Moderate Minded Mama

Walking the line between crunchy and modern everyday

Potato and Butternut Squash Curry Hash March 4, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurab06 @ 11:24 am

I have found a love for breakfast foods again. Recently I’ve added eggs back in and haven’t had any issues which makes me SO happy. Also, I love poached eggs.

This morning I had a serious craving for curry chicken but wanted hash browns…and I have a butternut squash begging to be eaten. It looked so sad and forlorn by itself on the counter! So I surfed the web, combined a bunch of recipes, and came up with this!

Potato & Butternut Squash Curry Hash

  •  2 med red potatoes
  • 1/2 med butternut squash 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • dash of white pepper
  • your choice of cooking oil

Peel & grate your potatoes & squash into a med sized bowl. Sprinkle a bit of salt, mix and let sit while you prep other ingredients.  

 

Measure out remaining spices, salt, & pepper. Set aside. 

   

Using your hands squish the potato/squash to remove excess starch/liquid. I don’t get it “dry” but leaving ALL the starch in is too much. 

Once you’ve removed a bit of that liquid add your spices and mix WELL with your hands. A spoon won’t cut it here. The curry and cumin will start to change the color of the potatoes and squash. Mmmmm. 

Heat your favorite skillet, add about 1Tbs of your favorite oil & coat the pan. When both are hot over a med heat evenly spread the hash into the pan. It should start to sizzle.

Turn the heat up to med high and cover with lid vented on one side. Let it cook for 4-5mins before moving it. It’s getting a nice crispy side! After the 4-5mins use a spatula to check for crispness and if it’s getting crispy carefully flip them over (if not give it a few more minutes). 

Let the hash cook uncovered now so you can watch it. I usually let it cook 2-3mins more, and then flip/move them a bit to get some of the insides out and crisp them up too. The whole process usually takes me about 15mins. 

When done plate and serve up with your favorite egg! This morning I topped mine with a poached egg (I use the whirlpool technique here), and a serving of home fermented sauerkraut. Yum. Even the kids enjoyed it! Buuuuuut my kids are weird!  

Seriously, yum.

   

 

I Am Not That Mom February 29, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurab06 @ 12:11 am

I’m the hot mess crunchy mom who usually has no concern about appearances. Let’s be honest though, I often wish our home was spotless for more than 24hrs at one time or another. With 3 kids, I think I wish that daily! 

Last week and this weekend were busy and tiring. We had a lot of activities, then little one got sick and everything stopped. Except the house and the big kids..they still need tending. Needless to say it was a disaster. I couldn’t keep up. I often fell asleep at night with a restless baby & prayed for a few hours sleep before she woke up congested or coughing again. Hubby helped but we were still behind. 

Tonight was the same, however thanks to caffeine at dinner, I wasn’t so tired. So I laid there trapped, next to a coughing baby waiting for the perfect moment to escape. It happened at 9:45p 😒

I figured she would be up within an hour so that was what I gave myself, an hour.She gave me TWO!  I managed SO much. Kitchen and floors are clean, caught up on dishes, kids laundry folded & clothes set out for tomorrow, diaper laundry folded…I sit back and look thinking “I wish it would last longer than 5mins tomorrow morning.” 

Then I remember why it doesn’t last. The clean doesn’t last because I’m not that mom. I’m the mom who would rather be outside, having play dates, visiting museums or nature centers, doing a science experiment, baking bread, working on homeschool activities, reading books, having tea parties, playing Star Wars or Shopkins…I’d rather be doing anything with my kids over cleaning ANY day. 

So tomorrow as the sink starts filling, the laundry needs more washing, and the crumbs need more sweeping, hopefully I can remember the fun we had and that its ALWAYS worth the mess.

Baking soda and vinegar fun above and my oldest who was VERY excited about homemade play dough below!  

 

Crunchy Kitchen Adventures February 25, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurab06 @ 9:06 pm

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a weeeeeeee bit crunchy. I could go through the trouble of listing all the ways but a look at my post titles will give you a decent list. The problem with eating healthier and using more gut healing/natural remedies instead of partaking in the standard American diet and all western meds is that it is expensive. Significantly more expensive if you do organic. Four things I HATE paying for: 

  1. Kombucha
  2. Gluten free bread
  3. Granola
  4. Bone broth/stock 

This week has inadvertently been focused on those 4 items.

