Wednesday, June 9, 2010


My last post was about food battles with Ellie, and I'm delighted to report they are improving. She seems to be eating more quantity and diversity than in previous weeks, though I'm certain to jinx that by writing this (or perhaps even by thinking it).

We are heading out of town for a few days tomorrow, so I thought I would post a few updates for different food related topics. By now, I'm sure no one expects daily posts from me (a lofty goal for me, apparently), but I still felt this need to wrap up what I perceived as loose ends. And here are the updates

We have harvested 19 strawberries as of last count. Nothing hugely impressive (not enough to fill a pint), but I'm delighted because they truly are OUR strawberries. And they have been delicious. :)

The squash bed has grown out of control. I absolutely need to transplant about half of the squash quite soon or we may be in danger of having no squash due to overcrowding. I'm not sure whether squash is transplantable, but I figure it's worth a shot. A quick Google search seems to indicate this is possible. They are not flowering yet, so I think this will work out. Worst case, I have too much squash but not nearly as much "too much" as before. My neighbors will be locking their porch doors in the not-too-distant future to avoid squash deliveries.

The bean vines are finally reaching the tops of the 6 foot tall poles. I'm very excited by the prospect of bean tipis.

The tomato plants have more than doubled in size.

The carrots no longer look like a row of grass but instead are starting to look like carrot tops.

The other vegetables seems in good health, and the marigolds seem "fatter" in their blossoms.

Weight Loss
I have lost a total of 5.6 pounds since starting Weight Watchers a few weeks ago. I'm quite excited about this. Part of my weight loss journey has included trying out some new recipes, and I'll try to remember to post some of those when we get back from our weekend. So far the kids have been happy or indifferent to the new recipes, with minimal complaints.

Meal Planning - What we are feeding the kids
My kids have been eating A LOT of peanut butter and jelly for lunch and oatmeal for breakfast. Nothing fancy, but these foods seems to have become comfort foods for them. In addition to those favorites, lunch and dinner always include a vegetable and usually a fruit. I try to think about a protein, a vegetable, and something sweet but preferably healthy (thus fruit but sometimes yogurt).

This past week I made a vegetable stew which Aaron and I loved and the kids at least ate about half of their servings. Caleb particularly enjoyed the couscous, and I think Ellie liked it once she realized it was a form of pasta. Not a huge success for the kids, but not a failure either.

Turkish Vegetable Stew with Israeli Couscous - from Weight Watchers
1 cup uncooked Israeli couscous
1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 medium eggplant, raw, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise, then into 1/2 inch thick pieces
1 medium yellow pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks (I used a red pepper)
15 oz. can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
14 1/2 oz can of diced tomatoes, with roasted garlic (I used plain 'maters and added some garlic)
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. scallions, sliced
1/3 c. fresh dill, chopped (I used about 1/6 c. of dry dill weed)
1/2 c. feta cheese

To make couscous, bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add couscous. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until couscous is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of oil.

While couscous cooks, make stew. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant; cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add zucchini and yellow pepper; cook, stirring often, until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in garbanzo beans, tomatoes, water, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in scallions and dill.

To serve, spoon a scant 3/4 cup of couscous onto each of 4 serving plates or bowls and top each with 1 1/2 cups of stew. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons of cheese and serve.

This recipe was a good way to get veggies into my kids. I also discovered that Caleb prefers raw zucchini to cooked - go figure.

Other than some new recipes which definitely include lots of veggies (Greek Penne had spinach and tomatoes but was NOT a hit with the kids sadly), we have enjoyed a few meals of fantastic chicken from Chestnut Farms. We are going to visit the farm this weekend on our way back from visiting our friends in western MA. I'm very excited about seeing the farm! Pictures will be forthcoming.

Anyway, meal planning has been happening a bit more since I need to plan to do well at my weight loss. I don't have a groove for it yet, but it is feeling easier to cook and make sure my kids get the foods they need to grow.

I *think* those are all the updates for now. Pictures of our overgrown garden, the farm, and more recipe reviews will be on their way after the weekend!

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