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!!!!

Mango and Baby Bok Choy smoothie


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….

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Muffin


After a fun day downtown at the Coast Guard Festival, we came home STARVING!

Coast Guard Kids Day

Crafting fun at the Coast Guard Festival Kids Day!


Food Should Taste Good chips to snack on while making lunch…

Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Chips


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!!!!

Lemon Butter Cauliflower Soup and Greek salad


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!

Italian Stuffed Zucchini on the Grill


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!

Stuffed Grilled Zucchini and Salad


I had made these little frozen yogurt tarts last week and it seemed like the perfect night to enjoy them.

Raspberry Greek Yogurt Tarts

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??

I can’t believe summer is half over!! We have been busy doing all of the kids’ favorite summer things – bike rides, going to the beach, letterboxing, playing with cousins, picking blueberries, trips to the cottage, paddleboarding, sleepovers, and going to fun day camps. So much more still to pack into these next few weeks!!

I started off this morning with one of the most awesome smoothies I have made in a long time.

spinach mango papaya coconut oil lime smoothie

About 2 cups of spinach, 1/2 cup frozen papaya chunks, 1/2 of a mango, 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, and a squeeze of lime. YUM! If you are attempting your first green smoothie, try this one for sure!!

Be sure to blend the greens with about a cup of water first to get them fully blended. Then, add in the fresh and frozen fruit and blend again, adding enough water to get to your desired consistency.

For lunch, I had some leftover southwestern quinoa salad that I took to a family get together over the weekend. It was just a little variation from the recipe I’ve posted on here before. It was cooked and cooled quinoa mixed with black beans, fresh corn from the cob, red onion, yellow pepper, tomato, avocado, and fresh cilantro tossed in a simple vinaigrette of fresh squeezed lime juice, olive oil, sea salt, ground cumin and chili powder. I also had a little extra tomato and avocado on the side.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with black beans corn tomato and avocado

After lunch, the kids and I biked a couple miles down to one of our favorite parks.


We hiked up the 104 steps to see this view. The waves in Lake Michigan were crazy today!

Lake Michigan

Tandem Cruising


We were all starving when we got back two hours later so we snacked on the Blueberry Lemon Oatmeal Squares from yesterday. We may have each had two of them! Hiking and biking makes us hungry!!!


For dinner, Jake requested the Lasagna Roll Ups that he made in his Gourmet Cooking Camp a couple weeks ago. They were so quick and easy and the kids gobbled them up! New family favorite here!!!!

Helping to make dinner


Lasagna Roll Ups
9 whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 lb organic, grass fed ground sirloin (optional)
1 box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and excess water squeezed out
1 container part skim ricotta cheese
1 jar pasta sauce (we like the Newmans Own fire roasted tomato)
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella
Seasonings such as garlic powder, dried basil, oregano, and sea salt
Shredded Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook noodles in boiling water according to package directions.
Cook ground beef and drain off any excess fat.
Mix together ricotta, drained spinach, cooked ground beef (if using), and season with a little sea salt and Italian seasonings.
Spoon half of the sauce into the bottom of 18 muffin tin wells.
Lay out cooked noodles on a large cutting board and blot dry.
Spread mixture onto noodles. Sprinkle with a little mozzarella.
Roll noodles up and slice in half. Place halves into muffin tin.
Top with more sauce and shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle with some shredded Parmesan cheese and bake for 25 minutes.

We served this with a green salad loaded with veggies topped with a simple homemade vinaigrette and the kids ate every last bite!!

Kid Friendly Lasagna Roll Ups and Salad

Happy Wednesday!

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.

carrot cuke celery apple orange juice

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?!?

rainbow chard

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!!!

chard pear lemon ginger juice

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!

avocado plus boiled eggs

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.

avocado deviled eggs with dill


Luckily I had soup planned for dinner tonight.  You just can’t beat soup when you’re sick!

Healthy Plate Happy Family chicken rice soup

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.


salad with awesome balsamic dressing

Balsamic Vinaigrette


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!

green juice

I am loving this combination:

  • 2-3 Rainbow Chard leaves
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1/3 of a cucumber
  • 1/3 cup of diced fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 of a banana
  • Enough water to get to your preferred consistency

Right after that, came my new breakfast obsession!!!!

