One Of The Best Things You Can Do On A Sunday

by Sally on September 3, 2013

Food Prep from Real Mom Nutrition

If you read my last post, you may be thinking that by “one of the best thing you can do” I mean “go to yoga class” or “ignore the mountains of laundry and snuggle with your kids” (read “A Back-To-School Pledge To Myself“). And yes, do those. And go to religious services. Or watch football. But trust me: Even though this involves adding something to your weekend to-do list, it’s a stress-reliever that keeps on giving, all week long.

I’ve always done extra food prep on the weekends, simply because I have more time (and helping hands). But I was recently inspired to take it up a notch by Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean. She has an entire blog series called Sunday Food Prep. Each Sunday, she shares what she’s made for the week and features photos from readers and fellow bloggers of their own prep work.

Lindsay says weekend food prep is the reason she’s able to eat healthy during the week. I second that–and for me, weekend food prep is also one way I stay sane. If I have food made and ready to grab for lunchboxes, after-school snacks, and quick meals, my whole week goes smoother.

Here’s what I managed to do this weekend:

1. A batch of Homemade Peach Fruit Leather. I based it on my recipe for Strawberry Fruit Leather but substituted three cups of fresh, sliced peaches (I kept the skins on, which my Vitamix is able to pulverize). These will be fun treats in the boys’ lunchboxes this week.

2. A double batch of whole wheat chocolate chip flaxseed pancakes for quick kid breakfasts.

3. A tray of sliced fresh peaches, which I froze in a single layer, then put in a gallon-size ziplock bag for my morning green smoothies.

4. A double batch of Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes from Mom’s Kitchen Handbook. Just because. These are amazingly delicious and you should make them immediately. (I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa which gave them a deep, rich flavor and a darker color.)

5. A batch of Easy Crockpot Applesauce using a variety of apples I got with my farm share last weekend. My boys like this as a snack or as a side with dinner.

I dare you to read Lindsay’s Food Prep series and not feel inspired. You’ll see everything from prepped raw veggies, cooked beans and lentils, and hard-boiled eggs to grilled meats, quinoa salads, and a week’s worth of pre-packed lunches. Just don’t be intimidated: I figure that some of these gals don’t have babies on their hips or minivan shuttle service duty to play dates, birthday parties, and soccer practices. Weekend food prep is certainly more challenging with kids in the picture. But  even if you can only manage to get your salad greens ready, you’re already one step ahead of where you’d normally be.

Do you do any kind of food prep on the weekends? Tell me about it!


{Recipe} Lunchbox Oatmeal Bars

by Sally on August 9, 2013

Like most kids, mine love a little sweet treat tucked into their lunchboxes. I  don’t include a dessert every day. But when I do, I love when it can be homemade.

Ever since I saw this video for Katie Morford’s new book Best Lunch Box Ever, I’ve been wanting to make these Oatmeal Bars. So when I got my own copy, I flipped right to the recipe. She calls for sour cherry jam inside the bars, but I used homemade blueberry jam (recipe here). I think they would be delicious with just about any flavor.

These bars taste like little handheld bites of fruit crisp. You need to make these bars! Your big and little people will love you for it.

You can enter to win a copy of Best Lunch Box Ever on my blog right here (plus a chance to win a stunning range for your kitchen). Or get a copy through Amazon here. Find more of Katie’s recipes and advice on her blog Mom’s Kitchen Handbook.

Sour Cherry Oatmeal Bars
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ¾ cup sour cherry jam [or a flavor of your choice, such as raspberry or apricot]
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper so that it drapes a couple of inches over two sides.
  2. In a large bowl, add the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt and stir with a fork. Add the butter and, using an electric mixer on low speed, mix until the ingredients form a uniformly crumbly mixture, about 45 seconds. Add the walnuts and continue mixing on low speed until they are evenly distributed, about 5 seconds.
  3. With your hands, press two-thirds of the dough firmly and evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. (If the dough sticks to your hands, cover it with a piece of parchment paper as you work.)
  4. With a spoon, spread the jam evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the remaining one-third of the dough evenly over the jam. You will see the jam peeking through.
  5. Bake until the top is deep brown and the jam along the edges begins to darken, 45 to 50 minutes.
  6. Let cool in the baking pan for 30 minutes.
  7. Run a knife along the two sides of the pan that don’t have an overhang of parchment paper. Grab the two ends of parchment paper and carefully lift out the sour cherry oatmeal square and transfer to a cutting board.
  8. Cut into 20 bars. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the pantry or 2 weeks in the freezer.

Photo by Jennifer Martine


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New Year, New Gear: My Lunchbox Gameplan

August 13, 2012

Anyone else geek out over lunch packing gear? I caught the bento bug two years ago (read Bento-a-Go-Go). I hope that someday I’ll have the energy to cut cucumbers into flowers and draw faces on tuna sandwiches. But in the meantime, I just like the fun and ease of divided containers. And I finally found […]

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After the nightly wrangling of kids into the bath, into their PJs, onto the potty, into bed, back into bed, and under the covers, I typically collapse into a useless heap on the couch. And the last thing I want to do is pack a lunch. I’d welcome anything that made this task less tiresome. […]

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