Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Meatless Monday

A few weeks back I signed us up for a sort of food co-op through a local group called Portland Green Parenting. The food arm is known as Know Thy Food. It connects local food to individuals who by pooling purchase power are able to bring fresh, local food at an affordable price. We've been trying it out and the best part is I can adjust our order to our needs and change from week to week.

I have had CSA boxes and home deliveries in the past but the weekly commitment are not always affordable and most don't have near the selection or prices thanks to the group. So I'm loving the group and the very first week this is just a peek at the huge box of food I hauled home.There is much more too it than first meets the eye and quite honestly I need a lot more time to figure it all out. I'm also hoping to volunteer to help at some point in the future.

This is out box from a few weeks back (I'm picking up a new one today)

From this box we made potato and kale soup,watched our kids devour fruit salad, and we all tried new foods. While this box isn't totally local this time of year you can choose one that is, along with milk,eggs,bread,meat,and oh so much more.

So, I know this isn't exactly Meatless Monday recipes... But the boxes inspire several creative dishes and more meatless dishes to try. The potato soup with Kale (needed something more - it wasn't a huge hit), and got our kids trying new foods (like brussels sprouts - which was a tough sell but my older did do a great job trying them).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Living in Virus-ville

What seems like the weekly delima around here... I need MORE time off and LESS sickness in our house.

Before kids I was the workaholic who always had more time off then I knew what to do with, worked late, and had no idea that one day I would dream of asking for LESS pay in exchange for MORE time off (or even a backup childcare program bonus - would love to see something like this where I work). I do remember the days of our older daughters first year in daycare - I do... and now she is rarely ever sick. So I know this too shall pass. But the balance between having a job, earning money, being with my kids, enjoying time off for fun stuff, and caring for sick kiddos is exhausting me.

I would love to see more backup childcare centers out there like those mentioned in the Working Mom's Guide to Sick Kids article posted recently at Parents.com. My husband and I don't have a backup plan - more like a mutual sharing of the duties and balancing of who needs to work - but even that is difficult on some days. I'm not sure I would want a really sick kiddo to be with anyone but me, however the option of a play space/day center for just a coughing sortta sick kiddo that would allow me to work and NOT infect other kids at her regular center seems like a brilliant idea. Would LOVE to see something like this in PDX!!

Image from Working Mom's Guide to Sick Kids @ parents.com

Anyone out there ever used or heard of backup child care programs? Sounds like a great business plan or someone some day - one can only hope... Until then, here is hoping we can get over the latest round and make it a few more weeks!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Kids Cook Monday - Contest

Want some new tools, tips, and recipes for cooking with your kids. Check out the Sweet Potato Chronicles Kids Cook Contest.

I'm going to have to think about what our favorite recipe just might be - cause a few of these books look awesome!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Kids Cook Monday - Food just for kids...

I have been loving my Facebook posts of Our Best Bites lately. A few days back they did a guest post over at Make It and Love It that I thought was so much fun. It was a whole set of cute ideas on serving up fun food your kids will love. Even better if you can get them to help you make it :)

This week the girls and I had a lot of fun mixing up cut up fruit for a fruit salad and singing the "fruit salad salsa" song by Laure Berkner. It wasn't exactly kids in the kitchen cooking - more like getting food ready for school breakfast fun. Still - we sang it all the way to school on a chilly day and at least my older ate it right up.

So for fun and for our kids - here is this weeks Kids Cook Monday.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cloth vs Disposable

I saw this article floating around this week and thought it was such a realistic (well, closer to it than most articles on the subject in my mind) look at the diapering choices out there. I always see the big savings $$ numbers on cloth websites and yes, you can certainly save money, but it does take work. Easier than disposables... we'll I don't think so personally... but HARD - no not at all, just more to think about and plan for and well, if you have kids that is just something you are doing any way (at least that is how I look at it).

It has just become a natural part of how we parent. Like making food - we meal plan now - something we didn't do when we were kid free and had lots of time. FYI there are also lots of resource out there to practice very early potty training (elimination communication)... it isn't all or nothing for me and so I liked the fact that they interviewed families that have done both cloth and disposable and gave reasonable pros and cons for both. I use both (yes, I admit to an occasional 'sposie' as they call them)... it works for us. I like to share my love and passion (and my cost savings). But I also like to get real.

Speaking of love of cloth, I need to get a few more cloth posts up here... look for a post about cloth at daycare coming soon!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Meatless Monday

Last Week Oprah went sent her staff a vegan challenge. I'm not usually an Oprah fan nor am I even home to watch it but I'm a fan of Michael Pollen and so I taped the show. I was surprised to find that I enjoyed most of the episode and was excited to see the Meatless Monday Campaign highlighted. The only thing I wasn't so into was the shopping trip with the family trying to go vegan for the challenge. I know they were trying to help the family make the least radical change they could - but the cart ended up full of fake meat and processed foods. I think you can cook great vegan meals with whole foods that the average family will love - with fewer processed foods than they had...but again, that is a family choice.

We've been working towards a less meat consumption diet for quite some time and though we struggle - especially eating out, the campaign is a great resource. Episodes like this give the every day person a great set of ideas to start down the path. Health, earth, or whatever your reasons for the average person there are parts of the food isle that are just plain strange. I remember not knowing anything about tofu, quinoa, soy milk, or almond butter (seriously - never know this stuff existed or even why you would buy it) and it takes a lot of experimentation and some helpful friends and websites to even begin to make a move.

If you are thinking about eating less meat here are a few other blogs that I have been enjoying lately:
Would love to hear about more great sites - not just with recipes but with tips and ways to get past your fear of new foods and get your family on board with a healthy life!