Kale: 5 Different Way

So, by now I think you have heard about Kale and how amazing it is and how everyone should be eating it.
When I first gave Kale a try, I decide to make some Kale chips.
Basically just toss the kale in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and get crispy in the oven.

I don’t know if I put too much oil or what, but I just couldn’t eat them!
I started thinking that if I couldn’t stomach the salty crunchy version of Kale, I probably wouldn’t like it any other way, and gave up.

Then at the grocery story I decided to give it one more try.
And wouldn’t you know?! I LOVE it…not as crispy crunch chips, but pretty much any other way – haha.

Here are my top 5 ways to eat kale:

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#1) In a Smoothie

This one is a no brainer…you literally can’t taste it, but you get to eat it RAW when it’s blended in a smoothie, and that is really the most nutritious way. Just make sure you blend it for long enough to get all the small pieces pulverized. Even my kids LOVE it.

#2) In a Salad

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I just chopped up some raw Kale and added it to my salad – there was other types of lettuce, I haven’t tried it in a salad made exclusively of Kale, but I found it even less bitter than spinach. There’s something about those curly leaves that give the salad a great texture!

#3) With Eggs

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Chop it up and put it in a scramble for a nice nutrient and energy boost in the morning…and once again, I liked it SO MUCH better than Spinach (which always seems to get watery when I saute it).

#4) With Spiced Sweet Corn

dinner 21 day fix

I’ve sauteed it with corn that I cut off the cob. I spiced it with salt, garlic powder and chili powder. It’s SO good, and the sweetness from the corn balances out the slight bitterness from the Kale…it’s AH-mazing.

#5) Sweet Potato/Kale Mash

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This one is also great when you are trying to get kids to eat Kale. My toddlers LOVE mashed sweet potato, and when I pureed Kale into it they didn’t even think twice. I even fed this to my 8 month old as baby food. There’s nothing a mother loves more than sneaking super nutritious food into her babies 🙂

I’d love to hear from you – what are your favorite ways to get Kale into your diet?

Gluten Free Pad Thai

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Pad Thai is literally one of my absolute FAVORITE meals. ever. of all time.

I finally got around to try to make it at home and all I can say is “WHY HAVEN’T I DONE THIS SOONER?!”

It was so incredible I’ve already made it twice in one week.

Here’s what you need to make it:

1 pkg of Rice Noodles
3 Chicken breasts sliced into small, thin pieces
2 eggs
1 pint of baby bella (portabella) mushrooms sliced thin
1 carrot sliced into thin strips
baby spinach

salt
pepper
garlic powder
ginger

3 Limes
soy sauce
coconut oil
fresh mint leaves
fresh cilantro
red curry paste

Instructions:

Cook the rice noodles according to the package, set aside.

Take the chicken breast and cook in saute pan with coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder and ginger.
Remove chicken and add mushrooms, carrots, and spinach until cooked. Remove veggies, and cook the 2 eggs scrambled.

In a bowl combine the juice from 3 limes, 2 Tbs. soy sauce, 3-5 Tbs. red curry paste (depending on how spicy you like it!), 1 Tbs. chopped mint, 1 Tbs. chopped cilantro. Whisk until fully combined.
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Add the chicken, veggies, eggs, and noodles into the saute pan. Pour the sauce over everything and mix to combine.

Serve with some fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts.

Enjoy!

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Playtime Without a Plan

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I’m a planner, strategizing, list-maker, and I can often times come into my children’s play time and ‘education’ with this VERY hands on, controlling approach. It often blows up in my face. The more I try to control the play time, the more they resist and then we both end up frustrated, with me yelling something like: “JUST DO IT! IT’S GOING TO BE FUN!”

ya – it’s happened more often than I’d like to admit.

But I AM learning little by little how to encourage my little ones to be creative, imaginative, and educate them in simple ways that don’t need to be super structured or planned out.

My biggest tool in this endeavor is my “craft box”. I have stocked up and filled it with random crafty things like pipe cleaners, poms, popsicle sticks, and play dough. I didn’t have a particular craft or plan when I bought these supplies (most of which can be picked up at the Dollar Tree or Wal-Mart), but just bringing it out gets the kids excited.

