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Recipe of the Week: Quesadillas with Spinach & Mushrooms

April 19, 2010

Who doesn’t like a good quesadilla? I love quesadillas. I especially love them because you can put whatever you want in them and make them your own. This quesadilla recipe is one of our family favorites. It is easy, healthy, and has lots of fabulous flavor!! We just had them this week and I thought this would be a good fast, easy recipe for recipe of the week! I don’t know about you, but I need easy (the kids have been driving me crazy all day and I need something FAST for dinner) recipes. Enjoy!

Quesadillas with Spinach & Mushrooms

4 organic whole wheat tortillas

1/2 lb. organic white mushrooms, sliced

1 lb. organic baby spinach

2 cups pepper jack cheese

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbls olive oil

salt/pepper to taste

your favorite salsa!

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms to pan and sprinkle with just a touch of salt and pepper. Sauté mushrooms until soft and then add baby spinach a little at a time until all of it is sautéed.

In another pan, add one of the tortillas and heat through. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of the cheese over the tortilla and let it start to melt. Add 1/2 of the mushroom and spinach mixture to the top of the tortilla and evenly spread. Top with about another 1/2 cup of cheese and then 2nd tortilla. Flip quesadilla over to melt cheese and crisp tortilla. I usually flip over and over until I get both sides crispy!

Repeat the above step with the other 2 tortillas to make another quesadilla. Cut quesadillas into 1/8’s and serve with your favorite salsa!

Variations for this recipe: Add shredded chicken or beef. You can also use regular Monterey jack cheese if you are not a fan of the spicy stuff (but really the spicy cheese adds A LOT of flavor!)

This recipe makes 16 quesadilla triangles. We usually have this for dinner but also makes a great appetizer! Just a suggestion, but I highly recommend having a margarita or icy cold beer with these! Enjoy!

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in the garden

April 15, 2010

I love books. I especially love children’s books. I wanted to share one of our favorites of the moment. You know they do change monthly, weekly, daily, perhaps even hourly. Sadie will want to read the same book over and over and over and over and over again until I just want to scream, chuck it out the window, pull my hair out. The repetitiveness is so worth it though since she loves books so much!!

One of the “moment” books we are stuck on I love. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

It is called in the garden written by Leslie Bockol.

One of the best things about this book: it is made from 98% recycled materials!!!

It is available through innovativeKids. I love this website. It has great books, games, puzzles, and learning activities. My favorite section is the “Green Start” section. This section has all of the green books (garden, animals, five senses, etc…) as well as learning activities to do with your children. Here is what innovativeKids has to say about their green start series:

The green start™ series is designed to help give kids an awareness of the natural world and an understanding of how we are interconnected with everything around us. By giving kids a green start, it will be that much easier for them to incorporate environmentally friendly practices into their everyday lives as they grow.

The end of the book shares with you how to grow your own organic cherry tomatoes and gives organic gardening tips. I wanted to share these since we are entering prime gardening time!! We are a family of gardeners!

Handy Organic Gardening Tips

  • Protect against pests naturally. “Companion plant” by mixing flowers (such as marigolds) or herbs (such as lemon balm) in with vegetables to repel pests.
  • Plan your planting. Choose fruits and vegetables that are right for your climate and are naturally resistant to pests and disease.
  • Use well-finished, stable compost. Compost (decaying organic matter such as dead leaves, kitchen scraps, or grass clippings) is easy to make, inexpensive, and full of nutrients for your garden. Check with your local nursery for tips on making and handling your compost.

 

Josh is very good about putting grass clippings in our garden beds. However, I really want to work on protecting against pests naturally and on composting. I will be doing more research on how to do this better and will share with you what I find out!

The end of this book also gives two yummy organic kid recipes. They are also two recipes that your child can help you make! YUMMY!!

Fruit Slush

  • 2 cups organic orange juice
  • 1 large organic banana (frozen)
  • 3 large organic kiwifruit (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 tsp. organic honey
  • ice cubes

Puree the juice and fruit in a blender for 2 minutes. Add honey slowly while blending. Add ice cubes, blend until smooth, and enjoy.

Applesauce

  • 1 lb. organic apples, cored, peeled, and cut into small wedges
  • 1/3 cup organic sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup water

Combine all ingredients in large saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring, until apples are very soft. Transfer contents into food processor and puree.

I was not paid to do this post on innovativeKids. I just love their website so much and their products!!

Just Call Me Super Mom

April 13, 2010

I am classifying myself as a Super Mom today. That’s right- superhero STATUS.

