Dinner: French Toast and Monte Cristos

The Plan: French toast for the kids. It’s easy, filling, and they both eat it. But how could I turn it into something else for me and Old Man Diabetes? Stuff them with yumminess, of course! I didn’t include sugar in the egg dip so it could be used for both meals as well. I used Milton’s multi grain bread for the kids and Dave’s Killer bread for us.

The recipe:
Egg mixture:
1 egg
3 or 4 glugs of egg whites out of the carton
Big splash of milk

Kids’ version:
Cinnamon sugar mixture, optional
Strawberry jam or maple syrup

Parents’ version:
Ham
Cheese, I used Havarti
Kale spinach mix (it’s a Costco sized bag, so I’m putting this shtuff on *everything*)

I meant to add a capful of vanilla extract, but forgot, and nobody seemed to mind.

I cooked the kids’ French toast first. After dunking the slice into the egg mixture, I’d place it in the pan over medium heat. To add a bit of flavor to theirs, I’d sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of each slice before flipping. I set my toaster oven to warm and throw them in there while I cook the rest.

For the parents’ version, I only dipped one side of one slice of bread, put that in the pan, then pile the insides on, then dip the other slice and place that on top. It made it easier than trying to dip a whole sandwich.

The Verdict:
Me: good, hearty, filling.
Huzz: surprised it turned out so well.
Girl: asked if there were any leftovers the next morning!
Boy: ate without a fuss, which is basically the best response I could get from him.

Dinner: Coconut Chicken Curry

The Plan:
Dump some stuff in the crockpot, serve it as soup for me and the huzz, and serve just the chicken and veggies to the kids with rice. It was both a success and a fail.

I started by throwing frozen chicken tenders into the crockpot, then covered them with one can chicken broth. (Yes I use very technical terms and precise measurements) I heated some butter in a pan, added some curry powder (not too much…. you know…kids) garlic powder, powdered ginger, black pepper. I let them bubble away in the butter (I think it helps ‘wake up’ the flavors) but careful not to burn them. Added that whole mixture into the crockpot. I then added one can coconut milk.

Do NOT do that. Don’t add the coconut milk at that point. It cooked for way too long and became…. I don’t know the word for it… coagulated? separated? Anyway, it was not appetizing to look at, so the soup idea was no longer an option.

I turned the crockpot on high, started the rice cooker (with quinoa in the top steamer!) and we went to the gym. When we came back was when I discovered the liquid got all gross, but added some cauliflower florets and peas to the pot. Now, if I had a bottomless bounty of every kind of veggie out there, I would have added maybe some potato, red pepper, some fresh basil. But I don’t, so I work with what I have and what everyone likes/needs. Cauli is good for the huzz’s diabetes, the kids like peas. Close enough for me.

When I make this again, I would add the can of coconut milk at the same time I add the veggies. I think it would cook just long enough to heat it through, but not for it to break down. To make mine at least appetizing looking, I added a bit of half and half to make it appear creamier. Now would be a good time to readjust the seasonings if needed, and break up the chicken tenders if you wanted.

 

The Recipe (not very precise):

8 frozen chicken tenders

1 can chicken broth

1 can coconut milk

veggies (I used cauliflower and peas, but potato, sweet potato, bell peppers, green onions, basil or lemongrass would work wonders)

curry powder, and, if you want, black pepper, powdered ginger, garlic. Sriracha if you like it hot.

 

The Verdict:

Huzz: Had 2 helpings., but didn’t say much.

Me: It was alright. I want to make it again to see if I can improve on it.

Girl: She ate it, she said she liked it, but I’m pretty sure she was just being polite.

Boy: OMG the boy. Refused to eat it. He kept screaming that he wanted “the chicken but without the chicken.” W.T.F. We tried to understand, really we did, but I think 3 year olds are just not to be understood sometimes. I gave up and walked away, when I came back, Huzz said he got the boy to eat everything on his plate. And yes, even the chicken, and even the “chicken without the chicken.”

 

Side Dish: Rice and Quinoa Cooked at the Same Time! In the Same Machine!

Really folks, it CAN be done.

