Wednesday Wants: Skip Hop Lunchbox

So flipping cute!

Dee started preschool yesterday and was so excited to go to her first day.  We owed this excitement to one new item that we added to our household last Saturday – Dee’s Zebra Skip Hop Lunchbox.  It’s no secret we’ve been missing in action on the website lately – what with the wedding and the move directly after so I wasn’t able to tell you all about how obsessed Dee has become with zoo animals.  In particular the zebra, giraffe, and “lion king”.  We went to the Oregon Zoo multiple times in the weeks before our move, as a good bye to my working grounds, as well as to satiate our toddlers constant need to have “mom, dad, dee, zoo” (translation, “mom and dad I want to go to the zoo”).

So as soon as I learned that she was goign to need a lunch box for her new preschool we immediately started looking for cute animal lunchboxes and stumbled across the Skip Hop Zoo Line.

The full line-up of adorable animals

She originally wanted the giraffe but they were sold out.  But the zebra has made her so happy and has helped to keep her pumped up for school.  In fact, she was so excited for school and using her zebra lunchbox that she carried it all the way to the car, then into the schoo,l and then jigged her way to the front desk to show it off.  She keeps asking to pack the zebra lunchbox and go to school!  I’ll let you know if he keeps her this pumped up for school as the “honeymoon” period comes to a close.

meg

Monday Meals: Lime & Cilantro Quinoa Salad

Summer hasn’t really started here in Portland but that hasn’t stopped me from preparing summery dishes (even if it is a little cold for them – I can’t believe how long the cold has hung on here this year!).  This is one of my favorite recipes every summer because the flavors meld so well and it’s perfect served cold.  Quinoa is a superfood, full of 8 amino acids, gluten free and full of protein so it’s also perfect for the littles!

Lime, Cilantro & Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Ingredients: Yields 8 servings

  • 2 cups vegetable broth (chicken works great as well)
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed in cold water
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2T freshly squeezed lime juice (I often do more because I like the zestyness but you can always add at the end to your own personal taste)
  • 1tsp lime zest
  • 1/2 cup of black beans(can is okay just rinse them)
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced or halved
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions: In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, stevia and salt & pepper. Put aside. In a large pot, add quinoa to boiling vegetable broth, stir, turn heat down to low, cover and let quinoa cook for about 20min. Once cooked, fluff quino with a fork and place in a medium size bowl.

Add lime dressing, black beans, cilantro and tomatoes. Mix. I like this cold, but you can also serve warm.

Also, pair it with plain yogurt – so yummy and the flavors really compliment each other!  I hope this recipe helps contribute to some fabulous summer Bar-b-ques!

meg

Featured Etsy Shop: Spice of Life

If you’re a foodie then you’re probably obsessed with spices.  And high quality, organic spices can cost their weight in gold but Spice of Life provides these spices at a very reasonable price.  You’ll recognize this shop from our Father’s Day giveaway where one lucky winner will get to give their dad Spice of Life‘s magnetic BBQ Dry Rub Kit:

Summer BBQs here we come!

But you should really go and check out all of Tami’s fabulous herbs, teas, sugars and salts!  My favorite is the Chai tea kit (have I told you how obsessed Dee and I are with Chai tea? It’s a little ridiculous).

Ah I would just love starting my morning off with this set!

And of course since we spend half of our year in China the Asian herb and spices kit and the Flower Blossom Tea kit would be right at home with us in our Asian apartment:

I LOVE this picture, it really reminds me of the Asian zen gardens. Asian Herb & Spice Kit from Spice of Life.

Tea is a “go-to” in this house and we start off almost every morning with it. I love floral teas as dessert teas though! Yum!  Flower Blossom Tea Kit from Spice of Life.

Tami really does have something for everyone though.  You can get gourmet sugars and sea salts or even make your own kit from the spices she has available in her shop.

