February Monthly Challenge

I made it thru the January challenge and would have to call it a success.  We saved  money, we ate healthy and found some great new recipes that I will most certainly be using again.

One of the things I really enjoyed about the challenge was how much less I actually had to cook.  A pot of soup gave us a lot of meals, so I did more heating up meals than I did actually cooking meals for the month.  Winner!!!

For the month we ate Black Bean & Lentil Soup, Baked Potato Soup, Pork Chili Verde, Ham & 13 Bean Soup, Vegetable Beef Soup, Chicken & Dumpling Soup, Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup, White Chicken Chili, Bean and Bacon Soup, and Chili Tortellini.

Ten different recipes for 30 days.

Now we enter a new month and it’s time for a new challenge.  So I’m doing a double challenge this month.

Challenge #1 is to continued a variation of the January challenge by creating one-dish meals for the month of February.  Healthy meals that can be prepared in a big pot on the stove, the slow cooker or in a casserole dish and baked in the oven.  Enough for 2-4 meals with plenty for hubby can take for his lunches (that’s the biggest savings for us).

Challenge #2 is to become more active by committing to at least 30 minutes of exercise at least 6 days a week.  I can break it down into 10 minute increments 3 times per day if necessary, but at least 30 minutes.  Either getting out and walking, playing Kinect Sports or Kinect Adventures on the Xbox with the girls, going to the gym and swimming, taking a  Zumba or some other aerobic class.  I have a couple new Yoga DVD’s that I need to use or I could do some resistance training 1-2 days per week.  Lots of choices and a commitment to physical activity.  One month!  A great way to begin building a new healthy habit in my life.

Zucchini for Breakfast

With all the shredded zucchini taking up space in my freezer, I decided it was time to find some new recipes and thanks to Pinterest, I discovered one that Naomi and I absolutely love.

Zucchini Bread Pancakes!!!!

DSC_1262

While Naomi and I really like them, hubby and Lili have chosen not to partake. I don’t understand that at all, but hope that one day they will give them a try.

It’s a great way of adding veggies to our day and I have found that the addition of the zucchini makes them more filling than regular pancakes.

If you are looking for another way to use the zucchini currently living in your freezer or fridge, give these pancakes a try.

Zucchini Bread Pancakes

2 large eggs
3 T olive oil
2 T brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 T sour milk (I use vinegar to sour my milk)
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 heaping cups shredded zucchini
 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/4 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
 Oil for coating the skillet

In a large bowl, combine eggs, olive oil, sugar, sour milk and vanilla until smooth. Stir in zucchini.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir dry ingredients into wet, mixing until just combined.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Coat the pan lightly with butter or oil.  (Make sure your skillet isn’t too hot.  These take a little longer to cook than regular pancakes and will easily burn.  Yes, I know this from personal experience.)

Pour the batter into the pan and cook until bubbles appear on the surface.

DSC_1260

Flip pancakes and cook another minute or two, until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve with your favorite topping.

I especially enjoy these with fresh blueberry syrup.  Naomi likes them with maple syrup.

DSC_1263

 

Kid’s Kabob

Leaving Facebook has provided me more time to experiment with some of my Pinterest finds.

Like this fun Kid’s Kabob which has been prepared a total of 3 times now.

IMG_7434

I used turkey, ham, lettuce, carrots, cheese and whole wheat bread on this kabob.  I put a strip of bread on first to start the kabob and then began alternating each of the ingredients, ending with another strip of bread at the end.  I added some ranch dressing for dipping and some fruit to balance out the meal.

Both of my girls ate everything on their kabob, including the veggies so we’ll be making these again and again.  We will also experiment using different meats, cheeses and veggies.  They are a lot of fun to make and a lot of fun to eat!