Tag Archives: organic food

Strawberry Spinach Salad

With the bounty from our adventure yesterday, we were in need of some ideas on how to use our red ripe strawberries.  (Will I ever be able to think again without lines from children’s books popping into my head?  Considering the amount my son asks me to read to him, probably not.)

But I digress…

Since it’s spring, and I couldn’t find any recipes I liked for a spinach salad using strawberries, I decided to create my own.

Strawberry Spinach Salad


  • about 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1 to 2 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced and quartered
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed really well
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives chopped
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

for the dressing:

  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • hard cheese for grating on top- I used a raw gouda


Combine all of the ingredients for the salad in a huge salad bowl, and toss well.

To make the dressing,  stir the balsamic vinegar and honey together in a bowl.  Slowly add the olive oil into the mixture while whisking continuously. Season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad just before serving, then grate the desired amount of cheese on top.

fresh spring salad

It was delicious!

I didn’t want my son to be overwhelmed with the salad, so I assembled the beans, avocado, cucumber, strawberries, almonds and alfalfa sprouts on a plate for him before I made the salad, and he ate every last bit of it!

Fab Fall Food

As we welcome the new fall season, we have a new grocery list to shop from!

Fall Grocery List

It’s very important to eat food that is naturally available during this season to give your body optimal nutrition.

One of my favorites ways to incorporate lots of healthy fall veggies is by making soup. I love “one pot meals” because there’s less cleanup involved, they are easy to store and reheat for another meal, and it’s a great way to get your toddler to eat vegetables. Not to mention they warm up the bones!

Here are some links to great soup recipes:

Body And Soul

Real Simple

Eating Well

Will you share your favorite?

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

I got this recipe from a friend of mine, Emily Rosen who is the wellness and nutrition director for a weight loss camp for children and the executive chef at a retreat center in Western Massachusetts.  It is a crowd favorite, even amongst meat eaters and toddlers!

Black Bean Sweet Potato Burgers:
•       2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
•       1 small onion, small dice
•       4 cloves garlic, pressed
•       2 tablespoons diced spicy pepper (like jalapenos)
•       1 tablespoon ground cumin
•       2 (14.5 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
•       salt and black pepper to taste
•       2 cups grated raw sweet potato
•       1 egg, lightly beaten
•       1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1.      Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook onions until softened, about 1 minute. Stir in garlic, 2 diced jalapenos, and cumin; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2.      Transfer contents of skillet to a large bowl. Stir in black beans, and mash with a fork. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in sweet potatoes, egg, and bread crumbs. Use medium ice cream scoop to shape them into even portions, than flatten into patties.
Place bean patties on sprayed parchment paper on baking sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

They are SO good…

Here is a link for more of her recipes!

Life After a Food Strike

I’ve heard so many moms say that their toddler used to eat really well, until she got sick and then they “lost her to sugar”  or he wouldn’t eat anything while teething, and then he became really picky.  After hearing this over and over, I just expected it to happen.  Sure enough, one day he just stopped wanting to eat anything.  Then I realized he was getting molars- no fun at all.  Now at this point I had a theory to prove- I could just give him junk knowing that no child would turn down sugar or fried food no matter how bad he feels.  “At least he’s eating something,” right?  Or I could trust he is instinctively doing what his body needs to feel better and keep offering him nutritious foods, hoping that he will resume eating them when he’s ready.  I’m so glad I did this!  The report?  The molars are in, and this week he has eaten wild Alaskan salmon, quinoa, kale, broccoli, blueberries, dark chocolate, an orange, brown rice pasta with turkey bolognese, sprouted bread, organic spelt pretzels, whole wheat tortillas, strawberries, broccoli water, vegetable soup, sweet potato black bean burger, scrambled eggs, an apple, herbal tea,barley, kasha, oatmeal, lots and lots of hummus, salsa, a pear, guacamole, sweet potato hash browns with onions, raisins, Plum Organics Fingerfuls, goji berries, unsweetened local organic yogurt with brewer’s yeast, a blueberry bran muffin, fresh squeezed orange juice, potato curry soup, corn bread, and bacon.

Whew!  All that in the last 5 days and this doesn’t even include his daily smoothie!  I’m glad I kept a food journal so I could share this list with you.  Hopefully this will encourage you if you’re in the midst of a food-strike, mono-diet, teething, or cold.  There IS hope- try not to give in to the temptation of feeding him candy or sweets or chicken nuggets just so he’ll eat something.  Our job is to offer a variety of healthy, nutritious meals and snacks to our children at regular intervals throughout the day.  They won’t starve.  If this is the food that’s served to them (without the option of junk!) they will eat it, and perhaps even enjoy it!

What Are We Having For Dinner???

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about trying to use up what we have in our refrigerator and pantry before going to the grocery store to purchase food for every meal- yes, I know this is how they do it in Europe, but it’s quite time consuming and costly!  There are often nights when we think we have “nothing for dinner,” and then as if by some miracle I pull something off that could feed the five thousand. It’s really no miracle it’s just viewing my leftover veggies and dried beans and grains in a different light.
The other night, when we had “nothing for dinner” I made a yummy vegetable soup with wqter, 4 carrots, 3 stalks celery, some frozen farmer’s market squash, leftover cooked kale,1 cup of rice, 1 cup of black beans, salt, pepper, and some other random spices. I spooned it into bowls, topped it with avocado slices and pumpkin seeds, drizzled it with a swirl of olive oil, and voila! a super healthy, tasty dinner on a cool night. As my husband was putting away what was left of the soup (A LOT!), he said, “I can’t believe we thought we had nothing for dinner!” It reminded me of that story “stone soup” i heard as a child- except everything came from my kitchen!
I also just read a great article in Body+Soul magazine (Jan/Feb 2010) about not wasting food, and how to use leftovers- even things you think have gone bad. Before reading this, I didn’t think twice about tossing an aging carrot- “it’s biodegradable” i always justified to myself…yes, but did you know it could take 40 years for that carrot to break down in a landfill? I didn’t! Now I am inpired to have a compost bin for my future mini garden- urban living style!