Veggie Tips

We eat a lot of vegetables in our house.  Raw, grilled, steamed, chopped, pan-fried, over the open fire, you name it, we eat it that way.

I thought I would share some tips we have learned along the way as well as how we (ok it’s me really) sneak more veggies into our family diet.

Keeping sliced carrots and celery in our fridge in some cold water to make them last longer is a trick I do every week.  I keep blue cheese and peanut butter around so they can dip them instead of just munching on them raw all the time.  Works like a charm!

Chopping up all types of vegetables and storing them in baggies or small containers that are visible when opening the fridge is another way of getting the kids to snack healthy as they will grab them when hungry.  I keep some ranch dressing along with the blue cheese for these types of vegetables.

Storing my own homemade salad in a bag is another easy thing for kids to grab.  I have a few different dressings to choose from and also red wine vinegar as that’s the Teen Queen’s favorite to top off her salad.  You would be surprised how quick a kid will eat salad if they only have to grab a handful out of a bag and put it in a bowl!

Keeping things colorful is inviting to all.  In our chicken stir fry I use all different color peppers and also for when I am making a vegetable side dish for dinner.  The kids call these dishes “rainbow vegetables”.

Kale chips are another great crunchy snack.  You can do the same thing with brussel sprouts by peeling them and baking.

Topping veggies with sauce and cheese is a great alternative to pasta.  This gets scooped right up in a matter of minutes!

Filling them with meat and rice topped with sauce…who could resist!

Loading up your crockpot meals with all different types of veggies that soften, add flavor and break down into the gravy is sneaky!!  This is how I hide parsnips from the Boy!

Grilling is huge in our world.  I will grill many many vegetables in the summer.  Seasoned with a little olive oil, garlic powder and salt and cooked until charred and soft.  Every vegetable is delicious!

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And last, keeping fresh corn around and teaching the kids how to microwave their own for 4 minutes and then peel allows for a delicious, no string ear every kids loves!

I have shared recipes on this blog (you can find them under the “Categories” section) as well as on our Facebook page: ChasenChanceranch for all of these pictures.  If you can’t find one, just ask!

Baked Zucchini and Summer Squash

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Baked Zucchini and Summer Squash on the menu tonight.

Slice and layer squashes, cover in sauce, top with grated mozzarella. We like onions on ours too but you can use anything you like (mushrooms, peppers, ground beef, shredded chicken and so on).

Comfort food minus the carbs!!

Bake at 425 until squash has softened, cheese has melted and onions have browned.

Avocado Chia Seed Chocolate Pudding

 

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This is a delicious healthy way to indulge a little!  The benefits from the avocado and chia seed are plentiful and good for your body!  So go ahead and enjoy!

2 ripe avocados peeled and chopped
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3 TBSP Chia Seeds
1/4 cup honey or agave (I use our homemade maple syrup too)
2/3 cup almond milk, coconut milk, or regular milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Place all in a blender and blend until somewhat smooth. (you may have to scrape the sides of the blender here and there).

**this will not be as smooth as a regular pudding with the Chia Seeds. If you want a smooth pudding omit the seeds and reduce the milk to 1/2 cup

 

 

 

 

A Walk in the Woods

Saturday morning was beautiful for a quick 4 mile walk through the woods on our property and some neighbors.  Below are some pictures to share….

Heading down our main dirt trail and took a trail heading to the west.  It’s a twisty turning trail that heads directly down to the creek.

Heading up the trail from the creek I see a neighbor has put up a new tree stand.  There are make shift bridges along the creek like the one above.  This bridge actually gets moved every year by the creek and they have to reset it, as you can see they have done.  Another neighbors trail that we have helped to maintain for years is in a low spot and is always full of water.  It’s a great spot for polywogs!

After the long low spot you head down to their bridge that is build out of railroad ties.  Perfect for the weight of horses and four wheelers.  Up the hill from the bridge is an old tire marking a property stake.  You can see the spring rains have kept these trails wet!  You continue on this trail and it leads you in a circle back to our property connecting to the open field.

Look closely and you can see the Man and Boy’s double tree stand for hunting.  It’s a special spot where a little boy has gone with his dad to share in a hunting trip!  Just past the stand I saw this poor broken robins egg on the ground on the trail heading back to the middle of our property and the arch where you know to turn.

The old pool deck serves as Grandpa’s tree stand as he can no longer climb into a tree.  We moved it back to an area he can drive to on the 4 wheeler and still enjoy time hunting.  Turning from there to the watery trail leading up to our bridge.  Once across the bridge turning to the east the creek overflows and when it dries up, lush grasses grow.  The bridges in the lush grass serve for 4 wheeler or walking access to the east trails.

Heading up the east trail towards the house completes the “loop” we call it.  There are many little trails that run off the main trail but if you follow the main trail you will come to the opening of our back pasture.  There is an old farm implement that was abandoned back in these woods and when we cleared for the new pasture, I insisted on leaving it where it was put to rest.  I wonder how much work it did and who left it back there in the middle of an over grown field.

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And we have come full circle to the back of our little cabin in the woods heading home.

I’ve walked these trails and woods since 1972 and I was 6 years old.  Each trip is a new adventure with downed trees, new sites, water and animals.  I will never outgrow the excitement of walking in the woods!!

Fluff-n-Stuff

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This is the perfect light dessert!

It’s always a hit at summer parties as it’s cold and refreshing with the perfect amount of sweetness.

The best thing is it’s not that bad for you!!!

And you can make this MANY different ways and flavors!

Here is how I make ours:

8 oz tub Cool Whip (you can use light and even Fat Free if you choose)

8 oz container of cottage cheese (you can add more or less if you like)

1 package jello any flavor (I used raspberry tonight)

1 can fruit cocktail (or fruit of your choice)

1 cup miniature marshmallows

Mix all together in a bowl and chill.

It’s that simple!

NOTES: You can make this with mandarin oranges and orange jello, pineapple pieces with pineapple jello, raspberry with blue raspberry jello etc. You can add shredded coconut as well! Experiment!

Also you can make this with a package of pudding and the coolwhip and add a cup of chocolate chips and the minature marshmallows. Mix all and chill.

This is a win win dessert that can be made many ways!

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