Peixinhas da Horta or Garden Fish (vegetarian) Days 8,9

This is a fabulous recipe passed to me from my Mother in law. She is a wonderful cook. She has a lot of simple and fantastic recipes that she shares with me. We all enjoy her food, it’s very homey, healthy and comforting. So without any further ado here is Nana’s Garden Fish recipe or in Portuguese she says: Peixinhas da Horta

First you’ll need to gather:
1 cup of flour ( for the challenge I used white whole wheat)
1 cup whole milk
1 egg + 1 egg seperated
Shredded mixed veggies
Salt and Pepper
Coconut oil
Use whatever mix of vegetables you have handy. I used shredded carrots, zucchini, cauliflower and peas. I know Nana usually does green beans, but I didn’t have any. You want the veggies to be shredded small enough so that they can cook quickly when frying in the mix. Mix flour, milk and 1 egg plus yolk of separated egg. Right before frying beat egg white and fold in gently. Mix in shredded veggies. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into skillet and  fry in coconut oil. Cook slowly to get the veggies cooked through, flip when you see the edges cooked through and bubbling. Keep warm in your oven until all of the garden fish are ready. You want to be sure the batter is cooked through and not wet in the middle.  We serve them with a yogurt dipping sauce. We usually mix yogurt with a little bit of dill, salt and pepper.
Day 8-What we ate ( I like how that rhymed.)
Breakfast- Mixed potato hash with West Wind Farms Italian sausage and eggs.
Lunch- Leftover Garden Fish. It heats up really well in a toaster oven to keep it crispy.
Dinner- We went out tonight to see a Cirque du Soleil, Quidam (FANTASTIC show!)  with a group of friends, many of whom are also doing the 10 Day Challenge. We all went out to eat at Ruby Tuesday’s. We enjoyed the salad bar, baked potato, and the Creole Fish.  Lisa has a really helpful list about eating out during the challenge that was helpful for all of us ordering tonight. I did try to eat at a more locally owned option, but many were closed today.

Tomorrow we are going to an amusement park. I’ll let you know how our real food journey goes with the junk food swirling around us.

Day 9
Breakfast- Egg and cheese sandwiches on Old Mill Honey Wheat rolls. The boys had West Wind Farms sausage on their sandwiches. We went to the amusement park all day, so we ate these in the car on the way.
Lunch- We packed a cooler and headed out to the van to eat our lunch. We ate an assortment of raw veggies and Ranch Style Dip* including yellow peppers, cauliflower, carrots, and cucumbers. We also had a ton fruit including strawberries, blueberries, apples and watermelon.  I also packed plenty of snacks in my backpack to eat throughout the park. We had lara bars, apples, Funky Monkey snacks and string cheese.
Dinner- We were out a lot later than I had originally planned. I was going to make whole wheat pasta for dinner, but we didn’t make it home. We found a Thai Restaurant called Thai Basil in Sevierville. Before the whole family was unloaded we went in and asked some questions as to their dishes. They were helpful and said they just started serving brown rice. Yippie! They also said there was no sugar in their main curries.  We ordered salmon for the kids and we ate fresh veggies with curry. It was so delicious!

Real Food for Children- Sunday Surf

There has been some fabulous food being made this week. It’s been really enjoyable to read everyone’s menus. Did you see Artful Mama posted her meal plan, and she was in labor?  Now that is dedication to real food! She was filling up with healthy, protein rich food so she’s  ready for delivery. So what about real food for baby? I thought THIS article was really great. I know with my children I learned more with each child. Avocados were the first food for our kids. We don’t need no rice cereal!!!
A few fantastic recipes were shared. Gabe posted a recipe for Rosemary Quail and Rebecca posted a recipe for homemade pizza. The pictures made me hungry. I think we’ll be adding that to our list of foods to make. Pizza is always a crowd pleaser.
We’re winding down to the end of our 10 Day Real Food Challenge. I am really enjoying the process and look forward to continuing to eat this way. I was feeling in a rut and completely unmotivated when it came to preparing food. This challenge has got me excited about food again. The farmers markets are starting soon and that will keep me inspired. Did you see we took a visit to Green Chin Farms and saw all of the babies that were just born?
Most of us notice a change in our health or that of our children’s when we take positive steps in good nutrition. Margaret wrote out the reasons for her journey towards real food HERE. I have been feeling more energetic this week, I know I’ve been eating more than I usually do. I think that has been a big help.
Steering kids free of the junk food is hard.  That is a struggle most of us face when trying to find a balance between social eating and healthy food. My family already thinks we’re ‘weird’ about so many things. I try not to make an issue about food all of the time, but I’m just not ok with my children eating garbage. How do you handle these situations? I found this post at The Nourishing Gourmet helpful about raising children in a culture of junk food. I’d love to hear what you do in these situations.
Last but not least there is a great giveaway for convertible training pants at the Natural Parents Network, Check it out! This has nothing to do with real food, but I thought it may interest you. Have you found some helpful links on the web this week, do share!

