Grumpy leads to Banana Pudding

I woke up grumpy this morning. Scratch that. I got woken up by a grumpy kid who in turn woke up the other two kids. No one got to fall back asleep and now I feel grumpy. This is when my patience runs thin and I feel unmotivated to do awesome things. I am experienced now with my own emotions and the outcome of some of my decisions that I know that the quality of the rest of my day lies in my hands and the choices I make.

First choice was coffee or freshly made vegetable juice. Coffee is so quick but the juice will leave me feeling so much better. I went with juice. While all I wanted to do was sleep, my son came in running asking me to go dance with him. Anyone who has met my 2 year old boy knows how hard it can be to say no to him. So we had a little dance party. I hoped that that would help the funk go away. It worked some, but not fully. So I stretched and while my body feels more awake and ready to take on the day, my mood hasn’t improved much. So there it is, I am coming to terms with the fact that today might just be a grumpy day. Allowing that to sink in, I have a new set of choices: will I keep on trying to run away from my feelings of grumpiness  and what will I choose to fuel my body today?

No, I will not run away. Allowing myself to be in this space will actually make my day more manageable than trying to constantly change that. It’s okay to feel grumpy. Fighting it will only make it worse. As for body fuel, in a grumpy day I rarely make the best food choices, I usually want a quick fix and grab whats easiest as well as tastiest. So I am starting my day with one of my favorite comfort breakfasts: chia banana pudding. I know that I will often want to reach for something to eat as I am tired and I will be relying on food to help me going, so I made a big batch of this and I keep it in the fridge, ready to pull out and take a few spoonfuls when the urge to put something in my mouth comes. I have a few other things on hand that I love, like dates and nuts, and sugar snap peas. I know I will eat more than usual today, but as long as what I eat is clean calories, when tomorrow comes and my mode has improved, my body will follow happily. 

Grumpy days are the ideal time for bad habits to make their way in, it’s up to me to make sure that doesn’t happen. It’s on grumpy days that I have to be even more aware of the food choices I make. Eating well on this kind of day will help me not go crazy and not feel completely sluggish. So by keeping foods on hand that I really enjoy eating and are satisfying as well as nutritious I ensure to stay on track with living a Good Life while giving in to my moods. I can’t always change my mood, but I can always change what goes into my body, which in turn, often results in my feeling better. What do you do to help you get through a grumpy day?

Savory Bell Pepper and Quinoa Pancakes

I’ve been wanting to experiment with savory pancakes more so I am excited to share this recipe with you! It was a total success at my house. The idea came since I had left over quinoa that I wanted to serve in a new way to my kids. It is very basic for now as I wanted to get the texture down before adding too many ingredients, so I will try this again with different flavors very soon! 

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The beautiful red pepper and tomato salad was made by my 6 year old daughter. She washed and cut the veggies and sprinkled ground sesame seeds on top. It was a perfect addition and her idea :) 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large red bell pepper
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Steps:

  • Put everything in blender and blend on high until well combined
  • cook in a skillet the way you would regular pancakes (wait for bubbles to form before flipping)
  • serve and enjoy!

Since this was lunch I served it with salad and pesto, but in all honesty, these would taste just as good for breakfast with maple syrup on them. 

Mushroom Pizza

A classic twist on a pizza but oh so delicious that I had to share!!

 

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Ingredients:

4 large portobello mushrooms

1/2 cup olive oil

2 TBS herbs

1/2 onion

2 cloves garlic

salt

1/2 cup tomato sauce

2 TBS thinly chopped fresh basil

2 TBS thinly chopped spinach

grated cheese (as much as makes you happy)

 

Steps:

  • Turn on oven at 400
  • Take the stems off the mushrooms and save
  • Mix herbs and oil together, drizzle evenly all over inside of mushrooms (I planned ahead and marinated the mushrooms like this for several hours)
  • Bake in a covered dish for about 20 minutes or until desired consistency of mushrooms

During that time…..

  • chop onions and cook in a skillet with a little bit of oil until tender, about 3 minutes
  • Add minced garlic and cook another minute or so
  • Add thinly chopped mushroom stems and a pinch of salt
  • Cook until mushrooms are tender

 

  • Once mushrooms are done in the oven, pull them out and top them off with the onion mixture.
  • Add tomato sauce
  • Add equal amounts of spinach and basil
  • Top with cheese
  • Put back in the over for a few minutes to melt cheese
  • Serve with anything you like! (We had ours with quinoa and some home made pesto and fresh tomatoes)
  • Enjoy!!

 

 

Mango Coconut Pudding

I love Mangoes. I love coconuts. I love pudding. I really love guiltless treats. So here it is.

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Ingredients: 

  • 1 can (14oz) organic coconut cream. (When I have more time and feel like putting in all the work, I would use young coconut meat, but the cream is oh so divine!)
  • 4 mangoes, approximately 4 cups chopped
  • 4 large, soft, Medjool dates

Steps:

  • Put in blender and blast on high until smooth!
  • Top with anything you like
  • Enjoy!!

Raw Mushroom Flatbread

This amazing flatbread was a happy accident. I originally was trying to make a raw mushroom patee and it was a flop. the beauty with raw foods is that there are often ways to recover. So I turned my not so tasty patee into this amazing flatbread.

