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Nourish: A New Cookbook + 2 Recipe Sneak Peeks!

I know you can find SO many recipes online these days, especially with Pinterest, but I still love a beautiful, hard copy cookbook, where I can flip through the pages and put tabs on the recipes I want to try. And I found a gorgeous new cookbook that appeals to both my food-lover and fitness-lover sides!

I received Nourish: The Fit Woman’s Cookbook by Lorna Jane Clarkson to review as part of the SweatPink Ambassador program. Lorna Jane is the founder of Lorna Jane Active Living, a super stylish fitness clothing line. Her approach to health involves an active lifestyle and well-rounded, healthy eating habits.

Nourish 5

Nourish is not just a cookbook. It is a beautiful book with fantastic photos of healthy foods and inspirational moments. It is a book that will help you focus on good eating habits and break several healthy eating myths. It is a book that shows you don’t have to eat bland food to eat healthy food.

I will admit that Lorna Jane uses quite a few ingredients I don’t usually keep around, so not everything in practical for me. But every recipe is well put-together and will keep your active body fueled well with lots of real food. Despite my initial hesitations about the uncommon ingredients, I did find several recipes I was excited to try. And I had to pick a summery one to get started.

The Chocolate, Banana, and Almond Yoghurt Pops were the first to draw me in! 

Nourish 2

I love the combo of chocolate, nut butter, and banana, and I’m always a fan of adding Greek yogurt to up the protein level.

Nourish 3

These pops were relatively easy to make and the maple syrup and banana added just the right amount of natural sweetness. And here is the recipe for you to try yourself!

Nourish 4

Chocolate, Banana, and Almond Yoghurt Pops

Ingredients:

1 cup (280g) unsweetened greek-style yoghurt
2 tablespoons natural almond butter
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1 small banana (130g), sliced thinly

Directions:

1. Combine half the yoghurt, almond butter and half the maple syrup in a small bowl.
2. Combine the remaining yoghurt with the remaining maple syrup and sifted cacao powder in another small bowl.
3. Using the tip of your fingers, carefully press banana slices on the insides of 6 x ¼-cup (60ml) ice-block moulds. Layer almond mixture and cacao mixture into moulds, alternating which mixture you start with. Push in sticks.
4. Freeze 3 hours or overnight until firm.

prep + cook time 15 minutes (+ freezing)
makes 6
nutritional count per pop protein (4.6g), carbohydrate (13.1g), total fat (6.7g), fibre (0.4g).

There are also several breakfast recipes that sound delicious to me, especially this Quinoa, Mushroom, and Spinach Frittata. I’m not always great about getting enough veggies in my day, but throwing some veggies in with eggs is the perfect way to start the day! Here is the recipe for you:

Quinoa, Mushroom, and Spinach Frittata

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon cold-pressed extra-virgin coconut oil
200g (6½ ounces) swiss brown mushrooms, halved
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup (50g) baby spinach leaves
¾ cup cooked white quinoa
6 organic free-range eggs
¼ cup (60ml) iced filtered water

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
2. Heat coconut oil in a small frying pan (top measurement about 20cm/8 inches); cook mushrooms with garlic, stirring, until mushrooms are browned and tender.
3. Add spinach and quinoa to pan; toss gently. Whisk eggs and the water in a medium jug until frothy. Pour the egg mixture into pan; cook frittata over medium-low heat, about 10 minutes or until about halfway set. Place pan in oven; cook frittata about 15 minutes or until browned and set. Garnish with mushrooms and spinach leaves.

prep + cook time 40 minutes
serves 2
nutritional count per serving protein (25.7g), carbohydrate (14.9g), total fat (19.2g), fibre (4.5g).

Doesn’t that sound fabulous?! There are lots more wonderful recipes where these came from – dinners and lunches and desserts and snacks and even juices for all purposes! I also love the Lorna Jane includes information about super foods and her top healthy eating habits.

Are you excited about all of this healthy eating talk like I am? Join the movement with #LiveLoveNOURISH. You have the opportunity to be 1 of 10 winners that will get their own hard copy NOURISH cookbook. The most active participant will receive a cookbook AND a $200 Gift Card to Lorna Jane!

