Farmers Market Finds: Cooking with Fresh Herbs and Pea Shoots

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I must confess a cooking sin. It is something that has plagued me for many years, something that I am only now learning how to address.

I have been using dried herbs when it says fresh in a recipe.

I never understood the error of my ways until I started buying fresh herbs at the farmers market.

It started slowly enough, a year two ago, with basil. Basil makes great pasta dishes and pesto. It’s an economical purchase because you can put it in a vase with water and it continues to grow. I can get weeks worth of basil from a single $1 purchase. I love how it makes my kitchen smell. It’s a great multi-tasker, completely non-threatening and economical.

farmers-market-finds-cooking-with-fresh-herbs-and-pea-shoots-1Then last summer I branched out with mint, but just for tea. Fresh mint (especially chocolate mint) makes amazing tea. No artificial flavors, just the pure simple taste of mint ( or with a hint of chocolate) makes a perfect tea for after meals or relaxing with a good book.

This summer I’ve gotten bolder. Maybe it’s the inspiration of the simple and fresh recipes from GatheredTable. Maybe it’s the beauty of all the different herbs. Maybe it’s the fact that I want the few meals that I do get to share with Brian to feel special, like dining out on a date night. No matter what the cause, the effect has been amazing. Here are the herbs that are plentiful at the farmers market this spring and how I’ve been using them.

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Mint

I’ve gone beyond tea. It started with an NPR story, as many of my adventures lately seem to do. On Here And Now a few weeks ago there was a story on salads with spring produce. Chef Kathy Gunst let me in on a little secret: add a little mint to your greens to make an ordinary salad “pop”. The next Saturday a bought fresh mint, a bag of spring mix and made avocado egg salad for lunch. I added some mint in the mix along with a little extra spinach and had my egg salad on top of a bed of greens. I used the same mix of greens to stuff Brian’s pita and he asked me what I had done differently. He noticed the extra layer of flavor with his egg salad sandwich, as did I on my salad. Who knew that mint was the secret ingredient to make greens extraordinary?

Thyme

It started with the mushrooms. I grabbed a bundle of fresh thyme to make the Millet and Mushroom Bowls last month. It was used both for roasting the mushrooms and in the dressing, making it the signature flavor in this dish. In it’s fresh state it’s woody but not overwhelming like the dried version can be. It also brought life to the Mostaccioli with Asparagus and Roasted Mushrooms from the Healthy Pasta cookbook.

Sage

If you think sage is only for stuffing, think again. Sage was paired with the thyme in the Mostaccioli with Asparagus and Roasted Mushrooms to create flavorful pasta sans sauce and cheese. Sage pairs well with thyme in eggs as well. I decided to freestyle bit with an asparagus frittata recipe I had, subbing thyme and sage for tarragon.

Chives

I use dried chives all the time but the Linguine with Spinach and Lemon may be my first fresh chive experiment. Brian didn’t even know what I was chopping when I was cooking dinner! Shame on me for not going fresh with this herb sooner. Fresh chives are also great in dips and salads. With the bounty of fresh lettuce and radishes at the market right now I am dying to try this Butter Lettuce Salad with Radishes, Chives and Toasted Hazelnuts.

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Basil is just starting to make its appearance at the market, so I see some pesto in my future. I also see a lot more of a “new to me” green that I saw for the first time at the market this month: pea shoots. Pea shoots are a micro green common in Asian cuisine that are quick to grow and easy to cook. Akin to watercress, you can add it to salads and soups with ease. My adventurous spirit bought a bunch and stir-fried it with some garlic, salt and sesame oil. It was a perfect simple side that Brian gave a big thumbs up!

I will still keep a cupboard of dried herbs. They do have their place. If it says fresh, I know now it says so for a reason. That fresh herb may be the key to taking dinner from good to great!

What’s your favorite way to use fresh herbs? Anyone else love pea shoots?

How to Make Pasta Healthy Again

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I will never tell you that zoodles actually taste like pasta. Zoodles taste good but you have to accept them for what they are and judge them as such. Sometimes they will hit the spot. Sometimes nothing will do but the real thing.

Yes, you can have pasta. Yes, it can be healthy. Even if it is gluten free it can taste good.

