What's For Dinner (Plus, the Quinoa Results Are In!)

First of all, I'm proud and relieved to announce that I have returned from chaperoning second graders on a field trip to our local art museum, and we did exit the building without breaking or damaging any priceless works of art. It was a little touch and go there for a while, and one poor teacher admitting to sweating a great deal during the trip. The kids were funny and charming with the observations they made about the artwork, but I could barely concentrate on the discussion for the images flashing through my mind of falling objects worth six digits. I think the zoo would be a more appropriate trip.

In order to let go of some of the built-up stress, I came home and made some homemade granola. The most expensive thing I had to handle was a jar of honey, but after Sam spilled an entire jar a few days ago, I pretty much treated this jar like valuable artwork.

I'm about to post the most hilarious thing I've ever written...healthy eating advice from ME! That's just weird. I'm so not the person who I'd ever expect anyone to want to hear from about healthy foods. It's not that we're particularly unhealthy people. It's just that this has never been "my thing."

You know, how some people just have a "thing"...like being crafty or being a great decorator or dressing stylishly or always having the answers in Trivial Pursuit. I don't know that I've ever had a thing...okay, I actually think my thing was being "smart" (a.k.a. making good grades because I was just good at school), but seeing as I haven't been in school for well over a decade, I guess it's time to find a new thing.

I have a sweet friend who has asked me to post my weekly meal plan, so I'll try it this once and see how it goes. This just seems so incredibly dull, but I know that I've benefitted from others doing this type of thing in my quest to change our eating habits, so I suppose I could return the favor. Just know that all of this is coming from someone who followed her quinoa and apples at lunch with raw cookie dough and who is also completely unable to boil beans without them overflowing and making a horrid mess on my stove.

I try to find a mixture of old familiar things and new adventurous things each week when it comes to planning my meals. The thing is, I've just remade a lot of my old familiars, taking out the pre-packaged, processed ingredients and replacing them with a homemade, whole food (Am I using this term correctly? See! I'm not qualified for this.) version.

The key to cooking real food is planning. It just takes longer to make things from scratch (told you I was smart) so the fly by the seat of my pants method I used to use often in the kitchen doesn't work as well. I'm telling you, forgetting to soak the dried beans has gotten me on more than one occasion. Now, when I get in a bind, eggs are my go-to. (Scrambled with biscuits or in a tortilla with cheese and ketchup/hot sauce.) But, I do try to plan a little better and prep ahead of time when needed.

Friday/Saturday: Bacon and Mushroom Pizza

(I've recently recommitted to only buying the bacon without any added nitrates or nitrites...not exactly healthy, but the better option as far as Wal-Mart goes.)

Sunday: Pumpkin Muffins
              Spaghetti and Meatballs (whole wheat pasta, homemade sauce, and homemade
                turkey meatballs)
              Super Bowl Party: I took Ham and Swiss Rolls and Oatmeal Cookies

Monday: Pumpkin Muffins
               Broiled Salmon, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Tuesday: Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal (apparently I'm on a pumpkin kick this week)
                White Bean Pasta and Spinach Salad

Wednesday: Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal (yay for leftovers on field trip day!)
                     Leftovers!! (a.k.a. Empty Out the Frig Night)

Thursday: Homemade Nut-Free Granola over Plain Yogurt (sweetened with honey) or
                    over Unsweetened Applesauce
                 Ham and Quinoa Bites (haven't tried this yet, but they look good!)

Friday: I have no idea. At this rate, eggs. :)

So, here are the results from the Quinoa Challenge. I'll let the pictures do the talking. Or maybe I'll add my own talking, too, because I just can't help it.

I'm not sure why Luke is eating with a backpack half on, unless he's considering moving out if I don't quit making him eat junk like quinoa.

If nothing else, it's pretty.

Maddie looks less than thrilled. In actuality, she liked it more than any of the other kids and wolfed it down.

Jack has come a long way. He's generally my pickiest, but he now eats his sweet potatoes without a complaint and even claimed to like the quinoa. I think he was faking, but he ate most of it.

Luke loves it! Okay, that statement and this photo are total lies. He was making a horrible face, but once I pointed the camera toward him, he'd only smile. He ate most of his quinoa, but only because I bribed him with oatmeal cookies. I was happy, though, because he loved his salmon and, in the past, he wouldn't touch it. Baby steps.

Thumbs up. It's hard to tell with Chris, though, because he knows I hate it when he hates my food. He also ate it for lunch the next day...or at least that's what he told me and the bowl came home empty.

And last, but not least....

Take a guess as to what Sam thought. I didn't take it too personally, though. He's two, so he gets a pass.

I am not represented in the photo montage. I was having a stay-at-home mommy hat and stretchy pants day. However, I really liked the quinoa...much better than rice.

It is also cute when it's cooked with these little curly "q" thingies in it, plus it's a fun word to say. What's not to love?


  1. Love Luke strapped to the seat :) beautiful children!

  2. Dang, I'm out of eggs, but I do have all of the ingredients for those quinoa bites. Those sound yummy.

  3. ...except for the eggs! Should've looked closer at that recipe.


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