Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Grain Free Blueberry Muffins

It was my intention to start posting our menus again, but I realized that I need to re-evaluate how I menu plan in light of the fact that Julian is eating more table food these days. We are not giving him any grains until his first year molars come in, so some of the food we regularly eat he cannot have yet. We are planning on doing a grain free month for the whole family in July to see if cutting out grains will alleviate some of the digestive issues both Kerry and I have. So, taking both of these factors into consideration, I have been experimenting with alternative flours lately. This muffin recipe is my latest concoction!

Grain Free Blueberry Muffins

6 eggs
1/4 c. milk (I used coconut)
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. coconut flour
1 c. organic blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Mix together eggs, milk, honey, coconut oil and salt. Be sure to give this mixture a good beating, as the key to baking with coconut flour is making sure the eggs are well beaten. Add in the coconut flour and baking powder. Mix until the batter is no longer lumpy. Thaw the blueberries, if using frozen, and fold them in the batter. Scoop into lined muffin tins and bake at 400 for 15 minutes.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Simple Cobb Salad

In the winter, we love to eat soups and chilis several times a month. In the summer, we much prefer salads. Although I am always looking for new dinner salad ideas to serve, this is an old favorite of ours.

Simple Cobb Salad

10 oz. bag organic lettuce
10 grape or cherry tomatoes
2 hardboiled eggs, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
Homemade ranch dressing

Place bacon in a deep frying pan and cook over medium heat until done. Remove to plate and allow to cool before crumbling. Arrange lettuce on two plates. Top with tomatoes, eggs, avocado and crumbled bacon. Finish with the dressing and enjoy!

This post is linked up to Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop. 


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Our Real Food Journey

I realized as I was making dinner last night that it was around this time last year that I was introduced to the world of real food. That got me thinking about how I had never written down our story, so here I am to share with you how we got to where we are now. Of course, we have by no means "arrived", but we have made some radical changes over the past year and I think it would be prudent to share how we got here.

While I was pregnant, I was incredibly concerned about everything that was happening to me medically. I did countless hours of research on giving birth, newborn procedures and vaccinations. I had a detailed birth plan and was ready to fight anyone who dismissed my wishes. It never occurred to me to consider what I was feeding my pregnant body. To put everything into perspective, I should make note of the fact that mere hours before our son was born my husband and I stopped at McDonald's to get some french fries and Hy-Vee for some animal crackers. And I thought all of that was perfectly fine...

I stumbled across Stephanie's site, Keeper of The Home, soon after I gave birth to Julian. I can't even remember what I was looking for, but, whatever it was, the search led me to her site. I camped out there for a few days, poring over posts while nursing my baby. I was astonished by what I was learning. I had, like many people, thought I was eating and feeding my husband and I a healthy diet. I cooked all our meals at home (open a box of this, throw in a can of that) and thought that we were doing pretty well. Boy, was I ever wrong! At that point, my freezer was full of meals lovingly prepared by the ladies from our church, I still wasn't comfortable driving and my husband was back to work and school full time, so I couldn't start implementing the things that I was learning just yet. As soon as we worked through the meals in the freezer and I was finally driving again, we were getting ready to move, so I didn't want to start overhauling our food supply just to have to pack it all up in a few weeks. So, we ate through what was in our pantry and freezer over those next few weeks until we were down to a few cans of tomatoes and condiments in the refrigerator. We moved into our new apartment, got settled and I had a blank slate in the form of an essentially empty pantry, refrigerator and freezer. I was excited!

Although I was excited, I was still unsure of where to start. I had all the information, but how would it play out in real life at the grocery store? I called up a good friend of ours who I knew fed her family the way I wanted to start feeding mine and asked to go grocery shopping with her. That might seem unconventional and maybe even a little presumptuous, but I was eager to learn! I packed up my eight week old baby and off we went to learn how to shop for real food frugally. Looking back, I am certain we made quite a sight traipsing through the store with four kids aged four, three, one and eight weeks. I actually walked through one of the stores cradling my nursing baby in one arm while taking notes on what she was purchasing! I learned quite a bit on that trip and gained an incredible amount of confidence. I highly recommend to those of you who are starting out on this journey to find someone who has been doing it for a long time and tag along. You will be amazed at what you learn.

I came home and excitedly shared all the new things I had learned with my husband. Unfortunately, he was not on board with me right away. I wanted to quit buying cereal? We weren't going to eat frozen pizza anymore? His world was crashing down around him, or so he thought. I am happy to say that he has since warmed up to most of my crazy ideas, although there are definitely things that he misses (scotcheroos) and things that he simply won't eat (avocados). I am still learning and probably will be forever, am still buying some things that other real foodies would look down on (store bought yogurt, anyone?) and have yet to keep a sourdough baby alive for longer than a week, but am so pleased with the improvements changing the way we eat continues to make in our lives.

I am forever indebted to sites like Kitchen Stewardship and Passionate Homemaking for doing the hard work and allowing people like me to learn from your research. I have read several books that helped shape my thoughts on food and continue to follow and learn from dedicated bloggers like those I have mentioned already and others, such as Modern Alternative Mama. I hope that what I have learned and continue to learn can be an encouragement to others on their journey to better eating.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Julian: 12 months

Our baby is officially one year old! I join with the chorus of every mom when I say that I can't believe how fast it went. I find myself often just staring at him in awe, so amazed and grateful that the Lord has given him to us to raise.

We had his party the week before his actual birthday so could spend the real day as a family. We had a lazy morning full of coconut flour pancakes (special so the birthday boy could have them!) and bacon. We went to the park and had a picnic for lunch. Our good friend Kelsey took some adorable photos for us to commemorate his first year. We finished the fun day by going to One World for dinner where Julian had hummus for the very first time (he loved it!).

He has popped one more tooth since turning one, rounding the tooth count to five now. He is working on two other ones, but they have yet to surface. He is enjoying all sorts of food now...scrambled eggs, ahi tuna, raisins and cheese, to name a few. He is still nursing wonderfully and sleeping not so wonderfully, but he will get that part eventually :) We are loving the beautiful weather we have been having and are taking full advantage of it by folding the laundry outside, eating lunch under the shade of the trees next to our apartment and going on lots of walks at the nature center by our apartment.

Weight: 18 lbs. 13 oz.
Length: 29 in.
Head circumference: 47 cm.