It’s late and I have to get on the road early in the morning to teach a big class. But since I already took all of the pictures, I thought I would try to get my “What I Ate Wednesday” up on the blog. I’ll try to make this one quick since that’s how my day went anyway
Breakfast was kind of light. My stomach can’t handle a heavy meal before teaching a paddle yoga class. So, before I left this morning, I blended up 3/4 cup light coconut milk, about 1 cup of fresh pineapple, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and some ice and water. Tasted exactly like a piña colada!!!!
I had to go straight to an appointment after teaching my class, so I packed myself a little snack – a zucchini blueberry spelt muffin, fresh organic strawberries, and a few almonds. The muffins were a combination of recipes and turned out awesome. I plan on making a huge batch of them to freeze for school lunches!!
I was starving when I finally got home, so I made an open-faced sandwich on toasted Ezekiel sprouted grain bread with homemade hummus (made last week), cucumbers, and tomatoes with kale chips and fresh fruit. An awesome and filling lunch!!!!
Jake and I snacked on bananas with a little peanut butter this afternoon.
Then we made a huge Cobb Salad for dinner with two kinds of lettuce, grilled chicken, nitrate-free bacon, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, kalamata olives, avocado and a little crumbled blue cheese. We topped it off with some homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
The kids made their own little salads too! They had their bacon on the side along with some scrambled eggs
A very rare dessert – this is some of the leftover homemade key lime pie from Darren’s birthday yesterday. If I’m going to squeeze the juice out of 30 teeny tiny little key limes, you better believe that pie isn’t going to waste!!!! SO yummy and so worth it!!!!
Welcome to another What I Ate Wednesday, the one day during the week where I post everything that I ate for the whole day!
Ever since seeing some cute little baby bok choy at the Farmers Market last week, I have been wanting to give them a try. I know the logical thing would be adding them to a stir fry, but this Mango Dream Bok Choy Smoothie on Pinterest had my name all over it!!!
Into the blender went 2 heads of baby bok choy (bulb ends removed), 1 whole mango (peeled and diced), 1/2 of a ripe banana, a few chunks of frozen pineapple, 1 tsp of coconut oil, 1 and 1/2 cups water, and a handful of ice cubes. If you are not using a high powered blender, you’ll want to blend the greens and water first, and then add in the fruit and ice in order to get a nice smooth blended drink. If its not sweet enough for your taste, you can add more banana. There is definitely a bit of an earthy green flavor to this drink, but I LOVED it!!!!
Before heading out for the day, we snacked on these little blueberry baked oatmeal “muffins”. I like them because its like a little bowl of oatmeal you can eat on the go, but unfortunately they didn’t go over too well with the kids….
After a fun day downtown at the Coast Guard Festival, we came home STARVING!
Food Should Taste Good chips to snack on while making lunch…
I reheated some of the Lemon Butter Cauliflower Soup from yesterday and also made a Greek salad for lunch. I am so in love with this soup!!!!
For dinner, we made use of the ever-abundant summer zucchini and made these Italian Stuffed Zucchinis on the grill. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a sneak peek. They tasted every bit as good as they looked!! I will post the complete recipe tomorrow!
We served them with a simple salad topped with balsamic vinaigrette. Hailey loved the filling and had a few bites of the zucchini. Jake still has pretty simple taste so he preferred just the grilled sausage and a few bites of the zucchini. Plus they both ate their salad, so overall I consider the dinner a WIN!
I had made these little frozen yogurt tarts last week and it seemed like the perfect night to enjoy them.
The crust was walnuts, shredded coconut, and a drizzle of honey in the food processor. I needed to do something with the raspberries that got smushed on the way home from the Farmers Market, so I threw them in the blender with some plain Greek yogurt and a little honey, then topped it all off with the few remaining whole berries, and froze them in a mini muffin pan. These need to sit out for 5-10 minutes to thaw a bit before eating them. The kids and I like them, but they definitely have that Greek yogurt taste and texture. I may try making these with the frozen fruit and banana “ice cream” for a little more of a traditional tasting dessert.
What summer meals have you been enjoying lately??
