This week’s Guest Post is from: Susan of http://susbarefoot.blogspot.com/ (@susbarefoot). She’s a mom of 3 kids who, like me, has a hubby who travels for work quite often. In this post Susan shares her secrets on how to eat healthy without a lot of cooking effort
(If you would like to guest blog, then check out my guidelines here.)
I’m simple. I’m a mom. I have three kids (I like to brag that they are ages 1, 3, and 4). Everyone who sees me at the grocery store observes, “you’ve got your hands full!” My husband travels all the time. In his 18 hours at home on the weekend, I am cooking gourmet meals and dressing in heels. Well no, but I’m not grocery shopping either. Really what it means is that I do dishes. I go grocery shopping with three kids.
Little kids need a diet high in fat and protein, but I’m a vegetarian and my focus is on fiber and protein. With so many opinions (and people to express them at the
grocery store), I was fatigued at the thought of making dinner. There’s also the
real challenge of providing natural sugar, low processing effect, and super foods
that don’t suck. Armed with a picture list for each of the kids, I hit the grocery
store with new zeal. I loaded up on vegetables of all shapes and sizes, fresh and
frozen. I got home and realized all I have is a lot of veggies and the eggs and
cheese from yesterday’s grocery run. And no toilet paper.
So, 5:00 totally sneaked up on me. I knew it had arrived because my daughter was
crying at my feet and the boys were competing for one of the two identical pirate
ships. Here’s my angle – put out a bowl of edamame or baby carrots or garbanzo
beans. Hungry kids eat everything.
Then I think – protein and vegetable. One night it was eggs and steamed asparagus.
Admittedly, the asparagus was a stretch for the kids, so I lathered some olive oil
and a little salt for them. One night it was black beans out of a can with sliced
avocado. Then I thought, OH RIGHT – THEY LIKE & NEED CARBS. Enter the rice cooker.
One child likes it all mixed together with sour cream, another can’t let the foods
It took trial and error but the method of protein&veg worked. Tofu and broccoli in
the wok with stir fry sauce (ten minutes and one pan). When my husband is home I
might add ginger shavings and pressed garlic, but the kids don’t want all that
flavor. I sometimes think I will add Hollandaise sauce and an English muffin to my
eggs and asparagus for a twist on Eggs Benedict. Maybe it’ll happen once I get all
my aprons pressed.
Broiled salmon is as popular with the under threes as boiled chicken is to a
vegetarian. I cut them into small pieces and add blackening seasoning before putting
them under the broiler. Barilla Plus pasta is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids
and protein, but the kids think it tastes great with olive oil and parmigiana
cheese. Even greater is how frozen vegetables in hot foods bring the temperature of
the food down, especially peas.
I love magazine celebrity interview lists —
My favorite kitchen tools: a big pan, a rice cooker, spray oil, and an electric tea
kettle (hot water on demand is the coolest thing).
My favorite recipes: come from everywhere, Weight Watchers to to the Joy of Cooking
to Williams-Sonoma, but mostly googling copy cat recipes from my favorite
My favorite meals:
-> Bean and cheese tacos. (I like to use soft corn tortillas, then fold them in a
hot pan with spray oil.)
-> Black beans and rice
-> Pasta with olive oil, garlic, and parmigiana
My favorite meal additions:
-> Diced tomatoes
-> Sliced avocado
-> Chopped nuts
-> Frozen veggies.
My favorite snacks:
-> Air popped popcorn with butter flavored spray
-> Herbal tea (This is a new phenomenon with us. My son actually relaxes at nap time
if he has a cup of chamomile tea. Seriously. And, hello antioxidants!)
-> Hard boiled eggs and orange slices
-> FRUIT (frozen blueberries, strawberries, bananas, raspberries), and sometimes
with yogurt and granola