I used to brew my own Kombucha but when we moved my SCOBY died. I recently discovered a local mom also brews it and had a SCOBY to spare! After scouring the web I found a large glass beverage dispenser with PLASTIC spout perfect for brewing kombucha! Thank goodness for Target. So what is sitting on my counter right now? A half ready gallon of kombucha!! Just for giggles I broke down the cost of tea, water, and sugar required to make kombucha at home vs purchasing a bottle at Meijer. It costs me roughly $2.50 to brew a GALLON vs buying a 16oz bottle for $4-$5!!! 

Next gluten free bread. I’ll be the first to admit that most commercial gluten free breads have their issues. Too dry, too dense, lacks something nobody can put their finger on…some are just awful. The brands that aren’t awful run up to $6 a loaf! Thankfully our Aldi carries a decent GF bread and Ana loves it (I mostly keep it around for her as hubby has his own glutenous bread stash in the freezer). We ran out this week and grocery funds were allocated to other items needed for dinners. Instead of driving to Aldi for one item (and inevitably buying $60 worth of food lol) we made our own!!  

  
It’s not perfect. The inside is just a tad bit gummy (sounds like it might be a xanthan gum problem!). However, it tastes great; toasts up well; and doesn’t crumble when made into a sandwich! It held up for an awesome BLT last night. 

 Mmmmmmm.

Granola…I have a love hate relationship with it. I love that I can use it in my kids yogurt and that Ana will eat it as a quick breakfast some days. I hate some of the fillers added in store bought and how expensive it is for decent gluten free granola. $6 for a tiny bag?! Even the $3 gluten free ones at Aldi don’t impress me. So since a sick baby kept us home today Ana and I made our own! 

I started here and made changes based on what we had on hand. Gf oats, almonds, cashews (both chopped), sunflower seeds, a handful of chia seeds and rinsed quinoa, and coconut flakes. Instead of canola oil we used coconut oil. I added a dash of real vanilla, a lot of cinnamon, and about 1/4 of the maple syrup the recipe called for. While granola cooked we measured out raisins, dried cranberries, and chopped a few dried apricots. As soon as it was all cooled and tossed together BOTH kids devoured some in yogurt! Success! This will be made often.   

Last but not least, bone broth. My littlest has a cold & hubby had a touch of one so I’m in “mama remedies” mode. Good quality bone broth isn’t something you can buy in the store. I would NEVER drink a cup of store bought stock when I’m feeling ill. Homemade bone broth though? You bet! It can’t be easier. Tomorrow afternoon I’m putting a chicken carcass in the crock pot with 8-10c of water, salt/pepper/spices/a bay leaf, 1Tbs of Braggs apple cider vinegar, and letting it cook on low for at least 24hrs.

The result is a silky broth that can be sipped to help heal the gut or help you feel better when ill. It’s also great for cooking! I try to make a batch every other week or so, more often if we are sick. Anything I won’t consume in a few days gets popped in the freezer for soups/rice!

After the kombucha, bread, granola, and stock I have saved myself quite a bit of money this week! I suppose I will also mention there is also a small batch of homemade sauerkraut fermenting in my kitchen. If it turns out I will be one happy mama! 

Best part of this whole week, my middle child loves to cook and had a blast with all the kitchen fun!     

 

Tonight, I Sip February 13, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurab06 @ 10:27 pm

Sometimes life throws you curve balls. This winter has been one BIG curve ball of illness for me. Between kids colds, stomach bugs, plugged milk ducts, lymph node infections, thrush, migraines…it has seemed never ending. So what have I done? Taken a step back, gone back to basics, worked on the families nutrition, and I have started healing my gut again. 

I could go into WHY I eat gluten/dairy free and mostly sugar free (except locally sourced AMAZING raw honey!), why I drink bone broth, why I take copious amounts of vitamin D, etc for days. Tonight my mind is on herbs. I don’t used a lot of them for medicinal purposes (especially when nursing!) but I do love them in teas.