This is typically the day that I post a snapshot of everything I eat for the entire day. Today was a little bit unusual since I am starting to get that dreaded might-be-getting-sick feeling. I know I say it repeatedly on here, but I truly believe that food can be a powerful tool for healing the body. Because of that, I am planning to focus on really nutrient-dense foods including fresh juice, smoothies, and soup, plus a little extra sleep over the next couple of days to hopefully be able to fight this off before it totally knocks me out.
For breakfast, I brought out the Big Guns – the juicer! The difference between juicing and blending smoothies is that juicing provides a supershot of vitamins and minerals straight to your cells without having to break down any of the fiber in the fruits or veggies through digestion. This can be very high in sugars, though, which is why I try to balance it with a good amount of vegetables too.
This juice had 3 carrots, 3 stalks of celery, 1/3 of a cucumber, 1 small clementine, and 1 apple. After I put it all through the juicer, I added a squeeze of fresh lemon. Maybe it was a placebo effect, but I swear I already started feeling better after drinking it
I really didn’t have much of an appetite all morning but knew I need something else. A smoothie seemed like a good idea.
Is it just me or is Rainbow Chard one of the prettiest vegetables around?!?
I added these three leafy beauties, 1/3 of a cucumber, 1/2 banana, 1 red pear, 1 lemon wedge, and 1/4 tsp of ground ginger to the blender with lots of water. I have been inspired to try new juice/smoothie combinations lately and this one was spot on! So good!!!
I finally started to feel a little hungry this afternoon, but a salad or sandwich didn’t really sound good. This is a snack that I learned from surfing the Paleo and Clean Eating sites. It’s like a cleaned up version of deviled eggs with avocado instead of the mayo. I actually prefer them this way now!
I mix two hard-boiled egg yolks with a wedge of avocado (about 1/8 of the whole avocado), some salt, pepper, and dried dill. Pack a spoonful of the mixture back into the egg-white halves and you have yourself a great little snack or light lunch that is packed with protein and healthy fats, and surprisingly filling.
Luckily I had soup planned for dinner tonight. You just can’t beat soup when you’re sick!
Chicken Rice Soup
1 cup of cooked rice
2 chicken breasts, cooked, cut into bite-size pieces
3 carrots, diced
2 ribs of celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 leek, white and light green part, sliced into half-moon shapes
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and chopped into small pieces
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free, but wheat would work too)
4 cups organic chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
3 T. mellow white miso (optional, but adds a lot of flavor and nutrients)
I cooked the rice and chicken breast ahead of time so the soup would come together quickly. Heat 1 T. olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Saute chopped carrots, celery, onion, leek, and zucchini until tender, about 7-10 minutes. Add the minced garlic towards the end so that it doesn’t burn. Sprinkle 1 T. of flour over vegetable mixture. If using the miso paste, pour 1/2 cup of broth into a small bowl and whisk in miso. Add remaining broth, cooked rice, chopped chicken and season with salt and pepper as necessary. Bring to a low boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add miso/broth mixture at the very end to avoid over-heating and destroying the nutrients in the miso.
A note on the miso. This is something that I like to have on hand for soups, especially when we are not feeling well. Miso is made from fermented soybeans and is usually a thick paste texture with a very salty taste. You usually find it in the refrigerated section of a health food store. I always try to buy quality organic miso paste so that I know it is non-gmo since a lot of soy products are genetically modified. The benefit of using miso is that it is a probiotic, full of good bacteria, which promotes healthy intestines and strengthens the immune system. It is crucial not to overheat the miso when cooking so that you don’t destroy the healthy bacteria. Miso is also a great source of the mineral zinc, which can be helpful for increasing the immune system and fighting off cold viruses.
To go with the soup, I made grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids and big salads for the adults. When we lived in Chicago, there was a restaurant (a sports bar really!) that had The. Best. Balsamic. Dressing. EVER! This was my attempt at recreating it based off of a few different recipes.
