I‘ve been trying to eat more veggie based dishes – initially fueled by a paper my daughter wrote for school. It started with some research from that Food, Inc. book – and as we dug into the issue more and more, I wanted to do better too. It’s not a change that can happen overnight – so my goals are simple – try to limit our meat-based meals to once, maybe twice a week. Buy organic when possible. Buy local when possible. I’m not going to be die-hard about any of this – but I figure any small effort will help. And as we do more and more, we’ll become more “green.”
Acorn Squash stuffed with Chard and White Beans.
This was really tasty – but rather than just filling the acorn squash, I’ll probably scoop it out – mix it with the “stuffing” – and then either serve inside the acorn squash shells for appearance – or just serve in bowls. I personally liked to have it all mashed together.
I love chickpeas – but unfortunately my kids do not. So this is one I’ll make when I’m just serving myself and Sam. It was really good though.
Quinoa and Black Beans
I really love quinoa – mixed with the black beans in this dish is a nice alternative to rice and beans.
Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed with Kale and Rice
I actually substituted quinoa in this dish and it was really good. I also wasn’t so thrilled with the whol red pepper stuff thing – same as the acorn squash dish… I know it “looks” prettier that way – but I’d rather have everything sliced up nice and easier to eat.
Roasted Vegetables Galette with Olives
Ok this one was really good – and I did not expect to like it nearly as much as I did. Looking at the ingredient list I was expecting not to like it all actually. It’s not like I often eat parsnips and beets. But the mixture was great and tucked in the bread like that it was really good. I will probably use less goat cheese next time. For starters, I think that will help the calorie count of the dish – but also my daughter was not a fan of the cheese.
There’s a restaurant in our town that makes the best Chiles Rellenos I’ve ever had. In an effort to try and save money, diet, etc. I was determined to make this at home. They have you frying the chiles in this recipe, but I’ve been trying to use less and less oil to see if I can still have these taste ok. Maybe I’ll try just using PAM and a tiny bit of oil. The recipe takes a little practice, and I have to watch how much cheese I put in the peppers (Also I found BIG Pasilla peppers to work the best) – but this can be a decent diet dish if modified a bit. I dare say my Chiles Rellenos give the restaurant in town a run for their money!
And now for a bonus recipe… I made a big batch of gazpacho to have for lunches. This recipe comes from a coworker of mine from like 14 years ago. I have no idea where she got it:
1 Garlic Clove
4 cups V8
2 or 3 Tblsp Olive Oil (Min 2 – if it’s still not the right taste, add the third. I think you can get away with just the two though and save the calories)
2 Tblsp Lemon Juice
1 Tblsp Lime Juice
3 Tsp Sugar (I used splenda)
1 or 2 big cucumbers (I love cucumbers so I use lots)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup scallions
1-1/2 red peppers diced
1 or 2 tomatoes peeled and seeded (Again, I love tomatoes, so I add the second one)
I actually just dumped it all together in a bowl and put it in the fridge. But here are the specific directions if you’re not as lazy as me:
Cut garlic in 1/2 and rub bottom and sides of bowl. Add V8, olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, splenda and pepper. Beat and chill for 1 hour. Beat again, then add remaining ingredients.
I’m not sure why you’d beat and chill and then mix… when you dump it all together it’s just as good.
I have a bowl of this with 1/4 of an avocado. Depending on how many calories I have available for the day, I may also throw in a few tortilla chips with it. I’m also planning on throwing a few black beans in there today to add some protein.
My kids have an obsession with cereal. The would eat it three times a day if I let them. They would pick out new ones to try each week if I let them. I’ve put down a restriction, though, that they can pick out ONE box of cereal to have. When it’s gone, they can pick out another one. But we only do this one a time… well normally. Then General Mills and Hot Wheels®, through MyBlogSpark, sent me a great big gift pack with 5 different boxes of cereals. If that wasn’t enough to get my kids jumping for joy, starting back on January 24th, included in each participating cereal box (Cheerios® 14 oz, Cinnamon Toast Crunch® 17 oz, Lucky Charms® 16 oz, Reese’s Puffs® 18 oz, and Cookie Crisp® 15.6 oz), is a custom-designed collectible Hot Wheels® pullback racer. And, each car contains a code to unlock an exciting online racing game.
