Posted in making time, recipes, Uncategorized

Quick-n-Easy Meal–Healthy Too!

Hello everyone! So glad to be back! I am so sorry to have been missing for so long, but we’re just starting to get back into a normal routine: Younger Son had a B.A.D. leg injury during the last football game of his JV season (2015). That resulted in 11 (and counting) trips to Manhattan’s phenomenal Hospital for Special Surgery—so grateful it wasn’t worse and that we live within a very reasonable driving distance; if it weren’t for the danged traffic on the FDR…)

Anyway, after two separate. dual procedures (one in February and one in June), Younger Son is hopefully on the mend for the long haul. The 2015-16 school year is behind us–it all but did me in; the 2016-17 school year is in full swing. And here I am, hoping and praying to scare out time to spend some here with all of you on a regular basis again! Somehow there is never enough of this ridiculously precious commodity!!

That brings me back to importance of getting an appealing, healthy, tasty meal on the table in record time. Weekdays or weekends, we tend to be very busy people: the day job, kids’ and/or parents’sports or other activities; homework, keeping the house in some sort of living order…

This also ties in perfectly with my last post, about how important meal time is to families in general—or so says MHO.

What you’ll need:

-(Pre-cooked) Rotisserie chicken (Costco’s is awesome, ~$5 for a 3-lb. bird—feeds 3-5-people)

costco chicken

-Broccoli and/or cauliflower florets (I buy a container of pre-cut ones at my produce market—about $2.50—see photo below)

-Potatoes (baked)

-Cooking spray (or oil)

-seasonings of choice

-Gravy (optional–you can make your own with drippings from bird, use a jarred brand, make your with an “instant”–i.e., add water and cook on stove–gravy packet or go to Boston Market and buy some as a “side dish.” 🙂 )

-Aluminum foil

Potatoes:

-Scrub potatoes and poke holes with fork.

-Line microwave-safe plate with paper towel; place potatoes on plate and microwave on high (about 5 minutes/potato*).

-wrap potatoes in foil; finish cooking them in conventional (or counter top) oven, along with veggies.

-butter, sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt—amazing stand-in for sour cream); salt, pepper, chives, etc).

Veggies:

-Preheat oven to 425˚F/~220˚C

-Rinse broccoli and/or cauliflower florets; drain.

-Spray a glass or metal roasting pan with (olive oil) spray. (Lining it with foil makes clean-up that much easier.)

-Arrange veggies in pan; spray to coat veggies with oil–or you can toss them with a little olive oil prior to placing in pan. Season the way you like. (I love garlic  salt and freshly ground black pepper.)

-Roast veggies to desired tenderness (about 20 minutes at my house)**.

IMG_2150

Chicken: 

Cut up.

I’m a fan of putting everything on the table, family style, and letting everyone serve him or herself. You can easily add to the meal by throwing together a simple salad, adding bread—you get the idea. Help the little ones unwrap the potatoes–no steam burns, please! Cut in half; season with butter, salt–however you like!

*If you don’t like microwaving, you can clean, poke, wrap and put potatoes directly in oven; you’ll need about an hour to bake them.

**No fans of broccoli and/or cauliflower at your house? No problem! Any of the following can be seasoned and roasted the same way: asparagus, peppers/onions, baby carrots, brussel sprouts, green or yellow squash.

That’s it! Dinner is done, delicious and pretty darned healthy too. Leaves a parent time to do something fun with the kids or have some quality time to him or herself! Enjoy!

What are some of your get-dinner-on-the-table-in-a-hurry tips and/or tricks? Please share them in the comments! I’m always looking for new ideas, especially those that involve home-style cooked foods.

Be well!

Joanne

©Joanne C Timpano (content and images), 2016. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Discipline vs. Control, Parenting, recipes, Reflections

“Why Are You So Dumb?” (Part 1)

Hi everyone. Please excuse my lack of posts since Mother’s Day. It’s been a busy past month. School begins its wind-down and the rush to last-minute paperwork on.

banana n almond butter
Easiest breakfast ever: sliced banana with a drizzle of almond butter. Pair with (almond) milk for a gluten-free, super-energizing, no-cook start to the day!

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. William James 

I was waiting in line at the food market the other day. A boy—maybe about 10 (?) years of age—was standing next to me. He was looking toward the back of the store, and appearing a hair uncertain.

