Grinding Wheat and Blender Waffles

Hey Ya’ll.  Hands down this is my very most favorite breakfast of all time.  I always ask for it when I am visiting my mamacita.  They are hearty and yummy and healthy.  But before we get to that…here’s a little video for you.  And if you are amazed by the videography skills, yes, those were done by yours truly.  Not everyone can shoot sideways and lack focus in all the close-ups.  Don’t worry, I’m not quitting my day job.

My bestie was telling me that she bought this 20 lb. bucket of red wheat that has lasted her TEN months.  She just periodically grinds some when she runs out.  This sounded completely awesome to me, because I buy a 10 pound bag of whole wheat flour and that lasts me about 3 months.  I told her she MUST show me the process.  So she did.

Anyway, back to the recipe.  If you don’t have whole wheat kernels, just use whole wheat flour (or flour you just ground in your wheat grinder) and it works just as well.

Whole Wheat Blender Waffles (original recipe from my mamacita)

  • 1 cup whole wheat kernels
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:

Blend wheat, milk, and eggs together for four minutes in a blender.  You might have to add a bit more milk if it is looking thick.  Pour in a mixing bowl, and add remaining ingredients.  Mix it up,  pour ’em in the waffle maker, and BAM.  A delicious, nutritious way to start your day.

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Weekend Breakfast – Carrot Pancakes

Guys, these are seriously amazing.  To me, they taste better than regular pancakes.  They are fluffy and sweet with the perfect texture.  yum yum.  I might have to eat them for lunch too.

The Wild One helped me make them

while Tornado looked on. 

I love making stuff with hidden veggies (Beet waffles are yummy too).

Carrot Pancakes (original recipe from Weelicious)

  • 1 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Walnuts, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Large Eggs, whisked
  • 1 1/2 Cups Carrots, shredded fine (about 3 small carrots)
  • Butter or Oil for cooking

1. Place the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
2. In another bowl, place sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, carrot and eggs and mix.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and lightly coat with butter or oil.
5. Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until golden.
6. Serve with honey or maple syrup.

Consensus

Me:  Sooooooo good.

The Wild One: had 3.5 for breakfast

Tornado:  He is not huge on pancakes, so he ate about half of one.

Little Buddy we are babysitting: scarfed down THREE for a snack.  They are that good.

Just in time for a yummy Sunday breakfast or brunch.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Snack Attack – Cheese Crackers

Oh boy have we missed goldfish around here.  Tornado spots those babies and goes into a cheddar frenzy.  And I just can’t help myself.  If they are around, I snack on ’em.  I’ve been wanting to make these for a long time, and finally got around to it today.  They turned out pretty good, but I need to experiment a little bit more to see if I can make them even better.

Homemade Cheese Crackers (original recipe from weelicious)

  • 2 Cups Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Spike Seasoning (any salt free/herb seasoning will work)
  • 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, chilled

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Place the first 3 ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine.
3. Add the butter and pulse and until a ball forms.
4. Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick on a floured or parchment-covered surface. Slice into crackers or cut out shapes with a cookie cutter.
5. Bake for 15-17 minutes.
6. Serve.

 A few notes:  I didn’t have any Spike Seasoning, so I used Savory, and it gave it kind of a weird taste.  I will have to see if I can find it.  Also, a little salt might boost the flavor to make me LOVE them.  As of right now, pretty good, but still not Pepperidge Farm. 🙂
The Wild One really liked them and ate 3 or 4 right before bed.   Tornado has yet to taste them…tomorrow will tell!

Breaking the Routine – Bok Choy

Do you ever feel like you eat the SAME things all the time?  Another PB and J?  Don’t mind if I do.  There are some things I loooooove so it’s hard to eat anything else (like granola for breakfast), but the problem with that is that you don’t get all the nutrients you need.  There are so many foods out there I’ve never tried, not including the ones I don’t like.  Sidenote:  I have always hated tomatoes, but a few years ago I had a goal to learn to like them.  I am not to the point where I can eat them plain, but now I put them on sandwiches, salads, and fresh salsa.  Woop woop!  So anyway, at the grocery store the other day Bok Choy was on sale so I thought, “What the heck.  Let’s do it.”  I don’t know the first thing about it or how you are supposed to eat it so I looked up several recipes and pep-talked myself into making it.  Guess what?  Pretty delish.  It’s very Asian tasting.  Here’s the recipe:

Bok Choy with Cashews (originally from Simply Recipes)

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped green onions, including green ends
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound baby bok choy, rinsed, larger leaves separated from base, base trimmed but still present, holding the smaller leaves together
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped, roasted, salted cashews

Directions

1 Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add onions, then garlic, then bok choy. Sprinkle with sesame oil and salt. Cover, and let the baby bok choy cook down for approximately 3 minutes. (Like spinach, when cooked, the bok choy will wilt a bit.)

