excited about continuing our feast.)

All-in-all, we had a great time spending the day with friends. The kids said they enjoyed 'cooking' and are hopeful to do it again real soon. While we ate our dinner, all you could hear from A, B & C was yumm mmmm yumm as they chewed. That's a happy moment! =)

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Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Power Bites with Plant Power!

Bite Sized Power Bites

I call mine 'power' bites. It's a kid-friendly name for a nutritious snack!
Makes twelve 2-inch balls or make them smaller to double your batch without increasing your ingredients. 

Adapted from Smashed Peas and Carrots (blog/recipe)  

Disclaimer: There are other blogs/sites online that have a similar recipe. I was first inspired by my friend who made these bites for her daughter's first birthday.  

Allergens: nuts 
Ingredients are free of hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes, and artificial sweeteners. There is no gluten in these ingredients. Check your own labels for products already in your pantry. You can sub out and omit some of the ingredients to your liking. 

¼ cup of flax meal (like this)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (like this)
4 tbl of Juice Plus+ Complete Dutch Chocolate 
3 tbl of melted coconut oil 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Optional: 2-3 tbl dairy free/gluten free chocolate chips (like this)

Make balls using your hands or if you have a small ice cream scoop or large melon baller then that will help shape the mixture into balls. (I doubled the recipe and made half into balls and the other half into bars.) Refrigerate up to a week or freeze until ready to use.

You can substitute anything you like in this recipe. If you want to keep this recipe dairy free, try the dutch chocolate powder recommendation above. 

Have fun with it! 

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Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

#Chocolate Dipped #Pretzels #Recipe

I’ve become a conscientious consumer and have been teaching my family the importance of being one too. I pay attention to ingredients on everything my family and I eat. Some would say that I am not allowing my child to have a ‘normal’ childhood because I won’t let my 3 year old have candy or a lot of the junk food out there.  I read food labels (primarily list of ingredients).  I am also teaching my son to check labels for any numbers and when he sees them to know that it has yucky stuff in it. I know that many foods we consider staples, I will buy organic. Other ingredients that I avoid at all most other times are: artificial dyes, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and hydrogenated oils.  When we eat out which is infrequent it’s harder to know what’s in the foods so I say that if we are eating well at home then the occasional time out to eat is okay or considered ‘in-moderation’ and I let it slide. Then I go home and double up on my Juice Plus+ Orchard & Garden capsules- which are free of all yucky ingredients! =)

Back to our regular scheduled programming. Tonight we made chocolate dipped pretzels. The chocolate was by Baker’s – the kind that melts in the microwave.  We dipped the pretzels in colored sugar, crushed almonds, mini chocolate chips and toasted coconut. Because we aren’t using artificial dyes the coloring of the sugar was a little weak but it all tasted good plus I didn’t mind when my 3 year old ate the rest of it off the plate when we were done! No CARAZZZY sugar rush either.  There’s a BIG difference between artificial dyes and dyes made from natural sources - at least, with my child!

We placed the pretzels in the fridge for the chocolate to harden.  We’ll keep them stored there until all gone or 5 days whichever comes first.  I think 'all gone' will be first because we’ll be sharing them with friends this week. We made roughly 3 dozen pretzels.

Pretzel Rods, broken in half
Maggie's Naturals Food Coloring
Ground Almonds (Use a Vitamix or other food processor)