Carbs like pasta are all about timing and portion. If fat loss is your goal, try to keep the pasta (and other starchier carbs like bread and rice) after exercise or physical activity. Your body is better able to use them. It also needs to be a reasonable portion. A two ounce serving (the common serving size on a box of pasta) is probably much smaller than the portion most people serve themselves or you see on a restaurant plate. The pasta should be “bulked up” with vegetables and accented with protein to create a balanced plate.

These are the same ideas about making pasta healthy that I heard on a recent NPR interview with Joe Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali about their book entitled Healthy Pasta. The son and daughter of Lidia Bastianich, the Italian chef and much loved host of Lidia’s Kitchen, should know a thing or two about pasta. Combining their proud heritage and their extensive knowledge, the have put together a book of over 100 pasta recipes that are under 500 calories. Here is a brief description from their publisher’s web site:

Do not be fooled: this is not a diet book. There are no tricks and no punishing regimens—it is just a simple guide to enjoying more of the food you love in ways that are good for you.  Using ingredients and cooking methods that maximize taste but minimize fat content, Joe and Tanya will teach you what different grains mean to your diet, how to pair particular grains with sauces, why better-quality pasta is healthier for you, the health benefits of cooking pasta al dente, and how to reduce fat and calories in your sauces.

Always happy to try out new recipes, and excited by the tips in the interview, I ordered a copy of the book. I don’t cook pasta often much to the dismay of my Italian cuisine loving husband. Most of the pasta dishes we used to make are either loaded with cheese or lack protein and vegetables. (Baked Ziti with Chickpeas from Vegetarian Times and Mushroom Bolognese from Clean Eating Magazine are two notable vegan exceptions.) The book gave me the perfect reason to try to bring pasta back into our regular rotation and take advantage of the fresh crop of mushrooms, asparagus and herbs at the farmers market.

In addition to ordering the book, I also looked up the gluten free pasta they mentioned by name in the interview, Banza. Banza is a chickpea flour pasta boasting 14 g of protein and 8 g of fiber per serving! That makes it a smarter choice for everyone, in my opinion. Protein and fiber help slow down digestion, which helps slow down the release of the carbs (as glucose) into the body and keeps you feeling fuller longer. Banza isn’t available in my area so I contacted the company and they graciously sent me a few sample boxes (I was not paid or asked to write a review, the options in this article are all mine). The pasta and the book arrived within days of each other and I settled in one night to read the book and pick my selections.

Don’t skip the introduction to Healthy Pasta. There is a lot of information in the first few pages on how to make any pasta recipe a little bit better for you. In addition to the addition of vegetables and portion control, they talk about how to use the pasta water for sauce and substitutions for heavy cream and cheese. There is also a great discussion of different types of gluten free pastas, including a recipe to make your own at home.

I wasn’t going to be that adventurous, but I may have spent a little more time on a recipe or two than I might normally allow. It was worth it. Here are the three recipes I’ve whipped up so far.

Mostaccioli with Asparagus and Roasted Mushrooms (pg 28)

Mostaccioli with Asparagus and Roasted Mushrooms

I substituted the Banza penne for the mostaccioli and made a half batch since I was home alone. I am often guilty of subbing dried herbs for fresh but I am learning how much of a flavor difference it makes. Fresh sage and thyme made this dish delicious! The Banza pasta was amazing cooked al dente and made the dish very filling . While Brian said he could taste the difference (he had the leftovers), it tasted very much like whole wheat pasta to me. Huge thumbs up for Banza!

Penne with Asparagus and Goat Cheese (pg 44)

Penne with Asparagus and Goat Cheese

Brian said this was “like spring exploded my mouth”. It was bright, light and flavorful. I took down the amount of goat cheese and left out the Grana Padano cheese and, to me, it made it no less amazing. If I am going to splurge, I also go with the best quality cheese I can get. In this case it was Terrell Creek Farms Chevre from the farmers market. So creamy and smooth, it melted in my mouth. It reminded me of the chevre we had in Paris.

