Would you like to be a fly on my wall?
Just promise you won’t turn the audio on to hear when I fail at my goal to serve food with joy, and I won’t grab the flyswatter.
I’m definitely not worthy of the curiosity, but I get the impression many out there wonder what the table really looks like at the Kitchen Stewardship household, what the contents of the refrigerator are, and what the kids eat when they ask ever-so-politely, “Mother, may I have a wee snack, please?”
Strike that. What do I feed them when they turn on the whiny voice with, “I’m huuuungry!” for the third time in 15 minutes?
You’re about to enter a real life, real food household, one full of baby steps, miniature changes, small and large compromises, frugal tips and random splurges; one where we eat low-gluten/low-grains most of the time (or should), go through 4-5 dozen eggs a week, and, in spite of fairly on-target dinner meal planning, still wonder “what are we going to eat?” every couple days at breakfast, lunch and snacktime.
No one ever goes hungry, I assure you, and my kids are probably spoiled to have 3-5 choices for snacks and lunch most of the time. We trip along through our days like any other family, trying to stick to real food standards and enjoy our meals at the same time.
We run off to baseball practice and have snacks in the van on the way to religious ed once a week, and sometimes, when we’re packing a snack for my first grader, all he gets are nuts. Luckily, I haven’t driven him nuts yet.
Would you like to see a real week of eating at the Kimball household?
breakfast: leftovers from Easter brunch
- soaked baked oatmeal with raw milk
- crustless quiches from Real Food…Real Easy!
- grain-free almond apple pancakes with real maple syrup (top photo)
- …and our fermented cod liver oil from Green Pasture. Hubs take capsules, kids take mint FCLO, and I like the cinnamon tingle butter oil/cod liver oil blend. Parents also take probiotics and kids take herbs like Scout Out from Trilight Health. (This part remains the same most mornings, especially when they have a spoon already. I won’t bore you by repeating it.)
morning snack: at Bible study, so we had nuts and dried fruit in the car
lunch at school: Paul is testing out the quad by Lunchbot. Pictured above you see his lunch:
- a hard boiled egg with Real Salt (although that’s not on there yet; you’d be able to see the 60 trace minerals if it was!)
- leftover homemade gluten-free pizza
- veggies and homemade ranch dressing
- The grain-free muffin from Healthy Snacks to Go is his morning snack, and he also had homemade yogurt with frozen fruit. I don’t think he’s had a school lunch without homemade yogurt; the only thing that changes is what goes in it, ranging from frozen blueberries, strawberries, peaches or raspberries preserved from summer, or homemade canned applesauce.
lunch at home: leftover asparagus soup (a new recipe I made up with lots of garlic, leeks, asparagus, and spicy sausage!) and homemade yogurt
dinner: grassfed beef stir fry (about 1/2 pound beef steak, maybe?), soaked brown rice cooked in homemade beef stock, LOTS of veggies – broccoli, carrots, peppers, asparagus, green beans, onions… Probably 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of veggies to meat.
Nearly every dinner at our house includes a lettuce salad and some or all of the following:
- carrot sticks
- sliced cucumbers
- colored peppers when they’re on sale
- chopped red onion (this just makes a salad, don’t you think?)
- crispy walnuts and sunflower seeds
- homemade dressings – our favorites are my homemade Caesar dressing with oh so much garlic and Donielle’s spicy dressing. The kids use homemade ranch most days.
- avocado slices when on sale
- pea pods
The kids get a dessert once per day, usually a piece of candy from their stash. This particular Monday was probably the day they jumped up and down and rejoiced to get their artificial colors back, sigh…
I tend to snack all evening…nuts, cheese, dark chocolate when I’m being good, probably a few pieces of Easter candy this night (and my stomach felt it, thankyouverymuch), sometimes a bowl of yogurt or granola with milk. Assume there was more random snacking than I list on each day, ahem…
breakfast: scrambled eggs with a piece or two of bacon from Easter, cut peppers, and a leftover baked potato chopped up
a.m. snack: grain-free cran-nut muffins, dried strawberry fruit rolls
lunch: Paul’s was a repeat of yesterday, hubs had leftover chicken stir fry or soup, plus his requisite yogurt, and Leah and I had egg salad with homemade mayo and heavy mustard, Blue Diamond Nut Thins crackers, and Daisy brand cottage cheese
dinner: turkey rice soup from the carcass from Easter dinner (I get enough meat off even a well-picked carcass for a big pot of soup), biscuits from the freezer (gluten-free from a box, grain-free cheesy biscuits from A Whole Food Holiday, and homemade soaked whole wheat biscuits), salad
dessert: pineapple and cantaloupe
breakfast: soaked buckwheat pancakes and fried eggs
a.m. snack: muffins and trail mix (on the go to library storytime)
lunch at school: egg salad and crackers, banana, yogurt
lunch at home: (oops, I didn’t write this down. Likely egg salad or leftovers, yogurt. You’ll notice a trend in lunches…)
lunch at work: every day, my husband takes leftovers, a yogurt, and a piece of fruit…
after-school snack: leftover GF pizza, frozen peas, crispy walnuts (everyone had something different)
a.m. snack: raw cheese slices, then yogurt and applesauce a half hour later!
