Monday, July 30, 2012

My Dinner Diary: Week 10

Monday, July 23, 2012
The only good thing about my husband going out of town is that he takes the family out to eat upon his return.  My hubby got home a bit earlier from work today, and though I had an idea for dinner, I was excited when I remembered that he owed us a dinner.  We chose Amy's on the Bay since I loved it so much the last time we tried it for the first time.  The outside seating was closed so we sat in a booth this time.  The Monkey was actually quite good with no major outbursts.  And another positive was that he ate!  He loved my hubby's clam chowder and ate most of it.  He also chowed down on his Captain's plate of fried seafood.  I don't love that he was eating breaded and fried food, but I am happy that he tried different things, and kalamari nonetheless.  That is a real improvement.  I tried the Baked True Alaskan Cod (I think that was the name of the dish).  It was cod in a highly flavored tomato soup.  I also had a green salad with honey mustard and seasoned red potatoes.  I was quite satisfied and had leftovers.  After, we stopped at the new frozen yogurt shop in town for a treat.  I really like frozen yogurt, but it seems sooo expensive.  My hubby LOVES frozen yogurt so he doesn't care about the price.  But, I'd rather make it at home in our ice cream maker.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
If you're in Utah and parts of Idaho, Happy Pioneer Day!  What a gorgeous day.  We went to story time at the library and then to the beach right there with my friend and her boy the Monkey's age.  They had a blast playing together in the sand and water and I enjoyed chatting and being outside.  My hubby got home earlier from work and we really enjoyed having time together.  I loved being able to make dinner without a monkey screaming for my attention.  We enjoyed tuna pasta, kale chips, carrots sticks, and a green smoothie.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Another sunny day.  I was able to watch a couple kids for a few hours in the afternoon.  We packed a lunch and played at the lake.  The Monkey loved having other kids to play with and he got more adventurous in the water.  I made Southwest Quinoa for dinner then went to mutual night at church.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Can you believe it was sunny and warm again.  Today I got a few friends together to play at Horseshoe Lake.  I took my Southwest Quinoa, some home made muffins, fruit, and trail mix to share.  The Monkey had his friend D.H. to play with.  They sure are getting along well.  After lunch I even got in the water for a short time.  That's a big deal for me, but I'm so in love with my new swim shorts I had to try them out.  In the later afternoon I picked up my hubby from work so we could make it to Costco then to my good friend T's birthday celebration.  She made super yummy desserts.  Again, the Monkey had friends to play with and I was able to have adult conversation.  Oh, so for dinner, it was leftover Southwest Quinoa and I ate half a PB&J sandwich.  Good thing I had so much quinoa salad and that I like it.  

Friday, July 27, 2012

My hubby only worked half a day.  After picking him up from work we ran a few errands then enjoyed a nap while the Monkey was napping.  The Monkey continued to sleep so I was able to get some cleaning done (my bathrooms...yikes!).  We made pizza for dinner with our usual toppings (peppers, pineapple, spinach, tomato and mushrooms and olives for my hubby).  After we took a walk to the beach with fishing poles in hand.  The Monkey thinks fishing means catching seaweed.  But, my hubby did catch a small fish that he released.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012
This was one of those days I wish I could do over.  My little Monkey had his first really big accident.  While my hubby was helping out at my brother's I took his kids and the Monkey to my parents to hang out.  Within 5 minutes of being there the Monkey had been accidentally kicked in the back while walking in front of his cousin on the swing and fell teeth first into the rocks that circled the fire pit.  Yeah, he's got quite the fat lip and a few teeth were affected.  After putting on "The Monkey" (Curious George) he calmed down and continued to play.  With my hubby coming back later than expected and the accident I was not willing to think about dinner or eating "healthy."  We went to Kami Teriyaki for the yummiest teriyaki I have found.  I did try the stir fry vegetables instead of just rice and meat.  But, seriously, if you're looking for whole foods, not the best choice.  My hubby reminds me that a 90% is still an A.  I need to hear that sometimes.

Sunday, July 29, 2012
The Monkey and I stayed home from church today.  He woke up early and still wouldn't eat anything.  My mom emotions were high.  I was so thankful for my hubby for pinch hitting for the Sunday school class I was supposed to have substitute taught.  He's the best.  While the Monkey took a little nap on the couch I sneaked downstairs to prepare the pizza toppings and salad for our friends who coming to visit from out of town.  Thankfully I still had some pre-made pizza dough and home made pizza sauce frozen.  The food turned out good and it was so nice to visit with my old friend and her family.  My hubby also made delicious frozen yogurt that we topped with fresh rasberries.  And the Monkey is eating and drinking again!  He fell asleep in the stroller on our way back from our walk to the beach and decided he was finally hungry enough to figure out he could eat with his molars and not hurt his front teeth (it had been over 24 hours since he'd eaten).  All is well!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Deconstructing Supper

While walking on the treadmill this evening (yeah me!) I viewed an interesting documentary on Netflix called, Deconstructing Supper.  It tells of the journey of a chef and restaurant owner who decided to do his own research to find out about genetically modified organism (GMO's).  Before a guest at his restaurant asked whether his food contained GMO's he had never heard of that term.  I too am trying to understand what GMO means and the possible ramifications.  I appreciated the approach taken in this documentary to ask questions on both sides of the issue.  Take a look and decide for yourself.

