I like to cook but my cooking experiences were found in fine dining restaurants where butter and cream are used in everything. When I had kids my focus shifted to wholesome, well balanced meals with lots of vegetables. But this was difficult for me to achieve, I have three children, a boy of four and twin girls of three. My kids are only 16 months apart, I had three kids under the age of two when my daughters were born. On top of that I ran an in-home daycare, when the twins turned one, in which I accepted two more children into my home, one was only two and the other was three months. So at that time I had five kids under the age of three, it was a very busy time and finding the time to prepare and make dinner was almost impossible. So a lot of times we ended up eating convenience meals that all I needed to do was heat up. I felt terrible about this, I worked so hard to make sure my kids ate well all day, I switched all our cleaning materials to natural products, all of our personal care items became natural and we planted a vegetable garden, all to give our kids the best start and here I was giving them meals loaded in fat and sodium.
To help myself feel better though and to make it so we weren't wasting food, if I saw an item that was going off I would puree it up and freeze it in our ice cube trays. Spinach was a big one, I would buy the huge box of spinach and as it reached its best before date I would boil it all up, strain it then squish it into the ice cube trays. Cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini were all others that I pureed up on a regular basis. I also keep cans of beans around, flax seeds and ground flax. If I was cooking a can of spaghetti-0's I would add two cubes of spinach and a few tablespoons of ground flax. Feeding the children macaroni and cheese, throw in a few cauliflower cubes, ground flax and white kidney beans. It really helped me to feel like I wasn't feeding the kids poorly.
If you are a follower of my blog you will notice that the techniques I employed while the kids were younger still apply today. I am often "juicing up" recipes that I find to make them healthier for the kids. I cook a lot of vegetarian, the meat we buy if from a local farmer and is all pasture raised. I am experimenting with different grains and trying to make these meals quick as well as healthy.
Today I tried black bean brownies, they are hardly sweetened except with a bit of cherries, applesauce and brown sugar. I added Salba and bran to the mix to bring up the fiber and to add Omega 3. They are cooking right now and smell really tasty. If it works out, I'll let you know!