Monday, July 16, 2012

Meals to Feel Good About: Corn Salad and Thai Soba Noodles

Here are two more meals that you can feel confident about.  They feed your body - so many nutrients are accomplished in these options.  And the bonus is that they are SUPER quick to make!

Corn Salad
I adapted this from a couple corn salad recipes I found in Sunset Magazine.  I just love their recipes!

1 Bag frozen corn, thawed but cold
1 avocado, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
3 T fresh chopped cilantro
10 cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 lime, juiced
Sea salt to tastes
Toss it all together

Thai Soba Noodles
I adapted this recipe from 101 Cookbooks and Peas and Thank You

1 bag Soba Noodles, cooked
1 zucchini - cut very very very thin (like a noodle)
4 carrots - cut very very very thin (like a noodle)
1 yellow, red, or orange pepper cut  very very thin

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup Tamari (soy) sauce
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup pure maple syrup
Water to get a thick but smooth consistency (think smoothie)
(vary these ingredients till it pleases your taste buds)

Sea salt to taste

Boil the noodles.  Make the sauce.  When noodles are done, add sauce and veggies. Toss and keep on low heat for about 3-5 minutes to warm it all up.

Keeping it real! Kathy

Plate of Veggies and Fruit, BLT Salad

One of my most frequently asked questions is "so what DO you eat?"
I don't know why but I actually struggle to answer that question.  Mostly because I have a hard time trying to connect with the traditional diet since we don't eat turkey sandwiches, string cheese, and mac 'n cheese.

Here is what our typical lunch looks like:

The kids eat a variety of fruits and vegetables for lunch.  Today I sliced avocado, yellow heirloom cucumbers, stone fruit apricots, and a tiny amount of homemade burrata mozzarella (note that my children shared this plate). They love to munch on the plate of snacks.  I also made them a Hot Apple Pie Smoothie adapted from

Hot Apple Pie Smoothie
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup organic cream-top milk
2 T maple syrup
2 T honey
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1 t vanilla
1 T almond butter
1 apple, cored (peeled if you don't have a high speed blender)
8 ice cubes

Blend on high speed till the perfect consistency.

Mike and I shared a BLT salad - which the kids ended up eating too.

BLT Salad
4 slices cooked organic nitrate free bacon, chopped
1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
8-12 small cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 green onion, chopped
1 T vegannaise or mayo (I use the grapeseed oil one)
Avocado, sliced

It has taken me a long, long time to get used to our lunches.  I have a long standing history of meat based meals. Where the whole meal is centered around what meat will be eaten. Sandwiches were a staple -every day. But as we've cut back on the amount of processed grains we eat, sandwiches have become less common.  We usually eat sandwiches 1-2 days a week but not more that that.  So the other days are hard boiled eggs, fruits, veggies, etc.  What I had to say to myself every day is that if my kids only eat an apple and a cucumber they have had better nutrients than they'd get from a bowl of macaroni and cheese.  That always makes me feel better!

Keeping it real! Kathy

Steak Salad and Tuscan Bean Soup

I can't tell you how many people we know do two different dinners. One for their kids at about 5/5:30 and then one for themselves at around 7/8pm.  Mike and I have never done that.  We've always made one dinner and eat with the kids at the same time.  Now this dinner has looked a little different as the kids grow up.  At 9 months, they did eat baby food and we ate our own meal.  But as they've grown, we've tried to have them eat the same meal we do. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes I try to make something I know they'll eat if I know they won't or can't eat what we are eating.  But I am NOT a short order cook.  If they don't like what we have, they don't get a different choice.  Maybe I'll give them some greek yogurt and honey as a consolation..but only if I think they are really starving!!! That said, my kids are not skinny, so I've never worried about them going hungry.

Tonight is a great example.  I really wanted a salad with steak.  Steak is a rarety for us, especially in my kitchen. We may order it at a restaurant but I almost never make red meat at home. I bought organic, grass fed/finished sirloin steak.  It looked like a flat iron steak and it was only $3.49. Wow!

Cilantro Steak Salad
Season steak with garlic powder, pepper, sea salt.
Sear steak on grill on high heat for 2 minutes per side.

Heirloom baby lettuce
Yellow tomatoes
2 T Goat cheese
1 t Olive oil
1 t Apple cider vinegar
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Toss salad
Slice steak and place it atop the salad

Highly recommend this wine - and it went great with the salad!

I had to dig in my cabinets for what to do for the kids. I knew they would not eat the steak, and although they'll much on salad, it wouldn't be a meal.  Viola - this was awesome. It might not look like much but sometimes a poor man's dinner is the best home cookin'!  

Tuscan Bean Soup
1 can stewed unsalted tomatoes
1 can canellini beans, strained and rinsed
1 t sea salt
1 t thyme
1 t sage
1 t olive oil
1 T basil
1 T honey
1/2 cup water

Saute the beans in oil and spices for about 4 minutes.  Add tomatoes and water and cook on high heat for about 5 minutes.

I also served them up a side of broccoli.  It was nothing special so I'll spare you the photo!

The only thing that is missing is a nice rustic bread.  But it is so yummy. The kids ate my salad - they both actually ended up liking the meat.  So I also got to eat some of the soup.  It was all good!

TIP:  I find that if I serve my kids a vegetable first - close to 5pm, they gobble it up b/c they're hungry and have no other choices.  I also have found that while a nice enchilada with a ton of veggies in it is appealing to me, it isn't to my kids. Sure, they like corn, beans, cheese, tortillas, and zucchini on their own, but not mixed together. So I try to take a meal and separate it into multiple dishes for them, so they are eating one element at a time. It's a pain, but it gets them eating.

Keeping it real! Kathy