Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Busy Day's Recipes...our effort to be healthy on the go!

I’m in the middle of some major recipe organization.  Currently, my recipe binder has gotten out of control and looks like this:

Why has it gotten so bad?  Because I love to cook and I recipe hoard.  I admit it.  I love to play in the kitchen and feed hungry bellies with some yummy food.  In addition to being a recipe hoarder, I have another confession.  I have food A.D.D.  Yes, we have our “go to” meals, but I like variety…and every page in this binder has been lovingly made for my men over here at least once. 

I’ve been extremely interested and commited to whole food cooking for a few months now, and have learned a lot along the way.  However, the reality is that I have 4 children age 5 and under and a lot of additional responsibility.  While I’d love to report that we’re 100% processed-food free, we’re not : (  It’s a goal, but we’re about 80% there.  We feel SO much better by the way.  The benefits far outweigh the effort!   

My personal conundrum becomes time constraint.  What do we eat when we're flying out of the house to dr. appointments, a play date, a meeting, soccer practice...the list goes on.  What do we cook for dinner when we have a teething baby on our hip and a toddler tantruming at our feet?  I used to pick up the phone and order pizza : )  But with a little planning ahead, I have pulled together some ideas that save us from over-indulging in that great Italian-American safety net!

How can we eat healthy while on the go?  Well, we’re learning, and we’d love your comments, suggestions, and recipes! 

Here’s what we ate today…a particularly crazy, busy day over here:

Hey!  Pancake lovers!  Do you ever crave a good pancake, but cannot stand there and flip flapjaks for more than a few minutes?  Ever since baby #4 came, I’ve had a hard time making pancakes for my brood and not burning them because I’m attending so some minor crisis!  Ta-da!  Muffin Pancakes!

           Muffin Pancakes:

Mix your pancake mix together as usual (home made or box).  Grab and mix in some yummy add ins such as pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice, mashed bananas, chocolate chips, bacon, chopped fruit, etc.  Here’s the best part!  Pour your batter into greased muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees F for 12-14 minutes!  Voila!  You will have pancake muffins hot and ready with no standing and flipping involved.  Drizzle with syrup and enjoy!


I usually pair this with a smoothie, filled with lots of fruit, greek yogurt, a frozen banana, and some honey.


            Hummus Wraps:

Take some whole grain wraps (whole grains, check!), slather it with some hummus (protein, check!), chop up some veggies-we like peppers (veggies, check!), roll up and serve with some sliced fruit (check!)

Afternoon Snack:
I’ve mentioned it before, but if you haven’t yet tried kale chips, you must!  My boys love them so much, we literally go through multiple bunches of kale every week!  It’s a super food, so we are daydreaming about the superhero powers we’re acquiring while happily snacking away!  Best part:  I make a whole load of these and keep them for happy snacking on busy days.
Kale Chips:

Wash and dry kale.  Rip off the leaves from the stems, and rip the leaves into bit size pieces.  Place the kale on a baking sheet (put some aluminum foil on that puppy for easy clean up!), drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with season salt and bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes.  Check them at 8…every oven is different and you don’t want them burned, just crunchy!

Brown Rice Pasta with Sautéed Tomatoes, Spinach, Mushrooms, and Garlic

You can find brown rice pasta almost anywhere now.  I get mine at Trader Joe’s and it’s the same price as regular.  If you don’t like the taste of whole wheat pasta (which we’re not crazy about), try this as a healthy alternative.

While your pasta is boiling, heat some olive oil in a saucepan, through in a clove or two of garlic, 1 whole chopped tomato, a carton of baby bella mushrooms (or whatever is on sale!), and a few handfuls of spinach.  After the mushrooms have gained some color, season the pan with some salt and pepper. Keep on the heat until your pasta is done, drain the pasta and toss together.  I still like to steam some broccoli on the side to boost our veggie intake.

Ah…a day of recipes in the life of the Stacks.  I love menus like this-they take minimal time in the kitchen, and I know we’re doing our best on really busy days to keep the whole grains, veggies, fruit and protein coming!


I would love to hear from you what you feed your family on a busy day!


  1. I am also a recipe hoarder and need an easier system for my recipes. Currently I have a binder but it's hard to add new recipes to it. I like to have an index and then i never update it. What's your new "system" going to be?

  2. Yay for fellow recipe hoarders! I am going to try to keep my 3-ring binder, but am attempting to either find or make a great printable that allows me to store 2-3 recipes per page. Then I can group together my categories, cut down on pages, and index them...once I conquer this challenge, I will share the finished product with you! If you conquer yours first, let me know!!