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Dinner Diary: Weeks 7, 8, and 9

Life happens.  And for 3 weeks I had to put my dinner diary on hold.  My hubby and I were in charge of planning the meals for my family's vacation and that took time.  Then we went on vacation.  So fun.  Loved spending time with all of my side of the family.  Loved that the Monkey had so many cousins to play with.  Will post more about our fun times in the Family Fun Day post for July.  So below are some of the things I remember eating for dinner and just a few pictures that I took.  Let's see if I can't get back on track now.

coconut cream oats
Love, love, love steel-cut and regular oat groats.  So hearty.  You can really dress this meal up.  My concoction consisted of oat groats (steel-cut work too), canned coconut milk, unsweetened, shredded coconut, unsalted chopped mixed nuts and seeds, a little sea salt, and some brown sugar to sweeten it up a little.  You could get away without adding sugar by adding some dried fruits.  We had this for one of our breakfast meals on vacation and it was a hit.

tuna pasta and salad
I learned about tuna pasta while serving my mission in Greece.  An Italian sister taught someone and it got passed around.  Seriously easy.  Cook some noodles (preferably whole wheat), add some salt, pepper, oregano or Italian seasoning to some tomato sauce and then put in desired amount of tuna.  See I said it was easy.  Link to recipe here.

quinoa something or other
Not all my creations are good and this was not good.  I wanted to make a Greek-inspired quinoa dish.  I still like the idea behind it, but the dressing I made was NOT good.  I'll have to work on this one.  As always, my hubby ate it without complaint.  I did enough complaining for both of us.

omelette and hash browns
Here was one of our Sunday breakfast for dinner meals.  I was pretty happy with how my omelette turned out.  It even look decent.  I just added chopped green onion and tomato to it with a little mozzarella cheese melted on top.  Served with hash browns and oranges made it complete.  

Below are other meals I remember having, but didn't take pictures:

hash browns and strawberries
homemade pizza
cilantro-lime black bean burritos
green salad
rigatoni and salad
corn tortilla tacos
tuna pasta and salad (again)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Movie Review: Gifted Hands

Upon recommendation from my sister who knows my standards for movies I sat down to watch this movie late one night since my hubby was away.  I previously started a different movie that I had to turn off due to inappropriate contact.  It's always a bummer when that happens.  I had no regrets though as this movie was clean and amazingly inspiring and true.  Gifted Hands is based on the life of Ben Carson who overcomes amazing odds to become a famous neurosurgeon.  I love that it doesn't overlook his faith in God as one of his sources of help, motivation, and inspiration.  I came away wanting to spend my time more wisely educating myself and my family.  I also came away reveling in the miracle of the body.  And I came away feeling grateful for my family.  

If there was anything questionable it would be the one-time use of the "H" word.  There are many topics to talk about with children including, prejudices, education, God and the miracle of the body, overcome challenges and weaknesses, self-reliance, etc...

Oh, and you can watch this instantly on Netflix.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Monkey Eats Kale

Do your kids eat vegetables, in particular, anything green?  Well, my little Monkey does not, or I should say, did not.  Not until he was introduced by my good friend M to kale chips.  My friend has an amazing garden and an amazing amount of greens.  One day awhile back while the Monkey and I were visiting her we discussed kale chips and decided to try it.  Well, she did all the work and we scarfed it all up.  I was so happy my Monkey was eating something green and I'm sure his little body was too.  I do not have an amazing garden.  I am just happy to see a few peas and carrots popping up, the rest is weeds :(.  So I buy my greens.  I bought a bag of baby kale at Costco to use in my smoothies the other day and then remembered the kale chips and decided to experiment. easy!  So good!  If you remember I'm a recovering chip-aholic so these healthy chips definitely fulfilled my craving for oil and salt.  So the moral of the story is if you like chips, but are trying to be healthier, try making these and maybe your non-vegetable eating child will like them too.

Link here for the recipe.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Late Night Pie

With my hubby gone for the evening I decided to use my time a little more wisely.  After putting the Monkey to bed, instead of sitting down with a big bowl of popcorn in front of the t.v. trying to figure out what to watch since I don't watch much of anything, I perused the dessert section of one of my cookbooks for a treat to make.  I settled on a variation of key lime pie as I had all the ingredients and I knew my hubby wouldn't be sad not having any 'cause it's not his favorite.  

Here are a few things I learned:

Raw food desserts can be so easy and so good for you.  They most likely say to soak the nuts for enhanced nutrition, which is good, but it was not necessary for this dessert. I processed the nut crust mixture just fine without soaking and it tasted great too.  

I also found it was not necessary to soak the dates.  I used my Bosch food processor attachment and they blended just fine.

Fresh lime juice is better than bottled lime juice.  I only had bottled lime juice on hand so that's what I used.  It tasted good, but it left a more bitter taste in the mouth that I'm pretty sure wouldn't happen if I had used fresh squeezed lime juice.

