Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cleaning our Air

Spider plant

Red-edged dracaena (on left)
Warneck dracaena (in front)

Golden pothos (Scindapsus aures)

Sansevieria (in back), Variegated Spider plant (front)

We've got a basement full of succulents (for the winter), but didn't have a single houseplant in our main living spaces. I love sharing our home with air purifying plants, and having them brightening up our rooms and adding some more green to our home. I chose plants that I like the look of, which aren't toxic to pets or children if someone ends up gnawing on a fallen leaf. It was a perfect activity for a snowy winter day, and the kids had a great time re-potting and finding homes for them all. 
More info on detoxifying your indoor air with houseplants here, here, here, and here.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Quinoa Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've been organizing the freezer, and found the quinoa flakes. I enjoy making hot cereal with them, but had forgotten about them since the kids didn't like any of the recipes I'd tried them in. I saw this recipe on the back of the quinoa box (Ancient Quinoa Harvest), and thought I'd give it a shot. It's the first time the kids have eaten quinoa and liked it!

Crispy Quinoa Cookies

1/2 Cup Local Honey
1/3 cup Organic Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Soy-free Earth Balance
1/2 Cup Organic Peanut Butter
1/2 tsp Organic Vanilla Extract
1 cup Organic Rice Flour
3/4 cup Organic Quinoa Flakes
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup Organic Nuts (optional)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat honey, brown sugar, butter or substitute, peanut butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl till creamy. Combine rice flour, Quinoa flakes, baking soda & salt in small bowl. Add dry to wet mixture and beat until well blended. If desired add nuts.
Drop by rounded teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute before removing from cookie sheet.
Yields about 3 dozen (small) cookies
My changes:
I added 1/4 cup of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips, and used slightly more peanut butter (I rounded the 1/2 cup). I didn't add nuts this time.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Taco/Chili Seasoning Recipe

1Tbsp each:
garlic powder
smoked paprika

2tsp chili powder
1tsp sea salt
1tsp raw sugar
2Tbsp dehydrated powdered tomato

Everything goes into a jar, then give it a shake. I use this for tacos and in chili. It's got a little spice, but not so much that the kids can't take it.

And, here's what I made with it tonight...

Turkey and black bean chili over Tinkyada gf spirals with daiya jack and sliced avocado. The kids needed to have theirs un-assembled, and mostly ate plain noodles. The bigs liked it lots just the way it's pictured.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Spiced Chocolate Chia Pudding (⬅ Click for recipe!)

I found this recipe the other day, and have been waiting to make a new batch of coconut milk so that I could try it out. Since the girl has been having trouble eating most proteins lately, I've been looking for creative ways to get some extra into our meals. I didn't calculate the nutritional information for this recipe yet, but between the chia and cashews, it should be a good addition to a meal. I think it's got a great texture, and tastes great! I'm excited to see what the kids think about it tomorrow.
The boy loves it, but it fills him up fast. The girl says she likes it, but will usually only try a small spoonful or two before deciding she's full. The mister and I like it a lot, and I'm thinking about trying another batch and sticking it into the freezer in ice cube trays, then tossing it into the Vitamix. I think it would be perfect for an ice cream-ish treat.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Smoothie and a Sandwich

Favorite smoothie (plus blueberries) in progress

-Favorite smoothie
-Wellshire turkey and Mindful Mayo on Rudi's GF bread
-Tiny container of raisins
-Falafel chips

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Books in the Hallway

-Home made gf/df cornbread
-Bell & Evans organic hot dog pieces (in square container)
-Favorite smoothie

We needed a little extra-fancy since it was such a cold, grey day. Stickers to the rescue.
 My lunch:
-Snowy Cranberries This is a great recipe by my friend Rachel from Hounds in the Kitchen. Good blog, check it out.
-Home made cornbread. I used coconut milk that was left over after making the kids smoothies and eggs from our chickens. It was yummier than usual, coconut milk is so good.
-Turkey roll-ups with daiya jack cheese and Applegate turkey. I think this would also have been good with chicken breast and a sweet sauce of some sort.

 It was time for the sunshine bulletin board to come down. The colors had faded and the hallway needed a change for the new year. The kids are learning about authors and literature, and the book fair will be starting soon. I thought a book themed board with 3D books would be a good way to make a bright and colorful bulletin board for the kids, and it was fun to make. I'm hoping to have time next week to make a matching "bookshelf" for the opposite side of the board.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Milk for Monday

-Turkey sandwich on Rudi's gf bread with Mindful Mayo
-Tiny container of organic raisins
-Half of a Kit's Organic fruit & nut bar
-Favorite smoothie (made with homemade coconut milk!!)

I've planned to try making my own coconut milk for so long, but never made the time to do it. I can't believe I waited so long! It took so little time and is so much tastier than anything from a box or can (not to mention not having any creepy ingredients).
I started with the recipe at Whole New Mom. I then used the milk to start a batch of slow cooker rice pudding for the kids breakfast tomorrow. It turned out so much richer and creamier than it does when using store-bought milk, and I immediately decided to make a second batch for smoothies. It only keeps for about 48 hours in the fridge, but freezes well (just needs a good shake when it thaws). I don't think we'll be buying packaged milks again.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Butterflies, Burgers, and Rainbows

-Butterfly sandwich with Rudi's gf bread, peanut butter, strawberry jam (no butterflies were harmed)
-Square container of homemade slow cooker rice pudding (with less sugar than the recipe says)
-Tiny container of raisins
-Bare Fruit organic cinnamon apple chips

-Hilary's Eat Well adzuki bean burger on a gf bun
-Square container of corn chips
-Honest Kids organic apple juice
-Organic apple-strawberry fruit strip

We stumbled across the adzuki bean veggie burger recently, and it quickly became one of the kids' new favorites. The mister and I think they are pretty tasty, too. They contain mostly organic ingredients, no GMOs, and are free many common allergens. There isn't a ton of protein in a serving, but it's a yummy healthy way to add some variety to our menu. They are also really good crumbled on to a salad!

I've never been a fan of dyeing cotton, and have avoided it for many years. I generally prefer working with wool or silk. However, this batch of adorable, teeny tiny shirts has almost changed my mind. They are awaiting the arrival of the newest member of a dear friend's family, and we are all excited to meet him!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Back to school we go!

-Tuna with Mindful Mayo (we use Wild Planet tuna, sustainably caught and in a BPA-free can)
-Rice crackers
-Trail mix (organic peanuts, raisins, & cranberries)
-Honest Kids apple juice

The girl has been eating sparingly for the past few days, so I decided to go mega-protein for the first day back to school. They'll need the extra energy after all the staying up late and sleeping in of the past two weeks. The boy has been doing amazingly well with eating recently. He's trying more foods, and even liking some of them. He even had part of a green smoothie with the grandparents!