Sunday, September 8, 2013
Healthy and Homemade
I think I was possessed. That's my only explanation for the reason I spent a beautiful Sunday cooking all day--with no expected company and no holiday.
In reality, it's a desperate attempt to get ahead of things and keep up the healthier eating we've managed over the summer. Don't get me wrong--my kids eat plenty of junk and so do I. I'm just trying to do better. I consider it a personal victory that I haven't purchased a Perdue chicken nugget since May. We've eaten together as a family more often, the kids have tried (and occasionally liked) new things, and I've added homemade snacks to replace the boxes of stuff that are so easy to buy and bring along.
My kids started school on Wednesday of last week. By Friday, we'd already ordered pizza and eaten boxed macaroni and cheese. Not an auspicious beginning in the dinner department. I'm also determined to give them something other than prepackaged food and white bagels with cream cheese for lunch. Sure, they love it and it's easy, but there is little redeeming value to that stuff.
Accordingly, today I made:
1. whole wheat pumpkin muffins - I froze them for an easy breakfast or lunch.
2. two loaves of whole wheat bread - I froze one and sliced the beginning of the other for PB&J in tomorrow's lunch.
3. whole wheat banana bread - Sliced and frozen between wax paper for easy breakfast and lunch.
4. two kinds of date and nut (Larabar-type) bars - I am hopeful but not optimistic that they kids may eat these as a snack. I've snuck one in each of their lunch boxes and will be amused to hear their reaction. At least we adults will eat them. They contain (a) dates, peanuts, almonds, cocoa, honey, and chocolate chips, and (b) dates, almonds, cocoa, and dried cherries.
5. homemade granola - I took two recipes I liked, combined the best of them, and made my own self-designed recipe. I like it better than either of the originals and will have a healthy and filling breakfast each morning.
I also portioned last night's leftover gluten-free spaghetti and homemade meatballs into lunch box-sized portions and popped those in the freezer for an occasional hot lunch option.
As if this weren't enough, I cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal for dinner: turkey breast, gravy, stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, and green beans. Sadly, there are not enough leftovers for another meal. I'll use the carcass to make broth, which I love with egg noodles and leftover turkey bits.
While I probably am bragging a bit (cut me some slack--I do not do this sort of thing often), I am telling you to help keep me honest. When it's mid-November and the kids have had bagels for lunch, when they are getting home at 7:00 p.m. and the convenience of the box of mac and cheese cannot be denied, I will have this post to keep me honest. Call it a contract with myself to continue to try to cook and serve healthy meals and snacks, even when it's not convenient.
What about you? Are you still energized by the new school year or have you already given up?