The Finches

Charlotte and Ella: Two moms who met on the Internet and love design, simplicity, and sustainability.




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Entries in healthy family recipes (5)


Getting There | Personal Challenge

Lemony Pesto Pasta Salad by The Kitchn

I am inching towards my goal, slowly, but getting closer and closer to a $50 grocery bill. Truth be told I had to push myself to put together a shopping list for the week and actually go to the store. The Beast was sick with a 104+ degree temp over the weekend and it would have been very easy for me to write off this week as a bust due to illness.

If I don't do my list and shopping on Sunday before the week starts, it is really hard for me to find motivation to go and I usually just end up sending Gray to the store as we figure out what we want to eat for dinner each night. Financially that is one of the worst decisions we make when it comes to shopping because what ends up happening is - instead of using what we have, we end up wasting food and money. So, I got my act together, kept the first two nights sick kid friendly and now, I sit in the shadows knowing that one day, a delicious victory will be mine! 

So, what are we having this week?  Check it out.

4/9/2012- 4/13/2012 Weekly Menu

Leftover Smoked Tri Tip
Macaronni + Cheese
Roasted Vegetables 

Maccroni + Cheese

Summer Tomato Lentils In Pita 
Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

 Summer Tomato Lentils In Pita 
Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

Lemony Pesto Pasta With Almonds and Edamame 

Lemony Pesto Pasta With Almonds and Edamame 

**Breakfast Options**
Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled Eggs + Black Beans
Greek Yogurt Smoothie
Breakfast Quinoa 

**Lunch Options**
Tuna Salad
Baked Quinoa Falafel With Tahini Sauce
Chicken Soup 

**Snack Options**
Fresh Fruit
Apples + Peanut Butter
Carrot Sticks
Fresh Mozzarella
Greek Yogurt Smoothie
Hard Boiled Egg

So, I did go a bit over, however, I got really, really, really, close. Last week I was starting to think that it wasn't possible, but this week, this week I have hope that I can regularly get our grocery bill down to $50 a week and eat in a wholesome, nutritious way. 

This week's total?

$51.67 - woohoo! 


Vegetarian Spicy Noodle Soup | Best Soup For Colds

The Beast, is a sick Beast - nothing crazy to complain about, just a cold with a super stuffed up nose and cough. I find the constant runny nose endearing, or something like that. 

I had posted on Facebook that this spicy noodle soup had fixed The Beast right up, and it was totally true, because, well, soup fixes everything that ales you. So, for the wonderful mom (sup Heather!) who asked for the recipe, here it is. Please note, I don't write recipes. That isn't my thing, so, this could be confusing, but if you are interested - just ask questions. I can answer those. 

Vegetarian Spicy Noodle Soup (adapted from some cooking magizine that I can't find anymore)

Step One: Make Asian broth
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (4 cups = 1 box FYI)
1 cup chopped leeks or onions
1/4 cup sliced fresh ginger cut into "coins" then smashed
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
10 shiitake mushroom caps (or 1oz dried shiitakes)
3 dried small red chilies
2 stalks lemon grass, smashed (4 inches each)
Zest of 1/2 lemon

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan, bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer for 30 min
Strain broth into bowl discard solids (I keep the mushroom caps since I use fresh ones) and return broth to pan keep warm

***This is what The Beast eats with some noodles - it gets seriously spicy after this. Feel free to cut back in some places if need be.  You could easily half the siriacha or skip the 6 dried chilis As is, this isn't for the faint of heart, So play with the spice. ***

Step 2: Make The Soup
1 recipe Asian Broth
2 pkg ramen noodles (I use organic ones from Sprouts)
2 Tbsp EACH of rice vinegar, dry sherry, hoisin sauce and sriracha sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 c EACH matchstick-cut carrot and red bell pepper (I usually up this a little and toss it in a food processor because I am lazy)
6 dried red chilies
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
soy sauce to taste
cilantro leaves and chopped scallions

  • While the soup is cooking, make the ramen noodles (don't use seasoning packet)
  • Whisk vinegar, sherry, hoisin, sriracha, sesame oil
  • stir-fry veggies in a little olive oil 1-2 min, add pepper flakes
  • stir-in ginger and garlic cook 1 min
  • add vinegar sauce and simmer 30 seconds
  • Pour in broth simmer 1-2 min
  • Just before eating toss cooked ramen into soup

Garnish with green onions, cilantro and if you are feeling crazy some chopped cashews/peanuts.  