I am awarding myself this Super Mom Award for the following reasons:

10. Traveled alone on a 5 hour and 20 min flight by myself with a 1 and 3- year-old.

9. Made it onto the airplane with a walking 3 yr old, a non-walking 1-year-old , cooler bag, pink duffel bag, my purse, which of course is a back-breaking size, and the Phil and Ted’s attachment stroller seat.  I , thankfully, did have some help from Robbie, an Alaskan Airlines worker who I think just felt sorry for me. Robbie, you are my hero. Oh did I mention for some reason there was no jetway so we were outside in the pouring rain and had to walk up some slippery ramp to get on the plane? NO JETWAY?? Ty-Ty had to sit on the cold wet pavement next to the plane while I folded up the stroller since of course he is not even standing yet! You should have heard the screams coming from this kid.

8. Cleaned up my $25 Venti Latte (some #^&!?/  knocked it off the tray table) that spilled into the seat next to us before the lady sitting there boarded the plane. The seat was of course soaking wet from my thousands of wipes that I had to use to clean it up. But hey, it was probably the cleanest seat on the plane, she should thank me. Did I mention the latte also spilled into my “dry food” bag and diaper holder thingy?

 7. Dried Miss Moo’s soaking wet pants (from a water spill ) in time to put back on her so she didn’t have to depart the airplane in her underwear. Yes I forgot a 2nd pair of pants for her. Rookie.

6. Talked a nice lady into watching my kids (sucker) so I could go pee in peace and without having the kids lick the walls of the nasty airplane bathroom.

5. Got a sick, teething, exhausted 1 yr old with a 101 fever to finally take a whopping 40 min nap after screaming for 53 minutes (I didn’t time it or anything). It was the kind of blood curdling screaming that you hear on the airplane and you are like, oh please, shut that kid up already!! Hey a 40 minute nap is better than nothing right?

4. Caught kid vomit in an airline cocktail napkin and successfully transferred the goods to a plastic garbage bag without spilling ANY of it!!! It did not get on anything! No clothes, no seat cushions, nothing! If that doesn’t classify me as a Super Mom, I don’t know what does!

3. Had enough will power to avoid the Mai Tai’s the flight attendants started serving for the last beverage service before we landed. I knew if I started drinking all hell would break loose.

2. Got the PILOT to carry Sadie Lady, the SCREAMING 3-year-old, down the stairs attached to the plane to get off. Seriously she saw the stairs and had a TOTAL meltdown. Clearly since I was carrying Ty-Ty, the cooler, pink duffel, my purse, and the 2nd stroller seat, there is NO way I could have carried her unless I grew a 3rd arm. Again, I think the pilot just felt sorry for me.

1. And the #1 reason I am a Super Mom is because despite all of that, I am still standing and breathing and still have 2 well and able  children. Now I am lucky enough to visit with my parents in Hawaii for a vacation trip. Still on Mommy duty like always, but now I get to do it in HAWAII with the help of my parents!!

All Moms are Super Moms. Just some days you impress yourself beyond belief and can’t believe that you have indeed SURVIVED and well, you just want to brag about it a little bit!

Recipe of the Week: Roasted Veggie & Tofu Stir-Fry

April 11, 2010

All I have to say is: YUMMY!!

Roasting vegetables in the oven is one of my all time favorite ways to cook veggies. I also LOVE grilling veggies outside, but this past weekend we had some crazy April storm, so inside we are.

We have switched to eating more local, organic, free-range, grass-fed, un-processed food in this household. However, this is typically more expensive. One way I decided to cut down on costs was to eat less meat. We just don’t need to eat meat at every meal! And check your grocery bills- I bet it is the most expensive item that you spend money on. No surprise here.

Instead, I have been buying tofu for dinner once a week. I know what you are thinking, blah…no flavor…seriously??? Yes, I have. You know why? Because I finally figured out that tofu just takes on whatever flavors you are using in your meal, therefore if you add the right ingredients and spices, it is delicious!  So this week’s Recipe of the Week merges 2 things I love: roasted veggies and curry, with my new found love, tofu. I LOVE cookbooks, cooking websites, you name it. But lately I have been finding out that some of my best meals are the ones I just create myself. I learned from the best: Mom and Minnie!

The Recipe of the Week is:

Roasted Veggie & Tofu Stir-Fry!

The best thing about this recipe is that you can make it your own! Don’t like cauliflower? Don’t use it! Use another veggie (but seriously, you don’t like cauliflower? when roasted is tastes like a little slice of heaven!)

Pre-heat oven to 400. On a large baking sheet add:

1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets

2 heads of broccoli, chopped into florets

4 large carrots, cut diagonally

Add olive oil, sprinkle with salt/pepper. Make sure to coat the veggies well. Use your hands to toss.

Roast in oven for 30-35 minutes. Now, I am not familiar with your oven, so it might take a little less time or a little more time. If the veggies are a little too crunchy for you after 35 minutes, keep them in longer!

