Tag Archives: vegetables

Sunshine Stack

I love to cook. I always have. But when it comes to making lunch just for me on my days at home, I often bypass the whole mess and just snack, or heat up some leftovers. There’s really nothing wrong with that, I guess, but today I felt like making myself a real meal. Maybe that’s because it’s rainy outside. We need the rain badly, though, so instead of sunshine outside, I thought I’d incorporate a few rays into my lunch.  

Sadly, I’m down to my last Southwestern Sunshine Burger. :( I found a single box in an out-of-the-way health food store, which I have a feeling I’ll be revisiting soon.

Sometimes, I put my Sunshine Burger on a bun. But the beef I have with buns is that they often seem like nothing more than a vehicle for the real star of the meal, and they contain a lot of empty carbs for something I don’t really enjoy. Don’t get me wrong…I like a good hunk of bread as much as the next guy, but a burger bun just doesn’t excite me too much.

But who needs a bun when you’ve got a fat sweet potato?!

So I rubbed the taters with a mere touch of coconut oil and salt, and set them a bakin’ in the oven (along with a few extras for baby’s dinner later): about 20 minutes at 350º, then another 15 or so at 400º, turning throughout for even browning. I baked the Sunshine Burger along with them until it was nice and crispy.

Hmmm….what jives with the burger’s Southwestern flair? Salsa! 

But I don’t have any salsa. :|

What I do have, and need to use up, is this array of goodies, which I ran through the food processor to create a little somethin’ somethin’ that sort of resembled a salsa.

  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/8 cup fresh onion
  • 1 clove of garlic from our garden
  • 4 yellow pear tomatoes from our garden
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1 pinch chili powder
  • several sprigs of cilantro Oops. Cilantro was just a little too far past its prime and is now in the compost.

Directions: Hit “pulse” a few times instead of “on” so as not to scare the baby. 


Once my burger and tater bun were baked to perfection, I simply stacked them up!

  1. sweet potato
  2. 1/2 Sunshine Burger
  3. veg “salsa”
  4. 1/2 Sunshine Burger
  5. more “salsa”
  6. the last of my cheddar cheese curds (insert teary-eyed emoticon here!)
  7. another hot round of sweet potato to top it off

It still could have benefited from a touch of real tomatoey salsa, but all in all this was a pretty fantastic lunch. I’m not sure why I don’t treat myself to a real lunch more often, especially considering this was made entirely of ingredients I had in the house, and it only took a few minutes to put together. From now on, I think making my own healthy lunch a priority is a new goal. 

Because I’m worth it!

And now that I’m feeling all inspired and self-esteemy, I’d like to take Chocolate-Covered Katie up on her challenge to post a no-makeup pic on my blog! OK, so this one is not a full face no-makeup pic, but it’s not exactly flattering. And there’s NO makeup, plus I think it was taken on a no-wash hair day, so it fits the bill.

I took it to document (just for my own use) the crazy hair loss that started about 3 1/2 months after I gave birth. Did you know that some lucky women’s hormones cause them to lose clump after clump of hair after childbirth? I knew this going in, because it happened when I lost my first pregnancy, but I didn’t expect to lose so much. This is during the period of regrowth, and trust me when I tell you this pic doesn’t do it justice! I have full-on bangs now that I never intended, and a full head of short hair underneath my long hair! 

Here it is….with no self-disparaging comment, although I’m tempted. I look at my weird hair as just another reminder of how lucky I am to be a healthy mommy to my healthy boy!

…and for the sake of comparison, the mascara and eyeliner version. 

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Do you eat your burger on a bun? If so, do you really want the bun, or do you just eat it because it’s there?

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Filed under Parenting & Family, Product & Service Reviews, Recipes & Food

A little bit of this, a little bit of that…

Wow! This heatwave is killer!

It’s WAY too hot to cook….but it was certainly cool enough in my office today to eat all the freebie samples that popped up around every corner!

A coworker was testing a recipe for our team and asked my opinion. Oh sure, twist my arm... I happily obliged, of course. :)

Gala apples and feta cheese with rosemary, thyme and black pepper, served on a baguette round. 

The first one was so good, I ate it twice! 

The same coworker invited me to a sampling event in our cafeteria. Fun! I’m not one to say no to samples, especially when they are samples of specialty produce! I’m happy to work for a company that promotes healthy habits…

Flame raisins on the vine…yommy!

Lychees...I’m not such a fan of these. They feel too much like little eyeballs when they’re peeled…

Papaya? Papayum!

Sweet Kiss melon! Like a cantaloupe, only sweeter and not as cantaloupy. If only I’d had a thin slice of prosciutto. Mmmm…

And the most interesting guest at the party, Black Garlic! It’s fermented for a month, and has a sweeter flavor than regular garlic. They served it on a cracker with cream cheese. Definitely interesting, and a little mushroomy.

Umami?

Oooooooh, Mommy!

