Using My Kitchen for Some Good, Healthy Eats! (Day 11)

Yesterday, I wrote about how my kitchen is important to me as a mother.  Things seem to run smoothly and the operations of our house seem to be calmer, and more peaceful, when my kitchen is put together.

The word for today is:

Nutrition.

Let me preface this post by saying I am not a nutrition expert, but I loved my close friend giving me this word for the day.  I have taken several nutrition courses as part of my tenure in college, and learned some basic, rudimentary links between emotions and eating during my social work program.  But, most of what I have learned has been through hours upon hours of personal study.

I have also noticed, while I have small children beginning to feed themselves, I become a little stricter on my nutrition – I try to eat a healthier balanced diet.

What does that look like for me?  

Usually, for breakfast, I try to have a protein, a carb, and some fruit.  If I have to choose, I try to have a protein.  One of my absolute favorite breakfast dishes to prepare, and eat, are my breakfast burritos – which consist of an egg, some salsa (my latest kick is my homemade salsa), a sprinkle of cheese, wrapped in a tortilla.  If I’m feeling the need, I might add some sausage, but I don’t add that all the time.

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Breakfast Burrito with blueberries.  This burrito only had egg and a sprinkling of cheese – because I overcooked the egg (oops!), I had an easy to wrap inside!
My loneliest meal of the day, I think is lunch.  I say it’s lonely because my son usually eats his own version of something, in between playing.  Even on the weekends, when we eat lunch at home, my husband usually does his own thing, while I do mine.  So, I have learned to really eat what I desire for lunch – something that will be healthy and yummy.

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One of my go-to, all-time favorite lunches are a twist on bruschetta.  I use tomatoes (whatever kind I choose to buy on Sunday or Monday), add garlic, add some mozzarella for protein, sometimes EVOO, always some balsamic vinegar.  Mix it together, let sit while I prepare whatever else – usually, it’s just a few slices of french bread.  This particular day, I also had cilantro, so I added some of that as garnish.
Dinners are the meals I plan.  If I get to do nothing else in preparation for the week, grocery shopping centers on what I need to make my dinners.  I always try to have extra protein, some sort of carb (depending on the carb intake for the day or week), and some veggies.  Fruit may, or may not, be part of the meal, depending on how family members have eaten during the day.

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Both my husband and I dislike mushrooms, but found ourselves in need of cooking some we use for a separate dish.  I experimented with a recipe online to make a white sauce with mushrooms and green peppers.  Added it to salmon, and threw in some frozen veggies – I am learning to use fresh veggies, but the frozen have helped me out of a bind once or twice when fresh has gone bad!
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This was a lime-cilantro chicken.  I added EVOO, lime, and cilantro to a bag, let the chicken sit in the marinade for a bit, then cooked slightly on the stovetop (a trick I learned from my little sister), then threw it in the oven to bake.  I added peppers sautéed in EVOO as our side-dish, following a heavy-carb weekend.
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Perhaps my favorite colorful dish I prepared recently.  Chicken breast (mine had a splash of balsamic vinegar.  The veggies had been cooked in the oven, with a sprinkling of garlic powder and crushed red pepper, the bread had a little bit of melted butter and garlic added to it before I baked it.  My son chose the scrumptious watermelon, which we ate for four meals before it was finally gone!
I’m not going to spend time talking about the reason for healthy eating – you can find that on other sites.  But, I will say I love experimenting with making my dishes colorful.  I also love knowing what I am feeding my children are good for their brains and bodies.  I love being able to tweak recipes (I don’t cook with salt, given my history of gestational hypertension and severe pre-eclampsia) to address medical/health needs of my family members (my son had a “higher than normal” lead count at one point in his life).

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Yes, we all eat the same dinner.  From this particular meal, I suspect the crushed red peppers on the veggies were too much – my son didn’t eat his veggies (it’s unusual he won’t eat broccoli and yellow peppers – the jury is still out on “dinosaur trees” or asparagus), and my daughter’s eyes got really red when she ate the broccoli bits from her plate.  But, both children ate their chicken and watermelon, and my daughter consumed most of her bread.  The adults are held to a “clean plate” standard, provided they are feeling okay.

Nutrition is fun – to read about, to study, and then to implement!

I also enjoy working in a space which allows me to spread out and create!  Many of these meals take time – think upwards of an hour (or more) to prepare.  So, they definitely are not for an easy “on the go” family; that said, if I needed to, I could prepare much of these meals on Sunday (or one day a week), and then reheat them to have “on the go” throughout the rest of the week.  I’m slowly learning to prepare on Friday for our weekend, since those are usually the days where I backslide on nutrition.

What are some of your favorite foods to prepare?  How does nutrition play a part in your household?

15 thoughts on “Using My Kitchen for Some Good, Healthy Eats! (Day 11)

  1. All those meals look awesome. I don’t have specifics because my taste palate get bored quick! But I try to be healthy with fruit and veggies.

    Liked by 1 person

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