Linguine with Spinach and Lemon (pg 36)

Linguine with Spinach and Lemon

So simple and so full of flavor. The crushed red pepper brings a spicy zing to this dish, making it Brian’s favorite (and perhaps mine too) of the three recipes I’ve tried so far.  This recipe shows you how to finish the dish with a cheese alternative instead of Parmesan,  making it an easy vegan meal. I used gluten free bread and Aztec Quinoa Corn Linguine to also make this dish gluten free.

I love how this book helps you learn re-frame pasta as an accent, rather than the main event. I helps reinforces that a healthy lifestyle is not about living without your favorite foods. Pasta can be part of a healthy diet no matter what our goals are. I am just getting started with the new pasta possibilities for my own menu. I think Brian is really glad to hear that.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pancake Muffin Recipe

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pancake Muffins

Eating breakfast while driving is a messy (and perhaps dangerous) fact of life. The need for extra sleep butting up against carpool duty, commuting to work or an early appointment with the gym, makes sitting down at a table for breakfast a luxury for most women.

Some breakfasts work better than others for eating on the go. Smoothies are perfect but you may be not always leave ou satisfied. I used to eat dry Kashi Go Lean on my way to my morning workout but my car suffered the consequences. I have had more than one client come in for their morning session with a Greek yogurt spill, either on herself or the car, to clean up.

What about pancakes?

I love a good protein pancake and peanut butter sandwich but even a sandwich requires some prep and skill. If we made the pancake to fit the palm of your hand, muffin size let say, that might work a little better.

My Chocolate Peanut Butter Pancake Muffins are the perfect grab and go breakfast. Inspired by local favorite Granolove, these muffins are low in sugar and gluten free. Make a batch on Sunday afternoon so breakfast is the least of your concerns on a hectic Monday morning.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pancake Muffins

  • 1 1/3 cup King Arthur Gluten Free Pancake Mix
  • 1 egg
  • 2 scoops True Athlete Natural Whey Protein Chocolate
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup Peanut Butter Chocolate Granolove granola
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with nine parchment or silicon baking cups and spray with olive oil or coconut oil.
  2. Mix pancake mix with egg and coconut oil per the directions on the box.
  3. Add whey protein powder and almond milk to reach a pourable consistency.
  4. Pour equally into each of the nine baking cups.
  5. Top with granola.
  6. Place in oven and bake for 3 minutes at 425. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 12-15 minutes. (The higher heat to begin with is what creates the perfect puffed up muffin top!)
  7. Cool on wire rack. Store in the refrigerator once cooled for up to 7 days.

Yield: 9 Muffins
Prep Time: 7 Minutes
Cook Time: 18 Minutes
Serving: 1 Muffin

Per Serving: Calories 146; Total Fat 5g; (Sat Fat 3g, Trans 0g, Poly Fat 0g, Mono Fat 1g); Protein 4g; Carb 20g; Fiber 1g; Sugars 3g; Cholesterol 28mg; Sodium 239mg

Farmers Market Finds: Mushrooms, Greens and A Cup of Tea

Farmers Market Finds: Mushrooms, Greens and A Cup of Tea

It’s April in the Ozarks and flowers aren’t the only things in bloom. The Farmers Market of the Ozarks continues to grow every week. The market has already shifted to summer hours: Saturdays 8 am to 1 pm and Thursdays 4 – 8 pm. The warmer temperatures and growing number of vendors has spread the market out from under the heated pavilion and into the parking lot and courtyard.

I’ll admit the vegetable selection is still small. You’ll find various shades of green and red in the form of lettuce, kale, asparagus and rhubarb. I have no idea what to do with rhubarb but I have no problem with asparagus. Grill it, sauté it or put it in a frittata. You really can’t go wrong. It even tastes good raw. Wrap a thin slice of swiss or provolone cheese around it (and some turkey if you’re a meat eater) for a quick and balanced snack.

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I am not normally a big salad eater but when the greens are this gorgeous it’s hard to resist. I didn’t have Caesar salad planned for Saturday dinner but that’s part of the beauty of shopping fresh and eating with the seasons. Sometimes you just need to let the market decide the menu. I bought a mixed bunch of red and green romaine for $2.50 knowing I had everything else I needed at home to make the vegan dressing that goes along with it. The dressing is a simple recipe from Clean Eating Magazine (the March 2011 issue if you’re interested in the salad recipe).

