I have had very little appetite ever since I became a single mother. I have to actually push myself to eat. I know this will change so I am not worried (much). Until then you may not see many posts of recipes. This one doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out but, making it the other day was O.M.G. AMAZING!!!!!! Every bite was filled with pure taste and made me grown with mmmmmmm YUM.
Simple No noodle Lasagna
2 large zucchini – about 6-8 inches each
I really like using zucchini, cut in thin strips, in the place of noodles. With this recipe I took a minute to thinly slice and then place the slices on a few paper towels in case they needed to weep (ok, I lied, I’m not rich enough for paper towels, it was a rag).
1 lb. Lauras lean ground beef, 4% fat or like in my household a mixture of this ground beef and ground turkey
1 cup minced veggies – I used minced carrot, celery, spinach and mushrooms (yes, I have children that cringe at mushrooms even though they are my favorite)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt *important try not to leave out the salt if you are using mushrooms.
cook in a skillet till no longer pink, then set aside.
In a pot sauté
1 large sweet onion diced
1 cup peppers diced- I used a my blend of red, green, orange, yellow and poblano
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 -2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons basil ****** fresh is always best*****
pinch of cayenne
until onions are translucent and your house smell like supper 🙂 My mom taught me that every meal should start with an onion.
Add 2 jars of those tomatoes you put up during the summer or if you don’t have that then 2 large cans of tomato sauce will work.
At this point you can add your meat mixture in and heat the whole thing until nice and hot. Taste it, is it good, does it need more salt, or garlic? You could take a break now and have a little lunch, maybe some miracle noodles and a bit of this wonderful sauce, yum.
part skim ricotta cheese 1-2 cups worth depending on how thick you like this layer.
2 cups shredded cheese of choice
I get out my big Pyrex pan and put a bit of sauce on the bottom (just enough to coat so nothing sticks). I layer my zucchini like noodles and spread ricotta over it. Then I spread about 1 cup of sauce over that. Layer again and if lucky again and again ending with sauce. This is where I bake mine at 350*F for about 30-40 min then place the 1-2 cups shredded cheese on top and continue to bake for 15-20 minutes. Please please please let cool for about 45 min. Lasagna is one of those dishes that get better as they cool and even better the next day.
Our household had ours with a caesar salad minus croutons. everyone walked away happy. No child thought I was serving only rabbit food or my usually yucky healthy food. If my kids had it their way they would eat pizza for every meal!
On Halloween day Pratus and I headed out to run some errands and I found myself not enjoying the company as much as I would have liked. Dropping this little guy off to daddy seemed like a sensible thing to me. I gave my hugs and kisses and off I went. I get back and find my child draped in daddies t-shirt and bouncing. He got himself wet, okay no big deal (mental note make sure daddy always has a change of clothes for each child). I said “wow looks like you boys have been having fun”. Daddy says, “Yeah we have been running and jumping, all while watching red box movies and eating chocolate”.
“Really Chocolate, just really”… these words slip from my mouth with complete and utter annoyance laced into each syllable.
Yes, it was Lindt Chili Dark Chocolate (picture above), Pratus has a very refined pallet for a child. You see Pratus and chocolate just don’t mix. He also has the same trouble with soda (if ever it was allowed for a child to take heroin it would look something like Pratus after chocolate or soda).
Now obviously I am the default parent for I knew this to be the absolute truth. I have had to deal with the onslaught to these man made Items more than enough times to have already made this valuable deduction. Daddy however, has not and with a roll of his eyes, I concluded that he thought I was being overly dramatic. I would like to say that this is the first time I have ever come across such doubt when dealing with food intolerances. It saddens me to tell you that not unlike having a more complicated child, I have had this same experience many many times. I don’t really get why it is so hard to believe that a food could cause behavior problems. We all know that too much sugar can make an otherwise quite child act out so, why is what I am saying make me sound like a raving lunatic?