After 20 mins, use prongs and toss veggies. Return to oven. When the veggies are done roasting, they will look like this:

In large pan, sauté:

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 red bell pepper, sliced into 2-inch pieces

Saute onion 1st in 2 Tbls. olive oil, then add garlic. Add bell peppers.

Cut firm tofu into 1 inch cubes. Buy the firm or extra firm tofu and absorb water with paper towel before cutting. Add tofu to stir-fry.

Next add 1 tsp. fresh ground ginger. Use a zester. If you don’t have a zester use the cheese grater. By the way did you know that the best way to keep fresh ginger around is to slice all of the outer tough skin off and store in the freezer in chunks? Then when you need fresh ginger for a recipe, you just pull out and zest what amount you need and pop it back in the freezer? So easy!!

1 Tbls. Curry powder

Cook Trader Joe’s 3 min organic brown rice in microwave. Have you tried this stuff? Seriously you need to get it. Organic, brown rice in just 3 minutes!!!!

After the rice is done add it and about a ¼ cup of reduced sodium soy sauce. Toss all together. Your pan will look like this:

Next, remove the roasted veggies from oven and add to tofu stir-fry and toss altogether. Taste and season with salt/pepper to your taste. Remember there is some soy sauce already in there so you don’t need much salt, if any!

Here is the final product- it is delicious, healthy, and pretty easy to make! Enjoy!!

Tiger Who??

April 10, 2010

I don’t know about all of you, but I have been ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTED by all of the press this week surrounding Tiger Woods at the Masters. I mean, really? The guy is a TOTAL SCHMUCK. And hubby has had the Masters on TV and I  just cringe watching the guy!!
 
 

Yeah, yeah, yeah. He is a famous golfer who has done really well for himself and is a great athlete, blah blah blah. I personally do not care about Tiger’s golfing life nor his personal life.  The MEDIA just won’t let up so I have to keep hearing about it! Gesh!!! Enough already!
 
 

All I have to say is that if my son, my sweet little Ty-Ty, ever turned out ANYTHING like Tiger Woods, I would be so ashamed. It would mean that I have failed as a mother!! I realize that his personal life should not affect his professional career and that the two are not the same, but when a person enters the spot light and chooses to live their lives in the public eye, his/her personal life does get tangled into their professional lives and is splattered all across the media.
 
 

However, Tiger Woods, the husband and father of two kids, has 13 + affairs and he is now getting more attention than any other professional athlete….well it just kind of makes me sick to my stomach.
 
 

What about starving children?
 
 

health care?
 
 

the environment?
 
 

processed foods?
 
 

obesity?
 
 

Will the media just focus on something more important….PLEASE????

Who Doesn’t like Cocoa Chocolate Chip Pancakes??

April 8, 2010

 

The answer to this question is: MY KIDS. Seriously? What is wrong with them?

I have been trying to revamp the kids recipes and meals. They seem bored eating the same thing (well not Sadie) and there are constant food battles that frankly I am just tired of. I am thinking they want some new flavors, especially Ty-Ty. Miss Moo on the other hand would be happy eating Rising Moon Organics Itsy Bitsy Raviloi’s  for

 

 

EVERY

 

 

MEAL

 

 

OF

 

 

EVERY

 

 

DAY

 

 

FOR

 

 

THE

 

 

REST

 

 

OF

 

 

HER

 

 

LIFE.

We need to start making family dinners and eating with them more. But let’s face it, with Josh’s work schedule and the fact that the kids go to bed early, it is hard. I am hoping by doing this slowly but surely, the kids will eat more of a variety of foods.

I bought The Sneaky Chef Cookbook which seems like a great way to incorporate hidden goods into the foods your kids eat. You make a mix of purees ahead of time and then use them in different recipes. You are basically sneaking pureed veggies and whole grains into your kids food. I am not sure how I feel about this. They should just eat vegetables and I shouldn’t have to sneak them into their foods. But lately Sadie has not been eating ANYTHING green. I had some baby spinach and blueberries so I made the “purple puree”. What is something that you sneak this purple puree into? Why Cocoa Chocolate Chip Pancakes of course! YUMMY! Sounds great! I will make these as a special treat for dinner. The kids will get some whole wheat flour, wheat germ, spinach, blueberries, and of course chocolate for dinner!! Yippeee!! They will totally eat these.

 

 

WRONG.

 

 

NOPE.

 

 

NO.

 

 

Literally they each had ONE bite.

 

 

Maybe they are nasty? Nope, I had one.

 

 

They are DELICIOUS.

 

What is wrong with my kids? If it wasn’t for the fact that they looked EXACTLY like us, I might think they were somebody else’s. Who doesn’t like Cocoa Chocolate Chip Pancakes? Apparently my kids don’t.

 

Back to the drawing board….

Wordless Wednesday: Vandy Boy

April 7, 2010