This year one of my goals is to share more about our daily lives. From the little things, like where I shop, how I buy in bulk, what school lunches look like, what snack time looks like etc.
So today, I thought I would share a quick picture of my 1st graders school lunch. I actually hate packing lunches…you know all those cute Pinterest images of cheese and sandwiches cut into cute shapes…yeah, never happens in our house. To simplify the process of lunches in our house, I always make a large enough dinner for leftovers. As I am putting away/cleaning up dinner I fill all the boys lunches boxes, making morning’s so much easier. The mornings I didn’t pre-pack lunches or didn’t have leftovers to use, just makes me feel like I am scrambling.
We have chosen to use the Goodbyn System for our lunches. I love them because they seal really well, don’t have multiple components for my boys to keep track of and they are the perfect size for their lunches.
One of my favorite childhood memories was making chocolate chip cookies with my mom. We used to make the traditional Toll House recipe off the back of a bag of Nestle chocolate chips. While things have changed dramatically in our house from those day (no flour, no white sugar and I use organic, fair trade dark chocolate chips) I still cherish those memories, and l love sharing that tradition with my three little boys.
I have both of Danielle Walker’s Paleo Cookbooks: Against All Grain & Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple and to this day, they are two of my favorite cookbooks that I own (I have a slight cookbook addiction). I originally started making her real-deal chocolate chip cookies, but over time, just adapted it to better suit our families taste and to simplify – in my world, less steps and less dishes are always better. If you have never checked out her cookbooks, you should. She has lots of fun recipes and they are great inspiration.
A few of the changes I made was that I use coconut oil instead of palm shortening (which I don’t typically have on hand). I cut out the honey (you can add it back in if you want sweeter cookies, but if you do, omit the extra tablespoon of coconut oil – it was only added to add in a little extra moisture). I have made them adding in an extra egg, and no honey or extra tablespoon of coconut oil, and that variation works well also. I like this version best with just the coconut sugar, because it is just lightly sweetened. I also just mix the cookies by hand, my food processor is dying, and I found that I didn’t need to pull out an extra appliance.
Another thing to note is that these cookies don’t have a great self life, so if you plan to keep them a few days, throw them in the fridge. They do freeze well though.
My favorite protein powder for smoothies is chocolate…but since we have been doing a lot of smoothies I have been trying to switch it up. I decided to grab a jar of the Vega Vanilla Protein & Greens the last time it was on sale at our local Earthfare. While I like to use fresh greens in my smoothies, this is a great options with 2 servings of greens included in the powder. This is my favorite smoothie combination that I have created using this powder.
At the end of October, my husband and I decided to do a 21 day cleanse. We didn’t follow any mainstream cleanses in which they try to sell product (I am not a fan), but we basically followed the principles set by Dr. Alejandro Junger and his Clean Gut Cleanse & his blog for a bunch of recipes. Basics of it, were a protein smoothie for breakfast, lunch was main meal of veggies, protein and clean fat and then dinner was an entree salad + plus no eating from dinner until breakfast. My husband and I loved it, and now we crave our morning smoothies instead of a heavier breakfast. I thought I would share my favorite smoothie combination that I would pick over any others.
Fiber: Flax seed and Chia Seeds
Vitamins, minerals and protein: pumpkin seeds, roasted cocoa nibs, brazil nuts, spinach, unsweetened almond milk and organic chocolate protein powder
Because of all the fiber and protein, this smoothie is incredibly filling and satisfying.
Pizza is a favorite to almost all kids. Our family loves pizza night, but being a completely gluten-free family, homemade pizza is both expensive and a little time consuming (and pre-made gluten free pizza…well, many resemble cardboard). So one of our favorite variations are zucchini pizza boats. These are quick, lighter than regular pizza and much more budget friendly. There are a million combinations of ingredients you can use for the toppings, but this recipe is my kids favorite and a much quicker option because you are using pepperoni and not having to prep any other meats.
Our basic ones we make are literally 4 ingredients: zucchini or yellow squash, pizza sauce, uncured pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. These are a great option for kids lunches, they are quick and easy and a much healthier alternative to regular pizza.
The trick to bulking up the filling is to use the inside of the zucchini that you carve out. I carve out my zucchini to less than an 1/4 inch thickness and then chop all the insides into small cubes, mix with pizza sauce and small diced pepperoni (or meat of choice) and then refill into the zucchini.