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  • ½ cup light firm silken tofu
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

I put all the ingredients in my Ninja to mix them to a cream consistency. Then I pour over the chopped romaine and diced cucumber, toss and serve.

I was on a mission for one ingredient specific ingredient on my last visit: mushrooms.

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Mushrooms are an often forgotten but amazing vegetarian source of protein. Not only are they a good source of protein but also they are also naturally gluten free and high in vitamin D. If you need to add a meaty texture to a dish without using soy or “faux meat” products mushroom will do the trick. The also happen be very plentiful at the farmers market right now.

As I have mentioned before, I am not a mushroom expert. I would never dare try to gather my own. If they are unlabeled I often have to ask what variety is which. Even with a clearly marked display I managed to buy the wrong kind of mushrooms. Excited by a sale on shiitake mushrooms, I bought a pound of them despite the fact I had written down oyster mushrooms. There are two important lessons to be learned here: if you have a list, look at it and don’t be afraid to improvise.

The Millet and Mushroom Bowls turned out to be delicious with the shiitake (instead of oyster) mushrooms roasted with onions and a dressing made with some fresh thyme.

If the mushrooms are still plentiful on my next visit I may do portabella burgers or try a vegan “scallops” recipe using king oyster mushrooms (this time I’ll triple check the list). If you’re a mushroom lover you might also try this Mushroom Minestrone recipe from my friend Kira.

Have I mentioned another tea vendor has appeared at the market? Keen Bean Coffee Roasters is serving up organic blends by the cup or to take home. I’ve been enjoying a cup of their English Breakfast tea as I stroll the market but I fully intend on giving their jasmine green a try.

Coffee or tea as you shop the market? What’s your favorite way to eat a mushroom? What do you do with rhubarb?

Dreams to Reality: How to Escape the Time Crunch

How to Escape the Time Crunch

After reading 168 Hours and keeping my time journal for three weeks, I committed to do three things:

  1. Complete my 100 Dreams list.
  2. Review my core competencies.
  3. Stop multi-tasking.

The goal of these efforts is to try to escape “the time crunch”. I would love to report that I have done so but I can’t. I still feel like there are never quite enough hours in a day. I do feel like I am getting a bit more out of those hours. As I’ve worked on these three goals I’ve learned a few things .

To say yes to your dreams you have to learn to say NO first.

The goal of writing down 100 Dreams is to look at the list and find the theme, your WHY if you haven’t found it yet. I know my WHY but I found it evolving in my list.

  • Go back to school….for a Nutrition or Public Health degree.
  • Start a mastermind group for female fitness professionals.
  • Sell my own line of teas.
  • Write a manifeso.

I love being in the gym with my team but my list reveals so many other ways I can empower women with health and fitness. Being able to do all of the things I dream requires me to stay focused on my WHY and stop getting distracted with the things that don’t make sense to my mission. This is where the problem is for most of us.

We make a list of things we want to do and then we let other peoples’ agendas get in our way.

I know I’ve been guilty of this recently and it’s been making me pretty miserable. I am happiest and healthiest when I am fully engaged in living my purpose. If I am caught up in activities that don’t align with my WHY, I find myself tired and detached. To live my WHY I have to say NO to those things that don’t support my Dreams. This is why the 100 Dreams List is so important. It’s a touchstone to your WHY. Even if you don’t read the book I encourage you to do this exercise. See what it tells you about the path your living.

All work and no play makes one very dull (and cranky).

I have other passions that, to be a happy and whole person, I need to make sure I find time for. I am in the lucky of position of being fully in charge of my leisure time (childless by choice) and even having weekends where I am completely on my own. Despite this freedom, I often feel compelled to keep working, getting less and less productive as I go. If you choose to fill all your hours with only work projects, no matter how passionate you are about that work, you will still burn out. I need to take my breaks, turn off “the business” and reconnect with family, friends and myself. I always tell people to make appointments with themselves for their workouts, to put themselves on their to-do list. I need to do this for ALL the things I want to do in my life not just workouts, writing and paying the bills.