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 small clove of garlic, minced
pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. honey
1/3 cup plus half of 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Add balsamic vinegar, chopped garlic, honey, salt and pepper to a blender. Blend on medium-high until garlic is pureed into the vinegar. With the blender on low-medium, remove the center cap in the lid and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. This will emulsify the dressing giving you a “creamy” balsamic texture.
Another full day re-cap of my meals for the day. I’m going to try to keep it brief because we are busy around here packing up and getting ready to head north for a weekend of skiing!
For breakfast, I have been trying to shake it up a little with my green smoothie ingredients. I have read that its a good idea to switch up your greens every once in awhile to vary your exposure to the naturally occurring toxins as well as the beneficial alkaloids. Diversity is always a good thing!
I am loving this combination:
Right after that, came my new breakfast obsession!!!!
Overnight Chia Pudding
Mix well and let soak overnight in a sealed container. In the morning, add toppings of your choice. This has diced mango, fresh blueberries, and chopped walnuts.
If you’ve gone out on a limb and bought some chia seeds to experiment, I strongly encourage you to give this recipe a try. When mixed with liquid, the seeds will absorb the liquid forming a gel-like consistency, which some describe as being similar to tapioca pudding. They have almost no flavor so they take on the flavor of whatever liquid they absorb.
Benefits of the Amazing Chia Seed
Chia seeds are so packed with nutrients, its no wonder that they are considered a SUPERFOOD!
While getting ready for lunch, I snacked on some gluten-free crackers and hummus.
Lunch was a salad with romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, lightly toasted almonds, diced avocado. It was topped with a simple dressing of 1/2 balsamic vinegar and 1/2 flax oil and some fresh ground salt and pepper. I like to mix this really well to incorporate the avocado. This salad combo tastes great with mixed greens too!
Afternoon snack was 2 of the Mini Banana Chocolate Chip muffins that are a regular feature in this house now!!
Dinner was so easy and so good – I just wish the kids liked this a little more. Its not that its overly spicy. They did like the veggies. It may just take a few more exposures to this dish. And chopsticks always help make a dish more fun!
Coconut Curry Chicken with Red Pepper and Snap Peas
1 cup light coconut milk
1 T. red curry paste
2 tsp. fish sauce (don’t be scared by this!! You’ll find it in the Asian section of the supermarket)
1 T. brown sugar
1-2 chicken breasts, cut into thin bite size pieces
1 red pepper, chopped into medium-size pieces
1 1/2 cups snap peas
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
coconut oil for stir frying
Heat skillet to medium and add about 1 tsp of coconut oil (or other high heat oil such as grapeseed). Stir fry chicken for a few minutes until no longer pink. Remove from pan and set aside. Add a little more oil to the pan and stir fry red pepper and snap peas for a few minutes until tender crisp. Meanwhile, whisk together coconut milk, red curry paste, brown sugar, and fish sauce. Add minced garlic to pan and saute for 1 minute (garlic burns very easily). Then, add chicken back to pan and pour sauce in. Combine and let simmer for a few minutes. Serve over rice.
Enjoy the rest of your week! Thanks to technology, I have a few new recipes scheduled to post in the next couple of days while we’re out on the slopes
For any new visitors to Healthy Plate Happy Family, this is the one day during the week where I show you a picture of everything that I ate during the day in hopes of showing you how to put “healthy eating” all together.
I have procrastinated putting this post together because of my colossal dinner FAIL. But I guess you will see that I am living real-life here, with chaos and changes in plans and crabby little ones, and sometimes you just have to roll with it!
First up, for breakfast, I took advantage of a nearly empty Almond Butter jar and made a pumpkin version of Overnight Oats in a Jar. Now, Overnight Oats can be made in any container you’d like. I just happen to like taking advantage of the little bit of almond butter that is left to blend in with the other ingredients.
Overnight Oats are a super convenient grab-and-go breakfast. The night before, you simply blend up 1 part oats to 2 parts liquid (usually milk or water) and leave them to combine and thicken up overnight. The flavor combinations and toppings are endless here!
Today, I went with pumpkin because I had a can of it open. Into the jar (last night) I mixed together:
Store this in the refrigerator overnight. This morning, I topped it with some raisins and chopped pecans. YUM!
