Crisis Cooking: Veggie Lo mein

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Happy Meatless Monday real foodies!

Today I’m sharing a “recipe” that I use quite often on my crazy days.  I affectionately refer to those crazy days meals as “crisis cooking.”  Crisis cooking is when I realize we need to eat dinner in half an hour and I haven’t even thought about dinner yet.  I don’t know that I would call this a recipe per se; perhaps better terminology would be a guideline.

Veggie Lo-mein

pasta of choice, angel hair or other thin pasta works well but I used linguine noodles and my boys loved it.

contents of your vegetable drawer.  Really, you can add anything!  Dice/slice your veggies to be relatively the same size.  For the example pictured I used carrots, zucchini, green bell pepper and green beans

teriyaki sauce (or preferred sauce)  You can make your own teriyaki sauce by beefing up your soy sauce with some sugar, garlic and ginger but honestly I usually buy mine.  We really enjoy the Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce.

Directions:

Cook your pasta according to package directions.

While pasta is boiling, slice and dice your veggies.

Drain pasta in colander

Using the pot that cooked the pasta (I hate dishes), add a small amount of oil (enough to keep the veggies from sticking) and begin to saute the veggies at a medium-high heat.  Add teriyaki sauce to taste.  When veggies are tender, toss in pasta and serve.

Told you it wasn’t a recipe!  This is a great way to use up random veggies you have sitting around.  Even cabbage is great, just dice into small pieces!

I know this wasn’t a detailed “recipe” but as part of Real Food in a Real World my aim is to show how an average family eats.  This is a very typical Meatless Monday dinner around our house right now!

Food Haul 7.19.13

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Happy Friday real foodies!

Buy anything interesting this week?

I know the weather across the country is hot.  Michigan is borderline unbearable right now.  We have actual temps in the 90’s with heat indices in the 100’s.  It’s been a sweaty week!  Local toddler craves the outdoors so we have been out every day.  Putting your feet in a very cold wading pool does make it much more tolerable!

This week in food was another slightly strange week.  I skipped my Door to Door Organics order, only because I had a full fridge and didn’t need anything.  We ended up being invited to family dinners a few nights and found ourselves with a full fridge! 

I did go to the Canton Farmers market on Sunday and picked up a few items.  No pictures because it was hot and I rushed everything to the fridge/freezer.  I bought a whole chicken from Garry at Pure Pastures, 5lbs of blueberries from Kapnicks, some beautiful purple “Dragon” carrots from Hand Sown Farm.  I also bought a tasty savory pastry that had tilapia, potato and red pepper.  I can’t find the business card anywhere but I think the business name was “Classique” or something around those lines.  Prices were $7, $25, $3 and $5 for a total of $40 at the market.  The blueberries are in my freezer waiting to be turned into sauce! 

I hit up Aldi this week in search of chicken and brown rice for my sick doggy.  I’m incapapble of only buying what is on my list.  I picked up some Bolthouse green juice and some red pepper hummus, my two favorite Aldi items.  I nearly fainted in the meat area when I saw that they now carry grass fed beef!  It was under $5 a pound!  I know nothing about the quality or location, but what an exciting find!   As you may know, I have $500 worth of beef in my freezer so I didn’t buy any but I would love to hear an opinion if anybody has tried it or knows more!  I know I spent $40 at Aldi but most of that was a ton of chicken and some brown rice and pumpkin for local German Shepherd.  She’s all better now!  The vet told me she had colitis and asked me about the stress in her life.  Really?  Dogs have stress?  I want her life!

I’m writing this late Thursday night and I just got back from a late night run to Kroger.  I needed almond milk for my morning iced coffee and local hubby requested cookies.  These two items managed to cost me $35.  Every time!  This is why I try not to go to the grocery store, I can never just buy one or two things.

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After I took this photo I grabbed another almond milk and two more bags of cookies.  Newman O’s and alphabet cookies were on clearance!  I also grabbed vanilla extract, cinnamon, and diced tomatoes all on clearance in the organic section.  Those Blue Diamond coconut almonds are amazing.  A few too many ingredients to be considered real food, but so delish!

Now keep me away from the grocery store!

I had big plans to visit a few other markets this week but this heat is just too gnarly to be shopping in.  Or I’m a weenie.  Either way, I will get out to visit some more markets soon!

Where did you shop this week?  Try anything new?

Food Haul 7.12.13

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I totally spaced on remembering to take pictures of everything this week.  I do have a few pictures, just not of everything.  There was no Canton Farmers Market this past weekend due to the holiday.  Can’t wait for next week!

