Well, it has been a crazy year and I have not been in the mood to blog until now. Last year I finished my prerequisites for the dietetics program and Kansas State so last month I began my junior year of college at KSU as an online student. I have two years left of school, one year of interning, and one big test to pass my boards and then I will be a Registered Dietitian. What is that you ask? An RD is a medical professional that is trained in the sciences to understand how nutrition affects the biochemistry of the body and how food affects wellness and disease. How is that for a mouthful?
So, although I have not been blogging, I have still been obsessing about nutrition and health as a mom and a student. However, we have also had a big change in our lives recently which is slightly altering my food habits. We moved to the burbs!!!! Honestly, I love it (which is a huge shock). I love being in a neighborhood full of friendly people that keep a watchful eye on my munchkins. I love that there are kids running around at all times so my children have tons of friends to keep them happy and busy. I love that I don’t have to share one bathroom between 4 people. Here is what I don’t love. I DON’T love that my husband’s commute to take the kids to school in the morning is 45 minutes to go ten miles. I DON’T love that I have to get up at 6:30 to get breakfast and lunches ready. (This is where the food comes in). So, I did some summer planning and researching to figure out what I could have pre-made and frozen to throw in their lunches each morning. I also wanted a healthy breakfast that I could give them to eat in the car on the way to school so they could maximize sleep time. So, here are the favorites that I want to share with you just in case you are feeling the agony of school lunch and breakfast prep!!!!
Each week I make a pan of granola squares. They are different each week so there is a little variety (last week I threw in a little dark chocolate and peppermint oil and called it a chocolate candy cane granola bar). I hand them a granola square and a piece of fruit and they eat breakfast on the way to school. I am not a fan of granola bars from the store because they are normally really high in sugar, (like 20 g) and low in protein (like 4 g) and expensive so I make my own so I can improve that ratio. I want my kids to have a hearty, protein packed breakfast that keeps the complaints at bay.
As for lunch, I have fallen for pizza pockets. Well, really any kind of pocket. I know, this sounds very unhealthy but hang with me for a minute. This is another recipe that by making at home you can make with healthy ingredients and save money too. This week I made two batches. One was a broccoli/goat cheese pocket and one was pumpkin pizza sauce with mozzarella. The other nice thing about this recipe is you can buy premade pizza dough, make your own whole wheat dough or make a gluten free crust. I always make my own sauce because it takes no time at all and then I can avoid processed sauces with added sugar. The great thing about a pocket is you can put anything in it so think of all of your favorite foods and stick them in pizza dough. Next week I am doing taco pockets with shredded zucchini, black beans, rice, taco seasoning and cheese. Be creative!
Ok, here are the recipes. Normally I post pics but Finn trashed my beautiful camera lens last week and I have not made it out to buy a replacement so I am picture-less this time around.
Cinnamon oatmeal squares
4 c oats
1 c walnuts
1 c almonds
1 c raisins
1/3 c chia seeds
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
½ c coconut oil
½ c molasses
½ c raw honey
2 eggs beaten well
***Just a note about the hone and molasses. Although both of these are straight sugar, they are both very high in nutrients that are superior to plain sugar. Another option is maple syrup. Real maple syrup is also dense in nutritional value.
Mix all dry ingredients. I normally chop up the almonds and walnuts in a blender or food processor. Then I take half of the dry mix and throw it back into the blender or food processor the grind it down which helps the bars stick together better.
Heat the wet ingredients (except the eggs) on the stove to melt together. Mix beaten eggs into dry mix and then add remaining wet ingredients and mix thoroughly until all dry ingredients are moist. Press into large glass pan (I use 9×13) lined with parchment paper or greased. Bake on 350 for 20 minutes. Cool in the fridge over night and then cut into squares.
1 c tomato sauce
1 garlic clove
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
Put all of this in the blender for 1 minute on medium/high
Make or buy dough
Here is a link to making regular pizza dough http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/pizza-dough-recipe/index.html
Here is link for gluten free but you can also buy Bob’s Red Mill gluten free pizza dough mix which I like a lot.
You can also pick up premade dough at Trader Joes. It does not have a bunch of additives but it is not organic either. I think Whole Foods and New Seasons also have options.
One other option is using wonton wrappers…
I love to put a great mozzarella into the pocket but goat cheese is delicious too. Whatever your kiddos like.
Putting it all together
Roll out your dough until it is really thin, about 1/8 inch. Use a pizza cutter to slice it into 3 inch squares (these really don’t have to be perfect, mine are always uneven. In the middle of half of the squares add 1 tbsp sauce, 1 tbsp cheese and then I often throw in a few leaves of spinach. Take another square that you have not filled and gently place over the top of your filled square. Press all around the edges with your fingertips to seal the top and bottom together. Place each pocket on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool and then throw in the freezer in a plastic baggie. My kids have a microwave in their classroom but you can also thaw this in the morning and kids can eat it room temp/cold in their lunch.
Hope you find this stuff useful. If you are having food frustrations, email me or send a comment and I will try to address it in the next blog. Next up on the blog front will be some dinner options for those rushed extra-curricular activity nights! Cheers and happy eating!!!
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