No apologies for the lack of postings. Life is busy and full of lovely things. But with the new year, I’ve taken to a new strategy of a goal or two for the week and not worrying about accomplishing everything else on the eternal to do list all at once. The last three weeks weren’t about getting caught up here. But in the process, I’ve discovered some fun things that I thought I’d share, and I figure that soon enough there will be other updates to come.
- Playground date: kids play, parents exercise! We admittedly didn’t solve all the kinks on this one the first time around, but I loved the idea when a friend suggested we join them and another family at a park near a local trail. While the kids played, I was able to trade off and go for a run and another parent went and took their dogs for a walk. Now that I’ve thought about it, there are multiple parks adjacent to other running and come summer, swimming, opportunities. I think we’ll have to try this one out more.
- Prep once, cook twice: I’m pretty sure there are whole cookbooks out there focused on this idea, but Martha Stewart recently converted me to the value of this approach with a couple of excellent recipes. I loved the way her vinaigrette worked on salmon and green beans and then again as a chicken marinade. And even though I was skeptical about a quick meat sauce for gnocchi, I was impressed with how well it worked in the beef and rice casserole the next night. Doesn’t hurt that Martha apparently provides much larger portions of meat than we actually eat, so each meal was able to play for two nights, even before the reincarnated dishes evolved! If you have favorite recipes that work this way, send ‘em to me!
- Make your own salad night: Several people may know me as the health educator who doesn’t like salad. But the truth is I don’t like plain iceburg lettuce or ranch dressing. This year, I’ve decided to try one entree salad each week. And it’s been awesome! I find that it gets us all closer to eating 5-9 servings of produce each day, and it’s worked great for the girls. They get to pick the components they like and go to town. I’ve been impressed with both of them actually being willing to eat salad greens (a little bit), but the other pieces have been such good yummy whole foods, that they’ve been great too. So far: chicken & roasted vegetable salad (roasted potatoes are yummy on salad, even cold!), a salad with blueberries, bacon, peppers, almonds and balsamic, (all fab ingredients, with directions on packing salads in advance to boot!) and wild rice salad with roasted squash (I never thought about sprouts as my salad green, but it works! And a lovely balance of colors and flavors!). With salads like these, it’s a trend that could stick. Again, your favorite substantial salad fixings are welcomed!
I hope you enjoy one or two of those things like we have! Photos next time. Happy 2014!