It's Easy Being a Green Mama


Fast food the green way
August 26, 2017, 7:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I like to fill my time with the things that matter to me.  Volunteering, being with my family, running, there is so many things to make time for.  Then there’s the things I have to do, all the daily chores, and of course, sleeping.  I really do enjoy cooking, and I really really enjoy eating a good meal.

Of course, it is hard to find the time to make the healthy meals I want.  I rarely have time to eat, let alone cook.  And it is just getting harder, as time goes on.  Now my oldest daughter is involved in after school sports, and we are trying to make time for homework.  First graders don’t do homework by themselves, at least mine doesn’t.  And I still have a child that doesn’t sleep through the night.  And now I’m marathon training, officially.

I think this is the norm for the average adult.  I’m a stay-at-home mom, I don’t even have job outside the house.  I find myself wanting to get a quick meal or at least a caffeinated beverage just to keep going.

But as anyone who ever goes to Starbucks knows, it’s easy to burn through money doing that.  Plus, so much of that goes in the trash.  And it’s not usually the healthiest of calories.  It’s kind of good and bad for me that as of this moment, there aren’t a lot of drive through options near where I live, and not much in the way of delivery.

So, fast food for us means, prepping ahead of time.  Weekends and during the day (nap time) is the best time for me to make big batches of things, or get dinner ready.  We have a weekend tradition of making a big breakfast, usually on Saturdays.  I usually make either waffles or pancakes.  I like to make a lot, and usually it lasts for at least half the week.  My breakfast is usually a smoothie, so that’s hard to make ahead of time, except I get everything ready.  I either buy a bake of wild blueberries in the freezer section or cut up a bunch of fruit and put it in the freezer.   Then at night I get out all of my ingredients and make it quickly in the morning.

My husband has been the one to make hummus, and lately he likes making something quick for breakfast, such as “superhero” muffins and egg and veggie wraps.  He likes to make these in big batches, freeze them, and then toast them in the morning.  I think sometimes he even ends up eating them for lunch.

Lunch for us is often on the go. My oldest takes her lunch to school.  I have several bento style containers that have compartments.  She often requests “lunchables” so I’ll make my own version of cheese and crackers, with hummus and carrots for dipping.  My other two often get something similar.  I also like to give them rice and beans, healthy proteins and lots of fruit and vegetables.

I like to make snacks ahead as well.  One favorite snack I like to make is these chocolate chia bars I got varied from Vegetarian Times.

  • 1 1/2 cups pitted dates
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup whole chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, optional
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract, optional
  • 1 cup raw nuts, such as walnuts or almonds
  • 2-3 Tbsp water

In a food processor, pulse the dates until it forms a paste.  Add everything except the nuts, puree until combined.  Add the nuts, pulse until fine.  Add water until mixture is no longer crumbly.

Place mixture in a glass casserole dish lined with wax paper.  Spread the mix in the dish, press it until flat.  Refrigerate until you eat, at least overnight.  I like to cut them into bite size pieces, and then grab them when I need something to hold me over.  Sometimes I give them for a snack for the kids to take to school, along with some fruit.

I wrote earlier that I often make dinner in the slow cooker lately.  I get all of the ingredients out the night before and prep, and then throw everything in the morning and turn it on low.  I love that dinner is ready and I’ve already done the work.  If I don’t do that, I end up making dinner when the kids are napping, if I can arrange that.  If not, I end up cooking dinner with three kids vying for my attention, and I just rush it.

So there’s at least one night a week where I figure something out fast because it’s just too much to think of what to feed them.  More often, it’s lunch, I’m out running errands, and I grab something quick to feed the younger two.  Or I get the middle daughter a smoothie because she loves them and I don’t want to fight her.  It adds up.  Last night, I ordered a pizza because I just really didn’t feel like thinking about it, and I didn’t have a meal planned out.

So I’ve decided this week, I’m going to challenge myself not to eat out at all.  It means I will have to set aside more time for planning.  I will have to make sure I’m prepared when I leave the house with snacks, water, and lunches.  I might even have to brew some iced tea.  It means I might have to take some time tomorrow to prep some quick things I can grab quickly.

 

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