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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    A Look Back.



Foodie Baby: 48 Hours of Meals

I’ve had a lot of people ask for more posts about daily meals, and what the boys are eating at their respective ages (17 months, and 3.5 years <— how did that happen??).  I’ve done a handful of these types of posts before, but the boys were much younger then.  You can check out the rest of the Foodie Baby series here:

This time, rather than big lists or meal ideas, I thought I’d do something much simpler.  I took a pictures of everything the boys ate from sun up until bedtime.  Of course no two days are the same, so I did two days in a row just to show a bit of variety. 

Here’s a look at what they are eating these days:

DAY ONE

Breakfast – the boys are up anytime between 6 and 7am, but we are usually down the steps around 7:15.  Graham is begging for food immediately, so I give him a banana to tide him over while I make the real breakfast. 

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Cullen works on a puzzle at the table until breakfast is ready.  He asks for a banana and then doesn’t touch it. 

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Graham inhales the banana in about seven seconds, so he moves onto pomegranate seeds and (hemp) milk while I continue to cook. 

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Daniel Tiger songs play from the iPad.  “Mommy songs” are always rejected, unless it is Taylor Swift. 

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Breakfast is ready!  Today is an eggs and toast morning, which is always the least popular option (although it is mommy’s favorite).  Cullen begs for oatmeal every single day, but I can only take so much.  This is my plate – toast with coconut oil, scrambled eggs, Field Roast breakfast sausages, and delicious hot coffee that was waiting for me when I got downstairs (courtesy of Casey!). 

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I always buy Silver Hills bread – it’s my favorite in both flavor and softness, and it has awesome nutritional stats.  It’s all sprouted bread and is much higher in protein than most others.  Also a Canadian company, so local-ish to us.

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Cullen would live on carbs if I let him, so the toast is definitely the highlight of this meal.  He’ll eat the Field Roast too, but the eggs have to be bribed (he can watch one show after breakfast while I get dressed). 

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Graham inhales everything and then wipes his greasy, eggy hands all over his hair.  Then he screams while being wiped down and cleaned up. 

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Lunch – we are always out in the mornings for various things, so depending on what that is we sometimes have lunch on the go.  But I prefer to eat at home when it’s feasible, because the kids tend to eat much better when we do.  We use these Re-Play dishes almost exclusively.  The kids like them and I love how durable and easy to clean they are. 

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Lunch is typically thrown together in 30 seconds as we’ve just walked in the door and I’m rushing to get them fed before naptime.  Today’s lunch was a mix of raw veggies – tomatoes and cucumber – and a tortilla with spinach and smashed avocado.  Cullen’s plate always has to be red or green.

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And Graham still gets his tomatoes sliced.  Both boys love cucumbers, but Graham hates tomatoes.  I still try anyway.  I’m hoping he comes around by summer gardening season, when – if all goes well – we’ll have more tomatoes than we know what to do with!

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Graham goes down for nap and Cullen has “quiet time” in his room.  Afterward they are starving for snacks.

Snack – Both kids get their own dish of cashews and raisins in the playroom after they wake up. 

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Graham still seems hungry (throwing his body at the refrigerator) so he gets a cheese stick while I prep for dinner.  I love the way he says “chuussse!” – cutest thing ever!

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Dinner – throughout the week we do a mix of eating with the kids versus waiting and eating alone after bedtime.  This particular week, we ate most meals all together.   This was a version of what we call “salsa bowls.”

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The boys don’t like their food all mixed up yet, so the compartmentalized plates are great for now.  But they don’t like having any empty spaces so I always have to make sure there is enough to divide into at least three parts.  This was one big scoop of brown rice with avocado and shredded cheese, a mixture of onions/mushrooms/black beans, and roasted asparagus. 

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This was the adult version of the meal – a giant bowl of rice, beans, and veggies topped with avocado and a zillion different salsas.  Yummmm.

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So that was day one, and I think it was a pretty typical look at how we eat throughout the day.  Here is the following day, just to show a bit of variety!

