Forgetti Spaghetti

Leaving it all behind and taking strides toward a healthy life.


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Recipe >> Kid-Friendly Quesadillas!

This is one of those amazing things that you can sneak a bunch of good stuff in without your toddler or kid knowing.  Plus, I LOVE these.  I used to make them all the time, especially when it was just me making a meal for myself and two little ones.  This takes hardly any time and is a great meal that will fill you up.  While I don’t eat most of this stuff anymore, this is an awesome toddler recipe!  This is definitely not Paleo, but still a great kid friendly fast recipe.  So have fun with it!

Kid-Friendly Quesadillas

What you need:
Whole wheat tortillas (I use either local or Mission brand)
Black beans
Some sort of cheesy substance (For E, we use Daiya and for the rest of us we use reduced fat cheddar or mozzarella)
Chopped tomato
Ground flax seed and/or chia seeds
Avacado, diced into small bite sized pieces

Put a couple tortillas on a cookie sheet.  For me, I like the black beans whole.  My daughter won’t eat it unless they are smashed, so a head’s up there.  I also just put the beans right in the middle of the tortilla, so it doesn’t creep out the edges.  You can make these into quesadillas or burritos, whichever works best.  Sprinkle flax and or chia onto the beans.  Next add some cheese on top.  To keep dairy intake down, just put a little on for flavor.  For kids, you might need more than you would use, to mask everything else, but don’t load it on. Put in the oven under the broiler, watching closely, until the cheese gets melty.  Don’t over cook, as the tortilla will get hard.  Of course, you can also use the microwave.  There isn’t much time difference because you can do two or more in the oven, while only one at a time in the microwave.  Also, the microwave adds moisture, so I prefer the oven.  Once they are done in the oven, put on the stovetop.  Don’t try to remove them yet.  Instead, put in the tomato and avocado.  Now my son will eat avocado, he loves it.  I can get C to eat it if I make guacamole and tell her it’s a dip for her chips, but not in this meal.  So for her, I omit the avocado.  For me, that’s my favorite part!  She sometimes will eat the tomatoes and sometimes won’t, but I always add them.  Chopped very small.  For a quesadilla, fold it in half, push the contents to the edges, and cut into thirds.  Perfect portion for a kid!  Add some fruit on the side and serve.  No I don’t have a picture, sadly.  These are awesome, but I don’t eat them anymore, so I’m probably not going to making them anytime soon, since I love them so much!  Maybe I will adapt it sometime soon.

Sidenote:  It took about eight times of serving this with beans before my daughter just said one day…”I love beans!”  Before that, she wouldn’t eat it all, and would try to eat it around the beans.  Keep serving it, and they’ll catch on.  The beans provide fiber and protein and calcium and are a great thing to add to a lot of meals, so just keep introducing it to your kid or toddler, and eventually they should take to them.  If not, mash them, chop them, and hide them.



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Recipe >> Autumn Pork Roast

Hey friends.  Throwing a couple of recipes at you this morning.  This is what I made yesterday, and man oh man, was it good.  Now, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been on Whole30 for 5 days now, but everything I am making is tasting sooooo good.  I’d like to think it’s maybe a little of that, but mostly my awesome cooking skills.  This is the perfect recipe for people who don’t want to do much.  For those days that just seem like a lot of work, or if you have to work all day.  This can just cook all day in your trusty crockpot and be absolutely delicious when you get home.  I paired it with a small spinach salad with a little oil and a few sesame and cumin seeds.  I am not a salad guru.  I’m not big fan of salads, usually.  But I knew I needed something else that was super green.  Also had a couple orange slices, which was delicious.