I had a snack mid-morning of carrots, gluten-free rice crackers, and this Avocado and White Bean Dip. It is really tasty – like a combination of hummus and guacamole. And it is usually a little more green, but I made this a couple of days ago. Perhaps the blinding brightness of the carrots will make up for it!
After a marathon grocery shopping trip, I came home and made lunch. Today it was a massaged kale salad, one of my favorite salads. This salad took me some time to warm up to. In the beginning, I would make a smaller portion and could eat it as long as it was paired up with a sandwich or soup. Now, I’ve grown to really like it and it can be my whole lunch. I love this because of the powerhouse of nutrition – Vitamins A, K, C, calcium, fiber and loads of antioxidants in the kale, plus a little healthy fats from the avocado and olive oil to help absorb the nutrients. And I haven’t even gotten to the add-ins!
Start with a huge bowl of washed kale (stems removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces).
Make the dressing with a small wedge of avocado (a little less than 1/4 of an avocado), juice from a wedge of lime, 1 tsp. olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt, and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Did you get all of those precise measurements?!?!?!?
Mash them up until it sort of looks like guacamole.
Dump the avocado mixture into the bowl of kale, and with CLEAN hands, massage the dressing right into the kale leaves. This will tenderize the leaves making them much easier to eat and more palatable.
Then your huge bowl of kale will be reduced to a more reasonable looking portion like this.
Taste and adjust seasonings. I usually like to add an extra squeeze of lime to give it more of a tangy flavor. At this point, you can cover the salad and let it sit for a little while. But I don’t recommend refrigerating it for a long period of time, or it will get pretty soggy, at least for my tastes.
Top with lightly toasted nuts (today was almonds), carrots, and cucumbers. A lot of times, I’ll add diced apples or dried cranberries in as well for a little sweet contrast.
So I realized this afternoon that Darren and Hailey were going to be gone for the rescheduled Daddy Daughter Dance, so I would be having a little dinner date at home with Jake. But then he wasn’t feeling well and just wanted to play Monopoly and snuggle on the couch. Next thing I know, he was hungry for food RIGHT NOW, and I was scrambling to pull some dinner together. I could tell he wasn’t feeling well because he didn’t really want any of his usual favorites. He wanted grapefruit, then a homemade popsicle (pureed watermelon and strawberry), and then asked for a treat or a smoothie. At this point, I was starving too and I also felt like Jake needed a little more substance. So I decided to scrap my plans for a Greek salad and falafel, and make the treat/smoothie/dinner all into one dish!!!
Behold, the Chocolate Covered Cherry Smoothie!
Believe it or not, this thing was so filling that it turned out to be my dinner! Maybe dinner wasn’t a fail afterall?????
Chocolate Covered Cherry Smoothie
Mix all ingredients in a blender until super smooth and creamy. Add more almond milk to thin or ice cubes to thicken, as necessary. This made 2 decent size portions. You could scale back to 1 cup of cherries/strawberries, 1 T. cacoa, and 1 cup of almond milk for an individual portion.
So there you have it for this Wednesday!
We’ve been snowed in the last couple of days. Luckily I stocked up at the grocery store before the snow and sub-zero temps hit. We’ve only been in West Michigan for a year and a half and we’re still getting used to this lake effect snow that seems to go on and on and on! The kids think that it looks like we live inside of a snow globe!!!
Other than helping to get snow gear on and off, making endless cups of hot cocoa, and playing lots of board games, here is what I’ve been eating on this cold and snowy Wednesday. The morning started off with my version of a Chai Latte. Its made by steeping a Tazo Chai tea bag in half water and half almond milk and sweetened with some honey. I’ve been trying to cut back on coffee (more because of the chemical-filled, sugary sweetener I put in it than for the caffeine). This stuff is awesome and makes skipping the coffee pretty easy.
