Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What's for dinner?

Sophie and Michael are getting to be finger food connoisseurs and sippy cup pros.  They eat cereal and fruit for breakfast, a meat/vegetable mixture for lunch, a vegetable and fruit for dinner, and a couple snacks like Cheerios thoughout each day. Most of their food is organic, whole grain, and is often fresh and homemade.  I've officially started weening them from breastfeeding by dropping one of those feedings a week and replacing it with organic whole cow's milk.  Their eating habits are off to a good start.

The trickier eating habits to maintain are mine and Mike's, but I think we're doing ok there, too.  Here are some habits that work for us:

1.  Like most families, we have some go-to recipes that we turn to pretty regularly because they're easy, healthy, or provide good left-overs.  The slow-cooker is almost a member of our family these days.  Here are a some of our favorites:

Sloppy Joe's
Way better than a seasoning packet or a can and almost as easy.
Alton Brown's Meatloaf
Not simple to prepare, but Mike makes this in cupcake tins for simple leftover lunch storage.  It's so yummy it really needs a name better than meatloaf.
Healthy Beef Stroganoff
Way, WAY better than Hamburger Helper's version...and almost as easy.
Mediterranean Roast Turkey
Half a dozen people asked me for this recipe the last time I made it and took leftovers to work for lunch including my mother in law who ate it with me when Mike was out of town. 
California Chicken
You can keep most of the ingredients on hand for this one to keep grocery lists to a minimum.
Alton Brown's Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
This is my go-to dish to pass and is always a hit.  I'm happy to share this, just don't make it if I'm coming to the party, too!

2. Every weekend we make a menu for the week and a grocery list. We plan with leftovers for work lunches in mind, try to use food on hand to keep our weekly expenses in check, and both commit to cook on designated nights. We stock up on organic ground beef, hormone-free chicken breast, and other regularly used foods and household items from Costco about once a month to help with that as well.

3. Greek yogurt, 100 calorie packs, Skinny Cow ice cream treats, and fresh fruit are around for snacks. There's usually some dark chocolate stashed away for emergencies as well.

4. Instead of filtered pitchers, a water-cooler, or buying bottled water, we refill gallons of distilled water at the grocery store for 39 cents a gallon. We use tap water for coffee and for the babies, but Mike's not a fan of it for drinking...and he's rubbed off on me.

5. We keep several frozen lasagnas or stuffed shells from our local Italian market in the freezer for nights when our time or energy has run thin. We fall back on grilled cheese and soup or carry-out as needed as well. We don't let dinner stress get the better of us.

Please share any tips or recipes of your own that work well with a busy lifestyle!


  1. Love the bumbo picture! Thanks for the recipes, going to give the Mediterranean Roast Turkey a try! :)

  2. How was the turkey?


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