I’ve started adding my Mandarin practice to my daily to-do list. Not only is learning a new language quite fun and great for my maturing brain but it will help with some other dreams on my list. I put meditation on my to-do list because it has become as necessary as my workout. It gives me focus and helps me deal with difficult questions or energy slumps. I’ve also started cutting off work after the last training session. Before, I would come home and go straight to my desk to check in clients, check email and do any session follow up tasks. However, I am easily distracted and much less patient at the end of a long day. I am also much less efficient than I am first thing in the morning. I decided 99% of these tasks could easily wait till the next morning. Setting a cut off time for work activities has helped me get more time to read, connect with Brian, meditate or practice yoga. Find a time that works for you to shut down work and do something just for the enjoyment it brings you.

Know when it is time to ask for help.

There are the things I love to do, like train and write. There are things I do well but I don’t necessarily enjoy, like keeping up the books balanced. Then there are the things that, for lack of a better word, I suck at doing but also hate to do. Cleaning house is one of them. If you’re not good at something and you hate it don’t be afraid to outsource it. Getting someone to clean the house is on my dreams list. It’s something we’ve discussed from time to time but never acted on. This year, if both Brian and I want to have time and energy to do what we love, we have to make it happen.

I’ve added some new tools to my toolbox to help me run the business and the household. I using new social media tools (namely CoSchedule) to make sure my posts happen when you are more likely to see them as well as posting less of often. I don’t want to overload your News Feed (wasting your time) and I only want to give you things you will find valuable. Plus it frees up the time I am on Facebook and Instagram to respond to your questions and comments and not trying to decide what to say or share.

I’m using GatheredTable to help plan my weekly menus. I gave them my specifications (vegetarian, no dairy) and let them run with it. It’s no problem to add a house favorite to the menu if I want to but it saves me the hour or so I would normally spend leafing through my cookbooks and issues of Clean Eating magazine. I switched to Quickbooks Online because it downloads information and reconciles most of it automatically. Yes, there is a monthly fee involved but it is worth the time I save each week. The busier I get, the more I understand the value of my time and the more willing I am to try new ways of doing things. Don’t undervalue your time. Getting help doesn’t mean you’re lazy, not a good enough mom or wife or that there is anything wrong with you.

It’s a work in progress. The more I let the Dreams list guide me, the more I learn to turn off the noise and be present, the better it gets. I’ve resolved to spend a little more time dreaming each week so I can complete the list. The goal is to have those 100 Dreams down (at least this version) by my 40th birthday…which is in about 11 weeks. My 30s have been quite the learning experience. I am certainly in a much different place now than I was when I turned 30. (A place I honestly never would have dreamed of before). Now that I know all that is possible I want to set my sights even higher for my next decade.

Chocolate Cherry Bomb Protein Shake Recipe

Chocolate Cherry Bomb Protein Shake Recipe

Sometimes I like a little heat.
Sometimes I like a little sweet.
Sometime I like them together.

I think the person that first paired chilies and chocolate was a genius. According to The History Channel, that honor goes to the Aztecs. They were the first to take the cacao bean and mix it into a paste with water, honey, chilies, vanilla and other spices to make a chocolate drink. Now recipes for Mexican hot chocolate are quite common.

If you’re a fan of chocolate with a little kick you’re going to love my Chocolate Cherry Bomb Protein Shake. The combo of chocolate whey protein and tart cherry juice are perfect for workout recovery. The addition of a small square of Dagoba Xocolatl Dark Chocolate adds some extra antioxidants along with a hint of fire. It’s so delicious you’ll want to chug it but the heat will make you slow down.

Chocolate Cherry Bomb Protein Shake

  • 1 serving True Athlete Chocolate Whey Protein Powder
  • 2 oz tart cherry juice
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond coconut milk
  • 1 square Dagoba Xocolatl Dark Chocolate
  • 3-5 ice cubes

Add all ingredients into your favorite blender and blend until well combined. Pour and serve immediately.

Yield: 1 Shake
Prep Time: 5 Min
Cook Time: NA
Serving: 1 Shake

Per Serving: Calories 217; Total Fat 8g; (Sat Fat 4g, Trans 0g, Poly Fat 0g, Mono Fat 0g); Protein 22g; Carb 18g; Fiber 3g; Sugars 10g; Cholesterol 65mg; Sodium 219mg

Batch Cooking For The Time Challenged

Batch Cooking For The Time Challenged

Are you jealous of those Instagram posts with a week’s worth of meals prepped and packed in five perfect rows? Are you longing for a freezer stacked with casseroles or bags of ingredients ready to dump into the slow cooker?