Sea Salt Kit from Spice of Life

And if you’re having troubles with what to make for dinner or how to use all these wonderful spices once you’ve bought them as a gift or for yourself, just hop over to the Spice of Life Blog for ideas.

So go buy Dad some special herbs from Spice of Life and if you weren’t our giveaway winner can I suggest the BBQ Dry Rub Kit?

meg

 

Monday Meals: Healthy Chicken Nuggets

It’s Monday Meals!

What makes these chicken nuggets extra healthy is that recipe has veggie puree (your choice) and flax seed meal (vitamin B, omega 3s, fiber, magnesium, manganese).

My nuggets came out a little dark looking because I used flax seed and not flax seed meal.  It really wasn’t that obvious that I used the seeds in stead of the meal, and they came out really good!  They were surprisingly easy to make.

I opted for sweet potato veggie puree, because I had it on hand.  The recipe:


Infused Chicken Nuggets

(serves 4)
Combine the following in a bowl/container:
  • 1 pound of chicken rinsed, dried, and cut into chunks.
Egg Batter (combine the following in a shallow bowl):
  • 1 cup veggie puree (broccoli, spinach, sweet potato, or beet)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Breading (combine the following in a shallow bowl):

  • 1 cup whole-wheat, white, or Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup flax seed meal
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: paprika, garlic, and onion powder
How to cook:
  1. Place the breadcrumb mixture and egg mixture next to each other.
  2. Turn a skillet on medium-high heat and coat with nonstick cooking spray.  When the skillet is hot add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Dip your chicken chunks into the egg batter first and then into the breadcrumbs making sure they are completely coated, then toss in the skillet and cook about 4-5 minutes each side till golden brown.  Check a piece by cutting it half and making sure the chicken is cooked all the way through (I check the thickest piece).
NOTE: you can spice your chicken with some salt if you want before adding it to the egg/breadcrumbs, but I didn’t add any and they came out great.  Also, I kept the breadcrumbs to the side and added a little at a time to a plate.  I only used about half the breadcrumb mixture this way, which means I was able to store the rest in the fridge for the next time I make them.  I served them with some steamed organic peas.
recipe adopted from Deceptively Delicious

Wouldn’t it be fun to have green (broccolli or spinach) or pink (beet) chicken nuggets!

I would love to figure out how to bake these instead of fry.  Frying doesn’t appeal to me as a mother and I think popping these in the oven seems easier.

Hope you enjoy!

ENJOY! ash

Monday Meals: Veggie or Fruit Infused French Toast

It’s Monday Meals!

I thought this was such a smart idea – infuse your french toast (or just about anything) with veggie or fruit puree.

not the prettiest picture. i guess i need to work on my food presentation.

I have done this with pancakes (pumpkin) before, but I  had never thought about doing it with french toast.  French toast is our main go to in the morning.  I whip up the mixture and make sure to double the recipe so I’ll have extra for the week.  I mix it in a small, rectangular casserole container with a lid so that I can store the left over mixture in the fridge for use the next morning (think the size of bread slices).

I opted for sweet potato veggie puree, because Jax will always eat fruit so I don’t really need to “supplement” these into his diet.  The recipe:

Infused French Toast

(serves 4)

Combine the following in a bowl/container:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp veggie or fruit puree (banana, pinapple, sweet potato, carrot, butternut squash, pumpkin)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (the recipe doesn’t call for this either, but I love vanilla in my french toast)
  • (the recipe doesn’t call for it, but I add a little milk too, about 1/4 cup.  That’s how my mom always made french toast)
  • 4 slices of bread
How to cook:

  1. Soak your bread in the mixture for about 30 seconds.
  2. Turn a griddle on medium-high heat.  When the pan is hot coat the bottom with butter (roll it around to melt all over).  When the butter melts, place your soaked bread slices on the griddle and cook till each side is golden brown.
  3. Serve with your pure maple syrup (I make sure it’s the real deal, not corn syrup with “maple syrup” flavoring) and/or these toppings; applesauce, peanut butter, fruit.
recipe adopted from Deceptively Delicious

Jax usually has 1/2 piece of french toast (I eat the other half), a 1/8 cup of fruit, with an egg.  I get both fruit and egg too.

