I live in wild college town, super hippy and very liberal, Madison, WI, and now I’m a tree hugger.
It’s true. City girl turned into granola-hipster + Birkenstock lover.
Most of the time, when I’m cooking especially, I pretend I’m in SoCal feeling the warm sun beaming down, smelling fresh, ocean breezes, and eating uber healthy like it’s affordable and around every corner.
Truth. Most of our produce here in the mid-west is very expensive and it’s hard to keep up with which grocery store’s produce is the best each week and cost friendly. In addition, our local restaurants are mostly pubs that serve big burgers (nothing wrong with a burger now and then!) cheese curds, and other very German-type, heavy ‘sconnie food!
It’s just not my thing.
Every time we dine out and eat a huge, greasy meal, I feel horrible. So naturally, when I came across this recipe, I was stoked.
Here’s what we did tonight. Super fast, healthy and everyone loved it. Plus you can make extra and use them for lunch boxes the next day. This is the most unfancy meal I’ve made for dinner in a long time, but it was very satisfying and took 5 minutes to roll up. I have to say, the Boars Head thinly sliced turkey MADE this meal. If we did not have this fantastic meat, it would NOT have been the same.
Going Green Wraps
- vegetable green wraps
- bibb lettuce or spinach
- thinly sliced cheese
- 1 tsp ranch dressing
- 1 lb boars head peppered turkey breast
- red grapes
- baby cucumbers
- Layer the ranch dressing, cheese, bibb lettuce, and turkey on the green wrap.
- Roll up tightly
- Cut into individual rounds
- Serve with grapes and cucumbers
I decided to spice it up tonight for dinner – and it turned out to be a winner! My little guy has never eaten so fast, so I’m going to share what we made.
Korean Beef Bowl
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 cups packed fresh spinach
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 4 scallions
- 1 inch of fresh, peeled ginger, minced
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 squirt of sriracha (the rooster, as my Dad calls it!) + extra for garnish
- 1 pound grass fed organic beef
- 4 eggs
- In a non-stick sauce pan, prepare the brown rice according to package. Set aside
- In a large kettle, place the eggs gently on the bottom and fill with water, 1 inch above eggs, bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute. Reduce to simmer, cook for 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Combine the brown sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl, whisk together.
- In a large frying pan, swirl to coat a TBSP of evoo. Add your spinach and wilt with some garlic, about 3-5 minutes. When it’s done, remove from pan and set aside.
- In the same fry pan, add the remaining garlic, ginger and beef. Cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the scallions and the soy sauce mixture. Cook until absorbed.
- Drain the water from the eggs. Let the eggs cool. Slice when cooled.
- Each plate will have 1 scoop of brown rice, one scoop of sauteed spinach, one scoop of the meat mix, top with one hard boiled egg.
I love this meal because of the flavor profile. It’s different and delicious. The meal is also very filling. We eat mainly fruits, vegetables, grains and very lean meats/proteins during the day, so having this “heavy” meal for dinner really felt great! And it was not too bad! The fact that the kids ate it up and the hubs said “make it again” made me feel good. This dinner was fast, kid friendly, and very little mess in the end. This recipe will be added to my summer cooking list + meal prep boxes for fast lunches.
Credit to the Damn Delicious WordPress blog for this inspiring recipe!
Rice is one of my favorite things to make. Now that I know how to make it. I used to suck at making rice. Then I tried a different brand and method, and it clicked for me. We don’t use instant rice – because I can’t make that kind. I always mess it up! We use jasmine rice. Typically, I buy it in bulk since we go through so much. The brand is Rice Select and we use both the Orzo and Jasmati Rice. They come in nice plastic, resealable containers. The kids use the containers for projects when they are finally empty. Good stuff. So here’s what we made tonight to go with our grilled chicken and grilled asparagus.
Perfect Rice Pilaf
- 1 cup jasmati rice
- 1/4 cup of orzo
- 2-3 swirls of evoo
- 1 non-stick sauce pan with cover
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- 3 and 3/4 cups chicken stock, reduced sodium
- with your sauce pan over med/hi heat, swirl and coat the bottom of your non-stick pot.
- Add the jasmati and orzo
- stir on high heat until fragrant + slightly browning
- turn the heat to medium and add the liquid
- add the onion, garlic, thyme and salt and pepper
- bring to a boil
- reduce until the water is just under the rice
- this should look like the rice is bubbling, about 4-5 minutes of boil and stir
- reduce to low and cover with lid tight
- set timer for 15 minutes and DO NOT TOUCH
- fluff and serve
- yield 6
*if your rice looks crunchy or stuck to the bottom, add more liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, and let sit for a few more minutes with the lid on, and the burner on low. Max 5 min. Check on it, stir and taste.
