There is no lack of beautiful things to share which means that when I actually do post it is a fragmented reflection of my week carelessly strung together.
I won't lie - this week has been tough. My joie de vive took a little hiatus leaving me weary. The uncertainty is certainly wearing on me and it is tough to figure out what each day is about. I know that sounds ridiculous as I am privileged to have this year to just be a mom but sometimes even moms get tired. Ben had his written exam today which meant that for the last little while study has taken the front burner. And while the sun has been warm I have had trouble seeing the beauty in each day, knowing that soon it will all come to an end...and there is nothing to follow. It's all nonsense really. Many of you are probably vehemently question my attitude but it is just that: an attitude that I need to conquer.
With the heat, Jakob's eczema flared up to the point where I picked him up from school and he looked awful. Red peely eyes, blotchy red patches on his pale soft skin and the back of his knees completely raw from the itching. In the past, we found taking gluten and dairy out of his diet cleared it up quite nicely and quickly noting that it is probably caused by a sensitivity one of these things. We also recognized however, that the pain of a few small dry patches were less painful than being refused an ice cream cone when everyone else had one, so while we limit these things we don't eliminate them on a regular basis. Instead we keep it like a card in our back pocket for times such as these. All this to say, this week, we have been gluten and dairy free and I thought I would share some of our favourite recipes with you.
Spaghetti: a twist on the old staple
I use this dish to clear out my veg drawer. Whatever I have goes in and the kids have no idea and eat it up enthusiastically. This week, I grilled up some ground beef then added half a red onion, a few cloves of garlic, one grated zucchini, half a red pepper and some cherry tomatoes. Once the veggies are tender I infuse it with a small jar of good tomato basil spaghetti sauces and simmer. It is then served over gluten free noodles and served with salad....oh and maybe a nice glass of red?
Other items that are great in spaghetti: broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, I have even put kale.
Confession - I plan meals based on what I have in my fridge so that I don't have to go to the store. As I have mentioned before I get an organic fruit and veg box each week. I don't pick the items, I just get whatever is in season. Also, I am completely lazy and the thought of taking the kids to the grocery store on the way home is exhausting, so I will make whatever I can with whatever I have. Yesterday, it was butternut squash. Jakob knows he does not like squash so dinner started out with a typical fight,
"I don't like it!" (he hadn't tried it - he just knew it was squash).
"That's fine, then go to bed." (no comment on my parenting skills)
"Fine, then eat it."
"Oh, I like it."
So here is how it's done.
Toast your cumin seeds in few glugs of veg oil until they are fragrant
Add onion and garlic and sautee until the onion starts to become translucent
Add curry powder and turmeric and let fry a little longer (this takes the bitterness out of the spices)
Add about a cup of canned chopped tomatoes and a small butternut squash cubed without the squishy bits in the middle.
At this point you can add a bit of vegetable broth so that the squash is nicely covered in liquid.
Let simmer until the squash is tender then add coconut milk and cinnamon stick.
Bring to a simmer again and stir constantly for about 5 minutes.
To up the protein in this meal, I served it over quinoa (or as Jakob calls it - little yellow spheres). This dish can be served with yogurt but then it wouldn't be dairy free, now would it. We had it with some cilantro and lime and that was good too. Most importantly, both the kids loved it.
Tonight we had cornflake crusted chicken breast which was also a nice easy meal that the kids loved.
Simply season your chicken with salt and pepper, coat in a beaten egg and then cover in crushed corn flakes, bake.
I hope you are having a great weekend. This weekend is the Queen's Diamond Jubilee which I am quite looking forward to and then next week Jakob is off for half-term so I am sure I will have lots of stories to tell and photos to share....and hopefully the time to post them now that I have my husband back.
Are you doing anything to commemorate the Queen's 60 year reign?