Friday, January 20, 2017

Set the Table 2017 | Week 3

Welcome back my little unicorns - It's Sunday Fun Day!

  • Here's the STORY behind my #SettheTable2017 food adventures with Pure Barre Kildeer
  • Each Sunday meal plan post begins with a picture recap of the week before (Who knows what may have happened to the plan!) followed by the upcoming week's game plan. 
  • #CatchmyGrit on my Instagram stories throughout the week to capture the fun, the food and the family table reactions (good and bad) - See you there!

This meal was "off the cuff" and totally NOT planned. I took out the pot of pureed leftover White Bean and Bacon soup, diced up leftover chicken and dumped about 1 cup of uncooked noodles into the pot for an hour at 350 degrees. Chris especially loved it:)

I added three portabella mushrooms and an onion to the 1 lb of grass fed beef - nobody had a clue and it was so good.

My No Bake Chocolate Chip "Fastballs" didn't last very long in the fridge this week:)

Link back to week #2's meal plan recipes here.

Up This Week:
*Note: The listed/linked recipe name corresponds to the Jamie Oliver Ultimate Recipes App (unless otherwise specified) to help me stay organized; However, the actual link may be different IF I was unable to find his app recipe online (which sometimes happens).

Tray-baked Chicken Dinner (I didn't make it last week and it's a favorite!)

Meatless Weekday - EASY Pasta, Parm and Peas (PPP - Another dish I didn't get to last week...)

  • Make pasta and garnish with salt n pepper, parmesan cheese and organic butter.
  • Toss in as many steamed frozen peas as you want.
*Here is a handy conversion link for the online euro measurements (the app uses USA measurements).
*If possible, buy antibiotic free meat (Here's why I try to know where my meat is coming from).
*Use the EWG "Clean Fifteen + Dirty Dozen produce guidelines to save money + reduce the pesticides and herbicides on your plate.
*Avoid artificial colors and preservatives - Check your labels, grocery stores have clean brands for you and your family.

To the Mullies we go...


Here are a few awesome items I used in my "fastballs" this week:

Found at Target. Love your guts.

Local creamed cinnamon honey from Leiders.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Chef's Tasting Table Day 4 // Cucumbers and Kiwi

Cucumber and Kiwi's!!!!!!!!

Wash cut and serve. It was that easy. The students couldn't get enough.

Not many teachers or students knew that one could eat the peels of the kiwi's. I didn't know myself until a few years ago... I'll never forget when my Mom told me... Really? Hairy, brown skin = edible!?



Here's a few more fun food facts we shared in the lunchroom:

Did you know the Kiwi Fruit originated from China 600 years ago and was named "Yangtao"?

Did you know that the Yangtao was then imported to New Zealand and renamed "Chinese Gooseberry"? In 1962 it was finally imported to America and renamed the "Kiwi Fruit" in honor of New Zealand's national bird, the "Kiwi".

Crazy right? The kids thought so too:)

We're having so much fun with these Chef's Tasting Table Days! Always, a BIG high five to the Chef Ann Foundation for making the Project Produce Grant possible.

It's so fun to experience the growing excitement in the lunchroom with every visit.

To the Mullies we go...

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Set the Table 2017 | Week 2

Welcome back - It's Sunday Fun Day!
  • Here's the STORY behind my #SettheTable2017 food adventures with Pure Barre Kildeer
  • Each Sunday meal plan post will begin with a picture recap of the week before, followed by the upcoming week's game plan. 
  • #CatchmyGrit on my Instagram stories throughout the week to capture the fun, the food and the family table reactions - See you there!

Link back to Week #1's meal plan here.
(This "keeper week" will be repeated!)

Up This Week:
*Note: The listed/linked recipe name corresponds to the Jamie Oliver Ultimate Recipes App (unless otherwise specified) to help me stay organized; However, the actual link may be different IF I was unable to find his app recipe online (which sometimes happens).

Tray-baked Chicken Dinner

Meatless Monday - EASY Pasta, Parm and Peas (PPP - The kids love calling it that...)

  • Make pasta and garnish with salt n pepper, parmesan cheese and organic butter.
  • Toss in as many steamed frozen peas as you want.
Taco Tuesday - Chicken Fajitas 
  • Add in any leftover chicken fajitas.
  • Replace ricotta cheese with organic cottage cheese (My Mom's epic trick!).
  • Use gluten free no boil lasagna noodles + a layer of thinly sliced zucchini. Or swap noodles out completely with zucchini. Shhhhhh.
No Bake Chocolate Chip Fastballs - Hit "clean up" with the perfect "fast" fuel!
Adapted from this recipe

1 c organic rolled oats
1/2 c organic peanut butter or almond butter
1/3 c creamed cinnamon honey (or regular honey + 1/2 tsp cinnamon)
1/4 c dark chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand)
1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
1 Tbsp chia seeds (white or black)
1/2 tsp sea salt

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and form into 20-25 balls. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to harden up. Store in sealed container in refrigerator for up to 1 week (if they even last that long). 

*Here is a handy conversion link for the online euro measurements (the app uses US measurements).
*If possible, buy antibiotic free meat (Here's why I try to know where my food is coming from).
*Use the EWG "Clean Fifteen + Dirty Dozen produce guidelines to save money + reduce the pesticides and herbicides on your plate.

Eat... Lift... Tone... Burn...

To the Mullies we go...

I Feel it Coming... do you? Playing this one tonight, in and out of the kitchen - Maybe I can get Chris to cook with me:)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Set the Table 2017 | Week 1

Happy HAPPY Happy New Year! 

turn your magic on

Umi she'd say 
everything you want's a dream away 
and we are legends every day
that's what she told me
turn your magic on
to me she'd say
under this pressure
under this weight 
we are legends everyday 
under this pressure
under this weight
we are diamonds taking shape
only I own me
oh you make me feel 
like I'm alive again
if we've only got this life
this adventure oh than I
want to share it with you
Adventure of a Lifetime - Coldplay

Here we go into our 2017 adventure <<-->> Athletic perseverance in + out

Turn up the music, it helps to take my mind off my burning buns.

I'm thrilled to be social media contributer and blogger this year for Pure Barre Kildeer, one of my very favorite place to stay in shape. As we resolve to "Set the Barre" together every week, I'll be posting with PBKD to help us "Set the Table."

Spandex or apron?
I wear one of them most days.
Sometimes both at one time.
Sometimes not at all...
When I take a day off.
It's not about perfection.
The very best adventures go up and down.

I'll be sending out the following every Sunday morning:
  • An inspiration recipe for a meal + snack on Pure Barre Kildeer's Instagram + Facebook
  • A weekly "Set the Table" meal plan (3-4 meals) here on the mullies. I'm kicking it off by using my Jamie Oliver Ultimate Recipes App ($6.99 - iPhone or iPad) to help me get organized. 
I don't know about you, but my work and family schedule has me doing cartwheels (Hellers, did they make the "BadMom" movie just for me?!?) I've chosen to utilize Jamie's recipe app more seriously this year and coordinate recipes so that it makes it easier to shopcook and use leftovers throughout the week. Here's why:

  • I love his recipes (There's over 600 recipes included + Lots for Vegan and Vegetarians too). 
  • It generates an amazing shopping list (which allows me to add other random items...). 
  • It's super easy to navigate.
  • There are sweet tips and video tutorials on how to prep + cook more efficiently. 
  • I'm into good, clean nutrition.

Join me on my Instagram page for additional stories, videos, and pics to #CatchMyGrit and groove along in our #SetTheTable2017 adventures. 

Will I be able to cook all the recipes planned each week?
Who knows.
Will I get tired?

And I will begin again every week.
And I hope you do too.

I intend to
Link to other authors/recipes. 
Share my own recipes. 
Tweak and make it better.
Repeat favorite meals & plans. 

*Note: Each recipe is linked for easy online access (whether or not you are using the app). 
The listed recipe name corresponds to the app title for easy searching; However, the actual link may be different if I was unable to find Jamie's recipe app online.  

UP This Week:

  • Make crispy quinoa instead of rice. Save 1.5 cups of quinoa for the blueberry bars (recipe listed below).
  • Can't find Cardamom pods? I couldn't either. I found whole seeds though. 10 pods = 1.5 tsp of ground cardamom (thanks google).
  • I improvised on the pomegranate - No luck at the grocery store so I thawed out some berry mixture (that I use for smoothies) instead. 
  • Store all leftover chicken and chicken bones. Need to cheat this week? Buy a rotisserie chicken and don't worry about it. 
  • Add in a side of green beans (Here's Ina Garten's awesome recipe).
Taco Tuesday - Get-Stuck-In Chili Nachos (This link sends you to Jamie's nachos 4 ways!)
  • Give my family table the option of nachos or tacos (This recipe is super similar to the one I make almost every week).
  • Add in a simple green salad.
  • Dice up any leftover chicken and add to the taco mixture.
  • Taco Tuesday will be here every week until further notice. My kids really look forward to this day and it's so fun to have weekly themes!
White Bean, Bacon and Tomato Soup (This recipe is app only. I have linked you to something similar.)
  • Use the leftover carcass to make a stock. You can also pop this in a slow cooker and it will be ready when you get home!
  • Add in a side of Christina's Roasted Broccoli (The recipe is in there... I promise.)
  • Make some garlic bread or grilled cheese for dipping! It's a "bridge" food to get my kids to eat soup!
  • I puree my soup completely (My eaters do not do "chunks" yet). And add extra sea salt to taste!!! Super important!!!
  • Make sure to garnish with extra bacon and we also have cubed avocado on the side.
Salmon Fish Fingers with Pea Mash

  • I used a package of "everything bagels" in place of the ciabatta bread and it worked like a charm! I toasted them up open face in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes (let cool before processing into bread crumbs).

*Here is a handy conversion link for the online euro measurements (the app uses US measurements).
*Buy Antibiotic free, organic, grass fed meat if possible (Here's why).
*Use the "Clean fifteen + Dirty Dozen" produce guidelines to save money and reduce pesticides and herbicides.

Lindsey’s Blueberry Protein Bars
Great for on the go snacks or breakfast!

1.5 c leftover cooked quinoa
1/2 c quick cooking steel cut oats
3/4 c flour (gluten free blend - or - have you ever tried sprouted flour?)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 c ground chia seeds (white or black)
2/3 c raw chopped or slivered almonds 
1/3 c avocado oil
1/2 c honey
1 tsp sea salt (Optional: cut to 1/2 tsp and sprinkle sea salt on the top!)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 c frozen blueberries
1/2 c mini dark chocolate chips (Options: Mix in, omit or melt and dribble over the top once bars have cooled!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients up in a large bowl. Place in a shallow casserole dish, a small cookie sheet, muffin cups or a granola bar pan. Cook 25-30 min or until middle of mixture springs back/is muffin firm to touch. Let cool and cut into rectangles or squares. Keep in the refrigerator. *The pictures have no chocolate inside. Thanks Mom for suggesting I add them in!

To the Mullies we go...


Music to stay motivated in the gym + in the kitchen: No Rights, No Wrongs 

Hate grocery shopping, hate meal planning but want to cook from scratch more often?
Check out Hello Fresh or Blue Apron!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Chef's Tasting Table Day 3 // Chocolate Avocado Pudding with Berries

Let's dive into our 3rd Chef's Tasting Table at West Oak School

It's time to get super creative with the Chef Ann Foundation Project Produce funds! We whipped up something truly special, just in time for the holidays! 

Principle Chris Williford had a raised eye brow as he grabbed a cup. He was quite skeptical of the avocados we put in his pudding:) After a cautious and thoughtful first bite, he commented, "It tastes earthy!" ...And he finished the bowl!

Now THOSE are some crazy good berries Eric!!! The texture of tiny seeds had kept our Director of Finance and Operations away from berries. But on Tuesday, he tried them ALL and enjoyed them! WOW! Trying something new is what the Chef's Tasting Table is all about!!! 

As you can imagine, I was practically jumping up and down...

Our Superintendent Dr Bhavna Sharma-Lewis joined our lunchroom event and helped me serve berries to students who could simply not get enough! Our berries were completely GONE by the end of the last lunch period.

My BIGGEST and warmest thank you's to the incredible West Oak School administration team for supporting this wonderful food education initiative! 

Let's BLEND + EAT!

Chocolate Avocado and Banana Pudding

1 ripe avocado
2 ripe bananas (the browner the better!)
1/4 cup raw cacao (Click here to learn the difference between cocoa and cacao!) 
1/4 rice milk (or any milk of your choosing)
2-3 Tbsp maple syrup (or coconut sugar or 1/8 tsp organic stevia powder)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
dash of cinnamon (optional - I did not add this in for the recipe)

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Pair with fruit and granola for a perfect breakfast or snack. Be creative and make a layered holiday dessert with crushed peppermint, dark chocolate and whipped cream! 

We added the following to the students' cups of pudding - Many had never tasted blackberries before! Score!


Serving a crowd? Here is the recipe increased for about 20 people:

5 avocados
10 bananas
1 1/4 cup raw cacao
1 1/4 cup rice milk
3/4 c maple syrup
2.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

I am so very grateful to Teacher & Ambassador Sara Lohrmann for rallying the Stevenson High School Foods students to help make the pudding! 

80 avocados and 160 bananas later... We gathered to inspire awesome #realschoolfood education! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

...For my food processor surely would have conked out!

Vroom vroom!!

2017 will bring 8 more tasting days to the West Oak lunchroom and we can't hardly WAIT!

Cheers and good holiday tastings to you and yours! 

May your family table 
be warm 
and bright
with perhaps a bowl
of delicious 
chocolate pudding 
to savor 
a jolly good night!

To the Mullies we go...