Halloween continued on with a very very very hyper child that struggled with boundaries. He was too hyper not to run ahead, too hyper to look before wanting to cross a road, too hyper and uncoordinated, not to trip over himself every few minutes, He was too hyper to really enjoy what was going on. Now you remember my last post how I talked about costumes. Well he was also too hyper to have as many qualms with attire (silver lining?) he didn’t actually let me put on a costume but, he was willing to carry around a plastic fireman’s helmet and say he was a fireman (progress in my eyes). Finally when we stopped to eat some chili, I noticed that he was starting to come down from this chocolate high he was on. Poor Pratus cried because his spoon was to big, to white, to small, to plastic, just too much for him. Good thing it was colder than a witches tit outside because that meant bigger brother Alanso was more than okay with going home. We all led Pratus home, No, that’s not right. It was more like following in the wake of a Tasmanian devil, you just did your best to stay close so you could apologize to those that got trampled. He was in our place faster than I could have imagined and was gobbling down candy before I could get the keys out of the lock. How this child got candy (I’m not 100% sure that one of those children who got in his way left with all their treats) no clue, I was so careful to shout ahead “NO CANDY, please!” I grabbed it away, offering up loving attention in its place. HA HA HA The little child was more like a snake, it was a sight to behold, I was tugging, he was holding firm, eating, crying, drooling sweet venom down his chin, screaming, kicking, and If I wasn’t mistaken his head came off at one point and rotated 360 degrees before he slumped back in the chair, defeated. I in no way felt I had won that battle, his whimpering was so sad. Brother tried to come comfort him and got a fat lip for his troubles. I ran and hid all forms of candy and offered him a few bites of food to try to combat the mass amount of sugar he just consumed. Amongst the sobs he ate and then he was out, as if a light switch had been filled in the off position.
All in all I can’t say that the chocolate was the catalyst to everything given that the day was filled with things that normally aren’t there. I still am sticking to my observation though that Pratus and chocolate do not go together!
Thinking this post through has taken me some time. In the end, I really felt I wanted to, NO, HAD TO share my experiences with you.
Halloween in coming up and every year I dread this holiday.
My children have never just fell in that scope of normal when it comes to behavior. I would love to say that they are like every other child out there. For this mom this is far from the reality that is their childhood. My children have offered me challenges at every turn. Mostly in the way that they were going to be willing to confront the world. I do have those sweet, quiet children in my life, however, they often get overshadowed by those that demand more (Pratus is one such child). I have often felt like an outsider parent when it came to raising these children. For example: when I would go to play groups with other parents it always was a disaster. I saw how they would look at me with pity and yet with no idea how to help me. I sometimes wondered if they thought that my children’s behavior would be catchy as if it were a sickness. Then there were those that thought I was a passive parent that allowed my children to run amuck. Assuming my child was just undisciplined, was really difficult for me. Often I am overly demanding as a parent. I have been told I just need to relax and allow them to make mistakes. In my role as a parent to just let them make their mistakes had not been an option (now that I have teen I learning to do this more and more. I have found that it is actually a good thing and not something to fear as it was when they were small). I was/am organized. I think things through. I plan my trips to stores when I don’t have to take a child. I cook when I know they are self entertained, etc, etc, etc. All with the express intent to keep them safe and happy as well as not torture the outside world with my so called little hellions.
Halloween, The one day of the year where we throw the never ending teachings that, we never take candy from strangers, out the window. The one day of the year when bad guys can actually be good guys. The one day where scary is awesome, and we promote it instead of shielding our children from it. That one day of the year where we ignore bedtime organization, diets, germ practices, and so on. Have I said how I dread this holiday? I would very much love to just shut the curtains and pretend it isn’t happening. I just don’t feel that is fair or teaches the right message to my kids.
I stood my ground for years against people and what they think is best for my children. I have ignored the people who have told me that my child just needs a firm spanking, just because that is what worked for them in their time. I have put off people that said to me “well they are just going to have to learn how to act like everyone else”. SORRY NO, THEY AREN”T CATTLE. I have gone outside the box more times than I can count. All in the hopes of a cohesive life. No, not cohesive but, an amazing life. A life where they flourish and become people who can know that there isn’t only one way of doing things.