Autumn Pork Roast

Ingredients

  • Pork roast (any pork roast will do)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 of a butternut squash cut into about 1″ cubes
  • 1 yellow or white onion cut into small slices
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cloves chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 scallion section
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme (x2)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup water

 

Directions

Put pork roast into a crockpot with the fatty side up for maximum flavor.  Pour in 1 cup of water into the crock.  Mix seasonings, no rhyme or reason to it.  Just start with the salt and pepper, add a couple cloves of chopped fresh garlic, add in the thyme and paprika.  mix and put on top of the meat.  Add sliced scallions on top (optional) for extra flavor.  If that isn’t enough spice for your roast (depends on the size of the roast), then mix up more.  I like to have a starting point, but then go crazy with my seasonings.  Add in cubed butternut squash and onion slices all around and on top of the roast.  Then sprinkle the rest of the thyme on the veggies, and maybe a little salt and pepper if you like.  Let it cook all day.  I started mine at about 9am and let it cook on high until 4pm, then let it rest a little on low with the lid off and served it up at 5pm.

This is a great toddler friendly recipe as well.  My kids love stuff out of the crock pot.  Trying to get my 2 year old to eat spinach…another story.


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Day 4 of Whole30. No quirky lines for you.

I am being reduced to a soulless, primal being.  All I want is a venti salted caramel mocha from Starbucks.  It’s all I think about.  I need to talk about something else.

At the end of day two, because I had skipped breakfast (slept through it…a very rare luxury), I needed something at the end of the day.  Made some guacamole and used tomatoes to dip in it.  OH SERIOUSLY WOW.  It was so good.  So here’s my recipe for some really awesome guac.

AWESOME GUACAMOLE

  • One avacado, scooped out of the skin and chopped and smashed
  • 1 tsp or so of lime juice
  • salt
  • red pepper flakes (to taste for added PIZZAZ!)
  • garlic (or garlic powder)
  • chopped onions
  • two roma tomatoes

Mix all the ingredients except the tomatoes.  Now, if you can eat chips or whatever, then just chop one tomato and add it to the guacamole and enjoy.  But if you want to cut that out, use the fleshy romas (or other veggie that can be cut to a good dipping size) to eat the guac.  We sliced them in about 1/8″ slices, thick enough to hold their shape, and used a spoon when necessary to scoop onto the tomatoes.  It was devine.  An amazing and very healthy snack.   I was so hungry, I didn’t take a picture.  But it probably would just look gross…I mean, a bowl full of smashed green things with lumps of other things?

Anyway, I ate this again for lunch the next day.  I gave E a little bit of the avacado and ate the rest myself.  I was very full for a few hours.  Then massively hungry.  I made soup last night and it was probably the best soup I’ve ever made.  Take that, comfort zone!  Still, I was craving something sweet afterwards.  I don’t know if I want that to go away or not, but that is kind of the goal of this program, at least one of them.  I just want something yummy so bad!  I actually just made C a sunbutter jelly sandwich….and now that is all I can think about.  And the coffee.  But that is right on the counter….I cut off her crusts….and they are just sitting there…and I want them…..so I ran to the computer fighting tears and wrote this.  I feel better now.  Whew!

My soup was made a day after roasting the chicken.  JD made stock from the leftovers, and we had some really good broth to start with and leftover chicken.  I added more carrots, onions, and butternut squash and WOW.  I steamed the carrots and butternut squash with a bunch of thyme, and then added it to the broth and let it cook for awhile.  I used garlic, ginger, paprika, dill, rosemary, salt and pepper.  It was amazing.  So so so good.  I am good at making soup, but this was a step up.  All because I had to go away from my staples of either beans or potatoes.  I have never eaten butternut squash before, but we got one on a whim at the store.  It was cheap, and we are roasting another third of it with a pork roast right now and will have more for this weekend.  New favorite produce!  I love fall!


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Day Two. 29 to go.

I’m in the middle of day two.  Chicken is roasting.  I know that will help with tonight and tomorrow.  Because the kids haven’t been letting me sleep this week, JD let me go back to bed this morning when he got up, and I slept until almost 11am!  I missed breakfast.  Which is vitally important or something like that.  So for lunch (because JD forgot to take his leftovers to work last night…like always),  we split the leftovers and each had a steamed egg and half a green pepper.  He had some spinach, but I had a bunch last night so I passed on that.  Now I’m drinking my coffee with a touch of coconut milk (mostly for the nutrients in the coconut milk) and I am so glad we decided to forgo the “no coffee after noon” rule.  We decided no coffee 8 hours before bed was better.  We have long days, and two kids, and sometimes its that extra cup that really helps us move.  This Whole30 thing is hard, but I already feel better.  Ok, so I’m a little cranky, but it’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be.  It would help if I wasn’t home all the time.  There’s a lot of food in this house that we can’t eat, and we can’t change that.  Today I want bread.  A big loaf of sourdough or french bread with garlic and lots of yummy spices.  I would eat a whole loaf right now.  I want to.  I am very thankful for this blog.  It helps me know I have a place to vent and a distraction from my cravings.

