Saturday, April 9, 2011

Step 1: Removing the WHITE! and, serving the BROWN

Every notice pasta is ALWAYS bogo at the grocery store? My husband loves pasta and even my super picky son is finally starting to enjoy. So, I want to make sure that I offer a healthy alternative. Thus, I have started to purchase whole wheat pasta. It isn't on sale as often, but when the deals come around, I am stocking up. I have not totally won my hubbie over with this yet, but it is a work in progress! He just doesn't have a choice!

Another staple my husband loves is rice. His new obsession is the quick minute rice that you microwave in the package. Doesn't that just scream healthy! Yikes! To me it just tastes... well...weird...microwaved...mush! Lord knows, I don't even want to turn that box over to look at the label. I am sure it has more than 4-6 ingredients and I bet I can't read half of them! So ix-nay on that...okay! Instead of white, we will go brown! I know I will meet a lot of opposition on this one, but I live for a challenge right!!! I mean I knew this wouldn't be easy! So, here is a great simple recipe to get me started!

 Perfectly Simple Brown Rice
(Courtesy of Freeze your way Fit) 

3 c brown rice
4 2/3 c water
2 T olive oil
1 t salt

1. Preheat oven to 375. Yes! I said the oven! Put the rice in a 9x13 baking dish. Bring the water to a boil, then pour over the rice. Next add the oil and salt. Give a quick stir. Cover the dish with foil to keep all that gorious steam in. Bake for 1 hour.
2. Remove from the oven, fluff and let cool for a minute or two.

If you haven't noticed yet, this makes a HUGE dish of rice. Way more than my small family of 3 can consume. So, I dish up what we need for the night, then I freeze slightly large single serving portions in individual containers. Once frozen, slide out of the container and place in a large ziplock. That way, next time we want rice all I have to do is micro  it for 45 seconds and serve! Since I often have to work at night, this is a great time saver!

My new kick(s)!

Have you noticed lately that the prices of food are moving sky high! I was shocked this week when I went to the store to buy pork chops and a family pack was prices at $15! How can anyone afford to eat with these prices. Knowing what is going on around the world, with rising oils prices shortages of corn and weather wreaking havoc on many crops, I only expect food prices to get higher and higher. This has lead my normally level headed husband to start watching survivalist videos on youtube. Some of these people are pretty far out, but I totally understand their concept. Between the survivalists mentality and the extreme couponing rage right now, my husband and I are starting to stock pile some food. Nothing outrageous, just stocking up on the foods we eat when the prices are low.

I am also going back to sneaking veggies into my foods. In an ideal world my husband would willingly sit down to a plate of teriyaki glazed portabellas served with brown rice and edamame. Oh yeah and a zucchini, Kale and Cabbage smoothie. Yet, this idea world doesn't exist. My husbands ideal of the dinner is fried pork chops, mashed potatoes and corn. He might throw a nice iceberg lettuce salad in there with oil and vinegar, but that is the extent of it! So, I have to find a way to incorporate healthy vegetables into yummy foods my family will eat with out telling them! So, Dicey Debbie because I am dicing up and dishing out some new healthy recipes. (Hopefully they go over well, I am sure I am going to get the side eye on some of these stuff. That won't stop me though!)

Yet, we are still on an EXTREMELY tight budget. My weekly budget is $75. This must include everything...meats, produce, cleaning supplies, detergents, a bit of formula, ect...  So, couponing is a must! The thing I find hard about couponing is finding simple ingredients on sale to stock up on that are not full of over processed crap! I hate that! It is possible though...jut really have to look and work the deals.

Let's see where this process takes me....Are you gonna jump on board?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Smokey Zuccchini Soup

I know you just read the title and went...wha...Zucchini soup. Trust me it is delicious! Since it is the end of the season and I still have a several zucchini sitting around, I decided to make some soup. This is great soup to hide veggetables  if your husband...errr...I mean kids don't like vegetables. This hearty soup is oustanding addition to a cool summer night!

Smokey Zucchini Soup

3 slices of pancetta, bacon or smoked meat
1 onion, minced
2-3 zucchini, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 c chicken or vegetable broth
1/4c feta
2/3c cream
1. Brown bacon until crispy and tehn remove from pot. Add onion and cook until translucent. Then, stir in the zucchini and potatoes. Cover and allow to cook down until softened (5-7 minutes).
2. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until veggies are tender (about 20 minutes). Remove soup and puree. Then, retrun to pot and add cream and feta. Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to low until warmed all the way through. Garnish with panchetta (or bacon).

Cinnamon pancakes

Why waste your money on those tasteless frozen pancakes. They are SO simple to make and can have so many different flavors. Today's flavor...cinnamon. A perfect pairing with my left over homemade applesauce.

Cinnamon Pancakes

Sift: 3 cups flour, 4-5t baking powder, 5T sugar, 4t cinnamon, 1t nutmeg

Combine: 2 1/2c milk, 3 eggs, 3T melted butter

Mix half the dry ingredients into the wet. Once combined mix in the remaingin dry mix. Allow to sit 15-20 mintes. Then, heat up the griddle and get to work!!!

This recipe made 25 large sand dollar pancakes. I place on cookie sheets or plastic cutting boards to freeze. The key is to make sure they do not overlap. Once frozen, remove from freezer and transfer to ziplock!

Picky Eaters: Soup

My son is a very picky eater. Half the time I cannot even get him to taste what I am offering, but today I decided to play to his fancy...Letters!

Simple Alphabet Soup
Chicken stock (or a few cups of water and a few boullion cubes)
Alphabet pasta

Bring to a boil and cook until pasta is tender.

Normally I would recommend cuting up tiny carrot cuves, but I didn't want to push it! I was content that he even ate this!