DAY TWO

Breakfast – Oatmeal, as promised.  I make the oatmeal the same way every morning – rolled oats cooked in half water/half almond milk, and chia seeds, raisins, sliced almonds, hemp seeds, and ground flax mixed in.  Each bowl is then topped with some sort of nut butter – we rotate through cashew, almond, and sunbutter.

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Cullen is in heaven and eats an alarming amount.  He finishes his bowl, anything left in the pot, and then forces me to give up about half of my bowl toward the end. 

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I have nothing against oatmeal but I am so sick and tired of it by now.  We even ate it for Cullen’s birthday dinner last year!  Ridiculous.

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That said, I absolutely love breakfast.  Once both the kids have their food they are so happy and full of excitement for the day.  I have hot coffee and I love sitting with them and singing to music and not rushing around. 

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Lunch – on this particular day, we went to a big indoor sandbox in the morning.  Both kids had a small snack while we were there (Graham had a pouch and then he and Cullen shared hummus and crackers).  Graham fell asleep on the car ride home and then went straight from the carseat to the crib, so he missed lunch.  This happens 50% of the time, so I always make sure to get a little something in his belly before we head home. 

Cullen was hungry for a real lunch though, so he had half a can of lentil vegetable soup and some crackers for dipping.  He ate the whole bowl and asked for more, and then actually took a rare nap himself. 

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Graham woke up absolutely ravenous, as expected, so he snacked on milk, cashews, and raisins after he woke up.  I dragged his high chair into the kitchen and he snacked while I prepped dinner.  And as you can tell, it was a matching tie dye day – Cullen’s request!

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When Cullen woke up, he joined us for some snacks. 

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Dinner – this was one of the last meals we ate before our California trip, so I was doing my best to use up fresh things in our fridge.  We had a combo of roasted green beans, roasted portabella slices, and tempeh with Island Soyaki marinade (from Trader Joe’s). 

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Pretty sure Cullen’s face says it all – not impressed.  He ate the green beans and about half the tempeh, and I bargained for those so that he could have a bowl of “dessert” – which was frozen cherries (his favorite). 

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Graham is picky too but is usually more willing to at least TRY something.  He’s also big on chewing something up and then spitting it right back out, rather than just rejecting on sight.  I’m not sure which is more frustrating!

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And here was the adult version of that meal – Casey and I ate all of the rest of it! 

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So that’s it – 48 hours of meals for the little ones.  They probably snuck some bites of things here and there that I missed, but overall this is the big picture.  The only thing we didn’t eat during these two days that we usually do is a smoothie, which is either at breakfast or for afternoon snack. 

What are your kids eating and loving these days?



Mixing It Up With Blue Apron.

I’ve written about our experience using Blue Apron here and here already, and so for this post I thought I’d share a fun twist we added to our meal prep this week!  For those who are new to Blue Apron, you can check out my original intro post here

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To sum all of that up into one sentence – it is a delivery service that provides recipes and all the ingredients needed in order to prepare easy, healthy dinners for you and your family.  Rather than list all the features here again, I thought I’d share some of the main changes I have noticed since I started using the service almost a year ago.

The biggest change is that the plans have changed from the original 2-4-6 serving options.  Now they are offering the 2-Person Plan and Family Plan!  With the 2-Person Plan, you receive 3 meals each week for $9.99 per person per meal.  With the Family Plan, you  can opt to receive one or two deliveries per week, each delivery consisting of two meals to be served family-style. The price for this plan is $8.74 per meal, or $69.92 per eight serving delivery.  I will be switching to this plan for our next delivery!

Also, the delivery box has gotten significantly smaller and there is far less packaging.  I know this was a big point of contention many had with the service originally, and I love seeing a company respond to criticism with positive changes.  What used to come in many individual bags and containers is now mostly all bundled together within the main outer wrap.

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Check out all those gorgeous veggies!! 