healthy snack ideasFor a snack yesterday, I had a handful of cashews and a handful of pomegranate seeds.  SO good together.  I’m not a big nut fan, I could live my life without eating them at all, but in this thirty day period I think I am going to need something acceptable to snack on.  I allow myself one snack a day, basically a mini-meal.  If the kids are eating a snack, and I want what they are eating, it helps to allow myself this so I won’t do something off-program.  It has to have protein in it, and it would be good if it had veggies too.  I’d like to find a kind of dressing/dip I could make for carrots and green peppers that was dairy free and had good fat in it.  I would enjoy that.  That’s on my list for today.

Last night I had a salad because I didn’t know what else to make.  All of our meat was frozen, I wasn’t thinking ahead I guess.  I planned out a meal a day, but didn’t think about when it was going to be just the kids and me.  I like to fly by the seat of my pants, and planning things out is hard for me.  So I opened a can of tuna, and split it between us three.  I had a lot of spinach, cut up some tomato and avocado and at that on my salad.  I should have put some sunflower seeds on there too, and I didn’t use oil or vinegar.  I am looking forward to making some dressing and some pesto.  Maybe I can make a good dressing and/or dip from avocado.  Yum!  I need some flavor!  I didn’t like the tuna with the avocado or with the spinach.  Next time I will eat it on the side.  But I got my protein and my fat and my veggies, and I drank hot green tea with it.  The kids had the same minus the spinach and plus some triscuits.  C had some more pomegranate.  She loves them, but E only throws them across the room.

Tomorrow I am making soup…lots of chicken and onions and carrots.  Not sure what else I could put in there yet.  Any ideas?


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Day One >> Whole30 Hard.

This program is already making me feel like a caveman.  I want to grunt and growl at everyone.  I want to go hunting.  For chocolate.  It’s all because I want something sweet, and I am post lunch.  Even though I had 1/4 of an orange after lunch, which was really sweet.  I want processed sugar in the form of chocolate and I want it NOW.  Buuuut in reality, I don’t feel super hungry, and I feel very satisfied.  I’m surprised because I am only two meals in.  The plan was to start yesterday, but we went camping over the weekend and were beyond exhausted Sunday night.  We had no energy to get to the store and do the major shopping required for this.  So anyway, here’s what we bought at the store for the next couple weeks-ish:

GROCERY LIST

  • 9lbs of 93% lean ground chuck
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 8lbs of pork (JD is skilled at meat cutting, so we buy in bulk.  This made two pork roasts and a ton of chops)
  • baby spinach
  • 5 onions
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 1lb carrots
  • 3 avacados
  • 2 pomegranates
  • 4 bags frozen broccoli
  • 2 bags frozen cauliflower
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 can coconut milk (planning on getting more, but wanted to try cooking with it first)
  • 1 half gallon plain coconut milk
  • 2 half gallons vanilla almond milk (for kids)
  • cashews
  • bananas
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 dozen eggs
  • mushrooms
  • Spanish olives (yuck!  I’m gonna work on liking these!)

All of this was less than $120

It is amazing to me when people say they can’t eat healthy because it is too expensive.  First, because that is just complete bull.  Yes, I will have to go to the store more often, and yes, produce and meat is kind of pricy.  But when you cut out all processed foods (and dairy for us) and prioritize, you can afford it.  When you value your nutrition and factor in price, this is a lot cheaper to get what you need than buying cheap food filled with corn and soy and that is nutritionally deficient.  Calories help you survive, but can’t sustain you and keep you healthy.  Empty calories are worse.

