Monday, April 16, 2012

on food

Elijah was an early talker.  Like 14 months old and talking full sentences talker. 

I don't care for fast food (where are you going with this?  I have a point- promise)  So, before Elijah was 14 months old, I don't think he had ever eaten fast food- not one chicken nugget, not one sack of french fries- not one cheeseburger.  But one day we were out and about and I decided it would be fun and convenient to take him out to good 'ol McDonalds.  Mistake.

He ate up those nuggets and devoured those fries like he was eating liquid gold.  Why?  Who knows.   He wasn't a bad eater- but this was foreign food to him, and I was surprised by how engaged he was.  Most of the time we ate pretty healthy.  I thought his taste buds were more like mine. (I can't stomach a chicken nugget) 

After this incident, every time we drove by a McDonalds he would readily point it out- say- in his 14 month old voice- "Mommy, there's McDonalds- can we go get some french fries and chicken nuggets?"  I dismissed it and drove on.  He soon forgot about his desires and we went on with our day.

Fast foward to present day.  I have a Jeremiah.  He doesn't eat at McDonalds often.  I think he's eaten there a handful of times.  HOWEVER and to my great dismay, every time we pass a McDonalds he cries out "Mama- McDonald....over there, Mommy! Mommy!  (frantic now)  FRENCH FRIES! FRENCH FRIES MOOOOOMMMMMMMMYYYYYY!!!!!   I respond, no not today honey.  This happens every day, at least 2 times per day.  Sometimes 4, depending on which way I take the kids to school and if he notices.  Which he usually does. 

So why?  I think they put drugs in their food.  But that's not why I'm writing this blog.  God knows what is in our food (well- He does know, but that's not why I'm writing this post either)

In just a few exposures, my kids have become addicted to McDonalds.  When they see it and don't get it- they lose their minds!  It's worse than crack!  Okay, maybe not worse, but comparable.  McDonalds is raking in the $$.  And I've digressed.  This is not meant to put down McDonalds, they are just doing the American thing and reaping the benefits of their Capitalism. 

But I am talking about FOOD.  We need it to live, we like to eat it, sometimes we eat too much of it, sometimes not enough.  What is the perfect food?  The perfect diet?  It is the same for all?  Remember the old saying
"You are what you eat"

This food topic has sprung in my brain for many reasons
A.)  I have MS, and there is evidence that diet is directly related to symptoms
B.)  I have 5 kids- and want them to be healthy
C.) I wasted my time watched a documentary about food last night.

In this documentary it was stated OVER AND OVER AND OVER that eating animal based protein causes cancer, as well as heart disease.  This means, you must adopt a vegan diet, otherwise you are doomed.

I was confused.  Have we not been eating meat and other animal protein for ages?  Have we not evolved to do just that? I agree that our consumption has gone up dramatically, and the average person eats way more than they should.  But wouldn't it be a more logical conclusion that the reason people are overweight, getting cancer, diabetes and heart disease because they eat at McDonalds and other fast food restaurant's too much- not too mention all of the processed foods and refined sugars that are in our diets. Or could people be getting cancer more often because of all of the nuclear testing the military conducted in years past...who knows?  Let's not make one thing the straw man that we can tear down just to build our own cause up.  There are many factors to consider. 

So anyway- I've got no true stance.  All is good in moderation.  I don't like fast food, but that is my preference.  I will continue to eat meat, maybe a little less.  I will continue to incorporate more fruits & veggies into my diet. 

here's your part.  I am sincerely requesting good recipes for healthy foods that the whole family can enjoy.  (remember 5 kids...ages 2-12) Josh and I will eat anything, but have to keep the kids in mind.  I'd like dishes that encompass all/most of the food groups, aren't too time consuming to make, and taste good.  We'd really like some recipes for some veggie burgers, or other veggie entrees.  I'm not buying frozen veggie burgers, becasue they're probably not very good for you...

So, if you'd like please submit your recipes or links to help me out.  Thanks :)


  1. I have become a huge fan of the Crock Pot. I love to make dinner earlier in the day, so that I am not messing with it when the kids get home from school. One website I use is

    Btw, frozen veggetables are actually pretty healthy. Since they are frozen, there is no salt added to preserve them.

  2. What was the movie? Was it "Back to Eden"? I've seen that suggested on many sites, but I haven't seen it.

    I agree that everything in moderation is the key, but oh man, I cannot be moderate at McDonald's either, I'm like a kid. I do think they put something in the food.

    We don't do as many veggies as we probably should around here, lots of meat and taters and bread. My kids LOVE bread sticks and tomato sauce as a meatless supper pretty regularly. If you could find a soup everyone would eat, even better. We do mac and cheese (homemade of course) with tuna quite often. Homemade pizza with lots of veggies could be considered healthy right? I've never had a veggie burger, but Cristi gave me this recipe for black bean burgers (which I haven't tried):

    1/2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
    2 (15oz) cans black beans, rinsed, drained
    2 TB. chopped cilantro
    2 tsp. chopped parsley
    1 egg
    1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
    1/2 C. bread crumbs
    salt & pepper

    mix it all up in a food processor and form into patties:) Grill or fry (her instructions call for grilling)

    Like I said, I haven't tried it, it's in my "someday" file.

  3. I was JUST getting ready to post the above recipe! I also use it for black bean enchiladas, which are very good. I have tried a couple of other black bean burger recipes, but this is the best that I have found.

    Black Bean Burgers
    ½ medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
    1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
    2 (15oz.) cans black beans, rinsed, drained, divided
    2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
    2 tsp. chopped parsley
    1 egg
    ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
    ½ C. bread crumbs
    Salt & pepper
    4 hamburger rolls
    Optional Toppings:
    1 tomato, sliced
    4 small Romaine lettuce leaves, or any other type you have on hand
    ¼ C. ketchup

    1. Heat grill over medium-low.
    2. In food processor, pulse onion, garlic until finely chopped. Add 1 can beans, cilantro, parsley, egg, red pepper flakes, pulse to combine.
    3. Transfer mixture to large bowl, add remaining can of beans & bread crumbs. Season with salt & pepper, to taste, mix until well combined.
    4. Divide into 4 portions & form into patties. Place on hot oiled grill over medium-low heat, cook about 6min per side or until heated through.
    5. Toast buns on grill. Place a burger on each bun. Top with lettuce, tomato, ketchup. Top and serve.

    *reserve 1/3 of black bean mixture for Black Bean Enchiladas

    Black Bean Enchiladas
    1 (10oz.) can enchilada sauce
    8 corn tortillas
    1 C. leftover black bean burger mix
    ½ C. shredded cheddar

    1. Preheat oven to 350°.
    2. Pour half enchilada sauce into bottom of a baking dish.
    3. Warm tortillas by wrapping in a damp paper towel & heating in microwave 45sec until soft & pliable.
    4. Place 2Tbsp. burger mix onto bottom third of a tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in dish. Repeat with remaining mix & tortillas.
    5. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over filled tortillas.
    6. Top with cheese, bake 15-20min until cheese is browned & bubbly.

  4. Oh, and sometimes we do cheese, crackers and fruit for a meal. The kids like it since it is all finger food and they can try different food combinations of their own choosing.

  5. Thanks everyone. We already eat pretty well, but I'm always looking for quick & easy things to make that are healthy! And Alice, I think the documentary was called Forks over Knives, or something like that.