Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Green Power Burgers!

Sometimes you need to present a new food to little kids in a way that will make them want to eat it.  Today we made a green burger which we called Green Power Burgers. Teenagers do not fall for "this crap" they tell me. But little kids eat it right up.  These burgers were amazingly delicious.  Put them in a fresh bun, add all your regular toppings and you will want to eat another!
Some variations you could do are, for vegans, take out the egg and put in an energ egg or a flax egg. We made them tonight for the non vegan crowd so we put in the egg. Next time I will make them veganized.
I made 5 burgers and then the rest of the batter I made into meatballs that were incredibly good too. I baked the meatballs at 400 for 10 minutes in my toaster oven. Both the burgers and meatballs were perfectly cooked.
Leave me a comment if you try these!
Sara's Green Power Burgers
1 can chickpeas, rinsed well
1/4 of an onion
1 cup fresh spinach, packed
1/2 TB soy sauce
1 tsp Oregano
2 TB sunflower seeds
1 egg
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

In a large food processor, put in rinsed chickpeas and the onion.  Pulse a little bit.  Add in the spinach, the oil, soy suace, oregano and sunflower seeds, and pulse a little more.  Add in the rest of the ingredients. It all just goes in the bowl of the food processor.
 Mix up till well combined.  It should look like this!

Wet your hands and make into burgers or meatballs.  You can probably grill these too, but I do not have a grill.  These green power burgers go great with a side salad.
 This is what my burgers looked like when they were done. YUM!

Friday, April 20, 2012

From the Farmer Delivery Service

Over the past few years I hear more and more about CSA delivery services, organic pick your own farms, and various other ways to get locally grown fruits and veggies to our house.
About a month ago I saw a deal on Plum District to try 2 weeks of delivery of the From the Farmer delivery service for $40.  This was 50% off the regular price.  For $40 I thought it would be worth trying.  I emailed with Nick a few times before I bought the offer. He was so helpful and I know he was probably flooded with emails on the day his offer came out. But Nick answered all of my questions, and I quickly signed up.
It was easy to pick which weeks I wanted my delivery.  I just emailed Nick, told him which two weeks I wanted to try and then I just had to wait for those weeks to arrive.
Last week was my first delivery.  The excitement began on Thursday. I got an email from Nick explaining what items were going to be in the basket along with suggested recipes to use each item. Also included in the email are storage directions.  The only thing not included with the instructions was someone to cook up a few dishes.  Luckily we enjoy doing that ourselves!
I had trouble sleeping Thursday night in anticipation of our delicious surprise.
My little girl and I were so excited to open the front door at 7 am and see a bright orange picnic basket waiting for us.  From the Farmer delivers all the baskets between 4 and 7 am to avoid traffic and to get you the items as fresh as possible.  On our first delivery day we did not take any pictures. But the images are fresh in my mind.  My four year old brought the basket in herself and carefully opened it.  She took out each item and we talked about what it was, smelled it, thought about how we would use it, and then checked out the next item. 
So this week we remembered to put out our bright orange picnic basket last night.  This morning when we woke up I whispered to Diane, I think our picnic basket is here. She ran out of bed, opened the front door and could not have been more excited.  Today we got a bright red basket and the first thing she said was, there are green smelly things sticking out, what are they????

Diane was so excited that many of my photos are blurry.  I love seeing her excited about fruits and vegetables.  She told me the basket today was much heavier than last week so I helped her bring it to the kitchen.  We began unpacking to discover what we would be eating this weekend.
First we found the huge spring onions. I have never seen spring onions this big!  They were almost as tall as a 4 year old!
Next was a bag of mustard greens. Diane smelled it to see what flavors she could find.
The favorite find in the bag was the fresh strawberries.
The brothers each grabbed a few and declared, sweetest strawberries they ever tasted.
A couple of the sweetest apples I ever tasted were in the bottom of the basket as well.
A few items are not pictured including a bag of lettuce, a loaf of rye bread, and some strawberry lime marmalade. 
The saddest part of the basket is that the strawberries are all gone.  It is only 8 am and yes, they were all eaten up.  Didn't they look beautiful and delicious?
If you want to email Nick I am sure he will hook you up! You must live in the DC/MD area though. Sorry to all of you reading this from far away.
Or check out their website at

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Quinoa Casserole

Quinoa is one of my favorite foods! It is such a healthy grain. I recently submitted this recipe to a request put out for favorite quinoa recipes.  I love to  cook, bake, and eat it quinoa plain!
My 4 year old loves this recipe. It is a great way to get kids to eat spinach too.  I hope you enjoy it!