Show us how the NOURISH cookbook works for your lifestyle – in between work, play, sweat sessions, etc! Join the live Twitter Party tomorrow night (7/9) 6pm PDT/9pm EDT. Click here to tweet and enter to win —> Tweet: Join the #LiveLoveNOURISH initiative w/ @LornaJaneActive @FitApproach! Giveaway of: 10 NOURISH Cookbooks + $200 Gift Card to #lornajane!

Don’t forget to check out the Lorna Jane site for lots of awesome fitness clothing and read more about the Nourish cookbook!

 

I received this a digital copy of this cookbook to review plus a $50 gift card in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own!

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A Bowl of Slow Cooker Chicken Soup

It’s cold and blustery and there’s a dusting of snow on the ground. It feels like the perfect winter day – one that requires hats and scarves and a warm bowl of chicken soup.

Chicken Soup + Bread

And if you lived nearby, I’d invite you over to share a bowl of this chicken soup with some warm, fresh bread and we could just forget about the hustle and bustle of the holidays. That is, of course, after I deal with the pile of laundry as tall as me…

This was a new chicken soup recipe for me. I am always drawn in by the words “crockpot” and “slow cooker” because that means less dinner time stress for me! And, to be totally honest, I’m not a big fan of noodles in soup, so this chicken and veggies combo was just what I was looking for! I hope it hits the spot for you as well!

Slow Cooker Chicken Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • 3-4 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Chop onion and garlic. Add to the slow cooker with the coconut oil. Turn the slow cooker to high, letting the garlic and onion heat up for about 10 minutes.
  2. Chop the carrots, celery, and red pepper.
  3. Turn the slow cooker to low (or keep on high for shorter cooking time).
  4. Add the chicken, vegetables, broth, and spices.
  5. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
  6. Remove the chicken to shred. Return the shredded chicken to the soup. Stir and serve.

A few notes: I put the chicken breasts in frozen and cooked everything on low for 6-7 hours and it was perfect! I used low-sodium chicken broth, but found that I needed to add some extra salt at the end, so just use your personal taste as a guide!

Recipe adapted from Paleo Recipe Share.

What goes into your favorite chicken soup recipe?

 

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Bread Machine Focaccia

My love for bread is the very reason I work out. Carbs are yummy and I just can’t let go of them. So I exercise and call it good.

The bread machine is one of my enablers. It wasn’t always that way. For a few years after we got married, it sat in the closet because I had no idea the wonders it could perform. Then recipes like this one came along.

Bread Machine Focaccia

Who knew you could make yummy, flavorful focaccia in a bread machine?! In the interest of full disclosure, you just make the dough in the machine, but that’s what makes this so easy! After it’s done mixing up in the machine, just flatten the dough into a pan, dimple and doctor it up a bit, and bake in the oven.

You may love me for this. You may hate me for this. I’ll take the bad with the good because I believe we should all eat really delicious bread at least every once in a while.

We’re gobbling this up with some spaghetti tonight. And it tastes really good dipped in a mixture of olive oil and spices. Mmmmm…

I’ll work it off with T25 tomorrow.

Bread Machine Focaccia

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus 2 tablespoons for later)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary (plus 1 teaspoon for later)
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • Kosher salt, for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Put water, 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, 2 tsp rosemary, bread flour, and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. {I did mine in the exact order listed, making a well in the flour for the yeast.}
  2. Select dough cycle; press start.
  3. Remove dough from bread machine when cycle is complete. Pat dough into a 9×13 inch baking pan or 12 inch pizza pan. Use your fingers to dimple the dough every inch or so. Brush with remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and remaining 1 tsp rosemary.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover focaccia with plastic wrap while oven preheats.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

 Enjoy!

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Day 21: I Don’t HAVE to… Make Everything from Scratch

31 Days of NOT Having It All Banner

Say it with me:

I don’t HAVE to make everything from scratch.

I don’t have to make EVERYTHING from scratch.

I don’t have to make everything from SCRATCH.

I really love to cook and bake, especially for my family. I love serving them homemade meals and snacks and treats and seeing how much they enjoy them.

But I do NOT make everything from scratch and I have no desire to.

Make Everything from Scratch

We have more healthy food options available at the grocery store than ever before – organic, grass-fed, whole wheat…you get the idea. But I sense this underlying guilt from moms everywhere who feel like they should be making everything homemade.