Our home currently houses about 10 different varieties of tea. From bagged green, herbal fruit teas (kids love them!), tension tamer, & sleepy time teas to loose leaf smokey chai, soothing speramint, earl grey…all delicious and call for different occasions/moods.

This evening, as I washed my daughters tiny tea set, I chose a wonderful loose leaf hibiscus ginger blend from a local shop, Peaceful Parlour. I had to snap a picture as it steeped because it turned such a beautiful red color!   

The hibiscus in this tea is tangy and sweet, the ginger is warm and soothing. I chose this blend for its calming and anti inflammatory properties. Hibiscus, in some, may help lower high blood pressure/cholesterol, cold symptoms, relieve constipation, irritated stomachs, & nerve disease. 

Ginger is well known for its ability to calm nausea and upset stomachs (hello morning sickness remedy!). It may also also help with dizziness, menstrual pain, arthritis, muscle pain/soreness, and other inflammation related problems. It’s pretty darn awesome. 

It’s no coincidence that the foods and teas I’ve been craving and drawn to all have one thing in common, they are inflammation reducers. Healing my gut and reducing inflammation is how I helped myself feel SO HEALTHY about three years ago!! It also keeps my migraines at bay. 

So tonight I sip on this beautiful tea blend, contemplating how its ingredients are aiding my body in healing. How the work I do externally is being helped internally by nourishing whole foods, supplements, and herbs…how it’s about balance, about listening to my body, about knowing that when diet and stress get out of hand I get sick…a lot. 

I breathe deep and sip on, enjoying these thoughts a simple cup of tea AND the silence of three sleeping children has brought me. 

What are your favorite teas? 

*I am NOT a medically trained professional and the information I provide here has come from multiple sources ranging from WebMd & medical journals to herbal books. Herbs can work differently for each person so please consult with a health care professional for further details/information. 

 

Meal prep Monday! February 1, 2016

Filed under: Food For The Soul,Uncategorized — laurab06 @ 10:41 am
Tags:

I typically meal plan on Saturday, organize my pantry/fridge and prep shopping lists on Sunday, and shop/prep food Monday’s. 

After I drop big kid at school the littles and I hit up Starbucks in town and then Aldi & Costco. Have I told you how much I LOVE those two stores!! Anything I can’t find there hubby usually picks up from Meijer or Jewel on his way home from work one day. I seriously loathe grocery shopping with all three kids OR shopping multiple times a week 😜. 

So, here is what’s on our meal plan this week:

 Breakfasts: 

  • French toast sticks (Lily)
  • Oatmeal (all)
  • PB Breakfast balls (Lily and Ana)
  • Pancakes and bacon (all)
  • Sausage and hash browns (all)
  • Eggs & vegs (me)

Lunches:

  • Lily rotates between: homemade “lunchable”, bagel with cream cheese, hard boiled eggs, and ham sandwiches. All which are served with a fruit and vegetable.
  • Ana, Isabel, and I will be having: pasta and steamed California mix, fish sticks with fries and raw vegs, salmon patties and braised Brussels sprouts, probably PB&J with carrots one day too.

Dinners: 

  • Tacos! (check out the homemade taco seasoning recipe I use here)
  • Crock pot chili with my favorite gf cornbread
  • Veg and cabbage soup 
  • Crock pot beef roast and vegs (carrots, potatoes, squash, celery, onion)

Bonus, she usually gets a Costco hotdog & it makes her so happy.

  
What’s on your menu this week?

     

    Coconut and almond flour pancakes January 31, 2016

    Filed under: Uncategorized — laurab06 @ 10:13 am

      

    These don’t taste like regular pancakes. I make a mean gluten and dairy free pancake too, but that’s not what I was after this morning. Trying to lower my sugar intake this morning after two bad  days of binge eating but I didn’t feel like “eggs and bacon”. 

    These have an “eggy” French toast feel and taste to them. I love coconut flour as it is grain free but I love almond flour for the protein, so this is the best of both worlds. I had someone request a recipe so here you go!