A woman—perhaps his mother or grandmother (?)—approached him, glanced at the line, then at him.

“Why are you so dumb?” Her raised voice and annoyed tones conveyed her frustration—and turned the heads of anyone nearby.

(I’ll surmise the boy should have been keeping the woman’s place in line.)

The folks ahead of me must have thought the same. They offered to let the boy back in. No harm. No foul.

Someone must have commented about there being no problem. The woman, however, maintained her (mild) indignation, and her right to admonish the boy. “He has to learn.”

People, I had to bite my tongue. The woman might have been old-school. She had an accent, which suggests culture might have influenced the way she addressed the boy. She also might truly believe she was acting out of love.

As I wrote this, I had to wonder: If shaming that child in public was her way of “teaching” him, how does she deal with him behind closed doors?

I don’t consider myself an expert at anything, folks. I do, however, care deeply about how others feel, children in particular.

I suppose belittling and shaming, publicly or privately, might get a child’s attention. Will they “learn” from the experience?

Maybe.

Chances are, the child will remember feeling embarrassed more than s/he remembers the infraction.

But like everything else—in terms of action and reaction—shaming and belittling don’t lack for consequences.

We’ll pick this up next time.

Joanna

Posted in Exercise and fitness, fitness, holidays, mind and body, recipes, Uncategorized

Should “Healthy” Pancakes Taste This Good?

Yes, we will be doing recipes here, too. Something for everyone, right? And I’m thinking these might be a perfect addition to an Easter breakfast. 🙂

These past few weeks I’ve craved (diner) pancakes. Before I started cutting back white-flour products, I would order them on occasional breakfast trips out. Now, three bites gets me an instant headache from the flour AND the sugary table syrup.

I tried making a white whole wheat version, but they always felt heavy. They certainly didn’t capture that “diner flavor.” Then, shortly after Christmas, I picked up some woman’s magazine that talked about Paleo recipes. Almond meal came into my home and life changed—a little, anyway.

I found the original recipe here. I followed it exactly the first time, but I have this need to tweak every recipe I come across and really wanted to cut back the flour. Either way, the flavor—and even the texture—resembled those of the diner!

pancake ingredients
The (18-oz) jelly jar is holding about 1-1/2 cups of pre-mixed dry ingredients, enough for the 5 or 6 6-inch (?) pancakes pictured below.

Rather than list the entire recipe with my changes I’ll keep this short and note only the changes I made:

I cut back the white whole wheat flour to ¼ cup and increased the oatmeal to ¾ cup. (Next time I might add an additional ¼-tsp of baking soda too.)

I used ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt (b/c it’s all I had) and thinned it with ¼ cup of 1% milk (dairy or almond—both worked fine).

I ALWAYS add extra vanilla. 😉

I made some plain, added chocolate chips to a few, and even some dried coconut flakes. (I did blueberries last time, which I keep frozen.) They all worked.

pancakes (healthy)
Can y’all tell I’m a huge fan of green, especially that obnoxious lime version, lol? My dream vehicle is Jeep Wrangler in that shade–non-metallic, please. 😉

Rather than fry the pancakes in canola oil, I sprayed my griddle and cooked them the old-fashioned pancake way. Next time I make my tweaked version, I’ll let them cook a few minutes longer. I think oatmeal is a touch heavier than white whole wheat flour, so the batter has to cook a little longer to rise (?).

I transferred them to a spatter screen, to keep the bottom of the pancake from getting mushy from condensation. Once they’re cool I put them on a plate.

These keep well in the fridge for a few days. (The flavor gets better.) I’m sure they can also be frozen for a quick and healthy breakfast just before school. (I toss them in the toaster on low. Works really well.) Layer them with yogurt and fruit or maple syrup and a touch of butter. PBJ or almond butter and jelly are good too. (Yes, I’ve tried it.)

Are you constantly looking for healthier versions of comfort food standards? Do you follow a recipe ‘as is’ or are you compelled to put your stamp on it? Will your kids eat your take on their favorite foods?

(Images of my dream vehicle–just for fun. Parents and caregivers need some. 🙂 )

Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all who celebrate! Please take a moment to remember (and pray for, if you are so inclined) those who aren’t as blessed as we are.

Until next time,

Joanne