WHAT I STILL NEED

  • shallots
  • ginger
  • more coconut milk in cans
  • grapeseed or coconut oil (whichever is cheaper for higher temperature cooking)
  • granola
  • yogurts
  • good coffee (we can’t have anything sweet in our coffee, so we need good coffee we can drink black…we usually buy this from Whole Foods where they roast it fresh, but usually not a whole month’s supply, just 1lb and that lasts about two weeks)
  • sesame oil
  • sesame seeds
  • coconut amino (I don’t know exactly what this is….)
  • stuff to make mayo, pesto, and curries (still need to plan out some easy, small meals for when JD is gone)
  • sunflower butter (with no sweeteners)
  • frozen fruit (blueberries, raspberries) from TJ’s (can’t beat the prices, and lasts a lot longer than fresh)

We have about $40 left in the meal budget for this stuff

Today we had omelets with spinach, green pepper, mushrooms, and onion for breakfast and Asian Beef & Broccoli for lunch.  JD works second shift tonight, and is taking the leftovers to work, and the kids and I will scrounge tonight.  Not sure what we will come up with.  Tomorrow, we are roasting a chicken and eating that with carrots and onions and a salad of baby spinach with a little oil and vinegar.  Leftovers from that will make soup, hopefully enough for a couple days.  It’s getting cold here, especially today, so I am in a major soup mood.  And I like getting everything in one bowl.  Don’t know what is up with that.  I love to eat out of bowls.  The kids are still eating graham crackers and triscuits and will continue to eat cereal until it is gone.  Then we will get them granola and yogurt (almond or coconut yogurt for E and organic plain for C).  They love that and it is pretty good for them.  I’m not focused on them being on this plan, but I do want to keep their diets pretty similar.  They eat the same foods for meals and love what we eat.  E will eat almost anything anyway, and C is really starting to open up.  The biggest thing that has helped us get our 2 year old to eat green peppers and broccoli and that sort of thing is to eat at the table as a family for every meal and leave cell phones and tv out of the meal.  It’s so awesome!  Even when it is just the kids and me, I love it.  I am focused on them, and I am cutting out unnecessary tv out at the same time.  They seem to benefit from it, and we have only been doing that for a couple days.


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A planned day of epic fails (and other random life happenings).

What is going on today.

Today is JD’s and my nine year anniversary, and we have decided to completely indulge in the crappiest of food.  Two reasons for this.  1) to get it out of our system…a last hoorah of sorts.  2) to kind of make ourselves feel the food.  To feel that it is not good for our bodies and that it doesn’t make us feel well.  We are having a favorite dinner casserole from the past, we had pizza for lunch.  Pepperoni with tons of cheese.  Yum.  Cinnamon roll with coffee for breakfast…probably my favorite part!  And cookies for dessert tonight.  I’m a huge fan of cookies.  I really love them.  I love packaged cookies, bakery cookies, making cookies.  When I make them they are dairy free, sometimes egg free, and made with much less sugar and whole wheat flour.  Of course, none of that will be happening after this weekend.  Monday we are starting the Whole30 program, and we are very committed to being successful with it.  Might be blogging a lot more to vent about it…I KNOW it is going to be very hard for me.  I am the worst one of our family….so addicted to sugar.  It happened slowly, from around June or July till now.  But I just binge on it sometimes.

I can probably just blame everything on a condition.

I also have found out that a condition of mine has a symptom of feeling hungry all the time, no matter how much you eat.  This happens to me about one week a month.  And no, this isn’t normal pms or something.  I have poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and it affects hormones and insulin production.  I’ve also been diagnosed with insulin resistance in the past.  I was on medication when I had C, and since then I haven’t needed any.  And I don’t want any.  But I know that if I continue my eating habits, I could get back into feeling lethargic, fatigued, hungry all the time, and depressed.  I can control it with my lifestyle, and I don’t want to be on diabetic medication just to control it if it isn’t actually necessary.  I definitely don’t want to get diabetes.  Just another motivating factor here!

On the running front.