Even though I love cooking and baking, I just cannot make everything from scratch. There is just not enough time in the day. And while healthy eating is a battle I choose to fight for our family, the homemade thing is not.

There are a few things I do love made at home – bread, pizza dough, granola, taco seasoning – but there are plenty of items that are store-bought and I am just fine with that. And so is my sanity. Oh, and don’t even get me started on having my own garden – it would all be dead before I even planted it…

Many families need to choose more homemade things because of food allergies. I applaud those moms who put so much work and love into making sure their children have healthy foods that won’t make them sick. Some families enjoy making homemade food together as a bonding experience. I really love that idea, but that is just not our family right now!

Whatever a family’s reason might be for making most things homemade, that is their choice and not any kind of judgement on you. Free yourself from cooking and baking expectations you’ve arrived at because of comparison and guilt.

You CAN find healthy options for your family at the grocery store. And choosing more whole foods – fruit, vegetables, meat, nuts – for your family’s diet is actually a great way to feed your family better AND avoid the “homemade” guilt!

If you love making everything from scratch, yay for you! And I would love an invite to eat your yummy food sometime! But if you don’t love it or you don’t have time for it or the thought of making everything homemade sends you into a panic – DON’T DO IT. Just don’t. And be ok with that.

I’m going to go enjoy my store-bought whole wheat English muffin with store-bought natural peanut butter and honey…

Are you a domestic diva when it comes to homemade food, a store-bought girl, or somewhere in the middle?

 

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Day 8: I Don’t HAVE to…Cook Pin-Worthy Meals

31 Days of NOT Having It All Banner

As I write this, I’m enjoying a delicious bowl of breakfast pumpkin quinoa, the recipe for which I found on Pinterest. Ironic, as this post is about NOT needing to be a Pinterest-worthy chef or baker!

I have a love affair with Pinterest now, but I used to hate it. Yep, I used the word hate. My boys would tell you, “We don’t say hate in this house!” But before I learned to use Pinterest to my advantage, it made me feel like a terrible everything.

Pinterest is FULL of great ideas {we’ll talk about food today and some other areas later this month}, but as I would look through all the amazing recipes, I started to feel like the world’s worst mother for serving my children store-bought chicken nuggets and making plain old quesadillas with plain old cheddar cheese instead of vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo, super-duper amazing quesadillas. {Ok, those aren’t a real thing, but all of those labels are being thrown out nonstop on Pinterest and they make my head spin!}

The reality is my husband and I are picky eaters, and even though we’ve branched out more as we get older, we’re still not real adventurous in the food department. And worth even more consideration is the fact that we have three boys, seven years old and under, and they have inherited our picky ways.

As I would peruse Pinterest for new recipes to try, my cooking self-esteem would plummet as I saw the elaborate dishes my mom friends were cooking for their children who loved every bite. I actually love to cook and bake, but most nights, I just can’t whip up a meal worthy of Pinterest glory, and if I did, my kids probably wouldn’t eat it!

Cook Pin-Worthy Meals

I am in a season of life where I need to find quick, easy meals that are healthy for my children. I don’t HAVE to serve a painstakingly crafted meal with several fancy sides that will only suck time away from other important things I could be doing and that will probably not be appreciated the way I would hope.

If you love to cook meals like this and have the time to do it and your family enjoys, go for it! Cook away! I will drool over your pictures and maybe try your recipe for a fancy occasion.

For this time in my life, I’m sticking with the meals my family loves and stepping away from the gourmet pins.

With all of this being said, Pinterest CAN be a great resource for exactly the kind of meals I need right now. Our whole family loves these mini corn dog muffins and this EASY chicken taco chili is a big hit for The Hubby and I {without the beans, of course, because, like I said, we are picky}. Spend your time on Pinterest searching for specific things, such as “easy weeknight meals” or “5 ingredients or less” to find just what you need and to keep yourself from getting discouraged! {If you want to connect with me on Pinterest, click here! We can share super-easy, real kid-approved recipes!}

Is feeding your family a source of frustration or fun for you? How could you make mealtime easier on yourself?

