Pulled in different directions

What’s new in food for me? First thing this morning I picked up a huge container of “krispies” (essentially rice krispies but bought bulk) and the top was off… waterfall onto the table, floor… sigh. The best part was my 5 year old immediately offered “I can help, Mom”. This simple offer immediately relaxed my heart. I love her!Image

I find myself being pulled in different directions with food this week… while I love to be adventurous and try new recipes – like our raw cacao shake yesterday – I find myself disappointed when my new creations are met with hesitation of my youngsters, thus I am tempted to just repeat the same favorites. Boring for me, great for them! The raw cacao shake was rejected by my oldest, gobbled by my 2nd… and I found it to be a whole new food group! YUMM! 

My husband found the first mouthful a bit odd, but after that he enjoyed it too. A great cholesterol free snack for him; again somewhere I am pulled it 2 ways. On the one hand I’ve always enjoyed using butter, eggs, cheese and other organic dairy in my kitchen, on the other my husband was recently told to watch his cholesterol. Hence tomorrow I will try to make and integrate some new “cheese” (made of sunflower and almonds). I find butter, eggs, and cheese to be “real food” and it is challenging for me to switch to the often more processed, sweetened, etc. alternatives.

Third, I find my budget is pulling me to spend less… I toy with giving up buying organic altogether… how much cheaper would that be? Or do I stick to buying organic, unprocessed foods and give up buying any expensive treats like ice cream, prepared baking, even feta cheese! to try to bring my bill down.

Finally I am pulled to spend less time on food preparation, making easy things like salads and tonight’s “Spinach cheese bake” with steamed asparagus. Yet, I so enjoy everything homemade, and it all takes time… fresh oatmeal cookies last night for example, or our “scone party” pictured here – my girls loved these fresh maple date scones on Saturday morning in our yard. As did I!!

Alas, I find myself pulled in different directions and struggle to find the happy balance.

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6 thoughts on “Pulled in different directions

  1. I can fully understand what you are saying in regards to being pulled… it is such a balancing act… keeping a buget, pleasing everyone, particularly yourself when you’re the one going to the trouble of making something ‘yummy’. My thoughts on organic… I go as organic as reasonable; if something is considerably more $ organic I weigh it out. For instance- bananas are very little difference in price and much tastier organic; rolled oats are something like 3x the price… not sure the difference in quality. Some things I would never buy non organic like strawberries and apples that are highly sprayed. I would never go back to storebought eggs- I don’t think the organic egg farmers are charging enough for their perfect source of protein. I know that if they are feeding their chickens organic feed it costs considerably more and they might make 50 cents a dozen at $4.50… and I might add there is not comparison to the taste. With the exception of bananas and oranges I tend to not buy produce out of season. I have quite a good supply of frozen local fruit that it keeps me going. My thoughts are to go with bulk buying (with friends if needed) and we can help each other keep the costs down. I think we’re on the right track… look forward to tuesday

    • Appreciate the thoughts Dawn… I too am unsure about the quality of organic grains (oats, rice, quinoa) vs. non-organic. I do buy organic oats but didn’t realize they are 3x the price! yikes! I have not been able to justify organic rice… This list of foods highest in pesticides is what I’ve trusted:
      Apples, Bell Peppers, Celery, Cherries, Grapes, Nectarines, Tomatoes, Canteloupe, Peaches, Pears, Potatoes, Raspberries, Spinach, Strawberries & Green Beans

      Good for you sticking to local foods, with a few exceptions. Every year in March/April I lose steam on the local train and this year I started buying mango and watermelon for my girls… but I do still have frozen fruit… smoothies, crumbles, sauces, what other ways do you have it “keep you going”?

      These have the lowest level of pesticides:
      Asparagus, Avocado, Banana, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Corn, Kiwi, Mango, Onion, Papaya, Pineapples, Peas, Cabbage

      • Environmental working group- just posted an updated list of the ‘dirty dozen as well as a clean list. I like that avocados and pinapples are on the clean list since they can be more pricy organic (I use avocadoes regularly so I guess I not as local as I profess to be… got thinking about that 🙂 )
        But seriosly smoothies both the fruit and the greens keep me going with the winter local produce from the freezer. Spring comes and there is a fresh supply of free dandilion greens and other wild greens.
        http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/

  2. moe got in on some cookin action too! nice. i hear ya with the food bill dude. i am in the same struggle right now.
    see ya soon

  3. recipe from last night’s demo: can move this to a category later
    Crust is for when you want to be fancy and make the ‘tart’

    Pumpkin’ Cashew Tart/ carrot pudding
    crust:
    1 ½ cups almond flour
    1 cup dates
    ¾ cup coconut oil (option)
    large pinch of sea salt
    Grind almonds to a fine consistency in a food processor.
    Mix until thoroughly combined. The mix should stick together enough to keep shape. Add a bit of water if needed.
    Press into glass pie pan or a form with removable bottom

    Filling: or just use this as pudding
    2 cups carrot juice
    1 cup raw cashews (soak in the carrot juice for a couple hours or more)
    1 cup coconut = the cream that comes from a can of coconut milk. (Native Forest $3.70)
    let me know if you find another cheeper organic brand that has a good amount of cream
    The remaining milk can be used in your next smoothie
    1/8 cup agave nectar or sweetener of choice
    ¾ cup coconut oil (melted but not hot or will congeal with mix)
    1/2 cup date paste
    1 T vanilla
    2 tsp ginger
    ½ tsp nutmeg (I think I used less)
    ¼ tsp cloves
    ¾ tsp sea salt

    Blend in food processor or blender until smooth… may take a few minutes. Taste and adjust your seasoning as you like
    Pour onto crust , dish (or small jars and put in freezer for kids lunches)
    What a great idea!

  4. Hmmm. I feel like dairy & meat must be organic or at least hormone free & humanely treated.

    Veggies & fruits I always go local over organic but I love both & put up a ton of food in August/September (freezing & canning – come over & we’ll do it together!).

    Jenny Rae & I are trying to get a little food co-op buying situation going – if you’re interested we can make it happen! It really does reduce costs if you can afford the money up front & store it.

    Doug also has some issues with cholesterol, but I think it’s his choices, not the basic good food I’m putting on the table. He eats treats on the side & doesn’t exercise much, so I’m not willing to sacrifice our whole foods diet (including butter, cream, avocadoes & greek yogurt!) until he picks up his exercise.

    I regard my time in the kitchen cooking as my meditation time. I’ve also started to include Olive as much as she’s interested. Sometimes that means that I have Olive & August on a chair pressing against me as I chop veggies, but at least we’re making good food & they seem more likely to try it if they’ve helped make it!

    Thanks for doing all of this work, Diana!

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