Monday, February 11, 2008

What I've Been Up To

Pureeing and Cooking:
The last week has been so much fun! I'm in love with Jessica Seinfeld's new cookbook Deceptively Delicious. I love the idea: sneaking pureed vegetables into foods that your family loves. I spent the weekend buying vegetables and then making them into an arsenal of purees, which are now tucked into the freezer.

We've been trying out recipes with great results. We've made the applesauce muffins (with carrots) and brownies (with spinach),

The macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes (both with cauliflower),

Tuna salad in whole wheat pitas (with cauliflower puree, and spinach and tomato)

And the meatloaf (with carrot puree, and onion and celery).
No one has said "yuck" to any of it! My kids all love vegetables, but my husband has a hard time, so it's especially beneficial for his diet, and he loves the fact that he can eat the veggies without having to actually see them. And, of course, we always serve fresh or cooked veggies on the side, along with a nice salad. We've eaten more vegetables in this house in the last week than ever, and we're all feeling great!
I also love Dr. Roizen's and Dr. Oz's book You: On a Diet for its simple explanation of the workings of the body as they relate to food. The recipes in the back were worth the cost of the book. We've been having soup and salad lunches for quite some time. More veggies! We make a huge pot of soup on Monday, and then eat from it all week long. We love the Spicy Vegetable Lentil Soup and the Garden Harvest Soup the best. More veggies!

We've also tried to have salmon a few times a week and to switch from ground beef to ground turkey. And for snacks? Whole grains and fruit and veggies. The kids are in heaven. I'm very lucky (or I've done a lot of work for a lot of years) that my children prefer to snack on fruits and veggies than anything else. I love the feeling of building little bodies and brains. I take that responsibility very seriously, and though I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, it sure feels satisfying at the end of the day to count up all the vitamins and minerals they got that day.

What else have I been doing? Reading! I've just recently finished Cormac McCarthy's very haunting postapocalyptic tale, The Road; Stephenie Meyer's third vampire installment, Eclipse; Khaled Hosseini's stirring debut novel The Kite Runner; and Carol Lynn Pearson's latest, No More Goodbyes: Circling the Wagons Around our Gay Loved Ones. I highly recommend any and all of them.

My three older kids got back on Thursday from their visit with Dad, and we're getting back into the swing of homeschool. Love it! Lyndsay is working her way through the Work and the Glory series, Dylan's plowing through the Chronicles of Narnia, and Aiden is working hard to read The Book of Mormon on his own.

I've been walking, almost every day. Last week I logged 21.5 miles, pushing chunky baby in the stroller. When they're home, the kids walk with me, and I love the fact that my 12 and 13 year old are not embarrassed to go walking with their mom...yet. Even when I wear earmuffs.

Oh, and I got a hair cut! I'm finally past the had-a-baby-let-everything-go-phase, and my friend Amy gave me a new do! Can't really see all the wispy layers in the back from this photo, but it feels good to have something new.

So, that's where I've been, since I haven't been here! And, upon coming back I was greeted with a lovely and flattering award from fellow-blogger, Don, who left a very kind comment about me on his blog. Thank you, Don! It's an honor, and I'll do my best to pass the torch! You made MY day!


Abby said...

Hey..hey woman..sit down and relax. No, but seriously..I might need to check that cookbook out..sounds like a good time. Good for you and the veggies! Someday I'll be that rad.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

You look lovely!

My mum bought me Deceptively Delicious and I just finished reading it cover to cover. Can't wait to start trying the recipes. And the YOU books are so fabulous. A bit corny in places, but so eye opening.

Holly Homemaker said...

I think we could be fantastic friends!!! Good food for families is so important! I'm moving to more whole wheat things and better food choices.

I'll have to check out that cookbook!

Madam Crunchypants said...

M-kay. I just saw your comment on Kim's blog, and I wanted to pop over for 2 reasons.

I didn't comment earlier about how much I am in love with Deceptively Delicious myself, and your post was super inspiring to me because now I actually want to do all the work that goes into stashing those good foods in our everyday foods.

and second - they aren't dumb purees!! You're brilliant and this post was brilliant.

I hope your tomorrow is better!!

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

You've been busy! I've wanted to check out that book, so I'm glad to see that it looks good.

Luisa Perkins said...

Aren't you the fabulous one?!? I'm very inspired. Thanks for the update!

Laurie said...

Wow! I always think about feeding my family more healthy but that's as far as I get. I had heard mixed reviews about that book but maybe I'll have to try it out myself! I love that you homeschool and I love it when you share the things your children are doing. My children beg me everyday to please bring them back home but I can't yet. I'm still working on getting me back to normal. I love you hair cut! You are so beautiful. I hope that I someday get out of that I just had a baby phase. I've drug this one out for a long time. You are very inspiring! Keep up the busy schedule! You're awesome!

Laurie said...

P.S. I also gave you an award on my blog a few days ago but didn't get over here to tell you about it until now. Sorry! I love your blog! Thanks for sharing a little bit of your life with us!

Angela said...

You are my hero! I barely have time to work and complete YW stuff let alone cook a meal except on the weekends. Then add reading 5 books.. seriously! Go JENNA!

BTW: Love the new hair! Very stylish.

Josi said...

Holy cow, you did that in a week? Daaaaang woman. I've got You On a Diet and I love it, but I haven't even heard of the other cookbook. I do whole wheat and some veggies, but I'm the queen of a one dish thing involving hamburger and pasta and calling it cool. The bar has been raised!

Sarah said...

That's an awesome idea!! Although I think Josiah is actually allergic to veggies. They tend to make his mouth itch. Or so he says... watermelon has the same affect on him. I should definitely try it out on my kids though!

Lori said...

I love Deceptively Delicious too! My daughter devoured the chicken rice balls and the brownies made with spinich and carrots! Apple Sauce muffins weren't that good.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Love the title of your's.


Terry Neff Allen said...

I can't let my husband or children see your blog. They would expect me to cook! Great pictures. I use to homeschool and I've had my babies with midwives. I am a little bit hippie, too, but that I inherited from my genes:). I love your blog. But where do you get all your energy?