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Friday, November 17, 2017

Beet Salad--A Love Story

Impressive & Addictive Beet Salad
{a foodgasm story}

Tonight I splurged and gave in to one of my absolute favorite foods....beets!  I know, I know what you are thinking, but seriously, beets are amazing.  I think about them all the time and I have perfected the ultimate beet salad recipe that would impress anyone.  Bear in mind that I don't write my recipes down so when I say "eye ball it" or "a pinch" I truly mean just that.

Roasting the beets {plain and simple}: I preheat the oven to 400º then get to cleaning my beets.  I trim the steams and leaves and place them into a ziploc bag for another day {and another blog post}.  Then I scrub the beets with a spaghetti scrubby.  I then carefully peel the beets and slice them into about 1/4" slices.  I toss the beet slices into a medium size bowl where I drizzle them with olive oil {until coated} and then I arrange them in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle your little gems with kosher salt then toss the sheet into the oven and roast until tender {approximately 15-20 minutes}.

{other INGREDIENTS}:While your beets are preparing to blow your mind gather up some soft goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, toasted walnuts and some arugula.  For an entire sheet tray covered in beets I use approximately 5T of olive oil and 2T of balsamic vinegar.  Whisk together your oil and vinegar until it emulsifies.  Toss in two handfuls {very scientific again, I know} of arugula and 1/4c chopped and toasted walnuts {toss to coat}.  Set aside and wait for the fireworks {you can put your goat cheese away if you want it to remain somewhat intact in your salad}.

Once your beets have finished roasting...remove them from the sheet tray and place on a wooden cutting board.  Cut into desired size and let them cool for a moment {sometimes I pop them onto a plate and stick them in the freezer for a couple of minutes}.  Once your beets have cooled, toss them into your salad until they are incorporated throughout.  Last, but certainly not least, add your goat cheese.  I like a decent amount in mine so I use about 4-5T for an entire batch.  Stirring a lot will turn your cheese into a smooth coating for the entire salad which, to me is perfectly alright.

Finally, dig right in.  What are you waiting for?  EAT IT and experience PURE.FOODGASM.DELIGHT!

I would love to know what you think!  How was my 'recipe'?  How do you like to eat beets?

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Healthy Eating with Not Being Boring

Now that the holidays are around the corner, its easy to cut back now so maybe you can splurge on some of your favorites once Thanksgiving and Christmas get here!

Here are some tips that I have found to keep food tasty while helping to cut the calories. 

1. Use good fats- Olive oil is considered a good fat, butter is not.  When I would make omelets in the morning I would use Olive Oil to saute my vegetables instead of butter.  I thought for sure that I wouldn't like it but it was tasty.

2. Replace fruit juice with Crystal Light- I don't know if I am the only person in the world who has to have juice with breakfast but I have found that I can use Crystal Light or Kool Aid made with Splenda and I am just as satisfied than I am when I drink orange juice.  This cuts my daily intake by 200-300 calories!

3. Spices really are the spice of life- Oregano is delicious sauteed with vegetables and its a really yummy additive to many other meals.  Instead of using fats and meats to add flavor I suggest you try adding some spices.  I also love curry-a lot!

4. Brown rice instead of white rice- Brown rice helps to stave off hunger longer so it leaves you feeling fuller, longer.  White rice has no nutritional value and should be avoided.  You can make a batch of brown rice on a Sunday and portion it out for the rest of the week.  I use it in stir frys and lettuce wraps and just about anything else where a carb or two is needed.

5. Chocolate is evil and so is ice cream- HAHA!  I love ice cream so much and it is hard to get that feeling from anything else.  I have found that mini Drumsticks (150 calories) or Fudgesicles are perfect for that little something that we all crave.

6. Vegetables are your friends- Vegetables help add bulk to your meals while keeping the calorie content low.  For instance, when I make my omelets in the morning, I sautee a bunch of onion, spinach and mushrooms and add some tomatoes at the end so they don't get too mushy.  I add oregano to the vegetables while they are cooking for extra zest.  I put this in my 3 egg white (one yolk) omelet and top with shredded parmesan cheese.  The parm is low in calorie and this breakfast is so satisfying and delicious.  You can also have a piece of whole grain bread or a whole grain english muffin to round out this meal.

7. Chicken stock instead of water- When you are cooking your whole wheat pasta, brown rice or vegetables you can increase flavor ten-fold by cooking with Chicken or Vegetable Stock rather than water.  This intensifies the flavor without the added calories!

8. Water is your friend- Drinking 8 glasses of water a day can help stave off hunger so you don't go crazy come dinner time.  A handful of almonds provides the same filling factor.  This is more of a tip than a transform your meals but it is very helpful nonetheless.

9. Fruit- makes an excellent dessert or quick breakfast.  I love fruit smoothies using frozen fruit, non-fat yogurt and a splash or water or skim milk.  This makes a light and refreshing snack too.  Yogurt provides the calcium that all women need and the fruit is loaded with anti-oxidants.

10. Craving something cheesy but don't know what to do? Reach for the Babybel cheese.  Laughing Cow and Babybel have 30-40 calories per serving and you can spread it on sandwiches, fruit, whole wheat crackers or vegetables.  The possibilities are endless.

What are some ways you have found to make your favorite foods healthier?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Oyster Mushrooms Shown to Help Disposable Diapers Decompose

No disposable diaper ever made has ever decomposed.  Not even close.... It takes roughly 500 years for one sposie to breakdown. Who has that kind of time to wait?  Mother Earth sure doesn't.  When you figure that each child makes roughly 1 ton of diaper trash annually, you are talking about a lot of waste (pun intended!)

