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And this is how one young man’s dinner appeared…

20 Jun

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Just a quick follow up from tonight’s dinner… My son had his own unique vision for what to do with his tortilla! :)

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What’s for dinner?

20 Jun

This morning we decided to beat the heat of the day and get a early handle on dinner.  In one hour we made 50 freshly ground whole wheat tortillas.

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Fresh wheat berries before they are ground.

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I use a NutriMill  to grind the wheat. You could simply buy whole wheat flour instead, but it does lose much of its nutritional content when it is pre-ground. With the dough hook attachment,  the Bosch  mixes all of the ingredients together.  Or, you could do it the old fashioned way, by hand.

Separate the dough into little balls. Let sit covered with plastic wrap for a half hour or so before rolling into flat tortillas.

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Cook on a dry griddle, medium heat for about 1-2 minutes per side. Stack on a plate as they come off the griddle and keep warm in foil.

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True, they are a bit more work than the store bought version but worth the extra effort.

Tonight’s menu: Grilled chicken with shredded veggies from our garden, wrapped in our homemade tortillas, ranch fries, and lightly sweetened ice tea.

Whole Wheat Tortillas
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup warm water

This batch makes about 10 tortillas. I usually multiply it by 5 for our family.

Enjoy your dinner!

What’s for breakfast?

24 Jan

This is what we had for breakfast this morning.  It was so good and prettier than my picture shows.  If you, like me, are attempting to eat nutritious food that tastes great, this is worth a try.

Garbanzo Bean Flour Pancakes:

1 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

3 Tbs olive oil

1 cup buttermilk (or water)

2 eggs

I simply combine all of these ingredients together and mix until smooth.  It’s easy to adjust the liquid to make a little thicker or thinner.  Fry on a greased griddle just like a normal pancake. This recipe makes about 20 small pancakes (I usually multiply it for our family).

Today we served sauteed kale, tomatoes, and onions over the cakes with gently fried eggs and sliced avocados.

We’ve used the same batter as a base for a variety of uses: muffins, quick breads, the base for an egg bake… so many options!

This takes a bit more effort than a bowl of boxed cereal, but the benefits are worth the extra effort! With the help of the kids in the kitchen, we can have this breakfast on the table in 1/2 hour.

Tidbits of ideas… molasses

3 Jun

In light of the last few posts…

I had mentioned gaining inspiring tidbits from various people while away on our multiple wedding weekend.  Always eager to get good nutrients into the family,  I tried this suggestion from my dear sister.  Not only did we like it the first time, we ate it again to day with lunch!

black strap molasses on whole wheat  toast

If you haven’t looked at the nutritional benefits of black strap molasses, you might enjoy doing a Google search on it.  When I know a food is especially good for me, it goes a long way on influencing my taste buds!

obsess, abstain, or moderate…

2 Jun

To obsess:  quite easy

Growing up, we had plenty of sweets around the house.  I remember frequently enjoying a bowl of ice cream after dinner, topped with a big spoonful of Nestles Quick.  Homemade cookies were always available in the cookie jar or in the square Tupperware container delivered regularly from Grandma’s house.  My mom was careful not to buy the sugar laden cereal… instead, we just added our own (and plenty of,  it I’m sure).   Even our grapefruit was covered with sugar! I gladly consumed it all.

To abstain:  difficult at first – requires determination

Through the years of bearing children, I learned of the havoc sugar can play on my body.  Trying to monitor blood sugar levels and other issues, I needed a dramatic change. In an effort to correct my symptoms, all refined sugars were cut completely out of the diet.  Even the quantity of fruit I consumed, was reduced dramatically.  Pure maple syrup, raw honey, or black strap molasses were used sparingly, as a rare treat.

To moderate:  hardest of all – strength of character

Without question, habits are hard to break.  After I had adjusted to no sugar, it was not as hard.  No longer longing for sweets, I developed the habit of saying, “No thank you.”  That was the status quo until a well intentioned person pointed out to me that obsessing is easy, abstaining requires determination, but learning to live in moderation takes great strength of character!

 Having stabilized my body’s physical needs, I knew it was time to break the sugar “legalism” and begin to moderate.  Where is that strength of character when I need it?  One, fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookie, really must be followed by another.  If I enjoyed cookies in the afternoon, come dinner time, my body begins demanding dessert after supper!  Without a doubt, it is easier for me to avoid the sweets altogether, but I am determined to use moderation and enjoy without giving in to the temptation devour.

menu planning

30 Mar

When I was little, I remember  watching my mom plan menus.  She would find two weeks worth of recipes that suited her, make her grocery list, and head to the store. She had a plan. If  she was not available to make dinner, she could confidently  assign one of us the job, knowing that the recipe and  ingredients were all set.

As my family has grown, I have tried to implement a version  of my mom’s plan.  She was gone at work all day; I homeschool  all day.  She had three children to feed; I  am presently  cooking for twelve.  My dad’s goal was for my mom’s recipes to  be on a computer in the kitchen (unheard of at the time); I  have countless  internet recipes at my fingertips! She needed a  system in place, so do I.  Her plan was for two weeks; mine is a  four week plan, repeating monthly.

Coming up with a months worth of recipes is time consuming  but well worth the effort. I found it helpful to do a different  theme for each night. For instance,  Monday: Italian, Tuesday: Mexican, Wednesday: Soup, Thursday: Something with Chicken, Friday: Homemade Pizza, Saturday: Extra Special Sandwiches, and Sunday: Special Company Meal. Then it was easy to find four or five different Italian recipes, and so on. Next I scheduled each recipe on my Google calendar, making sure that it was a reoccurring event, every 4th Monday. I found it helpful to photocopy each recipe, compiling them into one 3 ring notebook. By the time I had finished filling in each day of the week, I felt so accomplished! I no longer had to wonder what in the world I was going to make for dinner. I had a plan!

The next step is equally important.  I went through each recipe, recording and sorting all the ingredients (vegies, spices, dry goods, dairy…). Because this list is on the computer, it can easily be printed for duplicate copies.  Keeping a current list on the fridge makes it easy to highlight with a yellow pen when an ingredient runs low.  My husband does the grocery shopping (what a blessing), and I think he is blessed when I have a complete list ready for him!

Each night before bed, I like to check my calendar to see what is on the menu for the next day.  It just takes a minute and reminds me to pull some meat out of the freezer or to make sure I put some legumes in the crock pot to soak.

I am thankful for a mom that fed and taught me well! [Next key concept- family story- “Kids in the kitchen”]