lunch: leftover turkey rice soup, egg salad on sliced red pepper and cucumber, veggies and ranch
after-school snack: grain-free cran-nut muffins on the go to 4:00 religious ed, Larabars from the Easter Bunny on the way home
dinner: gluten-free pasta with jarred sauce, sauteed mushrooms, peppers, and a few handfuls of spinach, grated cheese on top, salads, Brussels sprouts
I was at a food bloggers’ conference, so I had homemade beef jerky (recipe can be found in the newly expanded Healthy Snacks to Go eBook along with over 45 real food snack recipes – click HERE to learn more), cheese, cut veggies and lots of trail mix with me, Kelly the Kitchen Kop brought her famous popcorn, and we feasted on gluten-free fare all day at the conference.
My husband took my son out to Steak and Shake (sigh) for breakfast instead of going to Donuts with Dads at school, and Leah was with the grandparents.
For dinner, they ate leftover soup and Red’s burritos from the freezer, plus lots of cut veggies and guacamole.
We ate leftovers for lunch and dinner Saturday, leftovers and quesadillas for lunch Sunday and ordered GF pizza with a Groupon Sunday night. Eh. I was doing cloth diaper videos all afternoon, so you do what you can!
Last week’s Monday was such an anomaly – as I mentioned in a recent monthly newsletter, we almost always have a double batch of soaked oatmeal on Monday, leave it in the pot and have the rest on Tuesday. You get the newsletter, right? It’s only once a month…
breakfast: soaked oatmeal and raw milk
a.m. snack: cut pears and frozen peas (at Bible study), plus nuts in the car on the way to the store
lunch at home: tortilla chips and guacamole, scrambled eggs with cottage cheese in them, yogurt and blueberries
lunch at school: homemade chicken nuggets (from freezer), chips and salsa and guac, frozen peas, yogurt (snack = trail mix)
after-school snack: oranges
dinner: egg drop soup, pan-fried wild Alaskan salmon and halibut with spicy fish seasoning, chicken rice-a-roni with garbanzo beans (from a can since I thought I had some in the freezer and didn’t, but Eden Organic brand without BPA lining), green beans sauteed in bacon grease, salads
a.m. snack: cheese and Nut Thins
lunch at home: leftover pizza and yogurt and an orange
lunch at school: repeat of yesterday
after-school snack: trail mix and granola with milk
dinner: chicken breasts baked with spinach, spaghetti sauce and cheese, venison steaks fried with onions, peppers, mushrooms and asparagus and Italian seasoning, creamed cauliflower (faux mashed “potatoes”), steamed broccoli, cabbage salad with feta, raw veggie plate (we had my in-laws over and I didn’t have enough chicken and wanted to stay grain-free…so we had quite a hodgepodge!)
breakfast: granola or scrambled eggs (or both)
a.m. snack: trail mix on the go
lunch at home: Leah had avocado and carrots as she filled up on nuts at 11:00; I had this beauty:
That’s the leftover fish from Monday with lettuce, avocado, olives, pea pods, peppers, garbanzo beans, cucumbers, carrots, sprouted lentils, homemade ranch, mustard, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and raw cheese. Holy yumma.
after-school snack: oranges
dinner: there’s a chuck roast and carrots in the slow cooker and red potatoes boiling for smashed reds…now I’m off to make sure they don’t boil all over the stove!
Different Than “Normal”
Not that anyone eats the same thing all the time, but here are some ways our “normal” is different than this segment of our lives:
- We usually have even more soup, if you can believe that
- We often have even fewer grains, if you can believe that!
- I do get a rut for snacks of “yogurt or nuts and dried fruit,” but sometimes we are well populated with things from Healthy Snacks to Go – just so you know my kids aren’t totally snack deprived!
- Pizza two weeks in a row is totally odd…but it’s made packing lunches much easier! Often Paul will have soup in a thermos at least once during the week.
- I can’t believe we’ve gone so long without our favorite grain-free pancakes with orange vegetables! They almost always show up once a week…
If you enjoyed this peek into my kitchen, you might be excited to hear that we have a “Kitchen Stewardship community” in the planning stages for Plan to Eat – a place where all of you can automatically see my saved menus and recipes plus interact with each other and share real food ideas and recipes. I’ll let you know when it goes live!
I’m hoping these are frugal meals overall, since it’s part of the Eat Well, Spend Less anniversary this week! I see some good practices:
- produce on sale
- meat doesn’t show up every day and is rarely the centerpiece
- gleaned a turkey carcass = practically free meal
- frozen foods and leftovers eaten = hardly ever waste food
Be sure to check back tomorrow for my super edition of eating well, spending less, detailing how to do your utmost to prioritize real food and natural living to stay within a budget, including personal and cleaning products. (Did you see the 2011 real food budget update I posted yesterday?)
If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.
Disclosure: I received a Lunchbot for my review at no charge, and Green Pasture and Trilight Health are both sponsors of KS. See my full disclosure statement here.