2 Remove cover. Lower heat to low. Stir and let cook for a minute or two longer, until the bok choy is just cooked.

3 Gently mix in cashews.

Serves 4.

 

Consensus

The Mr.:  Really liked it.  He commented that it tasted Asian and reminded him lots of things he used to eat in Thailand.

Me:  I was hesitant, but ended up liking it.  The texture took a while to get used to (I didn’t grow up eating many cooked greens), but we ate all of it between the two of us.

The Wild One:  Didn’t even touch it

Tornado:  Choked on it.  Guess it’s a hard thing to chew with only 6 teeth.  We’ll build up to that one.

Bottom line is that I’m glad I tried something new.  I’m always amazed that there isn’t a limit to flavors in this world.  Keeps life interesting!

 

Frustrated

Blogs are a weird thing because you can kind of be an “alter-ego.”  You can post about the very best things and parts of life, and readers go on getting depressed that they don’t have the picture-perfect marriage, the most attractive and obedient children, the cutest house, the most exciting lifestyle, the best recipes, and the hardest body.  It’s like keeping up with the Joneses but worse and way more in your face.  I like to keep it real because I think it helps other people relate, and it makes everyone feel better.  So I have a confession:

I fed my kids Hot Pockets for dinner on Friday.  Say WHAAAAAAAT?  Yup.  We had a free coupon a while back so they were just sitting in the freezer “for emergencies.”  I guess I thought I’d never break them open.  Friday was a pretty good day, but by 5:00 I was completely out of steam and when I got a call from The Mr. saying he wouldn’t be home for a while, I just couldn’t muster up the energy to make a dinner from scratch (plus we literally had zero food in the house).  The little angel and devil popped up on my shoulders.  “How about Hot Pockets?”  “NOOOOOOO!  I can’t feed that to my babies!”  But guess what, sometimes we have to give ourselves a break.  Do I usually give my kids lots of nutritious yummy foods?  Yes.  Are they happy and healthy?  Yes.  Is one tiny hot pocket over the course of their childhood going to give them colon cancer?   No.  So I did it.  It was done in 60 seconds and devoured in the same amount of time.  And I smiled and I felt fine.   So there you have it.  Granola Mom isn’t perfect.  Give yourselves a break and just do the best you can!

So on to the next topic.  I am extremely frustrated and completely stressed out.  I heard somewhere that if you read 10 books on one subject you are considered an expert.  So what happens if you read twice as many nutrition books and you are more confused than before you read any thing at all?  I am so sick of not knowing who/what is right and feeling guilty despite my best efforts to provide good nutrition for my family.  In the past month alone I have read/watched/skimmed/listened to the following arguments, from very passionate researchers, who all provided convincing arguments:

1.  Animal protein is extremely bad for you and will cause cancer.

2.  High-quality animal protein is beneficial to optimal health.

3.  All dairy needs to be cut out of diet.  This will cure many diseases.  Don’t ever feed your baby or children cow’s milk.

4.  “My father-in-law is a Pediatric Neurologist and he says all children should drink whole milk until the age of 12.”

5.  Whole grains are the best kind to eat, but not “modern and processed” whole grains.

6.  A book called “Wheat Belly” just came out that claims ALL grains are bad for you, and they are what is keeping Americans fat.

7.  Pasteurized milk is healthy.

8.  Pasteurizing milk kills important bacteria and enzymes that are needed for nutrients to be properly absorbed.  Drink raw milk instead.

9.  My pediatrician told me Tornado needs to drink 3 pediasures a day to be on the right weight curve, and if his weight is not where she wants it in a month she is re-testing him for allergies, Cystic Fibrosis (which he does not have), Celiacs, or other digestive disorders.

10. The very next day I took him to a dietician who told me that he was perfectly fine and healthy, especially for a baby who was breastfed and that 2 pounds gained in 2 months was “awesome.”  She sees hundreds of babies with the very same issue where the dr. is freaking out because they are not on “traditional curves” compared to formula fed babies.  It isn’t necessary to give him any pediasure.  Just real food and real fats.