Me too.

I am a big believer in plan, shop and cook. I like being in the kitchen when I have time. Yet I don’t want to live there all weekend.

Mama Jean’s recently did a meal planning class for my team. Chef Goeff had great tips for us on how to make a list and a dinner plan for the coming week. He talked about cooking for a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon to have things like rice cooked and vegetables chopped or roasted for dishes he would make on weeknights. It’s a great idea, one I totally agree with. I hard boil eggs and make date balls on the weekend. But Sunday is my one day off. I honestly can’t say I am willing to commit to two or three hours in the kitchen.

His suggestion of repurposing foods you might cook on the weekend through out the week is more my style. For example, if you eat meat, you might cook a whole chicken on Sunday. You would have some for dinner with roasted vegetables. You might use more of it for chicken salad on Monday and a stir-fry on Wednesday. You might roast extra vegetables to make tacos on Tuesday by adding black beans and cilantro. This kind of meal planning is what makes sense in my schedule.

My form of batch cooking is making the most of my leftovers. Cook once and eat all week is my motto these days. I am only home three nights a week for dinner. Sometimes I have time to make something for lunch on Tuesdays. I make the most of these meals to keep Brian and myself feed for the week. With this concept in mind, I have two rules that I (mostly) follow when I plan meals:

  1. The dish has to make at least 4 servings.
  2. It has to take less than 45 minutes to make (not including cooking time).

This leaves me a lot of latitude in my huge recipe collection. I have every issue of Clean Eating ever published plus a huge store of Vegetarian Times magazines. I also have a collection of well-worn vegetarian cookbooks. (Right now Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Diet Vegetarian is at the top of my list.) I’ve been doing this for so long that I have a running list of “house favorites” in head. I know where to turn when I have an overload of a certain ingredient to use. I can walk the farmers market, select what’s in season and inexpensive and know that I have at least two or three recipes I can make with it.

Let me give you a run down of what a typical weekend of my style of batch cooking might look like.

  • Friday Night

    My favorite vegetarian crockpot chili is a winter staple. It uses those frozen vegetables and beans I mentioned plus canned goods I normally have from stocking up at Costco. When squash is in season I might make a yummy Baked Ziti with Chickpeas and Zucchini or a Red Curry with Delicata Squash and Tofu.

  • Saturday Night

    I look for the same types of recipes as I do on Friday night. While I am not in the gym training on Saturdays I still have plenty of work to do. My brain is usually taxed from all the bookkeeping, program prepping, writing and taking care of household tasks. I need something uncomplicated. Tofu Pad Thai is a favorite right now because it’s super easy and quick. A head of cabbage will last for a couple of weeks, so I can make this one twice during a two-week cycle if I want to.

  • Sunday

    Sunday is double duty day. I make my Vanilla Coconut Protein Pancakes for breakfast. They make easy to take to work leftovers for both of us on Monday. Sunday night is movie night and black bean burgers with sweet potato fries. The black bean patties are something I do freeze because we eat them EVERY Sunday. They also serve as back up for dinner. If we run out of leftovers from the week, Brian can easily make one warm on up in the microwave when he gets home from the office.

I supplement the week with another batch of pancakes on Thursday. I make them for one of my meals while I finish up emails and pack my dinner for the gym on Thursday night. Tuesday is another day I don’t go into the gym until late. If I don’t have a lunch meeting, I will make something quick like a Broccoli Quinoa Frittata or instant potato soup. When I am home, my other quick go to meal is eggs with spinach, toast and fruit. Eggs are easy to make and you can dress them up any way you want.

That is batch cooking for the time challenged. This is how I keep us both feed. While it is just Brian and I, the same rules can be applies to any family. You need more servings, but not more time. You can even take advantage of the extra hands by making cooking a family affair. The most valuable skill you can teach your teenager is to cook. Younger kids might make a mess, but that’s where it can be fun. Besides I find the occasional OOPS photo more interesting than perfectly portioned bowls of oatmeal anyway.