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One last thing before I move on to this week’s meals!  I noticed during my last delivery that they are offering a new flexible menu feature.  For those who choose the meat or fish deliveries, rather than just accept the three meals that are offered for each week as part of your plan, you now have the choice to swap in some of the vegetarian or fish meals too!  I think this is such an awesome feature, especially for families who do eat meat but also like to eat vegetarian occasionally as well. 

Okay, onto our week of eating!  We typically use the Blue Apron service every few weeks in order to mix up our usual boring lineup of dinners.  Casey and I save the meals for a sort of “date-night-in” – a special meal for us to cook and enjoy together after the boys go to bed.  This is fun for us but also cuts down on getting takeout or going out to eat.   We never eat out for less than $20, so it’s still very cost effective for a quality meal, and definitely healthier. 

Throughout our week, we do a mix of family dinners where we all eat together, or nights like this where the boys eat their own meal and Casey and I cook and eat later.  As much as I love sitting at the table with the kids, I never enjoy the food very much.  Between refilling milk cups, threatening to take away banging spoons, and attempting to keep some sort of order at the table, I end up shoveling my food down in 20 seconds before I declare it is bath time.  So from time to time, it’s nice to actually stop and savor our food and conversation.

This week, we decided to mix it up a bit, and Casey cooked all the meals!  I’m pretty sure it was my favorite Blue Apron week yet! ;)  The first thing he made was the Sumac-Roasted Sweet Potato and Farro Salad

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I showed him where all the ingredients were, and after the boys were in bed I trotted off to try my first Flybarre class using ClassPass

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An hour later, I headed home energized, shaky, and starving.  I walked in the door to find this waiting for me…

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Like I said, best week ever!!  It was delicious and filling and the pickled onions kind of rocked my world.  That is something we’ll definitely do again!

Our second meal was the Roasted Poblano Chilaquiles, and I was excited for this one by just looking at the picture.  Anything with an egg on top is a winner in my book!

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On this particular Thursday night, Casey hit the kitchen again while I headed out to some hot yoga.  He got the kids in bed and then cooked us another awesome meal (and even snapped some prep pictures for me – THE best!). 

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I got home just in time to see him finishing up the last few steps on the recipe card. 

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This was absolutely delicious and super easy to make.  The thing I really like about Blue Apron is that it gives me new ideas to recreate on my own later.  Casey, who admittedly is also a good cook himself, said he’d definitely bookmark this idea and make it again sometime. 

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For our third and final meal for the week, we tried the Roasted Butternut Squash

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I actually stuck around this time and I cleaned up dishes from earlier in the day and just hung out and talked to Casey while he cooked.  The final plate ended up absolutely beautiful!  Also worth noting that we made this a full week after the original delivery, and the ingredients were all still very fresh tasting and not at all spoiled. 

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My only complaint about this meal was that it wasn’t as filling as I’d hoped it would be.  I felt like it was lacking a grain or something else with a bit more substance.  We do tend to eat bigger portions than most people, but this was still the first time I still felt hungry after a Blue Apron meal.  I’m excited to try out the Family Plan option next time and see if the portions are a better fit for our family.

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We shared this one in the living room in front of the Bachelor Finale.  Everyone needs a guilty pleasure, and we’ve already finished House of Cards!

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Overall, it was another great week of Blue Apron meals.  I asked Casey for his feedback, and he said that he actually found that he enjoyed cooking the meals, as he doesn’t do much cooking these days.  He liked that the stress of creating the meal concept was eliminated, but he could still prepare something healthy and tasty.  He also said that it gave him good ideas for meals to make again (and I definitely like the sound of that!). 

We’re skipping the next two weeks due to travel and having visitors in town, but I’m already looking forward to our next round of cooking these fun meals at home.  I’ll make sure to update eventually once we’ve tried the Family Plan a few times. 

As always, there is something for you guys from Blue Apron as well!  By using this link, the first 50 readers to sign up will get 2 free meals off their order.  I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do! 

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron.  None of these links are affiliates, and I do not earn credits or commissions for ongoing sign-ups to the service – I simply want you to enjoy it for yourselves!  Thank you for your continued support of Daily Garnish.

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