Living Life With Real Food

The everyday family and their commitment to real food

Bean and Zucchini Cutlets

We had these Cutlets for dinner last night and they were amazing!  They earned a 4 thumbs up!  Since we had six of them leftover from last night we decided to have them again tonight.  I wanted to have something different with them so the ladies and I talked about it on the way to school this morning.  Em suggested some couscous and Lil asked if we could make some sort of sauce and she suggested honey mustard.

I poked around online today to try and find a clean honey mustard sauce and I was kinda shocked that there was mayo in most standard sauces.  I have never really looked into it and well I just never thought it would have mayo in it.  I mean it’s called “Honey Mustard” sauce.  So I found this great Health Honey Mustard Dressing from My Whole Food Life.  I love this site for great vegan desserts and just yummy stuff.  While we did not make this dressing vegan {we used organic whole milk greek yogurt from Trader Joes} she gives a substitute to make it vegan.  While we were driving home from school the ladies asked if they could help with dinner and of course I said YES!  Who does’t like having some help.  I assigned Em to the couscous and Lil to the honey mustard.  They both measured all the ingredients and  made the items with just a little help.

measuring the ingredients

measuring the ingredients

mixing the honey mustard

mixing the honey mustard

stirring the couscous

stirring the couscous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am so proud of the ladies for their willingness to help.  They really enjoyed themselves and I hope they continue this.  I mean one of their favorite TV shows in the fall was Master Chef Junior.

 

 

 

 

Here is the finished product.  It was another 4 thumbs up meal 🙂

Bean and Zucchini Cutlets with Couscous and Honey Mustard Sauce (with some pickles on the side)

Bean and Zucchini Cutlets with Couscous and Honey Mustard Sauce (with some pickles on the side)

 

 

 

Meal Planning April 3, 2016

It’s meal planning Sunday over here.  Even thought we have been a bit out of sync with food, meal planning has still continued over here.  This week I was excited because we are back to trying new things.  I am  hoping that my renewed spirit doesn’t come back to bite me.  I have all new items on the menu this week.  So we are trying the following things:

Sunday: Bean and Zucchini Cutlets with seasoned peas

Monday: Leftover Cutlets

Tuesday: Lemony-Garlic White Bean Salad with Arugula Pumpkin Pesto

Wednesday: 7 Ingredient Pineapple Stir “Fried” Rice

Thursday: Sweet Potato Fritters with Citrus Cream and Salad

So we made the Bean and Zucchini Cutlets {from VeganSandra}.  The ladies helped with the patty making.  In my experience {with my ladies at least} when they help in the kitchen or with making the meal they are more likely to eat or at least try it.  We were originally supposed to have sweet potato fried with our cutlets.  I say originally because that was the plan and they even made it into the oven.  While we were cooking the cutlets, Em was still helping, we kept checking them and they were just not cooking.  When they began to cook, they didn’t cook, but started to burn.  I did everything that “best sweet potato” recipe said to do {sweet potato fries are my nemesis.  I have tried to make them on several occasions and I have failed each time.}  While this was frustrating to me, it turned into a great lesson.  We are dealing with frustration and not getting things right the first time in my house right now and how do deal with it.  So while I wanted to yell and scream we tried to “fix” the problem.  We tried to salvage what we could and finish cooking them in the oil from the cutlets while the others were still in the oven.  I would love to say that was the magical fix, but it was not.  So we then had to come up with another plan for our side.  We settled on the peas in which Em added her love to them.   I hope that this little lesson {in burnt sweet potato fries} will help with some frustration that they ladies are dealing with and how to try and fix the problem

I am so happy to say that the Cutlets earned a four thumbs up tonight and that is a win in my book {even with the burnt sweet potato fries.}

Until next time,

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Speed Bumps

We have been eating “real” food for a couple of years.  I love how it feels to make something for my family and know exactly what they are eating.  When I decided over a year ago to try and start of blog about our family and “Living Life with Real Food” I was pretty excited about where it would lead.  I was excited about sharing what we do and how any everyday family can do the same thing.  So for a little while it went great and then I hit our first bump…my children started to refuse to eat any and everything that I made for dinner.  It didn’t matter if we had it 100 times before…they were on a food revolt.  Our weekly dinner menu consisted of tacos, pasta, salad and pizza EVERY SINGLE WEEK.  So here I am trying to create this little niche for me and we are eating the same thing every single week.  Maybe I should have just put it out there.  I mean the name of this blog is {Living Life with Real Food} and we were living it, but instead I was getting frustrated and slowly began to lose my interest and happiness in cooking.  This went on for several months last year.  Just when I thought we were coming to the light, we hit another speed bump.

I had a health scare in May and it rattled me to my core and it took about three months for the fog to lift.  I didn’t want to cook or even think about food.  We did still do a great job with what we were eating considering the circumstances.  August was approaching and my ladies were going to start Kindergarten.  I knew that I needed to break out of the funk and start to get my food focus back because the ladies were going to bring their lunch to school.  I started to look on Pinterest for lunch ideas, i bought some Yumboxes and we made a plan for lunches to make it easy for everyone we came up with a “theme” for each day.  We decided on Muffin Monday, Soup and Salad Tuesday, Smoothie Wednesday, Sandwich Thursday and Leftover Friday.  My mojo was coming back and I was enjoying food again and the ladies were too!  As of today we have done 138 school lunches!  There are pictures of most of them.  Some are better then others.  In January the ShotBox that we ordered via kickstarter arrived and the pictures are SO much better!  They are going to make their appearance here soon.