Free food always makes for a fun day. It would have been even more fun if I’d been feeling better (queasy tummy.) Not sure what that’s about, because I’m very rarely sick. Heat, maybe?

I do have good news, though….my signal booster came today and I am TOTALLY hooked up! I wouldn’t say my speed is lightning fast, but it’s skipping along much faster than before. Good grief, you’d think it was 2005 around here! I’m hoping this means better posts going forward…

Stay cool, everyone!

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Have you ever had black garlic? How do you use it?

What’s your favorite ‘odd’ fruit or veggie?


6 Comments

Filed under Recipes & Food, The Everyday

The rest of the day has to be better, right?

Ugh! What a morning!

Let me tell you one thing I know for sure: Automatic door locks are NOT as much of a convenience as you would think. I was at the gas station today, in the midst of a mayfly swarm, and I shut my door, only to hear a click and realize my keys, phone, wallet, etc. were locked inside. 

Again, ugh. 

Needless to say, I was an hour late to work and now I am in super-overdrive. I apologize if this post seemed a but rushed…

Silver lining: Baby was NOT in the car. See…something to be happy about :)

Anyhoo, let’s rewind to the much more relaxing yesterday:

My little man and I got up early and shared a smoothie! Well, he only licked the spoon because he can’t really have strawberries yet (they are a common allergen, so the recommendation is 1 year.)

The mash-up: Kale (from Grammie and Pop Pop Garden Pea’s garden!) strawberries, fresh bloobs from the yard, a nanner and some coconut milk.

Sideshow included a Food for Life sprouted grains bread heel spread with coconut butter. Dipping: YUM!

It had a few more chunks than I’d like, but pretty, I think. I had to make it in my food processor since I broke my faux Magic Bullet-ish puree machine. I’m thinking that what I need for a truly smooth smoothie is a Vitamix, but not so sure one is in the budget any time soon. I’d like to get the healthy smoothie habit started early with my boy, though, so I may have to do some shopping…

During naptime, I cut up this watermelon to snack on after dinner. Not fancy, just functional. Kind of feels like summer…

After naptime, we were both ready for playtime! You just can’t beat a blanket in the grass and a $.99 bottle of bubbles. 

Dinner included these zucchini fritters, adapted from a recipe in this month’s Food Network Magazine. (I’ll always take a new zuke recipe!)

  • 1 beast of a zucchini, shredded
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 small onion, chopped

I shredded the zuke and tossed it into a colander with the salt for 10 minutes, then pressed out the liquid. I then combined all the ingredients in a bowl, mixed well, and dropped the batter by the large spoonful into a bit of olive oil to pan fry until brown and crispy. Easy as that!

I’m thinking these would be good with a yogurty dipping sauce, or served with a dilly salmon. Next time…

Fritters alongside a plain old tuna salad, served in Belgium endive leaves, and some kale massaged with lime and sea salt. A simple, satisfying dinner that did not require a trip to the store.  :D Goal accomplished yet again!

Sadly, the lovely lunch of leftovers I packed for today lost its life in this morning’s keys-in-the-car-for-4-hours-on-a-hot-morning debacle. So, I ended up with chocolate chip cookies for breakfast (I was not entirely disappointed… ;) ) and this “veggie bowl” from the convenience store for lunch. Can you believe this was $6.65? It was totally plain–not even salt or anything–so I added a packet of Parm. This time, I was entirely disappointed.

…and hungry. :(  

I will not be locking my keys in my car again!

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What kind of appliance do you use to make a smoothie? What are your favorite smoothie ingredients?

6 Comments

Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Rainy Day Squash Boats

I’m all for rain, but what’s with the threatening skies every time I have a day off!? Not being able to hang laundry outside really throws a wrench into the rest of my week. 

Rrrrr…. :x

Oh well. It’s good for the garden, right? Besides, a rainy day is the perfect time to take care of some things on the To-Do list and spend some playtime in the kitchen!

To-Do for Today? Baby food!

Back when I was prego, I got a lot of cr*p from people when I said I wanted to make my own baby food (among other things…) I never said I wanted to make every single bite of it, but I did want my baby to eat homemade food whenever possible. You should have heard all the comments I got…“You just wait…you won’t have time”…”Must be nice to have that much free time on your hands”…”Ha ha…I said that, too, and then I woke up to reality.” I heard ‘em all. Some people just laughed at me and rolled their eyes.

For those people, this is for you.

I timed it, and it took me all of 20 minutes during my son’s midday nap to turn one organic mango and 3 organic peaches into 7 servings of fresh, healthy, beautiful baby food. I mean, come on…it’s not rocket science.

Only the nice fleshy parts are included.

One for the next day at Grammie’s house, and the rest for the freezer. He’s not eating a whole lot at once right now, so I’m still making small batches. Once we graduate up to big batches, it will be even more efficient. 