I’m still trying to eat super clean to combat all of these viruses going around right now. Breakfast was a giant glass of one of my favorite juice/smoothie combinations, which just happens to be loaded with Vitamin C. Its made with 1 red beet (raw, peeled, chopped), 1/2 red grapefruit, 1 carrot, 1 apple, and 1 small slice of fresh ginger. This is blended up with a cup or so of water in a high speed blender for about 30-45 seconds. I think if you wanted to try this in a regular blender, you would probably need to steam the beet first to get it a little softer. This is a great combination to put through the juicer too!
We were all a little bit snacky by mid-morning. It was just easier for us all to have the same thing with everyone home today. I made these carrot cake oatmeal bars the other day and they have been a huge hit around here. We paired them up with a clementine.
For lunch, I had a Greek-inspired salad. It was a huge bowl of red romaine topped with cucumbers, red onion, tomato, yellow pepper, kalamata olives and topped with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing and some fresh parsley. I don’t always take the time to chop up fresh herbs for my salad but I had them left over from the veggie burgers on Monday. I usually like to add toasted nuts to my salads for the crunchy texture and extra protein. I experimented with something new to top this salad – roasted chickpeas! They were sprayed with a little olive oil and some kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried dill, and dried oregano. Roast them in a 425 degree oven, tossing half-way, for 30 minutes. This is nothing new in the healthy-eating-blog-world, but I had made them before and did not care for them. Turns out I didn’t cook them long enough to get crunchy and I also learned that they don’t keep very well, which is the mistake I made the last time by trying to make them ahead of time.
I also had some homemade Tomato Soup to go along with it. Now that is a lot of veggies to pack into one meal!!!!
I know it was an awesome lunch when I can make it all the way to dinner without a snack! Highly unusual for me!! Dinner was chicken stir-fry served over Basmati rice with some pineapple on the side. It is very loosely based off of this recipe from Danica’s Daily. I basically use her recipe for the sauce (3T. Hoisin, 2T. vegetable stock, 1T. sherry, 1T. ketchup, 2 T. soy sauce, 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger, 1 tsp. sriracha hot sauce, and 1 T. brown sugar) but do not make it in the crock pot. I stir fry the chicken and set aside, then the vegetables until just tender. I add the sauce at the end and top it all of with some lightly toasted cashews. Out of all of the stir fry recipes I’ve tried over the years, this seems to be our favorite so far. Other than chopping up the vegetables (which could be done ahead of time) this dinner comes together really quick!
We’ve switched over to a new kind of rice lately. I have always used quick cooking brown rice, but I didn’t always get the texture right and sometimes it turned out a little bit sticky. Hailey had gotten to the point where she would only eat it if I made it into “fried rice” which involves a lot of extra soy sauce (sodium!) and oil. I recently found this at Meijer and love it. It retains 80% of the nutrients from the husk that traditional brown rice would. It is a slow-release carbohydrate with a low G.I. (glycemic index) of 52. This means the sugar is slowly released into your bloodstream, providing a steady supply of energy and helps you feel fuller, longer. I love the taste and texture and so far its cooked up perfect every time. If you see it in your grocery store, check it out!
Well that wraps it up for this Wednesday!!
I thought it would be fun to show a typical day of what I eat. This was an interesting experience and I now have a whole new respect for food bloggers!! It took some extra time to stop and photograph everything and I had to remember every ingredient that I put into each meal. It also didn’t help that I was trying to take so many pictures on a cloudy, gray Michigan winter day! Although, the advantage to this is that it definitely kept my hand out of the box of Cheddar Bunnies on more than one occasion!
I would say this is a somewhat typical day of eating for me. However, I am on Operation “Avoid the Dreaded Flu” right now, so I am definitely putting in a little more effort than usual to eat clean and stick to as many raw fruits and veggies as possible (lets not even talk about how many times I wash my hands in a day!).
