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Archive for the ‘healthy living’ Category

Jim and I were doing so well for a while, making our meals during the week at home and looking at our coupons and grocery store ads to make our weekly menu and shopping list.  I also had a totally nifty notepad from MomAgenda that we used to post the menu on the fridge.  Well, the notepad ran out of paper and I started back to work in the spring and we’ve been terribly unoriginal about our meal planning ever since.  After noticing (yet again) how much money we spend on eating out and watching my waistline slowly expand, this week I decided was the week to get back on track making healthy meals at home.  Most of the time, anyway.  Monday, we had a yummy honey-soy glazed salmon; last night we had goat cheese and spinach stuffed chicken; and tonight we’re having Mexican casserole.  My neighbor, Merritt, brought this casserole to us after Peaches was born and I immediately emailed her for the recipe.  It’s so easy and it makes enough to share, freeze, or for leftovers.

So, without further ado, Merritt’s Mexican Casserole:

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 can corn, drained

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can tomatoes and green chiles (Rotel, anyone?)

1 8 oz container fat-free sour cream

1 8 oz jar salsa

2 cups fat free shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 tsp pepper

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 small can sliced ripe olives

1 8 oz package fat free Monterey Jack shredded cheese

Combine the first 8 ingredients into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining ingredients.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

*We use two 8 x8 pans and freeze one.  For just the two of us, one pan is still enough for two nights of dinner or dinner and lunch.  Add a green salad and some  tortilla chips for a complete meal!

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When Jim and I got married, we received all the fun small kitchen appliances that we registered for:  a blender, coffee maker, food processor, toaster, waffle maker, and the mother of all small kitchen appliances, the Kitchenaid stand mixer.  While we’ve had fun (is that the right word here?!) using some of them a lot (the coffee maker and toaster) and some of them occasionally (the waffle maker and stand mixer), I haven’t used my food processor all that often.  Until I decided to make Molly’s baby food.  Well, apparently, my cute mini food processor doesn’t like to work all that hard, because after the first time I used it to puree some green beans and carrots, it started to smell like it would burst into flames at the press of the pulse button.

So, Molly’s generous Nana purchased the Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker for me from Williams-Sonoma.  I couldn’t wait to to get it out of the box and cook something!  (Wait, did I really just write that?!)  So on Valentine’s Day, I made Molly some sweet potatoes and today I made her cauliflower.  It purees so much smoother than my old food processor and doesn’t smell like a fire hazard, either!

And, with a just a little rearranging of the kitchen cabinets, we’ve even found the perfect place to store it when I’m not whipping up a gourmet meal for Peaches.

"Well, it's better than those green peas she's been giving me."

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I can’t say I blame her

Remember when I was worried about which vegetables to give Molly, since I’m not really a vegetable eater myself?  Well, she took to the green beans pretty well, so I introduced peas next.  She opened her mouth like a baby bird, ready for whatever was on the spoon.  As soon as her lips closed over the spoon, she started gagging.  Seriously.  I wish that I had a video to show you, so you could get the full effect.  But make no mistake:  This baby does NOT like green peas.

The best part was, it took several tries with the cereal for her to trust that I wasn’t trying to give her the peas again.  Then, because she refused to swallow the peas, the cereal AND the peas that she was holding in her cheeks were free-flowing from her mouth.

How do you keep from laughing at your kiddos when they do stuff like this?  (And, do you think she’ll hate me later for posting these pictures?)

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The things we do…

Somewhere between getting pregnant and today, I lost my mind.

I am making baby food.  Molly’s food.  As in, cooked and pureed vegetables.  It’s not necessarily an effort to be healthier, because if you read the labels, baby food is just [any given vegetable] and water.  I’m not putting anything extra in there.  And it’s not exactly an effort to save money, because if you have coupons and watch the sales, you can get baby food pretty cheap.  It’s more like, I told myself that I could do it, and by golly, I’m going to do it.  It’s a pretty simple process, really, and it doesn’t take that much time.

The only problem that I’ve encountered so far, is that there aren’t that many vegetables I like.  So here begins the “leading by example” part of parenthood.  Soon, if I expect Molly to eat a healthy diet, I am going to have to eat a healthy diet.  Green beans.  Peas.  Carrots. (Dipped in ranch dressing is ok, right?)  Squash.  (Does friend squash count as a vegetable?)  I was actually at a loss as to what kind of vegetables to make to get us started.  I knew green beans, because we have jars of them in our cabinet from my grandparents’ garden.  I knew sweet potatoes, because I have been known to eat sweet potato french fries.  I had to check out the baby food aisle at Babies R Us last time we were there, because I was drawing a blank about what else to make!  I didn’t think I could give my baby a spinach salad or broccoli, which are my top two vegetable choices.  And you know what?  I was right about that.  There was no spinach or broccoli baby food.

So, Jim got me some yellow squash, sweet potatoes, peas, and carrots to go with the green beans.  I’m going to spend some time this week cooking and pureeing and freezing.  I’ll let you know how it goes when Molly eats her vegetables for the first time.

Oh, and just so you can get in a really good laugh today…I’ve even been making adult dinners at our house, too.  (Although last night’s dinner left a lot to be desired.) (See, I told you it would make you laugh.)

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