It does make a difference letting the pie cool in the refrigerator.  It was late when I made the pie and I could not resist having a taste until the next day.  The pie was good, but I had to spoon it out as the filling was a bit runny.  The next day, after refrigerating it, the pie was all firmed up and sliced much easier and I think the flavors came together better as well.

Link here for the recipe.

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Dinner Diary: Week 6

Lentil Tacos
My little Monkey slept pretty late Monday (6/25/12) morning which gave me time to do a few things, like plan the week's meals.  I had hopes to grocery shop after a meeting I had with the young women leaders, but after buckling him in the car seat I realized it was going to be a nightmare shopping trip (one of those days).  So the meal for Monday changed to something that I didn't need to get ingredients for.  And what is easier than tacos?  It seems I eat this sort of thing a lot so thankfully I really like them and thankfully I don't get tired of them and thankfully my hubby eats whatever is put in front of him without complaint.  I made Lentil Tacos.  All ya do is cook some lentils like normal, but add taco seasoning (I made my own) to the water.  Then you get out a tortilla (preferably whole wheat), slop on some taco seasoned lentils and add whatever other toppings you like (tomatoes, onion, cilantro, avocado, cheese, fresh lime or lemon juice).  Oh, and enjoy!  We had the missionaries from our church over for dinner and they enjoyed the "healthy" food.  I also made a frozen treat that was a big hit.  All it consisted of was frozen strawberries, bananas, almonds, and a little canned coconut milk.  I blended it all up then let it freeze for a bit before serving.  

Corn Tortilla Tacos
Today (6/26/12) was a fairly non-productive day since I was dealing with a bladder infection.  Thankfully my good friend T.H. was able to watch the Monkey while I went to Urgent Care.  I was trying so hard not to have to take antibiotics, but the pain got the best of me.  Anyway, I had little motivation to make a meal due to that and it didn't help that my hubby wasn't home to eat either (working late and checking out another sailboat possibility).  You all know by now what my go-to meal is...corn tortillas.  I basically just added all the leftover ingredients (besides the lentils) from Monday's meal and some Frank's Hot Sauce to a corn tortilla fried in a little coconut oil.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012:  Well, this is what I get for erasing my whiteboard with my calendar of what I did and ate before I wrote this.  Yep, I cannot remember..  I know I visited with my sweet neighbor who I visit teach at church.  It was a gorgeous day.  I know I had the young women over for a campfire and stories from our family histories in the evening.  They roasted marshmallows, but I resisted (I used to be quite a pro at eating roasted marshmallows).  As for clue.  Sorry.

Cilantro-Lime Rice, Garlic and Lemon Salmon, &
Cucumber-Tomato Salad
Thursday, June 28, 2012:  I made the yummiest dinner.  Oooh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.  I cooked up some brown rice and added lime juice and cilantro.  I sliced cucumber and tomato and drizzled on some olive oil and white wine vinegar and added crumbled feta.  But the salmon was delicious.  I had some frozen salmon from Costco that I placed on oiled tin foil.  Then I spread some minced garlic, put a little dill weed and topped with sliced lemons.  I sprinkled some salt and pepper as well.  I loosely wrapped the tin foil around the salmon pinching the sides closed  and baked for about 20 minutes or so at 450 degrees.  Seriously good.

can't find my food picture so here's a cute one of the Monkey.
no, he's not potty trained.  he just wanted to wear his
underwear 'cause his friend that was over was wearing his.
Friday, June 29, 2012: My hubby actually had his off-Friday off of work.  We didn't do a whole lot, but it was nice to have him around. I took the family out to dinner with my gift certificate I received for coaching track this season...that was nice of the club.  We went to a local place called Spiro's.  We'd never been there and probably would've never gone if I didn't get that gift certificate.  My hubby loved his pizza.  And if you're looking for something that is not healthy, but super tasty, this place met that criteria.  I did have some really good corn and squash soup.  And the Monkey really liked it too.  My pesto pasta  Not too flavorful and white flour noodles.  I did ask if they had whole wheat noodles and they do sometimes on special.  My hubby said he would definitely go again.  I could pass, though I'd get that soup again.

Here are the pictures I took of our meal at Spiro's.
corn and squash soup

pesto pasta

mushroom and olive calzone
Whole Wheat Tortilla Pizza
Saturday, June 30, 2012:   The hubby worked part of the day.  I spent a long time comparing prices for our family vacation coming up while my hubby watched the Monkey.  We just made pizzas on whole wheat tortillas for dinner.  Simple and quick for a later dinner.

Sunday, July 1, 2012:  I wanted to experiment with oat groats today.  I thought it turned out really good.  I cooked the oat groats according to package instructions.  During the last 10 minutes I added canned coconut milk, a little brown sugar, shredded coconut and cardamom.  Then I sprinkled mixed nuts and seeds on top with along with some more shredded coconut and brown sugar.  I loved it.  My hubby was not in love with the cardamom spice like I was.  Cinnamon would work just as well if you're not a fan either.