 

NEW MOB logoOn a completely different note, did you know The MOB Society site is relaunching today?! After months of technical difficulties, we are back and better than ever, and with a huge announcement from my dear friend and MOB cohort, Brooke, that all boy moms will love! I would love for you to head over to the new site and enter the fun relaunch giveaway!

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The Best Meal Planning Tool I’ve Ever Used!

This is NOT a paid review. I just LOVE this so much, I HAD to tell you about it! I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

Raise your hand if meal planning is one of your biggest struggles as school starts up again!

Summer is kind of a free-for-all when it comes to food around here – snacking, late dinners, leftovers. But our school schedule along with extra activities demands that I be more structured. And my grocery budget thanks me for it as well.

When it comes to meal planning, I have tried EVERYTHING. Calendars, lists, pen & paper, digital, binders…seriously, I have tried it all in an effort to stay more on track with food prep and budget.

I honestly scrolled right past the tweets and posts about Plan to Eat when they first popped up because I didn’t think it could be any different or better than all the things I had already tried. And I really wasn’t interested in a paid meal planning service.

But the 30-day free trial reeled me in, and before a week had even passed, I was hooked.

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Plan to Eat is different than other meal planning options and works well for our family for several reasons:

1. We are picky eaters. We do not do well with someone else sending a menu to prepare for the week. Plan to Eat is for YOUR favorite recipes.

2. When I want new recipe ideas, I want them from a friend who has actually tried them and loves them. Plan to Eat has a social aspect – find your friends on the service, browse their recipes, and add the ones you want to try to your recipes!

3. I find the majority of my recipes online, from friends’ blogs or social media posts or on Pinterest, and I want to have all those great recipes organized in one place. Plan to Eat makes it very easy to add recipes directly from a website or blog post with copying and pasting the whole thing! There is even a bookmark you can add to your browser’s tool bar to click on and automatically add a recipe!

4. The $39 annual fee is SO small compared to most online services. And I’m sure I’ve saved that much on groceries by being more organized! {And stay tuned later in this post for a way to get it for even less…}

I could go on and on about my adoration for Plan to Eat, but I really think you just have to try it to see how much you’ll love it. Really – go sign up for the 30-day FREE trial, find me on there {homewiththeboys}, and start

If you get in there and feel a little overwhelmed about where to start, feel free to ask any questions by email, Facebook, Twitter, whatever! My friend Kat wrote an AWESOME series on using Plan to Eat, so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel! She covers everything!

To celebrate the start of the school year and help you get back on track, I have a super special Plan to Eat treat ONLY for you, my friends! Check this out…

PTE-coupon

You MUST take advantage of this now! I don’t think you’ll even need until August 31st to decide to go all in!

And there’s more!

We’re giving away TWO one-year meal planning subscriptions to Plan to Eat, each valued at $39! Thank you PTE! We love you!

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My Favorite Easy, Nutty Smoothie!

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

I have to share some yumminess with you today.

I’ve been running and trying to get healthier all around for over a year now. Throughout that journey, I’ve been trying to replace some indulgent treats with healthier versions, as well as adding more protein and reducing the use of processed sugar. I don’t always get it right, but I just keep trying and sometimes I find gem like this one.

This smoothie combines some of my very favorite things – chocolate, nuts, and banana – and it is very easily adaptable as well! I always keep frozen bananas on hand so I’m ready to make this…

Easy Nutty Smoothie

Easy, Nutty Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup milk – skim milk, almond milk, coconut milk – I’ve tried them all and they’ve all tasted great!

1 frozen banana

2 tsp cocoa powder

2 TBSP almonds OR PB2The almonds will give a little more texture to the smoothie. The PB2 – powdered peanut butter with very low fat and no sugar added – gives more flavor than the almonds! I alternate what nut flavor I use and like them equally! You could also use Chocolate PB2 for extra chocolate flavor!

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Here is the nutrition information for the way I made it this morning {skim milk & PB2}, in case you’re interested!

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Very few ingredients, very little time, appealing flavor for the whole family – can you see why this is my favorite smoothie?!

What is your favorite smoothie right now?

 

I’m linking up with Works for Me Wednesday at We Are That Family! Find lots of great life solutions over there today!

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How to Enjoy Your Holiday Weekend

If you do only one fun thing this weekend, make it this…

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And then your face can look like this…

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That’s his “this is SO good” face. Or he’s in sugar shock.

