saladdressings

Before I started eating more naturally I remember reading that you were supposed to have 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  I could not figure out how on earth anyone could possibly eat that many vegetables in one day.  At that time I was eating cereal for breakfast, some sort of Lean Cuisine for lunch, and something like pasta or macaroni and cheese for dinner.  And there were plenty of unhealthy snacks and treats in there as well.  So, of course I wasn’t getting very many fruits and vegetables.

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Maple Cinnamon Oatmeal

I used to buy the Quaker maple and brown sugar oatmeal packets for breakfast. Once I started cooking more naturally, I ditched the packets and learned how to make oatmeal on the stove.  This oatmeal is delicious, quick and super easy to make.  It calls for quick oats rather than old fashioned oats, which need a little longer to cook.  (If you prefer old fashioned oats, see the note at the bottom for instructions.)  If you or someone in your family likes instant oatmeal packets maybe you can convert them to the real thing with this recipe.

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In my “What We Ate” posts each week I’ll share some of the recipes we ate for dinner the previous week. I love to get inspiration from what other families are eating so I thought it might be helpful to some of you. Please leave a comment if you have questions about any of these recipes. And if you know of a recipe that you think we might like please share it with me!

*** Amy’s burritos

  • Another busy Sunday night so we ate our favorite organic burritos from the freezer.

***Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup from Shared Appetite

kale and sausage soup

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I am so thankful for my freezer!  Because I keep it stocked on a regular basis I can usually put a quick meal together at the last minute if I haven’t had time to prep for dinner that day.  We did purchase a second freezer a while back and I am so glad we did.  It was an investment we chose to make because I knew healthier eating meant learning to use my freezer.  Here are a few things you’ll find in my freezer.

Freezer Soups

Freezer Soups and Broths

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kid friendly granola

I began making my own granola several years ago and I’ve made quite a few different recipes since then.  It’s taken a while, but I have finally figured out what ingredient combination we love best and how to cook it to get the best crunch.  When I first started making it I thought I didn’t like coconut.  That was because my only experience with coconut was that sweet rough stuff you find in processed desserts. Unsweetened shredded coconut usually just adds a nice crunch to recipes and gives it a great flavor without that gross gritty texture.  So don’t be afraid to give it a try!  (I made granola for about a year before adding it in and it was so much better once I did.)

My husband and I love a lot of nuts in our granola but the kids don’t.  And I don’t blame them.  When I was their age I didn’t love nuts either.  I played around with our recipe to formulate a recipe that the kids enjoy.  It does have nuts in it but not nearly as much as my husband and I like.  So now I have two separate recipes I make for the whole family.

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non candy easter fillers

I don’t know about your family, but my boys are both going to be participating in several Easter egg hunts.  There is no doubt they will have baskets full of candy before we even get to the actual Easter holiday.  For the record, I’m not anti-candy, but I don’t think all holiday treats have to be sweet.  If your kids hunt Easter eggs or get an Easter basket on Easter morning you may be looking for some non-candy ideas too.  We don’t do anything elaborate at our house; usually just a few eggs hidden and a few small treats in a basket left by the Easter Bunny.  Since they will be getting plenty of candy at the other hunts, I’ll fill their eggs and basket with non-candy items.

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Recently a friend of mine posted an article that made me think a lot about what message I want to convey on the Real Food – Real Family blog and Facebook page.  So I decided to take some time to think about my goals and share them with you.

First, I want you to know that I do not believe what you feed your family is the most important choice you make each day.  My family’s spiritual health is much more important to me than anything else.  Making sure my kids are kind and loving and respectful are more important than whether or not they ate a vegetable today.  Enjoying life and staying sane are just as important as what I feed my family for dinner each night.  Each of us has to find that healthy balance for our own family.  What I do may not work for you and what you do may not work for me!

Comparison quote

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The other day I found some 1 pound bags of Great Northern beans on sale at Kroger.  I decided to buy a few bags and try them out in some white chicken chili.  Instead of using the several cans of beans called for in most recipes, I thought I’d try dried beans and cook them in the chili all day.  For this particular recipe I used some pre-cooked shredded chicken (from a rotisserie chicken) but you can use raw chicken breasts and cook them directly in the chili along with the beans. The inspiration for using dried beans in the chili came from this recipe.

The next time you want some chicken chili, save a few bucks and try using dried beans instead of canned!

slow cooker chicken chili

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In my “What We Ate” posts each week I’ll share some of the recipes we ate for dinner the previous week. I love to get inspiration from what other families are eating so I thought it might be helpful to some of you. Please leave a comment if you have questions about any of these recipes. And if you know of a recipe that you think we might like please share it with me!

***Leftover soup and Amy’s organic burritos.

  • Sunday nights are busy for us so I don’t always make a meal.  Tonight I ate the last of the leftover soup and the rest of the family had burritos out of the freezer. They are not the most unprocessed meal but I can live with it on occasion.

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IMG_2690

This is a very easy dish that could be made for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I started this recipe a few months ago when we tried out the quiche from one of my favorite recipe sites.  We all loved the crust but I didn’t love the texture of the egg and milk mixture.  I played around a little with it and found a combination of add-ins that we all really liked.  We went with a combination of bacon, spinach and swiss cheese.  I added some mushrooms to 1/4 of the quiche for me.  You can really add any meat, cheese and/or veggie that sounds good to you!

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