*if your rice looks watery, it did not reduce enough in the beginning. This is OK. Just cover tight and cook on low for 5 more minutes. continue to check on the rice until all liquid is absorbed.
Happy Sunday Night!
After hanging up my bunny ears for the year, it is time to start thinking about SUMMER! Seems like we have waited a long time to enjoy nice weather. Winter in Wisconsin is no joke. This year wasn’t as snowy as most, nor as cold, but it was still cloudy, cool and depressing outside. Sunshine is here today and we are planning home improvement projects and our big summer parties.
Since party planning is once again at the forefront, I’ve started a list of nut-free, healthy snack party ideas:
- Chex Mix (check label, muddy buddies are NOT safe)
- Hummus and vegetable sticks
- Giant sliced water melon with sea salt and mint
- Melon ball salad
- Cucumber and tomato Greek salad
- Fruit salad
- Fruit tray with yogurt dip (chobani)
- Blueberry oat muffins
- Banana flax muffins
- Yogurt parfait bar
Today is more of a brainstorm day I guess. I started the morning off with a double espresso and I have so much energy – thinking we are tackling the garden first, errands, then something fun with the kids. What are your favorite party snacks? Of course we need to nail down the theme. So far, we have:
- Super hero party
Enjoy your Sunday. I’ll post the weekly menu shortly for inspiration 🤗
Note! Not all Easter Peeps are nut-free!! Forgot to mention this, but the Peeps Pops / suckers are made in a facility with nuts! The only safe peeps that I have found are the plain packaged peeps that I have already shown on the blog under “Easter candy” — check labels! SNEAK PEEK OF EASTER PREP COMING TONIGHT!!!
This weekend we are prepping for our big Eater Party next weekend with family! How exciting. The kids are super into it too – Chloe is making center pieces out of peeps and daisies, Carter is working on decorating a cake with chocolate eggs. LOVE it. For the food – keeping it classic and simple. Here’s the menu with links for recipes.
Easter Sunday Brunch:
- Slow cooker cheesy breakfast potatoes – Breakfast Potatoes
- Valentine Coffee – Valentine
- Giada homemade biscotti (making this 1 week in advance, store in air-tight container) – Giada’s Biscotti
- Fruit salad (whatever you have + 1 cup of plain greek yogurt, salt, pepper and dash of vanilla, stir stir stir.) – Fruit Salad from Summer
Easter Sunday Early Dinner:
Dinner Prep tips:
- The kitchen is a common place for EVERYONE to hang. Make sure you have some things in mind for those that ask “what can I help you with ” – You know it’s coming! 🙂
- Prepare as much the week before as possible
- Decide on where people will eat
- grocery deliver, if available
- meal prep + grocery lists
- what dishes others will bring
- drinks! – I like having a “signature drink” for each holiday
- Set aside the plates, cups, napkins, serving platters, serving utensils (the more you have done early, the less run around on Easter Sunday!)
- Decide if you’re using linens and if they need to be ironed. If so, get this done asap, or send them out. This takes a lot of time (I waited one year) and you don’t want to be starching and ironing the night before Easter when the bunny is supposed to be hiding things!
- You are not an octopus, so make sure the things you’re making on Easter Sunday either have a kitchen helper, or use multiple cooking/baking methods.
- I’m using a crock pot
- Double oven
- And baking the night before
- Have your menu TIMED OUT. In other words, you don’t want the food to finish cooking at different times. This can be tricky if you’re making an entire menu for the first time. Run thru it in your head.
- Always have a back up plan. I like to keep canned or frozen items in my house for easy access. I know that if I mess up my scalloped potatoes, I can easily pull out some frozen potatoes o’brien and bake them at 350 for 45 minutes with a cup of cheese and campbells soup to make a cheesy baked potato dish. Also, I can roast just about any vegetable in 40 minutes and it will replace anything that I mess up. Be open minded. Be flexible. Nothing is perfect.
- I keep extra no-bake desserts in the house too. Just in case I don’t have time to make my cupcakes, we still have something sweet and special to enjoy on Easter.
- The most important part of this meal is TOGETHERNESS. Don’t forget that. If someone asks to help say yes. You don’t have to do it all. And some of the greatest memories come from some of the biggest kitchen screw ups…with family!
- Whatever you don’t finish, nobody else will know.
- Cheers! Don’t forget to have a splash of your favorite beverage + treat yourself for this amazing meal!
- SMILE! Nobody likes a grumpy cook in the kitchen.
We are off to get a few things: new table cloth, material for a grey chevron table runner, and other layering items for a spring like tablescape. I can’t let my family down on this – they LOVE a good tablescape. And so do I. Have a fantastic spring break week – I know you LOVE when I blog about our family vacations, so I’ll be posting some nut-free finds on our trip this week. Enjoy the season!
Thanks for stopping by! Please post what YOU make – I LOVE hearing from readers.