Chia Pudding

Overnight Chia Pudding

  • 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
  • 2 T. chia seeds

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

  • loaded with soluble and insoluble fiber – helps keep you full
  • the richest plant source of Omega 3’s – reduces inflammation to reduce chronic disease
  • a rich source of complete plant based protein
  • help stabilize blood sugar
  • extremely high in antioxidants – help fight the damage causing free radicals

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.

GF 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!

salad w/ balsamic and flax oill


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 stir fry

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 :)


Happy Wednesday!!!

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!

pumpkin overnight oats

Today, I went with pumpkin because I had a can of it open.  Into the jar (last night) I mixed together:

  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup water ( because we were out of almond milk which is what I would normally use)
  • 1 T chia seeds (ground flax seed would work too)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 T. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (just cinnamon would be fine too)

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!

crackers and avo bean dip


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).

big bowl of kale

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?!?!?!?

avo and lime

Mash them up until it sort of looks like guacamole.

avocado dressing

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.

salad with dressing

Then your huge bowl of kale will be reduced to a more reasonable looking portion like this.

massaged kale

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.

massaged kale salad


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!

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

  • a little less than half of an avocado (1/4 to 1/2 of an avocado would work)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 T raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder would work)
  • 1 huge handful of spinach
  • 1 whole banana, frozen in chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen sweet cherries (this is also awesome with strawberries!!)

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!




Glad to have you back for another What I Ate Wednesday!

Yesterday’s post felt so BLAH to me!!!!  I think its a lot easier for me when I write during the day but usually its just so hard to find that time!

Speaking of time…..I just somehow did not seem to have enough of it today!!  And I can tell I must be settling into this blogging thing because I really and truly did not plan out a single thing that I was going to eat today.  The only thought that goes into my WIAW’s are to try to mix it up to show you different things (when in reality I am a total creature of habit!!) and also to make sure to snap a picture.

So the theme of today’s eats – on the fly!

Breakfast was totally on the fly.  I had a million things I had to get done in the three hours Jake was at school.  I am not usually very hungry early in the morning so I basically just made something super quick so that I wouldn’t get hungry while running errands.

This is a banana with raw almond butter (from my imported Trader Joe’s stash), unsweetened coconut flakes, and chia seeds.  This breakfast apologizes for not being very photogenic.  But I know I must be onto something when both of my kids had this as an afternoon snack today!

AB banana with chia

Lunch was a bit of a scramble to pull something together.  I started with some of the Butternut Squash Apple Curry soup from Monday.  I paired it up with a repeat from last week – the chickpea “mock tuna” salad on Ezekiel bread.  This is exactly why I take the time to make up things like this ahead of time (soup, chickpea salad, oatmeal bars, etc).  Lunch was thrown together in less than 10 minutes, including making Jake’s lunch!

soup and sandwich

For my afternoon snack, since I didn’t have anything planned out of course, I kind of went over what I’d eaten today to see what I felt like I was missing.  Decided on some more fruits and veggies, specifically GREENS!  So I threw together one of my green juice/smoothie concoctions.  This one had a handful of kale, handful of romaine, celery, 1/3 cucumber, an apple, 1/2 banana, and a handful of frozen grapes.  I was surprised at how much the grapes mixed up the usual flavor.  I know this picture doesn’t appeal to many, but its just how I roll!  I swear by juice and smoothies like this for awesome energy every day!!!  To me, they are a total pick me up!!

green juice love


Good thing I was re-fueled because my afternoon included a whole lot of this………..



Dinner, again, was completely on the fly.  We had planned to make jumbalaya but then I realized someone had used the leftover andouille sausage from the gumbo on Superbowl (I’ll give him some credit for using it very creatively on a pizza ;)).  So I did a quick pantry/fridge check and came up with a mexican-inspired soup, similar to a tortilla soup.  This was made completely with what I had on hand and I did not follow a recipe.  I have to say it turned out pretty good.  I realized that this is something that I could keep the ingredients on hand at all times to easily add this to my rotation of “throw together” dinners.

mexican soup_opt

Mexican Chicken and Black Bean Soup


1 onion, chopped (could be chopped and frozen)

1 red pepper, chopped (could be chopped and frozen)

1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups vegetable stock (chicken stock would work too)

1 can fire roasted crushed tomatoes (Muir Glen are organic AND bpa-free!)

shredded chicken (we had about 1 1/2 pieces of leftover grilled chicken)

1 can black beans (pinto beans would work too)

1 cup frozen corn (canned would work too)

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

Toppings:  shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, avocado, cilantro – whatever you have!


