Apr 15, 2013

What the Heck Do We Eat Now?

Anytime the cook in the house decides to completely shift the way she eats, inevitably, there is some panic in the ranks.  My husband hesitantly promised he would support my whole foods movement, my children on the other hand, are fighting...hard. I wouldn't say that my family has had "bad" eating habits in the past.  I have never allowed a lot of sugary treats, chips(aside from taco night and bbq's), or lot's of "kid food" in the house, and my kids love fruit, and a few veggies.  But, my kids also loooove cheese, peanut butter, cereal(the "healthy" kind!) and as most kids, they love juice, which I have always watered down.  My 6 year old was less than enthused with the spinach, banana, strawberry, beet, coconut milk shake I tried to pass off as "SO YUMMY" this morning.  And my 1 1/2 year old wanted nothing to do with the sliced up avocados and chicken breast I offered her at dinner.  This last few days has been easier than expected for me, but a complete nightmare when it comes to the efforts I am making to help my kids eat better.  So, after a night of feeling 1000% defeated, I came to this conclusion; this will have to be a slower process for my kids.  They are only children, they did not make this decision and they sure as heck don't posses the maturity level it takes to accept major life changes cold turkey. If I am making 1 improvement to their overall dietary intakes every few days, I consider that a success. The main focus for me right now needs to be educating myself, healing my body, and making better habits so that when they do come to an age where they begin to understand "nutrition", they will be able to recall lessons I have taught them and they will have to tools to make better choices.  For now, that is the best I can do.  I will keep offering them the best food I can, and then back off and let them eat!  I have to also learn not to freak out when they leave my house for say, school, sports, parties, sleepovers.  I can't control their food intake, nor would I want to.  But hopefully I can teach them balance and then, let them use it!

So, what have we been eating around here the last few days anyway??  I will share as many recipes as I can so that anyone who comes across this blog will be able to bulk up their whole foods recipe box! Here are a few recipes from the last few days that I have loved!

Crock Pot Pork Carnitas!( I got this recipe from the website)

(The recipe said it served 4, but I would honestly say it is more like 6)
  • 5 lbs of country-style spare pork ribs (or however many will fit in your crock pot)
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 cups of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of diced peppers
  • 2 heaping tsp dried oregano
  • 1 heaping tsp granulated garlic powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp chili powder
  • 2 heaping tsp  cumin
Mix all dry spices in a small bowl. I use a heavy hand with the spices – season to taste.   Mix the diced tomatoes and peppers in a separate bowl.
Put down one layer of the ribs in the bottom of the crock. Sprinkle a spoonful of the spice mixture over the meat and spread around some of the tomato/pepper mixture. Top with onions. Make a second layer of ribs and continue until you are out of ingredients. I like to finish with ribs on top, not onions, so the layers are slightly uneven.
Turn crockpot to low and cook for at least eight hours.
Using a pasta-serving spoon, shred your pork ribs. This is the best use for a pasta-serving spoon ever. It allows you to pull apart the meat and remove the bones as well as any egregiously large pieces of fatty gristle.
Use this to make a hot salad, or serve alongside some cauliflower rice and cucumber slices. I especially like it as a salad because the cooking liquid can serve as dressing–no extra condiments necessary. My favorite is a hot salad topped with some avocado slices. It’s what’s for dinner tonight!   This freezes really well, too. Perfect for single-eaters or small families.

Homemade Paleo Mayo (from
1 egg
2 tablespoons lemon juice @ room temp
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 1 cup olive oil (light, not extra virgin) @ room temp
1. Place the egg and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Let them come to room temperature together, about 30-60 minutes. Add the dry mustard, salt, and  1/4 cup of the oil. Whirl until well mixed – about 20 to 30 seconds.
2. The only remaining job is to incorporate the remaining 1 cup oil into the mixture. To do this, you must pour very slowly… the skinniest drizzle you can manage and still have movement in the oil. This takes about three minutes or so. Think about three minutes during a WOD; it’s a fairly long time. Breathe. Relax. Drizzle slowly.
If you’re using a blender, you’ll hear the pitch change as the liquid starts to form the emulsion. Eventually, the substance inside the blender will start to look like regular mayonnaise, only far more beautiful. Do not lose your nerve and consider dumping! Continue to drizzle.
If your ingredients were all at room temperature and you were patient, you will be rewarded!

Lunch Shrimp salad (from my own brain)

1 C salad shrimp...the tiny ones
6 green olives sliced
handful of snap peas diced up in the pod
any other veggies you want to ad
1 T homemade Paleo mayo

mix it all up, and either eat it as is, or enjoy over a green salad.  I served mine with homemade sweet potato chips!

Sweet Potato Chips 

1/2 of a yam(better for you than a sweet potato)
1 T light olive oil
dash of salt

Heat oven to 450.  Thinly slice your yam.  I use a mandolin.  Toss yam slices in the oil and season with salt.  Spread evenly on a baking sheet and place in the oven.  Bake for 7-10 mins then flip and bake an additional 3-5 mins.  Let cool then serve!!

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