What if I told you that scientists are close to figuring out how to make sposies breakdown in a matter of months rather than centuries?!  Would you be impressed?  I was astonished!  Thanks to a scientist named Alethia Vázquez-Morillas from the Autonomous Metropolitan University in Mexico City this is looking more like a reality.  The use of oyster mushrooms is making impossible feat possible.  The oyster mushroom feeds off of decaying trees by breaking down cellulose (the main component of sposies).  The break down of cellulose, by oyster mushrooms, results in a 90% breakdown of the disposable diaper in just 2 months and the remaining 10% is broken down in the next 2 months.

So lets pretend that you have a compost pile (and you use sposies).  Maybe you should trow (like throw without the H) some oyster mushrooms in there with your diapers and see what happens!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

We are officially at Half Time in Dexter's Life

I will never forget the article I read a couple years back about when a child reaches 9 years of age, half-way to 18, they are officially at the "Halftime" in their lives. This is half-way to being out of the house after high school. How we got here in such a short amount of time, I am unsure! What I do know is that every moment is appreciated and before me is a young boy growing bigger, braver and more amazing everyday.

At 9 1/2, Dexter is truly one-of-a-kind. He is thoughtful, caring and he is a friend to all. He is funny, goofy, spontaneous, and articulate. He is everything I could have ever asked for in a child. Being with Dexter is like being with someone you have known for a million years. He just has a way about him!

It seems like yesterday that I started this blog writing about cloth diapering baby Dexter  and now I am teaching him how to cook complex dishes, how to start laundry and how to care for what he calls his "luxurious locks". He is wanting to grow his hair out for a "man bun"! He is quite the dude.

Dexter loves to make people happy. He is a true lover. He enjoys snuggling and watching movies. He is a giver. He is always giving and sharing with his brother just so that Oliver doesn't go without. Case in point, Dexter has been asking for a wallet for a while now. While back to school shopping, he wanted to go to Hot Topic. He found a Pokémon pokeball wallet that excited him beyond belief. I was just excited that it was on sale for ten bucks! He then found the Masterball keychain (see pic above) that he was jazzed to put on his backpack. Long story short, Oliver was mad because he wanted a wallet. He threw a fit about it until Dexter gave him the wallet he just found and fell in love with. I insisted that I would buy Oliver another one but he insisted. It wasn't until Daddy took them out for a Daddy-date that he bought Oliver his own. I mean, how amazing is his heart?

I could go on and on about how fabulous my child is but I will save that for another day. I just hope that he knows just how much I love him because he is the best thing that ever happened to me. He made me a Mom!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Grocery Game-Practicing Math at Home with Your Kids

The Grocery Store 

Parents, how many of you take your elementary-aged children to the grocery store with you? It can get hectic, and little voices will chime in at every turn asking you to buy this and that. Other times, your children may be upset that they've been "dragged" with you to the store. What if you worked with your kids to give them certain levels of independence on your next grocery shopping trip? 

Children like to be helpful and independent. So here's an activity that can teach your children about money while also helping them to become more engaged in math practice and real shopping experiences. Once they are more familiar with money and the idea of a budget, you can give them opportunities to purchase items in a real store, weighing their options of which products and brands to buy. It is always a lot more fun to go shopping when you are able to participate in the process. Here's to making grocery shopping, with the whole family, more fun! 

What You Need: 

  • Various grocery items, such as pasta, crackers, sugar (anything on hand)
  • Grocery list
  • Paper for price tags
  • Marker
  • Money
What To Do: 
  1. Create a grocery store with real items. Whatever is available at home can be used to stock the store. Put price tags on each item
  2. Provide your child with a grocery list. For example: three bags of sugar, two cartons of eggs, one gallon of milk.
  3. Give him a specific amount of money to spend and discuss what a budget is and why it's important. As he goes through the grocery list, he will need to calculate if he has enough money to spend.
  4. Give him time to do the calculations. If he realizes he does not have enough money, then he will need to divide the quantity of the items. For example instead of purchasing two cartons of eggs, then he would only purchase one carton, or instead of purchasing one gallon of milk, he would need to get half a gallon, since it would cost less than a gallon.
  5. Once he seems ready, a fun activity to apply those math skills would be to help him make a grocery list and go to the store so he can purchase real items.

What are some ways that you practice math at home with your kids?

Friday, March 10, 2017

StarKist for National Pack Your Lunch Day

Did you know that today is National Pack Your Lunch Day?  Whether it’s for your little ones, other half or just you, these Honey BBQ Tuna Sliders are delicious, different and have 29 grams of protein! All that fuel will keep you going all day!

·       Prep Time: 5 minutes
·       Cook Time: N/A
·       Recipe Yield: 4 sandwiches, 2 each
Created by StarKist®
  • 2 pouches (2.6 oz.) StarKist® Kid’s Creations™ Honey Barbeque
  • 4 slider buns
  • 2 slices cheddar cheese
  • Place 2 slider buns on a plate.
  • Top each with half of the tuna from one pouch. Top each with a half a slice of cheese.
  • Place top of bun on the cheese. Repeat with the other sliders and tuna.

Visit StarKist to get even more fun recipes!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Mother Nurture Sale with Amazon #MotherNurture

Maria Bailey recently created Mother Nurture. She says, "It was my goal to provide expectant mothers with a way to stay hydrated with a little flavor and extra nutrients for her baby. When she wants a treat, I don’t want her to feel guilty so I created chocolate truffles that are only 70 calories each and contain DHA and Folic Acid for her baby. Moms who taste Mother Nurture love it. I’m so pleased with the response."

What are you waiting for? Head over to Amazon now to take advantage of this great deal!!