In a large stock pot, saute the onion, pepper, jalapeno, and garlic in some olive oil over medium heat until softened.  Add in crushed tomatoes, broth, shredded chicken, beans, corn, and seasonings and simmer for 20 minutes.  Garnish with crushed chips (if you have leftover crumbs you can store them in the freezer for this purpose!), cheese, avocado, and/or cilantro.

Another option that I may try out would be to omit the chicken and use two different types of beans and a grain like rice or quinoa.

Well, that wraps it up.  Happy Valentine’s day tomorrow!






Happy Wednesday!

After I dried out from a cold and wet walk with the dog this morning, I decided to switch it up from my usual smoothie/juice for breakfast.  This weather definitely called for a great big warm bowl of oatmeal!!!  The recipe just makes a single portion, but I think you could probably triple or quadruple the recipe to bake up a bigger pan of it to share with the family or eat throughout the week.  I love this because its not too sweet, very filling, and packs in a serving of vegetables!


Zucchini Bread Baked Oatmeal for One
1/2 cup old fashion or rolled oats
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
heaping 1/3 cup zucchini, shredded
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 T honey (or more if you prefer it sweeter)
optional – chopped walnuts and/or raisins for topping
Mix all ingredients and pour into a lightly sprayed dish.  Bake at 350 for 20-22 minutes.
Top with chopped walnuts and raisins, if desired.
My morning was busy with errands – trying to get lots done and groceries stocked up before we get hit with more snow.  Luckily the oatmeal held me over until lunch.  I have Jake home with me for lunch on Wednesdays so we shared our lunch of sandwiches, fruit, and kale chips.  His was PB&J.  My sandwich was Ezekiel sprouted wheat bread with hummus, avocado slices, tomato, cucumber, and red onion.
If you haven’t tried Ezekiel breads by Food for Life, I highly recommend them!!!  They have really clean ingredients – only organic sprouted grains, yeast, vital wheat gluten and sea salt.  Because the grains are all soaked and sprouted, it is easier to digest for those with grain sensitivies.  I also love that each piece is only 80 calories and a whopping 4 grams of protein!
If you’re interested, its usually found in the freezer section of the grocery store and runs about $4-4.50/loaf.  I keep it in the refrigerator and it lasts for weeks.  The raisin bread is really good too, especially with peanut butter or almond butter on it.  As a sidenote, I pretty much only like this bread when it is toasted (same goes for the kids!).  Its a little heartier than normal soft, sandwich bread and toasting it makes the dense, grainy texture less noticeable.
My afternoon snack was not cooperating for photos today.  This gray weather and lack of sunshine is just awful for taking pictures!!!
I learned about adding greens to smoothies a couple of years ago from blogs like this.  Its such an easy way to add a little extra leafy greens into your day (or into your kids)!!  I am pretty adventurous with greens in smoothies, but if you’re not, then I promise this is a good starter recipe.  This one had a handful of spinach, a frozen banana, 3/4 – 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, a scoop of vegan vanilla protein powder, and a spoonful each of raw almond butter (or PB is good too!) and ground flaxseed.  The protein powder is not necessary but I like to add it in on days that I lift weights.
This particular dinner has gone through a lot of modifications.  It started off as a knock-off of the Buffalitos from Buffalo Wild Wings.  We would grill the chicken, add store-bought wing sauce, and wrap them in whole wheat tortillas, which was significantly healthier than the restaurant version.
nutrition info buffalitos                     sauce
My latest version is served in lettuce wraps.  And after a review of the ingredients in wing sauce (soybean oil, artificial flavors, caramel color, corn syrup, and EDTA?  No thanks!!), I just mix Franks red hot with a little melted organic butter.  We also had roasted sweet potatoes on the side.  I leave the skins on and slice them up, coat them with a little olive oil and kosher salt and roast them in a single layer at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.  Flip them and cook them another 15 minutes or until evenly browned.  The kids aren’t a fan of the spicy sauce, so they do chicken/cheese wraps on whole wheat tortillas instead.
That wraps it up for this Wednesday :)


Happy 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!!!

DSC_0870 (2)         DSC_0875

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.

chai latte

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!

beets me

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.

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 I also had some homemade Tomato Soup to go along with it.  Now that is a lot of veggies to pack into one meal!!!!

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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!

stir fry

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, 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”!


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