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Archive for August, 2010

This is one of those wonderful dishes where you can switch things up depending on what ingredients you have on hand. For example, you can use any type of sausage or bacon, but I still think the dish would be tasty even if you left the meat out all together. If you don’t have any shrimp you could throw in some other type of seafood instead. If you don’t like oysters (I fall in this department!) then not to worry. This is the type of dish where you can be creative and make substitutions as you see fit…and best of all enjoy the end result (and don’t forget to freeze the leftovers!).

When I recently made this dish I did not use sausage (we used bacon instead) and I did not add any of the extra black pepper or hot sauce. There is already a little red pepper in the Creole seasoning so that was the only source of heat in our dish. And to my surprise both of my girls ate (small amounts) of it when it was served. Point being – at least they didn’t hate it! When I first added the spices I took a bite and immediately thought it would be too spicy for them, but after the rice and liquids got cooking it really made the dish more palatable for those younger taste buds. So give it shot with your children before offering up a separate kid meal! (more…)

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One of my favorite Food Rules from Michael Pollan’s latest book is “Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry.” Now how could anyone argue the fact that that rule just makes sense? I am trying to remember why I ever even thought it was okay to feed my kids (and my husband and myself) foods that contained things like maltodextrin, cellulose, ethoxylated diglycerides, and polydextrose. Oh yeah, I remember how that happened…because I wasn’t even reading the ingredients to know this random stuff was in there! At least it is never too late to change.

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I recently learned that fresh local peaches can easily be transformed into a delicious frozen treat. I used my ice cream maker to make this recipe, and it gave me yet another reason to be thrilled that I bought one just a few months ago. I seriously doubt I will ever buy ice cream (or sorbet) out of a box again. The machine is incredibly easy to use. You literally just flip a switch and 15 to 20 minutes later…voila! Not to mention that you can control exactly what ingredients go into each recipe.

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This easy-to-make cold soup recipe is a twist on traditional gazpacho (which is made with tomatoes). We happen to love this version, and it is the perfect dish for a hot summer day. Cucumbers are still in season here in the Carolinas, and you certainly can’t beat using fresh local ingredients! (more…)

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Most moms struggle at one point or another with a picky eater, and the most important thing I can tell you is to never stop trying with them! My youngest daughter frustrates me almost daily with her pickiness (luckily my older daughter is quite the opposite), but clearly since we are all doing the 100 Days of Real Food together I have had to try almost anything and everything to get my 3-year-old to eat healthy foods. I hope some of these tips that I have learned along the way (which are all based my own personal experiences and observations) can help you make some breakthroughs with your picky eater as well. And of course please keep in mind that each suggestion is not necessarily going to work for every child out there, but you certainly never know until you try. And as always, if you have any additional tips or suggestions from your own experiences please feel free to leave a comment!

  • Take baby steps when trying to convert your kids to whole foods. First of all, start with the things that they know and like by switching out their beloved processed version for a healthier alternative. For example, my daughters both used to love the white store-bought flour tortillas, so one of the first things I did was make them some homemade whole-wheat tortillas instead. (more…)

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I must give my 86-year-old Grandmother all of the credit for this crepe recipe. This is her signature breakfast dish that she is kind enough to make for our entire family (all 25 of us) each time we get together. Our family has gotten so big that in recent years she got smart and started working on making our crepes weeks in advance. So she now brings big frozen pre-made batches of this delectable dish to satisfy everyone’s cravings, which means she can spend less time in the kitchen and more time playing with all of her great-grandkids!

All I did was slightly modify my grandma’s recipe to include whole-wheat flour and honey instead of sugar. I am thrilled to say that those minor changes barely changed the consistency of the batter, and the end product still tastes delicious. While I grew up eating these crepes for breakfast (there is only a tablespoon of sweetener in the whole batch) I think they are just as fabulous as a dessert, too. If you want to serve them for an after dinner treat try rolling them up with strawberries and whipped cream inside and top them with chocolate sauce. Alternately, you could put baked apples (seasoned with butter, honey and cinnamon) inside too. The possibilities are endless! (more…)

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We are all very big milk drinkers in our house (4 – 5 gallons a week)…and to be honest I don’t think we could live without it! The good news is after switching to a more optimal milk source and type of milk we certainly do not have to give it up. I used to buy the standard store-brand skim (for the adults) and 2% (for the kids) from our local supermarket. I even switched to the organic variety earlier this year. Organic is certainly better than conventional, but I felt there were still some additional factors that continued to be overlooked.

My biggest concern about the milk we were drinking was if it came from cows that were being fed grass. I did a post awhile back entitled “You are what you eat eats too”, and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to milk. Cows are actually designed by evolution to eat grass, and a large majority of factory-farmed cows are instead taught to survive on corn (a super cheap grain). In some instances the corn makes the animals sick, which is part of the reason why they have to be administered so many antibiotics. (more…)

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