On Tuesdays Eastern Market and the Wayne Metro Community action agency is hosting a mobile farmers market in Inkster.  (If you click this link, you can see the full listing of Market stands that Eastern Market is hosting this season, there are a bunch!)  Inkster is somewhat of a food desert so I was glad to hear this.  Local toddler and I decided to go check it out.  It is hosted in front of Starfish Family Services at 3000 Hively, near to Cherry Hill and Middlebelt.  They are open from 2pm-5pm.  It was small but quite a few options were available.

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Local toddler selected the yellow grape tomatoes and ate half the container before we even left.  We also got some broccoli and zucchini.  We spent $4.25 at the market.  It was a nice little set-up and I was glad to see it in that area.

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Our Door to Door Organics order this week is not photographed.  Well, I do have a picture of local toddler and what he was up to when I was opening the boxes.

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Somehow my son has all of the warehouse staff wrapped around his finger and they always make sure he gets an orange (or two!)  There were berries in the freebie bin so he grabbed one of those as well.  I’m a little scatterbrained right now and I totally forgot he had berries.  While I was bringing the boxes in, he decided to make a berry pie.  (The pie toy is the super sorting pie from Learning Resources, it is so cute.)  He also ate an untold number of berries.  Judging from the stains on his shirt they are delightfully juicy.  Being the good blogger I am, I took a picture before cleaning up.

I spent $51 at Door to Door Organics on the following items:

Cucumber 1
Russet Potatoes 2
Red Leaf Lettuce 1
Red or Green Bell Pepper, small 1
Carrots with Tops 1
Nectarines 2
Mango, Tommy Atkins 1
Lemon 1
Bananas 2
Broccoli bunch $3.49 1 $3.49
Avalon Sea Salt Chocolate Chunk Cookies $3.39 2 2 Cookies $6.78
Creswick Farms Pastured Large Brown Eggs $4.19 1 dozen $4.19
Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted 10-inch Tortillas $3.39 1 12 oz $3.39
Green Cabbage $2.99 1 $2.99
Zingerman’s Bakehouse – Magic Brownie $2.99 1 4 oz $2.99
Calder’s Dairy – 2% Milk $3.09 2 1/2 Gal $6.18

There was also a random trip to Kroger thrown in there this week.  We bought hamburger buns, almond milk, coffee, cereal, tuna, bread, a ton of yogurt, Clif and Larabars, and some other random junk.  Random junk was some potato chips and my favorite junk food ever: Better Made corn pops.  So addictive, I hand the bag to my husband and make him hide it!  We spent about $40 there.

Food costs for the week was $95.25.

Interested in reading more about Door to Door Organics?

Insta-Rewind 7.9.13

I thought this might be fun, to post some of the pictures from my phone and Instagram over the past week or two.  Let me know if you love or hate it, I aim to serve!

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Random snack for local toddler.  I cut up a banana, and put some almond butter and crispy rice cereal on it.  He told me it was “pretty snack”.

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I have a terrible night time sweet tooth!  I can’t have Nutella because I have a dairy allergy, but this Justin’s Nut Butter is awesome on an apple!

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Local toddler is so spoiled by the warehouse staff at Door to Door Organics.  They always make sure he gets an orange (or two!).  Seriously, their customer service and quality is unmatched.  Love them.

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Local toddler and I went to Greenfield Village.  This wasn’t the outfit I picked out, but I do my best to not stifle his creativity or say “no” ALL day long.  Plus, how often do you get ride horses with Superman?

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Doesn’t get too much fresher than one hour farm to table!  Local toddler started this plant from seed and got to pick some green beans and have them for lunch.

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Life has been crazy lately so I have been trying to make simple and quick meals.  This was just some bacon, a little potato and a head of cabbage all browned up in a pan.  Super easy and tasty!

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Local toddler and I made some bird feeders using a toilet paper roll, shortening and some bird seed.  Bonus toilet paper roll binoculars from playgroup made for excellent bird watching!

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Post-yoga noms at moms!  My parents invited us over for dinner and we had two types of chicken (jerk and sesame ginger) roasted broccoli with sesame oil and some brown rice.

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My favorite breakfast!  Scrambled Pure Pastures eggs, a smashed avocado and some Garden Fresh artichoke and garlic salsa.

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Took local toddler to Handi-dip in Livonia for his first ice cream cone.  Momma enjoyed some dairy free strawberry Dole whip mixed with Oreo cookies!

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I was out “jogging” one day and an unkind person made a remark about my body size and spandex.  The next day I wore my brightest most obnoxious spandex in case I saw my friend again.  The old me would have cried.  I think motherhood has toughened me up.  Chubby girl power!

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Another super simple dinner.  Smoked sausage, scrambled eggs and some zucchini

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Lastly, my 7-11 coffee.  Not great but not terrible.  My Keurig was malfunctioning before work one morning and there was NO coffee at work.  I got out of work at 11am and stopped at the first place I saw!  I will accept your coffee condolences below!