Children and Food Rituals-Days 6 & 7

Habits, traditions, rituals and even memories are often associated with food.  I’ve really been thinking about how much of what we eat is connected with what we do. We create rituals associated with food. Some good, some not so good.
I inadvertently developed a  bad food habit with my kids. We have bible study in town one night a week. It’s a late night and we get home after their normal bedtime.  On our way home it’s become our habit to drive through Taco Bell. Lil’ Z always orders two cheese roll ups and Big Z usually goes for a potato soft taco, and I always order the 7 layer burrito. We bring it home and watch a recorded episode of “Chopped”.
Well, I guess I didn’t think about it too much before starting this 10 Day Challenge. I justified that we ate healthy most of the other time and this was a treat. But this week I had to be creative when bible study night came around. I drove a different way home so we didn’t pass Taco Bell. I also made a big deal about making homemade ice cream and pointed to that as our special treat when we came home. The kids didn’t mention Taco Bell though I was sweating it.
I was glad to hear that I wasn’t the only parent that has set up some food rituals that I needed to skirt around this week. Simply Natural Mom wrote an article about her creativity in arranging dinner at ‘mom’s restaurant’.  Kids love it when we make special food for them and give it some thought. One goal I have after finishing the 10 Day Real Food Challenge is that  I hope from here on out to divert their attention from Taco Bell and make a healthier food habit.
It’s eye-opening to realize how much of our traditions and forms of entertainment are associated with food. I was working on this post when I noticed Gabe wrote about her family  tradition of rolling cabbage rolls for Easter. Food has a way of making memories.  I love when we visit my husband’s family in Portugal that an entire day can be spent leisurely eating one scrumptious dish after another. You only need to take small breaks to fill up your glass of port.
This week we had to distract the  kids from the free cookie at the grocery store bakery and lead them to the free balloon instead. I also had to give up my habit of a piece of dark chocolate after dinner. We have a ritual each evening of having a cup of tea together as a family. We usually have it with a cookie or sweet treat of some kind. So we’ve made adjustments there as well. I don’t think I realized how much sweets were a part of our routine. This is been a positive time for a change in that area.
So here’s what we’ve been eating lately:
Day 6
Breakfast-I made a giant omelet. Half of it was filled with cheese for the boys, and the girls had veggies including spinach, peppers, and onions.
Lunch- We were on the run. I packed a lunch of raw veggies (cucumbers, yellow peppers, carrots) with hard boiled egg with a side of Ranch Style dip*.  I made Moroccan Sweet Potato salad from the Simple Food cookbook.The kids also had string cheese.
Dinner-Vegetable fried rice with Miso soup. I started making it then I realized my soy sauce had sugar in it. Wha! I had spent so much time researching my soy sauce after switching from using Bragg’s liquid amino.  I was disappointed it had sugar, boo! So I had to get creative and season my rice a little differently than normal, but it turned out pretty good. I used Thyme, Cayenne, lots of black pepper and miso stock. The kids had shrimp with their rice.
Snacks- Funky Monkey fruit snacks, Breakfast cookies*
Day 7
Breakfast- We had to be out the door early this morning. Cereal ( shredded wheat) with honey, eggs, and bananas.
Lunch- Leftover Kidney Bean soup. Sprouted Corn tortilla quesadillas.
Dinner-Green Lentil Curry Coconut soup* with ‘Garden Fish’.  It was so delicious! I’ll share the Garden Fish recipe Monday. I also baked two loaves of Honey Whole Wheat bread* that we enjoyed with the soup.
Snacks- I made chocolate mousse ( cold cream from coconut milk whipped with vanilla, cocoa powder  and a little maple syrup) as a special dessert tonight with our evening tea.
* recipes can be found on  my Pinterest board for the 10 Day Real Food Challenge.