I thought at first, maybe we’d try to still maintain some order in the house, and open and finish one before opening the next. Yeah right. The fact that each one contained a Hot Wheels car pretty much trampled that idea. They were all opened within a few days of each other. Lucky Charms was the first to actually be consumed, and I think second place will be tied between Cheerios and Resse’s Puffs. Cookie Crisp has been eaten like it’s dessert, and cinnamon toast crunch, although still a favorite around here, will probably finish last.
Both Zach and Rachel have been having a great time with the cars too. Racing them across the downstairs (how nice that we have wood floors in this new house).
If you would like to receive a similar gift pack, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me which of the group is your favorite cereal (Mine is definitely the Reese’s Puff. How can you go wrong turning candy into breakfast!) For additional entries (up to 1 additional entry awarded per day) just tweet the following (and leave one comment on this post for each tweet)
Contest ends March 4th, 2011 at 10pm PST. There is no purchase necessary to enter the contest. I will be using random.org to choose the winner. I’ll contact the winner via email, and he/she will have 48 hours to respond. After 48 hours, if I don’t receive a response, another winner will be chosen.
Disclosure: General Mills and Hot Wheels® provided me with the free product, information, and giveaway through MyBlogSpark.
*Price at time of this writing. I received a copy of this app for review purposes.
MMaya’s Dress Up.
In this game you can select from a number of different dolls to dress up: Maya herself, or one of her friends. You can change their hair style and color. There are hundreds of different clothing, shoes and accessories. You can change an item’s color or how they’re “layered” on your doll. You also have a number of different backgrounds to choose from. The selection is massive, really. And the publisher has plans to continually add new items.
You can save your favorite designs and send them to your friends.
We’ve downloaded a few other free dress up games but none had the kind of selection this one does.
Maya’s Dress Up iPhone App: $2.99*
Maya’s Dress up HD iPad App: $4.99*
*Price at time of this writing. I received a copy of this app for review purposes.
During the week I just don’t have enough time to make several trips to the grocery store, so I try to plan our meals for the week, and make just one trip to the store on the weekend. The only problem with this plan is that I tend to use a few meals each week, which means we get sick of them pretty quickly. Some meals can withstand the test of repeated time – others, after having it every week for a month or two, I never want to eat it again. My new plan is to now plan *two* weeks in advance and to only double up on ONE meal I know we could stand to have each week. I’ll still go shopping each week – as some food won’t last the two week wait in the fridge, but planning out 14 different meals, I’m hoping we won’t get sick of them quite so often.
One meal that will surely be going up on the list of meals is taco night! Tacos are fun and easy to make and everyone in the family loves them. (Except Zach – he’s a helpless carboholic. He eats bread and cheese. That’s pretty much it. But that eating-issue is for another post). A few months ago MyBlogSpark sent me an Old El Paso family taco night prize pack complete with a packet of Old El Paso Taco Seasoning, a Cactus Chip & Dip Serving dish, a set of 3 Fiesta Chili Pepper serving dishes and a $10 gift card to purchase taco fixings.
If you’d like to try and change the usual sibling bickering during dinner, you could also try a game during dinner time: El Tacodor™, a family taco night game. Challenge each other with trivia, wordplan and pantomime. To play visit www.ElTacodor.com today to download instructions, a score card, and a challenge sheet for even more fun on family taco night!
Interested in trying some different kinds of tacos? Check out Old El Paso’s website for tips and recipes.
If you’d like to win your own Old El Paso family taco night prize pack like mine, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me what your favorite taco topping or side-dish is. For additional entries (up to 1 additional entry awarded per day) just tweet the following (and leave a comment on this post for each tweet)
Contest ends December 30th, 2010 at 10pm PST. There is no purchase necessary to enter the contest. I will be using random.org to choose the winner. I’ll contact the winner via email, and he/she will have 48 hours to respond. After 48 hours, if I don’t receive a response, another winner will be chosen.
Disclosure: Old El Paso provided me with the products, information, and giveaway through MyBlogSpark.