I started off the morning with a blender full of green juice, my absolute favorite way to start the day! Green juice is great first thing in the morning because your body has been healing, restoring, and detoxing itself all night long. So starting off with something as clean and nutrient packed as this keeps the process going a little longer. Into the blender went a handful of kale, a handful of romaine, 1 stalk of celery, 1/3 of a cucumber, 1/2 of an apple, a clementine, 1/2 of a banana, and a slice of fresh ginger. I added a couple of cups of water (and more if necessary) since I prefer it more like juice than a smoothie (although technically its considered a smoothie since all of the pulp and fiber remain). All of this green goodness is blended up in the Vitamix for about 30-40 seconds and served over ice. This concoction grosses Darren out every single time. But I am convinced he would like it if he stopped calling it “lawn clippings” and just tried it. You can ease into it by using a milder green like spinach and starting off with less greens overall. I’ve noticed that the celery adds a very distinct flavor that took some time to get used to. And the banana definitely makes it in my opinion.
Next up, is some chia pudding. I love love LOVE chia seeds!!!! These little guys are nutritional powerhouses packed with fiber, protein, minerals, Omega-3 (even more than flax seed!), and antioxidants. They also play an important role in cardiovascular health and controlling inflammation. Plus they are great plant-based sources of calcium and protein. My favorite way to make chia pudding is in the blender. I add 2 T. of chia seeds, 1/4 cup of almond milk, 1/4 cup of water, 1/2 of a banana, 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract and a sprinkle of cinnamon to the blender and blend on medium speed for about 15 seconds. I make this the same time as my smoothie and leave it in the fridge until I’m ready to eat it – the chia seeds will absorb the liquid and thicken up so that its like yogurt or pudding. I like to top it with banana slices or other fresh fruit and some unsweetened coconut or chopped nuts. This is definitely one of those things that can take some getting used to! I need the toppings in there to give it the right texture so that its not so much like eating baby food. Mainly, I just love it for the blast of nutrients and energy it provides. It is awesome pre-workout fuel!
Lunch consisted of more immune-building foods: a romaine salad with lots of raw veggies and topped with cayenne tahini dressing alongside some miso garlic soup. This dressing recipe comes from my friend Kristen over at Kristen’s Raw. Since I am not rocking the raw lifestyle like she is, I just use the regular (or organic) EVOO. I also am not brave enough to add in the entire amount of cayenne. But this dressing is definitely worth a try!!!! It is lick-the-bowl-good and one of my all time favorites.
The miso soup is made by boiling 1 cup of organic vegetable broth and 1 cup of water. Remove it from the heat (so as not to destroy the beneficial microorganisms in the miso, which is considered a “live” food). Whisk in 1 T. of organic mellow white miso and then grate a clove of raw garlic into it. This soup is my secret weapon for all kinds of winter sicknesses but its definitely not for people who work in public during the day….or do anything around any other people during the day I’m showing it as a separate item because I am a food-blogging rookie and was so hungry that I ate the salad and then took this picture and ate the soup!!!
Since I lifted weights for my workout today, I wanted to get in a little extra protein so I went for a Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie for my afternoon snack. I’m sure most normal people probably stop eating pumpkin after November, but I’ll keep buying it until spring! This smoothie had 1 cup pure pumpkin puree, 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use a vegan, custom-made blend of hemp and pea protein from www.trueprotein.com), 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ginger, and few shakes of ground cloves or nutmeg if you have them (or you could just throw some pumpkin pie spice in there). Add a few ice cubes and blend it until its super smooth. Sometimes I throw in a spoonful of flax seeds or hemp seeds for an extra nutritional boost, but I skipped them today.
I ended up having to share! He is a total smoothie smuggler!
This was supposed to be their snack! A mixed berry smoothie with chia seeds and probiotics and a homemade oatmeal bar! I’m sure it goes without saying, but this is not all that my kids got to eat today! I just focused on photographing my food, not theirs, since they are at school most of the day. Since I shared my snack, he shared some of his oatmeal bar. Mmm, shared food….such is the life of a mom….
Dinner was simple and good, but another rookie blogging experience. A hungry family plus one extra dinner guest (my dad would have thought I was NUTS whipping out my camera at the table!) plus zero natural daylight equals no pictures of dinner! Thats OK. It was so basic that it was hardly worth photographing. It was simple grill chicken with some BBQ sauce, a baked sweet potato with a tiny bit of coconut oil and some steamed green beans.
Well, that is it for my first “What I Ate Wednesday”!