This reminds me of a lady having a spa day. Just hope she looks better than this when it's over with.
The curls are pinto beans with foil made of chips. Cucumber eye slices with dots of yogurt in the middle, and a warm neck pillow of mashed potatoes complete the relaxing environment. And luckily, after a hearty meal like this, Nora napped and I had an hour-long relaxing environment.
I've created a monster! No, I'm not talking about the food face. I thought it was pretty cute. But I have pushed myself into a corner where Nora seems to only like peanut butter when it's made into a sandwich with Cherrios. Do you know how small Cherrios are? Do you know how messy creamy peanut butter can get if you goof and it oozes through the hole of the Cherrio? And she eats them as fast as I can make them. There must be an easier way! But I can't complain because she really is a good eater.
After our yummy dinner out, I convinced Paul to take us to Yogurtland in Winter Park for dessert. He'd also had lunch dessert there. He had been there once before when his department was interviewing for a new team member. He very much enjoyed it. And I was quite happy with the tasty menu and restaurant design myself.
Plain organic yogurt. (Stonyfield is our favorite.) Homemade baked apricots with cinnamon. Warm oatmeal. What adult wouldn't eat this, let alone a baby? And that's the point. I want Nora to cultivate the same tastes now that she might eat when she gets older. I love the idea that you can add seasonings to your child's food. That's where the cinnamon comes in. It adds great spice without extra sugar. It's good for digestion. And as I add seasonings, she learns flavor doesn't have to come from just salt.
The black bean burger recipe from Parents Magazine was so fabulous, I figured the recommended switch to chickpeas or garbanzo beans would also be a success. After all, we love the falafel recipe from a previous issue of the magazine.
Recipe for Dilled Yogurt Dressing
2 (heaping) Tablespoons plain yogurt
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/8 teaspoon herb salt
Whisk together ingredients. Pour over and have extra on the side of wraps and salads. I have been using an herb salt we acquired on one of our trips. I'm sure regular table salt would work just fine.
This is one of those times when I feel like my iPhone photo app doesn't do the product justice. Course, it could be that I was just in too big of a hurry to get the pic taken before it melted and I needed to go deal with a child who has an increasingly louder scream when it comes to sudden onset of hunger.
Recipe for Upgraded Frozen Yogurt
1 cup strawberry yogurt, preferably frozen
3-4 Whole flash frozen strawberries
1/2 juice orange, like Tangelo, juiced
Whirl all ingredients until strawberries are chopped. Makes one serving.
I love the fact that I was in the right place at the right time. I got a 4 32 oz. cartons of Stonyfield yogurt on sale with coupons and froze it. With the strawberry yogurt, I made myself a yummy smoothie with half a juice orange as my liquid, frozen strawberries, and a ripe banana. The fresh quality of the fruit adds all the sweetener I need, making this drink easy and healthy.
With the April weather making for lovely warm, but breezy afternoons, I am really enjoying these cold drinks that use the winter orange and the spring strawberry.
Recipe for Strawberry Smoothie
1/2 cup strawberry yogurt, preferably frozen
3-4 Whole flash frozen strawberries
1 medium-sized ripe banana
1/2 juice orange, like Tangelo, juiced
Whirl all ingredients in a blender until mixed and at desired consistency. Makes one serving.
I defrost my strawberries for a minute in the microwave because the banana often adds enough thickness on its own. Blend the raspberries first because they're smaller. Add the strawberries for some liquid, then spinach, banana, yogurt, and juice. Lighten up on the liquids if the smoothie is getting too thin or add an extra banana. The raspberries are the strongest flavor so those are what you need least extra of. If spinach is necessary in your diet, too, you can get away with adding more "green tops" without tasting the bitterness.
As with all smoothies, it's easy to be creative and explore. No two are alike. For my mid-morning drinks, I used just strawberries (defrost again) and peaches with the juice and spinach. I eliminated the yogurt because at work it takes me a while to sip my drink.
Paul had been reading up on the quality of Stonyfield Organic yogurt, and he wanted to buy some plain kind at Publix this week. Ironically, I got to taste a flavored sample at Costco yesterday, and we decided the yogurt is a good deal like European yogurt, which is often thinner than American yogurt, generally due to less additives.
Once we left Paris, we had an interesting variety of breakfasts. In Caen, the Kyriad Hotel had a great variety of rolls, cheeses, sliced meats, cereal, and granola. They had juice dispensers instead of juice poured out of pitchers, which was more institutional than quaint. And they even had hot chocolate powder. Amusingly, the hot chocolate mix was Nesquick! I also remember a basket full of fresh fruit.
Down in the basement of the La Tour Notre Dame Best Western was a small room with brick walls and archways and nice tables with chairs crammed up against the wall to provide enough seating. Many Europeans don't do breakfast. At most, it's a hot drink and roll. Occasionally, juice accompanies the meal. I learned pineapple juice is quite popular in France.
Creamy Zucchini Soup has to be the fastest and easiest soup recipe ever--not to mention cheap! Dinner was on in about 10 minutes, if not less. The recipe from the Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet was really straight forward. Sour cream or yogurt was what made the soup creamy. I used yogurt instead of sour cream (because that was what we had in the house) and am quite curious to know what the flavor would have been like with the sour cream. I also used dried dill instead of fresh, as that is my preference. I challenged myself with this recipe because it does taste as simple as it sounds. It's is a light soup that does not send every taste bud bouncing crazily.
This is a great snack or dessert option. On occasion, Paul and I will have a breakfast item for dinner, especially if we had rich lunches and were still a bit full from a late lunch. This night, we had small smoothies with peanut butter toast. Certainly, if I can get a concoction that I really like and can remember, I won't want to make so many trips to Planet Smoothie. This recipe makes 16 ounces of smoothie, which is perfect for us. Sometimes, if I make more than that, it goes to waste.
Recipe for Smoothie
8 frozen strawberries
1 cup plain yogurt
2-3 Tablespoons peanut butter
Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
This post is in honor of our dear friend, Garalynne, a nutritionist in Savannah, Georgia. Garalynne has been taught how to eat well, and when she and her husband, Trevor, lived in Orlando, they would come over many Saturday nights for smoothies. Paul has a 3-ish cup blender that is perfect for individual drinks. We love our memories with our friends.
The best healthy late evening snack is smoothies and popcorn. Be creative with both. Here are some options:
This is a little something of my own. The idea came from Bosphorous, a restaurant in Winter Park, Florida. I liked the concept of the dip at the restaurant and could not find a recipe on line; so, I made one up. It must have been good because it went for a potluck and none of it came home!
Have you ever walked up to a counter at a restaurant and felt as if the people behind the counter were reading your mind and knew exactly what you wanted? Of course it sounds impossible, but that was the way I felt when I arrived for brunch at Ethos Vegan Kitchen with Paul and my folks on Father's Day.