    Coconut and almond flour pancakes

    Ingredients:

    -1/4c coconut and almond flour, total (1/8 of each in 1/4c)

    – 2 eggs, lightly beaten

    – 1 ripe banana, mashed

    – 1/8c water or dairy free milk

    – a splash of vanilla

    – a dash of cinnamon 

    – maple syrup (optional in recipe can use on top after cooking)

    Recipe: In a small bowl mix all wet ingredients. (You can add a small splash of maple syrup if you’d like to get that “French toast” taste, or you can omit it and top with maple syrup after cooking.  They are naturally a little sweet because of the banana and coconut flour).

    In a 1/4c measuring cup, fill it about halfway with coconut flour then fill the rest with almond flour. I push down to pack a little bit and mound another little bit of almond flour on top. 

    Heat skillet over medium heat and lightly oil with coconut oil. Mix the dry into the wet. Pour into pan (about silver dollar sized) and let cook for 4-5mins before you try flipping. 

    These are SOFT so use a greased spatula and scoop/flip carefully. Once flipped give about 3-4 more mins. Then remove from pan and enjoy! 

      
    Even the baby approved and came over to steal mine! Middle child ate some too when all the regular pancakes were gone 😊. Yum!!

     

    It’s about the little things. January 30, 2016

    Filed under: Uncategorized — laurab06 @ 11:44 am

    Before I was a mom I had LOTS of ideas about how I would raise my children. Preconceived notions of a baby who slept in their crib every night with only a few wakings, a baby who would nap in a swing or bouncer, a baby who would let others care for them as easily as me…

    Then my first child came out screaming and blasted all those out of the water. I became pretty “crunchy” out of necessity and it has STILL saved my sanity some days with all three kids. I’ll admit the cloth diapers are a little for me, they are sooooooooooo cute! Baby wearing and bed sharing though? Total lifesavers! I’d be even more sleep deprived and frazzled without the ability to just roll over and nurse a baby back to sleep, or toss her on my back and go somewhere with the big kids knowing baby will at least be happy up there (maybe even sleep!). 

    Where am I going with this? Baby sign. It was all the rage when I had Lillian and we did a few signs with her but she was SO verbal that it wasn’t really needed. She picked up “milk” so we knew she wanted to nurse and “all done”. That was about it. Ana we used it even more because she didn’t speak well till almost 2.5!

    Well, tonight Isabel showed me her 4th sign!! She doesn’t have a very large vocabulary. She can say: “mama”, “dada”, “lala” (Lily), “nana” (Ana), “fish”, “dance” (which sounds just like fish but she dances when saying it lol), “boov” (thanks Home), “uh oh”, and “this”. That last one is problematic because she points at EVERYTHING and just says “this”. 

    I’ve been naming items & signing them with her for months due to “this” and she has picked up “milk”, “bath”, “eat”, and last night…”up”! I never imagined I’d have to use sign language to help me understand any of my children but it has been very helpful. 

    Signing is actually beneficial in a lot of ways. When babies/young kids don’t have the means to communicate it often creates anger/frustration and that comes out as a tantrum. Signing “angry”, “hurt”, “frustrated”, or “scared” is easier for them & can give them a way to express their emotions without verbalizing. That made a BIG impact on Ana. Terrible twos for her were really rough so I used a lot of emotion signs to help her calm down and tell me what was going on. Sometimes she just shook her head yes or no to the signs I made, other times she tried.

    Teaching baby sign can also:

    – improve cognitive and emotional development

    – improve rate of verbal development

    – increase the child/parent bond, plus it’s also fun!

    If you’d like more information or sources you can download the paper “Signing with Babies and Children” by Dr. Claire Vallotton here. Signing time is an amazing resource for anyone looking to sign with their babies/kids! 

     

     
    Josh Stearns

    Writings On Media, Culture, Nature, and Community

    The Daily Post

    The Art and Craft of Blogging

    Sky-Watching

    the sky is no longer the limit

    Talking Math with Your Kids

    Because children enjoy using their minds

    Mom in the Muddle

    Getting Through All Life Slings Her Way

    Nice and Knit

    Lovingly Hand Dyed Yarns

    walkingfaithlearningtolove

    Learning to be wife, mother, teacher, friend, woman of God, and everything between!

    Conversations

    I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.

    Moderate Minded Mama

    Walking the line between crunchy and modern everyday

    Crochet with Raymond

    The mad adventures of a lesbi@n hooker and her siamese cat!

    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.