Quinoa Spinach Casserole
1 tsp butter
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
8 eggs or egg beaters
1 and 1/4 cups milk
1 TB chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped thyme
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup finely shredded parmesan

Preheat oven to 375
Grease an 8x8 pan with the melted butter. I usually just spray it with PAM.
Set the pan aside.
Put quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse until cold running water runs clear, drain well.
In a large bowl whisk together eggs, all the milk, garlic, thyme, salt and quinoa.
Stir in spinach and then pour into the pan.
Cover tightly with foil and gently jiggle the dish from side to side so that the quinoa settles to the bottom in a fairly even layer.
Bake until just set, about 45 minutes.
Remove foil and sprinkle the cheese evenly on top.
Return to the oven and bake uncovered until golden brown and crisp, about 10-15 more minutes.
Let cool briefly, then slice into squares and serve.

For more quinoa recipes check out:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Three Stooges a Real Parent Review

The Three Stooges were a slap stick comedy team that was considered "old fashioned" when I was just a kid.  I still remember though, that they made me laugh every time I watched them.  The choreography of their stunts including slapping, eye gouges, bops to the head and various other methods of punishing each other for various transgressions was beyond funny to me.  I found that as I grew older and found the Stooges while channel surfing late at night (or early in the morning) the episodes made me laugh all over again.  Their comedy seemed to be something that almost anyone could enjoy.  As we were preparing to go see the new movie I was hoping, just don't screw this up Farrelly Bros.  This stuff is funny just the way it was, don't try to change the formula too much."

I have to say that for the most part the Farrelly brothers stuck to the Stooges formula and really did get this one right. The three actors that play the Stooges are really spot on for the most part with Will Sasso as Curly absolutely nailing the role perfectly.  His routines with the dancing in place and snapping his fingers and hands have me chuckling to myself now while writing this.  I took 2 5th graders (1 girl and 1 boy), one 8th grader and 2 10th graders to the movie with me.  All of them laughed continuously through the entire movie.    They all told me afterwards they greatly enjoyed it and thought it was VERY funny.  They laughed all the way home as they recounted various scenes.  The movie is rated PG and is appropriate for almost any age child (except for very young ones).  I can't recall any bad language and the only violence is of the slap stick variety and generally completely over the top (such as a bell falling from the bell tower onto one of the Sisters and then a series of other falls that take place right after that).  There is a scene that involves a number of babies peeing (I wont spoil it for you) that was not even remotely offensive.  This is one of those movies that you AND your children will enjoy together, especially if you are a fan of the old school stooges.

The movie starts off a little slow as they give you the back story of how the Stooges came to live in an orphanage.  This first scene introduces you to one of the other best characters in the movie (and most inspired casting job ever), Sister Mary-Mengele played by Larry David (yes, that Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld).  While her name is meant to bring visions of a ruthless nun who rules with an iron fist over her orphans, you also see glimpses of how much she cares for the children, even the Stooges who torture her endlessly. The children start to break into a song in front of her and before they can even get through the first verse she yells at them, "What do you think this is, The Sound of Music?" and off the movie goes.  I almost don't want you to know that this character is played by Larry David because the discovery of that while you are watching will be very funny.  There is one pivotal scene in this beginning episode, with a family who comes to adopt one of the Stooges which drives the rest of the film.  I will not spoil the ending except to say that it all comes together in the end.

As the kids grow up in the next episode we start to see the Stooges that we recognize from the early films of the past.  They still have not been adopted and continue to live at the Orphanage.  As events unfold it forces the Stooges to have to go out into the world to raise money to save the Orphanage (ala The Blues Brothers). As they are unleashed on an unsuspecting world the slapstick begins and the laughs do not end until well after you get out of your seat and leave the theater.  Go and enjoy this movie and let us know which part made you laugh the most.  (Oh, and Moms, don't forget to let your husbands know that Sofia Vergara plays a very prominent role in the movie.  I'll leave it at that.)

You can watch the trailer for the movie here and after you are done laughing, go see this movie!