I paid a total of $5 for the lot, and I don’t have to worry about all these scary recalls. Priceless, in my opinion.

It’s that easy, and believe me, I don’t have ANY spare time on my hands these days.

Note to self: People will always tell you YOU CAN’T. Always know that YOU CAN. (especially when little eyes are watching your example and taking notes…)

Once that was done, the sun came out so grilling came to mind. I have vowed not to shop for a few days because I want to use up some of the masses of random groceries taking over my kitchen, so I started rummaging…

Hmmm….a few yellow summer squash from the garden. Those are fresh and perishable, so they definitely need to be involved here…

Quinoa needs to be used up….have a can of black beans….some tomato sauce…garlic, sea salt….hmmm….

Squash boats! Sort of. They were too small to dig out the middles and stuff, but they were happy to be topped with a yummy quinoa something-or-other.

Olive oil, salt and pepper.

Oh, too dark. Nope! Turns out they were just right.

Pot full o’stuff. More than enough for 2 dinners and 2 lunches!

I feel like this was missing something green, but my kale was buggy. Eek! A good dousing of hot sauce kicked it up a little.

In the end, I feel like I accomplished a few things: I spent very little, I used up some neglected pantry items, and I fed my family the way I want to without much time in the kitchen. 

Feeling like a pretty good mommy today… :D

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A lot of people say that they can’t eat a healthy made-from-scratch diet because they don’t have time. What’s your response to that excuse?

The zucchini/squash onslaught has begun! What’s your best recipe?

Reminder: don’t forget to enter to win free products from Turtle Mountain! I’ll be picking a 2 winners on Saturday, 6.26…

4 Comments

Filed under Home & Garden, Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Bloobs!

I knew it was about to happen a few days ago when my husband came walking into the house, said,”Open up!” and popped a sweet little blueberry into my mouth.

The first blueberries of the season are ready! :D

When I say I like blueberries, I mean I REALLY ADORE blueberries. Last year at this time, I was pregnant and I ate so many that I expected my son to have blue hair. (He does have really pretty blue eyes…hmmm….)

So here they are…and since we have raspberries, too, which are my husband’s favorite, they are all mine! 

I know, it’s only a small handful. But there are lots more on the way!

So what do you do with a few choice bloobs?

You throw them into your oats, of course!

This morning’s fuel:

  • Oats
  • Almond milk (and the last of a container of coconut milk) 
  • A sprinkle each: almond slivers, walnuts, dried cranberries, chia seeds, cinnamon
  • A smallish teaspoon of coconut oil
  • My prized blueberries
  • One date

A bowl of oats in the morning is nothing new. I’d be willing to bet that most of you out there had them, too, topped with your choice of fruits, nuts, and yummy things to up the nutrient content.

But that’s not the only reason I eat them.

Not only will this mug of oaty goodness keep me going all morning, but it will keep my son going too! You see, oats, nuts and coconut oil are just a few of the many lactogenic foods, which can help keep a lactating mommy’s milk supply healthy and strong. 

Sure, you need a good supply of calories, nutrients and hydration in order to maintain a good supply, but it’s also important to eat foods that support the very chemistry within your body that causes lactation to happen.

Careful, though. ”The more, the merrier” may be true in the case of chocolate and cute shoes, but it’s not necessarily the case when it comes to lactogenic foods (or lactogenic herbs, like fenugreek, blessed thistle, etc.) Oversupply sounds like a blessing, but it can be a problem, too, as your baby can experience digestive issues if you are producing too much foremilk and he is full before he gets to the more nutrient-rich hindmilk. (I had oversupply issues for the first 6 months…) Too much of a good thing may also make you more prone to clogged ducts and mastitis. No fun. :(

But, as I can fully attest after an all-out panic when I nearly lost my supply due to a surge in my son’s development, lactogenic foods and herbs can be a mommy’s best friend when used wisely. Have you ever heard a woman say, “I tried to breastfeed, but it didn’t work for me?” or “My body didn’t produce any milk,” or the always frustrating, “You’re lucky it worked for you” ? :x In a society where processed, fast food and “fat-free” weirdness are the norm and many people can’t even identify a lot of fresh, whole foods, it really makes you wonder…

I don’t mean to criticize anyone: I will fully acknowledge that some women do have medical issues that thwart their efforts to breastfeed, but I’ve been told by many a medical professional that these conditions are very few and far between, and if eating more grains, herbs, legumes and healthy fats might help, isn’t it MORE than worth a try?

If you’d like more information on lactogenic foods and herbs, check out this article from Mobi Motherhood International. or contact your local chapter of LLL. Both helped me, and I hope they help you, too!  

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Have you ever used lactogenic foods and/or herbs to increase or maintain your milk supply? Would you consider it?

What is your favorite way to eat fresh blueberries?

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You have until Saturday, June 26th to enter to win free coconut milk products from Turtle Mountain! Click here.

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Filed under Home & Garden, Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food