As a new mom, my biggest struggle since starting Evan on solids has been what to feed him. I am completely responsible for everything that goes into his mouth (although the piece of dog kibble he found on the floor yesterday is on him), and with that responsibility on my shoulders and an influx of best diets for 2019 I started looking into what I wanted to be feeding my family moving into the new year.
Out of all the health information you can find on the web these days, there seems to be a common theme: eat whole foods. Eat foods that are grown in the ground, that feed off the land, foods that don’t come from a factory or have so much processing you can’t recognize over half of the ingredients. Eat organic when you can, grow your own food, be responsible about what you put into your body.
And the craziest part of all this is that we already know this is what we are supposed to be doing, but the ease and convenience of prepackaged meals, processed food and take out have become so engrained in our daily routine that trying to meal plan and cook with raw ingredients can seem overwhelming – especially when we are overrun by work, kids, social outings, and appearing like we have it all together at the same time.
So starting this year, kirk and I have agreed to start getting healthier from the inside out, beginning with the food we use to nourish ourselves. I’m hoping that by setting an example for Evan, we can set him up for success and teach him the value of proper nutrition and the drastic effects that eating healthy can have across his lifespan.
One of the biggest challenges to healthy eating that people complain about is price. So stay tuned for some great ideas that can combat your wallet taking hit as you try to eat the things you should, and how to meal plan to make those dollars go even further.
Before I sign off for today, here’s a simple lunch I made for everyone that was both delicious and packed with a nutritional punch, and on the table in about 20 minutes!
Warm Spinach and Quinoa Salad
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 mushrooms, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3 pitted dates, diced
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 4 tbsp chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- Avocado, sliced (optional)
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- White balsamic vinegar (I have a Sicilian Lemon from Evoo that is fantastic but some apple cider vinegar or a splash of lemon juice would work well too!)
- Salt and pepper to taste
(You may be wondering why there are ice cubes in my frying pan. Instead of tossing leftover broth, freeze it in an ice cube tray and transfer to a Ziploc to store in the freezer – they are easy to grab in a pinch for added flavour and nutrition!)
- Cook quinoa according to package directions, this should take about 20 minutes and you can chop and saute the veggies while this cooks.
- Melt coconut oil in the pan over medium heat, saute onions, garlic, mushrooms and bell pepper until softened, add chickpeas, dates, broth and spinach, cover and steam until spinach has wilted, 2-3 minutes. Add cooked quinoa and stir to mix.
- Drizzle with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
- Optional: slice half an avocado and serve on top for a creamier texture and boost of healthy fats!
This salad can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for few days and reheated, or enjoy it cold.