Our dinners are still pretty basic, every once and a while I am able to throw in a new item and some times it is a hit.   Last week I cooked some black bean pasta and added balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes avocado and feta.  It was pretty darn tasty.  It went over so-so with the ladies, but I will make it again and again and again and one of those times they will like it.  {don’t they say you have to try something about 10 times before you actually like it?} I am going to try and make more effort with adding variety to dinners.  I mean the ladies are now eating roasted seaweed in their lunches so I think we can branch out a bit in our dinners.  I am also more realistic that you have to start slow with any kind of venture and that there will be tons of speed bumps along the way.

Until next time,

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Toast with Butter, Peanut Butter and Coconut Sugar (AMAZING)

So I have to share a pretty amazing breakfast, lunch, snack, desert “{basically anytime time of day you want} food item. Now I can’t take credit for this amazing concoction, a friend of mine posted about it and I was completely intrigued.  Here is it you start with some yummy (organic, non-GMO if possible) bread. You toast said bread.  I love this toaster. It has four slots, which is the perfect size for a family of four.  It has  seven different shade settings so you can do the light toast on one side and the more toastier toast on the other side.
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“Potato Soup” is What’s for Dinner

One of the first websites I started following when we started on our journey was 100 Days of Real Food. I loved finding out something new about an ingredient or a product and then going over to the 100 days site to see what information they might have on it. Or if they have “unjunked” a recipe that I wanted to try to make from scratch.  When they came out with a cookbook late last year I was so excited, especially to hear that it contained a lot of recipes that were not on the website. One of our favorite recipes from that cookbook is the Slow Cooker Potato Soup.  It is not only an incredibly easy meal to make, but the flavors from the simple ingredients are really out of this world.

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“Tex-Mex Taco Pasta” is What’s for Dinner

Do you ever have one of those days where you are heading home from work, go to pick your kids up from school, and BAM a wicked headache hits??? Well I had one of those days today.  As I am driving home from the girls school all I am thinking about what we are having for dinner and how I really do not feel like cooking.  What I really want to do is lie down and make everything stop. What happened next was pretty amazing, my daughter said “mommy can I help you cook dinner tonight?”.  This was what I needed to hear, so my sous chef grabbed a chair and took direction like a champ.

Tex-Mex Taco Pasta

 

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Meal Planning January 25, 2015

We are back to weekly meal planning over here.  You know sometimes life takes over and you just have to go with it. I am really excited about our meals this week. All but one are new to us and seem like they will be quick and easy to do at night. I didn’t get to go grocery shopping until later in the afternoon, so I knew that I had to make the most of my time. I went to Trader Joe’s for the majority of the items and then to Publix to pick up a few things.  This weeks total for groceries was just under $100.  I was pretty excited about that.

So here is the menu board for the week:

Menu Board January 25 2015

 

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“Brinner” Is What’s for Dinner

So last Thursday was supposed to be “Brinner for Dinner”.  As is with everything, life (and work) got in the way of dinner.  So we just had leftovers.  I was determined to make up for it this week. Even though we did not have an official meal plan for the week, I knew we were going to have Brinner.  So Brinner is breakfast for dinner.  The girls love it.  The funny thing is that I remember having breakfast for dinner growing up and I HATED it.  It was my least favorite dinner that we had.  I think part of the reason was that I didn’t like eggs when I was younger.  It had to do with my braces.  Eating eggs always tasted like I was eating metal and so it was something that I never wanted to eat (even after the braces came off).  I outgrew it and I love eggs now.

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“Naan Pizza” is What’s for Dinner

Friday is pizza and movie night at our house. It’s a nice way to wind the work/school week down and get ready for the weekend. Sometime we order pizza out from a local restaurant whose claim is “a slice has big has your head” and it is true, they are massive slices of pizza. Other times we make it at home.  I have used store-bought dough, and it was okay.  I’ve tried {unsuccessfully on numerous time} to make cauliflower crust, I’ve done mini bagels, but short of making my own dough, nothing has really stuck with us. One day I came across some Naan Bread at the store and they had sauce and other “pizza-like” ingredients near it and I decided to try it.  Well it was quite the hit so we try to have it at least twice a month. The ladies are pretty standard in what they want on theirs week in and week out…Cheese. Mike and I like to mix it up with whatever we might have leftover from the week.  Since I still had some of the chicken teriyaki from the other night, we decided to try that along with some peppers I had cut for snacking.

Chicken and Pepper Naan Pizza

teriyaki chicken and pepper

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“Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken” is What’s for Dinner

Whenever possible I try to do a slow cooker meal on Wednesday’s since we have soccer practice.  While doing my meal planning over the weekend I came across this recipe and I have to be honest it was the white rice that drew me to this.  I love white sticky rice. I know that it nutritionally dense and does not do a whole lot for you, but man is it good.  Back to the recipe, it was really quick and easy to put together on Wednesday morning before work.  I made one substitution to the original recipe, I substituted the soy sauce for Coconut Aminos.  I try to avoid soy products in our diet and I love that there is an alternate.  Coconut aminos are soy free, have less sodium than traditional soy sauce, are gluten-free, dairy-free and the particular brand that I use is non-GMO.  It was the first time that I had used it in a teriyaki recipe {I used it in stir fry a lot}, and it was really good.  I don’t personally feel like it leaves a coconut flavor to the sauce.
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