Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Weak Link

Everyone has a weak link in their lives. I will admit to several! In my responsibilities as a wife and mother, I feel my greatest weakness in the service of my family is providing nutritious meals. It has become more apparent as the fast has started. (Isn't it funny how quickly fasting shows us our weaknesses?)

I woke up early this morning, and this subject was on my mind and in my heart. I feel the one thing needful in my duties is to start providing more nutritious meals for my family. This is where you come in! I need help! I am one of those perfectionists who likes to jump in with two feet, then quickly becomes overwhelmed and quits. Since I'm trying to be aware of this, I want to start small. My first goal is to make sure my family is served fruit at all three meals of the day, and vegetables twice. Second, I'd like my children's breakfasts and lunches to be healthier, without relying so much on "convenience foods". My third goal will be to tackle dinners.

So, please send me your ideas! Whether it's your own ideas or links to websites or other blogs, I could really use some advice!

I do ask that you be gentle with me! I am not a gourmet cook, and get easily scared in the kitchen! I am willing to work on this, but need to take baby steps.

I can't wait to see what ideas you have. I and my family thanks you!


Lindsay said...

Here's a yummy, easy recipe. You could seve in in tortillas for a quick cold lunch, on lettuce for a salad, or our favorite, with chips!

Cowboy Caviar

2 T. red wine vinegar
1½ to 2 t. hot sauce
1½ t. salad oil
1 clove mince garlic
1/8 t. pepper
1 firm avocado
1 can (15 oz.) black eyed peas
1 can (11 oz) corn kernels
2/3 C. chopped fresh cilantro
2/3 C. thinly sliced green onions
½ lb. Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Tortilla chips

1. In a large bowl, mix vinegar, hot sauce, oil, garlic and pepper. Peel, pit and cut avocado into ½ inch cubes. Add to vinegar mixture and mix gently to coat.
2. Drain and rinse peas and corn. Add peas, corn, onions, cilantro and tomatoes to avocado. Mix gently to coat. Add salt to taste. Serve mixture with chips as an appetizer, or add cabbage or lettuce and mix to make a salad.

***The avocado stays pretty green once it is mixed with the vinegar mixture so you can make it several hours before a party. Also good for leftovers the next day.

Jennifer said...

I was raised in a convenience food household, so I know exactly where you're coming from. I am also notorious for diving in head first, becoming overwhelmed, and quitting. I understand your plight.

Here is what I have learned - meals can be nutritious and convenient.

I simply started with meals that were - protein, veg/fruit, carb(optional). So, at dinner, I would serve something like baked chicken thighs with a side of green beans and some wheat bread (preferably with all natural ingredients - I would buy bread from my local farm or WholeFoods to start with). So easy! With some seasonings thrown in there during cooking, it's delicious, nutritious and so simple!

Easy enough, right?

Breakfast - Eggs (or some other form of protein), a side of fruit, and maybe some bread.

Fasting - Just replace the eggs with some cooked beans in diced tomatoes (that's two canned items cooked in a pot until warm, with garlic powder and minced onion). In fact, you can even prepare this in bulk when it's convenient for you and reheat it when you need it. Very nutritious, and if you read labels, you'll easily find something that's healthy. For the beans, just buy plain canned kidney beans, black beans, etc...none of these baked beans concoctions like Bush's baked beans, with all the junk thrown into it. That's just what you want to stay away from.

Lunch - if you prepare dinner in bulk, then today's lunch is dinner from last night. Easy peasy.

If you start there, you'll find it's easy.

Also, don't cut out all the junk at first, just find suitable alternatives to the junk. Example - chips. Find something that's not as unhealthy in this area. Believe it or not, fritos aren't bad, or maybe baked chips. Just slowly go healthier and healthier. Eventually, your family won't even want that junk anymore.

Baby steps.

Jennifer said...

I have seen a lot of moms sharing their fasting recipes with everyone, but I have a simple rule when it comes to fasting.

Prepare the meals you always prepared, but instead of including meat and dairy, omit them and/or replace them with plain old kidney beans.


One example, my family loves this mexican dip I make. It's really simple.

1 lb. ground beef
1 can of black beans
1 large can of diced tomatoes
mexican seasoning

Cook until warm, top with cheese and eat with corn or tortilla chips.

When fasting, omit the meat and cheese, add more beans. Done! And it's still so incredibly tasty! Yum.