 

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Ingredients:
1 cup pumpkin seeds (dry measure)
1cup sunflower seeds (dry measure)
1 cup flax seeds (dry measure) (soak in 2 cups of water)
5 cups chopped mushrooms (I mixed portobello and buttons)
2 cups chopped flat Italien parsley
1/2 onion, chopped
2 coves of garlic, chopped
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt 

 


STEPS:
*Soak all seeds for a minimum of 4 hours, flax seeds in separate bowl. Rinse and strain the pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
*Chop all other ingredients in 1 bowl.
*Put everything in food processor and process until somewhat pureed. My food processor is small so I had to do this in 3 steps. Each time making sure to put equal amounts of seeds and mushroom mixture in the food processor.
*Spread on dehydrator sheets about 1/2 inch thick.
*Dehydrate at 110 for about 9 hours, score, flip on mesh screen, and dehydrate another 6 hours or until desired consistency.
*top with whatever you like
(I’ve made these thinner and as crackers as well, but personally I prefer the thicker flatbread version. )
ENJOY!!

Ratatouille

This is a very simple dish that I ate a lot as a kid. Since we grew up on an organic farm we had an abundance of very colorful vegetables and this dish is a great way to get them all together in a pot and freeze for later use if need be. Being a family of 4 it’s nice to have a big batch of homemade delicious food that can last for several days, or freeze for a couple months. Making my life easier in the kitchen allows me to spend more quality time with my family.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 bell peppers ( I used a variety of colors)
  • 1 onion
  • 3 zucchinis
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 4-6 fresh tomatoes or 2 16 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 TBS mixed fresh herbs ( I used rosemary, oregano and thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves of garlic sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  • I chopped all the veggies pretty big, about 1 inch or more
  • melt the onions in olive oil about 5 minutes
  • add peppers, stir and cook about 5 minutes
  • add eggplant and cook another 5 minutes
  • add zucchini and garlic, mix well, cover and let cook on low for about 20 minutes
  • add tomatoes and herbs and cook uncovered on medium for another 10 minutes or so
  • eat as is or serve over rice or your favorite grain
  • I like to add a drizzle of olive oil right before eating for a little added richness

Carrot Cookies

Every week at school the kids go to the library and take home a book for the week. This week my daughter brought back The Disney Princesses Cookbook. It sometimes drives me nuts how infatuated with princesses and pink and everything girlie my daughter is, but I must admit it’s kinda cute and I really like the idea that they made a whole book where the princesses are cooking and serving others.

Here, my daughter and I adapted a version of their cookies, using ingredients I feel better eating. Plus it gives us time to bond while I explain to her why I believe some ingredients are better than others for our bodies. I think they turned out great, and by judging with the amount that is left just minutes after they came out of the oven, it’s safe to say that the rest of my family agrees :)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour (I used Spelt)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (or any sweetener really)
  • 1 egg (if vegan I think using 1/4 cup flax meal would work, although I haven’t tried it yet. You would probably have to add a small amount of liquid to that)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup shredded apple
  • 1/3 cup cranberries

Steps:

  • preheat oven to 375 F
  • mix first 5 ingredients in large bowl
  • whisk together coconut oil and sugar until well combined, then add the egg and mix well
  • combine both mixtures and mix well
  • add remaining ingredients and mix
  • spoon out dough on cookie sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart (they don’t spread or fluff up much)
  • put in the oven for about 15 minutes. Since my daughter was helping me, we ended up with various sizes of cookies, therefore  various “done-ness”, and I think they all tasted great.
  • cool on a rack and enjoy!

Red Cabbage and Sour Apple Sauerkraut

Another probiotic goodness recipe!! Easy to make, even easier to eat! There actually was another 16oz jar filled with this recipe but we ate it before I remembered to take the picture.  Oops ;)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small head red cabbage
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1TBS salt (or to taste)
  • 1 cup water ( or more if needed, just make sure the cabbage is submerged)

Steps:

  • slice everything real thin and follow the same set up and steps as my garlic and onion sauerkraut
  • Always taste your mix before getting it to ferment and adjust the salt accordingly. A too salty kraut is a real bummer.

Halloween Teeth!!

I realize this post is a little late, but I still wanted to share it with you. And it doesn’t have to be made just for Halloween. Kids love fun ways to eat food at any time!

My daughter’s kindergarten class had a Halloween party and I offered to bring a snack. Since Halloween is such a sugar filled time already, I wanted to bring a more wholesome snack. I was inspired to make this after seeing it done with marshmallows inside the apple slices. My daughter loved them and still asks me to put teeth inside her apple slices!

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Ingredients:

  • 4 red apples
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Steps:

  • slice the apples
  • stick the almond slivers on one slice to create crooked teeth effect
  • put another slice of apple on top (some of the almond bits will break, but that adds to the effect i think ;) )

And voila!! Super easy, super healthy, super fun for the kids!!

Carrot Coconut Soup

This recipe was inspired by my really good friend Sam. She made it for me this weekend and I loved it so much I had to come home and make my version of it for my family and now share it with you.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 TBS coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 medium to large carrots, chopped
  • 3 medium to large potatoes, chopped (if using russet, peel them)
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger, chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 small can coconut milk (5.6oz or 165 ml)
  • 1 TBS fresh ginger (optional)
  • cayenne pepper (optional)

Steps:

  • Melt the coconut oil in a large pot
  • add onions and cook 2 to 4 minutes
  • add carrots and potatoes and mix well to coat with the oil, cook another 3 minutes
  • add water, ginger and salt, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook another 15 minutes or so, until the veggies are soft but not falling apart
  • turn off heat, add the coconut milk and blend!
  • I added 1 TBS of fresh ginger at the end to add a little extra kick and to boost our immune systems during this cold weather. Make sure to test this if you have children sensitive to too much spice. We love ginger at our house :)
  • sprinkle a dash of cayenne pepper for extra heat