Let me know what you think!

ENJOY! ash

Monday Meals: Iron & Your Wee One

So in lieu of an actual meal, I decided to do some research on foods that are good sources of iron.  However, you should note that if your baby is still breastfeeding, breastfeeding is a really good source of iron.

Jax just had his one year check up and was a little low in iron (just barely – .1% lower than “normal).  We are starting to phase out breastfeeding, so I’m not sure if that is the cause.  Typically people think iron comes mainly from meat, which is what my pediatrician suggested I add more of to his diet.  Meat is also a great source of protein, which is doubly important for your babies developing mind and body.

Jax isn’t really into meat (we try to include a meat option at every meal, but getting him to eat it is another issue altogether).  Yes, I’ve got a somewhat vegetarian child.  I wonder if this has to do with my mostly vegetarian diet when I was pregnant?  Well here are some websites with lists of high iron foods and explanations of the benefits of iron:

http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/Iron.htm  (also has a list of how much iron your child should be getting and at what age – I love these types of list.  They aren’t always easy to find.)

http://kellymom.com/nutrition/vitamins/iron/)

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/dietary-sources-of-iron-for-vegetarians.html

http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm

I didn’t want to copy and paste a huge long list, sorry . . . it just seemed redundant.  The important thing to note is there are two types of iron – heme (protein/meat foods) and non-heme (plant foods).  Adding foods with Vitamin C into the meal with iron rich foods will aid the absorbtion of iron, especially with non-heme (plant) foods.  Non- heme foods are where we get most of our iron, but it doesn’t absorb as easily as  heme foods do.  Here are some sources of Vitamin C rich foods:

  • Citrus
  • Berries
  • Green Veggies (broccoli & cabbage)
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Tomatoes

The non-heme foods that I’ve been trying to incorporate into his diet are:

  • Spinach- freshly steamed and added to a smoothie that has a berry or peaches (Vitamin C rich food), we usually have a smoothie at snack time or as part of one of his meals
  • Beans- he likes black and pinto especially.
  • Oatmeal – about every other day for breakfast
  • Quinoa

I normally include a heme type food, but like I said, he usually won’t eat those.  I include it so that at least he tries it, since they are good sources of iron that aren’t as hard to absorb as non-heme.

Take a look at the list provided in the links.  For me,  I was able to realize, yeah I am providing lots of foods with iron, but here are some other ones that are higher in iron that I could include more often so that I can increase his iron.

Just wanted to share this with you if your little one has the same issue!  Or keep doing what your doing if they don’t!

Hope you had a great Monday!

Ash

Featured Etsy Seller: Love To Create3

Oh My. I need this in China – stat!

We’re all fans of cinnamon buns and Love to Create3’s look so good that, well, we could gobble them up (even if it would be bad for our waistlines).  But there’s no harm in indulging every once in a while and Mother’s Day is one of those days!  We’re giving away one dozen Nana’s Cinnamon Buns for some lucky winner of our Mother’s Day Giveaway but if you’re getting a sweet tooth just looking at them and need to indulge a little sooner check out some of here other goodies like the chocolate chips above or these mouthwatering brownies:

The Chocolate Lovers Brownies from Love to Create3

But if sweets aren’t really your thing and you’re more into cuddling up on the couch with a good book on Mother’s Day then maybe you should take a look at these beautiful quilts:

As quilters we can’t help but be a little jealous of such a beautiful quilt and the talent that produced it

Perhaps with a cup of coffee and some toast with strawberry jam in the morning?

Oh great – we got back to food again didn’t we??

Go enter our Mother’s Day Giveaway for a chance to win those fabulous cinnamon buns!

%d bloggers like this: