Thursday, January 06, 2011
Beyond cake and french fries...
We do our fair share of partying and eating cake and things with whipped cream on them around our house, but I wanted to share a few photos and thoughts about food and what's going on in our home right now.
Just before Christmas we got inpired by the movie "SuperSize Me" which I had heard about before but had never seen. After seeing only a part of it I was ready to make some changes with our diets- not that we eat that much fast food, but simply because it helped open my eyes to just how much preocessed foods we do consume around here. Especially when it comes to the kids' school lunches.
Jamie Oliver has been on his Food Revolution kick and we have found several recipes to try and are finding that our kids actually will eat certain healthy food options that we wouldn't have guessed they would eat. What's going on in our kitchen right now is that we're making a conscious effort to change the foods we eat on a daily basis and trying very hard to include foods that are fresh and homemade. It's not an easy task when you're used to opening spaghetti noodles and a jar of pasta and mixing them together and calling it 'dinner'.
Chip happens to be a very good cook. He could be a gourmet chef at a fine dining establishment. He has taken on the responsibility of not only making most of the meals, but also of having one of our kids join him in the kitchen as his sous chef each night too. The kids are absolutely loving their chance to help make food and also love being taught cooking techniques and given responsibilities for the entire meal. The person that helps Daddy each night also helps to set the table and clean up too.
What we are finding is that there is a lot of positive things going on simply by making this one lifestyle change. For starters, the food is healthier and therefore we should be feeling better. So far I can't say we see pounds melting off or muscles bulking up- but we do feel better about what we're putting into our bodies! The kids are also excited to eat, not only the meals they make, but they seem to enjoy trying what each other makes too. They sort of have a game going on about who has made the best thing so far and they challenge each other to try stuff- just because they are proud of what they create. Also, it gets them away from things like tv and computer screens and Wii games and instead they are really enjoying their time with Chip in the kitchen as well as learning about new foods and kitchen tools. It's a win-win so far!
Although we do have some challenges. One is we have very little access to "good, quality" food. There aren't any high-end grocery stores of big co-ops or chains like Whole Foods. So we are modifying some recipes and also when you eat non-processed foods you have to grocery shop more often for fresh ingredients. Which is spendier than stuff like boxed Mac & Cheese, but hopefully we will see benefits that far exceed the extra cash this kind of healthy living requires.
We are loving this recipe for No-Knead Bread. We've made several loaves in the past couple of weeks- both white and whole-grain wheat. It's very good- especially when it's fresh and hot! It's so simple too! Love that when it comes to eating better.
Also, as I noted, Jamie Oliver's website has lots of great recipes and we're also just trying to eat more fruits and veggies. We got an apple peeler and have used it more times than I can count already. My kids love to watch the apples spin as their peels come right off. We are easily amused, I guess. =) That photo of the eggs in the pan is Jamie Oliver's recipe called Bubble and Squeak. It is made with leftover roasted vegetables and potatoes. Delicious! The last photo is a picture of one of the kids' plates the night Ava helped Chip to make Shrimp Cakes with Papaya puree. The kids loved them and we will be making that recipe again.
I plan to share more recipes here that we find to be easy, healthy and kid-friendly. I'd love for any of you to leave links to recipes or share some of the healthy food options that your family enjoys too.
Isabella asked us "How long are we planning to do this healthy cooking thing?" and to that we answered, "Hopefully forever!". I know a lot of people get excited about healthy living this time of year, but we're hoping that these healthy options become a natural part of our routine around here. The best thing we can do is try, right?!