Running and eating well put me back into a good healthy cycle, I could feel the difference it made.  Since I fell on my butt again last week, I can’t run right now, and it is so frustrating.  But at the same time, it gives me a chance to just focus on healthy eating first and foremost, and I should get the chance to get back into running before winter hits.  I’m hoping I either somehow love running in the cold (which I don’t think is good for asthma but if I am in shape it might not be an issue?) or can find an indoor track in Omaha somewhere to run through the winter.  I don’t want to stop and wait.  How frustrating!  JD did say that he used to have a rowing machine…hoping that is still around.  I could stand to do that instead of run if I had to.  And, just throwing it out there, the best thing of all would be to swim…..oh I wish I could afford the cost and the time it takes to swim everyday.  I love it so much.  But alas, you do what you can with what you have.

T minus 3 days and counting….

This weekend we are going camping.  Partly as a celebration of our anniversary and because we had the chance to get away from the kids, and partly because camping is awesome.  A lot of my cousins will be there and we always have a lot of fun.  My family is fabulous.  So that is one of the reasons we are waiting until Monday to start our thirty days of awesome/hellish eating fun times.  Our last hoorah will include probably alcohol, awesome camp food, and smores galore.  And just so you know, we aren’t doing this to lose weight, although we are looking forward to that side effect.  We want to be healthy.  With our random health issues, we truly believe that nutrition is the key to being healthy in most situations, and that we have that completely in our control.  Check out HAES for more on that.  I’ll go into that more sometime, probably as we get into the program, because I will need to remind myself (ha) and it is really good information for, you know, human kind.

 


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Whole30 in ONE WEEK. Oh crap.

I’m getting my mind in the right condition, and I’m kind of scared crapless about it.  I am usually one to impulsively jump into things, and so I wanted to make sure and know that this is something that we definitely want to do.  It will take a lot of commitment to stay on the Whole30 Program for a whole thirty days.  If you are wondering what it is…basically, it is a 30 day plan in which you cut out:

  • legumes (including peanuts, soy, and all beans)
  • all dairy
  • all grains (even quinoa and other nutritious grains)
  • all sugar and sugar substitutes (except naturally occurring sugars in fruits and veggies)
  • alcohol
  • white potatoes (basically your body treats it like starch and sugar, despite some good nutrients)
  • additives (duh) like MSG and sulfites

So what do you eat then?  Lean meats, lots of veggies, and fruits.  Cashews and seeds are okay.  There’s some fine print about what you can and can’t eat, and it can all be found on the Whole30 website.  There are free pdf’s of helpful information and guides for shopping and what to have on hand.  This is the free part.  There’s also a book, which I am halfway through reading.

Our family is addicted to sugar.  Totally addicted to grains and dairy (except E who drinks almond milk).  I know it will be a big adjustment.  Since E doesn’t eat soy or dairy, it won’t be too hard on him.  We still aren’t sure how we will still incorporate grains into our kids’ diets, because I don’t think we can cut it all out just like that for them.  And with C we are only going to give her organic milk to drink and let her have her cottage cheese, which she probably couldn’t live without.  She would eat it for every meal if we let her.  As for JD and I, we are going to have it rough, I know, for a couple weeks.  But it is so totally worth it.  This program isn’t about eating this way forever.  It’s 3o days.  A friend of mine says, “I can do anything for _____ amount of time.”  So we can do anything for 30 days.  And in the middle, we will start to get so much energy and feel really great and remember that it is JUST FOOD.  While it is nice to enjoy a meal and indulge sometimes, it is easy to start to do it all the time.  To get, basically, gluttonous.  For me, I need a challenge like this.  No cheating…not even one time, so our bodies can heal and our minds can focus.  No faking.  No pale0-desserts that are technically “okay.”  Because in reality, you are still in the old mindset of eating sweets after meals and thinking you need it or want it and it is ok to always indulge.  For us, this is about changing our mindset and really engaging in a healthy lifestyle.  We did really well for about 5 months eating whole foods and exercising.  But slowly, we got off track.  Our lives got more stressful and we let that distract us.  A healthy body and mind are linked, you can’t have one without the other.  So we are ready and willing, and next Monday, we start our new eating plan with the hopes that it will get us into the correct mindset for us, for eating well and thinking the right way about food and its place in our lives.

I would love to know if there is anyone else out there that has done this program or is doing it now.  Comment below!