Halloween is often a time filled with excessive stimuli. Often for some children it is just too much. Pratus last year couldn’t handle the costume. At 2.5 years old, he hated being dressed in much of anything, much less as a dragon. I thought it was cute until I saw his face and how much this cuteness upset him. He literally had a meltdown over this thing being on him. After a bit of unsuccessful cohersing and trying to convey my pleasure in seeing him as a dragon, I realized he was not going to budge and quickly stripped him of the cuteness. I was really disappointed, but what was worse was how horrible his behavior was after that. He was upset with me. He kept trying to get across how that made him feel, but at 2.5 it all comes out like a demon possession. In both our eyes that Halloween was not one for the happy scrapbooks.
When I first encountered behavior from my children that seemed not like the norm, I jumped to the internet, friends, family, doctors. Really anyone who I thought could tell me what this was and how to handle it. Doctors said medication helps. My friends were clueless as most had “normal” kids. My family was just as frustrated as I was and really wished I would just keep my kids at home. Then there was the internet and its fountain of information. The internet led me from one unknown to a vast wasteland of people who like me were clueless but, looking for answers. A few sites had some good ideas, but, nothing more than hypotheses, or studies that may be on the verge of something just not there yet, or just outright bullarky! I remember wading through the mass amounts of crud and finding a few tidbits of actual useful information. It seemed that artificial colors, flavors and preservatives were for a lot of children’s catalysts to unwanted behavior.
Halloween, a time for colorful treats and CANDY, CANDY, CANDY, CANDY.
I hit rock bottom with my kids when they were very little. I figured it was me, I was not a good parent because I couldn’t make them be like other kids. I started to change their diets as a pitiful attempt to alter their unruly behavior. I had little faith that it would do anything but, I was desperate. I had no support for this back some 14 years ago. At that time it was medication or just understanding that you had a child with disabilities. It really seemed there was that fine line between a child who thought and acted differently and a child in a wheel chair with a debilitating physical/mental handicap. For years and I do mean years the diet I put them on was met with some of the most horrendous and judgmental views. I thank god that now it is trendy to feed your children “Organic” or “all natural”. Back then it was truly a fight with everyone. How could I not allow my children to have treats like a “normal” child. There was that word again (as Forest Gump would say “normal is as normal does”). I wanted to just scream at people, “fine I accept I don’t have a normal child and yes, it is my fault”or “I’m sorry, by all mean give my child the cupcake as they are so deprived and it is just cruel”.
Halloween, makes me cringe, but, this year I have seen some hope. With so many more children out there with allergies or people deciding to eat differently, trick or treating can be hard. This year they have this new thing where a house that has non-candy treats puts up a teal pumpkin (read more about it here). I think that is great, a little hard to see in the dark but, great.
Now I am in a whole new world, yet back to the same old adage “your child is not NORMAL”. Pratus thinks differently and acts accordingly. To most a child that skins his knee and then cries is acting normally in a normal situation. When my son skins his knee and has a fit over it people see it as acting abnormally to a normal situation. However, for Pratus he is acting normally to an abnormal situation. He becomes angry and aggressive. At 3 he is mad at the ground for hurting him and mad at himself for being hurt. He struggle to come to me to be comforted. For him a bandaid is just another thing that just doesn’t work. The feel of it is not comforting. So here I am, a mom that just wants to make her child’s boo boo go away. The problem is that I just don’t know how to do it.
Halloween, Oh how I would love to enjoy your simple fun in a grown up way. I would love to stand side by side with another mom watching our children run up to houses, thier little faces flush with excitement, their little costumes cute and picture worthy. I would love to see candy filling our house with sweetness. I would love to take my teens to a haunted house or even attend a party. That will not be the case for this mom. I will be sending off my teens with the child that can handle it, meaning I stay behind for the child that can’t.
