I’ve spent sometime yesterday talking with some ladies I work with, and they were asking me how exactly do I feed my family clean, healthy food. I have been getting questions like this a lot lately. How do I have time to prepare everything? How are you avoiding certain foods? The best way I know how to answer these questions is just to explain my process.
We have a pretty busy life. I have 3 children under 7, I work 2 part time jobs, plus we do a lot at our church. Because of this I really have to prioritize my time in order to fit in all the prep work my food requires. Monday is usually my day off so I try to get as much of this done on Mondays as I can, but that doesn’t always happen. If my Monday is filled with other priorities then usually I will try to spread my cooking onto the afternoon/evenings during the week. But today (Saturday) was a rare treat and we actually didn’t have anything going on. I took advantage of this and had a very productive day in the kitchen. Now I have a head start for our meals for the week.
I’m just going to make a list of all food items I made today. I have added the link for each recipe so you can try them yourself. Please do not take me wrong here, I am not bragging about all I did today, I just want to give everyone an idea how long it takes to get everything prepped and what exactly it is that I make.
1. First thing this morning I made my family breakfast.
I made these yummy pancakes. The bananas in them made them so sweet we didn’t even need maple syrup.
2. Next I made a batch of salsa. I use this all week with tortilla chips or raw veggies. No link here. This is my recipe I frequently throw together
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 jalapeño seeds and veins out (keep them in if you like some heat)
1/4 of a large onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper.
Pulse it altogether in a food processor until onion, tomato, and jalapeño are almost smooth.
3. I also threw a batch of applesauce in the crockpot. Someone gave me 2 huge bags of apples that were about to go bad. So I peeled and diced the apples and put them in the freezer. Then this morning I threw the frozen apples into the crockpot with a little water. This cooked on low for about 5 hrs (Remember the apples were frozen). I used a potato masher after about 4 hrs to help the applesauce along.
4. In my other crockpot I started a batch of Greek yogurt. The recipe for this can be found on my blog post The Pantry Purge.
5. Somewhere during the crockpot recipes I heated up lunch. The kids got bean burritos made from the crockpot refried beans I made earlier this week.
6. After I had my salad I made a big pot of vegetable soup. I will have this for lunch all week long.
7. Oh yeah, sometime this morning I threw 5 sweet potatoes in the oven. I will have a sweet potato for breakfast every morning.
8. Ugh! I also made granola bars before lunch also. (so this list won’t be in order! I keep forgetting what all I did today) The recipe for these can also be found on The Pantry Purge post.
9. At some point today, I have no idea what time, I made pizza sauce for my kiddos pizza “lunchables” they will take in their lunch this week and the pizza I have planned for supper later this week. I got the pizza “lunchable” idea from “100 days of real food.”
10. Then I made dinner for my family. Healthy chicken nuggets, green beans, and celery, my chicken nuggets are made by cutting up 2 chicken breasts into nugget size pieces, throwing them into a almond milk egg wash, then “breading” them in almond meal. I make my own almond meal by grounding blanched almonds in my coffee grinder, but you can also buy almond meal. My kids love these chicken nuggets.
11. After supper I made gluten free, sugar free Pop-Tarts. My kids have been begging for pop-tarts and there is no way I am buying those and feeding the sugar filled “pastry” to my kids, especially for breakfast. So I looked up several healthy pop tart recipes and combined some using ingredients I had in my kitchen. So this is what I came up with.
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch 1/4 tsp salt 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
2 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup almond milk
Combine dry ingredients (excluding flax seed). Add a small about of boiling water to the flax seed in a separate bowl, this will make a paste like consistency. ( I had to do this because I didn’t have any xanthan gum, if you do you can just add 1 Tbsp to the dry ingredients and omit the flax seed). Whisk together egg and almond milk. Now add the remaining ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine with a fork. Form the dough into a ball. I then wrapped it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for it to harden a bit.
Later I pulled it out of the fridge and rolled it into 2 rectangles and cut those into 8 rectangles. So I had 16 rectangles to make 8 pop-tarts.
1 cup frozen strawberries.
I cooked them on the stove for awhile until they were soft and syrupy then blended them in the blender.
Take 1 rectangle put a small amount of strawberry syrup in the middle, about 1 tbsp. Then top with another rectangle, bind edges with a fork. Bake at 350 for about 15 min.
12. Finally I made homemade gummy fruit snacks. You can find that recipe here.
So I did get quite a bit accomplished today. And I actually got to sleep in a little this morning. This list took me about 11 hours, along with a couple loads of laundry and a few interruptions from my kids. As you can see eating healthy does take a little more effort and time, but I completely feel that it is worth it. And it gives me such satisfaction to know that my family is eating healthy food that I prepared for them.