Could it be? | Healthy eats for kids

Sometimes a warm drink really hits the spot - and truth be told, I am that mom. I totally gave the beast hot cocoa this morning - hey, what can I say, we don't have central air. It gets cold up in here. 

But I think I might have found something better!  Spiced pear milk. The recipe uses Stevia, which personally, I am not totally comfortable giving to The Beast and truth be told, since this is an almond milk recipe, I have my doubts that it actually needs any sweetener added to it. 

Spiced Pear Cider by

What do you think? Good alternative to hot cocoa?  


The Weekly Round Up!

Happy 4th of July weekend! Hopefully you have some fun stuff planned, but if not, it isn't too late! Here are some fun ideas (that you have to be American to enjoy). And now on to the round up....

  • For all of you fellow parents with "shy" kids - don't worry, it isn't a bad thing
  • 1 good reason to venture to IKEA this weekend
  • It is summer, please don't die! Go on an adventure. 
  • Make it: A family summer bucket list
  • QUACK!
  • YUM! A quick and easy summer appetizer (Unrelated to the QUACK)
  • Water, water, everywhere - now go do it yourself.
  • Speaking of water, did you know it can walk?
  • I think we can all hug our mother (or daughter)-in-laws just a little bit tighter after reading this
  • What a meaningful and fun morning tradition. 
  • Oh my! Oh my!  Old controversy but what do you think? <- no really, what are your thoughts?

Go win some free stuff. 

  • Consider me entered. iPad2 giveaway, heck ya! 
  • Huge canvas giveaway. 
  • Go win some super sweet pens
  • Having trouble picking a baby name? Win some help
  • Baking Soda is so yesterday. 
  • Win a Red Charlotte Stuff Sack! 

Street Taco Sunday | Meet My Family

Who doesn't like a good solid tradition?  It is what childhood memories are made of - well that and the emotional scarring of your sibling torturing you.  

My family went to YMCA Camp Marston Labor Day camp every single year. We got to open one present on Christmas Eve. When my grandparents came down to visit in their amazing silver trailer they would bring delicious teriyaki and we played poker with pennies. That is just how it is done! My dad fries the taco shells, my mom cooks the meat, and every weekend after Thanksgiving we go to the Golf Cart Parade Of Light at Fishers Landing. These are just life facts. 

Our little family of three tradition?  

Street Taco Sunday...only we make them, so I am not so sure they can be called street tacos. Oh well. Sucks to be our kid's memory. 

We might not do them 100% properly, but we keep them simple and fun. Complicated traditions are lame. 

1. Get stuff for tacos

1a. Open a beer. 

2. Cook things so you don't die - cook the carne (or pollo) asada. We grill it. It is summer. I don't need to connect those two sentences because your mind has already done it for you. 

2a. While things are cooking so you don't die - cut a bitch vegetables for tacos. Like I said, we don't get too crazy and just do avocado (healthy fat!), tomatoes (lycopene!), onion (quercetin!) and cilantro (Vitamin A!)

2b. Warm tortillas.

3. Put vegetables and meat on a big plate (we use our giant wood cutting board) so everyone can make their own tacos as they like. 

4. Use your hands. They are street tacos. Dirty them up. Strong immune systems are made of grime. It is true, I read it on Wikipedia somewhere.

5. Devour, laugh, let your baby snag a piece of carne asada off of the table while they cruise by, because, hey, it is Street Taco Sunday. No need to be formal. 

6. Enjoy time with friends and family (and your husband who is spending the next two weekends putting up a fence to contain your Beast) instead of worrying about cleaning. 

If this is going to continue to be a tradition - I might be forced to get this:

Dia De Los Muertos Tortilla Warmer by Arte Hecho

'Cause the tin foil on top of the BBQ method isn't my favorite. Every time I see someone using a tortilla warmer I get jealous. Very, very, jealous. 

Okay - so this is our tradition. What is yours? Do you and your family have any? Planning on starting any?  Do you have any traditions from your childhood that you would NEVER - EVER want to continue? It's Monday. You really should share.