You can thank me later.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

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Comfort Food {Five Minute Friday}

Five Minute FridayIt’s Five-Minute Friday with lovely Lisa-Jo!

Set a timer and just write. Don’t worry about making it just right or not.

For me? An exercise in letting go and letting words flow. Five minutes only. {yes, I do set a timer and it quacks like a duck at 5 minutes, which totally makes me smile}

Today’s prompt: Comfort.

And go…

I’m going to keep it real here: When I heard this week’s word was COMFORT, my mind went right to food. Comfort food. And then I made a batch of popcorn on the stove.

It’s not that I need food to give me comfort, but there has always been the comfort of family and home attached to food in my life.

Comfort Food with Grandma

My mom always talks fondly of “Saturday night hamburgers” made on the farm when she was growing up. The hamburgers WERE very yummy, but I think it was more of the family coming together over those hamburgers that produced such warm memories…such comfort.

And she went on to bring that same level of comfort in our home. Tuesday night tacos before Girl Scouts. Large batches of BBQs {sloppy joes} when extended family was in town. Chicken chili, stove-top popcorn, sugar muffins, the list goes on…

It was all YUMMY, but it wasn’t really the food. It was the love being put into the food. The comfort of a mom who cared about home and warmth and love more than perfection or presentation in that food. The food was never more important than the family or company sharing it.

I hope to be passing on that same comfort my mom gave me with our Saturday morning donuts and first day of school chocolate chip scones and… you get the idea.

Comfort can be found in food and home and family…and you gave me all of that, Mom, and still do. We love you dearly!

Comfort Mom

Happy Mother’s Day!

Stop.

And now I’m off to link up this post with the fabulous Five Minute Friday community! You MUST take the time to read the words of these BRAVE writers!

 

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Quinoa for the Whole Family

Quinoa for the Whole Family

I’ve become a quinoa lover in the past year.

Quinoa was only a rice substitute in my mind when I first gave it a try, but I’ve found it to be much more versatile than I had originally thought!

The nutrition facts for quinoa are pretty awesome. One cup of cooked quinoa has 220 calories, 3.5 grams of healthy fat, and 8 grams of protein! That protein number is what really catches my eye because I am always working on getting more protein in my diet. Quinoa is actually a healthy carbohydrate AND it contains the amino acids needed to help your body use protein well. Super food is right!

Once I realized how much I could do with quinoa, I bought a large bag of Nature’s Earthly Choice Organic Quinoa at Costco and I’m so glad I did! It use some at least once a week and it is lasting us a long time!

I took to quinoa quickly, but I knew the boys would be a little harder sell. That’s when Pinterest came to the rescue! Here are a few of my favorite quinoa recipes, for myself and the rest of the crew, as well as a few I can’t wait to try!

We already love these recipes…

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins from Once a Month Mom

Everything in these is YUMMY and the quinoa adds a unique bit of crunch that the boys and I love!

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Breakfast Quinoa from How Sweet It Is

One of my favorite breakfasts right now because I don’t have to add any sweeteners – it’s delicious the just the way it is, topped with sliced bananas and chopped pecans!

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Slow Cooker Chicken Quinoa Chili from Sweet Treats and More

This is a wonderful, filling lunch or supper dish! I’m the only one who really enjoys this, but I still make a regular batch and freeze the extras for later lunches!

I also love to mix up some quinoa with leftover shredded meat and veggies for a quick, healthy lunch!

And a few recipes we’re excited to try…

Quinoa Chicken Tenders

I’m giving these a shot in place of store-bought chicken nuggets this week! They sound fabulous to me, but I want the boys to love them, too! Wish me luck…

Puffed Quinoa Peanut Butter Balls from Vegangela

I’m a sucker for anything that combines peanut butter and chocolate. And when Big J saw the picture of these, he wanted to know when we could try them, so I can’t wait to whip up a batch!

Chocolate Quinoa Protein Energy Bars from No Meat Athlete

Chocolate – good. Quinoa – good. Protein – good. Energy – good. I just need to pick up some protein powder before I can attempt these bars!

Does your family enjoy quinoa? What are your favorite recipes?

 

*This post contains affiliate links.

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