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Mary Beth's Blog

I want to eat real food. I want my family to eat real food. Armed with this plan, I know I can do it. I am a real person, with real kids in a regular ol' kitchen cranking out dinner. Find out my inspiration for the menus, what's happening in my kitchen, and the achievements on the kid-friendly front.

Orange You Happy?

2015-01-23 | 0 comments

I am! Lucky me (again!) that I have another neighbor who's tree is bursting with Valencia oranges. 

I love winter citrus and there are just so many choices at the market these days. They bring such a welcome scent of sweet freshness to these gloomy, grWhen it comes to getting dinner to the table, it takes a game plan to get it done.  Huddle Up. I’m going to break it down.
 
Monday it’s Hoisin Scallops. As many of our members do their shopping on Sunday evening or Monday morning, this dinner needs to be a quickie – you might even consider purchasing frozen rice as an added time saver.
 
Tuesday is our cooking day and this dinner is the perfect reward for our time spent in the kitchen.  It’s Raspberry-Thyme Chicken with Wild Rice Almandine and it is killer.  While the rice bakes, we will have time not only to make the rest of dinner but set up the rest of our week – c’mon, we’re cooking and making the mess anyway. Right after you pop the rice in the oven, prep the ingredients for Wednesday’s soup and stash them in the fridge. After dinner, while the kids do the dishes, pack up the extra chicken. Now it’s ready and waiting for dinner on Thursday.
 
On Wednesday, we are letting the slow cooker do the work - Hot & Sour Soup. Since the prep was done yesterday, take 5 minutes to plunk it all in and you’re off!
 
Thursday’s Almond-Kale Salad (with Thyme Chicken) is my oldest daughter’s favorite and I’ve included it by her request. I’m also doing the Whole Life Challenge again and this meal is completely compliant, very filling and packs so much bright, tangy, roasted, fresh crunch that I always wish that I made more.
 
Head’s up. Be ready for the breakaway. The Real Family Real Food plan is just that - a plan.  We all know that life happens and Tuesday might happen on Sunday, Monday might happen Tuesday, scallops might have to be shrimp.  The point is to take the chore of planning off your massive list of things to do and know that since you’ve already done the shopping, it’s all there ready to go – when you are.
 
So there’s our play-by-play for getting real food to our real families in real time this week.
 
Ready? Break!ey days. I’ve included oranges in most of the dishes this week but try some others – limes, Meyer lemons, Valencia oranges, clementines, or grapefruit. Give a good sniff at the market - you will feel better immediately. Sub them in your dressing, squeeze over a salad or your cocktail– c’mon, live a little!
 
How about a Buddha’s Hand for your kitchen table? It smells deelish and brings a little of the outside in.
 
We have a wonderful small batch supplier here in the Bay Area Alta Crest Fruit Company. It's a fantastic group of kids that are working very hard to deliver a great product - and they are succeeding! And, just wait for their avocados - Oh, Man. They are a truly special variety, huge, creamy, a touch sweet and unlike anything out there. Check them out.
 
Have a great week!

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