So many people lose out when households have to adjust to situations. I know I am not the only person that has had to make adjustments or allotments for someone. There are just are times where it never becomes easier to accept.
Halloween, you are one holiday that will have to wait to be celebrated the way you deserve to be. Until then, oh how you cause me so much frustration. I just can’t focus the blame on the child so, you will have to take the brunt of it. Maybe next year we will have learned how to co-mingle until then….BOO! on you.
Every morning for me is a coffee morning no matter if it is hot black and decaffeinated or hot and loaded with sugar and artificial flavors.
I am totally gaga for pumpkin spice cappuccino, but try to enjoy them as a treat on those days when I feel I need a real emotional yet physical pick me up. When I was dating it was like flowers to me. I would bat my eyes and say things like pweeze to get that response from my fiancé that had him rushing off to fulfill my want. I hated that I had to ask, although if he would have brought me one every day those steamy hot cups of joy never would have meant anything to me. I am one mixed up lady like that! Some times I don’t know what I want and other days no one can do anything right (not even me). I pride myself on being practical and level-headed, the home maker that has it all under control, yet more and more I realize I am just one of those girls that want to be cherished, thought of as sweet and kind one that has someone running off to get me a pumpkin spice cappuccino the moment they come back in season with a smile and giddy excitement as presenting me with my beloved treat
Now that I am alone, I can’t expect to have anyone bringing me treats so if I want some pumpkin spice cappuccino I will have to enjoy them ala carte so to speak. One thing I have started to realize is that in no way are those tasty cups of hot spice good for you. The thing about treating yourself is that you don’t want to give yourself things you know aren’t up to your standards sooooo, I have decided to make a better version using things that taste really good but with way less junk than the original.
ULTRA HEALTHY PUMPKIN SPICE CAPPUCCINO MIX
1 scoop Organic whole food pumpkin powder by activz (I recomend the 10.1oz) Nutrition info is on the smaller 8.1oz container
*Please read up on the health benifits are to this wonderful powder
2 Tablespoons packed Truvia brown sugar
1 packet stevia in the raw
Powdered milk of your choice ( milk, soy milk , coconut milk) each one will be a different amount but I used about 1 cup of milk/soy and only about 1/2 cup if using coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla powder (if you have vanilla beans you can so make your own I just have not had good luck with my vanilla beans the last 3 times I have gotten them so I had to buy this. It lasts a long time unless you are a vanilla nut)
*Now I like my stuff spicy, so if this doesn’t work for you please do less and as always you could do some cinnamon and just pumpkin spice, I personally LOVE fresh ground nutmeg and think it makes all the difference in the foods I eat.
2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1.5 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (do not use fresh)
1/2 Tablespoon fresh grated nutmeg
This is where you can get creative, you could add a good quality instant coffee (what amounts to 6 finished/brewed cups worth) and make an amazing gift for someone you love or just for yourself ( always love yourself too, you deserve it) but I like to just put it in my morning coffee like a creamer and wala.
I put all the powders in my blender to make sure it was very well incorporated, then into a Fido jar with a chalk label. I wrote on mine what it was and how much to use. For me, I start with 2 Tablespoons and go up from there. I have never used more than 1/4 a cup per large coffee (again I don’t have instant coffee in mine, please adjust if you do).
So you are asking why not just run off to the gas station(sorry this mama can’t afford Starbucks) to buy your cup of steamy sweet goodness verses spending a small fortune for supplies (yes yes I know) …..drum roll please
You will have replaced that cappuccino coming in at a whopping 200 calories for a 12oz cup to a whole 89 calories for a 16oz cup if you do coconut milk it is even less but don’t forget to adjust because you will only need half of the powder in your coffee. That is a **10 min. walk verses a 30 min. walk to burn off that coffee and if you are like me and tend to have more than one well goodness there goes the day just walking. The mixture you have created has great health benefts also (can you say that about your artificial powder coffee?).
** this always depends on your weight as a slimmer person will burn less calories than a heavier person. I went with an average of 150lbs for this example (I am in no way telling you how much I weigh 😛 ).