Saturday, March 8, 2014

Breakthrough

 Sveta, Anastasia, and Paul are doing fractions.  This is not the first time we have gone over them.  But they are hard.  Very hard.  So I figured that a more hands on approach might be more helpful.  Cooking from a recipe is all about fractions, plus the kids are learning important life skills, so we had them make a double batch of corn bread.
 If you are wondering, the cornbread turned out great!
Like I previously said, I am trying to make healthier choices for our family.  Boy, is that subjective though.... and hard.  I've watched so many food documentaries like Food Inc, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, King Corn, Forks Over Knives, Dive, and Vegucated-- that I am not sure what to think.  I know the health benefits of eating tons of fruits and veggies, and oh my, let's not forget about the poor animals and the environment, but what about all the other stuff?  Wheat, especially the highly processed stuff is supposedly not very healthy so I see gluten-free everywhere.  Milk is said to have its cons too.  Corn Syrup is a big no-no as is sugar in general.  Let's not forget the artificial sweeteners, dyes, and ingredients that no can pronounce.  Oh, and then I can take it to another level and try to throw organic into the equation. 

But I won't.

It boils down to-- no matter what I choose to feed my family, someone is going to be unhappy and or disapprove, and have their own opinion.  And so I do the best that I can... nothing more.... nothing less.

This has led to a mixed bag.  A few of the kids are very supportive of the changes.  They go with the flow because they just aren't picky or they trust that eating healthier is better.  A few of the kids were picky to begin with, so the change to healthier eating has not been easy for them.  They would rather skip a meal than try a new vegetable.  They bank on being able to buy snacks with their own money when we go to the grocery store..
 
However, sometimes I luck out when I make something
 and get compliments from nearly all the kids. 
 
Like when I made this for our snack.
At the grocery store Anna asked me to buy an eggplant.  Not a huge fan, I reluctantly put it in the cart.  After sitting in the fridge way too long, I decided to pull it out tonight and make eggplant cavier by just throwing together some veggies and slow cooking in olive oil.  Onions, yellow peppers, eggplant, brown mushrooms, and garlic sautéed all together made a wonderful topper for our pasta. 
 The more and more we are cooking vegetarian, the easier it is getting.  Though I didn't get pictures, earlier for lunch we had vegetarian quesadillas.  For those that wanted a vegan quesadilla, I spread on homemade green chile hummus as the cheese substitute.  We added black beans, olives, tomatoes, and salsa and heated them up on the stove.  Everyone got to personalize their quesadilla so everyone was happy.
 
For dessert we found this vegan apple fritter recipe.   Since I don't buy margarine, we used butter so technically that made this recipe vegetarian.  Next time we will try coconut oil though to make it completely vegan.
The fritters were a huge hit!  Huge, I tell ya!
I am a bit encouraged that I will find other winning recipes.



 




 

7 comments:

  1. Hi! My family cooks a lot with fresh vegetables. I am getting excited about the vegetables we will be getting from our CSA this summer. My family likes vegetables in eggs , rice , pasta and potatoes.Pat

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  2. The eggplant, mushroom pasta topping looks delicious. I may have to try something similar.

    Blessings~

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  3. I have recently discovered after years of bellyaches that iam gluten intolerant. It has made a HUGE difference to my life to take gluten out of my diet. It can sometimes be inconvenient, but I have stuck with it and just feel so much better. Make sure you are getting some form of protein with grains eats. Lentil, quinoa are two off the top if my head. Good luck with everything.......you are doing great!!!

    Marilyn from Canada

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  4. I can imagine that feeding everyone can be quite challenging as everyone has different likes and dislikes---And I know I get somewhat miffed etc. when I hear a lot of oh you shouldn't eat this because.... . To me it comes back to moderation and the fact that God has made and given us all things to enjoy----Yes some food is healthier--and natural is better--but sometimes there is tooo much information out there with everyone saying "their piece" and I wonder how much thought and study is put into it.
    The food all looks great.
    Debra

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  5. Wonderful news about Alex!
    Those fraction recipes are fun! :)

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  6. If you're just doing vegetarian out of reasons from how animals are often treated in processing plants, and some health reasons, one good solution we've found is buying local non-antibiotic, free range meat. We have a friend who raises several pigs each year and we buy half a pig a year. This year we'll also be getting a share of a cow from another friend of theirs, also local, no antibiotics, grass-fed, etc. It ends up being a bit more expensive, but the meat is far better than store-bought (and very lean), we know exactly how the animals have been treated, and much of our own compost and food scraps go directly to the pig we eat later. It's a win-win if you're still wanting to eat meat, but want it to be a much healthier, humanely treated option.

    Congratulations on choosing to eat a healthier diet. It definitely has its benefits. I'm also in the moderation (I'll eat most things in moderation) category, but we do very little processed, not a lot of sugar or salt, and love fruits and veggies.

    I also think a CSA and/or your own garden are great options!

    New England Mama

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  7. Christine,

    I know we don't know each other, but please don't beat yourself up over doing everything perfect for your family. I started this journey with better eating back in 2000. I am still working on it. Each year I try and add another thing to better our eating habits. There is no way you can do it all at once. It is too hard and you will give up too easily. Pick a few things that you think are the most important and start there. I started with no white sugar or white flour in our house and got rid of the high fructose corn syrup as well. Good job for making the effort! I know how hard it is and I only have 4 kids!!! :) Sue

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I find your comments so inspiring! Thanks for visiting our family blog, and sharing your thoughts.