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They tell me: “Mommy, let’s play a game with this!” So, I become a kid for a second, and just play with them. I sort the poms according to color, and size and ask them to help me (learning colors and size and sorting). We make letters with the popsicle sticks, and bend the pipe cleaners into silly mustaches. Once I get them warmed up they dive in and start cutting the pipe cleaners into different sizes and tell me one of them is the daddy pipe cleaner and the smaller one is the baby pipe cleaner and we give them voices and personalities.

This lasts MUCH longer than I was expecting. I was able to make things somewhat educational (I love this new concept I’ve been learning about, that educating our kids should be through conversation – especially at this young age – my kids are 3yrs. and 2yrs.) and we are certainly building memories and having lots of fun!
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I don’t bring the craft box out every day, but when I do, it’s always exciting – especially if I can put my lists and expectations away and get down on my kids level and play…without a plan.

The Importance of Defining Your Style

Curating a Wardrobe That Works

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Whether fashion is your obsession, or you dread going to the mall, the truth of it is, we all have to get dressed. Every morning you have to make a decision, which may seem small and insignificant (or may seem like the greatest, grandest decision you will make that entire day), but I would like to argue that it’s somewhere in the middle. What we wear IS important, not only from a practical sense (we need to be covered, modest, and protected from the elements) but also in an emotional sense. What you wear, and the way you feel in what you wear affects your attitude. It effects your emotions and the way you interact with others. It’s a proven fact, and the reason why schools have uniforms and offices have dress codes.

This is definitely an area where you can go ALL OUT and we’ve seen the shows, the rich and famous with their walk in closets that are bigger than my living room. And probably, if we are honest, WE too have quite a lot of clothing in our closets and drawers, but is it working for us? Do you love what you wear? Do you feel like you can go in, put together an out fit quickly? If not, I think it’s because we’ve gotten too complicated. It’s time to make it simple. Here are a few tips that I’ve gotten from this incredible website “INTO MIND”.

  • Get rid of things you don’t love, don’t fit, or have stains…you know, the things that hang in your closet but never get worn.
  • Look at what’s left and try to determine why you love these items, and what shapes, fabrics and colors look best on you.
  • Write out what pieces you are missing or don’t have much of – ie. shorts, blouses, dresses, etc.
  • Start looking online at different stores to see where you might find clothes that fit your style, knowing where to shop is 1/2 the battle, nothing is more frustrating than spending all day in a store where nothing fits you or you don’t like the clothes.
  • Set aside some money (this is important and if you invest well, you won’t have to invest often) and some time (shopping well takes time and patience, but investing in the front end will make getting dressed, which is something you do EVERY DAY, quicker and more rewarding) and get out there and start buying pieces you LOVE.

I would take a look at this website. Even if you don’t LOVE her colors or style, the concepts she shares are super valuable and can set you up to build a wardrobe that works, is SIMPLE and sets you up to conquer the day feeling great about yourself and comfortable in your own skin.

People Watching in Starbucks

– A couple chatting at a table, and by chatting, of course, I mean, she is talking non-stop while he nods and sips his drink.

– A woman reading a newspaper. Reading a newspaper? Yes, I know, but it’s true – the New York Times, and she seems riveted as she eats her multi grain bagel and butter. A cardigan draped over her shoulders – it is a little chilly in here.

– A middle aged man on his laptop, quietly singing along with the music. Every so often he will recognize someone who just walked into the store. He is a friendly man.

As I sit here and enjoy my incredibly sweet salted caramel mocha, I can’t help but think of how wonderful, diverse, and fascinating, people are. Yes, they can be horrible too, but wonderful. They smile, think, talk, read, work, mingle, feel, eat and drink. I just want to take it in, and I think of how many, many people contributed to my experience this morning.

People designed this dark brown leather chair I’m sitting in, and created this delicious drink. People wrote and performed this beautiful music I’m listening to, and someone works hard to keep electricity flowing to this coffee shop.

We all do our little jobs and play our little role and create this amazing world of slightly chilly, Starbucks stores with leather chairs, indie music, and incredibly sweet salted caramel mocha lattes.