I had the rice cooker ready to go for the kids, and thought, “Oh well. Might as well try it.”

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My rice cooker came with a metal expansion pan that you just put on top.

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First I tried to cover the base with plastic wrap…..yea….don’t do that. Then I switched to aluminum foil. I put a ½ cup quinoa in the foil and carefully added 1 cup water. I gently and carefully pulled the foil up, so that the outside ring of holes were visible.

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We came home from the gym and both were cooked to perfection! I served them with  coconut chicken curry. I’m not the biggest fan of quinoa, so I mix half rice and half quinoa. Oh and I ALWAYS rinse it after it cooks.

Dinner: Mini Meatloaf

The Plan:

Make a meatloaf, pasta and veggie mix for the kids, buffalo cauliflower for us. But the best time for us to go to the gym is right before dinner. Sooooo convenient, right?

We were all so hungry by the time we get home, we couldn’t wait for an entire meatloaf to bake in the oven (not to mention here in Phoenix, it’s WAY too hot already to be baking anything). So I decided to turn them into hamburger patties and just call them mini meatloaves.


Mini Meatloaves

With veggies and pasta for the kids, buffalo style cauliflower for the parents

ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef

1 slice of bread (this is a great way to use up those heels)

enough milk to soak bread thoroughly

1 egg

1/2 onion, chopped small enough so children won’t notice it

2 handfuls frozen spinach and kale mix, chopped smaller, cuz you know, kids.

directions:

Dump all that in a bowl. I usually put the bread in first, then the milk, and let that soak in. I break up the bread along the way so there’s no big chunks of bread anywhere. Put everything else in the bowl and mix well.

Divide the mixture into fourths. Shape 2 of the fourths into patties. I stuffed my patty and the huzz’s with cheese but it didn’t even need it. The other 2 fourths I cut in half again, to make 4 smaller slider sized patties for the kids.

I cooked these in a pan with minimal oil over medium to medium high heat. Because these had other ingredients in them, I wanted to make sure these cooked completely before getting too brown on the outside. I was concerned these would crumble or break, but they did fine.

After they cooked in the pan, I kept them warm in the toaster oven. I squirted on a little ketchup before putting them in there.  For me personally I can’t have meatloaf without that ketchup top.


The Verdict:

Mom: Wow. Freaking delicious. Why have I not made these before.

Dad: Gives me the thumbs up every time we happen to make eye contact during dinner. Cannot speak due to food constantly being in mouth.

Girl: Took one bite and made a face and quickly took a drink of water. I explained to her that getting healthy isn’t just about going to the gym, it’s about eating right too. She said okay and ate the rest of it and smiled. Sometimes I love her.

Boy: The boy did not even try a bite, because it “looked disgusting” or “smelled like fart” or whatever 3-year-old boys say when they are being impossible. Both kids ate their pasta, because what isn’t delicious covered in butter, but they picked out some of the veggies because it is imperative that they must hate one aspect of all meals.

Parent Side Dish: Buffalo-style Cauliflower florets

The Plan:

The huzz and I are trying to really limit our carbs. We eat some during the day, but I realized I really needed to cut back on them for dinner. I had made these once before and we both liked them, but this time I made them way less complicated and we didn’t seem to mind.


Buffalo style Cauli

2 cups-ish of cleaned, trimmed cauliflower florets of bite-size

2 TB butter (just do it okay)

Several dashes of hot sauce (I use Frank’s for authenticity, but the huzz adds Valentino or Sriracha to his)

Salt, black pepper, garlic powder if you so choose

Melt butter in a med-hot pan. Throw in seasonings, and hot sauce. Beware of the sizzling hotness.

Throw in the florets and toss to mix thoroughly.

I added a splash of water to help cook the florets more and also to help the sauce get into all the nooks and crannies. Cook until heated through and water has evaporated but before the florets get mushy.


The Verdict: (no kids on this one)

Mom: Cooked them the laziest way possible and huzz still loved them. I wish I could get that fried-crispiness on them, but I didn’t care at that point.

Dad: “Excellent dinner, babe. Mmm!”