11.  Give fluoride to your children.  It will prevent cavities

12.  Flouride is poison.

13.  The food guide pyramid is what you should eat.

14.  You will never know the truth about nutrition, because the government health programs are so corrupt that it will never be permitted to be printed.

So my friends, what is a mother to do?  Should I just stop listening to all these different sources with conflicting information (and the research to back it up) and just go with my intuition?  I literally stress out any time I think about giving my children anything to eat!  It’s insane.  Who do I listen to?   Do pediatricians really know anything about nutrition?   Real nutrition?  Or are they just taught what the general population is taught (Food Guide Pyramid and all that stuff) which so many activists are against?  Who can I trust?

I suppose that is why I am doing this blog.  Hopefully I can keep learning as I go, and read and study and get more knowledge, but for now, my philosophy is this:

I will feed my family whole foods that I cooked in my own home, as much as I can.  And all those questions…I will let them roll off my back until I gain enough knowledge to feel sure about them.  If I do make changes, I will make them very slowly so as not to get overwhelmed, and that’s as much as I am thinking about it.  The rest of my “worry” time I will spend having fun with the fam and giving myself a break for not being perfect.  Who’s with me?

 

Cabbage Smoothie

I know…I was skeptical at first too.  At least if you have a spinach smoothie, you know that spinach is a little bit sweet.  But cabbage is bitter.  My neighbor brought this up to me to try and honestly, it was delicious.  It had a small hint of cabbage aftertaste, but The Mr. couldn’t tell at all.  I can’t wait to buy a head of cabbage and whip some of these babies up for myself!

Strawberry Blast Green Smoothie (original recipe by smoothie handbook)

  • 4 cups of cabbage, green
  • 1 1/2 bananas, frozen
  • 1 cup strawberries, frozen
  • 1 teaspoon stevia ( you can replace with sugar or orange juice)
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Blend the water and the cabbage first. Then add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Serves 1-2.

Give it a try!  Even the kids will love this one, because it is pink.  The website is a wonderful resource also – I want to try them all!

What’s for Dinner Wednesday – Veggie Burgers (hold the soy)

Over the weekend I picked up my bountiful basket, and much to my horror there was a huge bag of brussel sprouts, and a big box of mushrooms inside!  On the plus side, I did get a pineapple and some other yummy fruit, but I was left to my own devices to find a way to make a yummy meal out of these vegetables I detest.  Tonight I put on my brave face and went to work figuring out a good disguise for the mushrooms.  I found it!  Veggie Burgers.  Lots of veggie burgers in the frozen food department are filled with junk.  Isn’t that annoying?  Many people buy them thinking they are going a healthy route and it turns out to be worse than a real burger.  This one is all natural baby!

Veggie Burgers and Homemade Fries (original recipe from 100 Days of Real Food)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup frozen or fresh corn kernels (no need to thaw the frozen ones)
  • About 6 mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 2 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • ½ red (or green) bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (red) pepper
  • 1 small potato, peeled and chopped into big chunks (sweet potato was used in the picture which gave the burger an orange tint)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup fresh bread crumbs (see recipe below)
  • ¾ cup grated cheese (I used cheddar)

Directions:

  1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the corn, mushrooms, scallions and bell pepper. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. While those veggies are cooking put the peeled potato into a food processor (with the regular slicing blade, it is not necessary to use the grating blade) and chop it up into fine little pieces.
  4. Scoop the potato out onto an old, clean dish towel and twist it tightly over the sink to squeeze all the liquid out of the chopped potato.
  5. Meanwhile, add the garlic, cumin and cayenne to the veggie mixture on the stove and cook for 30 more seconds.
  6. Remove the pan from heat and add the chopped spinach which should wilt slightly.
  7. Next, add all of the vegetables to the food processor as well as the egg, bread crumbs, and cheese. Process until all items are blended together well (scrape the sides as needed.)
  8. Use your hands to scoop up some of the mush, then form it into the shape of a burger. Place them on a plate lined with sheets of wax paper until you are ready to cook and/or freeze them.
  9. Using the same non-stick skillet, heat 2 more tablespoons of olive over medium heat. Cook the burgers on both sides until brown (being gentle when turning them over).
  10. Toast hamburger buns if desired and serve!

I put these babies on some yummy hamburger buns and served them up with some homemade fries.

Consensus

The Mr.: Ate two burgers and loved them.

Me:  I thought they had a really good flavor!  Didn’t taste like meat, but it tasted like a yummy burger, and totally guilt free!

The Wild One:  Ate the bun, left the pattie

Tornado:  Ate the pattie, left the bun.  Go figure.