So what do you think about an occasional insta-rewind?  Fun? Totally lame?

Food Haul 7.6.13

Sorry this food haul is late, I still haven’t been to my computer to upload photos! This post is an experiment completely posting from my phone, so I apologize if the formatting is strange!!

Went to the Canton Farmers market last Sunday and ended up picking up quite a few things.

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Three soaps from Cellar Door Soap and Skin, and some strawberry scented play dough from Love Bubs. Food items were some cheese curds from Boyers, eggs from Pure Pastures, and a cookie from Kapnick’s.
Local toddler has been figuring out money buys things, so we give him some money and his own bag and let him buy something at the market. He quickly learned he can get a cookie at Kapnick’s!
The soaps from Cellar Door are amazing. It was my first purchase and I’m converted! We love the Love Bubs products too. The play dough is great, and the scent adds another fun sensory element.
As far as food spending, the eggs were $4 and the cookie was $1.50. I think the cheese was under $3.

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Lots of goodies from Door to Door Organics. I know I didn’t get a food haul up last week, but I wanted to talk about it. I pick up my order from the warehouse instead of delivery. I totally forgot to pick it up. Went the next day and the wonderful staff was super accommodating and even have me some fresher bananas even though it was completely my fault. That night I realized I was missing a few produce items. I emailed customer service and they quickly responded that they would add the missing items to my next order and additionally credit my account $10 for the inconvenience. That’s some great service recovery! I’ve been using Door to Door Organics for several years now, and I will continue to do so because they really are a great company.

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My phone won’t cooperate to check how much I spent at Door to Door but I think it was around $30. Cheap week for us, with the holiday there was lots of eating at Bbq’s!

Real Food for Real Toddlers

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I’m no parenting expert, I’m not a doctor or nutritionist.  I’m just an average momma trying to give my kiddo a good start in life.  Our diet is far from perfect, but I like to think that we do pretty good and are fairly well rounded.  This is what I feed my son, feel free to take what you think is good and leave the rest behind. 

A lot of blogs do a “What I ate Wednesday” which I always find really interesting.  I suppose it is the voyeur in me, but that’s kind of why we read blogs, right?  A glimpse into the world of somebody else.  I thought I would focus on giving real food to toddlers since that is the stage we are at in our family.  I will say that not every day is perfect.  My son has eaten ice cream cones and McDonalds.  Some pizza nights and some Chinese food.  But, we aim for 80% real food in our house.  We try to buy 80% of our food whole and natural, and away from the big box grocery stores.  Some weeks it is 100% others it might be 50%.  I’m learning to not beat myself up over things and I know I would rather spend quality time with my son than five hours in the kitchen.  Give and take.  You win some you lose some.  Welcome to my self therapy!

Anywho, onto the food.  An average day around here looks a little something like this:

After his wake up, he drinks a cup of milk and noshes on some dry Cheerios (or whatever I have handy like granola)

We eat breakfast together, typically a bready carb, a protein, and some fruit.  Always subject to change but I try to throw some sort of protein in there.  We are huge green monster smoothie fans.  I make them several times a week.  This kid loves green drinks!

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Some cheese toast, strawberries, grapes and a little bit of green juice

 

Sometime between breakfast and lunch I give him a small snack.  Basically something to keep him stable until lunch.  This particular day we were out bicycling and at the park, and I had one of these Clif Kids bars in his backpack.

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Lunch is usually a pretty big meal right now.  He’s really active in the morning and afternoon.  This day was a banana and some strawberries with blueberry yogurt “dip-dip”.  He loves the Thomas Organic Creamery yogurt, and the blueberry is getting major high-fives right now.  He makes a huge mess, but I know his independent streak will serve him well later in life!  He also had half of a veggie burger with some ketchup “dip-dip.”

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On a good day, nap time is shortly after lunch and the milk monster will wake up two hours later.  He has a cup of milk and that will usually hold him until dinner.  If he’s crabby I will usually give him some sort of carby snack like crackers.  He’s a super big fan of my Easy Cheesy crackers!

Dinner!  My husband and I have always believed that with few exceptions, our son should eat exactly what we eat.  Obviously when he was starting solids I did a lot of separate cooking (making things smaller/softer etc) but thankfully that stage doesn’t last very long.  I would say that since he was one year of age, he has been eating the same as us.

I try to keep our dinners well balanced, and I try to get lots of veggies into our dinners because local toddler and I aren’t all that great and getting them in during the day.  I try to remember, but fruit is just so convenient!  Dinner was chicken and spinach wraps, roasted broccoli and some carrot sticks.

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So there is what my kiddo eats in a day.  He’s two years old, so I know I’m in trouble when he is a teenager!